My Madden 18 CFM: 2018 – weeks 13, 14, 15

I have to put these on the blog because they were some of the best games of Madden I’ve had in a number of years. Really enjoying my Dallas Cowboys franchise. I’m already in year two.

Cowboys at Redskins (Both teams 7-4):

Cowboys (8-4) at Giants (4-8):

Cowboys (9-4) at Colts (7-6):

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Madden CFM Online Franchise Update

Here’s your Madden update on my franchise.

I entered Thanksgiving week with a 4-6 record (!) and coming off a two game stretch that Dak Prescott had thrown NINE interceptions. I can’t believe it; but he threw four in a 41-38 loss at Atlanta in the new Falcons stadium, including one that was crippling and lost the Cowboys the game.

In the following week, it was an absolute massacre in Dallas as the Eagles came in and beat the Cowboys up 55-6. The first half ended at 20-6 and then Prescott and the Cowboys were forced to abandon the run to try to get back in the game and throw the ball way too many times. The Eagles secondary played an excellent game and forced Dak into a career-worst five interceptions.

So fast forward to Thanksgiving week. The Los Angeles Chargers came to town with the Cowboys knowing they needed to run the table. The Cowboys got in an early 14-0 hole and had to battle back all day long. At the half, the Chargers led 17-14. From there they trailed 24-14 but charged back to take a 28-27 lead late in the game only to surrender a field goal to Los Angeles to make it 30-28.

Prescott finished 31 of 36 with 5 TD’s and one interception for over 350 yards in one of his greatest games ever. His touchdown strike to Cole Beasley with just over 2:00 to go made for an incredible finish, putting the Cowboys ahead 35-30.

The Cowboys knocked Philip Rivers out of the game on the final drive, but Kellen Clemens led the Chargers down the field and moved the chains. On fourth down from about the 25 yard line, he fired a strike to his receiver and it looked like the Chargers were going in for the winning score. Somehow, the Cowboys defensive backs converged on the receiver at the goal line and kept him out with :00 on the clock in what was a season-saving play for Dallas.

Dez Bryant caught two touchdowns with the second being an incredible leaping grab battling Josh Norman for his 75th receiving touchdown of his career.

The following week, the Cowboys hosted the Redskins on a Thursday nighter with both teams having a 5-6 record. The Cowboys controlled the game with Zeke Elliott and at one point late in the third quarter held a commanding 17-0 lead.

The Redskins at one point trailed 24-3 but the game was far from over. They clawed back with two ‘junk’ touchdowns to make it 24-17. The Cowboys prepared for an onside kick that never happened and Ryan Switzer made a rookie mistake, fair catching the ball at the one yard line and setting up more Dallas drama. With the Redskins stacking for the run, Prescott audibles twice to hit Jason Witten on consecutive throws for a first down that effectively ended the game.

Prescott hit Rico Gathers for his only touchdown pass of the game, and 25th of the season (he has 16 interceptions). He finished the game 28 of 31 for 227 yards. The Cowboys gave the ball to Elliot 24 times for 178 yards and two touchdowns.

Bryant had 8 catches for 80 yards and Witten added 5 catches for 56.

The Cowboys sit at 6-6 with tough games at the Giants and at the Raiders on deck. They’ll have to run the table – with Seattle coming in on Christmas Eve to Dallas and then one would think that the division title will come down to the final weekend in Philadelphia where they could avenge the worst loss at home in franchise history.

Loving Madden 18

So I can’t lie, I really like Madden 18. I started an online franchise with my Cowboys and my friend Corey (Panthers). I am three games in. Here’s a short recap of how things have gone so far – without looking at the exact box scores.

Game 1: Cowboys 25, Giants 16
Dak Prescott has a 300+ yard game, completes something insane like 26 of 30 for 3 touchdowns and 1 interception in the win. Terrance Williams catches two TD’s in the game. I ‘suspended’ Zeke Elliott for two games, so he didn’t play. Owuzie got his first career INT.

Game 2: Broncos 42, Cowboys 28
This one got out of hand. Prescott starts 7 of 8, but throws a pick six to Aqib Talib to open scoring. On the next drive, Von Miller dislocates Prescott’s shoulder on a sack and he’s out four weeks. RGIII is my backup. He enters and is nightmarish. He ends with 266 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 3 INT. Darren Mcfadden and Dez Bryant’s strong play along with some clutch defense get the Cowboys within 35-28 after trailing 35-13 at one point; and the Cowboys get the ball back with under a minute to play. Kellen Moore is subbed in for the injured RGIII and throws an INT to Talib to end the game. Talib had four interceptions on the day.

Game 3: Cowboys 24, Cardinals 16
Kellen Moore is named starter, and the Cowboys re-instate Zeke Elliot. He gets 30+ carries for 140+ yards. Dan Bailey kicks six field goals. The biggest play of the game is on fourth down late in the fourth quarter with the Cowboys down 16-15; Moore hits Elliot out of the backfield for a long touchdown. Moore is surprisingly decent with conservative throws and doesn’t throw an INT in the game. The Cowboys hold on late to hold off a Carson Palmer last minute drive and seal the road victory on Monday Night Football to move to 2-1.

This made me want to buy Madden 18

Before I didn’t want to buy the game after seeing some initial gameplay.

But when I saw the snow, I guess I see what the new ‘Frostbite’ animation is all about. I see some encouraging stuff here. It looks more glossy. It looks more fluid. Footprints are in the snow where guys ran long before in the game rather than disappearing.

Madden is hanging on by a thread with me. I think I can probably do without it. This video didn’t suck.

Madden 18

Alright, so the cover boy is Tom Brady and not Dak Prescott; and that sucks. But the game comes out on August 25th. I’m excited about it. With Red Dead Redemption 2 delayed until Spring 2018, Madden will get all my hours and attention beginning in August (and my dollars). One more chance. One more year to hopefully draw me in again.

There’s this nugget about the release date already breaking:

One major change to the Madden 18 release date is that it is on a Friday this year. Traditionally the new Madden game arrives on a Tuesday, but if you buy the Madden 18 G.O.A.T Edition you can play early on the 25th.

If you buy the standard edition, you will need to wait until the Tuesday after the initial release. If you have EA Access, you may still be able to play early with the standard edition.

I guess the G.O.A.T. Edition it will be for me.

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NEW FEATURES:

This one is a big one. It sounds promising, and with Brady on the cover and plans to use Dak Prescott, we’re excited about the passing focus.

Play New NFL Matchups – Take the field with your favorite team or play the best weekly matchup using live updates containing the latest rosters, custom commentary and up-to-date stats from NFL.com then continue your season all the way to the Super Bowl from Play Now. This sounds a lot like Ultimate Team matchups, but it appears to be coming to your favorite team, even if you don’t want to manage a team.

New Play Styles – There are three new Madden 18 play styles that you can choose to help you better take on tough opponents. We are waiting to hear what the playstyles are, but this should add more to the coach called plays.

Target Passing – There is a major break in how you pass in Madden 18. You can pass to any play or to a specific spot on the field with new Target Passing. This offers total control over passing to players and could deliver a new challenge.

Coach Adjustments – Customize the AI to fit your game plan and make situational changes to your strategy on the fly as the game demands it. This looks like it could impact the suggested plays and how you rely on coach suggestions if you don’t choose every play manually.

Madden Companion App – You can manage your Madden 18 Franchise with a companion app on your smartphone.
Looks like there will be a ‘simulation’ gamestyle for guys like us:

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I really like the sound of being able to manage my franchise some from my smartphone too. Because you never know in traffic or at the office when I might want to re-order my depth chart or scout some players. I am sure that this will have the usual EA kinks to be ironed out to it.

My major hopes I won’t get are ‘live highlights from other games’ that they had back on the Sega Genesis so many years ago and for better unique field degradation playing on natural grass. It’s been second rate for that kind of stuff for over a decade now.

Good News for Madden ’16

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This is really, really important to me.

For the first time since I was in college and crushing Madden on the PS4 all day long instead of going to class my senior year, I finally feel like this is going to be a beauty of a game. It will have some obvious flaws and fall short in some areas for sure; but it’s going to really look masterful and be a lot of fun to play all fall and winter with Jameis Winston’s debut coming.

Here’s the video that got me pretty amped: