I don’t really play video games anymore unless it’s 1) On a long trip and we happen to have a hookup for an old PlayStation, as was the case with this year’s Great Baseball Road Trip or 2) If Rocket, my friend of a quarter-century, is in town and he needs a reminder about who is better at Mario Kart.
So if you came here for a review of the new Madden 16 football game, which was officially released today, you’re in the wrong place. My available moments these days are used up dreaming about jumpsuits, thinking about puns and tending to a 1-year-old.
What I can tell you, without having spent a moment with the actual game, is that the Madden folks don’t seem to give the Vikings a whole lot of respect.
Individually, Adrian Peterson garners a very nice 95 rating. Teddy Bridgewater gets a modest 82, Robert Blanton gets a strangely high 86 and Cordarrelle Patterson gets a well-earned but chilly 73.
Team-wise is where it really gets ugly. Within the division, the Packers are deemed the best (90 rating out of 100), which is fair, fine, whatever. Next up? Detroit, with an 83 … and then the Vikings way down at 77, followed not too far behind by the Bears at 75.
By my count, there are 10 NFC teams ranked higher than the Vikings, two with the same 77 rating and just three below them. I know. I know.
None of this really matters. It’s just a video game.
But if the Vikings, who have been flattered all preseason with positive press — and in fact are picked by many Vegas odds I’ve seen to finish better than Detroit, at least, and are picked by ME to be in contention for the division going into Week 17 at Lambeau Field — are looking for any kind of no-respect motivation, this is it.
Because based on the ratings, I’d say Madden has the Packers going about 12-4, the Lions 10-6 or 9-7, the Vikings 7-9 and the Bears 6-10. Basically, Madden thinks this is 2014 again.
The 2015 reality as I see it?
The Packers, minus Jordy Nelson, are still the favorites but the Vikings are in the mix. Both will make the playoffs, and the division is not conceded. The Lions slide back to 7-9. The Bears don’t win more than four games.
One pretty fun thing, it should be noted, is that you can play in U.S. Bank Stadium, the new home of the Vikings, in both exhibition mode and in franchise mode. Here’s a look (below) at game footage using the stadium: