The ratings for the new Madden NFL 12 video game have been released, two teams at a time, for the past several weeks on ESPN.com. Two days ago, the ratings of the St. Louis Rams players were released.
Every season there are guys who start out rated below what they actually play at and don't receive any love until the end of the season.
There are five main players on the St. Louis Rams roster who aren't receiving the credit they deserve for their efforts a season ago. This slideshow will show their current Madden rating, comparisons to other NFL players and what their Madden 12 rating should be.
Current Madden 12 Rating: 75 overall
Comparisons: Antwaan Randle El (76 overall), Brad Smith (76 overall) and Anthony Armstrong (77 overall)
This is just disgusting right here. I have no idea what the creators of Madden were thinking when they rated Danny Amendola below Antwaan Randle El, Brad Smith and Anthony Armstrong. Seriously? Anthony Armstrong is better than Danny Amendola?
Antwaan Randle El caught only 22 balls a season ago. Brad Smith caught only four balls. Anthony Armstrong caught 44. So, the three men who caught a grand total of 70 balls are better than the one man who caught 85 balls? The logic behind that just isn't there.
The only possible case that can be made is that Randle El and Brad Smith both are return men as well. Wait a second. Who finished second in the league in punt return yards? Oh, I forgot, that was Danny Amendola.
Madden 12 Rating Should Be: 82
Current Madden 12 Rating: 83 overall
Comparisons: Sebastian Vollmer (81 overall), Ryan Diem (83 overall) and Bryant McKinnie (85 overall)
This isn't really about comparing Rodger Saffold to other guys in the league as much as it is comparing him to teammate Jason Smith.
Jason Smith checks in at a 87 overall rating. Saffold should be around the rating of Smith. As a rookie, he stepped in and held down the left side of the Rams offensive line. Saffold and Smith were great complements to each other. Rodger is the better pass blocker, while Jason is a brute in the run game.
The only rookie lineman that out performed Saffold a season ago were Maurkice Pouncey (88 overall) and Mike Iupati (88 overall). So, it appears a rating boost should be handed to Rodger.
Madden 12 Rating Should Be: 86
Current Madden 12 Rating: 87 overall
Comparisons: Gary Brackett (86 overall), Paul Posluszny (87 overall) and DeMeco Ryans (89 overall)
James Laurinaitis has become a major leader of this young Rams squad in his first two seasons. He has been able to total over 100 tackles in his first two years. Laurinaitis may finally get the national recognition he deserves this season.
His Madden rating is pretty good considering that he is just a third year player, but I think it may be time for him to reach the 90 overall plateau. Reaching a 90 overall would signal Laurinaitis joining major company. A few players rated at 90 or better are James Farrior, Ray Lewis and Bart Scott. We'll find out this season if James Laurinaitis can play at that elite level.
Madden 12 Rating Should Be: 90 overall
Current Madden 12 Rating: 80 overall
Comparisons: Brandon Carr (81 overall), Eric Wright (81 overall) and Patrick Peterson (82 overall)
Ron Bartell isn't horribly underrated when you look at the comparisons, but I think he could be given a little more love.
Statistically, Bartell's numbers have been bad, but maybe it's a good bad. What I mean is that he has zero interceptions over the past two seasons, but maybe that means quarterbacks aren't throwing at him as much.
It's hard to say whether or not Bartell is better than Brandon Carr or Eric Wright, but it's safe to say that he is on their level. It's a little absurd that Patrick Peterson has yet to take a snap in the NFL and he is rated so highly, but that's a different story.
Madden 12 Rating Should Be: 82 overall
Current Madden 12 Rating: 76 overall
Comparisons: Greg Toler (75 overall), Sam Shields (75 overall) and Mike Jenkins (77 overall)
Bradley Fletcher is a guy who could be in for a breakout season. Don't be surprised if he establishes himself as one of the better corners in the league and overtakes Ron Bartell for the number one cornerback spot.
Last season he became the unchallenged starter, opposite of Ron Bartell. He reeled in four interceptions, and deflected 11 passes. That's a considerable improvement from his rookie season of zero interceptions and one deflection.
Fletcher will reach the 80 overall mark at some point this season in Madden 12, but I don't believe he is quite there yet. In real life, he is way more valuable than in the virtual world of Madden.
Madden 12 Rating Should Be: 79 overall