As you try and recover from the food coma that is Christmas, let me be the first to welcome you back to the Madden Matchup. I trust that Santa Claus (if you don't believe in Santa, too bad) brought you and yours everything on their lists...maybe even an actual Madden 16 game. If not, maybe next year.
This is the time of year where you celebrate all you are thankful for. For me, that list is long, but there's a few that I want to share.
-- Madden 16 predicting the Texans win on Monday Night football against the Bengals
-- Madden 16 predicting the end of 'the streak' in Indianapolis
-- Madden 16 making J.J. Watt and DeAndre Hopkins virtually unstoppable in the game (because let's be honest, they are in real life)
-- This week's prediction (see below)
Obviously, there's family, health and all that good stuff, but that's not what we are here for right? We talk about the virtual world, and last week's 21-14 prediction wasn't too far off the actual score (16-10). Let's keep that type of result coming.
As Bill O'Brien mentioned several times this week, the Texans historic win in Indianapolis doesn't mean a whole lot if Houston doesn't keep the ball rolling. There a million different playoff scenarios, which our own Drew Dougherty broke down for you, but the simplest formula is one that we can all root for.
Win...and you're in.
That means keeping the momentum going on Sunday in Nashville as the Texans face off against the Tennessee Titans. When it comes to both teams on the game, the overall talent gap is closer than I would have thought considering Tennessee's record. The Texans hold an advantage, but by merely four points (84 to 80). This week's roster update has Zach Mettenberger starting, so to game is as accurate as can be (FYI, the Texans started Brandon Weeden for what it's worth). I even simulated the game in the rain. We spare no detail in our simulations.
The Titans hold their own individually as well, with three of the top five rated players in the game. In a special match up of top tier defensive ends, J.J. Watt (99) and Jurrell Casey (97) are the top best virtual players in Sunday's game.
! The real life Texans will have a tough matchup with Titans tight end Delanie Walker, and the same is the case on Madden 16. Walker's 94 rating is the third highest in the entire game. It is also worth mentioning the Texans have faced the best (Rob Gronkowski) and second best (Greg Olsen) tight ends in Madden 16 earlier in the season. Walker makes it a tight end trifecta for Houston this season. His success against Romeo Crennel's defense will be worth watching on Sunday.
Madden Matchup: Texans 24, Titans 7
Madden 16 predicts that the Texans will get one stop closer to an AFC South Division championship on Sunday, and they think there won't be much of a problem getting the victory. The virtual Texans held a 14-7 lead at the half, and then tacked on 10 points in the fourth quarter to pull away for the win. The defense continued their stout play, paced by Jeoffrey Pagan's (!) two sacks. Watt had a sack as well.
Offensively, the Texans didn't light it up, but did enough to capture the victory. They outgained the Titans 319-248 and nearly doubled Tennessee through the air. Weeden was fairly efficient, going 15-for-27 for 208 yards and two touchdowns (Polk, Washington).
Will Madden 16 once again prove to be a prophet? We shall see on Sunday.