New York Giants Preview: Starting Lineup According to Madden 2011 Rating
Anyone else remember the hilarious John Elway Football commercials? I think it's safe to say the marketing for video games has drastically improved since the 1980s.
With Madden '11 set to hit stores in just a couple of weeks, EA Sports has released the ratings for the players on each team.
So, naturally, I am going to breakdown the New York Giants' roster according to them. As with every year on every team, some are rated outrageously high, and some are embarrassingly low, but for the most part, the developers got it right.
Lets just say I don't see the Giants as a popular selection for online play.
I have played every Madden since 2005 on Xbox Live and I am here to tell you they still have yet to work out a lot of the kinks. Hopefully Madden '11 gets it right.
QUARTERBACK—Eli Manning (89)
After having the best season of his career, a rating on the cusp of 90 isn't all that surprising.
His accuracy is a low 64, which is not a fair rating considering his completion percentage was 62.3 percent. He was just under Tony Romo in terms of ranks in the NFL, throwing at a 63.1 percent clip, yet Romo's rating in accuracy is 80.
Enjoy that when using the Giants, as you're sure to have a few balls not go where you intended.
Other than that I have no problems with the rating, but one wonders how much higher he would have been if his accuracy would have been rated fairly.
WIDE RECEIVER—Steve Smith (88), Hakeem Nicks (81)
With Steve Smith surpassing the 100 reception mark and destroying the Giants' single season record in that category, an 88 rating is expected. While he essentially catches everything throw his way, he is not as much of a deep threat to warrant a 90+ rating.
Hakeem Nicks could be that deep threat for you when using the Giants with spectacular catch (89) and jumping (92), but the speed (87) is discouraging for those wishing to use Nicks as the "Go-Route" guy.
One thing that really upset me is the Ramses Barden rating. This is a guy who has immense potential, but the creators of Madden handicapped his ability to do anything in the game with a 32 awareness rating and 52 route running.
I realize he has yet to see the field for a reasonable stretch, but he should offer more than just (95) jumping.
BACKFIELD—Brandon Jacobs(84), Ahmad Bradshaw(78), Madison Hedgecock(86)
Like any other decent Madden player, the first thing you do with the Giants (when playing online anyways) is switch Bradshaw and Jacobs on the depth chart to utilize Bradshaw's speed, then do a package switch to use Jacobs on the goal line.
For our purposes, we'll recognize Jacobs as the starter due to a superior rating.
As expected, he took a dive in the rating due to a sub par 2009, but still provides that bruising style that will hopefully be back to 2008 form in 2010.
Hedgecock is still a premier blocking FB, but his 86 rating is indicative of the poor rushing attack the Giants featured in 2009.
TIGHT END—Kevin Boss (81)
Ah the Boss Man. Best known for his clutch big time catch in Super Bowl 42, he has quietly become one of the more underrated tight ends in the NFL.
Any rating in the 80s is respectable, but I would have liked to see Boss be a bit higher than 81.
He has great hands, great route running and above average speed, which should be enough for at least an 84-85 rating, but EA failed to give him a decent rating in all three categories.
Once again, the Madden creators have shown love to the Giants Offensive Line, but they backed off a bit from their previous ratings. I can remember in 2010 or maybe 2009 that all or at least four of them were rated in the 90s.
The ratings and position are as follows:
RG—Chris Snee (96)
C—Shaun O'Hara (91)
LT—David Diehl (84)
RT—Kareem McKenzie (82)
LG—Rich Seubert (80)
Hopefully the Giants line plays much better than they did last season, when they lost their title of best line in the business.
Probably the group that took the most hit in ratings from one season to the next, the Giants defensive line has something to prove in 2010.
Osi Umenyiora (83) in particular took a big drop in ratings, which is understandable since he is coming off a very disappointing 2009 season, but remember he was coming off microscopic knee surgery.
The ratings and positions are as follows:
DE—Justin Tuck (92)
DE—Osi Umenyiora (83)
DT—Barry Cofield (81)
DT—Chris Canty (77)
DE—Mathias Kiwanuka (83)
DT—Jay Alford (76)
DE—Jason Pierre-Paul (76)
OUTSIDE LINEBACKERS—Michael Boley (84), Clint Sintim (71)
I couldn't believe it when I saw these two ratings. I honestly feel that Boley is rated a bit too high and Sintim is far too low. Hopefully Boley proves me wrong and Sintim proves me right.
At this point, nobody but maybe Tom Coughlin knows who's going to be starting at outside linebacker, but I think we can all agree there will be some shuffling with the first team group during training camp.
Sintin was a pass rushing specialist in college and is expected to get his shot this year, but he will have to adjust from his college role as a 3-4 pass rushing linebacker to more of a pass coverage guy in the Cover 2.
Even though Madden slots Sintim as the starting ROLB, I get the feeling Sintim is not ready for that spot just yet, even though I think his rating should be a bit higher due to his ability to stop the run and get to the QB.
INSIDE LINEBACKERS—Jonathon Goff (65), Philip Dillard (64)
As if the middle linebacker situation wasn't depressing enough, seeing the ratings for these two made it much much worse.
Any linebacker not named Boley is rated 71 or lower, and Zack DeOssie is rated higher than Chase Blackburn, Goff, and Brian Kehl, which is ironic because the those three saw much more playing time than DeOssie.
I think the Madden guys completely missed the boat or just didn't care when they rated Blackburn a 64. He played very well in spot starts the past two years and warrants a much better rating.
CORNERBACK—Corey Webster (89), Aaron Ross (78)
Corey Webster has emerged as a legitimate cover corner in this league and will benefit from the Giants upgrading the guys behind him with the signing of FS Antrel Rolle and backing up Kenny Phillips with Deon Grant.
Webster put himself on the map when he intercepted Brett Favre in OT in the NFC Championship, and has improved every year since.
Aaron Ross battled injuries for the whole of 2009, so his rating of 78 is not a huge surprise, but I think something in the 80's is more realistic. He may not come back from injury to be the same guy in real life, but he possesses enough talent to be higher than 78.
Madden obviously thought he was good in some attributes, as he is rated highly in speed (88), acceleration (93), agility (93), and jumping (91). What more could you want right? But Madden did the classic "Rate-something-else-way-lower-to-bring-down-his-overall-on-purpose" move, seen by his power moves (18), pursuit (68), and tackling (53) ratings.
SAFETY—Antrel Rolle (83), Deon Grant (80)
I used the Pro Bowl picture of Rolle on purpose. Really? 83? Pro Bowler? I think the Madden guys missed this one completely as well.
Even being the NFC replacement at the Pro Bowl, that still means he was one of the top 3 safeties in the conference, possibly top 6 in the league.
And Kenny Phillips' question as to whether or not he is going to play has to be the reason why he is not rated higher than Deon Grant as the strong safety. Phillips (78) is the expected starter, but his knee will have to hold up long enough to keep Grant off the field.
Madden did the same with Phillips to pull down his overall by rating his awareness (55) and play recognition (48) way lower than real life indicates.
SPECIAL TEAMS—Lawrence Tynes (68), Matt Dodge (66)
27/32 total, 5/6 in 40-49 yard range, 1/1 50+ range, 84 and 88 ratings in accuracy and power and that gives you a 68 rated kicker?
I don't know what EA Sports was thinking when they pulled Tynes' rating down this low, maybe it has to do with him missing four field goals under 40 yards, but his overall total isn't that terrible. He also happened to have the best season of his career in terms of percentage and not missing a single PAT.
Something tells me the rating of a kicker doesn't really mean much so long as you have the accuracy and power right, which it looks like they do.
Matt Dodge at 66 kind of makes sense considering he is a rookie, but I don't get how having kick power at 96 and accuracy at 83 equals out to a 66 rating as a punter.
Good thing these ratings for kickers are all that matters, and the overall is pretty much meaningless.