MNF Breakdown – ‘Madden NFL 12’ Cowboys, Redskins Week 4

Every Tuesday, GameZone will analyze the Monday Night Football matchup and predict the potential player ratings changes we’ll see come to the two playing teams as a result.

Yesterday, the banged-up Dallas Cowboys played host to the Washington Redskins in a hard-hitting, close game that came down to a 4th quarter comeback drive led by Tony Romo.  Romo, who was recovering from a punctured lung was playing with fractured ribs, played through the pain to lead a very sloppy Dallas Cowboys offense down the field for a total of 6 field goals. 

With that, I expect an overall boost to Dallas Cowboys kicker Dan Bailey who nailed 6 kicks in 6 attempts for a perfect evening.  He made the short kicks, long kicks, and clutch kicks.  Dan Bailey, who currently sits at a 62 overall should get a boost high enough to surpass former Cowboys kicker who was nowhere to be seen, David Buehler.  Buehler, who has been the Cowboys kickoff specialist didn’t even make an appearance last night, and I would suspect a drop in his 67 overall, if not a change to the roster position.

Other than Bailey, much of the Cowboys team should remain the same.  No one on offense particularly stood out.  Except for new Center Phil Costa, who almost single-handily lost the game for the Cowboys with not 1, not 2, not 3, but 4 botched snaps in which he hiked the ball when Romo wasn’t looking.  I’m not sure who was entirely at fault, but I’m sure Costa’s overall will feel the brunt of it.  Expect his 68 overall to take a hit.  Other than him, the rest of the Cowboys offensive line should remain safe for now.  Aside from a few untimely penalties, they were pretty decent.  Well, decent for their current overalls.

Running Back Felix Jones had a solid evening rushing for for 115 yards, but don’t expect a change here as he’s been sub-par for the majority of the season.  Until last night, the Cowboys had yet to have a run for over 10 yards.  I think we need a few more weeks of solid play out of the Cowboys running game before we see some changes to his 80 overall.  Overall, the Cowboys offense was a mess and aside from a clutch catch from Dez Bryant, they were shut out for most of the night.  With Miles Austin out with a hamstring injury, the receivers struggled to get open.  The young receivers had mostly mental issues, not knowing the routes or the plays.

Although, a stingy Cowboys defense helped lead them to a victory.  Ware continued to dominate picking up his 5th sack on the season.  You might see a slight bump in Anthony Spencer’s overall who notched another sack under his belt and had a forced fumble, which ended the Redskins comeback drive and sealed the victory.  The only other Cowboy to stand out on defense was Sean Lee who had a crucial interception and seemed to be in on every play.  Overall, it was a solid performance by the entire defensive unit.

Don’t expect many changes to happen to the Redskins this update.  They played pretty mistake free, aside from a Grossman interception and last minute fumble.  Their main problem was just lack of sustainable drives.  There were no big mistakes and I don’t predict any big changes.

The Redskins team overall after the last update was 77, and I think they played to about that level.  There wasn’t any real negatives, but not a whole lot to be positive.  Granted, they are 2-1 on the season, but last night they looked very mediocre.  There was just no big plays.

Last update Grossman had his overall boosted to 77, but I don’t think he played any worse or less than Madden NFL 12 has him rated.  He threw for 250 yards and 1 TD against a very difficult Cowboys defense.  Santana Moss had a respectable 5 catches for 70 yards, but no real game-breakers as the Cowboys kept him in front of them all night.  TE Chris Cooley who dropped a point in overall last update from 85 to 84, had 4 catches for 41 yards.  I don’t expect any more changes for him.

Let’s not take anything away from the Redskins defense by blaming the Cowboys problems on injuries and lack of age.  They kept the Cowboys out of the endzone all night, resulting in 6 field goals.  Their bend, don’t break defense was stingy all night as soon as the Cowboys got in the Red Zone.  They came to play, and although the Redskins didn’t come out victorious, their defense definitely made a statement last night with 3 forced fumbles and 1 interception.  They did everything they could to secure a win for the inept offense.

LaRon Landry, who particularly stood out to me, was all over the field and laid a big “Welcome to the NFL” hit on Cowboys WR Laurent Robinson.  I still think Robinson was feeling the hit this morning.  The defensive backs of the Redskins, for the most part, played a solid game led by FS Oshiomogho Atogwe.  But when the game came down to the line, CB DeAngelo Hall, who earlier in the week told reporters he was “targeting Romo’s ribs” was the victimized target of Tony Romo and Dez Bryant.  On 3rd and 21 Dez Bryant just outplayed Hall for a crucial 1st down that eventually led to a game winning field goal.  In my opinion, Madden NFL 12 should detract from a player’s overall for trash talking during the week and then blowing the game.  Hopefully, he’s learned from his mistakes.

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Watch as Landry lays the smackdown on Laurent Robinson.  How is this not a defenseless receiver?

As expected, the rivalry game lived up to expectations as it was filled with big hits and smack talking.  In the end, Hall may have gotten the first words out, but Romo got the last laugh as the Cowboys pulled it out in a squeaker, 18-16.  Check back later this week for the official Week 4 Roster Update changes coming to Madden NFL 12.  Tune in next week as we breakdown the MNF matchup between the Indianapolis Colts and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

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