We have known for a while that NFL players care about their rating in the annual “Madden” video game from EA Sports.
This year, only seven players have nothing to complain about.
The highest rating given to a player in the iconic video game is a 99 overall. Seven players got that honor in “Madden NFL 19,” this year’s game that will be released Aug. 10. EA Sports is starting a “Madden 99 Club” this year to honor the perfect players.
You might think that a perfect video game rating means little to players who have won MVPs and Super Bowl championships, but many of them do care. How many of the seven players with a 99 rating can you guess?
Patriots get two of the seven perfect “Madden” ratings
Of course, the New England Patriots’ two superstars got the highest possible rating.
Tom Brady, last year’s cover subject, and tight end Rob Gronkowski, were rated 99. That makes sense. Brady won MVP last season and was named the No. 1 player in NFL Network’s “Top 100 players” countdown. Gronkowski is the most dominant tight end in NFL history.
It’s hard to argue those two being on the list.
Which other quarterback got the 99 rating?
Rodgers missed most of last season with a broken collarbone, but his talent is undeniable. He looked like his normal self early in the season, especially when he led the Packers to a last-second win at the Dallas Cowboys.
Once again, the Packers have a huge edge because they have Rodgers at quarterback, in the game and in real life.
Three defenders were rated a perfect 99
Defensive players weren’t ignored in the game. Three of the seven 99 ratings belong to defenders.
Denver Broncos pass rusher Von Miller, Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald and Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly all made the “99” list. Kuechly and Donald have NFL defensive player of the year awards, and Miller has a Super Bowl MVP. Three-time NFL defensive player of the year J.J. Watt didn’t get a perfect rating after two injury-filled seasons.
To round out the list of seven perfect ratings on “Madden,” Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Antonio Brown made the list. Brown was named the No. 2 player in the league on the NFL Network’s “Top 100 Players” list, so his perfect rating is no surprise.
Who was snubbed?
A few players probably won’t be thrilled with the list. Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley couldn’t do any more to get in the 99 club. Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz had a good argument. Brown’s Steelers teammate Le’Veon Bell is an amazing talent, as is New York Giants receiver Odell Beckham, among others. It’s hard to believe one of the great cornerbacks in the NFL, like Jalen Ramsey of the Jacksonville Jaguars or Patrick Peterson of the Arizona Cardinals, didn’t make the list.
We’ll have to see if they do enough to grab a perfect rating for next year’s game.
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