by MikeFML 1 week ago
Welp, it’s confirmed. I love punishment. Things move fast in the SML and sometimes it’s tough to keep up. It takes a lot of time to look thru every game every week and sometimes things get away from me. I’ve committed to awarding the Ups & Downs each week and we’re going to get it done one way or another! That’s where we are now...a seven-week mega entry for Ups & Downs. Weeks 11 thru 17. Help me.
DOWN - New England Takes Us Back to 1923
Okay so here’s the thing -- Matt’s a self-proclaimed bad passer. He knows who he is and he owns it. He’s a solid runner and that’s how he wins. This game...jesus. Drew Lock’s statline - ahem - 5 passing attempts for 113 yards and 2 TDs. Five? Five attempts the entire game? Now taking all “is this sim?” conversations out of this, what? How does one only need to attempt 5 passes in an entire game and how does one also win seemingly handily doing it? Some questions just might not be meant to be answered. Huge down, Matt. You disgust me.
UP - Gram Remembers Who He Is
Gram appears to have dismantled Meats. Judging based on their seasons this one is a pretty big upset. Dallas walks away winners 45-20 and seems to have given the playbook on Beating The Meats. He forced Kyler to throw 12 incompletions including 4 interceptions to only 1 touchdown. He also completely shut down the run game, which I’m assuming was a product of Gram leading early. Good for him. Isaiah Simmons still was able to get an interception though, so Meats has that going for him.
DOWN - Experimental Reverse Techniques Not Working in Pittsburgh
After giving a hearty down to the Patriots for being abysmal thru the air I had the pleasure of stumbling across this New Orleans/Pittsburgh game. Was KJ temporarily dead for this game? In case anyone missed it check out these totals: Daniel Jones, 4/15, 9 yards, 5 INTs. Running game: 11 carries, 54 yards. There were zero completions to WRs (although with only 4 completions that’s not overly surprising). This Pittsburgh bar is unbelievably low. He’s at the point where moving the ball literally at all is almost Up-Worthy. This deserves 3 different Downs but I’m a fair guy so I’ll only hand out one.
UP - Reddick Has Monster Day Against Falcons
Reddick scores what appears to be an entire season of Pittsburgh Yards in one game, accounting for 357 yards and 6 TDs. The YPC averages in Tampa Bay come off a bit fishy for me, but you can’t dispute the firepower. Dookie finds a way to get yards on the ground to open up the passing game and makes his opponents pay for it deep. Without researching I’m sure this isn’t his best game so far and won’t be his best game of all time, but chunk yards is definitely a thing in Tampa.
UP - Saquon Goes Off Against Carolina
I found out first hand a couple weeks in the future that Saquon is a biiiiig ol’ bag of dicks. Royce found out this week, though, as Barkley carried 25 times for 195 yards and 2 TDs. He chipped in 3 catches for 68 yards and 1 TD thru the air. Utilizing Barkley as his main weapon helped Rowin win the division in the end, and I feel like he’s learned how to effectively let his main weapon do the work.
DOWN - TTS Apparently Doesn’t Learn
You guys remember from the last article when I laughed at TTS for finding a way to throw 5 INTs to one player? It was Grant Delpit and the Browns. 2 weeks ago. What did we see this week? Dane Cruikshank...5 INTs. Look, TTS, I’m speaking directly to you here: just stop throwing over the middle. Anything deep posty take out of the playbook. You & Burrow have a Wonder Twins Power and it’s self harm. You got this...just stop that part.
UP - Tiny Wins Weird Game Where Apparently No One Wanted To Win
I really debate giving this an up. This box score was weird as it seems like both of these guys are just playing bad Madden. They combined for 8 INTs and really unspectacular rushing totals all around, but I’m leaning toward the Up in an effort to remain positive. I’m glad I didn’t see this game live
DOWN - TTS Generosity Tour Continues
TTS is giving me PTSD about my own game from previous years. Another week, another 5 INTs...but at least he spread the love around this time. He continues to have just a world of trouble with safeties (4 of 5 INTs were to safeties) and it’s putting him in holes he simply cannot get out of. I feel bad giving TTS so many downs for so many weeks but they’re absolutely deserved. I haven’t seen week 13’s game yet, but it’s probably a good bet that Burrow threw a bunch of picks and Bengals lost.
UP - Fazz Ends Dookie’s Perfect Season Bid
Minnesota/Tampa has the potential to be a consistently fun game to watch. Fazz has more pedigree than Dookie in the post-season so far, but Dookie is the regular season champion. Dookie claims this game is an asterisk, saying he was battling lag the entire way and writing off the entire thing. For a guy that bitches about his wins I’m not going to entertain the thought that he would have a legitimate bitch about his losses. Ultimately the stats don’t lie -- Fazz dominated the entire way and put a 1 in the loss column for Tampa.
UP - Dump Finally Beats The Meats
Dump seems to have sorta reinvigorated himself down the line and this win against Arizona and Meats is a big one. There’s no surprise who led the way; Raheem Mostert had a monster 26 carries for 236 yards and 3 TDs. Dump didn’t have to pass much and clearly was able to control the clock and the end results were a close (but in hand) 10 point victory against Arizona. The new-found Dump recipe for success is working.
UP - Lions Find a Winnable Game
This one’s not a HUGE shock. If you can protect the ball and win ugly you can definitely beat Pauly. That being said, this Detroit team and Hova in general have NOT been a challenge for literally anyone this cycle. The box score doesn’t matter here; nothing fun happened. Hova deserves an up for this win, though.
DOWN - Green Bay’s Defense Sucks Ass
Only 3 incompletions forced. 7 YPC from the run game. 3 interceptions thrown. This game was the start of a series of games that were an actual nightmare for me and while I don’t want to re-live this, I’m happy to award a much deserved Down to myself.
UP - Samuel & CMC Show Destroys New Orleans
Curtis Samuel had 4 grabs for 105 yards and 2 TDs. McCaffrey had 20 carries for 175 yards and 3 TDs. The passing yardage and receptions accounted for just about half of Jacob Eason’s game totals and the rushing yardage speaks for itself. It turned out to be a fairly dominant and impressive offensive game from Carolina. When all things are clicking for Royce like that it’s very hard to limit the damage.
DOWN - Houston Feels Bad for KJ, Sacrifices Deshaun Watson To the Shit Gods
2 completions, 9 attempts. 26 yards passing. 3 INTs. As ugly as this is, KJ’s still gotta be jealous. Honestly looking at this entire box score this game looks insane. 41-0 Colts victory with the Colts having only 27 offensive touches. It appears Houston’s secondary hemorrhaged yards and Indianapolis was more than happy to capitalize. You can swing this game either way for an Up or a Down, but that performance passing deserves the spotlight.
DOWN - Jacksonville Should Win By 30, Only Wins By 7
I sorta feel like Bomber’s in between a bit this season. He’s doing this Dan-lite thing where he wins boring. I don’t like it. That’s the basis of this Down. Gram threw 4 INTs and rushed for almost no yards and Bomber only BARELY held on for a win. There can be an argument for ball control offense and doing what you need to do to get the win, but I don’t know if Bomber has the killer instinct at this point to make things happen in the postseason.
UP - McLaurin vs. Robinson Head to Head Battle
I remember this game. Figg got out to a super big lead early and wound up slipping and coughing it up late. Looking back at the box score this was an incredible game for these two receivers. McLaurin had 8 grabs for 149 yards and 3 TDs. Allen Robinson had 5 grabs for 122 yards and 3 TDs. These two alone were probably worth the cost of admission, but the fact that this one truly wound up being a great game pushes it even further. Good performance to both of these guys (at least in this regard).
DOWN - ZZ Is a Bad Example
Maaaaan, I’m thrilled these games are few and far between. When I pulled up this 52-34 final versus Meats I was ready to give an up. That being said, it’s a down for me. 396 yards, 5 TDs, 6 INTs. It’s just not the statline you usually want to see from your franchise mates. It was a clear example of ZZ trying to keep up with Meats, but it looks like the reason he had to play catch up was self-inflicted based on the turnovers. I’m sure Meats was smiling like a fucking deranged toddler with his “mutants,” though.
UP - Fazz Brutalizes Poor Alex
Jeez, what’d the Jets do to you? Norton threw 4 TDs, Cook rushed for 3 more, and the Vikings absolutely ran away with a 49-21 victory. I had performed similarly against Latin in the past, but my defensive performance was lacking. It looks like Fazz was clicking on all cylinders here and I doubt he was in a sweat at any point in time.
UP - Figg Extends My Nightmare
52-38 final. Reading through these box scores another time makes me angry all over again. This game was tough. Figg’s not a guy I usually struggle with defensively, but for whatever reason my team refused to tackle for this stretch of weeks. I forced 1 incompletion, allowed over 200 yards rushing, and failed to convert offensively. I definitely deserve a down for the performance, but Figg more deserves an up for the rare outburst of elite offense.
UP - Lawyer Flashes Back to 2019
Lawyer can play pretty decent Madden when he wants to. This game was a semi-flashback to a better time. Lawyer racked up 232 yards and 2 TDs with Todd Gurley while intercepting Minshew 5 times. The game wasn’t without warts for him, however, as his QB threw 3 INTs of his own. That being said, a small tip of the cap to Lawyer for a throwback game. Maybe we can have more of these moving forward?
DOWN - NYT Sucks, Still Wins
I don’t know how you only throw for 87 yards against KJ, but good job NYT. Somehow you made it. This game might’ve been during your sickness or something, but there’s still no excuse in my opinion. In no way, shape, or form should anyone struggle to move the ball offensively against the Steelers. KJ was even semi-competent on offense with ALMOST 200 yards passing and a little over 100 yards rushing. Shame on NYT for being awful, sickness be damned.
UP - Josh Allen; Good For Once
I bet Bomber can count on one hand the amount of games he’s played with Josh Allen where he can’t offer a single “C’MON” toward. Allen was on point for this tilt versus Houston, completing 13 of 14 pass attempts for 266 yards and 4 TDs. Rookie HB Wiley tacked on 134 yards and 1 TD and while the score was close it appears Bomber probably had this one in control most of the game. His close calls still make me feel uneasy, but at least this game shows that he’s not impotent offensively.
UP - Pauly Knocks Off Prime
This is an example of how you DON’T beat Pauly. I mentioned before if you can not turnover the ball and win an ugly game, you can beat Pauly. Here’s Prime doing exactly not that. He’s been very turnover prone thru the air this season and the 3 INTs from Frank George absolutely attributed to this 28-13 loss. Prime was unable to get the run game going as well, which fed right into Pauly’s gameplan. A win over the “legend” Prime-Time000 is always something to celebrate, and Pauly deserves credit for making it happen here.
DOWN - Tiny Sucks, Doesn’t Still Win
Lol. The Lions had been awful all season and despite Hova admittedly improving A LOT over the back end of the season, this game is an absolute joke. Tiny was 5/14 with Russell Wilson for 54 yards and 6 INTs. He allowed Kerryon Johnson to rush 23 times for 180 yards and 4 TDs. I’d like to give Tiny the benefit of the doubt but these are the types of games that he of all people NEEDS to win. I’m going to live to regret this, but I mark all Detroit games as wins pre-season. If Tiny can’t mark games like that similarly, he’s in for a world of hurt. You MUST win the games you’re suppose to win.
UP - Rowin Finds a Defense
It took long enough, but Rowin finally played what appears to have been a dominant defensive game. He forced Tolbert to throw 5 INTs and get benched for Mitch Trubisky. Tarik Cohen had 12 carries for only 27 yards. Rowin didn’t need much more than Saquon Barkley this game as his defense maybe for the first time ever carried his game. If Rowin can put games like this togethe on a long-term basis, he’d be a force to be reckoned with.
UP - Scary Terry Knocks Detroit Back to the Dumpster
Wow. 6 receptions, 173 yards, 4 TDs. Adkins had 5 total TDs. Washington reminded Detroit that they’re not a passing team by notching 5 INTs as well. These are the types of results that I expect when playoff teams face 4th place teams. Good job, WFT, whoever you are.
UP - Dan Continues to Lowkey Spam His Best WR For Dev
I think Hamler’s statline has gone under the radar a bit. I had noticed he’d been getting chunk totals while reading box scores, but the end of the season totals are pretty intense. In this game Hamler had 5 receptions for 124 yards and 4 TDs. Courtland Sutton & Jerry Jeudy are probably looking for a trade out of Denver on the other end because of how Dan apparently hates them both. KJ Hamler stock is definitely going up, though.
DOWN - KJ Played Matt I Guess
UP - Dump Rides Mostert To ANOTHER Victory Against Meats
I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that Meats is dying for Mostert to be hit by regression any time soon. Mostert chalked up another insane game, carrying the ball 24 times for 253 yards and 3 TDs. The margin of victory was VERY slim this time around, with San Francisco winning 38-35. In a very LOLMeats occurrence, Kyler Murray led his team in rushing attempts.
UP - Tyler Boyd, Have a Game
Bengals hung on and won 38-31, which is nice for TTS. The main offensive factor this time around was Tyler Boyd grabbing 11 receptions for 188 yards and 2 TDs. It’s amazing how much more efficient things run when you’re not throwing every other pass to the opposing safeties.
UP - I’m Giving Coop a Pity Up
Okay, so he lost here. He’s supposed to lose this game. I’m focusing primarily on the fact that Derrick Henry got 23 carries! Good job, Coop! Win or lose, leaning on your horses is the way to go. Ryan Tannehill was miserable as expected, only contributing 49 yards thru the air with 2 TDs & 3 INTs. Screw it though, keep feeding Henry. ALL THE CARRIES, COOP.
UP - KJ Hires Madden Player to Play Meaningless Game For Him
I don’t for a millisecond believe KJ played this game. Daniel Jones, he of standard statlines under 100 yards, completed 23 of 29 passes for 400 yards and 4 TDs. WHAT? He had 3 separate receivers that eclipsed 100 yards. WHAT? I refuse to accept any other reality than KJ definitely didn’t play this game. There’s a very distinct possibility that Earth would end otherwise.
UP - Packers Walk Off With Win Over Giants
This was a fun game. I got out to a pretty hot start and led the majority of the way, but Rowin made a late surge and wound up taking the lead. From there I was able to hit eventual Rookie of the Year Luke Moreland for the game-winning TD (his third of the day) in the back of the end zone. Jordan Love played well and our defense forced 3 interceptions, but me being able to FINALLY clutch out a win this season was a nice change.
DOWN - The SML
I just looked thru every game’s box score for this week and the only notable things were the two previously mentioned ups. That means that every other game had unspectacular results and expected outcomes. IMPRESS ME, DAMMIT.
UP - Rowin Makes Good On Promises, Beats Prime
I watched this game live and Rowin more or less controlled the game from the 2nd-ish quarter on. Prime made a lot of mistakes and really gave Rowin all the opportunity to capitalize. That being said, Rowin DID perform well and DID come away with the win. I said it in group chat after the game and I stand by it now; Prime lost that more than Rowin won it. All things considered though, you get an Up for coming through.
UP - Devin White Cements DPOY With 3 INT Game
I’m going the other way this time and giving Dookie some credit for his year with Devin White. White would eventually go on to lock up the DPOY win, and this game result had to have gone a long way to clinching that. Anytime a player gets 3+ INTs and they’re not playing TTS it’s impressive. Even more so there’s a good chance these were users. I’ll give Dookie all the shit in the world for bragging about his broken forced fumble defense that’s completely unsim and should be frowned upon, but INTs from LBs in Madden 21 are harder to come by.
DOWN - Bomber Checks Out Versus Dan
This one was horrible to watch. Bomber lost 31-3 and it probably wasn’t even that close. I think we were 20 C’MONs deep by the end of the game and I’m sure we could’ve found more. It was just truly an ugly performance from Bomber and one that I hope he learned from. These two could very well face off down the road and another game like this would be devastating. (alsomorehamlerspamimontoyoudan)
DOWN - MikeFML Has a Flashback Game
Oof. This one hurts on multiple levels. Straight to the point, I played like shit. Adding onto that, I also got unlucky. Adding on even more, TE Luke Moreland was playing for Superstar and I fell 1 yard short. Oof. 5 INTs doesn’t get it done. No rush game doesn’t get it done. Just awful all around. This was easily my least favorite game of the season.
UP - KJ Wins Again, This Time I Believe It
TTS found more INTs, which surely helped. I can’t name a more dynamic combo this season. That being said, KJ won a game that he seems to have controlled the entire time. Stats make sense, I believe the result, and I can congratulate KJ on finding a way to win. In my eyes this season he finishes 1-14*, but I’m glad he got that 1.
*Writer’s Note* We finally made it to week 17. Oh my god. #TitanicMeme
UP - Dan Gets Big Playoff Tune-Up Win
This probably isn’t a Super Bowl preview in my eyes (and knowing the results it definitely isn’t), but Dan scored a hard fought win against Dump 27-24. It looks pretty ugly all around but this one I’ll actually ignore that fact and just congratulate on the victory. In the playoffs especially it doesn’t matter how you win as long as you win, so if this is a preview it’s a damn good start for Dan.
UP - Future Abuses ZZ
Jeez. 25/31 for 538 yards and 6 TDs. Henry Ruggs had 9 receptions for 266 yards and 3 TDs. Ruggs vs. Hill is a pretty intense battle and Future won the race 47-41. It’s pretty simple w/ the uber fast guys; send them straight or on a post and throw accurately. It seems that’s literally all you have to do and this is a pretty insane example of it.
DOWN - Pauly Limps Into Playoffs With Loss to Bengals
Pauly had been self-deprecating for the better part of this season and this isn’t how you want to finish up a season. He lost 17-14 in a pretty unspectacular game and this may have very well been Tua’s final regular season game as a Miami Dolphin. There’s been a lot of chatter about Pauly looking to move his franchise QB at some point in time, so this would be a pretty fitting regular season finale in that regard. Tua was 9/12 for 71 yards and 1 INT. I get the feeling that Pauly didn’t really have a lot invested in this one as seeding may have been mostly locked up. Either way, you play to win the game and letting any slip away isn’t a good thing.
UP - Bomber Hitting His Stride Offensively
The trend with this entry so far is guys doing well heading into the postseason. A couple weeks back I called Bomber out for struggling offensively. At that time I was VERY curious if he’d be able to turn it on for the playoffs. Rowin is a playoff team and this is definitely a good match up. Bomber had everything working; he’s been able to run well most of the season and Josh Allen flipped the coin and played well today. The match-ups in the bracket are tougher on the AFC side, but Bomber should feel good moving forward.
UP - RD Returns, Reminds Tiny He Sucks
RD had been out for most of the season handling some IRL things. He made it back up just in time to win his 5th game, dominating Tiny in regular fashion. Russ had 3 INTs, Tiny ran for almost no yardage, and RD played ball control offense for the victory. I’ll see ya on the No Playoffs Couch, Tiny.
UP - Meats Wins Weird Game Against Fazz
I don’t know what to make of this one. Kyler only completed 6 passes while notching rushing attempts with 6 different players. Kyler AGAIN led his team in rushing attempts (LOLMeats), albeit in a tie with Lindsay. Honestly, I’m not really sure how Meats won this one. It looks completely weird on paper and these are games Fazz usually wins. I’m sure he’ll kick it into gear come playoff time, but it’s never enjoyable losing against someone you could see again very soon.
DOWN - Danny Duds Season Finale
41-3 F. 4/11 for 56 yards and 2 INT. It’s a fitting end to a season where KJ won ONLY ONE GAME and somehow found new rock bottoms as the weeks went on. I’ve enjoyed consistently shitting on KJ as his game logs are mesmerizing. I sincerely hope you find some traction moving forward.
UP - New Eagles Owner Upsets WFT, Setting Up Possible Rivalry
The NFC East has been kinda silly so far this cycle. Chris (who recently left) made the playoffs season 1 before completely tumbling and being awful. Gram has been inconsistent. Rowin is Rowin. WFT is on their 2nd owner. MythicalHedgeduk is coming up fresh from Primer, but has known relationships in SML already. He’s been consistently competitive in the Primer and can very well fight for a division especially with a team that’s not completely barren of talent. This one is one to watch and for the guys that like to predict, he could very well be a NFC East front runner moving forward.
UP - Hova Finishes On a High, Wins 3rd Game
Apparently all Hova needs is a HB named Johnson and someone playing bad defense. Figg allowed Ty Johnson to rumble for 204 yards and 3 TDs. Figg has been in a rough spot all season long and this is probably not how you want to go out, despite the fact that the game didn’t matter. Here’s the bad news for Figg moving forward: at 5-10-1 he’s looking at a 2nd place schedule next cycle. Yikes. You can blame myself and Hova for that, because we opted to suck even more. GGs on the 3 wins Hova. That’s 3 more than I thought you’d get.
WRAP UP & FINAL COUNT
I honestly don’t know how I made it through that. If any of you actually read through this entire thing, thanks for the time! I didn’t highlight team names/teams so good luck to those that want to skim through for their highlights :)
Hopefully moving forward I’ll be able to more effectively stay on track with write ups to not get such an intense backlog. It was a fun first season of Ups & Downs, but we’ll be back for a playoff edition as well as a pre-season edition (if I feel like it).
FINAL COUNT: 32 UP, 16 DOWN
We finally get our heavily positive, heavily up edition of Ups & Downs. No one did anything super egregious & Dookie not getting the Dookie down every week certainly helped. He deserved it some weeks, but I opted to give him a chance for a clean slate moving into next season.
We’re finally here. The end of this mega entry of Ups & Downs. As always, we end with the Shame Belt. Generally speaking this is an award handed out to the person who delays our advances the most. Considering this is another mega-episode, I’m going off course a little. We’re going to play a little game here. I’m going to give the OVERALL statline for a player over the weeks covered in this article and you can guess before seeing the answer:
44 completions, 63 attempts. 869 yards. 7 TDs. 7 INTs. OVER THE COURSE OF SEVEN F’N GAMES.
Get your shit together, Matt.
Shame Belt History: