clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Madden simulation: Lions the victims of poor officiating, lose to Washington 20-17 in OT

The Lions should have won this game, but the referees literally cost Detroit the game. Not once, but twice.

Last week, the Lions were thoroughly dismantled by the Los Angeles Rams. It seemed like every single offensive drive by the Rams resulted in points, which was pretty accurate with that unfolded last Sunday at Ford Field. However, the end result wasn’t quite the same, with the Lions outplaying their virtual counterparts and picking up a victory.

This week, the virtual Lions took on the virtual team from Washington in our weekly Madden simulation. The ending is currently being appealed to the virtual league office.

First Half

Washington received the opening kickoff and put together an impressive drive, moving the ball seven times on a 10-play drive that resulted in a 27-yard touchdown pass from Kirk Cousins to... Jordan Reed. I took him out of the game before it started, folks, but nothing can keep virtual Reed from getting a chance to earn his next contract with a matchup against the Lions going to waste.

The Lions’ first drive on offense had the ball moving: a couple of passes to Marvin Jones and Dwayne Washington had the Lions to midfield. But then, the Washington defense showed up, with Josh Norman swatting a pass and Chris Baker picking up a sack on third-and-9. Sam Martin would come on to punt and give the ball back to Washington with them still up 7-0.

However, Washington wouldn’t have the ball for long; the Lions would force a three-and-out after pressure from Devin Taylor’s side gifted Ezekiel Ansah with a sack on third-and-10. The Lions got the ball back and started to move once again near midfield. Into Washington territory, Mason Foster came up with a big defensive play for the team, forcing a fumble on a sack of Matthew Stafford, and giving Washington the ball in good field position.

Two run plays later, Cousins dropped back to throw on third-and-8 and he went for it all in the back of the end zone to Pierre Garcon, but it was intercepted by Glover Quin for a touchback! The Lions would make the most of this turnover, driving the ball 80 yards and ending it with a 12-yard connection between Stafford and Jones: the Lions were all tied up with Washington, 7-7.

Washington’s next drive would stall after just one first down, but Detroit’s next drive would do no such thing. The Lions offense would pick up three first downs to get them into Washington territory, but Anquan Boldin came up just short fighting for yards on a third-and-8. Matt Prater would kick through a 45-yard field goal that would give the Lions their first lead of the game, 10-7.

A whole lot of Cousins on Washington’s final drive of the half, and a whole lot of nothing from the Lions defense, got the team into field goal range and Dustin Hopkins tied it from from 43 yards out.

Second Half

Detroit would start with the ball in the second half and the score tied at 10-10. After a couple of receptions from Boldin for 9 and 19 yards, the Lions found themselves on Washington’s side of the field. On third-and-7, the Lions pulled a play out of Green Bay’s playbook when Stafford loaded up to throw and chucked a ball into the back of the end zone for Jones that fell incomplete... but a flag! Defensive pass interference was called on Washington and the Lions found themselves on Washington’s 1-yard line. From there, Dwayne “The Rock” Washington would finish off the drive and give the Lions a 17-10 lead over Washington.

That lead would hold for the rest of the third quarter and most of the fourth as the Lions tried to play keepaway and Washington’s offense sputtered numerous times. Detroit seemed to have the game in hand when their defense really ramped up the pressure and started bringing Cousins down behind the line of scrimmage.

On what seemed to be Washington’s final drive of the day, Cousins was sacked on back-to-back plays by Kerry Hyder for an 18-yard loss and Ansah for a 9-yard loss respectively—but not so respectfully done. Washington was facing a task on fourth down that just didn’t seem worth going for it:

Still, with all three timeouts, Washington punted with the hope they would get the ball back; and they did after three straight run plays that went nowhere for Detroit. With just 1:10 left on the game clock, Washington went to work. Cousins picked up big chunks of yardage through the air to Matt Jones, an injured Jamison Crowder and then a pass play for 28 yards to Ryan Grant on fourth-and-inches.

Washington found themselves on Detroit’s 4-yard line without any timeouts and only 16 seconds remaining, so Cousins hurried the offense to the line. With 9 seconds left, Washington jumped early and was hit with a false start penalty and that was the ball game!... Or not. The referees didn’t enforce the 10-second runoff rule that is clearly stated in the rulebook:

But that was fine, the Lions likely needed to force two stops from their own 9-yard to secure a victory. Cousins lined up the offense on a play that shouldn’t be happening and before the ball was snapped: another false start. The penalty was once again enforced, but there was yet again, no 10-second runoff! So from the 14-yard line of the Lions, Cousins finally snapped the ball and found Pierre Garcon for a touchdown. Hopkins added an extra point and the game was tied at 17-17.


The Lions won the coin toss and elected to receive. The offense fell flat on its face and punted to Washington. Washington then made it their life’s goal to ruin mine and everybody else’s life that was watching this game. They insisted on scoring a touchdown: a field goal wasn’t enough—although it was enough to secure a victory at this point in the game. Cousins and the offense took the ball all the way to the 1-yard line of Detroit only to drop back and pass again. Cousins was sacked, but that didn’t stop Gruden from calling another pass play on second down—Cousins would throw that ball away. On third down, Washington would jump early and be assessed another penalty for a false start. Madden was just being cruel at this point: “Hey remember when this happened last quarter and there was nothing you could do about it?”

Hopkins eventually knocked in a 27-yard field goal to give Washington the victory in overtime, 20-17. Barf.

Lions Madden sim record: 4-3

If you’d like to watch next week, join us around at to catch the action on Saturday mornings around 10:30 a.m. EST and chat with us live!

Pride of Detroit Direct

Sign up now for a 7-day free trial of Pride of Detroit Direct, with exclusive updates from Jeremy Reisman on the ground at Allen Park, instant reactions after each game, and in-depth Lions analysis from film expert Jon Ledyard.