I avoid sports bars for the most part because of Raiders fans. And while Raiders fans have been docile in recent years because their team has been incredibly bad, I've seen a lot more Raiders jerseys around town recently. The reason? The Raiders are getting closer to the playoffs.
I'm serious, take a look the latest Playoff Picture on NFL.com.
Now, I was able to fend off the early-season Raiders revival talk because Terrelle Pryor. I mean, even the most optimistic of Raiders fans could see through that charade. But we might have a serious issue here with this Matt McGloin business.
Dude was great against the Texans as he threw for 197 yards and three touchdowns against a former Super Bowl contender. Maybe I'm too close to ground zero of Raider Nation here in Culver City, but he was pretty good. I'm not the only one who noticed.
He's also one of the biggest risers in Madden 25, too. McGloin received a five-point increase to 73 and now he's got the Titans this weekend. Tennessee has been tough on quarterbacks this season, so we'll see if this ratings increase and praise here in California is warranted.
Bobby Rainey was the waiver-wire pickup of the week in fantasy football recently, and he's got quite a boost in Madden, too. Rainey has had solid games against the Dolphins and Falcons (consider the teams here) and he's been rewarded with a five-point increase to a 74 OVR. His BCVision (+11 to 85) and JKM (+8 to 84) were the biggest beneficiaries.
Marquise Goodwin moved up five points to a 72 OVR. But he now carries a 99 (+5) ACC, which simply amazes me. But if you've seen the dude move, that number might not be high enough. His quarterback EJ Manuel is up three points to a 78 OVR.
We have the wrong guy on the Madden Next Gen team. We should have Donald Brown up there. He's up two points to a 78 OVR. I don't know if Trent Richardson could get a boost in motivational speaking, but that would be kind of cool.
Mike Glennon is up two points to a 76 OVR. Hmm, I still feel this is a little bit too low, but I'll roll with it.
Delanie Walker has become a solid tight end option in recent weeks, as he's scored a receiving touchdown in three of his last four games. And he's up two points to an 86 OVR.
Ray Rice improved a point to 86 OVR. Enjoy this while it lasts. Rice will be back to ruining your fantasy seasons going up against the Jets this week. No team has been tougher on running backs than the Jets.
Matt Ryan is down two points to 87, but you have to figure the skid will continue after his game against the Saints on Thursday night. But seriously, is it his fault all of his receivers have been hurt recently?
GREAT CAESAR'S GHOST
Scott Tolzien improved three points to move to a 71 OVR. And on one hand I don't really have a huge problem with it because he played well. But must we continue to reward the Packers here? If you think about it, the Packers have gone from Brett Favre to Aaron Rodgers since the early 1990s. I'm not really losing any sleep about this team having to suffer from some shoddy quarterback play as of late. In fact, it's been a long time coming for this organization. So is there any way we can knock Tolzien down a few pegs just to keep it sporting?
GREAT CAESAR'S GHOST II
Carson Palmer moved up to an 84 OVR. This, I have no problem with. He earned it with a huge win over the Jaguars. But his AWR went up a point. What exactly could he have learned after he played against the Jaguars? This is a great teaching experience? Unless he went to the Lynyrd Skynyrd museum, I'm stumped at what he could have possibly learned.
SIX PREDICTIONS FOR SUNDAY
6. Colin Kaepernick and RG3 have regressed statistically this year. Their completion percentage, passer rating and rushing yards-per-game are all down. But before we bury Kaepernick, realize his four losses have come to teams with a combined 32-9 record. Kaepernick will throw for 287 yards and run for 112 yards in huge win for the 49ers on Monday night.
5. The New York Giants will knock off the Dallas Cowboys this week and inch even closer to first place in the NFC East. Jerry Jones will say, "Remember when I said Jason Garrett is coming back next year? I was kind of kidding about that." Eli Manning throws for more yards and touchdowns than any quarterback this week. Any quarterback!
4. The Steelers hang on to beat the Browns this week, effectively ending the postseason hopes for Cleveland. As weird as it seems to say this, Browns fans will always wonder what could have happened if Brian Hoyer wasn't injured. Seriously, what could have happened!
1. Big Game Alert: The Jacksonville Jaguars will rise up and … what? You expected a prediction on this week's game of the year? Fine.
Tom Brady will throw for six touchdowns. Peyton Manning, whose passer rating in cold weather is in the 70s, will again fail in a big-game atmosphere. And the Patriots will hand the Broncos their second loss of the season.
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!