The times they are a'changing, a saying that's perpetually true for the NFL and annually true for "Madden" ratings, the newest version of which were released on Monday morning by EA Sports. As usual, EA does an awesome job handling a tough task -- you're trying to offer the virtual reality of accurate skillsets for hundreds of players while also trying to accurately project a bit into the future. Having dynamic, updated rankings helps a ton, but there are always going to be mistakes.
FOR INSTANCE: Aaron Rodgers is the seventh-ranked quarterback in "Madden" this year. Maybe he cares, maybe he doesn't, but it feels highly disrespectful to the Packers quarterback to have him ranked that low. He's not the only QB who might feel a little snubbed, as Drew Brees settles in directly below Philip Rivers on the overall ranking.
I honestly don't have a huge problem with Rodgers sitting where he is. He's still a 90 rating, which is really good. And he's been hurt/hasn't been great/himself the last few years. He's got a new coach and a new offense and we don't know how it's going to look. I might actually move Russell Wilson higher (No. 2???) and slot some of the older guys like Tom Brady, Rivers and Brees a little lower.
Or I might just slot Rodgers higher and avoid looking very stupid when he sets the world on fire again in 2019.
Running backs might have an even better case for complaints. Especially Alvin Kamara, the explosive Saints running back headed into his third year and on the verge of superstardom. There's no one out there who would rank him lower than fourth in terms of running backs, right?
JK, there is. And they work at EA Sports. Because Kamara is ranked EIGHTH in terms of running backs in the NFL, with Todd Gurley (97) sitting at No. 1 and Kareem Hunt (suspended eight games!) sitting at No. 7.
Melvin Gordon, looking for a new contract and/or a trade, is a very good running back. But Kamara is better. Le'Veon Bell didn't play football last year. In the immortal words of Taylor Twellman, WHAT ARE WE DOING?
Also asking that question: Chargers wideout Keenan Allen. Allen got so mad at his rating that he apparently filmed himself yelling about it, while driving. He said some nasty words and he promised he would not play Madden. He was most upset at his route running being underrated.
He's not wrong about that either. Allen is listed as the 13th-best wideout in the game, which is probably a fair/fine/reasonable spot for him. He's an 89 overall so he's lumped in with T.Y. Hilton, A.J. Green, Adam Thielen, Stefon Diggs, etc. But he's definitely getting hosed in terms of the route running rankings he was given.
We'll dive into these more on the Pick Six Podcast -- our daily NFL pod, you can subscribe right here! -- and as we find little nuggets out there. But just be keenly aware: people are MAD ONLINE about these ratings.