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‘Sim Life’ with ‘Madden NFL 20’: NFL kickoff

Vitural look at the beginning of the year of the black QB

Football season is back and so is Sim Life. There’s been a ton of change and lots to look forward to in the league this year, and what better way to find out how things will shake out than using Madden NFL 20? This week we launched our look at the Year of the Black Quarterback, examining the rise of black quarterbacks in the NFL, and in honor of that we are using the Electronic Arts game to see how the black starters will do in Week 1.

Before we jump to pros, let’s talk about college for a second …

The NFL has never had a better group of young quarterbacks. The new blood of that crop is the No. 1 pick, Kyler Murray, who’ll have all eyes on him as he leads head coach Kliff Kingsbury’s new Air Raid offense for the Arizona Cardinals.

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Will he flourish in the home opener vs. the Detroit Lions? Let’s see …

Not the prettiest of performances, but a win is a win!

Week 1 Update: Murray definitely showed a lot of poise leading the Cardinals comeback from 18 down to force ot in an eventual 27-27 tie. He would finish with 308 yards, two touchdowns and an interception on 29-for-54 passing and a dazzling fourth quarter.

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Deshaun Watson now has a new weapon in Houston with the addition of Kenny Stills via trade, and he’s going to need it facing the New Orleans Saints in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Will he be able to outduel Drew Brees?

Looks like Brees outplays Watson in this game, which isn’t as close as the score indicates. Watson gets held way under 200 yards passing.

Week 1 Update: Deshaun Watson’s 4 TDs were not enough as the Texans fall to the Saints 30-28 in what was probably the best game of Week 1.

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Next up, we’ve got Mr. MVP, Patrick Mahomes. No player has won back-to-back MVPs since 2009, but Mahomes hopes to change that. He starts that push against Jalen Ramsey and the Jacksonville Jaguars.

In what turns out to be the game of the weekend, the Kansas City Chiefs eke out a 30-27 win as Mahomes throws for more than 400 yards to go along with three touchdowns.

Week 1 Update: Mahomes threw for 378 yards and 3 TDs. In 18 games, he has 5,759 pass yards and 53 pass TDs – both the most by a player in his first 20 career games in NFL history.

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Down in Indianapolis, the Andrew Luck era is over and it seems the Jacoby Brissett era is set for takeoff after he gets an extension. Will he fill Captain Luck’s shoes?

He definitely holds his own vs. Phillip Rivers but is unable to get Indy in the end zone on fourth-and-goal from the 5. Los Angeles wins 24-17.

Week 1 Update: Colts’ fourth quarter rally ends in disappointment with a 30-24 loss in overtime. The Brissett era officially begins with a L but he proved worthy of being the starter finishing 21 of 27 for 190 yards and 2 TDs.

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Russell Wilson not only enters the season as the quarterback with the biggest bag, he’s an MVP fave who just saw his defense add a killer, so the Seahawks’ Super Bowl dreams look pretty good.

Opening the season at home against the Cincinnati Bengals with a new coach should be pretty favorable for Seattle and the 12s.

Just as we thought, Cincy is light work for Russ and the Seahawks.

Week 1 Update: Wilson helps the Seahawks pull out a close one at home. Russ finishes 14 of 20 for 196 yards and 2 TDs in the 21-20 win.

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You know we can’t forget about Cam Newton, whose Carolina Panthers squad is hosting the high-powered and defending NFC champion Los Angeles Rams.

Looks like on Sunday it’ll be Jared Goff and L.A. cruising to a win in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Week 1 Update: Newton looked a little rusty in a frustrating season-opening loss for the Panthers. Cam threw for 239 yards passing on 25 of 38 attempts but didn’t have any TDs and had one pick.

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Jameis Winston of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers enters the season with a lot of pressure to try to impress his new coach, Bruce Arians, while also playing in a contract year. He should have a pretty favorable start going up against a San Francisco team still trying to establish its identity.

We said should, but it looks like these are still the same lowly Bucs. Things start out poorly for Tampa and, quite frankly, don’t get much better: 49ers 28-3 in an easy one.

Week 1 Update: It was a rough season opener for Winston as he throws 2 pick-sixes in a 31-17 loss. On the day he finished with just 194 yards passing to go with a TD and 3 interceptions.

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Lamar Jackson of the Baltimore Ravens is supposed to challenge many quarterback rushing records this season, but will he break the golden standard of more than 1,000 yards set by Michael Vick? Let us know …

Not a lot of success on the ground (18 yards) in this one, but plenty of damage through the air as Jackson connects for three touchdowns in Baltimore’s 31-17 victory over the Miami Dolphins.

Week 1 Update: In less than three quarters, Jackson finished with a career-high 324 passing yards, a franchise-record five passing touchdowns, a franchise-record 85.0% completion rate (17-for-20) and the first perfect passer rating (158.3) in Ravens history. Ravens win 59-10.

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Dak Prescott got his man Ezekiel Elliott back at work for the Dallas Cowboys, so a big weight has been lifted off his shoulders. If he truly wants to get that $30 million-a-year extension, Prescott is going to have to take Big D a long way this season. The New York Giants don’t look like much of a test, but you never know when it comes to rivals.

A tough battle between NFC East rivals, but Prescott proves to be the best on the field Sunday night as the Boys hold down the fort at home 34-30.

Week 1 Update: The Cowboys scored a TD on 5 straight drives. It’s the first time they’ve done since 2014 against the Bears. Dak set a Cowboys record for pass yards in a season opener. The previous record was held by Troy Aikman (362 pass yards at Washington in 1999). Dallas wins 35-17.

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Marcus Matthews is a general editor for The Undefeated. He’s a DMV native but prefers the Lakers over the Bullets/Wizards - #HTTR all day though!