Madden predictions: Tannehill topples Tom Brady, Patriots

I love to play franchise mode (or dynasty for those of you who prefer the NCAA version), and sometimes I can get impetuous with my quarterbacks. In my current UNLV dynasty, I have developed a love-hate relationship with my fictional quarterbacks. Both are seniors, but still make some careless throws. So I will end up benching one of them for stretches.

And then it dawns on me that I'm a grown man (sort of) playing a video game and I should really have a better command of my emotions. But, then I see Mike Shanahan, and I feel so much better about myself. And then I tell my two fictional quarterbacks that if they don't watch themselves, they could be drafted by Shanahan when they are imported to Madden.

But seriously, Shanahan, what's the deal? I know Robert Griffin III's OVR has dropped steadily this season, but he's still much higher than Kirk Cousin's 75 OVR. Though, that is likely to change in the coming weeks.

Moving Up

Nick Foles threw his first interception of the year, so I guess he's not so perfect after all. But he did show some poise as he rallied the Eagles for a key win to remain in control of the NFC East. The Eagles might have a video game offense which seems more fiction than reality at times, but this was a pretty impressive performance from a Texas kid who went to school at Arizona.

This might be heresy to even suggest about former cover boy Calvin Johnson, but could Josh Gordon and Alshon Jeffery be ranked as high as Megatron next season? It's really not as outlandish as you would think.

Jeffery has the second-most receiving yards in the NFL since Week 4 (1,089), behind only ... Gordon who has had 1,254. The two face off against each other in Week 15. Well, they don't face off against each other because they play offense. But you get what I mean.

Moving Down

Nick Fairley took a deduction this week down to a 91 OVR. But how can anybody tell? It was nearly impossible to see anybody in that snowstorm in Philadelphia.

Trent Richardson had 88 total yards in Week 14, his highest total since he had 95 yards and a touchdown against the Raiders in Week 12 of 2012. Fortunately the Madden team still deducted a point from him. Yeah, buddy! Let's keep this moving down. I like this one. You really did well to ingratiate yourselves to me. In fact, I think I should cancel the next part of the column because, uh wait a minute ... oh no you didn't!

Great Caesar's Ghost

If you watch our segments on and NFL AM, you know we're huge fans of Albert Morris. And he took a dip this week as he lost a point in the rankings. Do you know how hard we worked to get him to be a 90? It took weeks. And after one bad game -- which wasn't even his fault -- and he's back to an 89.

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This is a guy who is driving a refurbished Mazda for crying out loud. And this is the way you repay him? After what's gone down in Washington, dude should have gained a point for what he's had to endure. This is an injustice.

Six Predictions for Sunday

  1. The Philadelphia Eagles will keep on rolling this week with another solid win. When you look at teams that could be equipped to take on the Seahawks in the NFC, the Eagles would pose an interesting challenge for Seattle.
  1. Remember that time Marc Trestman rushed Jay Cutler back into action against the Lions and it likely cost them a trip to the playoffs? That doesn't happen this time. Cutler is magnificent against the Browns and the Bears remain in the race for the playoffs! Alshon Jeffery has another huge statistical day, as does Josh Gordon, and the two continue to challenge Calvin Johnson for the top spot in the Madden ratings for receivers.
  1. Kirk Cousins is going to make a huge push for a Madden ratings increase as he has a fine outing against the Atlanta Falcons. Cousins leads the Redskins to a win. Much to the relief of the Redskins' brass, who shipped their first-round pick in 2014 to the St. Louis Football Club as part of a package for Robert Griffin III. You know, the guy who was shut down for the rest of the season.
  1. The Dallas Cowboys need a win to stay with the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC East. But it's Matty Flynn who leads the Packers to a win in AT&T (aka Cowboys) Stadium. Flynn becomes the first Packers quarterback since Don Majkowski in 1989 to lead Green Bay to a win in Dallas. Majkowski was an underrated Packers quarterback.
  1. The Seattle Seahawks get back on track as they absolutely destroy the New York Giants, 48-3. And after the game, Archie Manning will call out Pete Carroll for not being a gracious winner. And then Pete will shoot back, "Did Archie ever win anything?" And then Peyton Manning will take to the Denver airwaves and say, "Whoever wrote the narrative of my father not being able to win in New Orleans can stick it where the sun doesn't shine." And then nobody, and I mean NOBODY, will point out that Archie Manning did indeed have a losing record as a starting NFL quarterback. Because it's apparently against the NFL bylaws to ever point out when a Manning loses. Instead, the correct narrative is to blame those around the Mannings and not them. Because it could never be their fault, right?
  1. Ryan Tannehill will continue his torrid pace as he leads the Dolphins to an upset win over the New England Patriots. Tom Brady and the boys were fortunate enough to escape with a win in Week 14, but the magic is bound to run out. And once again, the Broncos will control their own destiny in the AFC. BTW, Tannehill remained at an 85 OVR. Use this as motivation, Ryan!

And One Prediction for Monday...

Matthew Stafford shows he loves to play indoors as he shakes off a poor outing in Philadelphia to lead the Lions to a convincing 31-21 over the Ravens. There will be no fourth quarter magic this time for Joe Flacco.

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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