Tonight's edition of "Thursday Night Football" features what should be an interesting matchup to kick off Week 6, as Eli Manning and the Giants look to avoid an 0-6 start, while the Bears will fight to keep pace in the competitive NFC North. So to help pass the time before kick-off, take a gander at the risers and fallers for the Madden Next Gen team after Week 5. 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!
Risers - Knock, Knock, Knocking on 90s door
Randall Cobb was an offensive Swiss Army Knife for the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, catching four passes for 35 yards and ripping off this impressive 67-yard run. Cobb was rewarded with an OVR bump up to 89, meaning he's roughly one more great performance away from joining the upper echelon of Madden receivers in the 90s.
T.Y. Hilton justifiably received the biggest OVR ratings increase, jumping two points to 81 OVR after torching the Seattle Seahawks secondary for 140 yards receiving and two touchdowns. Hilton's path is a little reminiscent of Cobb last year, as he became a more reliable - and dangerous - weapon for Aaron Rodgers as the season went on. If Hilton follows the same path, we can expect his rating to be knocking on 90s door as well by the end of the season. Lastly, Geno Smith also earned himself a two point OVR boost for his spectacular winning effort on the road over the Atlanta Falcons. Sure, Geno's defense helped him out and continuously put the ball in his hands, but Geno completed 75 percent of his passes with three touchdowns and zero turnovers. For that, the Madden ratings gods saw fit to lift Geno up from a 74 OVR to a 76 OVR.
Missing in action
The Week 5 bye hit the Next Gen team hard, as five players weren't in action on Sunday - Alfred Morris, Ryan Kerrigan, Doug Martin, Kyle Rudolph, and Antonio Brown. Stephan Gilmore and Casey Hayward both remained sidelined with injuries as well. Despite lackluster performances in the stat sheets, Dion Jordan and Bobby Wagner both avoided a dip in their rating, staying at 78 overall and 88 overall respectively.
As we predicted in the Week 5 recap, Colin Kaepernick took yet another ratings tumble. Kap started the season on the cusp of becoming an "elite" Madden QB, but after four straight underwhelming performances he's slipped into the middle of the pack with the likes of Matt Schaub (87 OVR) and Jay Cutler (86 OVR). Adding insult to injury, Kap is now two points below former teammate Alex Smith (88 OVR). After posting just 15 yards rushing on seven attempts, Lamar Miller slid back down to a 75 OVR rating. Looks as if the Madden ratings gods will need to see a lot more consistent production to bump Miller up to where many of us thought he'd be this season.
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 Indianapolis Colts and San Diego Chargers.
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