A Madden 2005 Moment – Rippa
Cleveland Browns vs. New York Giants – Franchise Year 1
(played by Rippa)
I have a feeling I might end up making this a segment on VP but still. I figured you two would appreciate this story. Bill because you can relate to Madden, Ed because you can chuckle about Cleveland.
I am playing Game Three of the season as the Giants. So after the Eagles/Redskins opening games (which will kill me in real life), NY plays the Browns at Giants Stadium.
First off – Madden 05 absurdly loves the Browns for some reason. Well, more they love Jeff Garcia. Someone must have goofed on his stats or something because he plays like freaking Michael Vick. All he would do was drop back and immediately start scrambling for first downs. That was on the plays that weren’t designed bootlegs. It was pissing me off because I was like “How the hell do I defense Crazy Legs Jeff Garcia?” OH! and they love William Green too. I think all the jailbird RBs in the game have ratings in the 90s. So, Green was breaking far too many tackles. I cannot comment on what K2 was like since he was never thrown the ball. But Terrell Smith had like 4 catches. I would like to chalk that up to good defense but I think the Madden AI just really really likes the FB screen.
Anyhoo – the point of this story. Besides relating that the Browns are FAR better in this game than the will be in real life is this: It is a much closer game than I normally play. I rally from down 10 early. I go up 21-16 at the start of the 4th after Tiki busts out a 63 yard TD run. I should point out that yes, Tiki’s catch/carry number is amazingly low. It might be single digits. I don’t remember off the top of my head. All that said – through 6 3/4 games (preseason included) Tiki had zippy fumbles. Yeah – you know where this is going. Will Allen picks off a Jeff Garcia thrown with three minutes left AND I cripple Garcia for the rest of the game. I am feeling good.
So, I am running the ball to wind the clock down. I am about my own 45 when I go right on a Sweep with Tiki. He has cleared the line, has no one in front of him and BOOM! Some linebacker crushes him. (Stupid new Hit Stick Big Hit thingy). Ball is loose (ooff… stupid realism). Browns scoop it up and go 57 yards with the fumble return to take the lead. They fail on the two-point conversion so they are up one.
Long story short, I start marching downfield, trying to kill the clock, etc… I get to about the 25, were Tiki gets stopped at the first down marker on a screen. I can hear Chris Collinsworth screaming. So, I kick the field goal to go up two. BTW – there is this new thing this year were I guess if you kick a FG in the last two minutes of the game, you kick in “pressure” mode. Or whatever you call it. Basically, they change the camera angle and the controller rumbles to signify your heart beat and the footage goes to letterbox. It is a cool idea but somewhat annoying when you add in the new kicking meter (which I got the hang of)
I am getting side tracked, the Browns need a miracle and this is were the Giants comical defense taunts me… especially the secondary. Kelly Holcomb comes in and I know he ain’t running. Still the Browns have decent receivers, Omar Stoudmaire got hurt, and I dropped a couple of INTs. Anyway – Quincy Morgan is a QB favorite in this game. The Browns get a little in FG range and I cripple Holcomb. So, yes, we have a Luke McCown sighting. The game plays it like real life and just hands the ball off straight up the middle to William Green. Cleveland then hits the 47-yard FG to go back in the lead. Oh believe me – the “Games the computer refuses to let you win” sensor is going off full blast in my head.
One of the neat things about Madden this year is that you can do squib kicks. Of course, this is probably more a curse than a blessing but it worked for me in this game. In the first half, the Browns did it near the end of the half and kicked it out of bounds. This time they did it and Tim Carter was able to get around the 50. I am in business. Every Madden player goes to some stock plays. The thing with Madden this year is that the AI actually gets wise and starts to sniff out your favorite plays.
My go to pass is a 4-wideout set, with crosses on both sides. The secondary usually both commits to the guy on the outside cutting inside. This leaves the guy in the slot wide open. It also helps that you are slanting to the sidelines – so save clock time helps. You can usually get about 15-20 yards a pop. And that is all I need for the winning FG. So, I go to it. And the Browns jump the play. So I am being blitzed AND Amani Toomer is double covered. So what do I do, still throw it to Amani Toomer. That was one of those “Nooooo!!!!!!!!” moments where you try to undo what you just did. Because the Madden Gods are just, Toomer starts with a 90 rating. So, somehow someway he makes the catch. I have one TO left and the clock is running with 19 seconds left. I rush to the line and run the fake pump play (because I always forget which button spikes the ball). I literally just slam a button down and David Tyree… yes DAVID FREAKING TYREE (who, along with James McKnight, until I got this game, I forget were on the Giants. Of course, McKnight is crippled in real life) makes a catch over the middle. I call the last TO almost blow the game winning FG but I escaped.
I don’t know how I would have handled losing to the freaking Browns but I love this stupid heart attack causing game. God, if only Ed would break down.
I am rambling