by Irfan Karimullah, special to Breaking Burgundy
This weekend un-officially marks the start of the NFL season with the Hall of Fame introductions and opening preseason game. For the video game enthusiasts, they are also one weekend closer to the highly anticipated release of the Madden Football franchise on August, 23. With the release quickly approaching the 2017 Madden Player Ratings were unveiled and much like every year before this there was no shortage of players who were ambivalent, shocked, happy, confused and or irritated with their own ratings.
Because Madden ratings are serious business we decided to look at the Redskins ratings and how they stack up against some of their 2016-17 opponents. Here first are the top rated Redskins.
The tweet that started a feud...
Patrick Peterson called it a "joke" on Twitter that Josh Norman was the highest rated Madden cornerback after a training camp video showed Norman getting beat in 1-on-1 drills by DeSean Jackson. Norman's response? "That guy...oh, wow. Well, I haven't gotten scored on by DeSean in a game. That's really all I have to say about that."
Redskins at Cardinals: December 4th, 2017.
About that Jackson vs. Peterson matchup...
Peterson out-rates Jackson 91 to 84 overall, and matches him with a speed rating of 93. Peterson also trumps Jackson in agility, with his 97 rating, one better than Jackson's 96. In a world of pixels Peterson should be able to keep Jackson in front of him, and stay with him at top speed.
But…slants and comeback routes aren’t going to win you games, you have to be able to throw it deep too. Holding a slight advantage in acceleration, Jackson’s 93 speed is one better than Peterson meaning that if you can catch your opponent in the right coverage, that slight edge may be just enough to give you the deep vertical route you need to take your opponent’s heart.
Offense is king in Madden and we give the edge here to Jackson if we’re starting a team. Peterson may be able keep Jackson in check for the majority of a game but you can’t stop a homerun-threat forever. And all it takes in a video game or on the actual football field is one play to crack it open.
Don't forget about Norman vs. Beckham twice this year
Based on what we saw from these two last year this is must see TV if you are a football fan.
What about Bob?
NFC East QB ratings
Kirk Cousins certainly won't be the sexy pick if you are choosing a Madden team but from personal experience he's a guy who gets the job done. This year the folks at Madden rewarded him for his historic season for the Redskins and have him rated as the number two QB in the NFC East. New York Giants fans probably won’t be happy that their Super Bowl winning QB is rated equally to a prove it or lose it QB who may or may not be one of the highest paid QB’s in the league next year. There should also be no surprises from anyone to see a good majority of Eagles team users going with Wentz over Bradford. Romo’s injury rating by the way…76, second to Sam Bradford in the East.
(It will die one day. But not yet.)
How does the offensive line look?
According to the Madden Ratings, the Redskins have just 1 of the top 12 offensive lineman in the NFC East.
Dallas has 4 of the top 12, 2 of the top 3, and the top rated NFC East lineman in Tyron Smith.
The Eagles have 4 of the top 12. The Giants have 3.
If the Redskins O-line was looking for a chip to put on their shoulder, I think they found it.
How good can the receiving corps be?
As a group, the Redskins have the strongest receiving core in the NFC East. The Skins boast 4 of the top 10 rated receiving threats in the Division, with Jordan reed at 3rd, Desean at 6th, Pierre Garcon at 8th, and Vernon Davis at 9th.
Yes, Odell and Dez rank 1st and 2nd overall, but we have all witnessed the Gronk Tight End Revolution. Explosive WRs are great, but dominant tight ends can be the new game changers. Jordan Reed is exactly that. A game changer.
How do the running backs stack up?
By comparison to the rest of the league the NFC East is quite weak at the RB position. The highest rated running back in the division is Ryan Mathews, at a not-so-intimidating 82.
For those wondering: LeVeon Bell is #1 overall, at 94. AP is a 91.
About that Defensive backfield…
The Norman and Breeland tandem features two of the top five Madden rated corners in the division and Norman being the highest rated cornerback in the NFL. Not sure when the Redskins last had the highest rated ‘any position’ in Madden, feel free to leave that in the comments if you’d like.
For comparisons sake the Seahawks still have three of the top 11 rated secondary players in the entire league, including the #2 rated corner Richard Sherman, and #4 rated free safety Earl Thomas overall. And Kam Chancellor, the #2 rated strong safety in the NFL, has a hit power rating of 97 overall, the best in the league AT ANY POSITION. (Vernon Davis nodding vigorously)
What was once a weak prognosis for the Redskins has now become a strong suit in real life.
How does the pass rush look?
The Redskins suffered a huge blow in the pass rush game when they lost Junior Galette to another torn Achilles for the second consecutive year. Ryan Kerrigan was surely going to benefit from having help on the other side of the field but will not have to rely on some lesser known household names to get back to his pro-bowl form. The improved secondary should help the Redskins line to generate more QB pressure and the one thing everyone should feel comfortable with is the defensive side of the football won’t be lacking in swaggyness.
Last but not least…the Special Teamers
I don't even know why Madden does these rankings, because really, who doesn't go for it every time on 4th and 23 from your own 5 in Madden right?
But in reality field position affects games drastically, and kickers can win and lose games more often than we'd like.
Depending on if the level of play you use, All-Madden for some, the news that Dustin Hopkins is rated as the 25th best kicker in Madden 17 may be a little alarming because that kick meter will moving faster than DeSean Jackson on a go route. But if you are trying to pin your opponent with the killer coffin corner punt have no fear because punter Tress Way is tied as the 4th highest rated punter in the league.
Madden 17 comes out August 23rd, and we hope this provides you a nice guide to choose whether or not you will chase the pixelated Lombardi trophy on your PS4, Xbox or PC using the 2016-17 Redskins or if this team isn’t quite ready to take on the ultra-competitive world of Madden gaming.
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