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JuJu Smith-Schuster Kept Looking Back on TD Run Because of Bad Madden Rating

Smith-Schuster scored a 97-yard touchdown for the Steelers last night against the Lions, and continued to endear himself to fans.

Sean Newell

Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Steelers rookie JuJu Smith-Schuster is winning over new fans every week. He's taken the high road in a sticky situation with fellow receiver Martavis Bryant. He earned a huge following on social media after revealing that his bike was stolen—and throwing shade at human athlete minefield Mia Khalifa. The stolen bike was a pretty big deal because since he doesn't have a driver's license or know how to drive, that bike is how he commutes to work every day. (Owner and bike were eventually reunited.) And last night, he scored a 97-yard touchdown during which he nearly gave himself whiplash trying to look back the whole time.

When asked after the game why he kept on trying to pretend to be an owl, Smith-Schuster said it was all due to his poor rating in Madden NFL 18.

Athletes being obsessed with the ratings in their respective sports video games is nothing new, you hear a lot about players using what they perceive to be poor ratings as a chip on their shoulder, a motivational tool to push them even harder, and hopefully push their ratings up in the process. Two years ago, EA Sports had a whole marketing campaign centered around it.

But I can't say I can ever recall a time when this mindset has directly influenced a single play in an actual game. But JuJu is no ordinary, obsessed athlete. He's operating on another level of slights and disrespects. After he became a sensation for #TeamFindJuJusBike he tweeted the following:

Then after his performance last night, he tweeted some old scouting reports:

But really, fantasy and scouts be damned, at the end of the day, it's about that Madden ranking: