It happens every year. When the new Madden is released, everyone looks at the rosters to see who improved and who is slowly declining.
There are often ratings that make you question the game. Occasionally there is a player with a rating that leaves you scratching your head because they should be rated higher than they actually are.
Here are three underrated players from the initial roster of Madden NFL 13.
The Carolina Panthers have a very crowded backfield with DeAngelo Williams, Jonathan Stewart, and now, Mike Tolbert. While the running backs have had to share the carries amongst themselves and with quarterback Cam Newton, Williams is still the starting running back.
That is why, looking at the depth chart, it is surprising to see the starter having a lower rating than the second and third-string backs.
Johnathan Stewart is rated 84 overall as well, but his impressive trucking rating slightly bests Williams. This should be no surprise as the two generally split carries, but Mike Tolbert’s rating should be questioned.
Mike Tolbert is rated 89 overall, classifying him amongst players like Jamaal Charles, Michael Turner, and Darren McFadden. This is mostly an indication that he will line up at fullback, but he can easily be moved to starter with that rating.
The fact that the starter is rated lower than his third-string backup should raise a few eyebrows.
Expect Tolbert’s rating to drop as Williams' improves slightly in a future roster update.
Consider this nitpicking: Matthew Stafford is underrated. Even though Stafford garnered an impressive overall rating of 91 in this year’s version of Madden, he should be rated higher, considering that he outperformed a number of more highly-rated quarterbacks last season.
Ben Roethlisberger is rated 95. Big Ben is a great quarterback, but when taking into account the numbers Stafford put up in comparison to Roethlisberger’s, the Lions’ starting quarterback should be rated higher.
Peyton Manning is also rated slightly higher than Stafford. There is no doubt that Manning has what it takes to be the best quarterback in the league, but he didn't play for the Colts last season due to his neck injury. And considering that the NFL focuses so much on recent accomplishments, it is very surprising that the four-time AP NFL MVP is rated higher than Stafford.
Even Philip Rivers, who was a dud last season with the Chargers, is rated higher than Stafford with a 92 rating.
Every Starting Quarterback Rated Lower than Redskins QB Robert Griffin III
There are five starting quarterbacks with an overall rating from 80 through 82.
Redskins rookie Robert Griffin III, is rated higher than these five, with an 83 overall rating.
Cam Newton was rated fairly high in his rookie season in Madden NFL 12, but that was an exception to the rule. We have yet to see Griffin perform in a regular season game, which is why the high rating is shortsighted. In comparison, Sam Bradford, who is rated 80 overall, and Josh Freeman, who has an overall rating of 82, should have higher numbers in comparison to the rookie from Baylor.
Both players had down seasons last year, but if Peyton Manning can miss a year and still be a top quarterback, then the two quarterbacks should have slightly higher ratings.