The commencement of training camps for most NFL teams is just a calendar week away. After a brief break, football is back in the consciousness of the sports fan … if it always really left. And with information technology comes the training for the latest Madden video game. Only this year’southward game, which will be released Aug. 19, is a little fleck unlike.
Following the expiry of the series’ namesake, Hall of Fame coach John Madden, on Dec. 28, 2021, and EA Sports’ decision to put Madden on the cover, in that location’southward a feeling of legacy around the game this year. But Madden ever wanted the game to be about football and to judge the reality of the sport he loved to coach, teach and talk about as closely as it could. He was the one who pushed for information technology to exist xi-on-xi at the outset. He was the ane who was withal involved in aspects of the video game up until his expiry.
Equally the game grew in the zeitgeist of American culture, certain aspects stood out more than than others. Ratings matter to players. They’ll mutter on social media about their rating and sometimes enhance questions to those who are doing information technology. The Madden staff has an entire crew dedicated to adjusting ratings throughout the year. It’due south a big deal.
And with that in mind, here’s a breakdown of the initial ratings at launch of Madden 23, some peak players at each position and the annual 99 club, which has turned into an honor around the sport. We’ll ringlet out more positions each twenty-four hours this week:
1. Tom Brady, Buccaneers: 97
2. Aaron Rodgers, Packers: 96
3. Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs: 95
4. Josh Allen, Bills: 92
5. Joe Burrow, Bengals: 90
six. Dak Prescott, Cowboys: 89
7. Justin Herbert, Charges: 88
T-viii. Lamar Jackson, Ravens: 87
T-eight. Russell Wilson, Broncos: 87
ten. Matthew Stafford, Rams: 85
Deshaun Watson (No. 6), Ryan Tannehill (T-viii), Matt Ryan (10)
Tom Brady is the oldest quarterback in the game, plays it with his kids and has complained (jokingly, perhaps) about his Madden rating. But the human who grew up in the shadows of the Electronic Arts studios in San Mateo, California — and used to play pickup basketball on the EA campus — remains the pinnacle quarterback in the game at age 44.
Brady is a 97 for the second sequent season, and last year’southward cover athlete moved from 2d to first in the procedure. The man he shared the comprehend with in Madden 22, Patrick Mahomes, dropped from a 99 to a 95 and from first to third this year.
Between Brady and Mahomes is Aaron Rodgers, who stayed at a 96 overall and moved up to No. 2 after his second consecutive NFL Most Valuable Actor bays. That Rodgers is not a 99, well, that’s a gripe we’ll have with the game considering Rodgers’ dominance.
Josh Allen is No. 4 at 92, up from No. vii (and an 88) last season. Joe Burrow, after leading the Bengals to an AFC title, enters the height 10 at No. 5 with a 90 rating. Dak Prescott goes from No. 8 to No. vi and an 87 to an 89.
Justin Herbert joins his typhoon classmate, Burrow, in entering the peak 10 at No. vii with an 88. Russell Wilson and Lamar Jackson both remain in the top 10 and have an 87 rating subsequently both being 94s concluding year.
The superlative 10 is rounded out by the Super Bowl-winning quarterback, Matthew Stafford, who entered the top 10 later on going from 83 to 85 this season.
1. Trent Williams, OT, 49ers: 99
two. Zack Martin, Thou, Cowboys: 98
T-3. Tyron Smith, OT, Cowboys: 95
T-iii. Quenton Nelson, G, Colts: 95
5. David Bakhtiari, OT, Packers: 94
half dozen. Terron Armstead, OT, Dolphins: 93
7. Lane Johnson, OT, Eagles: 92
T-8. Tristan Wirfs, OT, Buccaneers: 91
T-8. Corey Linsley, C, Chargers: 91
x. Ronnie Stanley, OT, Ravens: 90
Rodney Hudson (T-vii), Brandon Brooks (T-7), Jason Kelce (T-9)
Left tackle Trent Williams is the first offensive lineman to exist part of the 99 Gild at launch in 16 years — since Seattle’south Walter Jones final achieved it in Madden 07. Grouping the offensive line as a whole instead of centers, guards and tackles, Williams also checks in at No. 1 among linemen in the game this twelvemonth, up from a 94 overall and No. 5 final season.
Baby-sit Zack Martin, last year’south tiptop offensive lineman at a 98 overall, remains at a 98 and is No. 2 (and No. one among interior linemen). Martin’s Cowboys teammate, tackle Tyron Smith, is tied with guard Quenton Nelson at No. 3 with a 95 rating. It’due south a jump for Smith from a 91 final twelvemonth, while Nelson remains the same as concluding year in rating and ranking.
Concluding year’due south No. 2, tackle David Bakhtiari, dropped from a 96 to a 94 and into fifth past himself. New Miami tackle Terron Armstead, previously in New Orleans, is No. 6 at 93, a drib from a 95 last flavor and a tie with Nelson for 3rd.
Tackle Lane Johnson moved into the tiptop 10 with a 92 rating, up from 88 last year, and the top x offensive linemen are rounded out with two new players — center Corey Linsley and tackle Tristan Wirfs, both with 91s — and one returning one, Ronnie Stanley, who dropped from No. 6 to No. x and is a 90 overall.
one. Jalen Ramsey, Rams: 98
2. Jaire Alexander, Packers: 94
3. Tre’Davious White, Bills: 93
T-4. Darius Slay, Eagles: 92
T-4. Denzel Ward, Browns: 92
T-6. Marshon Lattimore, Saints: 91
T-6. Stephon Gilmore, Panthers: 91
T-8. J.C. Jackson, Chargers: 90
T-eight. Marlon Humphrey, Ravens: 90
10. A.J. Terrell, Falcons: 89
Xavien Howard (No. 6), James Bradberry (No. 7), Kendall Fuller (T-8), Marcus Peters (T-10), Byron Jones (T-ten)
Jalen Ramsey may accept lost his 99 Club membership (for now), only he remains in the peak spot in Madden for the 2nd straight year with a 98 overall rating. It’south beneath Ramsey where the milkshake-up has really started to happen.
Final yr’s No. 2, Stephon Gilmore (so with the Patriots before existence traded to Carolina), dropped from a 97 to a 91 and into a necktie for 6th. Jaire Alexander, third terminal twelvemonth with a 95, is at present second despite dropping ane betoken to a 94. Tre’Davious White remains at a 93 but moved from fourth to tertiary.
Darius Slay and Denzel Ward moved into a tie for quaternary at 92 overall — a jump from 88 overall and a necktie for 10th concluding year for Slay and 89 overall and a tie for eighth last year for Ward.
Marshon Lattimore joins Gilmore at No. six with a 91 after not being in the top 10 last year (he was an 87 overall). Another new confront, J.C. Jackson, is tied for No. eight with Marlon Humphrey, who was 5th last season with a 92. Jackson was an 85 overall to kickoff last flavour.
At No. 10 is another ascension player, A.J. Terrell, who began last twelvemonth as a 77 overall and is now an 89 after a flavor when he turned into a shutdown corner for the Falcons.
Interior defensive linemen
1. Aaron Donald, Rams: 99
T-2. Cameron Heyward, Steelers: 93
T-2. Vita Vea, Buccaneers: 93
4. Jonathan Allen, Commanders: 92
5. Chris Jones, Chiefs: 91
six. DeForest Buckner, Colts: 90
7. Kenny Clark, Packers: 89
T-8. Jeffery Simmons, Titans: 88
T-8. Michael Pierce, Ravens: 88
10. Fletcher Cox, Eagles: 88
Calais Campbell (No. 7), Stephon Tuitt (T-eight), Akiem Hicks (T-x)
While Wednesday we mentioned Justin Tucker being the easiest call at the top of his position group, that’s not entirely truthful. That should be perennial 99 Club member Aaron Donald. The Los Angeles Rams star is once once again a 99 in the game and this year ties Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning for the most 99 Gild appearances in the history of the game.
It’south the 6th straight year Donald is a 99, and if he plays in 2023, ane would think he’ll interruption Manning’s record.
How much better is Donald than anybody else on the interior? Cam Heyward, himself a ascendant player, is a 93 overall, tied for No. 2 with Vita Vea. That’s a jump of one ratings point for Heyward and out of the cluster he was in tied for third last year. It’due south a bigger movement for the run-stopping problem that is Vea, who was an 88 and tied for No. 10 in Madden ’22.
Jonathan Allen is past himself at No. 4 with a 92 overall — another big mover like Vea from an 88 last season.
Chris Jones, who was also tied for third last year with Heyward and DeForest Buckner, is now 5th at a 91 overall. Buckner is sixth with a xc.
Kenny Clark stayed at an 89 overall but moved into seventh by himself, and there’s a iii-style tie for 8th at 88 with Jeffery Simmons, Michael Pierce and Fletcher Cox, who was No. 2 behind Donald final twelvemonth.
1. Derrick Henry, Titans: 97
T-2. Nick Chubb, Browns: 96
T-two. Christian McCaffrey, Panthers: 96
4. Jonathan Taylor, Colts: 95
5. Dalvin Cook, Vikings: 94
half-dozen. Joe Mixon, Bengals: 93
seven. Alvin Kamara, Saints: 90
8. Aaron Jones, Packers: 89
T-9. Austin Ekeler, Chargers: 88
T-9. Ezekiel Elliott, Cowboys: 88
Saquon Barkley (No. vii), Josh Jacobs (No. 8)
For the second directly year, no running back will get-go the season in the Madden 99 club, but at that place are a bunch of realistic candidates to potentially get at that place.
That starts with the No. i-ranked back. Henry moves from a tie for second to first this twelvemonth, and a 96 to a 97 overall. The 28-yr-onetime was on pace for another flavor shut to 2,000 yards just missed nine games in 2021 — and had he been healthy, he might take been a 99. If he gets back to normal course, he could get there.
McCaffrey dropped from No. ane last yr downwardly to a tie for second, and from 97 to 96 overall. Like Henry, if he is healthy and plays well, a return to 99 status is realistic. Chubb is tied with McCaffrey and made no moves from last season, remaining in second and at a 96. Taylor, who had a breakout second NFL season with an NFL-best 332 carries for 1,811 yards and 18 touchdowns, comes in at No. 4 at a 95 overall. Considering his age (23) and skills, he could be the No. ane back in the game before likewise long.
It’south clear Madden raters believe at that place’s a tier arrangement with the backs. Backside the top six — Cook is at No. 5 with a 94, and Mixon is No. vi at 93 — at that place’south a three-point drop. The next four backs are all talented but heading in different directions.
Kamara slid back iv ratings points (and two slots) from 94 to 90, and No. 5 to No. 7. Jones dropped back slightly from 91 to 89 and No. 6 to No. 8. Ekeler made a move into the top ten, tied at No. 9 with an 88 — the same rating Elliott had both concluding season and at launch for this season.
This feels like a position group that could have a ton of movement in the side by side two years.
1. Tyrann Mathieu, Saints: 94
2. Derwin James Jr., Chargers: 93
T-3. Budda Baker, Cardinals: 92
T-3. Kevin Byard, Titans: 92
T-5. Micah Hyde, Bills: 91
T-five. Justin Simmons, Broncos: 91
T-7. Jessie Bates III, Bengals: ninety
T-7. Jordan Poyer, Bills: 90
T-7. Harrison Smith, Vikings: 90
T-7. Jamal Adams, Seahawks: 90
Devin McCourty (No. 3), Minkah Fitzpatrick (T-eight), Eddie Jackson (T-8), Adrian Amos (T-8)
It’south a new squad for Mathieu, going from Kansas City to New Orleans, and he dropped slightly from 95 overall to 94. Just for the 2nd directly year, Mathieu is the safety rex.
The biggest mover among safeties might besides be the all-time actual Madden player of the bunch: James leaped back into the superlative 10 and from an 88 to a 93 rating, good enough for No. 2 overall. He takes that spot from Baker, who moved from No. ii to a necktie for 3rd, and from a 93 to a 92. Byard returns to the list afterwards a one-twelvemonth absence, tied for third with Baker.
A pair of Bills make the list, every bit Hyde is tied for fifth (91 overall), and Poyer is in a tie for seventh at 90 overall. Hyde is tied with Simmons, who kept the same rating from last year, and Poyer is tied with Bates (who moved from a 91 to a 90), Smith and Adams. Both Adams and Smith — who was the No. i safety in Madden 21 — stayed at 90 for the second straight yr.
one. Justin Tucker, Ravens: xc
two. Harrison Butker, Chiefs: 84
3. Evan McPherson, Bengals: 83
T-four. Chris Boswell, Steelers: 82
T-4. Younghoe Koo, Falcons: 82
T-6. Graham Gano, Giants: 81
T-6. Daniel Carlson, Raiders: 81
eight. Robbie Gould, 49ers: 80
9. Matt Gay, Rams: 79
x. Nick Folk, Patriots: 78
Tucker could stop up in the Hall of Fame ane day and might exist the best kicker always. That he once again is Madden’s top kicker is possibly the least surprising ratings reveal that could happen.
Tucker jumped from an 87 to a 90 this year, the but kicker in the game over an 85 rating. Butker remained at an 84 but moved from No. iii to No. 2, and McPherson leapt from a 71 at launch terminal year to an 83 this yr to take the No. three spot.
Koo moved up from an 81 to an 82 subsequently once once again existence one of the league’southward most authentic kickers — and getting paid like it with a big offseason extension — into a tie for fourth with Boswell, who also moved from an 81 to an 82.
Gano dropped from quaternary to 6th and from an 82 to an 81, and he is now in a necktie with Carlson, who fabricated a move similar to McPherson, jumping from a 73 to an 81. Top-10 mainstay Gould remained at an 80, followed by Gay and Folk rounding out the height 10.
Jason Sanders (No. ii), Josh Lambo (No. 4), Matt Prater (No. ix), Greg Zuerlein (T-No. 10), Wil Lutz (T-No. ten).
ane. Myles Garrett, Browns: 99
2. T.J. Watt, Steelers: 96
iii. Nick Bosa, 49ers: 94
T-4. Von Miller, Bills: 92
T-4. Khalil Mack, Chargers: 92
T-6. Joey Bosa, Chargers: 91
T-6. Cameron Hashemite kingdom of jordan, Saints: 91
T-8. DeMarcus Lawrence, Cowboys: ninety
T-8. Chandler Jones, Raiders: 90
x. Rashan Gary, Packers: 89
J.J. Watt (T-3), Za’Darius Smith (T-10), Danielle Hunter (T-10)
Concluding Dec, Garrett became the offset Browns player in the history of Madden to earn a 99. Now, he’s the starting time Browns player to be role of the 99 club at launch. He is coming off his fourth straight double-digit-sack flavor after a career-high 16 last season. It’s the second twelvemonth in a row in which Garrett is the top edge rusher at launch (he was a 98 overall to start last yr).
T.J. Watt, last year’southward NFL Defensive Player of the Year, moved from 3rd to second in this year’southward initial ratings and jumped from a 94 to a 96. Nick Bosa was the large mover in the group. Last twelvemonth, he started at No. 9 with a 90 overall rating. Now, he’south third with a 94.
Miller switched teams from last year’s launch — twice — commencement being traded from Denver to the Rams and then signing with Buffalo in free agency. While he dropped to a 92 overall from 93 this season, he moved up from tied for 6th to tied for fourth with Mack, who was No. 2 and a 96 overall last year.
The bottom half of the top 10 has a couple of new faces and also is without time to come Hall of Famer J.J. Watt, who was tied for third as an edge rusher last season.
1. Fred Warner, 49ers: 94
2. Demario Davis, Saints: 93
3. Lavonte David, Buccaneers: 92
4. Bobby Wagner, Rams: 91
5. Darius Leonard, Colts: 90
6. Roquan Smith, Bears: 89
T-7. Micah Parsons, Cowboys: 88
T-vii. Eric Kendricks, Vikings: 88
nine. De’Vondre Campbell, Packers: 87
x. Devin White, Buccaneers: 85
Dont’a Hightower (No. 8), Deion Jones (No. 9), Myles Jack (No. 10)
Not much has inverse at linebacker. Warner remains the top middle linebacker in Madden with the aforementioned rating he had at launch concluding year (94).
In actuality, the tiptop 4 linebackers from a season agone all remain the aforementioned, just in a different gild. Last year’s club was Warner, David, Wagner and Davis, merely this flavor goes Warner-Davis-David-Wagner.
Leonard moved upwards from 6th to fifth, and upwardly to 90 this yr from 89 concluding year. Kendricks, fifth last season, dropped to a tie for seventh this twelvemonth — with Parsons at an 88 overall rating. Parsons, by the way, has a chance to be a breakout candidate in Madden this year. The bottom of the top 10 sees Campbell and White join as new additions.
1. Davante Adams, Raiders: 99
two. Cooper Kupp, Rams: 98
three. Tyreek Hill, Dolphins: 97
4. DeAndre Hopkins, Cardinals: 96
v. Stefon Diggs, Bills: 95
vi. Justin Jefferson, Vikings: 93
seven. Mike Evans, Buccaneer: 92
T-8. Terry McLaurin, Commanders: 91
T-8. Keenan Allen, Chargers: 91
x. Amari Cooper, Browns: ninety
Dropped out from launch final year:
Julio Jones (No. 5), Allen Robinson II (No. x)
Possibly no group of players has received as much of a boost in real life this past offseason every bit receivers. In one case Christian Kirk received his four-yr, $72 million contract from Jacksonville, it seemed to set up off an explosion of money going to premium players at the position. And it, in many ways, turned receiver into a cardinal NFL position aslope quarterback, left tackle, edge rusher and cornerback. Receivers are getting mega money — and in Madden, their ratings have reflected just how talented this grouping has become.
Information technology’s one of three groups where the entirety of the top 10 has a rating of 90 or to a higher place, and every bit many as five receivers could have potential merits to existence the best in the game.
While Adams has moved from the Packers to the Raiders, his status as the top receiver in the game — and in the 99 club at launch — remains the same. Terminal twelvemonth represented a large leap from Adams, who was a 94 overall at the launch of Madden 21.
Behind Adams, in that location’due south meaning movement. Hopkins dropped from 98 to 96, and from 2nd to fourth. Replacing him at No. two overall is Kupp, who went from outside the top 10 at the start of last year to a 98 overall after a 145-catch, 1,947-m, 16-touchdown season. Kupp’due south emergence knocked a lot of players down at to the lowest degree one spot.
ane. Travis Kelce, Chiefs: 98
two. George Kittle, 49ers: 97
3. Mark Andrews, Ravens: 93
iv. Darren Waller, Raiders: 91
five. T.J. Hockenson, Lions (89
6. Kyle Pitts, Falcons: 87
seven. Mike Gesicki, Dolphins: 86
8. Dallas Goedert, Eagles: 85
T-nine. Zach Ertz, Cardinals: 84
T-9. Hunter Henry, Patriots: 84
Austin Hooper (No. 6), Rob Gronkowski (No. seven)
For a position that continues to grow in scope and importance on the field, the homo at the top of it remains the same. While Kelce is no longer a member of the 99 club — although don’t exist surprised if he earns information technology back during the 2022 season — he remains the No. 1 tight end in the game with a 98 rating. And other than ane other player, the list behind him is not all that close.
Kelce’due south biggest contest is Kittle, one of his fellow Tight End University stalwarts. Kittle is the No. 2 tight end again this season and is now a 97 overall, upwards from 96 terminal twelvemonth. Then comes the drop. Andrews (93 overall) enters the 90s and moves from No. 4 to No. iii. He flips with Waller, who drops from No. 3 to No. 4 and from a 93 last year to a 91 this yr.
Afterward that, big moves happen. Hockenson — one of the game’s pinnacle young tight ends — is at present No. 5 in the game and an 89 overall subsequently being No. 9 and an 85 terminal flavour. Pitts had the all-time second-best season for a rookie tight end in 2021, including 68 catches and one,026 yards, and is now No. 6 with an 87. Gesicki slightly bumps upward from No. 8 to No. 7 and from an 85 to an 86. Goedert made a similar motion from No. 10 to No. viii and from 84 to 85. Ertz, i of the about consistent tight ends in the league, fabricated a large leap from an 80 overall to an 84 and enters the top ten at No. 9.