Following their match-up in Super Bowl XLV, the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers maintained their dominance over the NFL during the 2011 season according to the official Madden NFL 12 regular season simulation. With less than a week before NFL Kickoff week, EA SPORTS predicted the 2011 NFL regular season’s division winners, Wild Card winners, statistical league leaders and individual award winners. Personally, I don’t see anything on here that is too outrageous, it actually seems pretty damn close to what I could see happening this year if things remain like they are now and one of the players suffer any major injuries.
Behind Defensive Player of the Year Clay Matthews, the Packers remained the team to beat in the NFC. They improved on last year’s 10-6 record by finishing 13-3 in 2011. Not to be outdone, the reigning AFC Champion Pittsburgh Steelers had an equally dominant 13-win season under the direction of NFL Coach of the Year Mike Tomlin.
However, boosted by significant additions during the offseason, the Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots were nipping at their heels. Both teams posted a 12-4 record and received a first-round playoff bye. The Eagles’ dominance was spearheaded by NFL MVP Michael Vick, whose 29 touchdown passes and nearly 4,000 yards passing were both career highs. Two-time Super Bowl MVP Tom Brady carried the Patriots, finishing with an NFL-best 35 touchdown passes and over 4,000 yards passing.
Green Bay, Philadelphia, New Orleans and St. Louis each won their respective divisions in the NFC, while Offensive Player of the Year Roddy White and the Atlanta Falcons (11-5) secured the fifth seed in the NFC. Locking down the sixth and final playoff spot in the NFC was the playoff-starved Detroit Lions (9-7), a team that hadn’t been to the postseason in 12 long years.
The AFC remained a model of consistency as Pittsburgh, New England and Indianapolis each won their respective divisions, with San Diego (11-5) wrestling the AFC West away from Kansas City (10-6). The New York Jets once again grabbed the fifth seed with another 11-5 season, while the Baltimore Ravens (10-6) stole the last playoff spot behind NFL rushing leader Ray Rice, who finished with over 1,600 yards.
RB Mark Ingram of the New Orleans Saints and CB Patrick Peterson of the Arizona Cardinals were named Offensive and Defensive Rookies of the Year, respectively. Dallas LB DeMarcus Ware led the league in sacks with 17, while Baltimore’s Ed Reed solidified his ball-hawking reputation with a league-leading 10 interceptions.
NFL 2011 Season Awards (as simulated by Madden NFL 12):
• NFL MVP – Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles
• Offensive Player of the Year – Roddy White, Atlanta Falcons
• Defensive Player of the Year – Clay Matthews, Green Bay Packers
• Offensive Rookie of the Year – Mark Ingram, New Orleans Saints
• Defensive Rookie of the Year – Patrick Peterson, Arizona Cardinals
• Coach of the Year – Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh Steelers
Top Ten Offensive Performers
|Calvin Johnson, Jr||DET||98||1188||14|
Top Defensive Performers