Madden 20 Sim: Randall Cunningham Stars as Eagles Edge Falcons Greats in Overtime Thriller

Jesse Pantuosco
June 13, 2020 - 4:29 pm
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If you’ve been following our Madden sims of late, you know we’ve churned out some wild ones here at RADIO.COM. We’ve witnessed late-game heroics, Hail Marys, overtime thrillers, walk-off field goals, fourth-quarter comebacks … the whole kit and caboodle. But even by our usual outrageous standards, Saturday’s edge-of-your-seat slugfest was bonkers with a capital B. This was the day we jumped the threshold from amusingly chaotic to downright anarchy.

Whatever the over/under was for Saturday’s sim pitting the Atlanta Falcons legends against a stacked roster of Philadelphia Eagles greats (including Hugh Douglas of 92.9 The Game in Atlanta and WIP’s Ike Reese, who together handled commentating duties for RADIO.COM), Vegas didn’t set it high enough. The Eagles and visiting Falcons kept the scoreboard operators at Lincoln Financial Field plenty busy Saturday, tallying a combined 74 points in a relentless display of offense.

Randall Cunningham, who earned his QB1 status by winning a fan poll conducted on WIP’s Twitter account (Donovan McNabb, Carson Wentz and former Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles were also vying for the role of starter), brought the heavies on Saturday, erupting for 305 yards passing on laser-accurate 30-of-37 passing (81.1 completion percentage). Known as one of the league’s elite scramblers during his heyday, Cunningham was just as effective with his feet, roasting Atlanta for a game-high 98 yards on eight rushing attempts. The 6’4” UNLV product saved the best for last, sinking the Falcons once and for all with a five-yard touchdown sprint in overtime.

That handed the Eagles a 40-34 victory fueled in large part by LeSean McCoy, who shrugged off a first-quarter injury to rush for 73 yards on 15 carries, none larger than his 25-yard rumble to set up first and goal with a shade under 11 minutes remaining in overtime. Shady’s backfield-mate Brian Westbrook didn’t put forth the most efficient effort Saturday (35 yards on 12 rushes), but he did grace the end zone with his presence, plunging in from a yard out to push the Birds’ lead to double-digits (10-0) late in the first quarter.

Brian Westbrook delivers a one-yard touchdown
Photo credit EA Sports Madden 20

Brent Celek played the role of vulture later in the first half, dealing Atlanta another blow by pulling in a wide-open touchdown on second and goal from the Falcons’ one-yard line. That one-yard bunny would stand as Celek’s only catch of the afternoon.

Brent Celek pulls in a one-yard touchdown
Photo credit EA Sports Madden NFL 20

Cunningham set the tone early by completing each of his first six passes including a 37-yard dime to Terrell Owens (7-78-0), who posterized Falcons safety Keanu Neal on Philadelphia’s first play from scrimmage. The Eagles went to the break with a convincing 24-6 lead (aided in part by Lito Shepard’s 32-yard pick six to close out the second quarter), but took their foot off the gas, allowing Atlanta to storm back with an emphatic 28-point second half. Cunningham’s misfire on a pass intended for Zach Ertz led to an interception, gifting the Falcons plush field position (the ball was spotted at Philly’s 27) with a little more than eight minutes gone by in the third quarter.

Ray Brown picks off Eagles quarterback Randall Cunningham
Photo credit EA Sports Madden NFL 20

Julio Jones, who paced all receivers with 101 yards, crossed the pylon a mere two plays later, nabbing a 20-yard touchdown off a screen pass from Eagles alum Michael Vick (31-for-41, 306 yards, two touchdowns, one interception, 86 yards on nine carries). Jones made sure the Falcons wouldn’t go down without a fight, supplying more heroics with a clutch two-point conversion (preceded by Jamal Anderson’s seven-yard touchdown dash moments earlier) and a remarkable 25-yard snag to keep Atlanta breathing on fourth-and-eight deep into the fourth quarter. Matt Bryant’s 22-yard attempt found the uprights moments later, knotting the score at 34 a piece with eight ticks left in regulation. Eagles had just survived a do-or-die sequence of their own leading up to Bryant’s equalizer, needing a lift from Pete Retzlaff, whose touchdown on fourth and goal put Philadelphia in the driver’s seat with 1:57 to play.

Julio Jones pulls in a clutch fourth-down catch
Photo credit EA Sports Madden NFL 20

Tommy McDonald (7-98-0) took a lick from Keanu Neal that led to a turnover late in the first half but the Hall of Fame flanker redeemed himself in overtime, putting on his hero cape with an 18-yard pickup on third-and-nine. The Falcons would never see the pigskin again, finally folding on Cunningham’s five-yard dagger with 10:19 remaining in the overtime period.

Randall Cunningham puts the Falcons away with a walk-off, five-yard touchdown
Photo credit EA Sports Madden 20

Between Tony Gonzalez, Deion Sanders, Reggie White and Harold Carmichael—not to mention Falcons staples Roddy White and Warrick Dunn—Saturday’s star-studded affair was predictably exhilarating, ripe with explosive plays and high drama. If one viewing wasn’t enough to satisfy your football craving, join Ike and Hugh for another watch by clicking the link here.

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