The 2017 NFL season is in the books. And at the end of the day, the important thing isn’t who won the Super Bowl, but where the Madden Ratings stand.
With the NFL season finished, so are the Madden player rating updates for Madden NFL 18. There’ve been some highs and lows in the ratings this year. Along with the big movers, there’ve been some top-tier names that have fallen from ratings grace.
Let’s take a look at the wins and the fails in the end of season Madden ratings review. Starting with . . .
Rookie of the Year
This has been a great rookie class, particularly among running backs. It’s difficult to choose which deserves this reward, but Kamara gets the nod here. While Kareem Hunt, Leonard Fournette, and even New Orleans Saint teammate Marshon Lattimore all warrant high praise, you have to consider that the season started with Kamara behind two well-established running backs. After the Adrian Peterson trade, Kamara was getting more touches. That limited use became more frequent as the season went on. The up-side is astronomical for Kamara right now, and it’ll be exciting what he does next season.
Lawrence was a defensive powerhouse for the Dallas Cowboys. QB pressure has been lacking for Dallas’ defense for some time, but Lawrence racked up 14.5 sacks in an outstanding season. He’s one of the most improved players in Madden, going from a mediocre 79 OVR and climbing all the way to the mid 90s.
The Tennessee Titans defense was stout against the ground game, but Byard made several QBs leave plays filled with regret. Byard wasn’t anywhere close to the top players in Madden at the start of the season, starting the year as a 76 OVR. He responded by tying the league lead in interceptions, and rose all the way to an 89 OVR. He’s a proven asset in Madden too, as he’s now the fourth-best free safety in the game in terms of OVR.
Keenum was one of the best stories in the NFL this season. Many considered the Minnesota Vikings adrift early on after losing their starting QB and RB. Keenum’s consistent offensive output and lack of mistakes changed all that. The offense was efficient with Keenum at the helm. Paired with an elite defense, the Vikings were one of the league’s best teams. Keenum was a big factor.
The year started with Pryor being a WR in the 80s, with solid enough base ratings to make him a unique target. That was in Madden though, and Pryor had a season to forget. In Madden, he can be an exceptional WR2. We’ll have to see if NFL teams feel the same way.
Martin came into the season and looked great in his first game of action. That unfortunately didn’t carry over into other games. Martin isn’t solely to blame for the Buccaneers’ squandered season, but he looked like he lost a step and didn’t run with the same authority he has in the past.
Last season’s NFL sack leader, Beasley dropped significantly in terms of pressure, managing just a fraction of his previous sack total. To be sure, some of it came from usage, as coach Dan Quinn made an effort to use Beasley more on the pass rush. He has the talent to climb the ratings next season, provided he gets the opportunity and that Atlanta can provide enough pressure elsewhere so attention is forced to go away from Beasley.
It seems like a long time ago, but Murray started Madden 18 as a top five running back. His decline in production saw him fall out of the 90s in OVR all the way to the low 80s. Most importantly, his base ratings took a dip, meaning he’s less effective in player’s hands, regardless of stick skills.
While never an elite talent, Gay has been a consistent contributor to the Pittsburgh Steelers defense. His base ratings remain mostly intact, but he took a dip in nearly every coverage category, including Man and Zone Coverage and Pursuit. He’s still decent while user controlled, but he’s simply not rated well enough to trust in coverage without direct control.
Fullbacks can be a useful asset in Madden. But in order for them to be effective, they have to block well. DiMarco was a top three FB, with an 84 OVR. That was before the 2017 NFL season happened. His blocking ratings took major hits this year, particularly Impact Blocking. DiMarco went from usable in Madden to a major liability. He dropped to a 69 OVR this season.
- Daniel Williams
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