Madden 21 Player poses without a head.

Alt+NFL Week 1 Preview

Welcome to the FIRST EVER FIRST week of football in the Alt+NFL!

We have 32 users managing their franchise rosters before broadcasting CPU vs. CPU game-play to determine their team’s fate on the path to Super Bowl 55.

The Alt+NFL league is conducted using the Madden 21 connected-franchise-mode (CFM) as our engine for content and game-play, hilarity ensues.

Let’s get into it!

Houston Texans vs Kansas City Chiefs Wed., 5:20p @ Arrowhead Stadium

I’m taking the Chiefs and @noodleztheegreat to hold off the Texans led by @hitstickmasta2. This should be a high scoring affair as neither team has a GREAT defense, but both enjoy some serious firepower on the offensive side of the ball. The Chiefs are just a little more serious on that side of the ball, also, they look to have the better secondary.

Final Prediction: 34-21 Chiefs

Green Bay Packers vs Minnesota Vikings 9/12, 10:00a @ U.S. Bank Stadium

It’s rivalry week in week 1, how exciting. The Vikings recently made big moves to acquire Yannick Ngakouwe, which should greatly improve their pass rush. Like many, I thought the Packers could have better managed their draft during the 2020 offseason. A QB and then a RB in rounds 1 & 2 doesn’t make much sense to an outsider when you have a hall of fame QB in Aaron Rodgers and returning touchdown leader RB Aaron Jones in the backfield. Not to mention, Jamaal Williams is still a very talented back at only 25 years old. I get the thought but take your power back and “future” QB in the later rounds ESPECIALLY if you went 13-3 the season prior. Anyways, that’s my rant. @docbones will likely get outcoached by @jonesatx as the Vikings play ball control and good defense to keep the Cheese Heads and Rodgers at bay.

Final Prediction: 17-13 Vikings

Chicago Bears vs Detroit Lions 9/12, 10:00a @ Ford Field

Who the fuck is driving the ship in Detroit?! We may not know until game time, but what we do know is @coachhermanboone will have his boys ready. This one could come down to QB play and the impact Khalil Mack will have as a nerfed pass-rusher in Madden 21. Will Coach Herman Boone trust the legs of Trubisky or the balls of Super Bowl Champ Nick Foles? Time will tell.

Final Prediction: 24-21 Bears

Indianapolis Colts vs Jacksonville Jaguars 9/12, 10:00a @ TIAA Bank Field

Jags lose. Sorry, @bigdec23, management over in DUVAL kind of started the #tankfortrevor train already. Will you be the conductor who are you parking the train right in the Colts’ Ass Station for a pillaging? Expect the Jags to pull out all the stops as they look to upset @rbowe80 and the LOADED Colts team! I wouldn’t be surprised to see a couple of players running off the Jacksonville sideline to tackle Marlon Mack as he’s breaking away on his fourth 40+ yard TD run of the night. Minshew is my guy, but Phillip Rivers finally has an o-line and weapons EVERYWHERE on that offense. Their defense is also underrated.

Final Prediction: Colts 31-3

Las Vegas Raiders vs Carolina Panthers 9/12, 10:00a @ Bank of America Stadium

The Raiders and @johnnyshrimp head to CAROLINA where they’ll match-up well with a retooled Panthers squad led by @fantasychairmenpod. Long gone are the days of the Cam Newton, Jonathan Stewart, DeAngelo Williams, and Tubby Mike Tolbert bowling over opposing defenses. It’s now up to Teddy Two Gloves and Robby “Rex” Anderson to spin a new track with Run CMC and DJ Moore. Both of these units have the potential to be fun to watch. I’m really curious to see Teddy in Matt Rhule’s new offense, and also to see what eye-liner Derek Carr has picked out for Saturday.

Final Prediction: 21-17 Panthers

New York Jets vs Buffalo Bills 9/12, 10:00a @ Bills Stadium

The Jets are led by a diabolical Madden Simulation genius in head coach @ernesttimingway. When he’s not hitting the bottle, he’s putting his pen to work drawing up sick schemes and calculating turnover percentages based on player traits. Coach Ernest Timingway is the proud owner of 3 championships in the vastly inferior DFA, but I’m taking @therok94 and HC Jimmy McGinty to humble the loud-mouthed Timingway with some smash-mouth football in Buffalo. They’ll rely on that tenacious Buffalo defense and the rocket arm of Josh Allen. See if Singletary doesn’t have himself a DAY on the ground. Sam Darnold will likely see ghosts.

Final Prediction: Bills 31-2

Seattle Seahawks vs Atlanta Falcons 9/12, 10:00a @ Mercedes-Benz Stadium

It’s a shame this match-up is so early in the season following an unusual off-season. Nonetheless, these two teams always play each other well and this year should be no different. Todd Gurley faces an old rival in a new uniform. Bobby Wagner has even more back-up with new addition Jamal Adams. This Seattle defense could be really dangerous if @bubbaseahawks can keep his boys focused and executing. I like the Hawks to win this one as they’re a little more complete on the defensive side of the football. I do expect the Falcons and @mr_steeze300 to have a bounce-back year in 2020-21. Their o-line should be healthy and improved and the same goes for their defensive unit. Russell Wilson is 3-3 versus the Falcons in his career. He bumps that to 4-3 after Saturday. I’ll reset the matchup and sim it again if he doesn’t.

Final Prediction: Seahawks 34-17

Philadelphia Eagles vs Washington 9/12, 10:00a @ FedEx Field

These two teams could very well be the battling it out for last place in the division, although, I think @chonkykong should have the edge. Somehow, the Eagles are already injured heading into week 1, but we will see if the North Dakotan “Non-Participant” Carson Wentz and head coach @sklein71 can keep his guys on the field long enough to get a win. I’m most curious to see what kind of sandwich he makes! The Washington Football Team really doesn’t have much to be happy about in their organization…they don’t even have a real name or mascot. Like, come on guys, figure it out.

Final Prediction: Eagles 28-14

Miami Dolphins vs New England Patriots 9/12, 10:00a @ Gillette Stadium

Strange times when I’m sitting here predicting that Ryan Fitzpatrick on the Miami Dolphins will barely fall short of CAM NEWTON and the New England Patriots. Weird. The saavy vets out of the back woods in Alabama (I assume) @rolltidington and @tiderollington will need to be on their game to defeat a Madden head-to-head G.O.A.T in @coachbean. Coach Bean knows his way around a roster and will have home field advantage in Gillette. I expect New England to run early and often with a ball control style of play. I expect the Dolphins to start Tua as they begin their #TankforTrevor campaign early. Fitznasty deserves to be under center week one and he gives them the best chance to win by throwing BOMBS all-game-long.

Final Prediction: Patriots 17-14

Cleveland Browns vs Baltimore Ravens 9/12, 10:00a @ M&T Bank Stadium

The Cleveland Browns are in full damage control mode. First the complete FLOP after an offseason of hype leading up to the 2019 season, and now, the “THOTS Next Door” podcast claims Odell enjoys being pooped on. Honestly, we saw this coming. We even predicted it on The Money Play. I mean, who didn’t see this coming?! Odell was traded to Cleveland, home of the Cleveland Steamer. It’s really too easy, but also, I’ve heard it possibly confirmed by @gorkreport that a staggering 38% of Cleveland residents enjoy a hot one on the chest.

Moving along, whether it’s Myles Garrett trying to bash people’s brains in, Kareem Hunt kicking girls, Baker Mayfield getting chubby, or Odell Beckham getting pooped on – the Browns and HC @tdrocks91 will have their hands full with this roster chalked full of young playmakers and poor decision-making tendencies.

I really like where @doodoobrown and the Ravens sit as a team, but I expect a little regression out of Lamar after his lights-out 2019 campaign. Both of these squads should be competitive and it wouldn’t surprise me if this week 1 match-up turns out to be a deciding factor for who makes the playoffs.

I’ll take the Ravens at home.

Final Prediction: Ravens 31-24

Los Angeles Chargers vs Cincinnati Bengals 9/12, 1:05p @ Paul Brown Stadium

T-Mobile is back in the saddle and he has a nice compliment of weapons. We will keep a close eye on the QB room in LA though, as coach @pickcitycb2 has a tendency to favor young QB’s. It wouldn’t surprise us one bit if he roles with Herbert from the start and tries to develop him early. The more exciting storyline is the development of Big Dick Joe out in Cinci. We love the offensive weapons on this Bengals roster and think @coach-tommy has the fortitude to put together a solid defense. These rosters might be a year or two removed from playoff contention given the competition in their respective divisions, but they should be fun to watch nonetheless.

I’m picking the Chargers to put up a better defensive effort and provide an early test for the rookie signal caller.

Final Prediction: Chargers 28-12

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs New Orleans Saints 9/12, 1:25p @ Mercedes-Benz Superdome

TB12 vs Cool Brees down in NOLA. This is a bonkers scenario that we saw unfold this off-season. Two hall-of-fame QB’s nearing the end of their career. I expect this to be a surprisingly good match-up! Both teams have high-powered offenses and excellent defenses. It really should come down to who can take care of the ball and if Tommy has a good handle on his offensive playbook…I’m going out on a limb to say he does.

Look for Tommy Terrific to go to Chris Godwin and O.J. Howard early and often with quick timing throws to exploit the seams. Once the safeties creep up, he can still get it down field to Mike Evans who is a perennial deep ball monster. Gronk should be a threat in the RedZone, but I anticipate the coaching staff favoring the younger-more-athletic Howard for the majority of play between the 20 yard-lines. Keep an eye on @bass_reeves20 and what he does with this star-studded roster throughout the season. Will he push to WIN NOW? Or will he sell off some of the pieces to gear-up for a push in 2021?

Drew Brees and the Saints have been on the cusp of greatness for a number of years now, but due to unfortunate circumstances with some officiating, they have been unable to make it back to the Big Dance. They’re once again loaded on offense. Sean Payton is out and @lronmexico is in. Rumor has it he showed up to sign his contract with a nice tan, freshly braided and beaded corn-rows, an “I <3 Cancun” shirt, and a fresh Coke. L’Ron Mexico is a dangerous man when he has a headset and a clip-board, but I don’t expect he has the huevos to make the changes Payton was afraid to make: bench Kamara and pound the rock with Latavius Murray.

I like the Bucs, but I’m taking the Saints at home in week 1! Another divisional match-up that will carry a lot of weight come playoff seeding.

Final Prediction: Saints 41-31

Arizona Cardinals vs San Francisco 49ers 9/12, 1:25p @ Levi’s Stadium

Ken Wisenhunt didn’t last long, neither did Chip Kelly. The Cardinals franchise has moved on to a real no-nonsense guy in Dick Pound Esq. (@jcollini2). A practicing attorney in Guam, Dick Pound will look to implement the same coaching schemes that led his Father Duenas Friars to their 5th straight island championship in 2019 before he decided to accept the position in Glendale.

San Francisco is also under new management with Dr. Love Jones (@sdjones45) taking control after Shanahan couldn’t finish in Super Bowl 54 versus the Chiefs. George Kittle is a mismatch, but the Cardinals added Isaiah Simmons in the 2020 draft to address that issue. Simmions has the athleticism, but will undoubtedly be playing catch-up as he lines up opposite of the dominant vet.

I anticipate the 49er’s front 7 to cause match-up issues for the Cardinals pass-pro. If Kyler Murray can’t get out of the pocket to extend the play, the 9er’s will will this one easily.

Final Prediction: 49er’s 28-8

Dallas Cowboys vs Los Angeles Rams 9/12, 5:20p @ SoFi Stadium

Is this the year for Dallas? If you ask Dallas, they think yes. Mike McCarthy lasted all of about 4 months before being replaced by HC Burt Macklin (@burtmacklinfbi) a former FBI special agent. Dak Prescott has more weapons than he has ever had and will be enjoying his second year under offensive coordinator Kellen Moore. This team was the top offense in the league last year when trailing by 3 scores with 5 minutes left in the game, let’s see if they can bring that Dallas swagger and keep their tenacity to chase GLORY through another .500 season.

Sean McVay was terminated due to player misconduct as several players filed grievances with the Player’s Association in early spring. Multiple sources corroborated that Coach McVay would often show up at their locker shirtless and just loiter, “not really saying or doing much.” Weird.

Juice Lee is the new sheriff in Los Angeles. He will look to get the ship righted as they’ve been spiraling ever since their super bowl loss to the Patriots. Bill Belichick found more bugs in McVay’s game-plan than the Madden Youtube Community found glitches in Madden 21. Just kidding, Madden 21 is way more fucked up than McVay’s shitty game-plan. We know very little about coach Juice (@eric-carstensen) other than his love for Juice and passion for martial arts.

The Cowboys are the better team on paper, but the Rams are still a dangerous roster with key defensive super-star’s in Aaron Donald and Jaelen Ramsey.

I like the Rams to win their home opener at the new SoFi Stadium.

Final Prediction: Rams 28-21

Pittsburgh Steelers vs New York Giants 9/13, 4:10p @ MetLife Stadium

The NEW YORK GIANTS! I actually really like their offensive unit this season. They have a ton of speed and a surprising amount of established play makers with Saquon Barkley, Evan Engram, Golden Tate, Darius Slayton, and Sterling Shepard. With Nate Solder opting out of the season, the question to be asked is: “Can they protect Daniel Jones?” Again, probably not. Also, their defense leaves something to be desired.

New Coach Kev “The Hebrew Hammer” Lev (@k3vlev), says he, “doesn’t give a damn about analytics.” Whatever that means. Meanwhile, David Gettleman is bragging to people that his four new “computer folks” ALL know how to get Facebook on his phone, and saved the organization “TONS” of cap space by transitioning the team away from paid AOL email accounts.

On the flip side, new Steelers’ head coach Grey Heisenberg (@heisenberg) takes control of the franchise after they released a statement citing “he’s too consistently good and competitive year in and year out for us.” Grey inherits a talented defense and a young offense that once again looks competitive, given Heisenberg’s background in performance enhancement, we expect the team to be EXTREMELY high-energy and focused.

The Big Cheese gets it done on the road in Met Life after a few key defensive takeaways.

Final Prediction: Steelers 28-17

Tennessee Titans vs Denver Broncos 9/13, 7:20p @ Empower Field at Mile High Stadium

Which team can get to 40 rushing attempts first?

In terms of weapons, I like what the Broncos are offering more than I like what the Titans are offering. AJ Brown is nice, Jonnu Smith is nice, Derrick Henry is nice, but how tight is Tannehill? Where has Corey Davis been? On the other hand the Broncos have some young and speedy options at just about every offensive skill position. Noah Fant, Melvin Gordon, Philip Lindsay, Jerry Juedy, Cortland Sutton and Drew Lock. They may be a year or two out from challenging the Chiefs for divisional supremacy, but they should have enough to make a few explosive plays that separates them from the Titans.

I don’t think the Titans are a bad team by any means, I simply think their strategy is a little too simplified for today’s defensive minds. Keep an eye on both of these teams to ruin playoff hopes for their opponents this year. Coach Hennrick Denry (@stanhalen5) and Coach Neo Cortex (@neocortex) are both entering their first season as a GM coach. They each have solid rosters, let’s see if they can not ruin them.

I’m taking Denver to edge out the Titans in a low scoring defensive battle.

Final Prediction: Broncos 17-14

That concludes our Alt+NFL Week 1 predictions segment! Everything written in this post is 100% factual and should be treated as such. These predicted outcomes will apply not only to the Alt+NFL, but also the real NFL which kicks off tomorrow.

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