The player ratings in Madden are as anticipated as much as the game itself, even by people who don't necessarily play video games. It's essentially a power ranking of every player in the NFL down to every conceivable attribute. General things that you'd expect like speed, strength, agility, but also specific skills like power moves or play recognition, and intangible things like durability or personality. That's for every player. Turns out that Tom Brady is better than Marcus Mariota in run block footwork, for example.
Players are especially curious to see where Madden ranks their abilities. Watch this year's rookies react to their Madden NFL 18 ratings.
Even if your favorite team isn't the most highly ranked in this year's Madden to start, you can develop them to the ratings they ought to have. In my Madden,Tyrod Taylor begins as an 82 overall, but following a Cinderella season in which he led the Buffalo Bills to a Super Bowl win, now he's up to 89. Good thing, too, because next year's draft class was looking very... randomly-generated.
I like to think Brady Brady was created in a lab in an attempt to clone Tom Brady, down to replicating the sixth round pick origin story, as though scientists determined the only QB capable of beating Brady is... double Brady? Of course, you can't simply "create Tom Brady in a lab," but as in Jurassic Park, the scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think if they should. So you end up with this Bizarro abomination. Brady Brady would end up being the all-time leader in being sacked for safeties, which in his logic, is good.
Anyway, if you're going to play Madden with a dynasty of fictional players, what if you were able to draft fictional players you already liked? You know, like from the television and the movie films.
Just like EA Sports does with real NFL players, we decided to project Madden ratings for our favorite QB characters, and even though we're rating them arbitrarily, we are also definitively right. This is very stupid and we put way too much thought into it. Enjoy.
Matt Saracen isn't an especially gifted athlete, but he's smart and creative, and with a superstar RB in Smash Williams, Saracen mostly just had to manage games as a Dillon Panther. When he was called upon, though, Saracen displayed clutch ability and was instrumental in the team's championship run. An on-and-off-again relationship with the Coach's daughter, Julie, does indicate low awareness though. In Madden, Saracen would qualify as a solid back-up.
To be clear, we're talking about the QB1 Jason Street from the beginning of Friday Night Lights, one of the top prospects in the country. He'd likely be a first round draft pick and franchise quarterback from day one. But this is assuming it's a Jason Street who doesn't experience any of the events in the show. So I guess he's also from an alternate universe? Look, for any of this to work, time and space will have to get bent. Let's not worry so much about things "making sense."
Vince Howard is probably the best athlete on this list, but as a converted RB, he's not a natural passer. Still, he has all the tools: size, speed, arm strength, accuracy. Howard's main drawback is his high drama rating and character concerns could keep clubs away. But who cares? He's a video game character now. Give Howard a few good weapons and he's a franchise QB by his second season.
Sidenote - with starring roles in Friday Night Lights, The Wire, Creed, Black Panther, is Michael B. Jordan the Michael Jordan of acting resumes? We'll call Fantastic Four his baseball sabbatical.
His arm isn't what it used to be, nor are his knees or his back. True, Cap doesn't have much left in the tank, but even in the twilight of his career, the old gunslinger could contribute as a reliable backup for a year or two. But he's probably more focused on finding a broadcasting job next year.
Willie Beamen is an archetypal modern quarterback. He can throw every pass, and with his agility and speed, he can make plays on his own. His low awareness and play recognition keep his overall rating down, but with the right coach, Beamen could quickly develop into a top 10 QB.
If Willie Beamen is the archetypal modern quarterback, then Paul Crewe is the ultimate manifestation of gritty '70s football. He's rough around the edges, but at the same time, possesses big play ability and a willingness to lay it all on the line.
The major downside for Crewe is Burt Reynolds shaved off his iconic mustache for this movie, which was clearly a mistake in hindsight. Paul Crewe's upper lip rating in Madden is in the low 20s.
The Waterboy brings a watered-down approach to the remake. Like, Adam Sandler's version is less of a scoundrel, but somehow he's also way more annoying? His version of Paul Crewe is so irritating, he makes Little Nicky look like Big Daddy.
In Madden, assuming Warden Hazen grants parole, Sandler's Crewe is a backup at best.
He can throw a football over a mountain, but that's not exactly a helpful trait. Generally you want your QB's passes to be more accurate than "nearest landform."
It's unlikely Uncle Rico would pass an NFL physical.
What do you mean you don't remember made-for-television motion picture Second String, in which insurance salesman Dan Heller is called upon to reluctantly play QB for the Buffalo Bills after the entire starting lineup goes down with food poisoning from bad oysters right before the playoffs? And that Heller, in fact, guides the Bills to a Super Bowl win with Jon Voight playing his coach? It seems unlikely that you would forget the greatest football movie of all time, so you probably do remember.
Heller isn't particularly athletic or talented, but what he is, is available. In Madden, Heller would likely linger in the free agent market. The idea of Heller being second string is the one thing that's kind of a stretch in the film.
He's a college quarterback in his mid-30s who finds himself playing due to a series of weird loopholes. Paul Blake is initially a complete embarrassment, but he improves enough to lead his team to a big upset victory against the number one ranked University of Texas Colts.
But let's be honest, he's really more interested in his romantic subplot: wooing Professor Carter away from the mean Dean. He's not a great QB, but he's serviceable as a backup, and that Scott Bakula charm would make him a welcome presence in the fictional locker room.
In college, he was a championship-winning QB for Ohio State. Then he blew out his knee. Now he's an undercover FBI agent, investigating a gang of bank-robbing surfers. Sure, it's a common story, but what about Utah as a QB?
The movie doesn't provide any direct scouting evidence of Utah's football skills, but as a highly-touted All-American prospect, he's probably comparable to a Jason Street level of ability. His judgment is certainly questionable based on his willingness to let criminals surf to their deaths instead of, y'know, due process.
We think he'd be a low-to-mid-range starter in the Madden universe, with a high floor but low ceiling.
Keanu Reeves' other QB character also played college football at Ohio State, but less successfully. Whereas Johnny Utah's playing career ended with injury, Shane Falco's ended in shame after a disastrous performance in the Sugar Bowl. Instead of transitioning into a career as an FBI agent, Falco mopes on a boat. Falco is inferior in most comparisons to Utah, including the "name already sounds like a video game character" metric.
In the QB battle between Keanu Reeves characters, Shane Falco does have the advantage of actually playing football on-screen and he's a hero, rallying the replacement Sentinels to a dramatic last-minute victory against Dallas. Tommy Maddox had a successful return to the NFL after a stint in the XFL in the early 2000s, and we think Falco could have a similar trajectory in the Madden universe.
Sure, he looks like a cover boy for the football issue of Teen Beat, but it'd be a mistake to underestimate the young QB. It was Junior Floyd's big arm that helped the Little Giants to a huge victory against the Pee-Wee Cowboys, overcoming a 21-point halftime deficit. Well, it was also Becky "Icebox" O'Shea, and every teammate turning their specific quirk into an unexpected strength, and of course, the Annexation of Puerto Rico. But Floyd helped.
He demonstrated poise and leadership in a high pressure situation. Remember, this was the playoff game to determine which O'Shea brother would be the sole coach of the one little league football team in town. Kevin put up his Chevy Dealership and Danny bet his gas station, and in the end they compromise by... putting their names on the water tower? I'm just now realizing how weird it is for two brothers to control their area's automotive industry and access to water, but their main focus is kids playing high-stakes football?
I guess it's only weird if you want it to make sense, and we agreed to not worry about that. The point is that if Devon Sawa's character from the 1994 film Little Giants were playable in Madden, he'd be able to compete for a backup spot.
If we were rating LB/RB/TE hybrids, Icebox would be an 82 OVR, but let's save that internet content for another day.