Last weeks prediction had the Ravens winning in a surprise upset of the Chiefs (21-37). Madden was close on points but got it the wrong way around as the Chiefs marched to 3-0 behind Patrick Mahomes with a 33-28 win. The sim did get the rushing yardage nearly spot on, but didn't account for Mahomes' brilliance to 3 TDs without turning the ball over.
Looking to Week 4, we have the mouth-watering divisional clash between the Patriots and the Bills. The Patriots continue their dominance, but with authority, having only allowed 17 points in the first 3 games. The Bills are also 3-0 but in slightly less convincing fashion, having won 2 of those games by less than a touchdown.
Since 2009, the Patriots have gone 17-3 straight-up against the Bills - but what does Madden say?
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET Point spread: Patriots -7
Buffalo Bills @ New England Patriots
Madden developers weren't that kind to the Bills when handing out Superstar abilities. They only have 1 player, Micah Hyde, and he is a regular Superstar. Hyde has been a standout free safety for the Bills and ranks as the 5th best in the game.
We highlighted Hyde earlier in the year in our top FS list. He is great at breaking up passes and is used to playing Tom Brady twice a season.
Unlike the Bills, the Patriots have talent all over the field. They have the future Hall of Fame QB in Tom Brady and stud CB Stephon Gilmore, both with Superstar X-Factor. Adding to this they have Julian Edelman with Superstar ability. For the sim, I benched Antonio Brown as the game hasn't caught up with his release yet.
The sim has come up with a massive shock that 2nd year QB Josh Allen will outperform Tom Brady in the game. Those with Tom Brady in fantasy may want to see who they have on the bench if Madden is correct.
Despite scoring 7 TDs so far, Madden thinks Buffalo will hold Brady scoreless, and even get an interception. Solid yardage from both QBs, but a spectactularly average day from Tom Brady is expected.
Allen - 18.8 Points
Brady - 9.2 Points
Both teams struggled to run the ball effectively, but the Bills managed slightly better through committee. Gore having most of the load but still only getting 3.8 yards per carry. The noticeable stats are how the Bills hold the Pats to only 47 yards. This would be an incredible performance and despite a Michel touchdown, you're looking at low fantasy points for any RB in this game.
Michel - 9.4 Points
Gore - 6.9 Points
This is where the Patriots stepped up, and across the board. It doesn't seem like the Pats have that #1 WR and so the ball gets shared around a lot - and Madden thought the same. No TD's for the leading players in this tight scoring game.
Bills rookie Devin Singletary has been impressing lately, so much so that the Bills traded their star HB LeSean McCoy before the season started. Singletary continues to show in this game he's worth monitoring with 20 yards rushing and 4 receptions for 70 yards to lead the team.
Cole Beasley was the only scorer receiving a TD with 3 receptions, 67 yards and 1 TD.
Beasley - 12.7 Points
Singletary - 9.0 Points
Gordon - 7.9 Points
Edelman - 6.8 Points
Bills 16 – 20 Patriots
This wouldn't be a shock result, but it would be a surprising scoreline. The Patriots have won five straight in this series, and all five wins have come by 12 or more points. The sim expects this to be a scrappy low scoring game, coming down to a single turnover.
With both teams in the top 6 defenses in the league so far - it's not impossible to see this happening. It means you have to be careful picking fantasy players playing against these teams. So depending who you have on your bench, maybe this is the game to sit Brady?
Given the current performance of the teams, this would be unlikely - but maybe Madden knows something we don't?