It's a quarterback's league, and that remains the case in the "Madden" video-game universe, but a grinding, dominant running back can chew up yardage, eat up the clock and keep the ball out of your opponent's hands. The featured back remains alive and well in this alternate universe, if you know how to use him.
We're here to help you dominate your friends and family, so without further ado, here's the top 10 running backs in "Madden NFL 13," to be released later this month:
1. Maurice Jones-Drew, Jacksonville Jaguars: 97 overall
2. Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings: 97 overall
3. Arian Foster, Houston Texans: 96 overall
4. LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia Eagles: 95 overall
5. Ray Rice, Baltimore Ravens: 95 overall
6. Matt Forte, Chicago Bears: 93 overall
7. Frank Gore, San Francisco 49ers: 92 overall
8. Steven Jackson, St. Louis Rams: 92 overall
9. Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs: 91 overall
10. Michael Turner, Atlanta Falcons: 91 overall
» Farewell, Peyton Hillis. He rated a 91 last season (especially generous and obviously tied to his status as "Madden NFL 12" cover boy). He's nowhere near the top 10 one year later, after a season that included lingering contract squabbles with the Cleveland Browns and a sore throat for the ages. We like him teamed with Jamaal Charles in the Kansas City Chiefs' backfield, though.
» Speaking of Charles, EA Sports has shown considerable faith in his return from a torn ACL. Charles dropped from a 95 to 91, still good enough to embarrass Romeo Crennel in a footrace.
» The Madden people are even less concerned with Adrian Peterson's surgically repaired knee. The Vikings have Peterson stashed away on the PUP list, and the whispers suggest it will take half a season before he regains his previous explosiveness, but not on your television. No running back received a higher mark.
» MJD deserves his 97 rating, and we don't have any major problems with the cluster of backs ranging from Foster to Forte, but we wouldn't blame Marshawn Lynch for feeling slighted: His Beast Mode act is a natural for Madden, and we'd take him over Michael Turner any day.
» It will be interesting to see how Trent Richardson ranks. Fantasy gurus are calling him a potential NFL-leading rusher on a Cleveland Browns team that will lean heavily on the ground game. Year to year, the rookie rankings are just as interesting as some of these top 10 lists.
» Nobody suffered more than Willis McGahee. Were Tim Tebow still the starter in Denver, McGahee's an easy top-10 runner in all mediums. With Peyton Manning at the helm, McGahee's pushed back into the pack. Somewhere, McGahee, Fred Jackson and Darren McFadden are busy authoring poison-pen emails to various Madden heavies. Maybe next year, fellas.