You ask, we answer.
In the comments of last week's 'Madden Matchup' article many of you asked for a game simulation to go along with the matchup preview. I hadn't really thought about adding that feature, but it makes sense. So, as you'll see below, not only will we preview this week's game using Madden 16, but also recap what Madden 16 thinks will happen in the actual game itself.
Let's dive in.
From a team perspective, the Texans outrank the Buccaneers as you can see below. According to the latest roster updates, Houston checks in at a 79 overall, with Tampa Bay at a 74.
Both teams shine defensively and have some of the highest rated players on that side of the ball. Texans defensive end J.J. Watt is one of only four players to have a perfect 99 overall rating, joining Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers, Baltimore guard Marshal Yanda and New England tight end Rob Gronkowski. For Tampa Bay, defensive tackle Gerald McCoy and outside linebacker Lavonte David are both in the 90s. McCoy is the highest rated defensive tackle, tied with Ndamukong Suh and Aaron Donald. The top five DTs are listed below.
- Ndamukong Suh, Miami (96)
1. Gerald McCoy, Tampa Bay (96)
- Aaron Donald, St. Louis (96)
- Marcell Dareus, Buffalo (94)
- Kyle Williams, Buffalo (93)
One area to watch on Sunday is Tampa Bay's running game against the Texans linebackers. Bucs running back Doug Martin is only an 80 overall, but he has good agility (90). Martin is complimented nicely by Charles Sims, whose 80 catch rating is not only the best on his team, but also a top 15 mark in the entire National Football League according to Madden 16.
The Texans linebacking core features a lot of speed, and is topped from an all-around perspective by Whitney Mercilus. Mercilus is an 81 overall and has one of the game's top acceleration ratings (91). Jadeveon Clowney is a speed demon, sporting an 87 rating in that department, which is comparable to some wide receivers.
Madden Prediction: Tampa Bay 20, Houston 10
As for the game itself, Madden 16 has predicted a Tampa Bay victory. I simulated this weekend's matchup, and the computer spit out a 20-10 final. The game was close at half, with the Bucs holding a 17-10 advantage. The virtual Texans couldn't close the gap.
Will that happen in real life? We will see on Sunday.