Before even booting up an exhibition game in Madden, the first order of business is to go peruse the ratings and see which team is going to earn your allegiance—that is, of course, until we get a roster update. Then all bets are off and the process starts itself all over again.
In recent years, EA Sports has built a marketing campaign around revealing the ratings of players in their latest installment of their tentpole franchise, Madden NFL. Just last week, the team revealed the four players who earned the coveted 99 overall rating—the best overall rating a player can receive in Madden NFL 20.
But before we dive into the ratings for the 2019 Detroit Lions, it’s important to note that this year’s version of Madden is set to receive some big changes in how they do their ratings. ESPN’s staff writer Michael Rothstein published a story at the beginning of July that outlined some of the ways things were changing when it came to rating players in this year’s game. At the heart of it, the developers are trying to create a disparity in the overall ratings to better reflect the product you see on the field. For instance, Rothstein noted 53 quarterbacks had an arm strength rating of 90 or better in Madden NFL 19. This year, there are only 18 who meet that distinction.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the overall ratings for the starters of the 2019 Detroit Lions. First, here are the starters on the offensive side of the ball.
QB - Matthew Stafford - 79 overall
RB - Kerryon Johnson - 81 overall
WR - Marvin Jones Jr. - 86 overall
WR - Kenny Golladay - 83 overall
TE - Jesse James - 78 overall
TE - T.J. Hockenson - 77 overall
LT - Taylor Decker - 76 overall
LG - Kenny Wiggins - 63 overall
C - Frank Ragnow - 79 overall
RG - Graham Glasgow - 74 overall
RT - Rick Wagner - 77 overall
Obviously what stands out from the jump is Stafford’s rating of 79 overall which makes him the 20th best quarterback in the game. Some quarterbacks better than Stafford include Marcus Mariota (79 overall), Andy Dalton (80), and Derek Carr (80). Stafford does, however, have the fifth strongest arm in the game with a throw power rating of 94.
What’s probably of even more concern is the rating of the Lions starting left guard. Whether or not you think Wiggins is the starter, or you’ve planted your flag for Oday Aboushi earning the job at left guard in Darrell Bevell’s offense, both players are rated at just 63 overall. In other words, a very realistic representation of how problematic that position could prove to be for the Lions this season!
Some of the ratings of other notable players who will fill important roles for this offense include Danny Amendola (81 overall), C.J. Anderson (80), and Theo Riddick (77).
Here’s an overview of the revamped defense for this year’s Lions team.
EDGE - Trey Flowers - 87 overall
DT - Damon Harrison Sr. - 95 overall
DT - Da’Shawn Hand - 79 overall
EDGE - Devon Kennard - 74 overall
LB - Christian Jones - 73 overall
LB - Jarrad Davis - 72 overall
CB - Darius Slay - 89 overall
CB - Justin Coleman - 77 overall
CB - Rashaan Melvin - 78 overall
SS - Quandre Diggs - 77 overall
FS - Tracy Walker - 72 overall
Finally, for the first time since the 2014 team, the Lions have some big time players up front. Snacks is the second best defensive tackle in the game, just behind Philadelphia Eagles bruiser Fletcher Cox (96 overall). New addition Trey Flowers finds himself just outside of the top 10 edge rushers in the game coming in at No. 11, ahead of two division rivals in Akiem Hicks (87) and Danielle Hunter (86).
And of course, well-known Madden player and Lions cornerback Darius Slay was not happy with being ranked as the eighth-best corner in the league with an overall of 89:
Once again madden u disappointed me ♂️ https://t.co/Pzhh7Xo3e6— Darius Slay (@_bigplayslay23) July 15, 2019
But beyond those top players, the rest of the Lions defense is average to well-below average at other positions. Quandre Diggs is the 23rd ranked SS, Jarrad Davis is the 46th ranked MLB, and Tracy Walker is the 34th ranked FS.
Some of the ratings for players who will most certainly earn snaps for the Lions defense this year include A’Shawn Robinson (77 overall), Tavon Wilson (76), Romeo Okwara (71), and Jahlani Tavai (69).
If you’re interested in checking out all of the ratings—and getting upset like I did when I found out Josh Allen has the strongest arm in the game (99 throw power) and not my large adult son Patrick Mahomes (96 throw power) even after he threw a football out of Arrowhead Stadium from the field—head on over here to check out the extensive spreadsheet they have for every player in the game.