‘Madden’ demands that Packers RB Eddie Lacy have a big week

Madden 11_21_2013

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 7-4 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?

Our coaching change last week doesn’t appear to have worked. The move from the Xbox 360 to the PlayStation 4 resulted in Madden’s worst week yet, putting up a paltry 6-9 record. Not all the blame rests on the digital shoulders of Madden though.  It’s been an odd year in the NFL.  Teams that were expected to be Super Bowl contenders like San Francisco and Green Bay are barely clinging on to a playoff hope, while teams like Kansas City and Indianapolis have two of the best records in the league.

A lot of that has to do with injury, and not just the absence of a player, but the domino effect it can have on the team in general. Sometimes Madden can pick up on those things – like picking former backup quarterbacks Case Keenum and Nick Foles to have breakout performances. Other times it will continue to stick with teams like Green Bay even after Aaron Rodgers is out, not factoring in his intangibles like general leadership abilities. Green Bay on paper, even without Rodgers, should have been able to take care of the New York Giants, who started the season 0-6. The Pack came into that game on a two-game losing streak though, while the Giants had won three straight and easily made it four in a row. No matter how sophisticated, a game can’t really predict momentum. 

Madden foresees an end to the Pack’s slide this week though, partly thanks to a huge day from running back Eddie Lacy. So far this season, Lacy (the real one) has run for 696 yards with five TDs. That ranks him eighth in running yards, and tied for ninth in touchdowns. (His digital counterpart has just 587 yards and  three TDs) If Madden is right, Lacy’s performance against the Vikings could put him in the top five running backs in both categories. And it’s definitely possible, even though Lacy ran for just 27 yards last week.  With Rodgers still out with a broken collarbone, Madden is wisely predicting the Pack to run the ball; in real life that makes sense given replacement quarterback Scott Tolzien’s three INTs last week, plus Minnesota’s anemic run defense that has given up the fifth most rushing touchdowns this season.

According to Madden though, the game to watch this weekend will be Indianapolis versus Arizona, which will come down to a single field goal. The Colts are firmly in control of the AFC South, while the Cardinals have won three in a row and have a shot at a wildcard playoff spot. If Carson Palmer can put up numbers like last week versus Jacksonville – where he threw for 419 yards, had two TDs and no INTs – Andrew Luck and the Colts are going to have a tough day. The game is also in Arizona.     

Week 12 League Leaders:

Quarterbacks

Eli Manning: 429 yards 4 TD 2 INT
Tony Romo: 387 yards 2 TD 2 INT
Drew Brees: 368 yards 2 TD
Case Keenum: 317 yards 2 TD
Peyton Manning: 297 yards 2 TD

Wide Receivers

Calvin Johnson: 147 yards 2 TD
Brandon Marshall: 137 yards 1 TD
Victor Cruz: 128 yards 3 TD
Larry Fitzgerald: 121 yards 2 TD
Wes Welker: 108 yards 1 TD

Running Backs

Eddy Lacy: 173 yards 3 TD
Trent Richardson: 127 yards 1 TD
Jamaal Charles: 135 yards 2 TD
Knowshon Moreno: 122 yards 1 TD
Adrian Peterson: 108 yards 2 TD

Injuries

Jamaal Charles (HB): 5 weeks Knee cartilage tear
Santana Moss (WR): 3 weeks Dislocated elbow
Jimmy Graham (TE): 2 weeks Knee cartilage tear

Week 12 Game Results

Thursday Night Game

Madden Result   Actual Result  
New Orleans: 24 Atlanta: 13 New Orleans: 17 Atlanta: 13

Sunday Games

Madden Result   Actual Result  
Detroit: 14 Tampa Bay: 17 Detroit: 21 Tampa Bay: 24
Green Bay: 40 Minnesota: 22 Green Bay: 26 Minnesota: 26
Houston: 34 Jacksonville: 10 Houston: 6 Jacksonville: 13
Kansas City: 27 San Diego: 9 Kansas City: 38 San Diego: 41
Carolina: 21 Miami: 16 Carolina: 20 Miami: 16
Pittsburgh: 25 Cleveland: 14 Pittsburgh: 27 Cleveland: 11
Chicago: 25 St. Louis: 23 Chicago: 21 St. Louis: 42
Baltimore: 13 NY Jets: 6 Baltimore: 19 NY Jets: 3
Oakland: 28 Tennessee: 9 Oakland: 19 Tennessee: 23
Indianapolis: 26 Arizona: 23 Indianapolis: 11 Arizona: 40
NY Giants: 53 Dallas: 38 NY Giants: 21 Dallas: 24
Denver: 27 New England: 13 Denver: 31 New England: 34

Monday Night Game

Madden Result   Actual Result  
San Francisco: 9 Washington:16 San Francisco: 27 Washington: 6
Gaming

The Army wants YOU … to play esports with soldiers

The U.S. Army is creating esports teams for games such as Overwatch, Fortnite, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, and League of Legends. The initiative looks to boost recruitment, after missing the mark for the first time since 2005.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'The Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘The Good Place’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in November, from 'The Witch’ to ‘Dracula’

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Photography

Get your Sagan on with 60 awe-inspiring photos of the final frontier

Few things instill a sense of wonder quite like the final frontier. The best space photos show off the beauty of Earth, our solar system, and the far corners of the universe. Here are our current favorites.
Computing

If the speed of AMD’s Radeon RX 590 doesn’t entice you, the game bundle will

AMD's Radeon RX 590 is a new video card that targets 1080p gaming at maximum detail. Starting at $280, it fills a gap between the Radeon RX 580 and the more expensive Radeon RX Vega. AMD says the new RX 590 can beat Nvidia's GTX 1060 Ti.
Gaming

These are the best Xbox One games available right now

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From 'Cuphead' to 'Halo 5,' the best Xbox One games offer something for everyone.
Gaming

PlayStation 4 celebrates fifth anniversary with ‘Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’ bundle

The PlayStation 4 is officially five years old today, November 15, and to celebrate the anniversary, Sony is offering a new console bundle that includes a free copy of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4.
Gaming

‘Hitman 2’ makes a target of the unkillable Sean Bean, but you’d better not miss

Famously mortal actor Sean Bean will be available to kill in Hitman 2 beginning November 20. He'll be in the game as an Elusive Target for two weeks and you'll only get one chance to take him out.
Gaming

Bug is turning ‘Fallout 76’ players into mutants even more terrifying than usual

A bug linked to the Power Armor gear in Fallout 76 appears to be turning players into bizarre naked mutants, complete with extremely long limbs that are more than a little unsettling.
Gaming

Your PlayStation 4 game library isn't complete without these games

Looking for the best PS4 games out there? Out of the massive crop of titles available, we selected the best you should buy. No matter what your genre of choice may be, there's something here for you.
Gaming

Tips for surviving the nuclear wasteland in 'Fallout 76'

Before running into nuclear wasteland with your Pip-Boy, take a moment to consider these Fallout 76 tips. From food and water to maintaining weapons and armor, here are the things all beginners should know.
Gaming

Find a fish and get your boogie on with Fortnite's week 8 challenge

The Fortnite season 6 week 8 challenges have arrived as we near the end of this spooky season. The big free challenge this week is the Fortnite fish trophy challenge where you need to dance with different fishes. Here are all of the…
Gaming

For the first time ever, PlayStation will be a no-show at E3

For the first time in the event's history, E3 2019 will not feature Sony or PlayStation. The massive event almost always features a lengthy press conference from Sony, often after all other major companies give theirs.
Deals

All the Best Target Black Friday deals for 2018

The mega-retailer opens its doors to the most competitive shoppers at 6 p.m. on Thursday, November 22, and signs indicate that the retailer means business this year. We've sifted through all of the deals, from consumer electronics to small…