For those of you that read our SPECTACULAR Madden matchup preview last week, you knew what was going to happen. You knew that the Texans, despite being more than a touchdown underdog, where going to pick up the win against an undefeated Bengals team on the road. I can't tell you how many people called me (and Madden) crazy, saying they "wouldn't put their faith in Madden" and that "this game will be a humiliating blowout". As the great (on Madden and in real-life) J.J. Watt said, "How you all doin'?"
What's that you say? That our Madden predictions have been wrong more than right in the past? That's crazy talk. Like Bill O'Brien says, this is a what have you done for me NOW league. And Madden 16 is 1-0 in their past umm...one games.
That's all that matters.
All kidding aside (kind of), welcome to this week's Madden matchup, where we (as you know) simulate the Texans actual matchup (the Jets) in the virtual world. The Jets and their familiar faces will travel to Houston to take on the now tied for first place Texans squad, in a matchup that features two of the best defenses in Madden 16, and the National Football League for that matter. When it comes to team rankings, the Jets hold a high mark, with an 86 to the Texans 77. Team ratings don't mean everything (did I mentioned we predicted the Bengals win?), but according to Madden 16, New York has the advantage.
As I mentioned, defense takes center stage, with the top three highest players in this matchup all on that side of the ball. J.J. Watt (99), Muhammad Wilkerson (96) and Darrelle Revis (96) top the list. After defense, the wide receiver position is well represented. DeAndre Hopkins is now up to a 94 overall, with Jets wideout Brandon Marshall cracking 90. These two rank among the best in Madden 16 at that position. Below are the top five rated WRs in the game as of this week.
- Antonio Brown, Steelers (99)
- Julio Jones, Falcons (98)
- Calvin Johnson, Lions (97)
- Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals (94)
- DeAndre Hopkins, Texans (94)
- A.J. Green, Bengals (94)
So, as you can see, a key matchup on Sunday will be how Hopkins fares on his trip to 'Revis Island'. The Jets corner will likely lock up with Hopkins as often as possible, and for our sake (we are all Texans fans here, right?) let's hope the photo below represents the final outcome more often than not.
Madden 16 likes the Texans to win their second straight game, a low scoring 17-14 victory at NRG Stadium. Behind the strength of two early safeties (really?) two field goals and a touchdown, Houston jumped out to an early 14-0 lead and held on as a late New York rally fell short. The defense was again on point, sacking Ryan Fitzpatrick four times, with Whitney Mercilus, J.J. Watt and John Simon getting in on the action.
The Texans offense was exactly dynamic, but it got the job done. With Bill O'Brien saying that Brian Hoyer's status was in the "questionable" category, I went ahead and started T.J. Yates (Hoyer may well be back, but like you know, I try to keep this as accurate as possible). Yates and the Texans got the virtual win.
Let's hope that's the case on Sunday.