The newest edition of the most successful virtual football franchise in the world is set to release tonight, with Madden NFL 12 hitting the shelves at your local retailer at midnight.
Part of the intrigue in buying the game is seeing how your favorite team stacks up to others both in the game and ratings-wise.
The Oakland Raiders check in at just 76 overall, which might infuriate more than a few fans who see this team on the rise in the AFC West. Especially after sweeping the division last year, the Raiders don't deserve to be almost a full 10 rating points behind the rival Chiefs (84) and Chargers (85).
Alas, that's where the virtual football world has the Raiders.
However, that doesn't mean the Raiders don't have some electrifying players to use in Madden. Here is the top 5 most dynamic players on Oakland's Madden NFL 12 roster.
Madden Ratings: 87 Overall, 97 Speed, 97 Acceleration, 95 Ball Carrier Vision, 96 Stiff Arm
I think an 87 overall is a little bit low for McFadden, who is one of the game's up and coming running backs.
But regardless of his overall rating, McFadden will be one of the most dynamic backs in Madden. His 97 speed puts him in the upper echelon among No. 1 backs, and we all know speed kills in virtual football.
Add in 97 acceleration, with solid vision and a nasty stiff arm, and you have the makings of one of the best Madden backs this year.
Run DMC, run.
Madden ratings: 74 Overall, 98 Speed, 97 Acceleration, 96 Agility, 88 Jump, 93 Elusiveness, 94 Juke Move, 92 Spin Move, 99 Return
There's no doubt in my mind that Ford will be one of the more exciting weapons to use in Madden NFL 12.
Just look at some of those important ratings. 98 speed will allow him to run circles around defenders on both offense and special teams. His acceleration will allow him to get from 0 to 60 in no time, which is important on punts, kicks and bubble screens.
And despite his small stature, he'll be tough to bring down with high ratings in elusiveness, juke and spin. Of course, his 99 rating on returns should surprise no one. He's one of the best in the business in that area.
Madden ratings: 72 Overall, 97 Speed, 96 Acceleration, 92 Jump, 90 Juke Move, 88 Agility, 85 Elusiveness
You're going to have quite a weapon in Heyward-Bey if you can find out ways of getting him the football.
His 73 catch is terrible for a receiver in Madden, but his other attributes help make him a dangerous plyer to have on your team. As a virtual Al Davis/Hue Jackson combination (I dare you to try imagining what that would look like), it's your job to get the ball in the hands of this former first-round pick.
Once he does, the speed and acceleration should give him the opportunity to take any play to the house. Verticals seem like they'd be a good play for DHB, but I'm not sure he can catch it.
While real-life Heyward-Bey certainly struggles with it, maybe his virtual clone can do better than he's shown so far in his disappointing career.
Madden ratings: 87 Overall, 95 Speed, 91 Acceleration, 92 Jump, 88 Pursuit, 85 Agility
When I'm playing defense in a Madden game, the position I usually man-lock on is safety. It's the perfect mixture of covering and playing the run.
When looking for a safety to play with, speed is obviously a huge factor. The Raiders have a good one in that regard in Branch.
His 95 speed allows him to cover up any mistakes that the Raiders young secondary is sure to allow. His 88 pursuit rating should also make him a factor in the running game as well.
CB Demarcus Van Dyke: 68 Overall, 98 Speed, 97 Acceleration
CB Stanford Routt: 85 Overall, 95 Speed, 94 Acceleration, 92 Man Coverage
CB Chris Johnson: 76 Overall, 97 Speed, 96 Acceleration
S Michael Huff: 84 Overall, 93 Speed, 94 Acceleration
If there's one thing the Raiders front office does well, it's stockpile speed. In Oakland's secondary, there is an abundance of players who are flat-out burners.
Rookie Demarcus Van Dyke is the fastest of them all, and if he can develop some coverage skills, he could be a good Madden player.
Stanford Routt has the speed to stick with most receivers and is good in man coverage.
Chris Johnson (No, the TItans running back wasn't traded and he hasn't changed positions) has plenty of speed to burn, but like Van Dyke, needs to be better in coverage.
Finally, there is Michael Huff, who has the speed to cover up mistakes that these young burners will surely make.
Overall, it's a take your pick from the Raiders secondary when it comes to their last dynamic player.