The release (or leak) or Madden ratings — and me getting mad about them — is one of those things that reminds me that football season is quickly approaching each year. Today, Madden-School.com posted all the ratings above 80 for each team except for the Bears, Broncos, Bucs, Bills, and Bengals (not sure why its all the “B” teams, but whatever). They did note that this was from an early build of the game so ratings may change slightly prior to the final release, but these should be pretty close to what you see when the latest version of the game drops on August 10th.
So where did the top Titans end up?
- Jurrell Casey – 88
- Dion Lewis – 88
- Malcolm Butler – 87
- Kevin Byard – 85
- Delanie Walker – 84
- Adoree Jackson – 81
- Rishard Matthews – 81
- Taylor Lewan – 80
Let’s start with the most egregious issue here first. Taylor Lewan as an 80 is absurb, particularly when you look at some of the tackles they ranked above him. Nothing against Jake Matthews, Duane Brown, Donald Penn, and Nate Solder, but none of those guys are near Lewan’s level. Does Madden think it’s an accident that he’s been to two straight Pro Bowls and consistently ranked near the top of everyone’s “best left tackles in the NFL” lists recently? Also, if I asked you to name the top 3 players on the Titans offense right now and your list didn’t include Taylor Lewan, I’d slap you.
One of the other big issues I have with this list is the omission of Brett Kern. Look, there simply aren’t that many metrics by which punters can possibly be measured. You’ve got average yards per punt and net punting average and that’s about it. Well, Brett Kern led the NFL in both categories last season and turned in the 7th best punting season OF ALL TIME, so he should be the top punter in the game, right? Apparently not, as Madden somehow has at least 5 punters ranked above him (probably 6 since Marquette King is on one of the teams that wasn’t leaked). That’s indefensible.
Let’s talk real quick about Kevin Byard. He’s quickly become one of the best safeties in the game, leading the NFL in interceptions and earning a First Team All-Pro selection in 2017. If that doesn’t earn him a 90+ rating, I don’t know what does. Even more ridiculous are some of the safeties that the game ranked above him. Andre Hal (get well soon), D.J. Swearinger, Lamarcus Joyner, and Keanu Neal are all fine players, but none of them belong in Byard’s class, much less ranked ahead of him.
I find it interesting that Dion Lewis is rated so high, but there is no sight of Derrick Henry. You all know how I feel about Lewis, but the gap between the two backs isn’t nearly that big.
Finally, Madden has Avery Williamson rated as an 83 for the Jets which means they thought he was the 4th best player on the Titans last season behind Casey, Byard, and Walker. Imagine really believing that.
I know that its not easy to rank every active player in the NFL and there are always going to be some differences of opinion, but it seems every year there are some real head scratchers in there. You can find the full list of leaked rankings here.
Which rating (or omission) do you find most offensive?