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Losing Streak, Unprecedented over 20 Years

I’ve been playing Madden for 2 decades, the longest I’ve been without Madden has been 20 days in 23 yrs. I’ve lost 16 games in a row. This has NEVER happen to me. I’ve changed my game and my philosophy still can’t get a victory. This is unbelievable. Maybe it’s time to RETIRE from the game 😞 I normally win 11-13 out of 20 games right now I’m 0-16; it’s like I don’t even know how to play the game anymore.

Has this ever happen to you guys. I recorded my last 10 games studied it. Just losing games.


  • that happens to me too very often (when compared to the amount of H2H games; I'm not really interested in competitions / online H2H and only do it to receive trophies in MUT). sometimes, I'm able to win most of my H2H games, no matter how strong my opponents are (or at least how I'd assess their skills and lineup OVR). when I had such winning streak, I was often wondering whether I was good enough / competitive to rank high in competitions like MUT Weekend League, for instance (I was able to rank top 10 in Weekend League on PC a few times; but that might have been due to the fact that it was late in the Madden season and the player base was much lower than normal).

    but every time I raised my expectations because things went well, everything went wrong again on one of the next days. I started thinking a lot about my strategy, my skills; tried to analyse what went wrong /well in my H2H games. I also spent a lot of time improving my performance in Solo Battles (i.e. tried to learn how the game and AI controlled players work). and I'd guess I'm not that bad in analysing strategies etc. since I was (or maybe I'm still) quite good at playing chess as I participated multiple times in the Austrian national youth chess championships (but stopped playing on a competitive level when I started my studies; by the way: I'm not writing this to brag, just to give a sense of what my analyses might be worth. although: this statement might sound kind of braggy now too.... :( ).

    what I've learnt so far over the last 3 years (since Madden was back on PC): my performance in H2H games is mainly driven by latency. sometimes, I'm lucky and my connection to EA's servers works quite well. but most of the time it does not. sometimes it is that worse that I can even see it with the naked eye how much later my player reacts to my command. There are also some games where my opponents face the same frustrating animations all the time which result from bad latency. and I'm totally convinced about the huge importance of latency since I face some of the players more often within a short time frame (since the player base seems to be lower on PC and in particular at daytimes when US-based players are not yet online that much). it is so obvious sometimes that the result of the game is completely driven by the circumstances in terms of latency. for instance, I was dominating the first Weekend League game (e.g. on Friday) while I got destroyed the next day against one and the same opponent.

    Since I was investing a lot of time in investigating the patterns of winning and losing close games in terms of player skills and lineup strength (well, sometimes I fell back like in my youth when I thought about it all night after a lost chess game...), it became pretty clear to me. if you are not able to catch any contested ball in one game while your opponent faces this issue the next day, when all your OL lost their blocking attempts in the first game while they were dominating the next game (sidenote: I'm also totally convinced that latency plays a role for usered moves/animations etc. but for AI controlled players too), if all your WRs beat their DBs when running the same routes as the next day, but the next day the DBs are even reacting before the WR, ... I would not be that convinced about my thesis about the importance of latency if I had not observed it over the last 3 years again and again and again. and after I formulated this thesis in my mind, I started to take some notes. at the beginning my observations were still a bit blurry, because I didn't understand the game itself that well either. but the more I was playing both H2H and Solo Battles (at All-Madden difficulty too), the more I understood what normally does work and which different results can occur in comparable situations (incl. bugs) the more it became visible with the naked eye. while it caused so much frustration at the beginning, I now at least learnt that I should not even think about trying to compete in Madden tournaments. I might win some games, but I know that any positive streak will be followed by a negative streak afterwards. and there is nothing I could do against it, just because there are much too many nodes between my PC/modem in Austria and EA's servers in California...

    two more reasons why I am convinced that my thesis is correct:
    1. there is even (at least) one scientific study available showing the importance of latency (https://www.researchgate.net/publication/220937784_The_effects_of_latency_on_online_Madden_NFL_football). admittedly, the study is already a bit older, but reaction times of players have definitely not changed since then.
    2. I did observe the patterns I face in games with bad latency even in official Madden tournaments streamed on twitch this year. in those games I saw these patterns which are so frustrating (because you are not able to do anything because the required timing for successful moves, catches, passes etc. is different but you do not even know it), the latency was not visible with the naked eye. but I can remember the frustrated, incredulous expressions on the faces of the affected players, asking exactly the same question I asked in similar situations too (when I wasn't shooting my shoes across the room out of frustration...): why the hell does absolutely nothing work the way it normally does? but why did I see it this year but not the years before? because in previous years the players came together in one place and there were simply no unfair conditions (i.e. disadvantages) due to latency. and then came Covid and players had to compete from home ...). of course, this didn't happen in every game, because many of the tournament players had a good enough connection that there was no disadvantage or advantage for any of the players in the respective game. but in the cases where i was able to observe it, it was quite clear to me very early on who was going to win the game. because in tight situations the pendulum always swings against the disadvantaged player.

    summarising, what I've learnt is that
    • whether I win or lose heavily depends on whether I'm lucky or unlucky that day in terms of latency (whatever happens between my modem and EA's servers). I'm of course not the best player, but I'm not the worst either, but sometimes I can do whatever I want and it works (because my opponent drew the **** card on this day) while sometimes I can do whatever I want and it does not work. at least I started trying to accept that fact...
    • although it is sometimes obvious that my performance (or that of my opponent) is so bad just due to lags, most often it isn't. I have gone a very long way to find that out, full of self-doubt and frustration, but sometimes also full of euphoria and exaggerated expectations. at least my psychotherapist earns a fortune from me in the meantime... ;)
    • I'm not interested in Madden H2H games at all anymore. there are just way too few games where 1) what I really wanted to happen happens, 2) my team's and my opponent's OVR are balanced, 3) our skill levels are balanced, and 4) my opponent doesn't just use money plays and glitch plays.... I still plays some H2H games but just because when they are necessary to complete specific objectives...
    • unfortunately, Madden does not provide any challenging alternative (Solo) mode to play. playing against an AI that does not adjust at all depending on what you are doing while there exist plays that (almost) always work, ... not the best conditions to have a long term enjoyment of the game...
  • @Neo_Novalis this is some very interesting and detail findings. Insightful I’m about to take a deep dive into your reply.
  • I go on losing streaks all the time after wining at least 5-7 games in a row. They match you with absolute goons in the game, and nothing that whole game goes your way. You get sacked, like your line doesn’t know how to block. The user always comes in untouched on run plays, and the coverage is so just so good, that no receiver is open on every single drop back, which leads to sacks or sack fumbles. Very frustrating going on losing streaks after wining games prior.
  • TheRebel31 wrote: »
    I go on losing streaks all the time after wining at least 5-7 games in a row. They match you with absolute goons in the game, and nothing that whole game goes your way. You get sacked, like your line doesn’t know how to block. The user always comes in untouched on run plays, and the coverage is so just so good, that no receiver is open on every single drop back, which leads to sacks or sack fumbles. Very frustrating going on losing streaks after wining games prior.

    I face these patterns very often too (i.e. no blocking of OL, CB always reacting immediately when my WR does a cut, etc.). for a long time, I was wondering why that happens in some games. And at first, I thought it was because my opponent (and his/her lineup) is very strong or does the correct guess (pre-snap) of what I intend to do. but after trying to analyse these patterns, I'm pretty convinced it is strongly driven by latency. last year I lost a game against a player with a OVR average about 80 while my team was 95+ and I felt like being cheated at every play. of course players' skills and lineups' OVR (incl. abilities and x-factors) matter too. in worst case, you face a very good opponent with a very strong team while facing a bad latency yourself. it feels like being the worst player of all time...

  • @Neo_Novalis I can’t agree more. I literally just went into overtime just yesterday with an opponent with 95-96 overall cards and 90 overall at best line. And I went into overtime against them. They got all these crazy animations on interceptions, they caught passes between 3 of my defenders, super frustrating but your theory makes a lot of sense.
  • Just don’t get down. DDA plays a major part in this game, sometimes ur on the good side of it and sometimes ur not.
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