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Fifteen takeaways from 'Madden NFL 15' ratings

  • By Zach Schwartz NFL.com
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The 'Madden NFL 15" ratings dropped this week and we took the time to break down each position's highest rated guys.

But here are the 15 things takeaways we observed. We'd love your thoughts as well.

1. It is only fair that the guy on the cover has the highest rating in the game. That's right Richard Sherman, you are the best in the game. The funniest part about Sherman's new rating is that when Sherman was a rookie he was the lowest rated player in the entire game. Quite the underdog story going from a 52 OVR to a 99 OVR.

2. Russell Wilson and Tom Brady are both rated at 93 OVR. It is insulting to Brady to rate him so much lower than his peers (Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Peyton Manning are all at least a 96 OVR). Brady should take this as a slight. His peers have had better years than him, but it's madness to assume that Brady has fallen from the top tier.

3. Russell Wilson's rating is perfect at 93 OVR. An 86 speed (fair enough), 90 agility (more or less right), 93 throw power (he does have that baseball throwing cannon of an arm), and the two most accurate stats: his 92 acceleration (too many times we have seen this guy elude defenders with his quick burst abilities) and his 89 "on the run accuracy" (typically Wilson pirouettes away from the rush and launches the ball to a receiver).

4. They nailed the rookie ratings. Every sports game always sand bags the rookies as a safety measure to ensure that they don't whiff on a new comer. Anyway, Johnny Manziel doesn't deserve to be better than Blake Bortles especially when he seems to have lost the job to a rather human Brian Hoyer.

5. Matt Forte did not love his place in our "Top 100", but he will likely agree with his Madden rating of 95. I say this because Forte's 91 OVR in the Top 100 was harsh, and this year's game the guy is the rating decathlete. He might not be the fastest, most powerful, most agile or have the best hands, but the guy manages to find himself in at least the top 10% (for RB's) of all of these categories.

6. John Kuhn is the top fullback in the game at 93 OVR, now this is interesting to only hardcore fans, but I happen to disagree and think that Marcel Reece at 92 OVR is a better back. This one point difference was to keep Green Bay Packers fans quiet. And let's be honest. Raiders fans are just happy to have a player that has a rating in the 90's.

7. There is Calvin Johnson at 99 OVR and then there are the other guys. The others break down with Brandon Marshall at 96 OVR. Then out of nowhere, elderly Andre Johnson receives a 95 OVR, which is without a doubt the most jarring rating in the entire game. Next is AJ Green at 95 OVR and Dez Bryant at 94 OVR. Poor Larry Fitzgerald has gone from cover boy to being left out of the top five.

8. The Drew Brees to Jimmy Graham passing duo might be the most unfair pass-catching tandem in Madden since Manning to Harrison. Graham's combination of route running, hands (92), speed (87), and agility (88) land him at 97 OVR. Add that to the third best quarterback in the game and see how few people want to play against you.

9. Ever since long-snapper Ethan Albright "wrote" his infamous -- yet ultimately fake -- letter to Madden about his rating as the worst player in the 2007 game, the lineman category has always held particular interest with me. Joe Thomas received the highest rating amongst linemen, which means Johnny Manziel will stand a chance (if given the chance) in the pocket while trying to figure out who gets the ball in the least explosive offense in football.

10. The rest of the offensive line breaks down with Evan Mathis at 97 OVR, Josh Sitton also at 97 OVR, and Trent Williams and Joe Staley both at 94 OVR. Somehow the Super Bowl champs got left off this list. I am not saying that Breno Giacomini was a world beater, but at least one of the dudes blocking for "beast mode" deserves a little love. Even if he is a member of the New York Jets.

11. JJ Watt received a 99 OVR, but Donny Moore revealed that all of his ratings were so high he would have gone above the 99 cap if it were possible. No controversy here as Robert Quinn comes in at 97 OVR, Calais Campbell at 96 OVR, Cameron Wake at 96 OVR, Cameron Jordan at 93 OVR and finally Muhammad Wilkerson at 93 OVR.

12. The nightmare that is Ndamukong Suh has a 97 OVR and rightfully leads his position. Suh is followed by Geno Atkins at 96 OVR, Gerald McCoy at 95 OVR, Kyle Williams at 95 OVR and Jurrell Casey at 93 OVR.

13. Speaking of nightmare... the guys over at Madden have given a 96 OVR to both Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman. Though Bowman might not be available Week 1, it should be a frightening thought of trying to run or pass against what looks to be another freakishly powerful defense in the NFC West. The rest of the LB's are Luke Kuechly at 94 OVR, Derrick Johnson at 91 OVR and Jerod Mayo at 91 OVR.

14. Madden 15 does not agree with the Cardinals for giving Patrick Peterson the largest contract in the NFL amongst corners. In fact, if you based Peterson's salary off of his rating he would be only the fourth highest paid player in the league (Arizona Cardinals fans are more heated and angry than anyone stuck in line at the horrific night club in Scottsdale called "Cake"). As I mentioned earlier, Sherman is king in Madden 15 receiving a 99 OVR, followed by Darrelle Revis at 97 OVR, Joe Haden at 95 OVR, Patrick Peterson at 93 OVR and Vontae Davis at 92 OVR.

15. The last group to examine is the safeties. The L.O.B. will be up in arms about the fact that Area 29 (it is a criminaly underrated nickname) aka Earl Thomas at 95 OVR is second behind Jarius Byrd at 96 OVR. Devin McCourty properly received a 94 OVR, which somehow was the same number that Eric Weddle received. Finally, Raiders safety Charles Woodson comes in at 86 OVR.

-- Follow Zach on Twitter @zachiszach

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