Madden predictions: Welcome to the spotlight, Geno Smith


Here are a couple of things I didn't expect to hear about the Jets when the 2013 NFL season started. The first is "Jets win." Seriously. If you would have told me a New York team was going to start the season 0-6, I would have thought it was the New York Jets.

And if I was as wisenheimer, I would have guessed Buffalo Bills if you gave me another crack at a New York team to open the season 0-6.

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So there's that. I also didn't expect to talk much about the Jets in the Madden ratings updates. Well, at least not positively. But here we are. Jets QB Geno Smith received a two-point bump in his rating this week, and he's currently at 76.

This is good news for Jets fans and those masochists who like to use the Jets because they don't want to use any team with any true offensive weapons. No, I'm serious. There's a guy in Wales I like to play against from time-to-time and he's so good, he will use the Jets just to prove his might.

So congratulations, Geno. New York and Wales celebrate your recent boost.


A trio of receivers have moved up in the ratings. T.Y. Hilton (81), Terrance Williams (73) and Alshon Jeffery (80) all received a bump this week. And thank goodness. We asked for a Hilton increase after he crushed the Legion of Boom in Indianapolis last week.

Jeffery came back to Earth a bit on Thursday night as Brandon Marshall had two touchdowns in the Bears' win over the Giants on NFL Network. (Expect Marshall to move up next week.) And Williams likely won't be able to capitalize because Miles Austin will return to the Cowboys this week. Boy, guys sure do heal in a hurry when somebody who takes their spot goes out and excels.

But expect Hilton to continue to move up, as he looks like he will soon take the torch from Reggie Wayne, who of course was first given it from Marvin Harrison.


If you've followed me on "NFL Fantasy LIVE," you know I was skeptical of Tom Brady as we headed into the season. Not that Brady had slipped. But he looked more like the early Tom Brady who won Super Bowls with a merely anonymous cast of receivers, and not the guy who broke records with Wes Welker, Randy Moss, Rob Gronkowski and others.

Brady had his touchdown streak end against the Cincinnati Bengals last week and now he takes a hit in his Madden rating, too. Brady is down a point to a 95. So it's not like he fell off the face of the planet. But it's significant.


Matt Schaub received a four-point slide down to an 83. Which even then, an 83 seems incredibly generous. If the Madden programmers had a sense of humor, Schaub would have moved down six points to represent all of the pick-six interceptions he's thrown. Even then, a point for each consecutive week he's thrown a pick-six might have been a more subtle way to go. Well played, Madden folks. Well played.


6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookie quarterback Mike Glennon will have more passing yards than Matthew Stafford this week. The Eagles can't seem to stop anybody. The Browns certainly can. This might not be a fair fight if Megatron is out for a second consecutive week. But Glennon is my guy this week. I'm even forced to start him on a few fantasy teams.

5. Andy Luck will throw for 496 yards against the San Diego Chargers on Monday night. A lot of my friends don't like me using the Next Gen team when we play (crybabies), so I typically take the Seahawks when I play. But now I'm going to start using the Colts because I love using Luck. He's going up against the Chargers, who have given up a lot of yards this year.

4. Josh Freeman will get into the game for the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday. You can't pay him all of that money and not have him get into the game. Thank you for stopping by, Matt Cassel.

3. Not content with 99 points last week, the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins combine for 121 points on "Sunday Night Football." Neither team particularly cares for defense, so why not? Oh yeah, because we all expect it. Watch, this game will be 13-6 at halftime and fantasy enthusiasts everywhere will be cursing the TV.

2. All of you who have panicked about A.J. Green are about to be rewarded. The Bills have a very generous secondary. The only team who seems worse against the pass? The Philadelphia Eagles. Which leads me to this ...

1. You know those games where everybody thinks it's going to be a blowout and then we're shocked when the underdog makes it a competitive contest? Not happening with the Jaguars and the Broncos. Denver wins this one in a route. Honestly, if you need a quarterback to win a meaningless game in October, there is nobody I would rather have than Peyton Manning. Now the playoffs? That's a difference story. But when it's a 5-0 team against an 0-5 team, there is no better quarterback to have than Manning. There is no quarterback who excels more in these "garbage-time" games than Manning. This is tailor-made for him. In fact, I predict he goes 33-for-34 for 472 yards and six touchdowns. In the first half. His lone miss is a Wes Welker drop. And then Manning will hold a grudge against Welker for the rest of the year.

Don't forget 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.

Did you know that Adam Rank won last year's Expert's League title? Oh that's right, it's like the only thing he ever talks about. Well congratulations, Rank. You finally did something. What have you done for us lately? Let's worry about 2013 and stop living in the past. Typical Lakers fan, am I right? Oh, if you found this useful (as if) check him out on the latest "Dave Dameshek Football Program". And follow him on Twitter, please. He's taking us to lunch if he gets 17 more Twitter followers today. And we only got 15 the last time, so step up fantasy enthusiasts!



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