It's getting to be that time of year again, the annual gathering of thumb-athletes try to establish themselves on the Madden leaderboards. As a Madden addict myself, this is the next best thing to the actual start to the NFL season (I was ranked 83rd in overall in Madden 09, in case you were wondering).
EA like to play games with us and release team stats about a week at a time. On Monday, the Jets and Dolphins rosters were released. Let's break them down, shall we?
Quarterback: Rest easy, folks. Sanchez is, in fact, rated a whole three points higher than Chad Henne (82 to a 79). Clemens is a 70, and Ainge and O'Connell are worth not much more than the fancy new toilets at the new stadium.
Offensive Line: I like the improvements this year. In Madden '10, EA left Brick CRIMINALLY low at an 80 for, gee, I don't know, 12 WEEKS before they gave him a boost. He's now a 91. Mangold is the best rated center at 97. The only weak spot is LG, which is expected. If you're a Madden player, you're rooting for the 70 overall Vladimir Ducasse to win the job over 65 OVR Matt Slauson.
Receivers: Pretty solid, even ratings across the board. Cotch and Edwards stayed about the same, and Holmes is the highest rated among the bunch. Dustin Keller got a nice boost into the 80's. Things should be a lot easier this year without having to rely on David Clowney as your deep guy.
Running Backs: Here's where I start to have a problem. Shonn Greene is an 80? Really? Not even an 83 or 84? Tomlinson is the highest rated at 83. So now we have to actually manually switch Greene in. Thanks, EA. Tony Richardson is always ranked absurdly high, and I'm not going to complain about that.
D-Line: Kris Jenkins is an animal in this game. Not much else to talk about, though. Sean Ellis is a solid 86. and they gave "the Ghost" a generous 75. DeVito is again neglected, he's in the 60's.
Linebackers: Madden-ratings-wise, the Jets have quite a formidable LB core. Harris is a 91, Scott an 89. Pace is an 85, and Taylor an 82. Decent depth with Thomas. Nothing to gripe about here.
Defensive Backs: The thing about Madden is, no matter how highly rated your CB's are, the game is programmed to allow for the receiver to be open at SOME point. Revis is obviously 99, but Cro is only an 83, and Pool is a disgustingly low 72 (below Dwight Lowery!!). Kyle Wilson is a 76, but he's a rookie, they can't rank him too high. At least Jim Leonhard got his due with an 85.
So, again, much more underratings and overratings (if those are even words) from EA. But just like every year, they'll be the only team I play. I just hope the Jets don't become a bandwagon team, so I don't have that awkward moment when you're in the team selection screen and you both want to be the Jets.