Madden Ratings: Week 6 analysis, Week 7 predictions

"Back to the Future Day" has come and gone, which means now we're officially old. The Chicago Cubs didn't win the World Series and "Jaws 19" never happened (although, the "Fast and the Furious" franchise is a pretty close comparison).

But cheer up! As Doc Brown said, "Your future is whatever you make it, so make it a good one." Based on how 2015 has unfolded so far, I bet there are several (down on their luck) teams who are already looking towards the future.

This weekend, the future London Jaguars take on the Buffalo Bills at Wembley Stadium, marking the first time a game has been streamed live online. I wonder if they'll change their jersey colors to reflect their new London digs once they move?

The Baltimore Ravens sit at 1-5, and unless they can pull off the upset in Arizona on Monday night, the future of their 2015 season will be all but cemented. The Kansas City Chiefs are also 1-5, but based on Andy Reid's history of poor clock management, I doubt he'd know the difference between past, present or future. Sorry, Chiefs fans.

Now, on to this week's Madden ratings.

Moving On Up

Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman continues his climb up the ratings. The second-year running back already has nine touchdowns through six games. Despite the Falcons' loss last week to the New Orleans Saints, Freeman still managed 100 yards on just 13 carries. He's up three points this week to 86 OVR.

The Houston Texans won a game last weekend to bring their record to 2-4. On second thought, that win came against the Jacksonville Jaguars, so that should really only count as half a win. Regardless, they are finally getting some consistent play at the quarterback position thanks to Brian Hoyer. He has five touchdowns and just one interception in his last two games. He's up two points to 76 OVR. That's a hard earned 76, folks.

Cincinnati Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert has added a new dimension to the Bengals passing game, and he's a big reason why Andy Dalton is putting up such big numbers. After missing nearly all of last season with an elbow injury, Eifert has established himself as one of the league's top tight ends. He's up two points this week, making him a member of Club 90 now. Welcome, Tyler.

Moving On Down

The Seattle Seahawks' offensive line is struggling. They can't protect Russell Wilson, and having him scramble outside the pocket hoping to hit Jimmy Graham down field is not going to win you games. Left tackle Russell Okung is taking the hit this week on behalf of that offensive line. He's down two points to 83 OVR. Hopefully, he'll do a better job against the 49ers on Thursday night.

It's finally happened, people: Peyton Manning has been kicked out of Club 90. He's down a point this week to 89 OVR. Manning already has 10 interceptions to go along with just seven touchdown passes. Remember when he threw seven touchdowns in Week 1 back in 2013? Seems like a distant memory now. You hate to see a player as great as Manning struggle this much, but unfortunately, that's the nature of the game and the consequence of battling Father Time as long as he has.

If I'm going to point out Peyton's drop, I might as well point out the ratings drop of younger brother Eli Manning. Despite Eli having better regular season numbers than his older brother (11 touchdowns, four interceptions), his poor performance against the Eagles on Monday night cost him two points. He's down to 85 OVR. I think the good folks at Madden should just throw Cooper Manning into the ratings and make it a family affair.

Great Caesar's Ghost

That botched fake punt play by the Indianapolis Colts was the worst thing to happen in sports since the film "Celtic Pride." There is no justification for it, which makes it that much more amazing that the player who snapped the ball, Griff Whalen (the distant cousin of Hill Valley's own Griff Tannen), is up a point this week to 72 OVR. Yes, he did have a touchdown reception in the game, but that punt play alone should've kept him in the doldrums of the Madden ratings for the rest of the season.

Six bold predictions for Sunday


EA Sports

6. Brush off those RGIII jerseys, Redskins fans (are there any left?), because we are going to have a Robert Griffin sighting come Sunday. Kirk Cousins has looked awful this season. It might be the first time ever you could say, "Kirk Cousins is playing like Peyton Manning right now," and it would be true. I know Jay Gruden loves pocket passers as much as Augustus Gloop loves Wonka bars, but at some point you have to make a change to get the offense going. By no means am I saying RGIII is the answer at quarterback, but if Cousins continues to struggle against the Buccaneers Gruden may have no choice but to throw RGIII in just to try and breath some life into this stagnant offense.

5.Darrelle Revis makes his return to Foxborough this weekend to face his former team. You know, the one that actually won him a Super Bowl. Revis's defection back to the New York Jets only adds to this long-standing rivalry. Now, he'll face off against Tom Brady for the first time since he was a member of the Patriots. Revis knows this Patriots system inside and out now. He hasn't had an interception off of Brady since 2009, but he'll get one on Sunday.

4.Todd Gurley and Adrian Peterson will both rush for 200 yards on Sunday. We haven't had two running backs hit the 200-yard mark on the same day since Week 17, 2012 when DeAngelo Williams (210) and Alfred Morris (200) both achieved that feat. And how great would it be for the league's next star running back to do it on the same day as the seasoned veteran? Gurley will be playing at home for the first time since Week 3, and you can be sure the fans will want to see the former Georgia star go wild against the Browns. Peterson is taking on the Lions, a team he's averaged 125 rushing yards against in his last four games. It should be a big day for these two backs.

3. From Deflategate to Puntgate (I hate myself for calling it that), the Indianapolis Colts just can't seem to avoid controversy. It's been a rough year so far for Chuck Pagano and his squad. In a season that started off with Super Bowl expectations, the Colts are struggling just to maintain a .500 record. That failed fake punt last Sunday could very well be the catalyst that leads to Pagano's eventual dismissal from the team. Fortunately for the Colts, their future head coach, Sean Payton, will be in town Sunday to give Indy fans a glimpse of what they'll see next year. Payton and Brees will upset the Colts and seal Pagano's fate.

2. A majority of people watched Monday Night Football last week just to see the new trailer for "Star Wars: The Force Awakens." Unfortunately, in order to see the trailer, they first had to subject themselves to the matchup between the New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles. The Giants looked good on their opening drive, which culminated in a touchdown pass to Odell Beckham Jr. But then, the wheels fell off. New York failed to score the rest of the game, and it didn't help that they turned the ball over three times in the first half. This Sunday, they take on a Dallas Cowboys team fresh off their bye week and with a new quarterback, Matt Cassel, taking over the reins on offense. With Greg Hardy playing in his first divisional game with Dallas, I expect the defense to get after Eli Manning while Cassel manages the offense. Cowboys win in the Meadowlands.

1. The Baltimore Ravens are 1-5 for the first time in franchise history, and, if not for a couple of missed field goals by (former) Pittsburgh Steelers kicker, Josh Scobee, they'd be 0-6. But it's not like they're getting blown out. In fact, all their games this season have been decided by six points or less. They still have a (slim) chance to turn their season around. They have three very winnable games coming up at home against San Diego, Jacksonville and St. Louis. But, before they head home, they have to make a stop in Arizona to face the Cardinals. I just don't see a John Harbaugh coached team rolling over and giving up on their season. If they can win on Monday night they'll have momentum heading back to Charm City for their homestand. I'll take the Ravens to pull off the upset in the desert.

Colin J. Liotta is a Digital Features Editor and Writer for You can follow him (or troll him) on Twitter @TheSportsHero.

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