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Madden predictions: Trent Richardson and bolo ties

I should be the next coach of the Cleveland Browns.

I know that seems strange because nobody would like to coach the Cleveland Browns. To me this is just silly, the Browns have one of the richest traditions in the league with multiple NFL and AAFC titles to their credit. The fans are awesome. Ohio is a pretty cool place, too. And if you want to bring football into it, too, you have Joe Thomas, Joe Haden, Jordan Cameron and a bunch of a Pro Bowlers. Oh yeah, and Josh Gordon. It's a great gig! Why does nobody seem to want it?

Adam Rank thinks he has what it takes to run the Cleveland Browns.
Adam Rank thinks he has what it takes to run the Cleveland Browns.

I'd like to put my hat into the ring. Or, my Xbox controller, if you will.

I hope you don't mind me saying, but I have built a rather impressive coaching resume on my Xbox. I recently rebooted my NCAA dynasty starting as the UCLA offensive coordinator. After I helped lead Brett Hundley to the Heisman Trophy in back-to-back seasons, I took over my kayfabe alma mater Arizona State and have been successful. But now, it seems like the time to make the jump to the NFL.

I know many of you might think it would be foolish for the Browns to just hand me the keys to the franchise if my only experience is as a gamer. But let me put it to you this way, Romeo Crennel has spent his whole life in the league and was he able to translate that into being a successful coach? I mean, the Browns have hired "football coaches" for the past decade and what has it gotten them? Think about it.

If the Browns are still unconvinced, I get it. You need more proof. So, that's exactly what I did. I fired up a brand-new dynasty as the Browns and got to work.

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Funny story, I tried to make the 2013 as true-to-life as possible. I offered Trent Richardson to the Indianapolis Colts for a first-round pick and was told Indy wanted more in return than just Richardson. If only the Colts had followed the advice of Madden 25. The Colts did, however, bite on a Richardson for T.Y. Hilton trade. Now, I have Gordon, Hilton and Julian Edelman as my top three receivers. Yes, you read that correctly, Julian Edelman. He was a free agent in the game.

Speaking of free agents, I also noticed Knowshon Moreno and Chuck Clay were also available. I picked them up immediately. Moreno will become my top runner and Clay can be involved with some New England Patriots-like two tight end sets with my BFF Jordan Cameron. Of course, the ratings for Moreno, Clay and Edelman are low, for now. But once I hit the updates, I'm golden I tell you. Golden!

Seriously, the Browns might want to act swiftly if they want to get me. I might become a pretty hot commodity soon. The season on my dynasty hasn't started yet, but I figure it's just a matter of time before I'm going to be getting free drinks at the Winking Lizard for leading the Browns back to prominence.

Some might say the Browns would lose credibility if the team hired a gamer to run the franchise. But yeah, that ship has long sailed. Call me World Party, then.

Moving Up

Some quick business on some of the guys who have moved up the ratings. The previously-mentioned Hilton had his OVR move up to 86, thanks to small two-point boost in CTH (89). NaVorro Bowman had a huge performance at the end of the season, and his OVR is 96. Danny Woodhead is up to an 85 OVR. Nick Foles has been one of the most improved players of the season and his OVR is up to an 87.

Moving Down

Remember when the Dallas Cowboys coaches said there wouldn't be much of a drop off with Kyle Orton as the starter in Dallas? So much for that. After watching that season finale, Orton lost two points down to a 75. The biggest loss was in the AWR, which makes sense because Orton made a number of questionable decisions which really cost the Cowboys.

Six Predictions for the Divisional Round

6. I'm just about ready to predict the New Orleans Saints in an upset here. However, I predicted the Saints would win the Super Bowl way back in August. So really, the only smart thing to do here is to hedge my predictions. I'll say the Seahawks win because either this prediction will be dead nuts, or my Super Bowl prediction will still be in play.

5. The Patriots are another noodle scratcher. One of the big-time teams is going to lose this weekend. The Patriots scare me because everybody seems universally convinced the Patriots are going to win this game. And this is just the kind of game New England could easily lose. That being said, the Patriots will find a way to prevail in this one. Ross Tucker said on the "Dave Dameshek Football Program" this week the Patriots are so great at taking away your best player. In this case, we'll say Hilton (who still plays for the Colts in this universe). Do you think Trent Richardson is going to rise up this week to take down the Patriots? Nuttier things have happened in the league, but I'm not about to sign off on that.

4. The Carolina Panthers stun the crowd in Charlotte when the message board, typically reserved for Ric Flair and his "Woooooooooooooo," is instead preempted by a message from the Nature Boy's long-time nemesis, Sting. Please, please, please Carolina, make this happen!

3. The Panthers play inspired football, for a half. But ultimately the San Francisco 49ers are too much for the Panthers to handle. I know nobody has respected the Panthers this season. Riverboat Ron has been a ton of fun. However, when push comes to shove, do you want Rivera or Jim Harbaugh? Plus, Steve Smith might not play. This is going to be the lone blowout of the weekend.

2. Peyton Manning has had the most prolific regular season in league history from a quarterback. But we know the playoffs have long been his Achilles heel. The numbers all suggest Manning will once again be one-and-done in the playoffs. And who am I to go against the numbers? Everybody is pointed in the San Diego Chargers favor. Who doesn't want to see a rematch of the 2007 AFC Championship Game when Philip Rivers played with a busted knee? That's the matchup everybody has been clamoring for. Football enthusiasts everywhere want to see this matchup!

1. And Philip Rivers' bolo tie will be epic. That's not so much a prediction. It's preordained.

Here's me on Twitter. Hit me up and I'll give you my gamer tag and we can play a game some time.

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