Madden ratings: Week 6 recap - Viking quest

What a wild weekend of NFL football! Tom Brady made another epic comeback, Thaddeus Lewis led the Bills into overtime against the Bengals in his second career start and the Jaguars upset the Broncos. Just kidding. Wanted to make sure you were paying attention. The Broncos won, but the Jaguars certainly made the game interesting for a bit. While you mull over the week that was in the NFL, here's a recap of how the Madden Next Gen team performed so far this week. We've got some new faces at the top of the list looking for a ratings bump, and a rookie who came crashing back down to Earth after a big performance on Monday Night Football last week. You can view the whole Next Gen team here if you need a refresher before reading on.

Breakout Performers

A fresh crop of players rose to the top of the Next Gen performance list for Week 6, which was a welcome sight. After a rough series of games, Colin Kaepernick got back on track by throwing for 252 yards and two touchdowns to help propel the 49ers to victory over their division rival Arizona Cardinals. He did throw an interception, but for the most part started to look like the dynamic playmaker from the second half of 2012. Kyle Rudolph exploded for the Vikings at the Metrodome, reeling in nine catches for 97 yards and a touchdown. Those are both career highs for Rudolph for catches and yards in a single game. It's just too bad he couldn't have caught one more to give him the first 100-yard game of his career. His effort to fight into the endzone when the game was all but over was great to see as well. On the defensive side of the ball, Chandler Jones was all over the place in the Patriots comeback win against the Saints. Jones had a crucial sack in the fourth quarter to stop a Saints drive, and notched seven tackles on the day as well.

Solid Effort

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Luke Kuechly did Kuechly-things as usual, tallying seven total tackles including one tackle for a loss as his Panthers defense dominated Minnesota on the road. Doug Martin was productive for the Buccaneers, rushing for 67 yards and catching four passes for 24 more, although that wasn't enough to keep pace with the Eagles high-octane offense. Nick Fairley had another good afternoon of work for the Lions, collecting three tackles and a quaterback hit, helping the Lions defeat the Cleveland Browns in convincing fashion. Even though he didn't make any spectacular plays, Patrick Peterson quietly had three tackles and two passes defended as the Cardinals fell to the 49ers.

Out of commission

Not their best Sunday

One week after receiving a two point overall boost for defeating the Atlanta Falcons, Geno Smith's ride on the rookie rollercoaster continued with a downward turn. Geno threw two costly interceptions, and barely completed over 50 percent of his passes as the Jets fell to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Tavon Austin continues to be the invisible man in the St. Louis Rams offense, as he had just one catch for three yards. Ryan Kerrigan had a quite evening against Tony Romo and the Cowboys, only managing two tackles on the day. Randall Cobb was off to a solid start, catching four passes for 53 yards before he was sidelined with what looked to be a pretty bad knee injury. Early reports sound optimistic, so hopefully he can recover and get back to lighting up scoreboards in Madden and for the Packers in short order.

Check back on Thursday for the updated ratings for the Next Gen team before Week 6, and be sure to vote for the "Madden NFL 25" Next Gen champ! Voting for this week will open after the Monday night game between the Indianapolic Colts and San Diego Chargers.

- Follow Alex on Twitter @AlexGelhar for his musings on Madden, food, film, and of course, the occasional insightful football comment

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