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Madden Matchup: Texans at Dolphins

!The curse is over.

After three straight weeks of Madden 16's predictions turning out backwards on the actual field, the game finally got one right last week. Even the score they predicted was pretty close to what happened. Take a bow Madden.

Despite, shall I say, uncertainty about last week's article and prediction (you can read the comments here), the game accurately put the Texans in a W column, and in a big way. Madden's 41-9 score wasn't too far off from the actual 31-20 final, especially if you consider that Jacksonville scored a late touchdown to make the score appear closer. Well done.

That said...let's hope the curse comes back this week. You'll see why below.

As we dive into Sunday's matchup against Miami, the most important thing to factor is the recent roster update the game sent out. So, some of the numbers that you are accustomed to seeing are quite a bit different, and I'm sure those played into Madden 16's prediction for Sunday. First off, the Texans team rating is down to a 74, five points lower than we've seen in the past. That no doubt has something to do with Houston's start to the season, as not winning tends to drop numbers. Miami was affected as well, as the Dolphins are now a 75. So, in Madden's eyes, this is a pretty fair matchup in terms of talent.


The strength of Miami's team, much like in real life, lies in their front four. Ndamukong Suh, the team's big free agent acquisition this past offseason, is the Dolphins highest rated player (95). He's followed by left end Cameron Wake (91), who had four sacks last week against the Titans. Wake's 91 mark makes him the fourth highest rated left end.

Despite what you see in the picture above, Suh's strength rating (98) is tied with Philadelphia's Jason Peters and Washington's Stephen Paea for the tops in Madden. Below are the top five rated defensive tackles in the game.

  1. Aaron Donald, Rams (96)
  2. Gerald McCoy, Bucs (96)
  3. Marcell Dareus, Bills (95)
    4. Ndamukong Suh, Dolphins (95)
  4. Kyle Williams, Bills (93)

In all, there are nine 90-plus rated players between the Texans and Dolphins. The Texans have two other players (Johnathan Joseph and Brandon Brooks) that are right on the cusp of that elite level 90 mark. They are both 88s overall. Another player that has seen his rating improve is Brian Hoyer. Off the strength of two solid performances against the Colts and Jaguars, Hoyer's rating is up three points to a 76. Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill is an 84 overall.

Madden Prediction: Dolphins 31, Texans 28

Bummer, I thought we were on to something here. After picking the Texans to win for three straight weeks (Falcons, Colts, Jaguars), the game finally went in the other direction. Madden 16 predicted a nail biter, with Miami coming out victorious in the final seconds. The final game stats were pretty close, with the Texans outrushing Miami (86 to 85) but the Dolphins gaining more through the air (303 to 236). On a positive note, the game did have Houston's front four wreaking some havoc, with J.J. Watt and company getting four sacks.


What will happen on the actual field? We'll see on Sunday in Miami.


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