Madden Ratings: Week 1 Analysis, Week 2 Predictions

October 3, 1993. I'm 13 years old. An eighth grader at Southwest Middle School in Orlando, Fla. More on the four feet than five feet tall side of things. Rocking a pair of KJ's Converse Run N'Slam kicks and a John Starks #3 jersey. Still crushing on Kelly Kapowski, now in her college years.

On this weekend though, a weekend where "Cool Runnings" opens in theaters, my beloved Jets blow a 21-point lead capped off by Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Eric Allen's 94-yard pick six late in the fourth quarter. The Jets lose 35-30. A future preview of dramatic losses to come. But the significance of this day isn't this game. Honestly, I barely remember it.

It's another match-up. A dull blowout where John Elway and the Denver Broncos dominate Jack Trudeau and the Indianapolis Colts35-13. This was the last time these teams played each other where a guy named Peyton Manning wasn't involved. He was a senior in high school at the time. Trevor Siemian wasn't even 2 years old.

Now, let's get to this week's ratings...

Moving On Up

It's not just that the dang melody of the Jimmy Garoppolo "Hamilton" parody keeps playing on repeat in my head. Or I keep thinking of the actress from "The Truth About Cats and Dogs." Or that his first career start numbers eclipse the G.O.A.T. he has replaced. But Garoppolo has become America's new boy wonder with his Week 1 performance against a stacked Arizona Cardinals defense. He earned a two-point bump to a 74 OVR.

I'm fan of any player who admits to loving "Pretty Little Liars" and who torches the Oakland Raiders for 143 yards and two touchdowns. Brandin Cooksloves quinoa and long touchdown runs. His 2015 year was stellar and 2016 only promises to be more brilliant. Cooks went up a point to 84 OVR. Don't be surprised if this is just the first in many bumps in his rating this season.

A.J. Green is the most physically talented wide receiver in the NFL since Megatron retired. Plus, he juggles. His Week 1 pièce de résistance against the New York Jets, which aged Darrell Revis like Melisandre in front of a mirror, raised him a point to a 94 OVR.

Moving On Down

After this mediocre performance against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Kirk Cousins is now 0-9 when he throws two interceptions or more in a game. Hence his two-point drop to an 82 OVR. I'm sure Cousins won't like that. Yeah, I apologize for that one. I couldn't resist.

Ouch. Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Terrance Williams deserved this admonishment after catching a ball and failing to go out of bounds to stop the clock near the end of the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys game. He also lost a point to slip to 78 OVR. That's being kind.

Aaron Donald is one of the best defensive tackles in the league, so his conniption Monday night against the San Francisco 49ers was uncharacteristic, but understandable if you saw even a minute of a game that made "Suicide Squad" seem tolerable. Donald dipped a point to 96 OVR.

MJD's Madden Hot Take

Six bold predictions for Week 2

Norman Madden

EA Sports

6. It's true that Antonio Brown pranced around the Washington secondary on Monday night when he tallied 126 receiving yards and scored two touchdowns. Yet, for some reason or another, Josh Norman was not his primary defender. Norman's been ostracized as one-sided, but he's been a shutdown corner when playing Dez Bryant. Facing each other last Thanksgiving, Bryant had only one catch for just six yards when targeted five times against Norman. Look for more of the same Sunday.

5.A new coach took a quarterback in his mid-twenties who was labeled a bust and transformed him into a solid top 10 player at his position. Yes, I could be talking about Alex Smith and Jim Harbaugh, but I'm talking about Blaine Gabbert and Chip Kelly. Against the Carolina Panthers, look for Gabbert to throw for three touchdowns and earn a 49ers win.

4. The Three Musketeers, Three Stooges, Three Amigos are just some of the great trios in history. Add the New York Giants receivers to that list. Odell Beckham Jr., Victor Cruz and Sterling Shepard are the Destiny's Child of the NFL. Against the New Orleans Saints, they will each record 100-yard receiving games. No team has done that since the New England Patriots in 2013. (H/T to NFL Research team for that anecdote.)

3.Lane Kiffin's predecessor at USC, a gentleman by the name of Pete Carroll, returns to his old Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum stomping grounds where he went 49-5 as the Trojans head coach. On Monday, he'll be 49-6 and USC fans will continue to use their mediocrity as a false sense of superiority.

2. Last Sunday, the Miami Dolphins almost pulled off the upset in Seattle. This Sunday, in Foxborough, they'll finish the job. Ryan Tannehill will throw for 300 yards and Arian Foster will run for 100 yards.

1.Andrew Luck is the highest-paid quarterback in the NFL and Trevor Siemian has a degree from Northwestern and one start to his name. Luck will be chased around by the Broncos defense and Siemian will pass for more yards and touchdowns. And yes, we all age. Peyton Manning is now 40. Only Kelly Kapowski doesn't.

Amar Shah is a Digital Features Editor for You can follow him on Twitter @amarshahism.

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