Dear Madden: Do You Take Stats into Consideration when Rating Players?


By: CJ Lester


Earlier this week, SteelerNation’s very own, Jordan DeFigio discussed the snubbing of several Pittsburgh Steelers players on this year’s version of EA Sports’ Madden NFL. With the complete launch ratings now official, unfortunately the leaked ratings are accurate in comparison to the official ratings. Below are the top 10 Steelers players in Madden 21. I want to take a deeper look at just a few of the top 10 Steelers and how they statistically compared to other players around the league that received higher ratings.

We’re not going to go through all 10 of the highest rated Steelers, but we will look at three cases in particular that prove that these ratings aren’t consistent with on-field production.

Player A: 58 combined tackles, 46 solo tackles, 2 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery, 7 passes defensed, 5 interceptions for 49 return yards, and 0 touchdowns.

Player B: 69 combined tackles, 44 solo tackles, 2 forced fumbles, 3 fumble recoveries, 9 passes defensed, 5 interceptions for 130 yards, and 2 touchdowns.

Looking at the numbers, the players performed similarly, but wouldn’t you agree that Player B edges out player A in production?

Player A happens to be the highest rated free safety in the video game, Devin McCourty, who has a 92 overall. Player B, is first team All Pro FS Minkah Fitzpatrick, who is an 87 overall and the 7th highest ranking free safety. This just doesn’t make any sense! CB Joe Haden agrees with me.

Another case to prove my point:

Player A: 55 combine tackles, 35 solo tackles, 14.5 sacks, 8 forced fumbles, 4 fumble recoveries, 36 quarterback hits, 8 passes defensed, 2 interceptions for 7 yards, and 14 tackles for loss.

Player B: 47 combined tackles, 40 solo tackles, 8.5 sacks, 5 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery, 14 quarterback hits, 4 passes defensed, 0 interceptions, and 8 tackles for loss.

There seems to be a clearly painted picture of which player had the better statistical season right in front of your eyes. These statistics are for public view by the way, practically anyone can find them. You would think a big company like EA Sports would have access to the same statistics that every NFL fan has at their disposal. It doesn’t seem that way.

Player B, Khalil Mack, is the game’s highest rated outside linebacker, with a 97 overall. While, Player A, is 2019’s 3rd place finisher of the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award and First Team All-Pro OLB TJ Watt, who is rated as an 86 overall. This one is just completely asinine! How can a player be rated 11 points lower than someone he clearly outperformed? We need answers EA Sports!

One last example:

Player A: 83 combined tackles, 51 solo tackles, 9 sacks, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery, 23 quarterback hits, 6 passes defensed, and 11 tackles for loss.

Player B: 56 combined tackles,  37 solo tackles, 6.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery, 25 quarterback hits, 1 pass defensed, and 10 tackles for loss.

I’ll admit it, this one is a little closer than the other two examples. Player A has the edge in all tackle categories, sacks, and passes defensed, while Player B has the edge in forced fumbles and quarterback hits slightly. There’s no way theses two player should be separated by more than 1 or 2 points right? Wrong.

Player B, DE Calais Campbell, is rated as a 95 overall. Player A, 2019 First Team All-Pro DE Cam Heyward, is rated as a 90 overall.

What are we doing here, Madden? Are we giving out ratings based on last season’s stats or career stats? Even if we are considering complete career stats, I still have a few more arguments to make.

Don’t get me started on our future Hall of Fame QB Ben Roethlisberger’s rating of 81. I understand that he missed almost the entire 2019 season, but are you serious, Madden?! Of course, if a player misses almost an entire season, it would make sense that his rating would drop a little right? Except that’s not the case across the board. Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ TE Rob Gronkowski spent the entire 2019 season retired, but his overall is a 95. I’m not saying the ratings are biased in anyway, but they’re definitely not consistent. What algorithm is being used to determine a player’s overall rating? No one really knows. We all know, these ratings are ridiculous, but they’re not going to cause anyone harm. They just cause constant curiosity for topic of conversation and possibly some extrinsic motivation for players who are year after year underrated.


Do you think Steelers players were properly rated in the Madden 21 player ratings? Sound off in the comments section below, on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram!



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