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Madden NFL 25: Daily Results and Analysis of EA Sports' All-25 Team

Brian MaziqueCorrespondent IIIJuly 31, 2013

Madden NFL 25: Daily Results and Analysis of EA Sports' All-25 Team

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    Who is your ultimate go-to guy on Madden? Chances are, it has changed through the years. Depending on the previous year's stats and your playing style, some superstars of the real-life gridiron have been nearly unstoppable on the virtual gridiron.

    For Madden 25, EA Sports is compiling the All-25 team. This is a squad made up of the most dangerous and effective players at every position throughout the 25 years the company has produced the ever-popular series. The roster is being revealed in units everyday leading up to the final players being named on August 10.

    It began on July 29 when the head coach of the Madden All-25 team was named. I'll give you one chance to guess who will be patrolling the sidelines. 

    Take a look at the slideshow to see the coach and players selected as they are revealed.

Head Coach: John Madden (Revealed July 29)

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    The obvious choice to coach this team of mega stars is John Madden. He's more than the king of football onomatopoeia; Madden owns the highest win percentage among coaches since 1930.

    He never had a losing season and he won one Super Bowl. Oh yeah, and the game is still called Madden NFL Football, so there.

    All those that were hoping to see Barry Switzer on the sidelines for the All-25 team, my apologies. Here's a look at the trailer revealing Madden as the coach and announcing the All-25 concept.

HB: Marshall Faulk from Madden 2003 (Revealed July 30)

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    It is really hard to argue with placing Faulk in the backfield of the All-25 team. Most NFL fans can appreciate how good Faulk was as a member of the St. Louis Rams' Greatest Show on Turf, but he was even more devastating on digitally rendered turf.

    As one of five players with a 99 overall rating in Madden 2003, Faulk was the most dangerous player on the field in Madden that year.

    His jukes, speed and hands made him a crazy weapon from just about everywhere on the field. He could pound the ball on the inside or you could send him out wide, and he was a more-than-capable receiver.

    Faulk is definitely the most complete halfback in Madden history.

FB: Mike Alstott from Madden 2000 (Revealed on July 30)

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    The most lethal fullback in the history of Madden football is Mike Alstott of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Teamed with Warrick Dunn, the virtual Bucs had the best example of thunder and lightning you could find on Madden 2000.

    The only other rushing attack that was even close was the Atlanta Falcons' DVD with Dunn, T.J. Duckett and Michael Vick, but Alstott definitely deserves the nod over Duckett on the All-25 team.

    Back before a 99 overall rating in the game was the most coveted mark a player could obtain, Alstott was rated a 100 overall in this version. The FB Dive play was never more rewarding than when you could hand the ball to Alstott.

    In 1999, he made the Pro Bowl and was a first-team All Pro. He rushed for 949 yards and seven touchdowns that season. Those stats were good enough to make Alstott an absolute beast in Madden.

    Here's a look at Faulk and Alstott in action from Madden 2000, 2003 and a sneak peek at them as part of the All-25 team:

     

DE: Julius Peppers from Madden 2006 (Revealed on July 31)

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    At 6'7", 287 pounds, Julius Peppers is one of the most imposing figures on defense the NFL has ever seen. Mix in basketball-like physical talents and tremendous speed, and you have a Madden legend.

    In Madden 2006, Peppers was the most dominant pass-rusher in the game. He had 11 sacks in 2004 and followed that up with 10.5 in 2005. The stats and combination of size and athleticism is all that is needed to create a Madden monster.

    The Madden All-25 team certainly won't lack a fierce pass rush with Peppers attacking off the edge.

DE: Dwight Freeney from Madden 2007 (Revealed on July 31)

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    Freeney stands just 6'1", but his explosiveness has made him one of the best pass-rushers of his era. He has compiled 107.5 sacks in his 12-year NFL career.

    In Madden 2007, EA Sports gave him his due, as he was a handful for gamers who opposed the Indianapolis Colts.

    Freeney had racked up 11 sacks in 2005, and that helped to spur him to a 98 overall rating.

    With he and Peppers rushing the passer, opposing teams will need to have two great tackles just keep the quarterback from eating dirt all game.

    Here's a look at Peppers and Freeney in action as part of the All-25 team:

     

FS: Sean Taylor from Madden 2006 (Revealed Aug. 1)

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    EA Sports really tugged at the heartstrings of many NFL fans with this selection. The late Sean Taylor's death was one of the worst tragedies the NFL has endured in the past 10 years.

    Even though appointing Taylor as the starting free safety is a nice gesture, he isn't on the team simply for sentimental reasons.

    In 2005, Taylor was in his prime and EA Sports rewarded him with a 99 overall rating. At 6'3" 220 pounds, Taylor was one of the most physically imposing safeties in NFL history.

    He was an intimidating tackler and he had 12 interceptions in his four-year career. 

SS: Brian Dawkins from Madden 99 (Revealed Aug. 1)

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    Brian Dawkins put the strong in strong safety. The adjective goes beyond his sick guns; Dawkins was as strong a leader on defense as the game has ever seen.

    In Madden 99, the Philadelphia Eagles legend was like a missile in the defensive backfield. Armed with a speed rating of 88, zone coverage rating of 90 and hit power set a 95, Dawkins made virtual receivers shake in their pixelated boots.

    Can you feel that?

    Check out Taylor and Dawkins on the All-25 team in the video below:

CB: Deion Sanders from Madden 95 (Revealed on Aug. 2)

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    Things just got real. The only player with a 99 overall rating in speed, agility and acceleration was Deion Sanders in Madden 95.

    Do your best to resist the urge to put him on kickoff returns, punt returns, at wide receiver, halfback, quarterback and every other position on the field.

    In case you're wondering how Sanders became the shut-down corner that no quarterback wanted to challenge, take a look at these numbers. From 1993-94, Sanders picked off 13 passes and took three of them back for scores.

    If he gets his hands on the ball, all he needs is one juke and he could be gone. The All-25 team's cool points just spiked tremendously.

CB: Champ Bailey from Madden 2005 (Revealed on Aug. 2)

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    Champ is one of the most well-rounded corners in history. Sure he was a ball hawk, but he could also tackle in the open field.

    In Madden 05, Bailey had a 95 speed rating, 97 agility and a sticky 97 rating in man-to-man coverage.

    His hands were as good as most third receivers with a hands rating of 84. At times, you could do the unthinkable and leave Bailey on the dreaded island of man-to-man coverage with a receiver.

    His coverage and athletic ratings were just that good.

    This cornerback tandem is going to help shut down just about any passing attack in Madden 25. Check out Bailey and Sanders in their reveal video:

     

     

KR: Devin Hester from Madden 2008 (Revealed on Aug. 3)

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    This had to be one of the biggest no brainer selections on the All-25 team. Hester's amazing kick and punt returning skills inspired EA Sports to give him the first-ever 100 rating in speed in Madden 2008.

    Kicking the ball to Hester was purely insane for NFL kickers through the mid-to-late 2000s. Likewise, gamers were flirting with disaster if they didn't attempt to angle the ball away from Hester in Madden.

    It's not as if this team needed good field position to score, but Hester's presence makes it almost a given. Here's a thought: suppose gamers kick away from Hester, his idol Deion Sanders could be placed alongside to leave opponents between a rock and a hard place.

     

K: Adam Vinatieri from Madden 2004

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    Because of his track record for clutch kicking, the virtual Vinatieri earned his spot as the kicker for the All-25 team.

    He had a 99 overall rating thanks to a 99 in kick accuracy and a 94 in kick power for the New England Patriots in Madden 2004.

    Unless you're playing against an opponent who also has the All-25 team, it is hard to imagine this team being forced to settle for a field goal.

    If it happens, you've got the best in the cyber business at your disposal.

P: Shane Lechler from Madden 12

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    Perhaps the only star that will be less utilized than Vinatieri is Shane Lechler. Many Madden gamers are allergic to punting with regular teams. Imagine their aura of invincibility on fourth downs with the All-25 team.

    In a moment of virtual insanity, gamers can turn to Lechler whose 99 overall rating makes finding the coffin corner a breeze.

    Lechler's kick power was a 99 in Madden 12, and his accuracy was a 97. Even if you don't believe in punting, use Lechler just for the heck of it. It's Madden...he's an Oakland Raider...it's only right.

     

    Check out the special teams stars of the All-25 team in the video below:

     

QB: Michael Vick from Madden 2004

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    As one of the most dangerous players in the history of the Madden video game series, Michael Vick from the 2004 edition of the game has been voted the starting quarterback for the Madden NFL All-25 team.

    With many great QB’s over the last quarter century—stars like Peyton manning, Tom Brady and other first-ballot Hall of Famers—the fact that Vick gets the nod is a true testament to how dominant the character was in the game.

    Who's the All-25 Team's starting QB? Just the most dominant Madden player of all time: http://t.co/lRYQJYbYEG #Madden25

    — EA SPORTS Madden NFL (@EAMaddenNFL) August 5, 2013

    With a 90 overall rating, Vick was able to sneak under the radar of the people you were playing against. That was until the gamer took control of Vick as a running back and burnt up defense with his tuck-and-run abilities.

    The elite speed (95), acceleration (97) and elusiveness (92) made him one of the best running backs in the game, but his throwing power (98) and accuracy (84) made him the greatest dual threat in the game’s history.

    There was no stopping Vick in Madden 2004, but how he handles the All Madden will be a huge test. Judging from my childhood, he will run all over and throw a soft fade to break my heart.

     

    -Donald Wood

TE: Antonio Gates from Madden 2010 (Revealed Aug. 6)

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    As tight end weapons in Madden go, Gates in Madden 2010 was certainly amongst the most dominant. I could make a case for the San Francisco 49ers Vernon Davis in Madden 13 and Madden 12, but Gates is a future Hall of Famer.

    In Madden 2010, Gates had remarkable hands, leaping ability and he was adept at shaking off defenders to get open for passes.

    His catch rating was a 97, his spectacular catch rating was 95 and his route running was set at a 97. Good luck trying to find a linebacker fast enough and defensive back big enough to contain Gates.

WR: Randy Moss from Madden 2009 (Revealed on Aug. 6)

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    Ever heard of the rocket catch in Madden? Sure you have, well one of the biggest culprits for this near unstoppable tactic was New England Patriots WR Randy Moss in Madden 2009.

    Since then, the gameplay has evolved to a point that brings more realism to the receiver-defensive back interactions, but if anyone deserved to unstoppable it was Moss.

    Moss' Madden 09 ratings were based on his spectacular 2007 campaign. In real life, Moss had 98 receptions, 1,493 yards and 23 touchdowns. On Madden that translated to ratings of 100 in jump, 99 in speed, 97 in catching and 100 in spectacular catching and a 98 overall rating.

WR: Brian Finneran from Madden 2004 (Revealed on Aug. 6)

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    And we have our first "are you kidding me moment of the process? Don't get me wrong, I remember tossing the ball up to Finneran with Vick back in Madden 2004, but I contend that part of Finneran's virtual gridiron effectiveness was directly related to Vick's unique skill set.

    In the year in question, Finneran's overall rating was an 87. He did have a 99 rating in jumping and a 93 in catching so it isn't as if EA put Michael Jenkins on the All-25 team, but it seems like maybe the Madden 06 version of Terrell Owens might have been a better fit.

    At any rate, I'm sure the All-25 team won't lose any games because of Finneran.

    Take a look at the All-25 receiving corps in action:

     

OT: Orlando Pace from Madden 2003 (Revealed Aug. 7)

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    The man that inspired the term pancake block takes his rightful place as a starting offensive tackle on the Madden All-25 team. Pace is one of the greatest St. Louis Rams players in history and not enough fans realize that.

    For Chicago Bears fans that remember Pace past his prime at Soldier Field in 2011, this isn't that Pace. This is the beast that was rated a 96 overall in Madden 2003 because of his 97 rating in pass blocking and 90 rating run blocking.

    The Greatest Show on Turf gets a lot of love for its explosiveness, but it wouldn't have been quite as good without Pace protecting Kurt Warner.

OT: Jonathan Ogden from Madden 2005 (Revealed Aug. 7)

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    The honors have come fast and steady for the mountainous Jonathan Ogden over the past two weeks. He was recently inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and now EA Sports names him to the All-25 team.

    Obviously, one is a bigger accomplishment than the other, but that Hall-of-Fame thing is still pretty cool...I kid.

    At 6'9" Ogden was the most dominant offensive tackle in the NFL for a decade and thus in Madden. Specifically, the 2005 version of Ogden was more than a controller-ful to handle.

    His ratings of 98 in strength and awareness coupled with 97 in pass and run blocking made him almost perfect. EA Sports rewarded him with a 98 overall rating and Mike Vick should feel very safe with Ogden protecting him.

C: Dermontti Dawson from Madden 2004 (Revealed Aug. 7)

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    While we're talking about Hall of Famers, we may as well tell you about the All-25 team's center. Pittsburgh Steelers great Dermontti Dawson was a snow plow up front for the Steelers in Madden 96.

    Dawson's best Madden days came before the series and technology had advanced to the high level of visual appeal we enjoy now, but he was no less effective with less pixels available.

    Jerome Bettis benefited greatly from the holes Dawson helped to provide in real life and in Madden. Take a look at Pace, Ogden and Dawson in action in the trailer announcing their All-25 inclusion. 

OG: Larry Allen from Madden 95 (Revealed Aug. 8)

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    Big, nasty guards are essential for a strong running game. They don't come much bigger or nastier than newly-inducted Hall-of-Famer, Larry Allen.

    The view Michael Vick has in the image above is one Dallas Cowboys' great Troy Aikman got used to seeing a lot. Primarily, Emmitt Smith benefited from the running lanes Allen helped to provide. In Madden 95, Smith was great, but if you paid close attention, he had a lot of success running left.

    That's because Allen was usually bulldozing his opponent into the ground. His 98 overall rating is spurred on by his Herculean 99 strength rating, 98 awareness and 99 run block rating.

    Any ball carrier for the All-25 team is likely to experience the same success if the ride No. 73 to daylight. 

OG: Steve Hutchinson from Madden 07 (Revealed Aug. 8)

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    With all due respect to Allen, Hutchinson was my favorite guard in Madden history, He was rated a 99 overall in Madden 07 as the lead plow for cover athlete Shaun Alexander.

    While Hutchinson's strength is legendary, he was very well-rounded in real life and in Madden. He had a 95 strength rating, 96 in awareness, 97 in run blocking and 95 in pass blocking.

    Most impressive was his acceleration. I'm not sure what it was that year, but it was good enough to allow Hutchinson to play some fullback for me. You haven't seen a truck stick until you've seen a Steve Hutchinson truck stick.

    The Michigan Wolverines legend has a special place in my heart.

    Here's a look at the guards for the All-25 team in action.  

OLB: Derrick Thomas from Madden 97 (Revealed on Aug. 9)

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    The late, great Derrick Thomas was one of the greatest pass rushers in NFL history. His abilities helped revolutionize the outside linebacker position in a 3-4 scheme.

    He holds the single-game record for sacks with seven and in his 11-year career, he recorded 126.5 sacks. He was a beast in Madden 97 with a 99 overall rating. His quickness was a marvel at the position and shined through on Madden.

    He had an 88 speed rating, 99 in finesse pass rushing moves and a 99 pursuit. D.T. is awesome addition to the All-25 team.

MLB: Ray Lewis from Madden 2005 (Revealed on Aug. 9)

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    "I need your best, your very, very best." That is one of the coolest quotes from the many pre-game inspirational speeches Lewis has delivered.

    EA Sports obviously wanted the best because they chose Lewis to be the middle linebacker for the All-25 team. It really wasn't much suspense here.

    Lewis has been a cover athlete, been featured in the pre-game intro and he just happens to be the greatest middle linebacker in the history of the game.

    In Madden 2005, Lewis had a 99 rating in almost every category that matters for a linebacker. The Ravens great was maxed out in tackling, power, pursuit and others.

    He was king of the hit stick tackle and a blast to play with.

OLB: Derrick Brooks from Madden 03 (Revealed on Aug. 9)

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    As speedy outside linebackers go, Brooks is my all-time favorite. His quickness was what set him apart in the NFL and in Madden.

    His speed rating was an 87 and tackling was a 96. Perhaps what made Brooks so dangerous was his ability to defend the pass. He didn't just bat passes away, Brooks had the hands to pick it off and the running ability to take it to the house.

    His 82 catch rating is like that of a wide receiver or tight end. He rounds out a stellar and balanced linebacker group for the All-25 team.

    Here's a look at Lewis, Brooks and Thomas in action in their All-25 trailer.

     

DT: Albert Haynesworth from Madden 09 (Revealed Aug. 10)

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    From 2007-08, Albert Haynesworth was the most dominant defensive tackle in the NFL. His speed, power and explosiveness led to 14.5 sacks over that time and two Pro Bowl appearances.

    EA Sports acknowledged Haynesworth's elite play with awesome ratings in Madden 09. Haynesworth was rated a 93 overall, but most impressive was his strength mark of 98 and block-shedding rating of 95.

    Controlling Haynesworth as he ripped through centers and guards en route to tackles for loss and sacks on helpless quarterbacks was fun. In real life, he fell off considerably after the 2008 season, but you can relive Haynesworth's heyday forever as a member of the Madden 25 All-25 team.

DT: Warren Sapp from Madden 02 (Revealed Aug. 10)

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    The All-25 team has a distinct Hall of Fame feel. Sapp rounds out the team and marks the third member of the 2013 Hall of Fame class to be tabbed for the all-world Madden squad.

    Sapp's pass-rushing ability was a rarity at the defensive tackle position. He anchored the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense for nine years and helped lead them to a Super Bowl in 2002 with fellow All-25er, Derrick Brooks.

    In Madden 02, Sapp was rated a 99 overall. At 300 pounds, he had a 72 speed and 96 pursuit rating. If he needed to put a move on an interior offensive lineman, Sapp had the goods.

    His finesse pass-rushing rating was a 98. Here's a look at Sapp and Haynesworth in their All-25 trailer:

     

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