I recently had the opportunity to speak to Madden NFL Live Content Producer and Ratings Czar, Donny Moore.
Moore shared some information on the ratings process and how it has evolved. He also shared a few tidbits that could aid gamers in choosing starters for user-controlled teams.
Here is the audio of the interview:
There are a few high-profile quarterback competitions that will take center stage this NFL season. Armed with the ideology Moore shared with me, this slideshow tells you the player who will give you the best chance at success.
The headline of this slide looks like a matchup for a WWE event, but it is an accurate representation of the New York Jets QB situation.
The team has indicated that all four of their quarterbacks will get an opportunity to compete for the starting job. Madden players that roll with the Jets probably won't be conducting a four-man QB derby to name a starter.
So who would be the smartest choice?
Per Moore, Smith is the man for the job. During our interview, Moore points out how things like QB awareness don't factor in when gamers are controlling the quarterback. That ability is entirely up to the user.
With intangibles like that removed from the equation, Smith should be head and shoulders above the competition. Without releasing specifics, Moore said:
"I think Geno Smith ran a sub-4.6 40 [yard dash]. He is pretty accurate with the deep ball, he's tough and he's never been hurt. He probably would be the best bet to start."
It's not as though Smith will have a ton of stiff competition. In the final ratings from last season, Sanchez was rated just a 74 overall, McElroy a 67 and Simms a 61.
Sanchez and Smith are the only realistic options, but Smith's mobility gives him the edge.
Depending on how you like to run your offense, Pryor may be the best option. He had a 91 throwing power in the last Madden 13 ratings with a 73 throwing accuracy. Flynn's arm wasn't nearly as strong.
He had an 82 in throwing power, but he was clearly more accurate with an 84 in accuracy.
The big difference came in speed. Pryor had an electrifying 90 rating and Flynn had a respectable, yet less game-changing 76. Moore said:
"If you can suffer through Pryor's accuracy issues, he could be a good pick."
If you like a mobile quarterback, you'll have to deal with the occasional errant throw form Pryor. His speed could be a big asset.
If you like to play as more of a pocket passer, Flynn would obviously be the better choice.
No one should feel comfortable with Kevin Kolb as their starting quarterback. One that thought alone, it seems Manuel should be everyone's choice.
Perhaps if Manuel is given, or if he earns the starting job in real life, he can perform and gain a ratings boost. Kolb doesn't bring a ton of mobility and chances are, if you do start him, he may wind up being injured and making your choice pretty easy.
Without having been made privy to Manuel's ratings, I feel comfortable telling every potential Bills gamer that Manuel is your best choice.
Madden games always try to accurately emulate the playbooks of the head coaches in the NFL. Assuming gamers that choose the Eagles run Chip Kelly's offense, there isn't a better option than Vick.
Yes, he had his issues in 2012, but much of that was due to an offensive line that allowed 48 sacks on the season. Foles and Dixon add depth, but with relatively low overall ratings at the end of the season (Foles, 72 and Dixon 69), this is a two-horse race.
Vick still ended the year with an 84 overall rating, a 97 in throwing power and a 76 in accuracy. As for his speed, Vick was at an 89.
However, with reports surfacing that Vick blew away LeSean McCoy in the foot race this offseason. Vick may be in for a speed boost considering McCoy's last speed rating was a 94.
Scouting reports that say Matt Barkley's arm strength is limited will hurt him in the throwing power category. His accuracy will likely be solid, though.
He completed 63.6 percent of his passes in 2012 and 69 percent in 2011. But the athleticism edge will still make Vick the best choice in the game.
This may sound like and open-and-shut case for Ponder, but both men ended the season with overall ratings of 74.
Obviously, Ponder is more athletic player. He finished the season with a 77 speed rating compared to Cassel's 69. Ponder actually held the slight edge in throwing ratings as well.
The overall ratings in this scenario is a great example as to how awareness can sway the overall ratings. Ponder's awareness was just a 67, while Cassel's final awareness rating was 75.
Since that won't matter to gamers who are controlling the Vikings, Ponder is the man to choose.
The Jags have a situation almost identical to the Vikings. Gabbert is the more athletic player. He ended the season with a 75 speed rating compared to a 67 for Henne.
The throwing ratings are similar with Gabbert holding two-point edge in accuracy in the final Madden 13 ratings. Henne was four points better in throwing power.
Although I'd never make this decision in real life, I'd go with Gabbert on Madden. The throwing numbers are too close, but the speed edge makes Gabbert a mild weapon as a runner.
Locker and Fitzpatrick is another athlete vs. accuracy deal. In case you haven't noticed the trend; if the throwing numbers are comparable, I tend to lean towards the better athlete, but not this time.
Locker moves well and his 83 speed rating to close out the Madden 13 season is evidence of that. Fitzpatrick isn't exactly immobile, though.
His speed rating was a 75 in the final Madden 13 ratings. Fitzpatrick's 84 accuracy easily trumps Locker's 73. Locker has the bigger arm with a 95 in throwing power, but Fitzpatrick should be able to get the job done with an 84.
I would value the 11-point accuracy edge over the eight-point speed advantage, especially considering Fitzpatrick has adequate mobility.
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