Things were going oh so right here at the Madden Matchup, as Madden was predicting Texans wins, and the actual Texans were, you know...winning. Then last week happened, when Madden 16 got our hopes up, only to see the Patriots crush our dreams in real life. Kind of like this.
via GIPHY On a side note, you should all go see the movie Creed. Even if you aren't a fan of the Rocky series (if you aren't, what's wrong with you?), you'll enjoy the story. If you love Rocky (like everyone does), you'll thoroughly enjoy it. Back to football now.
Ehhh, like Bill O'Brien said earlier this week, we move on.
We've talked a lot about fake streaks here at the Madden Matchup, but there is a real streak on the line this week in Indianapolis. As you might have heard (probably endlessly), the Houston Texans have never won in Indianapolis. Like, never. The team sports a 4-22 all-time record against their AFC South rivals, and have not won a game against the Colts since 2012. You know how long ago that was? Here's a refresher.
-- Felix Baumgartner, an Austrian daredevil, did his famous 24-mile free fall from space.
-- The video 'Gangnam Style' became the first in YouTube history to top one billion (that's with a b) views
-- Jadeveon Clowney was a 19 (!) year old sophomore at the University of South Carolina
So, what does the virtual world think of the Texans chances? They actually think they are pretty good.
Houston outranks the Colts, with an 84 mark to Indy's 77. This is the first time the Texans have been ranked higher than their opponent since way back at Atlanta. While that game didn't turn out so well (in real life), anytime Madden 16 thinks you have more talent than your foe, that's a good thing. This is actually a complete role reversal from the first Texans/Colts game, as back then Indianapolis (87) was more highly thought of than the Texans (79). Times (and injuries I assume) have changed, and for now, the Texans are virtually the better squad.
Most of the game's high end talent belongs to the Colts however, as six of the matchup's highest ranked players are from Indianapolis. J.J. Watt is the game's only 99 overall, but the Colts special teams are extremely talented. Pat McAfee (98) and Adam Vinatieri (90) are among Madden 16's best at their positions.
However, most eyes will be on the quarterbacks this Sunday, and those signal callers aren't the ones you'd have expected to start in such a pivotal game. Gone are Andrew Luck (87) and Brian Hoyer (80), with the likely starters being T.J. Yates (74) and Matt Hasselbeck (78). At this point, Hasselbeck is no lock, so we may even hear from Charlie Whitehurst (73). For the record, in my simulation it was Yates versus Hasselbeck, and you'll see how that turned out below.
One matchup that will be fun to watch is Vontae Davis versus DeAndre Hopkins. Both players have top notch Madden ratings, with Davis' 92 mark making him the fifth highest rated corner in the game. Hopkins is no slouch, as his 95 tally also puts him in the top five at his position. Should be a heck of a matchup.
Madden Matchup: Texans 21, Colts 14
According to Madden 16, the streak will end on Sunday. On the strength of a good start (14-0 at the half) the virtual Texans held on for a 21-14 win. Yates was spectacular, completing 60% of his passes and throwing two touchdowns. Watt also keyed the defense, grabbing two sacks in the contest.
The Colts made a late rally in the fourth, but ran out of time as Houston sealed the victory.
Will this prediction hold up on Sunday? We shall see.