Todd Gurley proving he deserves higher 'Madden' rating


One of my favorite things to do in Madden was when one of my friends would complain about his team, and how nobody could win with the Buccaneers (or whoever had the bad offense at the time). And then you'd start the next game, pick that team and still beat him. It was the best. And it's one thing to do that for all of your college buddies, playing Madden '04 instead of, you know, going to work that morning. But it's quite another to do it on the grand stage.

Because Sean McVay is basically doing that right now with the Los Angeles Rams. Mere months after Jeff Fisher thought he couldn't win with guys like Jared Goff and Todd Gurley, McVay has come in and made the Rams the most exciting Rams offense since Norm Van Brocklin was the team's quarterback (Google it, kids). And it's pretty fun to watch.

What's funny here is if your friend were humbled in this way, they would kind of slink out of the room and you wouldn't see them for at least a week. The last thing they would do is ask for another turn. Which is what Fisher is doing right now as he's let people know of his interest in returning to coaching. Uh, sure coach. Like at some point, you need to let the dream die. I mean, I would like to let all casting directors know of my interest in being in Star Wars Episode IX. But I feel I have a better chance than Fisher has of making his dream come true. Or at least I hope. (If the Bears hire him, I'm buying $300 worth of Jaguars gear on

Sorry, I didn't mean to veer off into this Fisher-bashing and instead I wanted to praise Todd Gurley, who has looked like an MVP candidate this season. Gurley has 1,817 scrimmage yards and 17 touchdowns this season. Partly because in addition to being a boss runner, he has 54 receptions like he's a modern version of LaDainian Tomlinson (who might be the best running back I've ever seen next to Walter Payton). I mean Gurley did have 43 receptions in 2016, so it's not like he can't catch. But his yards-per-reception have gone from 7.6 to 11.7. So he's getting better receptions. And man, I don't know what his rating is at the moment, I just know it's not high enough. Unless it's 101. Then it will be high enough. But he is the most-dynamic player in the game right now. And really, how about throwing him that MVP vote as well?

Here are some other players who could use a boost in Madden heading into this week:

Mark Ingram is another guy who I feel hasn't been given enough due this year. Normally when you see guys in a running back-by-committee, neither is able to quite reach their potential. Ingram has thrived with Alvin Kamara pushing him. And in fact, I would suggest both are better when the two guys are both playing. I know it's weird. Ingram had 151 total yards last week and a pair of touchdowns. He's on top of his game.

And don't look now, but my friends down in Duval County, Florida are headed to the playoffs!

Congratulations to Jacksonville! I'm excited for you guys. And how about Blake Bortles? One of the best quarterbacks in the game right now. All right, at least you have to give him credit for how well he's played over the last couple of weeks. He threw for 326 and three touchdowns against the Texans. Lock him up to a long-term extension! (Well, maybe I'm getting ahead of myself here). The most important thing I've noticed about Bortles is he's making great throws. Putting his receivers in good positions to catch the ball. And he's doing it without my guy Allen Robinson.

Speaking of quarterbacks, how about my dude Nick Foles? A pretty great game against the Giants on Sunday. The four touchdowns were indeed impressive. But he also looked like a different player. Jason Pierre-Paul came at him untouched on one play, and Foles side-stepped that dude like a Jedi and made the throw. I was pretty impressed.

All right, that's going to do it for me for this week. Hey, please make sure to check out the Madden Championships this week. I'm hosting the pregame show for the championship on Friday night on Mixer. We've got an exciting field, with some young guns who are playing really well. So please, check it out.

Until then, remember to hit the B button.



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