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Madden Predicts: The Battle of the Beltway

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This week the Redskins take the short trip up to Baltimore to face the Ravens. I travelled the even shorter trip to my living room to simulate the game on Madden.

After a brief hiatus last week, we're back with the Madden prediction machine. The Skins have won two in a row and look to make it a genuine winning streak this weekend against the Ravens.

The battle of the beltway brings up many questions. Is Washington vs Baltimore a real rivalry? How do you balance between DC and Baltimore teams when you live in Maryland? Is it worth competing with a city who shows off a sugar factory as part of boat tours?  None of those are answered here but if you want to know if Kirk Cousins can outrun a top tier NFL defense in a video game, this is the place for you.

Game Summary

The Skins led this from start to finish. They jumped out with a quick field goal and followed it with that speedster Kirk Cousins rushing for a touchdown from 33 yards out. The game never really felt close and the Skins pulled away to 34-17 just into the 4th quarter. A couple of garbage time scores led to a final of 37-24.

Cousins was crisp in this game, getting multiple balls to four receivers and spreading it amongst seven (though Doctson was active in Madden which won't happen this weekend). Matt Jones led the way with 136 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown. Jones had a very solid week against the Browns and it'll be interesting to see if he can keep up the pace against a much more solid defense in the Ravens.

Surprisingly Realistic bits

The Ravens threw a touchdown to their tight end. They also had multiple large gains to a group of tight ends. The Skins have struggled covering tight ends for years and with a beaten up secondary, I don't see this week being an exception.

The Redskins recovered two fumbles. I mean, why break the trend now. Hopefully any fumbles Washington recovers won't have video evidence showing the other team with the ball.

Laughably unrealistic bits

Kirk Cousins had a 33 yard touchdown run. He outran defenders and just made his way into the endzone. I know Kirk won RGIII's job but he didn't take his 40 time.

Josh Norman wasn't fined. Madden doesn't have fines as far as I know but Roger Goodell has probably called up EA Sports to put them in there. Maybe this week Norman can get fined for playing hop scotch or pickup sticks.

Dustin Hopkins missed a field goal! I don't think that's allowed is it? I didn't know if this should be under unrealistic or realistic because he's bound to miss eventually but we'll see if it's this week.

Predictions

I predict a Skins victory. I've been down of them but I have a good feeling about this weekend. I think they put together a solid game and play well, but not flawlessly, through all four quarters.

Specifically, I expect a well fought game by both sides with relatively few penalties. I expect any turnovers to be forced and not just gaffs or wild balls thrown straight to defenders.

I also think Steve Smith and Garcon will show us the value of hard nosed, physical receivers.