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Madden Sim: Chiefs-Lions comes down to the final drive

It is the first game of the 2023 NFL season. The Chiefs begin their defense of the Super Bowl championship.


If you want to watch the simulation without spoilers, start the above video — or if you can’t see it, click here.

Here’s what happened in our simulation:

Tight end Noah Gray made his best impersonation of Travis Kelce, David Montgomery ran all over the Chiefs’ defense line and one of the sides had a game-winning kick.

Well, at least that is what happened inside the EA Universe.

First quarter

The Detroit Lions had no problems moving the ball downfield — whether on the ground or the air. They kicked a field goal on their first drive and connected with Josh Reynolds two yards out for a touchdown on their second drive. The Lions’ offense seemed to thrive in the absence of Chris Jones.

The Kansas City Chiefs held their own without tight end Travis Kelce for this game as Noah Gray made two catches for 57 yards and a touchdown on the first drive. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes seemed to target Gray for the majority of the first quarter as other receivers couldn’t create separation.

End of first quarter: Lions 10, Chiefs 7

Second quarter

Montgomery took control of the second quarter as the Chiefs’ run defense could not seem to stop the lead back.

The Chiefs’ use of play-action exposed some holes in the Lions defense. Isiah Pacheco didn’t have a stellar second quarter, but it was enough for Lions defenders to keep a close eye on him which made the field wide open for Skyy Moore and Richie James Jr.

Late in the second quarter, the Chiefs went for a fake field goal inside the red zone that resulted in a 99-yard pick-six.

End of second quarter: Lions 24, Chiefs 14

Third quarter

Coming out of halftime, the Chiefs played fast, scoring a touchdown in under four minutes of game time to only trail by three points. Wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling made a spectacular catch on fourth and goal to get both feet down for the score.

The Chiefs would end up taking the lead in the third quarter on a Moore touchdown grab following a seven-minute drive.

End of third quarter: Chiefs 28, Lions 24.

Fourth quarter

Montgomery was well over 100 yards to start the fourth quarter and the Lions continuted to pound the rock with him. The Chiefs’ defense was able to stop Montgomery in the red zone twice and forced the Lions to kick a field goal, which only gave the Chiefs a one-point lead.

Lions linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin made an incredible play in sacking Mahomes, knocking the Chiefs out of field goal range. The Lions would end up bleeding the clock all the way down, and a field goal led to the upset at Arrowhead.

Final score: Lions 30, Chiefs 28

Notable stats

Patrick Mahomes 35/45, 377 yards, 4 TD

Jared Goff 20/28, 209 yards, 2 TD

David Montgomery 27 att, 159 yards

Isiah Pacheco 9 att, 42 yards

Amon-Ra St. Brown 9 rec, 75 yards

Richie James Jr. 7 rec, 46 yards

Skyy Moore 7 rec, 75 yards, 1 TD

Noah Gray 7 rec, 130 yards 2 TD

Marquez Valdes-Scanting 7 rec, 83 yards, 1 TD

Josh Reynolds 3 rec, 37 yards, 2 TD

Nick Boton 16 total, 9 solo, 2 TFL

Trent McDuffie 8 total, 6 solo

L’Jarius Sneed 9 total, 5 solo, 1 TFL, 1 sack

Willie Gay 10 total, 3 solo, 1 TFL

In Week 2, the Chiefs are on the road, taking the Jacksonville Jaguars. We’ll see how it all plays out first in the EA Universe.

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