San Diego Chargers Xpress Madden 15 Review
I’ve never been superstitious or believed in myths;
Big Foot…not real
Loch Ness Monster….doesn’t exist
However, this Xpress campaign has made me a believer in one thing….the San Diego curse!
With the different approach to team picking at the start of this Madden it was hard to make the list not knowing realistically who I had a chance of landing and after my first pick (Saints btw) went elsewhere, I was handed the Chargers. A team I was relatively happy to get on paper, Rivers was a top QB, Weddle one of the top safety’s in the game, Allen young promising receiver to name a few.
That was until the rest of the division was announced, Joe with the Broncos ouch, TJ got Raiders (didn’t know TJ at the time but turns out top player) and the cherry on the top, Evo gets the Chiefs…..Yep you read that correct Evo got Charles and co. Wow going to be a tough division!
And so it begins
Unfortunately I messed up my team really in the first season, not having used the new game prep before I spent the season trying to build up two young oline-men Watt and Troutman , however half way through the season I realised I wasn’t getting enough points to get them where they needed to be. In hindsight I should have spent the points elsewhere either confidence or developing Allen more etc.
The first three seasons were a struggle for me and never managed to avoid a losing record despite actually feeling like I played some decent football at times but just couldn’t seem to win the close games. Confidence was an issue all through the campaign and Rivers/Floyd/ Matthews and Woodhead all declined rapidly.
Going into the fourth and final season I was for once happy with how it was looking, most of the confidence issues were sorted, my oline finally looked good and my draft picks over the seasons were becoming really good. Just as I thought I might be able to make a decent season…Knock Knock it’s the San Diego curse b*tches!
Warning serious moaning alert
No matter how well I played or how much of a lead I gained this team just couldn’t see out the game. Two injuries to big players was a bad sign going into the divisional match with TJ and his Raiders but still managed to get a decent lead in the first half but mid-way through the 2nd my team just fell apart went to OT, TJ won the toss and scored on his opening drive as nothing I was trying seemed to work anymore.
A big knock back but on to the Redskins. Again played really well (for me,never claim to be the best far from it but now and again I have my moments)for the first 3 quarters getting up by two td’s surely this is in the bag now. 4th quarter knock knock it’s my old friend the curse again. Won back the ball in the fourth start driving up field trying to chew clock then bang! my hb fumbles in my own territory from what didn’t seem the biggest of hits. Perrin starts to play how I know he can play…great, and makes the most of the sort field for a TD. Ok not much time relax I get the ball lets go score again and chew clock. Kick off is taken and it lands just short of the end zone my returner starts to run up field and then boom! fumble off the return recovered and returned for TD my 14 point lead gone in a matter of seconds, OT again two weeks in a row.
My team just stop playing then, once again not being able to do anything on either side of the ball and once again I loose in OT. After the game I was called to the office of Mr Spanos and it was agreed I should step down for the remainder of the season (I just couldn’t find the will to play with them anymore as there was no fun playing with this team anymore)
Wasn’t all bad though I did end up with some very good draft picks during the off seasons with a few of my favourites below,
QB- Rijo Trammel
After Rivers declined I had to move for a Qb quick and traded up to land him in first round. Turned out a very decent player and quickly got to 85ovr. Was mobile but had decent accuracy aswell (when I wasn’t making bad reads!). Received OROY in his rookie season and put in the right hands would have been a potential MVP in the future no doubt.
WR - Rainey Austin
Beast…Size and speed made Austin a match up nightmare and quickly became my go to guy a clone of Megatron. A first round pick and played like it and quickly developed to a 92ovr. Pro Bowler and just really fun to throw to whether it was a short screen pass to make up YAC or a deep bomb where he breezed pass the DB’s for a long TD. Either way Austin 3:16 said I just whipped your ass!
LT- Tad Crosby
Solid tackle and was my first round pick in the final Xpress draft. Spent the off season getting his awr up and that’s all he needed. Nothing spectacular but as Oline go very solid player.
MLB- Femi Alexander
Somehow fell past first round so scooped him up in 2nd (I believe). Superstar Dev, good base stats, mega hit power I just wish I had him in earlier seasons so I could have developed him more. Scary to think what he could have become given more time.
SS- Ben James
My favourite pick maybe in any Madden, confession time…I didn’t scout him and drafted him blind, that’s why its one of my favourites as I couldn’t believe what I got in 3rd round after he keep getting passed up. Another superstar dev with great base stats, Pro Bowler and turned into a 94ovr defiantly should have been a first round pick. This guy just made plays, he could get sacks on safety blitzes and some of the picks he made cutting in front of the receivers were immense, sometimes embarrassing as I did nothing to get the pick it was all him. Combine him with Weddle at FS and I might have had one of the best safety pairings on paper in the league.
Tough division to be in but also full of great guys to play twice every season.
TJ – Raiders
Didn’t know TJ going into the division but didn’t take long to realise what a top player he is. Used the Raiders cap space well bringing in some big players like Revis and then he never looked back becoming a real threat to Evo for the division title. More importantly a top bloke who never gets carried away is humble in both victory and defeat and a pleasure to talk to while gaming. Think I beat him twice but were usually close games apart from one I remember when he smashed me.
Joe – Broncos
Put my nano’s and cheese plays away I’m playing the commish! Joe struck gold getting the Broncos and knew how to use them. Once he got going with the offense it was hard to stop and I think if Manning didn’t decline so quickly could of took the division title at least once during the campaign. Was very stingy on defense especially with Von Miller coming off the edge you knew you wasn’t getting much time to get the ball off. The first two seasons I think we were pretty even in the head to head games (I remember the one game during Austins rookie season I stole a win from him thanks to 3:16). The third season he smashed me both games and I became the firm whipping boy of the division. Great guy to talk to and who puts in a lot of his own time to make the league run smoothly which I’m very grateful for so thanks mate.
Evo – Chiefs
How Evo ever landed the Chiefs I don’t know! Everyone’s favourite for the division at the start and showed why becoming dominant and eventually taking the Super Bowl (that damned Eagles play book!). But like any good story there has to be drama…. enter Playbook-gate. I think it shows a lot about his character after making a mistake, winning the game and to turn himself in missing out on a potential second Super Bowl and missing 4 games, I’m not sure how many people would of put their hands up in that situation. One of the best players on this site but you’ll never hear him bragging (unless it’s to wind up Ultra) and a pleasure to talk to while his handing your ass to you on the field.
Thanks for the games guys been a pleasure.
Disappointing season really took me too long to get sorted and then just couldn’t compete well enough on this version of Madden. Wasn’t all bad however some ups included some good wins against good players now and again and built what I thought looked a half decent team on paper in the end just that damn curse!
Looking forward to Madden 16 and seeing you all on the virtual gridiron next season!