HOUSTON, TX - JANUARY 07: Quarterback T.J. Yates #13 of the Houston Texans runs the ball and attempts to avoid a tackle by Geno Atkins #97 of the Cincinnati Bengals in the second quarter during their 2012 AFC Wild Card Playoff game at Reliant Stadium on January 7, 2012 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
The ratings for the top ten defensive players in Madden NFL 13 have been released. To no ones surprise, there are no Cincinnati Bengals on this particular list. We know that many of you could not care less about Madden. Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn. In all seriousness, Madden is cool and video games can be pretty cool sometimes too. There were three AFC North players that made the top ten ratings. Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs would have likely made the list if he were not currently injured. Ravens safety Ed Reed finished tied for sixth on the list with a 97 overall. Reed has a declining skill set and may be nearing retirement. He has undoubtedly had a stellar career, but is he a 97 overall rating? Like Reed, Steelers safety Troy Polamalu is injury prone and is not quite as good as he once was. The seven time Pro Bowler is still an elite safety and he is also tied for sixth with a 97 overall rating. The final AFC North player that is also tied for sixth overall is Ravens defensive end Haloti Ngata. Ngata is a force on the Ravens defensive line. He seemed to have went unnoticed for a few seasons but is now getting due recognition. Former Bengal Justin Smith is tied for third overall with a 98 rating. Tied for first are Cowboys outside linebacker Demarcus Ware and Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis. Both go into the game with a rating of 99 overall.
Many of you are probably thinking that Geno Atkins deserves to be on this top ten list ahead of Haloti Ngata. Atkins is playing at a high level. Is he up to the level of Haloti Ngata? That is a debatable question, but Ngata has been dominating for years. Atkins must to continue to be one of the better defensive tackles in the league so that he can make a name for himself in the way that Ngata has over the years. Could any other Bengals crack the top ten over the next few years? The most likely candidate may not even be on the roster yet. Dre Kirkpatrick may be a possibility, but some question if he can be a true shutdown corner. Carlos Dunlap is a possibility if he can find a way to stay healthy. Hopefully the Bengals can add a top safety in the mold of Reed or Polamalu in the coming years. Until then, Bengals fans will have to hope that Reggie Nelson can continue to be solid while Taylor Mays answers questions about his ability to cover.