Week 5 of the NFL season kicks off tonight with the "Thursday Night Football" matchup between the Buffalo Bills and the Cleveland Browns, which now carries much more excitement than originally billed thanks to the emergence of Brian Hoyer and EJ Manuel's rise a rookie signal-caller. Before we sit down in front of the TV, however, it's time to take a look at the latest "Madden NFL 25" ratings for the Next Gen Team. The Next Gen team is made up of 25 of the brightest young stars in the NFL who are relying on you to vote for them and increase their Madden rating so they can be crowned the Madden Next Gen Champ!
Prince Amukamara finally made his presence known on the Next Gen team by beating Dwayne Bowe at the line of scrimmage and intercepting Alex Smith's pass. Amukamara was the first player to intercept Smith all season. Amukamara was awarded a two point bump in his overall ranking for his effort in blanketing Bowe all afternoon, even if the Giants couldn't come up with the win.
Not to be outdone by his cornerbacking counterpart, Patrick Peterson intercepted rookie Mike Glennon twice in his first ever start, which was enough for the Madden ratings gods to finally bump him into the 90s, where he deserves to be. For the Redskins, Ryan Kerrigan continued his quest to reach the 90s by notching two sacks and a crucial forced fumble against the Raiders. Kerrigan was bumped from an 88 to an 89, which means if he performs again in Week 5 the 90s are likely right around the corner. Likewise, Antonio Brown turned in another stellar performance for the Steelers when they faced the Vikings across the pond. Brown caught 12 passes for 88 yards receiving and was subsequently bumped to an 88 overall. Coincidence? Not likely.
Missing in action
The Green Bay Packers and Carolina Panthers were on their bye week, which meant Randall Cobb, Casey Hayward, and Luke Kuechly stayed at their respective rankings. While Te'o returned to action after nursing an injury for the first three weeks of the season, he didn't make much of an impact in the stat sheets in the Chargers 30-21 win over the Cowboys, registering just three tackles. For all his flash in college, Tavon Austin has yet to bring the same results to the NFL. Austin had just two catches for six yards, and lost a fumble in Week 4. Luckily for him, his Next Gen rating didn't take a hit as he stayed flat at a 77 overall.
The Madden ratings gods giveth, and the Madden ratings gods taketh away. Just one week after Ryan Tannehill received a two point bump to an 84 overall, he was docked back to an 83 after a rough outing against the Saints on Monday Night. To be fair, Tannehill did lose a fumble on a scramble and threw three costly interceptions, but his offensive line didn't do him any favors allowing four sacks on the night. Week 4 wasn't kind to the rest of the Next Gen quarterbacks either, as both Geno Smith and Colin Kaepernick saw their overall ratings drop a point. Even though Kaepernick threw two touchdowns in a winning effort on "Thursday Night Football" over their division rival St. Louis Rams, he was uneven for much of the night and for that his rating took a hit. Smith, on the other hand, should be thankful his rating didn't tumble farther down after what was easily the roughest outing of his brief NFL career. Smith threw two interceptions, lost two fumbles, and was sacked five times (one of which led to Karl Klug's first career touchdown). Laslty, Kyle Rudolph and Doug Martin each fell a point after lackluster performances on Sunday. Rudulph managed just two catches for six yards, while Marting had just 61 total yards from scrimmage, averaging an abysmal 1.7 yards per carry on the day. Both will look to rebound heading into Week 5.
Check back tomorrow for Adam Rank's reactions/predictions piece for the upcoming slate of games on Sunday, and be sure to vote for the "Madden NFL 25" Next Gen champ! Voting for this week will open after the Monday night game between the New York Jets and Atlanta Falcons.
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