Football is the most popular sport in America right now, no doubt. Because of this, the Madden series of video games has continued strong for over 20 years now.
Whether its speculation on the Madden Curse or trying to go 16-0 in an All-Madden difficulty franchise, the games have been a source of entertainment for many of us NFL fans.
But, we all know that your favorite team's success relies mainly in the hands of one thing; player ratings.
So, in this article, I rate each of the Titans' starters and some significant back-ups.
Kerry Collins, QB, 85
Kerry Collins is not a particularly gifted or spectacular quarterback, but he can make some throws and manage games without turning the football over too much.
He was also selected as a Pro-Bowl stand in quarterback, which has to count for something. Expect his intelligence and accuracy ratings to be fairly high.
Chris Johnson, HB, 93
Chris Johnson will probably have one of the best two or three speed ratings in next year's Madden game, which is a big reason he has a high rating.
But he's not just a sprinter; he's a football player who has some wheels. However, he isn't particularly powerful in his running style, but should still be considered an elusive back.
Ahmard Hall, FB, 86
Ahmard Hall was a large reason why Johnson and LenDale White had success last season. He made some good blocks and also had a couple receptions. I'll give Hall a couple more points that he didn't have last season in Madden 09.
Justin Gage, WR, 84
You may think this rating is a little high, but if Justin Gage was healthy last season, he would've had a season of about an 84 or 85 rated wide receiver.
Plus, in that playoff game against the Baltimore Ravens, he had 10 receptions. He'll have a high strength rating for a wide receiver and will be one of your favorite mid-range targets.
Nate Washington, WR, 83
Nate Washington is a speedier target that Tennessee needed desperately, and will likely compliment Gage well.
He'll have the highest speed rating of the wide receivers and will be a good deep or slot target. Washington will be one of the better receivers over the middle as well.
Bo Scaife, TE, 86
Anyone who watched Bo Scaife last season knows this rating is fair. He isn't explosive like Antonio Gates or tall like Heath Miller, but he is a good possession receiver and powerful.
He led the Titans in receptions last year with 58 and has been very consistent with his numbers. It's time he breaks a higher rating than the low 80's.
Michael Roos, LT, 95
Last season, Michael Roos developed into one of the top two or three left tackles in the NFL. We all know that having a dominant left tackle leads to success, which is what happened for Tennessee.
Roos is a dominating run blocker, while still being successful against the pass, considering he gave up just a single sack all season.
Eugene Amano, LG, 85
Eugene Amano last year was the distant weak link on the offensive line. This year, he improved a fair amount, but is still the weakest on this dominant line.
He gave up only two sacks last year, but still remains raw as a blocker and not dominant enough on the better defensive tackles in the NFL.
Kevin Mawae, C, 90
Kevin Mawae is one of the most tenured centers in the NFL today, and didn't give up a single sack in 15 starts last season for the Titans.
However, an elbow injury at 38 years old doesn't spell great news for Mawae. He is still a top five center, but it'll be hard to live up to last year's Pro Bowl season.
Jake Scott, RG, 94
The right guard was a question mark after Jake Bell left them last offseason, but Jake Scott was a definite improvement. He came up with the second fewest sacks of all right guards at .5.
Scott could improve more, since he is only 28, and has emerged as a dominant right guard against the run and the pass.
David Stewart, RT, 91
David Stewart, opposite of Roos, gave up two sacks last season, but that number was the fourth fewest among right tackles.
Stewart is the tallest and heaviest of the lineman, but still has good quickness off the line. He tends to draw fines, but isn't dirty. He can still grow a lot as a lineman, since he is only 26.
Jevon Kearse, DE, 80
Jevon Kearse is on the decline, unfortunately, but still had a decent 2008. He had three forced fumbles, but isn't exactly the same "Freak" he was back in the early 2000's.
His starting spot is very much up for grabs, but I gave it to him because he had the spot last season.
Kyle Vanden Bosch, DE, 92
Last season, Kyle Vanden Bosch didn't have a monster season, mostly due to a pesky groin injury.
Vanden Bosch is still the most dominant defensive end the Titans have, and should get more credit than he has. Have fun racking up the sacks with Vanden Bosch in Madden 10.
Jason Jones, DT, 85
Jason Jones has only had one monstrous game (three forced fumbles, 3.5 sacks, and four tackles, something Albert Haynesworth will never do) but his rating is probably going to be around 85.
While its unclear which two of the three good defensive linemen for Tennessee will start, I'll give the second year Jones one of them.
Tony Brown, DT, 85
Tony Brown played along side Haynesworth last season, and did pretty well. However, I'm still a little skeptical of his abilities and what he can do without Haynesworth taking two or three blockers up for him.
Brown gets the other start because he started last year, unlike the reserve Jovan Haye.
David Thornton, LB, 89
David Thornton is the only person who has ever beaten Keith Bulluck for the team lead in tackles since 2002, which he did in 2007.
Thornton has a good mix of speed and power, but to get up to a more elite rank, he'll need to do a little more from the outside spot, perhaps recording more sacks.
Stephen Tulloch, LB, 84
Stephen Tulloch is a fast linebacker who gained a little more strength and intelligence as the season went on last season.
He was second on the team in tackles, and also led all Titan linebackers in pass deflections. If Tulloch can keep rolling, his rating could rise to the higher 80's.
Keith Bulluck, LB, 98
Keith Bulluck is a truly elite linebacker in the NFL, perhaps the best we've seen the last few seasons as an outside backer in a 4-3 defense.
Bulluck is quick, powerful, and versatile even at 32 years old. He is probably the best player the Titans team has to offer, so have a good season with him.
Cortland Finnegan, CB, 95
This seventh rounder from Samford is still rising into the elite of the NFL's cornerbacks. Cortland Finnegan was second on his team in interceptions and first in pass deflections.
Finnegan is a great man-to-man defender, and is getting better at his zone defense. He's only 25, so he won't leave for a while if you play Franchise Mode.
Nick Harper, CB, 86
Nick Harper is a hard-hitting an good zone coverage man even at 34 years old, but he took a step in the wrong direction last season with the injury.
Harper is a solid No. 2 for now, but will need to be replaced in the next one or two offseasons by the Titans' management.
Michael Griffin, FS, 93
Michael Griffin really emerged last season as a ball hawk for Tennessee, leading the NFL in interceptions with seven, and bringing one back to the house for a score.
He is improving in run support, and is still young and fresh at 24. Griffin has proved early in his NFL career he was worth a first round pick.
Chris Hope, SS, 93
While Griffin is a ball hawk, Chris Hope is a much more aggressive safety. He hits harder than just about any safety in the NFL, but can still rack up picks (he had four last year).
He was voted by the fans as a reserve safety for the AFC Pro-Bowl team, and should build on that as he enters his prime.
Rob Bironas, K, 94
We all know that Rob Bironas has arguably the biggest leg among all kickers in the league, but he's also becoming pretty accurate.
He hit 88% of his field goals, and hit a 51 yarder as his long. You won't have to go for it on fourth downs with Bironas.
Craig Hentrich, P, 79
Craig Hentrich is getting up there in age, but he's still not a bad punter. He ranks 25th in punting yards average, and got called on 87 times last year to punt.
He'll get the job done, but he may retire in the next couple of seasons.
Ratings of Key Reserves:
- Vince Young, QB, 82
- LenDale White, HB, 87
- Javon Ringer, HB, 77
- Kenny Britt, WR, 80
- Jared Cook, TE, 81
- LeRoy Harris, C, 80
- Jacob Ford, DE, 84
- Dave Ball, DE, 84
- Jovan Haye, DT, 85
- Sen'Derrick Marks, DT, 78
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