Raidel “Joke” Brito won the 2020 Madden Bowl on Saturday to claim his first title in 11 EA major appearances, and he did it by alternating former New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning and Washington Redskins punter Tress Way under center.

Entrants built their rosters for the five-round, 16-team event by adhering to a salary cap while selecting current and former NFL players. Brito elected to load up on defensive stars — Jadeveon Clowney, who has an overall rating of 93, was his lowest-rated defensive starter — and built his offense around legendary Chicago Bears running back Gale Sayers.

“In my opinion, in this game, you have to play to the extreme,” Brito explained after his win. “You either have to have a bunch of cap on offense and spend it all on receivers, quarterbacks and not have a running back, or you have to play the opposite way and you have to have no quarterback.”

Brito rode with the mediocre and relatively cheap Manning as his primary quarterback, but Manning’s passing skills in the game didn’t matter, because he did nothing but hand the ball off to Sayers and fullback Franco Harris. Brito substituted Way for Manning on certain run plays because the players turn different ways to hand the ball off after receiving the snap, at least in the game.

“The handoffs when you run with a lefty and a righty quarterback are different,” Brito said. “A lefty quarterback’s going to hand off the ball with his right hand and a righty quarterback’s going to hand off the ball with his left hand. That gave me more flexibility of how I wanted to run the ball, where I wanted to run the ball.”

In real life, while Way has always punted with his left foot, he actually throws with his right hand, like Manning. The Pro Bowl punter has completed both of his pass attempts for 38 yards over his six-season career, good for 118.7 rating, and was mistakenly referred to as a quarterback by ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith last year. If EA Sports corrects Way’s handedness attribute in the future, his days as Brito’s not-so-secret weapon could be numbered.

Brito’s roster-building strategy worked to perfection. Despite the fact that his opponents knew he was going to run the ball on every play, they couldn’t stop Sayers, who found holes behind a strong and fast offensive line and then used his 99 speed rating to break away. Brito’s defense, led by pass rushers Dwight Freeney and Frank Clark, was dominant. He shut out Daniel “Dcroft” Mycroft, 17-0, in the championship game to win his first Madden Bowl belt.

Brito, 26, won $65,000 and dedicated his win to Taylor “SpotMe” Robertson, who was killed during a mass shooting at a Madden tournament in Jacksonville in 2018.

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