No matter how bad or how good a team was at the beginning of last season, they have the opportunity to prove doubters wrong in every single game. Their progress is often reflected every year in the latest version of Madden NFL.
Last year saw teams that weren't expected to do much, improve drastically. These are the three most improved teams from last season.
2012 Rating: 70
2013 Rating: 78
The Arizona Cardinals had the displeasure of being one of the worst teams in the league prior to the start of last season, as well as being the lowest rated team in Madden NFL 12 with a 70 rating. Being so bad gave them an inherent opportunity to improve. They eventually did manage to improve on their paltry start, finishing the season with an 8-8 record.
Despite not having a solid starter last season, the Cardinals were still able to improve, mostly due to first-year defensive coordinator Ray Horton and his evolving defense.
It also doesn't hurt that one of the best receivers in the league in Larry Fitzgerald is still in Arizona, who has an overall rating of 97 in this year’s Madden.
2012 Rating: 77
2013 Rating: 89
Arguably one of the most surprising teams in last year’s NFL season has to be the San Francisco 49ers. After a prolonged drought of missing the playoffs, coach Jim Harbaugh finally improved the team, making it a juggernaut in the process. The 12-point difference in team rating from last year to this year is also credited to the defense, who put up all-time great stats.
Not to mention, Alex Smith finally blossomed as the quarterback he was projected to be when he was drafted first overall in 2005.
Look for the 49ers to be a go-to team in this year’s Madden. They have a solid running back in Frank Gore. They also have one of the best tight ends in Vernon Davis who has an overall rating of 95, making him the second highest rated tight end in the game behind New England Patriot Rob Gronkowski.
2012 Rating: 76
2013 Rating: 86
Being in a division that has the Super Bowl winning team in the Green Bay Packers leaves little room for improvement, let alone dominance.
But with a healthy Matthew Stafford, the Detroit Lions exceeded all expectations and became a dominant force in the NFC. The team went from scrubs to serious contenders in such a short amount of time.
Stafford tallied 5,000 passing yards and made Calvin Johnson the most dominant wide receiver in the league, which ultimately led him to be on the cover of this years’ Madden.
Stafford has an overall rating of 91 and Megatron is the best receiver in the game with an overall rating of 99. This combination should see many gamers picking the Lions if they want a pass-heavy offense.