Arguably one of the greatest and most successful video games of all time, the Madden series releases a new game every year with new features, more realistic gameplay and above all, new rosters.
Electronic Arts, the developer, just released the player ratings for the Indianapolis Colts. Typically, EA is very realistic with their rating system, so perfect scores are rare (you will see one here though).
The following is the projected starting lineup, according to Madden 11's player ratings.
If anybody on this team deserves a 99, it's Peyton Manning. Manning is one of the players who can be counted on to pull in a high rating in Madden, and for the last few years, it's been a 99.
He has a Throw Accuracy rating of 99, but interestingly has a Throw Accuracy Deep of only 88.
Curtis Painter received a 61 overall.
Addai tops all of the running backs with a slightly underwhelming overall of 86. Given his AFC championship and Superbowl performances (where he averaged 5.0 and 5.9 yards per carry respectively), I think he should be rated a few points higher but this is still a relatively realistic ranking.
Some of his most impressive numbers are his Acceleration (94), Agility (96), Spin Move (91) and Juke Move (97). These are to be expected as Addai has typically been a speed-oriented elusive back.
Backing up Joseph Addai are Donald Brown (78) and Mike Hart (65).
The Colts starting Fullback is Gijon Robinson according to EA but as all true Colts fans know, it will most likely be a backup DE (in the rare event that the Colts actually USE the I-formation).
The 70 rating is unimpressive, but then again, it's hard to be an impressive fullback when your offense stays in the ace formation most of the time.
Backing up Robinson is Jacob Tamme (68).
These are the only ratings that left me scratching my head. Reggie Wayne is obviously deserving of his high rating with his mammoth 100 reception season, but isn't Garcon a little bit better than an 80?
In the regular season, Garcon led all Colts in YPC and in the AFC championship, broke the record for receptions with 11. Additionally, he caught Peyton Manning's only touchdown pass in the Superbowl. In my opinion, he should be around an 85.
Notables are Wayne's high Catch (98), Spectacular Catch (96), Catch in Traffic (95) and Route Running (99) ratings. Garcon leads all Colts wideouts with a 93 speed rating.
In the slot is Austin Collie (76) and the fourth wide receiver is Anthony Gonzalez (75). Again, I don't know where these ratings came from, but they're quite low.
No surprise here. Dallas Clark pulls in one of the highest TE ratings after his career year. Clark is tied with Wayne for the highest overall rating of any Colts pass catcher, which is fair considering they were team leaders in receptions, yards and touchdowns.
Notables are his relatively high TE Speed (87), Catch (97), Spectacular Catch (95), and Route Running (98) ratings.
Backing up Clark is Tom Santi (76).
The starters are slated to be:
LT - Charlie Johnson (83)
LG - Mike Pollak (76)
C - Jeff Saturday (92)
RG - Kyle Devan (72)
RT - Ryan Diem (85)
LT - Tony Ugoh (72)
RT - Adam Terry (72)
C - Andy Alleman (71)
LG - Jamey Richard (71)
RG - Jaimie Thomas (62)
The starters are slated to be:
RE - Dwight Freeney (97)
DT - Antonio Johnson (78)
DT - Daniel Muir (75)
LE - Robert Mathis (95)
RE - Jerry Hughes (74)
DT - Eric Foster (71)
DT - Fili Moala (66)
LE - Keyunta Dawson (73)
The captain of the Colts' defense, Brackett leads all team linbackers with a very solid overall rating of 87. Always a solid player, Brackett is more of an undersized, agile cover linebacker than a massive run-stuffer.
Notables are his high Awareness (97), Play Recognition (97), Pursuit (93) and Tackle (92) ratings.
Backup is Pat Angerer (66).
For someone who played quite solidly down the stretch, Philip Wheeler really got stiffed by EA. Although he was a backup until Hagler fell out with an injury, Wheeler had consistently produced when given playing time.
Notables...um, his "high" Injury rating (92)? By the way, that's a good thing.
Backup is Cody Glenn (46).
Hard hitting, fire-breathing Clint Session pulls in with an overall rating of 80. Although he may not have the superb all-around game that Brackett does, Session will always been known for his bone-crushing tackles.
Notables are his high Hit Power (92) and Pursuit (92) ratings.
Backup is Ramone Humbler (54).
Many might think these ratings are too low (I for one do) but the truth is, we haven't seen enough of either player recently to cement them as "good" cornerbacks, only solid ones.
Notables are Hayden's high Jump (94), Agility (92) and Stamina (95) ratings. Also notable are Powers' high Acceleration (92), Agility (91), and Stamina (92) ratings.
Backup is Jacob Lacey (71).
Always an underrated free safety, Bethea definitely deserves his 95 rating. After being selected to the Pro Bowl in 2009 and recording 4 interceptions in the regular season, he has cemented his status as an elite safety.
Notables are his high Acceleration (91) and Stamina (90) ratings.
Backup is N/A (no other FS on roster).
The Hitman. Arguably one of the best Strong Safeties in the league right now, Sanders' only fault is his injury prone body. This year however, Sanders is actually healthy during the offseason, a rare occurance. Could this be the first year when he plays all 16 games?
Notables are his high Speed (92), Acceleration (93), Agility (92), Toughness (97), Swagger (93), Pursuit (93) and Hit Power (95) ratings.
Backup is Melvin Bullitt (79).
Although there are a few blips here and there, I believe EA mostly got it right with the Colts this year. I do believe a few players will prove their ratings wrong this season however...for better or for worse.