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Madden Next Gen predictions: A tale of two Colts

Nerd confession; I've often created myself as a quarterback on Madden and inserted myself on to a team. Truth be told, one year I created myself in the college game, played four years at Arizona State, imported myself to Madden (I think this might have been Madden 2005) and then started tearing it up for the Cleveland Browns.

This isn't something I'm proud of, but I became obsessed with breaking the single-season touchdown record. Which, at the time, was 49. So I would often throw the ball when I was near the goal line. Even if I had a chance to run for a touchdown, I would stop short and make sure I threw a touchdown. Not only did this keep Antonio Gates happy (yes, I engineered a blockbuster trade with the Chargers to bring Gates back home and let him wear his No. 44 he wore as a hoops player), but I was headed toward the record.

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Of course, I broke the record rather easily, like Barry Bonds breaking the home run record. But I swear, the only foreign substance I was using was Coors Light.

But I bring this story up because I noticed Nick Foles could have rushed for a touchdown last week against Oakland. He stopped short and threw a touchdown pass to Riley Cooper instead. Foles would tie the single-game record with seven on the day.

A young Adam Rank out of ASU had the single-game mark of 10 in one of my dynasty games, but of course, nobody recognized that.

Again, back to the point, Foles had a huge ratings spike this week up to a 80 (OVR), which is an increase of five points.

MOVING UP

Another quarterback had a huge rise this week. Case Keenum looks like the future of the Houston Texans after he threw for a ton of yards against the Colts. Keenum is up six points to 73 OVR, thanks to a five-point gain in AWR and THA. Keenum's point jump is the second-highest of the week, right behind Marcus Cannon, who improved nine points.

Aaron Dobson had a big game in the Patriots' win over the Steelers and he's up to a 74 OVR.

T.Y. Hilton has become the man in Indianapolis and he's up five points to an 84 OVR, after much pleading for the Next Gen team.


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Patrick Peterson is again headed in the right direction. After a one-point dip last week, he's up two to a 91 OVR. /p>

Antonio Brown wears the No. 88, the same number Lynn Swann wore for the Steelers. Brown got a two-point jump this week and his OVR now matches his uni-number, 88.

Riley Cooper is up two points to a 73. Madden should do a thing where Cooper is a 65 when Michael Vick is the quarterback, but a 99 when Foles is the signal-caller. Seriously, look at the numbers. Cooper averages 23.1 yards-per-catch when Foles is under center. And six of his 10 career touchdowns have been thrown by Foles. We need this realism.

Cooper's numbers also remind me of the way I locked in on Larry Fitzgerald every time I played. (Again, I completed many blockbuster trades.)

MOVING DOWN

We all need to apologize to the Cleveland Browns organization. Admit it, you made jokes about the Browns when they traded Trent Richardson earlier this year. (Well, not you. But one of your friends made jokes.) Richardson might be one of the biggest busts in the NFL right now. He's been a bust for two teams. Actually, the Browns can't really consider him a bust because they recouped a No. 1 pick for him. However, the Colts have to be kind of bumming right now. Richardson lost two points this week and he's down to an 83.

Ray Rice is down three points to an 87 OVR. Incidentally, three points is what you can expect from Rice on your fantasy team, too.

Nick Fairley lost two points this week to go from 90 to 88. I have nothing funny to add here.

GREAT CAESAR'S GHOST

Mike Tolbert is a 94. That's right, he's a 94. Matt Forte is a 94. Are you trying to tell me these two guys are the same? All right, they are not. Because Tolbert is listed as a fullback, but this is (expletive) crazy, right?

GREAT CAESAR'S GHOST: PART II

Warren Sapp said Ryan Tannehill was going to match Dan Marino's Dolphins mark of more than 5,000 passing yards, the one the Hall of Famer (Marino, not Sapp) set in 1984. That won't happen. But Tannehill is up to an 84 right now. That's got to be the same, right?

SIX PREDICTIONS FOR SUNDAY

6. The Buccaneers will beat the Dolphins this week. Oh wait, they play on Monday night. Let me start this again.

6. (Again) In a two-week span against the Raiders, Nick Foles and Eli Manning will have combined for eight touchdown passes. Wait, that's the way we always sell things for the Manning family. But the Giants win, the Cowboys and Eagles lose, which means the G-Men inch closer in the NFC East race.

5. Three quarterbacks have thrown 20 touchdown passes this season. Two of them face off when Drew Brees and Tony Romo go head-to-head. The duo will combine for 10 touchdown passes. The Cowboys and Saints will combine for 100 points, too.

4. Peyton Manning has a losing record against just four quarterbacks (minimum five starts). Philip Rivers is one of those quarterbacks, as he's gone 4-3 against Manning. Make that 5-3 after this week.

3. The Jaguars will be far more competitive with the Titans than they deserve to be, as they hang closely with Jake Locker and company. But Locker will throw three second-half touchdowns to pull away.

2. The Carolina Panthers earn more respect in a close victory over the San Francisco 49ers than they have achieved in wins over some of the NFL's curtain jerkers. How Damien Sandow of them.

1. Three of the biggest offensive weapons in the NFL will be in Chicago this week in Forte, Reggie Bush and Calvin Johnson. The game will be decided by Kris Durham and Alshon Jeffery with the Bears taking the game.

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 Miami Dolphins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

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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