Oh, Madden, I hope you are right. I mean, lately, that's all you seem to be.
We've jokingly talked about streaks and curses during our inaugural season here at the Madden Matchup, but...Madden is on to something. For four straight weeks, Madden 16 has accurately picked the winner for each Texans game. They saw the epic win on Monday against Cincinnati, predicted consecutive home wins against the Saints and Jets and even saw the Texans losing on their trip to Orchard Park against Buffalo. It is scary how good they've been. During last week's preview of the Bills matchup, fans said there was "no way" the Bills would score 30 points (Madden predicted 35).
As the great Andy Bernard once said...
via GIPHY Will the good fortune (at least for us this week, you'll see) last? I really, really, really hope so. You'll see why in a minute.
Alright, let's talk Texans and Patriots.
In real life, New England is widely viewed as one of the top teams in the National Football League. Madden 16 doesn't disagree, with the Pats having a 92 overall team rating in the game. The Texans are a few notches below that, keeping their 77 mark that they've had from the past few weeks.
The talent for both teams starts at the very top, like I mean 99 overall top. There are three players with that coveted perfect mark among the two squads, and I'm pretty sure you can guess who they are.
J.J. Watt for the Texans, obviously, but the Patriots bring Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski to the table. I've played against Gronkowski (against the computer and online against other players) in Madden 16, and I can report that much like in real life, "Gronk" is nearly impossible to stop. His size and speed combination is an unrivaled matchup both on the actual field and the virtual one. As of this writing, Gronk's status for Sunday night's game is still uncertain, but should he play, expect him to have a big impact on the game.
Brady is also in another stratosphere when it comes to Madden 16. He is the only signal caller to have a 99 rating in the game. Brady is also one of only two players in the entire game to have a 99 awareness rating, joining Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald on that lofty perch.
I don't know how many more adjectives I can use to elaborate the point, but the Patriots are REALLY good. There's no denying it. That said...
Madden Matchup: Texans 13, Patriots 7
Behind a MONSTER defensive performance, Madden 16 predicts a Texans victory at home for Battle Red Day. Houston jumped out a 10-0 lead early, and held for the 13-7 victory. Besides the defense, the virtual Texans got a big performance out of the run game, outgaining the Pats 112 to 41 on the ground. But, this game was really all about the defense, on both sides really, and how they both controlled the game throughout. The virtual Texans forced three turnovers, and got a pair of sacks out of Jadeveon Clowney to keep New England in check all game long.
While a 13-7 win might not be the most fun game to watch for those who will be in attendance on Sunday night, I think every Texans fan can agree that we'd take that result.
Is Madden 16 right again? We'll find out in two days.