After seeing the results of this week's simulation, I sure hope not.
Welcome back to our weekly Madden Matchup, where we use the popular game Madden 16 to preview our upcoming contest. As you all know, Andrew Luck (we think) and the Indianapolis Colts are coming to town on Thursday, facing off against the Texans in a pivotal AFC South matchup. A win for Houston means a chance at first place. All the bad emotions from the loss in Atlanta can be erased rather quickly.
Now, back to this new curse. So far, Madden's predictions are 0-2. While the first game was close score-wise against Tampa Bay (Madden predicted a 20-10 game, it was actually 19-9), last week against Atlanta was way off. Not only did their predicted team lose (Houston) but the final score was 44 points off. Was the matchup against the Falcons an abberration or the start of a trend? Let's hope it's the former.
In the virtual world, the Indianapolis Colts are pretty good. Madden 16 gives the Colts an 87 overall ranking, which puts them eight points higher than the Texans (see below). Indianapolis is the 5th highest ranked team in the game, behind only the Patriots, Packers, Broncos and the Seahawks.
We assumed that Andrew Luck was under center for tomorrow night's game in our simulation, and if he is, he's obviously one of the best in the actual National Football League. So, it is only makes sense that he's one of the best on the game. Luck's 90 overall rating is the 10th highest. The former Houston high school star has one of the game's strongest arms as well, checking in at a 95 in that category. Ironically, one of the arms stronger than Luck's in the game belongs to Texans starter Ryan Mallett (96). So, Luck's injury not withstanding, I guess we should expect a ton of high velocity throws at NRG Stadium on Thursday.
When it comes to top end talent, the Texans and Colts are actually pretty similar. According to Madden 16, both teams have five players with 90 or better rankings. J.J. Watt's 99 rating is the best individual mark on either team. You can see the rest of the top players on the two teams below.
1. J.J. Watt (99)
2. DeAndre Hopkins (92)
3. Duane Brown (91)
4. Vince Wilfork (91)
5. Arian Foster (90)
As you can see, the Colts have a decided special teams advantage on the game. Pat McAfee is Madden 16's best punter, with Adam Vinatieri in the top six when it comes to field goal kicking. Should the game be close, it appears as if Indianapolis has the edge.
Madden Prediction: Texans 24, Colts 17
Does Madden break the curse this week? I sure hope so. I'd love to see the scene below after Thursday night's game.