With the NFL’s summer break slowly winding down, there is no better time than now to look ahead at the season to come — something the folks over at EA Sports are already doing: they have released the first player ratings for their upcoming Madden NFL 20. How do the New England Patriots perform? Glad you asked.
QB Tom Brady (96 overall), CB Stephon Gilmore (94)
No surprises here considering that Tom Brady and Stephon Gilmore both have solid cases as the NFL’s best players at their respective positions. While Brady ranks second among Madden 20’s quarterbacks behind only the Kansas City Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes and his 97 overall, 2018 first-team All-Pro Gilmore is the number two at cornerback behind the Jacksonville Jaguars’ Jalen Ramsey (96).
WR Julian Edelman (89), FS Devin McCourty (89), OG Shaq Mason (88), RB James White (86), DE Michael Bennett (85), CB Jason McCourty (85), OC David Andrews (84), RB Sony Michel (84), OG Joe Thuney (84), WR Josh Gordon (83), LB Dont’a Hightower (83), SS Patrick Chung (82), DT Lawrence Guy (82), WR Demaryius Thomas (82), TE Benjamin Watson (82), OT Marcus Cannon (80), K Stephen Gostkowski (80)
The Patriots have a healthy group of players in the 80s, but this section still leaves plenty of room for debate — from Patrick Chung and Lawrence Guy being given the same score as Demaryius Thomas and Benjamin Watson to players. No matter what is made of the actual ranking, however, this group reflects the general feeling about New England coming off its latest Super Bowl win: the team is deep and balanced on both sides of the ball.
WR Phillip Dorsett (77), LB Kyle Van Noy (77), RB Rex Burkhead (76), CB Jonathan Jones (76), P Ryan Allen (75), FB James Develin (75), FS Duron Harmon (75), CB J.C. Jackson (75), LB Ja’Whaun Bentley (74), WR N’Keal Harry (74), WR Dontrelle Inman (74), DT Danny Shelton (74), DE John Simon (74), LB Jamie Collins Sr. (73), OT Isaiah Wynn (73), DE Deatrich Wise Jr. (72), DT Mike Pennel (72), SS Obi Melifonwu (72), WR Maurice Harris (71), LB Elandon Roberts (71), TE Matt LaCosse (70), CB Joejuan Williams (70)
Kyle Van Noy’s 77 overall is probably the most questionable grades handed out by Madden’s analytics team: the linebacker is coming off a very good season as a cornerstone of New England’s defense, and certainly deserves higher grades than rotational wide receivers Phillip Dorsett and Demaryius Thomas, among others. Also interesting: Jamie Collins being given a worse rating than Ja’Whaun Bentley and John Simon.
TE Stephen Anderson (69), WR Braxton Berrios (69), FS Terrence Brooks (69), DT Adam Butler (69), RB Damien Harris (69), TE Ryan Izzo (69), DE Chase Winovich (69), DE Shilique Calhoun (68), CB Keion Crossen (68), DE Derek Rivers (68), RB Brandon Bolden (67), CB Duke Dawson Jr. (67), DT Ufomba Kamalu (67), OG Ted Karras (67), P Jake Bailey (66), DE Keionta Davis (66), SS Nate Ebner (66), DT David Parry (65), WR Matthew Slater (65), QB Brian Hoyer (64), DT Byron Cowart (63), LB Christian Sam (63), CB Ken Webster (63), OT Yodny Cajuste (61), OG Hjalte Froholdt (61), LB Brandon King (60)
The 60-69 range includes three of the Patriots’ core special teamers in Matthew Slater, Nate Ebner and Brandon King. Considering only the rankings for the positions they are listed at, the numbers do seem fair. One has to wonder, however, whether or not their actual skills in the kicking game should be reflected in their overall score.
LB Calvin Munson (59), QB Jarrett Stidham (57), FS A.J. Howard (55), OG Dan Skipper (53), QB Danny Etling (50), OC James Ferentz (50), LS Joe Cardona (38)
New England’s long snapper is one of the lowest rated players in all of Madden 20, which might have to do with the fact that the game lists Joe Cardona as a tight end. Either way, he deserves better.