The release of Madden NFL 15 on Aug. 26 in North America (Aug. 29 internationally) has football fans and gamers ready to get their hands on the latest installment in EA Sports' classic series.
One of the biggest announcements for the game came gradually, as the video game franchise released the top player ratings for each position in increments. Now that all the names have been released, it’s time to examine the list and see where the best players landed.
Here is a full list of the top stars announced and a breakdown of the most overrated and underrated players.
|Peyton Manning||Denver Broncos||98|
|Aaron Rodgers||Green Bay Packers||98|
|Drew Brees||New Orleans Saints||96|
|Russell Wilson||Seattle Seahawks||93|
|Tom Brady||New England Patriots||93|
|John Kuhn||Green Bay Packers||93|
|Mike Tolbert||Carolina Panthers||92|
|Marcel Reece||Oakland Raiders||92|
|Anthony Sherman||Kansas City Chiefs||90|
|Jerome Felton||Minnesota Vikings||88|
|Top Running Backs||Team||Rating|
|Adrian Peterson||Minnesota Vikings||98|
|LeSean McCoy||Philadelphia Eagles||97|
|Jamaal Charles||Kansas City Chiefs||97|
|Matt Forte||Chicago Bears||95|
|Marshawn Lynch||Seattle Seahawks||95|
|Top Tight Ends||Team||Rating|
|Jimmy Graham||New Orleans Saints||97|
|Rob Gronkowski||New England Patriots||96|
|Vernon Davis||San Francisco 49ers||94|
|Jason Witten||Dallas Cowboys||93|
|Greg Olsen||Carolina Panthers||88|
|Top Wide Receivers||Team||Rating|
|Calvin Johnson||Detroit Lions||99|
|Brandon Marshall||Chicago Bears||96|
|Andre Johnson||Houston Texans||95|
|A.J. Green||Cincinnati Bengals||95|
|Dez Bryant||Dallas Cowboys||94|
|Top Offensive Linemen||Team||Rating|
|Joe Thomas||Cleveland Browns||98|
|Evan Mathis||Philadelphia Eagles||97|
|Josh Sitton||Green Bay Packers||97|
|Joe Staley||San Francisco 49ers||94|
|Top Defensive Ends||Team||Rating|
|J.J. Watt||Houston Texans||99|
|Robert Quinn||St. Louis Rams||97|
|Cameron Wake||Miami Dolphins||96|
|Calais Campbell||Arizona Cardinals||96|
|Cameron Jordan||New Orleans Saints||93|
|Muhammad Wilkerson||New York Jets||93|
|Top Defensive Tackles||Team||Rating|
|Ndamukong Suh||Detroit Lions||97|
|Geno Atkins||Cincinnati Bengals||96|
|Gerald McCoy||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||95|
|Kyle Williams||Buffalo Bills||95|
|Jurrell Casey||Tennessee Titans||93|
|Top Middle Linebackers||Team||Rating|
|Patrick Willis||San Francisco 49ers||96|
|NaVorro Bowman||San Francisco 49ers||96|
|Luke Kuechly||Carolina Panthers||94|
|Derrick Johnson||Kansas City Chiefs||91|
|Jerod Mayo||New England Patriots||91|
|Top Outside Linebackers||Team||Rating|
|Von Miller||Denver Broncos||96|
|Aldon Smith||San Francisco 49ers||96|
|Justin Houston||Kansas City Chiefs||93|
|Lavonte David||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||93|
|Robert Mathis||Indianapolis Colts||93|
|Richard Sherman||Seattle Seahawks||99|
|Darrelle Revis||New England Patriots||97|
|Joe Haden||Cleveland Browns||95|
|Patrick Peterson||Arizona Cardinals||93|
|Vontae Davis||Indianapolis Colts||92|
|Top Free Safeties||Team||Rating|
|Jairus Byrd||New Orleans Saints||96|
|Earl Thomas||Seattle Seahawks||95|
|Devin McCourty||New England Patriots||94|
|Eric Weddle||San Diego Chargers||94|
|Charles Woodson||Oakland Raiders||86|
|Top Strong Safeties||Team||Rating|
|Kam Chancellor||Seattle Seahawks||93|
|Troy Polamalu||Pittsburgh Steelers||93|
|T.J. Ward||Denver Broncos||91|
|Eric Berry||Kansas City Chiefs||90|
|Reshad Jones||Miami Dolphins||89|
|Top Kickers and Punters||Team||Rating|
|Brandon Fields||Miami Dolphins||96|
|Matt Prater||Denver Broncos||95|
|Andy Lee||San Francisco 49ers||95|
|Robbie Gould||Chicago Bears||93|
|Justin Tucker||Baltimore Ravens||93|
*All stats via EASports.com.
Most Overrated Player: Andre Johnson, WR, Houston Texans
It’s hard to find an athlete in the game who can be considered overrated when the top player ratings are released, but Houston Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson’s 95 is the perfect example of an inflated rating.
Johnson is tied for third-best wide receiver in the game with Cincinnati Bengals star A.J. Green and is rated one point less than Brandon Marshall of the Chicago Bears. He is also rated one point higher than Dez Bryant of the Dallas Cowboys.
For many hardcore football fans, the 95 rating doesn’t hold up.
EA Sports' Madden Twitter account broke down why Johnson was tied for third:
There is no questioning Johnson’s size, strength and speed (6’3” and 230 pounds), but at 33 years old and with a recent history of nagging injuries, the developers at Madden flat-out overrated Johnson this season.
On the field, Johnson was a beast for Houston in 2013, racking up 109 catches for 1,407 yards and five touchdowns, but he was targeted a career-high 181 times. While he is one of the smartest and toughest players at his position, he isn’t always the most consistent, which should have hurt his rating.
Other players who could have made a case for a spot in the top five over Johnson would be stars like Denver’s Demaryius Thomas, Green Bay’s Jordy Nelson or even Cleveland’s Josh Gordon.
Most Underrated Player: Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots
As crazy as it sounds, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is the most underrated player in the game at 93 overall. Even at 37 years old there are few QBs in the NFL with as much skill as Brady.
Even in what many fans would consider a down year for the veteran, he still managed 4,343 passing yards and 25 touchdowns. Add in the injuries that plagued New England on offense last season, and Brady looks to have been punished for circumstances beyond his control.
Brady still has it. His 99 AWR is tied with Peyton for best in the NFL, and his 94 Short Accuracy (third), Medium Accuracy (fourth), and 93 Throw Power are all elite. There are plenty of reasons to NOT give up on Touchdown Tom quite yet.
It’s understandable to have Denver’s Peyton Manning (98 rating), Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers (98) and New Orleans’ Drew Brees (96) as the top three, but Brady belongs at No. 4 and rated at least a 95 overall.
Brady achieved last year’s numbers with tight end Rob Gronkowski hurt for the majority of the season, wide receiver Danny Amendola dealing with various injury issues and pass-catching running back Shane Vereen missing half the season with a wrist injury.
Imagine the numbers he would’ve posted if all three men where healthy for the majority of the season.
With a full cast of characters returning and ready to showcase their skills, Brady will return to his elite form and prove Moore wrong by once again inserting himself into the upper echelon of NFL quarterbacks.
*Stats via NFL.com.