NFC South: Madden 11

'Madden 11' likes Panthers

August, 17, 2010
In Monday’s mailbag, a reader suggested a simulation of the NFC South season on "Madden NFL 11." I responded that if anyone wanted to play an NFC South season and let me know the results, I’d share them.

Well, I just opened the mailbag and Ronnie from Jacksonville, Fla., wrote to say that he played three NFC South seasons on Madden (I hope he had already played some of those games before reading yesterday’s mailbag or else he might be the fastest Madden player on earth). Anyway, Ronnie had some very interesting stuff.

In his first season, he had Carolina going 12-4, Atlanta 11-5, New Orleans 10-6 and Tampa Bay 8-8. Ronnie pointed out that Drew Brees was injured and out for three weeks.

In the second season, Atlanta and Carolina each went 11-5, while the Saints and Bucs each went 8-8.

In the third season, the Saints went 12-4, the Panthers 11-5, the Falcons 9-7 and the Bucs 7-9.

Some other notes of interest from Ronnie: Carolina’s Matt Moore had at least a 95.0 passer rating in all three seasons. And this one’s amazing -- Dwayne Jarrett topped 1,000 receiving yards in all three seasons. If John Fox is gone after this season, I’m thinking Jerry Richardson should give Ronnie a call.

A few other notes: Ronnie said Carolina, Atlanta and New Orleans all finished among the top 10 offenses in all three seasons. In each season, Tampa Bay’s Josh Freeman had at least six games where he threw for 300 yards. He also had no less than a 96.0 passer rating in each season and never threw more than 12 interceptions in a season.

Thanks to Ronnie for providing the results and for doing some excellent coaching.

Monday night mailbag

August, 16, 2010
Scott in Prairieville, La., writes: The debate of Derrick Brooks or Rickey Jackson as the best ever player in the NFC South is a good one. Rickey played 13 of his 15 years in New Orleans. I wouldn't say that a chunk of his career was played in San Francisco. Ricky helped re-define the position along with Lawrence Taylor. Had Rickey played in a larger market, he would be considered in the top 3 of all time. I know that Tampa and New Orleans are both small markets, but had Rickey played during the media explosion era that Brooks did, it would be no contest.

Pat Yasinskas: New Orleans fans have been firing away with notes arguing Jackson over Brooks as the best NFC South Player of all time. I respect your arguments and agree Jackson was great. That’s why he’s in the Hall of Fame and I’m glad he finally got there. But I’m sticking with Brooks, who, I think, will be a first-ballot Hall of Famer.

Nate in Palmer, Alaska, writes: Tampa Bay's Kareem Huggins has officially put Derrick Ward on the trading block if you ask me. I think Tampa overpaid the guy, so there isn't a lot in return they could get for him, but do you see Ward in a Bucs uniform much longer?

Pat Yasinskas: Ward’s contract makes it virtually impossible to trade him, because no team would want to pick up the rest of that deal for a guy who has shown nothing since he came to Tampa Bay. Do the Bucs just cut Ward? Wouldn’t surprise me at all. Huggins has looked very good and Ward has not. Plus, I don’t think Ward is viewed as a great chemistry guy. However, the one thing that could keep Ward around is Cadillac Williams’ history of injuries. Huggins is undersized and inexperienced. The Bucs might decide to hang onto Ward in case something happens to Williams.

Robert in Sterling, Va., writes: Just a suggestion, but maybe do a piece of the NFC South projecting what the outcome will be like (Ex: player states, injuries, W/L record) like the writer who does the AFC North blog did by simulating a season in Madden 11.

Pat Yasinskas: I’d love to sit down and play a season of Madden 11, but I don’t exactly have a lot of free time these days. I did do a simulated season once when I was covering the Carolina Panthers for The Charlotte Observer. If my memory is correct, I guided the Panthers to a 7-9 record – with Chris Weinke as my quarterback. If someone out there wants to play a Madden 11 for the NFC South, I’ll be happy to share the results with the readers.

Cory in Knoxville, Tenn., writes: Did the Panthers make a move for Kentwan Balmer?

Pat Yasinskas: No, San Francisco traded Balmer to Seattle. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Panthers make a move to add a defensive tackle when other teams start cutting down rosters.