As temperatures drop, ‘Madden’ forecasts Playoff victory for cold-blooded teams

madden 25 nfl week 18 predictions picks

The NFL regular season may have concluded, but the games are far from over. The playoffs are upon us, which calls for a few changes to how we do things. Throughout the season we’ve used two platforms to simulate the week’s games. During the first half of the season we used the Xbox 360 version of Madden 25. The results didn’t exactly border on telepathic, but they were consistently above .500 in terms of the number of correct picks. When we switched to the PlayStation 4, that percentage plummeted.

Still, we think that drop had more to do with the standard NFL issues, including injuries, disgruntled teammates, and inconsistent performances. There is no option in Madden to suspend a player and lose another due to bullying. And even if there was, the game wouldn’t be able to predict that team would then close ranks and rally, just narrowly missing the playoffs. Still, with the playoffs here, we decided to go back to the Xbox 360. We have a few surprises in mind regarding how we will run the Super Bowl simulation, but for the playoffs, we are back with what worked.

All three cold weather teams are predicted to win, and one of those wins would be a significant upset.

For the predictions this week, we attempted to simulate the game as accurately as possible, down to the weather, which may play a huge factor. Of the four games played this week, three will be subject to snow and frigid temperatures. Green Bay, Philadelphia, and Cincinnati are all expecting temperatures in the 30s and below this weekend, and all three of the teams travelling to those locations typically play in warm climates.

Madden doesn’t specifically make any claims when it comes to the influence of the weather, but all three cold weather teams are predicted to win, and one of those wins would be a significant upset. Is the Xbox 360 the key to Madden’s success? We’ll find out soon enough.

Saturday, January 4

Kansas City Chiefs (11-5) @ Indianapolis Colts (11-5)

In the first game of the playoffs, the Chiefs travel to Indianapolis for a rematch of the December 22 game played in Kansas City that the Colts won 23-7. According to Madden though, this game will be a much different story – almost the exact opposite, in fact. Playing under the dome in Indianapolis, the Chiefs are predicted to win by 17, just one point more than the Colts won by at Arrowhead stadium.

Madden has been hot on the Chiefs all season, and much of that is due to how it ranks Jamaal Charles. Just as in real life, the Chiefs’ running back will be the key to Kansas City’s success or failure. According to the simulation, the Chiefs will accumulate 298 yards of total offense to the Colts’ 141. Of those yards, 119 will be rushing, and 98 will belong to Charles – along with one touchdown.

Charles will also benefit from dominating defense, which will hold Colts QB Andrew Luck to just 120 yards with 2 INTs. QB Alex Smith, on the other hand, will put up a respectable, and error-free, 179 yards with 2 TDs, as the Chiefs move on.

Chiefs 24, Colts 7

New Orleans Saints (11-5) @ Philadelphia Eagles (10-6)

The warm-weather Saints head to Philadelphia just in time for an incoming winter storm. The weather report calls for sun on Saturday, but the temperature will still be right at freezing, with a high of 32. That might explain why Madden is predicting a poor showing from the Saints’ run defense.

The simulation is calling for an – unsurprisingly – good game from Saints QB Drew Brees, who went 36 of 47 for 370 yards and 2 TDs (with one early INT) in the sim. That’s a good game for Brees, but not as dominating a performance as what Madden is predicting for Eagles’ running back, LeSean McCoy.

In the sim, McCoy ran for 174 yards and a touchdown, including three carries for more than 20 yards each. In terms of total offense, the Saints recorded 409 yards compared to the Eagles 371, but Philly offered a much more balanced attack, with 205 of those yards coming from the run. New Orleans, on the other hand, had just 39 rushing yards on their way out of the playoffs.

Eagles 34, Saints 25

Sunday, January 5

San Diego Chargers (9-7) @ Cincinnati Bengals (11-5)

After narrowly defeating the Chiefs at home to secure their playoff berth, the warm-weather Chargers will head to Cincinnati. The weather reports claim the teams will miss the snow, but with temperatures in the high 30s, the cold will very much be an issue.

Although the Bengals are predicted to blow out the unlikely Chargers according to Madden, neither team is expected to put up much offense; it will all come down to defense. The Chargers are expected to put up 261 yards of total offense, while the Bengals will record 199. In the sim, Bengals’ QB Andy Dalton put up just 132 yards with no touchdowns. The Cincinnati defense, however, was dominant, scoring 14 points on interceptions alone.

Regardless of how the weather may factor in, Madden is picking a big day for the Bengals, and an unceremonious end to the Chargers’ surprising 2013 season.

Bengals 31, Chargers 9

San Francisco 49ers (12-4) @ Green Bay Packers (8-7-1)

On Saturday, there is a 50-percent chance of snow in Green Bay, and temperatures are expected to get down to zero. Meanwhile in San Francisco, temperatures are expected to by just shy of 70. Maybe that’s part of what propelled Madden to choose what would be the biggest upset of the playoffs.

Despite playing without their MVP quarterback for most of the season, the Packers managed to squeak into the playoffs with the worst record of any post-season team. Now that Aaron Rodgers is back though, that record means very little. It is a different team, and they will have the home-field advantage against the 49ers, a team that narrowly missed gaining a first-round bye and their own home-field advantage.

Madden is predicting a big day from the resurgent Rodgers, who is expected to throw for 301 yards and 1 TD against one of the best defenses in the league. 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick is also expected to have a good game, with 229 yards and a TD, but two interceptions will cost him, including one that will lead to a game-winning field goal as time expires, sending the Packers on to the next round and the 49ers home.

Packers 23, 49ers 21


Watch the construction of a 270-degree fisheye lens, the widest ever

Think you've seen wide fisheye lenses? Think again. A team from Lensrentals recently shared a behind-the-scenes look at a custom prototype 4.5mm fisheye lens, which captures a whopping 270-degree view.

Did Pittsburgh's Antonio Brown fall victim to the Madden Curse?

Join us as we take a tour through the long-running history of the Madden Curse -- and Tom Brady's recent accolades. We all know John Madden is a longtime NFL talent, but is he also an agent of dark forces?

Need a new tablet? Here are the best iPad deals for February 2019

In the wide world of tablets, Apple is still the king. If you're on team Apple and just can't live without iOS, we've curated an up-to-date list of all of the best iPad deals currently available for December 2018.

Alfa Romeo’s latest Ferrari-powered F1 race car is ready to hit the track

Alfa Romeo is doubling down on Formula One racing after a decades-long hiatus. Now essentially a support team for Ferrari, its 2019 driver lineup includes a former world champion and a potential future star.

Need to perform a factory reset on your Xbox One console? Here's how to do it

Whether you're upgrading to a One X and giving your old console to a friend, or troubleshooting a technical issue, sometimes your Xbox One needs a clean slate. Here's our quick guide on how to factory reset an Xbox One.

Battle royale-style Tetris 99 is the first Nintendo Switch Online-exclusive game

If you want to play online multiplayer on Switch, you'll need a Nintendo Switch Online subscription. Here's what you need to know about Nintendo Switch Online, from price to features to the awesome library of NES games.

Metro Exodus update brings DLSS improvements to Nvidia RTX 20-series PCs

Having issues in Metro Exodus? A February 21 update for the title recently delivered enhancements to Nvidia’s deep learning supersampling feature and other fixes for low-specced PCs. 

The best PUBG weapons to win you that coveted chicken dinner

Which weapons in PUBG are worth the time to scout out and fit with attachments? Which are going to help you become the last player standing? We've got the answers you need in our best PUBG weapons guide.

Here's where Xur is and what he has for wares this week in Destiny 2: Forsaken

The weekly vendor in Destiny 2: Forsaken always brings Exotic weapons and armor, some of the toughest loot to find in the game. Here's everything you need to know to track down Xur: Where he is, when he shows up, and what he's stocking.

Want to play as Iron Man or Waluigi in GTA V? Our favorite mods make it possible

Grand Theft Auto V is best on the PC for many reasons, and modifications may be the most important. You can cause riots, spawn unique cars, and play as a cop with just a few extra files.

Walmart slices prices on PS4 DualShock 4 controllers just in time for Anthem

The standard black PS4 controller is what usually comes with the console itself, but if you want to add something a bit more customized your gaming experience, Walmart is offering a wide variety of colorful DualShock 4 controllers at…

How you can give your PS4 a fresh start with a factory reset

Learn the many ways you can factory reset your PS4. From reverting your settings to factory to doing a full wipe and reinstalling the latest PlayStation firmware, we cover it all here, step by step.

Here's everything you need to know to trade with friends in Pokémon Go

After literally years of waiting, Pokémon Go finally gives trainers the option to trade Pokémon with others. It's not easy, though, and the cost is quite high if you try trading with strangers.

Here's what you need to know about World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth

World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth is the latest expansion for the now 14-year-old MMORPG. It goes back to the roots of the Alliance vs. Horde conflict. Here's what you need to know.