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You’ve had a good run, Peyton Manning, but ‘Madden’ says you’re done

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 3-2 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?

One of the biggest stories in the NFL this week is the seeming mismatch this Sunday between the early Super Bowl favorite 5-0 Denver Broncos, and the early number 1 draft pick in the 2014 draft 0-5 Jacksonville Jaguars. The Broncos are favored by 28 points, the biggest spread in the history of the NFL. Vegas odds makers are essentially saying that the Jags are bad, they should feel bad too. And on paper, that makes total sense.

The Broncos have scored a combined 230 points after just five games, while the Jags have recorded a paltry 51. To put that in context, last week against the Cowboys in four quarters, the Broncos scored as many points as the Jags have all season. When one team has outscored another by 179 points in just over a month, picking a blowout seems reasonable. The Broncos ridiculously high scoring offense is led by the resurgent Peyton Manning, who has already thrown for 1,884 yards and 20 TDs with just one interception. At this point, it’s hard to find anyone that would argue that Manning is not on track for a fifth MVP. Except for Madden 25, that is.

After a week filled with incorrect blowout predictions that led to an 8-6 record, in week 6 Madden is going in the opposite direction. Of the 15 games this week, seven have been predicted to be decided by a touchdown or less, and three of those games will come down to a single field goal. Madden 25 does have the Broncos taking care of the Jags, but by a mere 12 point margin. That is likely due to what Madden predicts for Manning himself.

According to the simulation, Manning will be knocked out of the game with a broken jaw before the half. Backup QB Brock Osweiler will then come in to finish off the lowly Jags, but Manning will spend the next four weeks recovering. Oddly, Madden has the same fate in store for running back Adrian Peterson, but the game has him listed as being out for just three weeks. Peterson did prove to be a freak of nature following his recovery from a torn ACL and MCL, so perhaps Madden took that into account.

Week 6 League Leaders:


Drew Brees: 416 yards 5 TD 2 INT
Matt Stafford: 343 yards 3 TD 1 INT
Eli Manning: 319 yards 3 TD 1 INT
Russell Wilson: 256 yards 1 TD 1 INT 67 yards rushing 1 TD
Robert Griffin III: 242 yards 1 TD 56 yards rushing 1 TD

Wide Receivers

Marques Colston: 136 yards 2 TD
Danny Amendola: 116 yards 1 TD
Reggie Wayne: 112 yards 2 TD
Greg Jennings: 96 yards 1 TD
Anquan Boldin: 93 yards 1 TD

Running Backs

Jamal Charles: 165 yards 2 TD

Frank Gore: 158 yards 2 TD
Marshawn Lynch: 123 yards 1 TD
LeSean McCoy: 118 yards 1 TD
Chris Johnson: 115 yards 1 TD


Peyton Manning (QB): 4 weeks Broken jaw
Eddie Royal (WR): 2 weels Ruptured disk
Ahmad Bradshaw (HB): 1 weeks Shoulder tear
Nate Burleson (WR): 3 weeks Shoulder tear
Adrian Peterson (HB): 3 weeks Broken jaw

Week 5 Game Results

Thursday Night Game

Madden Result   Actual Result  
Chicago: 25 NY Giants: 16 Chicago: 27 NY Giants: 21

Sunday Games

Madden Result   Actual Result  
Baltimore: 24  Green Bay: 21 Baltimore: 17 Green Bay: 19
Cincinatti: 22 Buffalo: 17 Cincinatti: 27 Buffalo: 24
Detroit: 29 Cleveland: 10 Detroit: 31 Cleveland: 17
Houston: 23 St. Louis: 16 Houston: 13

St. Louis: 38

Carolina: 21 Minnesota: 14 Carolina: 35 Minnesota: 10
Kansas City: 25 Oakland: 21 Kansas City: 24 Oakland: 7
NY Jets: 27 Pittsburgh: 17 NY Jets: 6 Pittsburgh: 19
Philadelphia: 16 Tampa Bay: 13 Philadelphia: 31 Tampa Bay: 20
Denver: 22 Jacksonville: 10 Denver: 35 Jacksonville: 19
Seattle: 47  Tennessee: 20 Seattle: 20 Tennessee: 13
New Orleans: 52 New England: 21 New Orleans: 27 New England: 30
San Francisco: 47 Arizona: 7 San Francisco: 32 Arizona: 20
Washington: 31 Dallas: 21 Washington: 16 Dallas: 31

Monday Night Game

Madden Result   Actual Result  
Indianapolis: 10 San Diego: 7  Indianapolis: 9 San Diego: 19

(Image credit CBS Denver)

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