There is only one week left until training camps for most of the NFL teams begin. After a short break, football has returned to the consciousness of a sports fan … if it has already left. And with it comes get ready for the latest Madden video game. But this year’s game, which comes out on August 19, is a little different.
Following the death of the series’ namesake, Hall of Fame coach John Madden, on December 28, 2021, and EA Sports’ decision to put Madden on the cover, there’s a sense of legacy around the game this year. But Madden has always wanted the game to be about football and to be as close to the reality of the sport I love as possible to coach, teach and talk about it as much as possible. He was the one who pushed for it to be 11 in 11 in the beginning. He was the one who was still involved in the video game aspects until his death.
As the game grew in the spirit of American culture, certain aspects stood out more than others. Ratings are important to players. They will complain on social media about their rating and sometimes ask questions of those who do. The Madden crew has an entire staff dedicated to adjusting ratings throughout the year. It’s a big deal.
With that in mind, here are details for Initial reviews when Madden 23 was released, some of the top players at each club’s annual 99th position, which turned out to be an honor about the sport. We’ll be rolling out more positions every day this week:
1. Miles JarrettBrown: 99
2. TJ WattSteelers: 96
3. Nick Bossa49ers: 94
T4. von millerbills: 92
T4. Khalil MacChargers: 92
T 6. Joey BossaChargers: 91
T 6. Cameron JordanSaints: 91
T-8. De Marcus LawrenceCowboys: 90
T-8. Chandler JonesRaiders: 90
10. rashan runningPackers: 89
Last December, Garrett became the first Browns player in Madden history to earn a 99. Now, he’s the first Browns player to join the 99 at launch. He’s coming off his fourth consecutive double-digit season after hitting a career high last season 16. It’s the second year in a row that Garrett has been the best at launch (he was 98 to start last year).
TJ Watt, last year’s NFL Player of the Year, went from third to second in this year’s preliminary rankings and jumped from 94 to 96. Nick Bosa was the biggest mover of the group. Last year, he started at number nine with an overall rating of 90. Now, he is third with a score of 94.
Miller switched teams from last year’s launch — twice — first trading from Denver to the Rams and then signing with Buffalo at a free agency. While it has fallen to 92 overall from 93 this season, it has progressed from a sixth-place tie to a fourth-place tie with Mack, who was second and 96th overall last year.
The bottom half of the top ten has two new faces and also without future Hall of Famer JJ Watt, who was tied for third place as one of the Braves last season.
1. Fred Warner49ers: 94
2. DeMario DavisSaints: 93
3. Lafonta Davidpirate: 92
4. Bobby Wagnerrams: 91
5. Darius Leonardponies: 90
6. Ruchuan SmithBears: 89
T-7. Micah ParsonsCowboys: 88
T-7. Eric KendricksVikings: 88
9. Defender CampbellPackers: 87
10. Devin WhitePirate: 85
Not much has changed at full-back. Warner is still Madden’s best midfielder with the same rating he was awarded at his launch last year (94).
In fact, the top four players from last season are still the same, only in a different order. Last year’s standings were Warner, David, Wagner and Davis, but this season’s Warner Davis has gone David Wagner.
Leonard rose from sixth to fifth, rising to 90 this year from 89 last year. Kendricks, fifth last season, has fallen to a tie for the seventh time this year – with Parsons’ overall rating of 88. Incidentally, Parsons has a chance to be a standout candidate at Madden this year. The bottom of the top ten sees Campbell and White joining in as new additions.
1. Davant AdamsRaiders: 99
2. cooper cuprams: 98
3. Trek Hilldolphins: 97
4. DeAndre HopkinsCardinals: 96
5. Stefon DiggsBills: 95
6. Justin JeffersonVikings: 93
7. Mike Evanspirate: 92
T-8. Terry McLaurinLeaders: 91
T-8. Kenan AllenChargers: 91
10. Amary CooperBrown: 90
Perhaps no group of players received as much support in real life this past season as the receivers. Once Christian Kirk Getting his four-year, $72 million contract from Jacksonville, it seemed to have resulted in an explosion of money going to the top players in the position. He has, in many ways, transformed the receiver into a key position in the NFL along with the quarterback, left flank, rim edge and quarterback. Recipients get paid big – and at Madden, their ratings reflected just how talented this group is.
It’s one of three groups where the top ten has a rating of 90 or higher, and up to five receivers can claim to be the best in the game.
While Adams has moved from the Packers to the Raiders, his status as the game’s top receiver – and at Club 99 at launch – remains the same. Last year represented a huge leap from Adams, who was 94 at the launch of Madden 21.
Behind Adams, there is great movement. Hopkins dropped from 98 to 96, and from second to fourth. His replacement for second overall is Kupp, who went from outside the top ten early last year to 98 overall after 145 catches, 1947 yards, 16 touchdowns. Cobb’s appearance led to a lot of players dropping in at least one place.
1. Travis Kelseyheads: 98
2. George Keitel49ers: 97
3. Mark AndrewsCrows: 93
4. Darren WallerRaiders: 91
5. TJ Hawkinsonblack (89
6. Kyle Bateshawks: 87
7. Mike Jesickidolphins: 86
8. Dallas GuedertEagles: 85
T-9. Zach ErtzCardinals: 84
T-9. Hunter HenryPatriots: 84
For a position that continues to grow in scope and importance in the field, the man who leads it remains the same. While Kelsey is no longer a member of the 99 clubs – though he wouldn’t be surprised if he gets it back during the 2022 season – he still ranks first in the game with a rating of 98. With the exception of another player, the roster behind him isn’t that close.
Kelce’s biggest competitor is Kittle, one of his Tight End teammates. Kittel is the No. 2 tight finish again this season and is now 97, up from 96 last year. Then comes the drop. Andrews (93 overall) enters the ’90s and goes from No. 4 to No. 3. He flips with Waller, who has fallen from third to No. 4 and from 93 last year to 91 this year.
After that, big moves happen. Hawkinson – one of the best young finishers in the game – is now No. 5 in the game and 89 overall after finishing 89th and 83rd last season. Bates had his second-best season ever for a rookie tight end in 2021, including 68 catches and 1,026 yards, and is now No. 6 with an 87. Jeseky’s slight rises from eighth to seventh and 85 to 86. Goedert made a similar move from No. 10 to No. 8 and 84 to 85. Ertz, one of the most consistent tight ends in the league, made a big jump from 80 overall to 84 and entered the top ten in ninth.
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