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‘Madden’ shows some heart, predicts the Texans to rally and the Dolphins to pay


Can second year quarterback Case Keenum rally the Texans to a win following coach Gary Kubiak's stroke?

This week and every week for the remainder of the NFL season, we will bring you weekly game predictions courtesy of EA Sports’ Madden NFL 25. Our methodology: Each week we will update the rosters using the game’s roster download feature to make sure the game lineups reflect the real teams, then we’ll simulate the week’s match-ups using the Franchise Owner mode. We’ll record the simulation’s scores, its best players of the week, and the injury reports, then post these results each Saturday. This makes the Thursday game something of a litmus test (Madden 25 is 6-3 so far this season on Thursday games) – you can use this info for fantasy or gambling purposes. Or you can ignore it entirely. What does Madden know about football, anyway?

Madden has proven to be a cruel, heartless digital football god. Whether it is repeatedly, almost pathologically predicting the same players to be injured over and over, or if it just refuses to give plucky underdogs like the Jets or Browns a shot at the upset, Madden can be harsh.

This week, however, seems to be an exception. After coming off its worst week yet only sub-.500 performance at 6-7, you’d be forgiven for expecting Madden to play it safe. The predictions are all based on hard, cold numbers, so it is typically a matter of putting all the pieces in the right place at the right level, and then running the probabilities over and over.  The game doesn’t take into account things like momentum or heart.  But sometimes it can surprise you. 

The Houston Texans began the season with big expectations. They were considered among the 10 best teams in the NFL, coming off back-to-back years where they were legitimate Super Bowl contenders. Last year they started the season 11-1, and while losses at a few key positions in the off season definitely hurt, few expected them to start out a disappointing 2-6. Injuries certainly played a part; star running back and former-fantasy football god Arian Foster hasn’t been 100-percent all season. The Texans other running back Ben Tate is playing with multiple broken ribs. Quarterback Matt Schaub was carted off the field to the sound of hometown fans booing him. Last week was perhaps the most shocking injury though, as Houston coach Gary Kubiak suffered a mini-stroke during a game against the Colts.

On paper, the Texans should lose this week to the 4-4 Arizona Cardinals, who will have Pro Bowl receiver Larry Fitzgerald at (or at least near) 100-percent for the first time all season. Playing at home, the Cardinals should have no problem beating the Texans’ interim coach Wade Phillips and former back up QB Case Keenum. On paper. According to Madden though, the Texans won’t just win, they will demolish the Cardinals by a staggering 32 points. For a computer simulation, it is shocking, but for the real world, it actually makes sense. 

Athletes tend to rally when tragedy strikes. Kubiak has been the head coach in Houston since 2006. He is the heart and soul of that team, and if ever there were a time for the team to come together it would be now. After being named as the starter over Schaub, Keenum is settling into the role as a starting QB, and the former University of Houston QB has the support of the team and the community. In two games he has thrown 621 yards and 4 TDs with no interceptions, bringing some optimism back to the Texans.  Kubiak is expected back next week, but don’t be surprised to see the Texans put up their finest performance this season in support of their coach and new QB.

And Maddens gentle touch doesn’t end there. The winless Tampa Bay Buccaneers face off against the 4-4 Miami Dolphins on Monday night. Even though the game is in Tampa Bay, the Dolphins should be the clear favorites – and yet Madden has the Bucs handily winning by two touchdowns. On paper, the Dolphins are the better team. But following the bullying allegations that resulted in Jonathan Martin leaving the team and Richie Incognito being indefinitely suspended, plus revelations that the Dolphins staff encouraged tougher treatment of Martin, the team is in disarray. A blowout loss isn’t just possible, it may be likely.  

Week 10 League Leaders:


Eli Manning: 402 yards 3 TD 2 INT
Drew Brees: 361 yards 2 TD 1 INT
Russell Wilson: 347 yards 2 TD 49 yards rushing 1 TD
Andrew Luck: 307 yards 1 TD 93 yards rushing 1 TD
Case Keenum: 303 yards 2 TD 1 INT

Wide Receivers

Wes Welker: 148 yards 1 TD
Victor Cruz: 134 yards 1 TD
Larry Fitzgerald: 132 yards 1 TD
AJ Green: 126 yards 1 TD
Marques Colston: 119 yards 2 TD

Running Backs

Ben Tate: 176 yards 2 TD
Frank Gore: 165 yards 3 TD
Adrian Peterson: 154 yards 1 TD
Alfred Morris: 128 yards 2 TD
Ray Rice: 127 yards 1 TD


Jordy Nelson (WR): 5 weeks Foot fracture
Joe Flacco (QB): 2 weeks Broken thumb
LeSean McCoy (RB):1 week Dislocated elbow
CJ Spiller (RB): 3 weeks Shoulder tear

Week 9 Game Results

Thursday Night Game

Madden Result   Actual Result  
Washington: 30 Minnesota: 17 Washington: 27 Minnesota: 34

Sunday Games

Madden Result   Actual Result  
Philadelphia: 25 Green Bay: 14 Philadelphia: 27 Green Bay: 13
Tennessee: 24 Jacksonville: 7 Tennessee: 27 Jacksonville: 29
Pittsburgh: 31 Buffalo: 10 Pittsburgh: 23 Buffalo: 10
NY Giants: 34 Oakland: 28 NY Giants: 24 Oakland: 20
Indianapolis: 24 St. Louis: 3 Indianapolis: 8 St. Louis: 38
Seattle: 38 Atlanta: 28 Seattle: 33 Atlanta: 10
Baltimore: 19 Cincinnati: 17 Baltimore: 20 Cincinnati: 17
Chicago: 23 Detroit: 10 Chicago: 19 Detroit: 21
San Francisco: 31 Carolina: 10 San Francisco: 9 Carolina: 10
Houston: 52 Arizona: 20 Houston: 24 Arizona: 27
San Diego: 21 Denver: 13 San Diego: 20 Denver: 28
New Orleans: 34 Dallas: 24 New Orleans: 49 Dallas: 17

Monday Night Game

Madden Result   Actual Result  
Tampa Bay: 37 Miami: 13 Tampa Bay: 22 Miami: 19

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