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Breaking Madden: Teddy really oughta run that dang ball

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Teddy Bridgewater didn't run much in college, and when he did, he was one of the least graceful ball carriers in football. Now he plays before a nation of dumb NFL fans who want him to run. In this Breaking Madden, their terrible wish is granted.

Teddy Bridgewater is now a starting quarterback in the NFL, and Guy At The Bar will expect him to run with the ball. It is impossible to even begin to guess why he would have this expectation, but surely the decision-makers of the NFL know better than to awwwww hell

[...] there will be subtle changes made with a new quarterback under center. Perhaps a little read-option, which we saw at least once on Sunday in New Orleans. With Bridgewater’s mobility, Norv Turner may be more likely to use bootlegs. We’ve already seen one designed quarterback draw called, too.

Bridgewater is mobile in the sense that he's good at escaping pocket pressure and buying himself a few extra moments, which he nearly always does for the sake of eventually throwing the ball. Like most quarterbacks, he'll run past the line of scrimmage to gain a few extra yards if they're handed to him on a silver platter, but that's just about where it ends. The majority of quarterbacks selected in this year's draft -- Blake Bortles, Johnny Manziel, Derek Carr, Logan Thomas, Aaron Murray, Keith Wenning, Tajh Boyd, Garrett Gilbert -- have better college yards-per-carry numbers than Teddy.

He may, at least, be the goofiest ball carrier in the NFL. Consider this moment from his senior season at Louisville:

Or this one:

Behind the line of scrimmage, Teddy is a resourceful, accurate quarterback who has demonstrated mastery over opposing secondaries and thrown a couple of the most beautiful passes I've seen in recent memory. Past the line of scrimmage, he runs like the biggest dang goofball you've ever seen.

Designed runs and read-options should absolutely not be a fixture of the Teddy Bridgewater offense, no matter how much Guy At The Bar would like them to be. But in this episode of Breaking Madden, Guy At The Bar will get his way.

We're running a little light on game tweaks this week, because the theme of this episode of Breaking Madden is: "you want Teddy to run? Here's what you get." Teddy Bridgewater is going to run the ball on every single offensive snap.

I've turned off injuries, because Breaking Madden ought not to be a breaker of men, and because I love Teddy and could not bear to see him hurt. I've also turned off fatigue: run a guy 50-plus times under normal settings, and you'll stop seeing anything fun.

To offset these advantages for Teddy, I've replaced the defensive line of the Atlanta Falcons (the Vikings' Week 4 opponent) with the seven-foot, 400-pound monsters who longtime Breaking Madden readers are well familiar with. They aren't perfect 99s in every category, but I did max them out in Strength, Block Shedding, Hit Power, and a few other things. They are a mediocre 65/99 in the Speed department, so Teddy at least stands a chance in Hell of outrunning them.

As usual, I found them on Twitter.

Please meet your Atlanta Breaking Madden Falcons.

LE - Rembert Browne, writer at Grantland (@rembert)

brown

For the second time in three weeks, Breaking Madden finds itself in Paula Cole territory. I'm guessing Rembert went with "I Don't Want To Wait" and "Where Have All The Cowboys Gone?" Maybe I'm selling him short and he went for a deep cut like "Hitler's Brothers." Anyway, I need to let y'all know that I found a Paula Cole album on Spotify that's just 10 different versions of "Where Have All The Cowboys Gone?"

And that's it. Every track has the exact same title. There's a really terrible dance mix, a smooth jazz version, a track that sounds almost like a lounge cover, and one that sounds like it was just shoved through a Casio keyboard.

There are some really weird corners of Spotify. There are thousands of ringtones, even though they could not possibly be of any use on a service like Spotify. There are 500-track albums of a guy singing "Happy Birthday" to people with different names. But this Paula Cole album might be the damnedest thing I've seen.

DT - @dooscent

dooscent

I'm having some trouble with this one, y'all. Granted, my bathroom is pretty basic: sink, a bathtub/shower, a toilet, a washer and a dryer. I'm trying to think of how long I could go without running out of things to clean. Like, get the room so clean that scientists could make science what-not in there. I'm topping out at like 45 minutes.

Four hours! No diss, but if I spent four hours working on my bathroom and it didn't, like, have new tiling or plumbing, I'd feel very strange about myself.

DT - Herbert Husker (@HardyWallbanger)

husker

This is just one of over a dozen entries I received that had to do with ketchup. We're carrying too much ketchup guilt, friends.

DT - Jazbeck (@_jazbeck_)

jazbeck

I'm laughing, but I am also guilty of Frame Crime. During my senior year of high school, I received a small scholarship. It was the only one I got, so we framed the letter. I dropped out of college after one semester and never returned. A year later I didn't clean up my kitchen after a party, and my roommate printed me a diploma that read, "Certificate of Upgrade to Complete Asshole." I liked it, and I wanted it framed, but the only frame I had in that size was being used for that scholarship letter.

So I just slipped my Asshole Diploma on top of it. It's still here. Like, right here on my office wall. Lookin' at it right now. Only diploma I got. Think I out-shamed you on this one, dude, but it wasn't easy.

LOLB - @SarahKezele

kezele

It's amazing, really. I can think back to several times in my teen years in which a girl clearly, obviously was into me, but I was too shit-scared and pessimistic to even conceive of the possibility that any girl would actually--

Wait, pancakes? How do you send a pancake message? This is the waffle's 266,882nd advantage over the pancake: you can use it to transmit binary code. Squares are 0, squares with syrup are 1.

RE - Jake Schumer (@Sevarro)

schumer

I don't think you actually do, but I don't care, because you've kicked a soapbox my way.

I've played maybe four hours of Destiny, which appears to be about as deep as Wolfenstein 3D. This is every mission:

Ghost: WE MUST GO TO THE SURFACE TO GET THE SWORD OF WHATEVER
[you kill a bunch of aliens]
Ghost: HOLD ON I'M HACKING INTO THE WHATEVER COMPUTER
[you wait around]
Ghost: HOLD ON IT'S TAKING A WHILE
[you kill a bunch of aliens while waiting around]
Ghost: OK DONE WITH THE WHATEVER SWORD COMPUTER WHATEVER. THEY WON'T BELIEVE THIS!
[you go back to base, nobody cares or ever says more than three or four words]
GHOST: WE MUST GO TO THE MOON TO STOP THE WHATEVER THING

I think I'm realizing that as I get older, I continue to like the heck out of video games, but I need to be able to make meaningful decisions that I actually have to think about. Destiny, despite its record budget, is maybe the worst, most uneven attempt at storytelling I've seen from any kind of thing in years.

And even that doesn't matter much to me, as long as you let me build my own story. Maybe it's calling the right plays in Madden, assembling a starting five that hums well together in NBA 2K, building an economic empire in Civilization, or even figuring out how to get the goddang legs to move in QWOP. Destiny is gorgeous, but the gameplay feels about as thoughtful as pointing and clicking your way through the world's worst operating system. I play it and feel like I'm killing time, and that's an awful feeling.

ROLB - Stef (@LaStefa)

stef

That's why you frame stuff. Could've eaten spaghetti on 'em. Should've! Spaghetti is great!

LE - Drew (@Six4ThreeDP)

drew

Okay, well hey man, you

The point was, I asked you to tell a story about

sigh

Oh hell, you're in. Sincere apologies to all the rest of y'all, because many of you told amazing, hilarious stories we just don't have room for. But this is one of the funniest answers in Breaking Madden history, and I ain't made of stone.

THE GAME.

Two more things before we get going. As far as ball carriers go, Teddy Bridgewater may well be the least graceful finisher in the NFL. To reflect this, I will be playing as Teddy the entire game, and whenever possible, I'm going to have him straight-up jump into every would-be tackler. As you saw in the video above, this often sends Teddy hurtling upside-down into the sky, which is more or less appropriate.

And finally, I am imposing a reward/punishment system.

The Minneapolis-St. Paul area is a difficult place for me to understand. Who is the most eccentric, electric, norm-smashing living artistic genius you can think of? Prince. Which stage performer is the exact fuckin' opposite of Prince? That's Garrison Keillor. That both of these men came from the same place suggests to me that Minneapolis is some sort of wormhole to another world that is constantly spewing anything and everything into our existence.

In keeping with this: if the Vikings somehow win this game, I will set the game recap video to a Prince song. If they lose, we're listening to A Prairie Home Companion.

I have never wanted to win so badly in my life. Let's get it, Teddy.

goofball

I didn't even push any extra buttons there. I just ran into a tackler, and Teddy took it upon itself to pull a full 900 across two different axes. The real delight here is that he was hit by two dudes, rolled on top of two other dudes, and almost kept going.

Strange things tend to happen in Madden when you introduce the big seven-foot people. Things, in fact, that often have absolutely nothing to do with the player's size. The computer seems to kind of throw the baby out with the bathwater: it doesn't make sense that all these people are seven feet tall, therefore nothing about them will make sense.

Note: everything you see in this GIF happened after the play was whistled dead.

playsover

Our friend Drew is probably just running wild with an animation that should have stopped five seconds ago, but I'm more satisfied by the explanation that these people are over-dramatic vampires in a community theater production.

I mean, come on now, fella.

dramatical

It's the late-afternoon autumn sun in Minnesota. It may as well be the Moon, dude.

Teddy's real-life teammates engaged in some dramatics of their own. Keep your eye on No. 42.

noeffort

That is fullback Jerome Felton. Again, nearly every frame of this GIF is happening after the play is over. It's gonna be real weird when you get back to the locker room and the only dirty part of your uniform is your ass.

Madden's physics are highly mock-able, but honestly, it's only because the game aims so high. It's hard enough to make a single model move like a human would move. It's exponentially more difficult to have that model run into another model, at unpredictable speeds and angles and with their limbs in any number of positions, and make it look anything like two humans interacting. Now try that with 22 people. And in the case of, say, a quarterback sneak, make nearly all of those 22 players run into each other.

That is how we arrive at this: a human submarine, with poor Teddy's legs bobbing port and starboard like a forgotten periscope.

periscope

This game was a really interesting strategic exercise. Every first down, I'd call a passing play and send Teddy on an improvised run. Sometimes disaster would strike and we'd lose 10 yards, but I'd always try to at least pick up five if I could. If I did, I could run two or three consecutive quarterback sneaks to pick up the first. It was often the surest way to do so.

It was a pretty fun time for all involved. Except for Teddy. What you're about to see is a thing I really had nothing to do with. Teddy took the snap, and then did the most Teddy thing possible by immediately tripping over his center and hitting the ground.

sigh

He was so hoping the play was over. This is where I started to feel bad.

The more I zoomed in on him, the worse I felt. For good reason, he looked terrified the entire game. Terrified.

teddyface

Listen, man. I know you thought you'd live a happy life. You thought you'd be printed on a disc, mailed to some rando's house and shoved into an Xbox. Maybe your disc would belong to a Vikings fan! Maybe he or she would play as you! Maybe you'd be the star of a franchise mode that led you to five Super Bowl rings! Then the disc you call home would be traded in, and you'd enjoy a pleasant retirement on the shelf of a GameStop somewhere, and that would be that.

It's true that you really got the shit end of the stick here, pal, but the real Teddy wouldn't be scared. You've got to pull it together.

knee

THERE WE GO. This is actually the first time I've ever seen this in Madden. Right as Rembert Browne moved in for the tackle, I hit the jump button. In every other instance, this resulted in Teddy being vaulted into oblivion. This time, though, Teddy sends a 400-pound man flying with a knee to the gut and neatly spins away.

Teddy Bridgewater's performance on this day was one of the most inspiring efforts in the history of Breaking Madden. He is no Clarence BEEFTANK. He's not even remotely close. He's just a man with the ratings he had out of the box, out there trying to slay dragons all by himself.

A parting note to the Minnesota Vikings: you got a steal in this year's draft. An absolute steal. I had the honor of watching Teddy Bridgewater play at Louisville for three years. He is a very effective, very exciting quarterback who is a terrific leader and excels in high-pressure situations. If you drafted him only to send him running, I swear to God, I will come and find you.

And now the time comes to learn our fate.

please not prairie home companion please not prairie home companion please not prairie home companion

Click here for many more episodes of Breaking Madden.