It’s still early for this—in fact, it’s only June—but the team ratings for the upcoming Madden 10 have been released. The player ratings are also being released day-by-day from ESPN. From the information I have gathered, I have put together a list of the top five teams to use in the upcoming game.
5. New York Giants
The Giants are a pretty solid Madden team that can get you the job done. Getting Osi Umenyiora back will help the Giants defense in the game. Their defense is pretty solid and can shut down the run.
The weak part on the defense will be their secondary. They have an average secondary at best, and I expect people online to take advantage of that weak secondary.
The Giants also have a solid offense. Led by Eli Manning, who is an average Madden quarterback, this offense can put up points in a hurry.
Losing Plaxico Burress hurts, because he was a nice deep-threat for Eli, but the Giants have some receivers that can fill that void. The run game is going to be tough to stop, though. Both running backs are big and power-type backs who can give people fits.
Overall Rating: 89
4. Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles are going to be one of the elite teams in Madden. They have both a solid offense and defense with key players all over the field. Donovan McNabb leads a potential high-scoring Madden offense that includes speed threats in DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, and Kevin Curtis.
Did I mention they have one of the best running backs in Brian Westbrook? Westbrook is a Madden guru’s dream—a big back with all sorts of speed and elusiveness. Westbrook will be tough to stop in this game, and your best bet is to try to contain him.
The Eagles also have a pretty good defense, too, led by shutdown corner Asante Samuel, who seems to pick off almost everything close to him in Madden. The loss of Brian Dawkins hurts big time, leaving the safety position in a hole. People are going to miss the hard-hitting Dawkins, who forced a fumble or two in most Madden games.
Overall Rating: 88
3. Pittsburgh Steelers
The defending Super Bowl champions will have a very good team in Madden this year. A good run-stopping defense mixed in with an offense full of playmakers is a Madden player's dream. The defense will be the best on Madden 10, and that’s no surprise. The front seven is incredible and will stop any run game you throw at them.
The secondary is not that bad either. They will have good corners and a hard-hitting safety in Troy Polamalu. When your receiver catches that ball, you better make sure he holds on to it, because Polamalu can force a fumble anytime he hits you. This defense has the power to change the game in a heartbeat and will be a defensive guru’s choice.
The Steeler offense will be very good, also, led by Big Ben Roethlisberger, who is a pretty good Madden quarterback. Give him good receivers who can make big plays in Santonio Holmes and Hines Ward, and then mix in a good tight end in Heath Miller, and you have a tough offense.
Those guys are not the best players on the Steelers offense Madden-wise, though. That title belongs to Willie Parker.
Parker is a big, physical back with tons of speed. Bringing down Parker will be tough, and don’t let him get into the open field. Parker is going to be a handful for defenses in this year’s Madden. He has the ability to change the game in one play.
Overall Rating: 92
2. San Diego Chargers
The Chargers are the best team talent-wise in Madden 10. I expect to see a lot of online users using the Chargers because of their playmakers. The offense is sick. LaDainian Tomlinson, Antonio Gates, Philip Rivers, Darren Sproles, and Chris Chambers will give your defense fits. Tomlinson and Sproles will be forces out of the backfield with speed.
LT also seems to be one of the toughest players to tackle in Madden. How many times have you had four guys wrap up LT only to see him escape? Add in the speed Sproles brings to the backfield, and that running game will be the best in Madden.
Rivers is a decent Madden quarterback. He’s not the greatest, but he is good enough to give you the wins and keep you in the game. This team lacks a good Madden wide receiver, but Gates makes up for that in the tight end slot. Mix in some play action, and then find Gates over the middle for easy completions.
The Chargers defense is full of playmakers too: Shawne Merriman, Shaun Phillips, Antonio Cromartie, and Quentin Jammer, to name a few. Madden players will have a good and easy time using the Chargers.
It seems like their defense is one of the best in Madden games the past two years. I don’t expect that to change for this year’s game. The safety position will be a weak spot for the Chargers, but the speed of the corners might be able to make up for that.
Overall Rating: 88
1. New England Patriots
Madden players, your worst nightmare is back. Tom Brady makes his Madden return after getting injured last year and being unavailable online. In Madden 2008, we saw a lot of Patriots users online and use them to cheese.
The Brady-to-Randy Moss hookup was insane in that game, and sometimes tough to stop. Once you shut down Moss, you had to worry about speed threats in Donte' Stallworth and Wes Welker. Not to mention Laurence Maroney, who seemed to break every tackle possible.
Okay, enough rambling—we just have to deal with it.
The Patriots will feature a similar offense in Madden 10, featuring Moss and a speed-threat in Joey Galloway. I really just hope this year, there are not as many people who use Madden and cheese with them.
The Patriots don’t have a great defense, but it’s good enough to get the job done. Losing Asante Samuel last year and Rodney Harrison this year hurts. Their defense could be the one chance you have to beat them online this year. You should be able to carve up their secondary, but running against them might be tough.
Overall Rating: 93