Another year, another
botch batch of ratings from the team over at EA Tiburon.
Sure, trying to get it right when it comes to rating each and every player in the NFL is an admittedly tall task, but it seems to be one that EA really struggles with each and every year. Their latest offering of digital attributes for this year’s installment in the franchise, Madden NFL 19, seem to be as egregious as ever. Let’s take a look at the five things EA got absolutely wrong with the initial ratings for Madden NFL 19.
1. Matthew Stafford is less of a player than Andrew Luck
First off, let’s just get this one out of the way. Stafford fell just outside of the top ten quarterbacks at launch for Madden NFL 19 which is bad, shortsighted, but not something that should have anyone up in arms necessarily... that is until you find out who is rated higher.
Andrew Luck is an 87 overall, the eighth-highest rated quarterback in the game. Luck didn’t play a single snap of football in 2017 due to a torn labrum that almost no one is convinced is healed as the Colts have totally mismanaged his rehab. Stafford is rated as an 85 overall, which, whatever, we’ve shown you enough to prove he’s better than Luck. Get all the way out of here with rating Andrew Luck higher than Matthew Stafford.
2. Xavier Rhodes, Marvin Jones Jr.’s adult son, is rated higher than Darius Slay
By what metrics is EA using to determine their ratings in Madden? Do they consult Pro Football Focus? Well, that surely can’t be it because Rhodes ranked 44th among qualifying cornerbacks in 2017—Slay ranked 11th among cornerbacks. Is it Pro Football Reference? No, can’t be that either because Rhodes two interceptions and 10 passes defended definitely pale in comparison to Slay’s numbers in 2017: eight interceptions and 26 passes defended—the top number among defenders last year.
However they figure these numbers, it resulted in Rhodes having better ratings in awareness, man coverage, and play recognition than Slay. But I mean, when you have the chance to give the nod to this guy over the player with the best ball skills in the league, you have to do it, you know?
3. Graham Glasgow is bad. Like, really, really bad for some reason
He hasn’t been an All Pro candidate by any means but how is Glasgow a 71 overall—by far the worst of any of the starting offensive linemen for the Lions? He was the 20th ranked guard by Pro Football Focus, but is given an overall that makes him hardly better than a replacement level player.
After drafting Frank Ragnow in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft, the biggest question was where would Glasgow and Ragnow line up along the interior of the Lions offensive line. All signs point to Glasgow playing center, a position where he’s arguably played his best football in his first two seasons in Detroit, and that’s where Madden has him playing, too. As a center, Glasgow is the 30th ranked player at the position which just seems far to low for the solid play he had in 2017.
4. Ameer Abdullah is an 82 overall and LeGarrette Blount is the 10th-best running back in football
This has to be an oversight, and by oversight I mean no one at EA watched Abdullah’s play in 2017 and paid zero attention to the way the Lions did everything they could this offseason to take their running game in a new direction—while simultaneously pushing Abdullah way down the depth chart. Abdullah is rated on par with Saquon Barkley, Kenyan Drake, Carlos Hyde, and Latavius Murray which is just bizarre and totally wrong.
And man, who didn’t like the LeGarrette Blount signing? He’s just the type of player the Lions needed after failing to convert first downs or touchdowns in short-yard situations a year ago. Blount is an 87 overall, the 10th-best running back in the game, which is weirdly just as wild as seeing Abdullah with an 82 overall rating. Blount is rated on par with Leonard Fournette, Dion Lewis, and Christian McCaffrey—and higher than the likes of Mark Ingram, Dalvin Cook, and Jordan Howard. The Lions running game has an awful lot to prove before they get this kind of love.
5. Jamal Agnew is a 69 overall
And that’s nice, but his kick return rating is an 81... An 81!?! Excuse me while I remind you who was an All Pro in their rookie season, led the league in punt return yards, punt return touchdowns, yards per punt return, and the longest punt return of the 2017 season.
The list of players with a better return rating than Agnew is ridiculous, but what’s even more ridiculous is how there are three players on the team with a higher return rating than Agnew—Golden Tate, Theo Riddick, and Abdullah.