Skip to main content

Madden Ratings: Week 5 analysis, Week 6 predictions

A wise man once said, "Revenge is a dish that is best served cold." (Well, that and borscht).

Actually, that wise man was Khan Noonien Singh, or KHAAAAAAAAN as Captain James T. Kirk so lovingly called him. That line was said in "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan," and Week 6 of the NFL season should be referred to as Khan Appreciation Week because it's chock-full of revenge games.

First, we've got the Arizona Cardinals visiting the Pittsburgh Steelers, who are fresh off their Monday night saved-by-the-Le'Veon-Bell win in San Diego. It's a rematch of Super Bowl XLIII, except this time, the red birds have former Steelers offensive coordinator Bruce Arians on their side.

We also have a rematch of Super Bowl XLVII out in California between the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers, although it won't get nearly as much attention now that Jim Harbaugh's khakis have taken their talents to the beaches of Lake Michigan. But, hey, we've got Jim Tomsula and his meat sweats to root for now.

And then we have the Sunday night showdown between the New England Patriots and the Indianapolis Colts, the team who blew the whistle on the Patriots and unleashed the whirlwind that was Deflategate. Bill Belichick and Tom Brady have had this game circled on their calendar for months. Remember, too, that had Brady's suspension not been overturned this would've been his first game back.

So grab yourself a hearty bowl of borscht (don't forget your dollop of sour cream) and enjoy the slate of revenge games.

Now, on to the ratings.

Moving On Up

What a find Dion Lewis has been. Only the Patriots could take a guy who slipped through the fingers of three other teams and turn him into a genuine playmaker. Lewis is up three points this week to 79 OVR.

The Red Rifle, Andy Dalton, has thrown 11 touchdowns and just two interceptions this season. He led a gutsy fourth quarter comeback last week at home against the Seahawks and helped his team secure the win in overtime. That was good enough to get him a two-point bump up to 87 OVR.

I'm starting to suspect that Charles Woodson's water bottle is secretly the wooden grail from "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade." Seriously, this guy is an ageless wonder at 39 years old. He intercepted fellow 39-year-old Peyton Manningtwice last week. He's up one point to 90 OVR. Think about that: a 39-year-old defensive player has a 90 OVR. Amazing.

Moving On Down

You've got to feel bad for Drew Brees. The former Super Bowl winning quarterback is doing his best to keep his team afloat, but it is clear that a rebuilding project is under way in the Big Easy. The team can no longer rely solely on Brees to carry this team. He is down three points this week to 90 OVR. Hopefully, he has better luck Thursday night against Atlanta.

Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten is down two points this week to 92 OVR. He hasn't had a touchdown catch since his two in Week 1. But you can't really blame him for his lack of scoring. What would your numbers look like if you had Brandon Weeden throwing your way? Exactly.

The Polish Cannon, Sebastian Janikowski, missed two key field goals last week in the Oakland Raiders' game against the Denver Broncos. Oakland ended up losing, 16-10, so those two field goals were costly. Seabass is down a point to 88 OVR.

Great Caesar's Ghost

There are a few questions that always pester me. Is there life on other planets? How come we never got a sequel to "Dunston Checks In"? And what is wrong with Matthew Stafford?

He's only down one point after his three-interception game. He's at 81 OVR, which is shocking for a guy who got benched in the third quarter. If you think I'm overreacting over one game, just know that Stafford's 2015 passer rating of 74.8 would be his lowest for a full season since his rookie year (61.0 in 2009).

Six bold predictions for Sunday


EA Sports

6. The Washington Redskins had a chance to upset the undefeated Atlanta Falcons last Sunday on the road. They let one slip away in overtime. This weekend they head to the Big Apple (or rather East Rutherford) to take on the New York Jets who are fresh off their bye week. The bad news for the Redskins? They are 2-16 on the road since 2013 (tied with Oakland for worst road record). The good news? They are 8-2 all time against the Jets and 4-0 in New York. Redskins win in a close one.

5. The Cincinnati Bengals are the real deal. It looks like they have a chance to not only be kings of their division, but also win their first postseason game since the 1990 season. Andy Dalton has been playing like the Human Torch, leading one of the league's top offenses. This Sunday the Bengals head to Buffalo to take on a banged up Bills team. Dalton has never had a 400-yard game in his career, but I expect him to get his first Sunday in Western New York.

4. The Chiefs-Vikings game will feature a 100-yard game from a running back not named Peterson. The Chiefs offense took a major blow last week when Jamaal Charles went down with an ACL injury, ending his season. Now, they'll turn to second-year running back Charcandrick West in the backfield. West had just seven carries for 31 yards last week against the Bears, but I think the Chiefs will unleash him against a Minnesota team whose rush defense ranks near the bottom of the league. Plus, at 1-4, the Chiefs need to find a spark plug on offense. Why not Go West?

3. The Carolina Panthers are 4-0 and heading to the Pacific Northwest to take on the Seattle Seahawks who currently sit at 2-3. The Panthers have never won in Seattle, and they are 0-4 coming off the bye week under Ron Rivera, losing by an average of 16.5 points per game. But the Panthers defense got a major boost this week with the return of linebacker Luke Kuechly. Couple him with cornerback Josh Norman and you've got a Panthers team ready to get their first win in the Emerald City.

2. Back in August, before my fantasy draft, I tweeted this out as a joke:

As fate would have it, my auto-draft gave me Peyton Manning as my quarterback. Well, I'm going to bench him this weekend and play McCown instead. It's crazy, I know. This showdown is the ultimate trap game when it comes to predictions. The Browns are coming off a huge win in Baltimore while Peyton Manning struggled again last week in Oakland. So, naturally, this would be the game where order is restored, right? Broncos win running away thanks to Manning and McCown throws three interceptions. Well, I called the Browns the Joker of the NFL last week before they grinded out an overtime win against the Ravens, so I feel like I owe them one. Browns shock the world and hand the Broncos their first loss.

1. Remember that scene in "The Godfather Part II"? The one where Michael Corleone grabs his brother's face and says the infamous line, "I know it was you, Fredo. You broke my heart." Well, on Sunday night Michael Corleone (Tom Brady) pays a visit to Fredo (the Colts) in the revenge game of the year. The Colts were the ones who made Tom Brady's life a living nightmare for over half a year thanks to the Deflategate nonsense. We know it; the Colts know it; and you can be sure Tom Brady knows it. New England is 4-0 against Andrew Luck, having outscored his teams 189 to 73. The Patriots have 15 rushing touchdowns in those games, but I have a feeling Brady will want to put up the big numbers himself come Sunday night. Brady drops six touchdowns on Fredo, I mean the Colts, and walks away asking only one question.

Colin J. Liotta is a Digital Features Editor and Writer for As a native New Englander, he lives on Dunkin Donuts. You can follow him on Twitter @TheSportsHero.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.