Madden Ratings: Week 7 analysis, Week 8 predictions

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Hey, everybody, sorry for the delay in getting this column out to you. I had the greatest opportunity in the world. Yep, I had the chance to be the scoreboard operator in Denver on Thursday night. I know, I was pretty excited about it, too. But in the whirlwind, I went straight from the game to the airport, so I didn't get a chance to get any feedback about my performance. I'm just going to go ahead and assume everything went all right.

I mean, you would have to be some sort of a (expletive) to call out a person who works the scoreboard; especially if you're a multimillion-dollar star athlete. Am I right?

Oh, I forgot, it's Peyton Manning. When he called out the scoreboard operator, it was hilarious. If Tony Romo had called out the poor kid just trying to make a buck (and hey, Peyton, why do you assume it's a guy?), it would be the top story on SportsCenter. And heaven forbid if Cam Newton had done such a thing. We have been subjected to editorials for weeks about his poor leadership skills.

Wait, I have it. Can you imagine if Jay Cutler had called out the scoreboard operator? I'm telling you, social media would have collapsed on itself.

But it's Peyton Manning, so it's charming. Well, not to me. He's like that friend of a friend who gets invited along one night as you go to one of your favorite Mexican restaurants. Like Don Ramon's in Huntington Beach, Calif. And he spends a lot of time studying the menu like he's never been to a Mexican restaurant before. And then he ends up ordering a dish with a ton of modifiers because he's difficult. And then he ends up sending back his burrito because there was cilantro in it. He then makes a rude comment about the server's forehead, which is super weird. He then ends up making such a scene, you can no longer go back to that restaurant you love so much. I mean sure, the hardworking staff understands it's not you who was the problem here. But still, you feel that little bit of guilt by association. And your friend said he was a cool guy, but that all went out the window.

Yes, Peyton is that guy. The same guy who will yell at one of the hardworking associates at Target during Christmas because he had to wait an extra few minutes in line.

How are you people even fans of this guy? I just don't get it.

My classy response (other than my bravery on Twitter) was to put Madden on rookie and beat the Broncos by 72 points just because. And then I did a fake news conference where I thanked the scoreboard operator because I like to be good to people.

Let's get to the ratings.

Moving on up

Oh, (deity) damn it. Peyton Manning is now a 99 overall. Why does ratings czar Donny Moore hate me? Manning is just the third 99 overall on the game, joining Richard Sherman and J.J. Watt. Sherman and Watt are two people I found to be both charming and engaging. And I'm pretty confident neither one of them has shouted down the kid working the drive-thru window at Del Taco. Actually, Watt spent a semester working as a pizza delivery boy as he transferred to Wisconsin. He has that humble upbringing and it shows.

Some people grew up privileged because their dad played NFL football and it shows.

Also moving up was Romo to a 92 OVR, even though he's basically the same guy as Manning. (Well, other than calling out young kids trying to eke out a living.) And Sammy Watkins gets a two-point bump to 85 OVR.

Moving on down

Kirk Cousins got benched and he's down two points to 75 OVR. What happened here? I thought he was poised for the gig. Well, on the other side of the coin, Colt McCoy went up two points to a 75 OVR. Congratulations, Washington, that's your quarterback situation. You'd better ready your apologies to Robert Griffin III.

Marshawn Lynch is down a point to 95 OVR. He's had a huge workload in recent years, so I wonder how much the Seahawks can lean on him.

Brian Cushing took a two-point loss to 85 OVR. Oh, man, and the Texans defense had played so well to start the game at Pittsburgh. And then the unpleasantness happened.

Great Caesar's Ghost

I went to look up how far Ryan Fitzpatrick fell, and uh, I don't think he received a ratings decrease at all. And since Cushing took a ratings hit, I know Donny was watching. What gives, dude?

Six bold predictions for Sunday


EA Sports

6. With a Sunday off, Peyton will decide to take in a movie. The movie will be "Guardians of the Galaxy" (which I'm going to see on Friday night! Or, I just saw on Friday night! Depending on when you read this). At some point during the movie, Peyton will excuse himself to see the manager of the movie theater. Peyton will implore the manager to stop the movie so he can make an announcement. Peyton will then return to the auditorium, face the audience and reprimand everybody in the theater for laughing at the funny parts. Mostly because Peyton hates people who have fun.

Well, you can only have fun if he scripts it for you.

5. The Packers and Saints will play to a scoreless first quarter, which will lead a bunch of folks to tweet out, "Who could have seen this coming?" (And then you'll be all, "Wait, the NFL dork who writes about fantasy, Madden and Star Wars predicted something like this." But that's not the point.) And then the next thing you know, these teams combine for 70 points. Your fantasy team wins. Yes, I'm talking directly to you.

4. The New York Jets are going to surprise some people this week. As I wrote about Jeff Fisher in Like/Dislike, some coaches thrive when they've given up and play with house money, so to speak. This is where Rex Ryan is at right now. The Jets will feed off that and win this week. Percy Harvin will contribute. Remember, he's playing for a gig next year, too.

3. Cordarrelle Patterson will finally break out of his shell and have a great game for the Vikings. And then you'll all be super morose because you left him on the bench in your fantasy league.

2. The Jacksonville Jaguars will win their second consecutive game as they take down the hated Miami Dolphins. Blake Bortles will have his best game as a pro. And at some point in my life, I will be in that pool down there in the stadium. I just know it's going to happen.

1. Andrew Luck will throw five touchdown passes against the Steelers this week. A lot of folks are starting to believe in the Steelers again after they rallied to beat the Texans. But about the only things Luck and Fitzpatrick have in common are a) they're both bearded human males who throw with their right hands; b) they are NFL quarterbacks; and 3) that's it! So look for the Colts to win this one in a rout, which will now skew the conversation to, "Are the Steelers too old to compete?"

You can follow Adam Rank on Twitter @adamrank. Gamer tag: KickedBoar591

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