Game 1 – SpotMePlzzz vs. FMB MONSTA
This game was a drubbing from the very onset. SpotMePlzzz came out in his patented Gun Bunch TE and mixed up the HB Draw, HB Off Tackle, TE Corner, and PA All Cross down into MONSTA's red zone. He capped off the 7 play, 75 yard drive with a high point pass to John Brown for a TD.
MONSTA immediately came out in conservative mode; trying to establish the run game as he did in the round robin stage. SpotMePlzzz forced him into 3 negative plays in a row and a punt; which SpotMePlzzz was able to return to the MONSTA 29 yard line. SpotMePlzzz immediately went back to John Brown for a 1-play TD to take a 14-0 lead.
MONSTA was able to grind into the SpotMePlzzz redzone by targeting his big playmakers, Keenan Allen and Alshon Jeffery. However, his drive came up short as SpotMePlzzz was able to pick off a high point pass, intended for Alshon Jeffery.
After punting the ball back to MONSTA, SpotMePlzzz played bend but don't break defense forcing MONSTA to hit several checkdown reads. MONSTA was able to work his way into the SpotMePlzzz redzone but ended up going to a HB Slip Screen, which SpotMePlzzz was sitting on for a 86 yard interception return for a TD to make it 21-0.
At this point, the ballgame was over mentally. FMB MONSTA would allow two more 2nd half TDS before the final whistle blew, giving SpotMePlzzz the victory.
FMB MONSTA (0)
Game 2 – Trueboy vs. Boogz
You saw two players adjusting to each other at a very high level. One of the cleanest and most entertaining games of the entire tournament with both players making clean reads and displaying elite pocket presence against some of these hybrid defenses.
Starting off with a very conservative but clean drive, Boogz leaned heavily on Derrick Henry to set the tone up front, running Gun Bunch Wk HB Base. After a few shallow crossing routes, Boogz found himself at Trueboy's 12 yard line. Trueboy was able to force Boogz to settle for a field goal and a 3 point lead near the end of the first quarter.
Trueboy was able to answer Boogz's drive with a field goal of his own. He needed to be absolutely perfect on the field goal kick meter, and he was. Knocking in a 56 yard field goal to tie the game.
Boogz answered with what could be considered the drive of the game, mixing up the run and pass and capitalizing with a TD to Emmanuel Sanders with only 4 seconds left in the first half to take a 10-3 lead.
Coming out of halftime, Trueboy had a very long drive run stale as a big delay of game penalty forced to punt back to Boogz to end the 3rd quarter. Boogz was content to run a dink and dunk style of offense as he entered field goal range already up 7 points. Continuing to work the clock, Boogz converted a 3rd and 2 from Trueboy's 4 yard line to bring up the 2 minute warning. Boogz would take one of Trueboy's timeouts away before taking a field goal and a 13-3 lead with only 1 minute remaining.
Trueboy would opt to try a quick field goal, needed 2 possessions worth of points, but would miss the 54 yard attempt, and Boogz would move on to take victory and a date with SpotMePlzzz in the semifinals.
Game 3 – Problem vs. DJONES
"The G.O.A.T." vs. the "Most Polarizing Man in Madden." This is a match up you may have guessed would have been a match up that most would have wanted to save for the finals. Instead, we got what was probably the game of the entire tournament in the very first round!
DJONES started with the football, swagging around the end zone using the celebration feature to take his touch back. Problem came out in his Big Dime 2-3-6 to start the game. DJONES stuck with unconventional formations and runs. On a 2nd & 6, DJONES caught a huge break throwing a ball through Problem's linebacker for a first down that could have easily been an interception.
However, two plays later Problem intercepted a comeback route to the house for a touchdown. The comeback route was something that DJONES used a lot, especially in the game against Problem's crew member, Young Kiv. It appeared Problem hopped in the lab for those route combinations.
DJONES looked pretty rattled on his second possession, as he was setting up some unconventional route combinations and struggling to balance it with a run game. Problem ended up getting a sack fumble recovery, which he returned to DJONES' 24 yard line with 4 minutes left in the first half. Problem seemed content to run the football inside the red zone, assuring that the clock continued to run and give himself a 10 point lead with 2:50 left in the first half.
DJONES comes out on his 3rd drive of the game, trying to establish a power run game after being in the Gun Spread for his first two drives. Facing 4th & 2 from Problem's 39, DJONES decided to come out in Gun Bunch Wk and was able to find Victor Cruz on a corner route to Problem's 20 yard line. With the clock running and no timeouts, DJONES called a beautiful toss sweep for a TD, which Problem was unprepared for. This score ended the first half with a 10-7 Problem lead.
Problem started the second half with the football, and DJONES forced a quick 4th & 4 after a huge hit stick on Emmitt Smith. Problem's decision to go for it on his own side of the field resulted in DJONES forcing the turnover on downs. DJONES was able to convert a field goal off of the turnover to tie the game at 10 points a piece.
Problem's next drive was a heavy dose of Emmitt Smith and the scrambling legs of Derek Carr as he took the game into the 4th quarter where he'd miss a 52 yard field goal short with 4:20 to go. DJONES would take over and immediately look deep against the aggressive defense of Eric Wright. DJONES had a wide receiver wide open for a RAC catch, but the ball sailed over the head of the diving Kamar Aiken for an incomplete pass. DJONES did not waiver, finding Joseph Fauria for a big catch in the flat. After stiff arming two defenders, DJONES found himself in Problem's redzone at the 2 minute warning.
DJONES brought out the I-Form with tight ends at WR and looked to get a first down to clock out the game, but Problem switched into a 3-4 Odd Cover 4 defense to stop him with 1:18 left in the game. DJONES settled for the field goal to go up 13-10.
Problem, looking for the clutch drive, stayed true to his style. He ripped off a big run with Emmitt Smith, followed by a C-route to Donte Moncrief. A quick check down to Emmitt Smith placed him at DJONES' 22 yard line with 28 seconds left, where Problem called his 2nd timeout. With 7 seconds left, Problem found Donte Moncrief in the back right corner of the endzone but failed to get two feet in for a TD. Problem settled for a field goal and sent it 13-13 into OT.
In OT, DJONES won the coin toss and chose to receive the ball first. A big 3rd and 8 conversion set up DJONES around midfield where he decided to go no huddle. With his entire team in the yellow/orange fatigue, DJONES wisely used a timeout and then sent the extra tight ends onto the field, where he'd call his second quick toss of the game for a walk off touchdown and a HUGE win over the G.O.A.T.
Game 4 – Duke vs. SDELLO
In a game pitting the Cinderella story of the Madden Classic Finals vs. the Grizzly veteran, neither player could get the big stop.
SDELLO started off grinding with Emmitt Smith. Using a lot of formation flipping, SDELLO caused Duke to check to base defenses. An Isaiah Crowell HB Mid Draw from shotgun set up a 5-yard Emmitt Smith touchdown with 1:28 left in the first quarter to go up 7-0.
Duke's first drive was very conservative and methodical. Finding himself on 4th & 2 from his own 33 yard line, Duke sent the offense onto the field and found Kamar Aiken on a C-route for a big first down. Needing to answer SDELLO's first score, Duke again went for it on 4th & 2 from the SDELLO 6 yard line. Again, Duke found the right play call, giving the ball to Zeke Elliott for a 6 yard touchdown to tie the game at 7-7.
Coming out in Gun Bunch TE, SDELLO was able to find T.Y. Hilton for a huge gain, down to Duke's 29 yard line with 1:24 left in the first half. Duke was able to stand tall with the shorter field in the redzone and hold SDELLO to a field goal going into half-time and only a 3-point deficit.
Duke came out of halftime in the Gun Bunch Wk, which was heavily used by the majority of competitors this week. He was able to find Brandon Marshall on a wheel route to get inside SDELLO's 10 yard line. This set up a high point pass to Gary Barnidge for the TD and 14-10 lead.
Unwavering, SDELLO answered the bell, coming out in Gun Bunch TE and mixing up his route combinations to drive quickly down the field. A quarterback scramble from 9 yards out would put SDELLO back on top 17-14. Duke didn't even blink, however, driving down quickly with a combination of HB Base and PA Post into SDELLO territory. His drive culminated in yet another Zeke Elliott touchdown to go on top 21-17 with 3:30 left in the game.
SDELLO would methodically drive down the field, converting several 3rd down and longs. With 1 minute left in the ballgame, SDELLO cut back with Emmitt Smith to go up 24-21.
On the last drive of the game, Duke would roll out looking for a post route, but SDELLO would clutch up and get the ONLY stop of the game for a 24-21 win.
Semifinal #1 – SpotMePlzzz vs. Boogz
Bunch TE vs. Bunch Wk. Two pioneers of the way offensive Madden is played in Madden NFL 17.
To open the game, we saw a prepared SpotMePlzzz who scored 3 on his first drive, and then stopped Boogz for a turnover on downs. To start the second quarter, SpotMePlzzz reached the Boogz 7 yard line with a HB stretch. On 3rd & Goal from the 5, Boogz stood strong and forced yet another field goal. SpotMePlzzz goes up 6-0.
On Boogz second drive of the game, he converts a 3rd & 20 for a huge first down, followed by hitting Kamar Aiken for a long touchdown grab off of PA Post to grab a 7-6 lead. SpotMePlzzz would come out looking for an answer to the Boogz score. Two high point passes in the redzone resulted in two incomplete passes and SpotMePlzzz would settle for a field goal and a 9-7 lead going into half.
Boogz broke out of half with a quick base with Derrick Henry out to the 41 yard line. However, SpotMePlzzz would stand up for himself and force a 4th & 23. After a questionable timeout, Boogz sent the offense back onto the field and hit a smart in route for a first down. Surely questioning his defensive play call on 4th down, SpotMePlzzz missed a big tackle and Derrick Henry rumbled about 20 yards for a TD and a 14-9 Boogz lead.
SpotMePlzzz collected his thoughts and delivered a big throw to Donte Moncrief to the Boogz 18. Three plays C.J. Fiedorowicz would catch a corner route in traffic for a 15-14 lead. The two-point conversion would fail.
Boogz set out to possibly orchestrate a clutch game winning drive, but a HUGE user pick by SpotMePlzzz would get the ball back to SpotMePlzzz with 4:15 remaining in the ballgame. Trying to grind the clock out, SpotMePlzzz would give the ball to David Johnson to try to milk the clock out. A huge goal line stand by Boogz would result in another SpotMePlzzz field goal and a 18-14 lead.
With the game on the line, Boogz comes out with 1:30 left and only 1 timeout. Two straight draw plays put Boogz in a 3rd & 13 scenario. SpotMePlzzz would force a throw away to bring up 4th & 13. With the game on the line, Boogz came out in Gun Bunch Wk and forced a pass into coverage. With no other choice, T.Y. Hilton would catch the ball but stay in bounds. With the clock running, SpotMePlzzz came through with a clutch sack and the last play of the game would be a slip screen to Derrick Henry, coming up short for the big SpotMePlzzz win and trip to the championship.
Semifinal #2 – DJONES vs. SDELLO
"Cinderella Man" vs. "The Most Polarizing Man in Madden" for a trip to the finals!
SDELLO started the game on offense and immediately cashed in 50 yard TD run with Emmitt Smith out of the I-Form Big Power O. On his 3 play drive, he kept DJONES off balance with 3 different offensive formations.
SDELLO's defense came out popping on DJONES' first offensive drive, forcing 3 hitsticks in the flats. The third hitstick forced a fumble that SDELLO recovered around midfield. However, DJONES would stand tall forcing a 3 and out and a punt.
On DJONES' second drive, it was more of the same. SDELLO flew down in the flat and hitsticked yet another receiver for a second fumble recovery deep in DJONES territory. A high point pass to Kelvin Benjamin would result in the second SDELLO touchdown and a 14-0 lead.
DJONES came back strong, moving down into the SDELLO red zone quickly. A corner route to Victor Cruz would set up a field goal by DJONES to make it a 14-3 game.
On the ensuing kick off, DJONES would earn a safety with a kick that landed at the 1 yard line. SDELLO's player would pick it up on the 1, but run back into the endzone for an odd safety. DJONES would cash an additional field goal in to make it 14-8 off of the free possession in a game turning swing.
Coming out of half, DJONES got the ball back with an opportunity to take a lead. He was able to find Allen Robinson for a huge gain and a first down at the SDELLO 9 yard line. However, as everyone found out, the red zone at the Madden Classic is very difficult to score in. DJONES would settle for his 3rd field goal of the game to bring the score to a 14-11 SDELLO lead.
Feeling the pressure mounting from the 11 unanswered points, SDELLO was forced into a 3 and out punt, which DJONES would return to the 44 yard line with 1:45 left in the 3rd quarter. A long drive by DJONES would result in the "Jumbo Subbing" of tight ends at WR for extra run blocking and scoring a TD on the Strong Close Quick Toss; similar to the touchdowns he converted on Problem in Round 1.
SDELLO rediscovered his legend workhorse, Emmitt Smith, on the biggest drive of the game. A couple mid draws would get him to the DJONES 29 yard line with 1:30 remaining.
The clutch trait of Emmitt Smith appeared to come in huge as he would juke out 2 defenders in a row down to the DJONES 9 yard line.
However, fatigue came in huge as spell back Isaiah Crowell would fumble on the very next play allowing DJONES to move on to a championship date with SpotMePlzzz.
Madden Classic Finals – SpotMePlzzz vs. DJONES
You could not have asked for a more entertaining finals than what we received LIVE on the NFL Network. Though the score doesn't show it, this was a dogfight with intrigue down to the very end.
SpotMePlzzz started the game off with the football. DJONES came out in his Big Dime 2-3-6 Tampa 2 with the "cross-manned" outside linebackers that is sweeping the nation. This hybrid man/zone defense gave SpotMePlzzz a lot of trouble tonight as DJONES was able to hold strong on a 4th down to earn the turnover on downs. DJONES would run the ball into SpotMePlzzz territory, but stall inside the 10 yard line as he had done many times throughout the day. He took his field goal and a 3-0 lead.
SpotMePlzzz would end up having another drive thwarted by the hybrid Tampa 2 of DJONES and resulted in DJONES getting the ball back late in the first half. After a critical offsides penalty, DJONES got a bit aggressive and forced a ball downfield that was intercepted by Spotmeplzzz to end the half with DJONES up 3-0.
Coming out of half, DJONES went into the Shotgun instead of continuing to run the football as he did in the first half. This gave SpotMePlzzz the opportunity to show off that vaunted Dollar 3-2-6 defense that he'd run all day long.
On a critical play of the 3rd quarter, DJONES attempted to throw a zig pattern to his slot receiver, and Spotmeplzzz jumped the route out in the flat and took it the other way for a pick 6. It appeared as if DJONES was finally paying for throwing late to the flat as Spotme took a 7-3 lead.
On the ensuing drive, DJONES would call for a playaction strike; but SpotMePlzzz's defense would have none of it as he sent the double corner blitz and earned a sack fumble that he would scoop up and rumble back the other way for a TD and a 14-3 lead ending the 3rd quarter.
In the 4th quarter, DJONES tried all he could to mount a drive against SpotMePlzzz's aggressive blitzing style. However, DJONES had to check down a lot and the clock was ticking. As he approached the redzone, SpotMePlzzz put the clamps on and was able to intercept yet another pass for the game sealing interception. He could have run it back for a TD and a 21-3 lead, but the ever so gracious competitor displayed a ton of sportsmanship and fell down and knelt the clock out for the $30,000 victory and the Madden Classic Championship strap!
Congratulations to Taylor Mack Robertson on a huge victory in the first of 4 EA Major Madden NFL 17 Championships!
Be sure to follow the Champ on Twitter at http://twitter.com/TRob28 as well as the EA SPORTS Madden Ultimate Team account for more information on the upcoming Madden NFL Championship Series Events! (@EASPORTS_MUT)