When EA Sports released Madden ’04 in the fall of 2003, gamers quickly realized that quarterback Michael Vick, who was the game’s cover athlete, was unstoppable. Back then, if you chose to play with the Atlanta Falcons, you were a cheater, plain and simple. Madden gamers will be saying the same thing about the 2018 Atlanta Falcons, when Madden 19 drops this Friday.
You may be laughing at me right now, but hear me out. The defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles will be the highest rated team at launch, with a 91 overall. Their roster features nine players with at least a 90 overall rating. But since Madden started live roster updates around 8 years ago, the video game version of a team will reflect how they are performing in reality. Yes, I am saying that the Eagles will not be as good as EA Sports thinks they are.
As for the Falcons…their rating will “Rise Up” (pun intended) throughout the season. Atlanta begins the season as the fourth-highest rated team in Madden 19, boasting a respectable 84 overall. Only five players have an overall rating of 90 or above. However, their roster is loaded.
Firstly, they have an MVP quarterback. Matt Ryan has built an impressive resume in his 10 NFL seasons. He’ll have an 89 overall to start the Madden season. This includes a 94 throw power rating. Don’t expect any stupidly inaccurate passes from Ryan.
Running backs Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman are attribute leaders for the Falcons in elusiveness and speed, respectively. Both men can also catch out of the backfield. Running screens with either guy will work very well.
At receiver, the Falcons have Julio Jones, Mohamed Sanu, and rookie Calvin Ridley. Each man has reliable hands, but Jones and Ridley have the speed that Madden gamers love to see. Ridley will only have a 77 overall rating at launch, but that will surely rise throughout the season. I recommend using the bunches formation to get all three receivers on the field and forcing your opponent to pick his/her poison.
The Falcons were a top-10 defense last season, allowing an average of fewer than 20 points. This unit will be an 85 overall when Madden 19 is released. The Falcons’ defense will be even better, in reality, this season, so expect that rating to rise. For those that like to control the middle linebacker manually, Deion Jones is the guy for you. He’s got an 81 man coverage rating, which is the highest of any middle linebacker in Madden 19, along with an 88 zone coverage rating. If you like using the defensive tackle, you’ll want to control Grady Jarrett, who tied a Super Bowl record for sacks two years ago and recorded four sacks last season. He boasts an 86 overall and a daunting 88 rating for block shedding. At worst, his rating stays the same.
The AI can handle the secondary for you. The starting corners and safeties are each rated, at least, an 84 overall. The best of the group is Desmond Trufant. The former Pro-bowler is hardly targeted in real life, earning him a 93 overall to start off the Madden season. He’s also got a nice 92 man coverage rating.
Every Madden gamer faces a situation where they are forced to settle for a field goal. You will have no worries with Falcons kicker Matt Bryant, who has a 96 kick power rating and a 92 rating in kick accuracy. Get to, or inside, your opponents 38-yard-line and you’ll be in Bryant’s range.
Altogether, this is what I’m saying: By choosing the Atlanta Falcons, a mediocre player will be competitive, a good player will win, a great player will 21-skunk every time.
By: David Schiele