Story by Brad Friedman*
This week's Madden 17 simulation provided three quarters of, what most would consider, dull football. The first, third, and fourth quarters saw five field goals and a Carolina safety, courtesy of Dannell Ellerbe.
All of the action was packed into the second quarter, which saw four touchdowns and 31 points, cumulatively.
Luckily for New Orleans, 21 of those points went its way, eventually sending the Saints to a 32-16 divisional win over the Panthers.
Graham Gano's 41-yard field goal kicked off the scoring in the quarter, but he was quickly outdone. The following two consecutive Saints drives resulted in Michael Thomas touchdowns, the first a 20-yard snag and the second from 11 yards out.
Carolina fired back with a quick drive of its own, resulting in a Cameron Artis-Payne score from a yard out and temporarily halting the surge. New Orleans responded once again, taking 5 plays and 3:23 to set up a Coby Fleener 8-yard touchdown.
The second quarter explosion put the halftime score at 24-10, forcing Carolina play catch-up, but the Panthers could never quite get in a rhythm. Promising drives eventually fizzled out or resulted in field goals as New Orleans continued to keep Carolina at arm's length for the duration of the second half.