Madden 19 player ratings: Why Browns are 'fun' to play with, Lamar was difficult to rate

We've finally hit a turning point and we're headed towards football season. You know how we know? Because, as Ben Haumiller of EA Sports noted on the Pick Six Podcast -- CBS Sports daily audio endeavor, posted in your pod inbox by 6 a.m. M-F, subscribe here: via iTunes | via Stitcher | via TuneIn | via Google Play -- we have "Madden" ratings now.

It's not preseason games but it has become a checkpoint for the offseason and enough people scrutinize these things that it would be folly to dismiss them as anything other than legitimately important. Put another way: I care deeply about "Madden" and how the video game rates players and you should too.

Haumiller, an 18-year veteran at EA, hopped on the pod to talk about the ratings of different quarterbacks, how the in-season updates make life easier and how freaking dominant the Jaguars look on defense. 

He pointed out that Jacksonville -- which likely has the best defense in the game -- would be a superb choice for a club to select in franchise mode.

"I'm going to go with ... it's going to be surprising because they were winless last year, but Cleveland has so many studs on defense. They are fun. So many young studs on defense," Haumiller said. "So many fun pieces on offense. If you're looking to take a team that's got -- I'm always looking at this from the franchise perspective."

That's pretty mind-blowing -- I had the Texans pegged as a sleeper team on the game, based on the ratings but the Browns actually make sense from an all-around perspective. If you go through the ratings, you'll notice a lot of Browns logos popping up. There's no way Baker Mayfield isn't fun in this game either, so what Haumiller's saying makes sense. 

The Browns are fun! What a world. 

Also of note from this episode:

1. Why Andrew Luck is ranked above Carson Wentz

2. How in-season ratings changes make life easier 

3. How difficult was it to rate Lamar Jackson given his speed and how Michael Vick broke the game

4. Why Nick Foles has a lower catch rating than Tom Brady:

"Somebody called us out today, they noticed that Tom Brady had a higher catch rating than Nick Foles. And that wasn't a slight -- that was an oversight. There are so many ratings and so many players, that if it's not going to affect the overall [rating] and it's never really going to affect the Madden game itself, our guys will fill in data that looks fine and then move on.

"What we'll get from guys is, how is my kick power so low, I was a kicker in high school!"

And much, much more. Listen to the full podcast below and make sure to subscribe: via iTunes | via Stitcher | via TuneIn | via Google Play

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Will Brinson joined CBS Sports in 2010 and enters his seventh season covering the NFL for CBS. He previously wrote for FanHouse along with myriad other Internet sites. A North Carolina native who lives... Full Bio

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