DENVER, CO – OCTOBER 13: Courtland Sutton #14 of the Denver Broncos comes down with a 40-yard reception for a first down against the Tennessee Titans in the second quarter at Empower Field at Mile High on October 13, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
The Madden video game has been popular for a long time. For Week 1 of the 2020 season, Ty Walden and I competed against each other. It was the Denver Broncos vs the Tennessee Titans—the team’s actual Week 1 opponent.
We tried to make it as real and accurate as possible: Monday Night Football under the lights, no Von Miller (potentially out for the season), K.J. Hamler out, etc.
The Broncos had Bryce Callahan for his first game for the team and he came back in a huge way—intercepting Ryan Tannehill.
Denver got the ball first at their 25-yard line. To begin the game, Phillip Lindsay got stuffed for just a one-yard gain. But the Broncos come back strong on the very next play with a 15-yard reception to a wide open Noah Fant.
There were times when the Titans stuffed the Broncos’ run plays, but there were also some long gains by Lindsay and even quarterback Drew Lock.
Down to the Titans’ 2-yard line, the Broncos tried punching the ball in with newly-acquired running back Melvin Gordon. That ended up with a 3-yard loss. However, on the very next play, the Titans — fully expecting a pass — got torched by Lindsay on the very next play.
On the kickoff, former Bronco Kalif Raymond took the ball out from one yard deep in the end zone. That would end up being a poor decision, as he was tackled at the 19.
The Titans decided to throw deep to Corey Davis on a deep slant. The ball sailed way off target for an incomplete pass. On the very next play, Tannehill threw into very tight coverage and the pass was picked off by linebacker Josey Jewell. The Broncos offense got the ball in great field position— at the Titans’ 21-yard line.
The drive stalls at the 12-yard line and Denver kicks a field goal by newly-paid Brandon McManus to go up 10-0.
Derrick Henry’s day started off nicely with a 9-yard gain on the next series. But the Titans decided to try a screen pass on the next play which ended up losing a couple of yards.
Feeling the pressure being down by 10, the Titans wanted to try some trickery. They lined up in the Wildcat formation with Derrick Henry in the shotgun. Running back Darrynton Evans came in motion, with the ball being snapped just before he gets behind the center and Henry hands the ball off to him for a huge gain of 31 yards.
Two plays later, the Titans score their first touchdown of the game. Extra point missed. Stephen Gostkowski’s first field goal attempt with the Titans missed. 10-6, Broncos.
Throughout the game, the Titans brought the heat. There were a ton of blitzes that sometimes threw off Drew Lock. When they didn’t, though, Lock found an open receiver.
Tannehill was very careless with the football throughout the entire game. He threw into double-coverage way more often than he should have. The result was being picked off six times.
Like I mentioned earlier, the Titans really liked to blitz in this game. That ended up being a disaster for them as Lock found rookie Jerry Jeudy for a touchdown in which the man covering him went for the quarterback.
Henry saw himself in the shotgun during the Wildcat formation multiple times in this game. The third time he did it, Evans — who was the player who took the handoff from him previously — did it again with a huge gain from the Titans own 25 down to the Broncos 4-yard line.
A few plays later, Tannehill found wide receiver A.J. Brown for a touchdown. 17-12 Broncos. The Titans, feeling the pressure, felt the need to go for a 2-point conversion to make it a 3-point game. Unable to find an open receiver, Tannehill took off and ran but was sacked.
Remembering the Titans’ Wildcat formation, the Broncos wanted to call a trick play of their own: an end-around to Jerry Jeudy. That was good for an 8-yard run.
The Titans had quite a few blown coverages including one when Lock found Jeudy wide open for a huge gain. Jeudy would have been off to the races if it weren’t for him tripping. Jeudy finished the first half with a whopping 102 receiving yards.
Running back Phillip Lindsay scored the final points of the first half with a huge touchdown run while Tennessee was in a pass coverage. That was Lindsay’s third touchdown of the game!
The Titans really could not get anything going for them in the second half. There were some big gains but they scored just three points. The Broncos, however, ended up torching Tennessee up and down the field a couple more times.
Tennessee was down big and needed to continue drives. Punting wasn’t really an option early in the third quarter due to the threat of Denver going up by even more points. The Titans pulled out yet another Wildcat formation and were successful in getting the first down while attempting a 4th-down conversion.
One thing that should have happened was following the Titans’ final score of the game — a field goal — there should have been an onside kick despite there being a lot of time still left on the clock. That was a huge mistake by Tennessee as the Broncos just continued to dominate.
The Titans had 276 passing yards, while the Broncos finished with 208. For rushing, the Broncos had a whopping 152 yards on the ground with Tennessee finishing with 63. Denver led the way with 9.2 yards per play compared to the Titans’ 7.7. Finally, Denver created a whopping six turnovers.
Hopefully, the Broncos can pull off this same type of domination in Monday Night’s matchup. Go Broncos!
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Actu monde – US – Denver Broncos vs Tennessee Titans Madden 21 simulation