We are at that point in the offseason where Madden ratings dominate the news cycle for a minute. One thing we all need to remember is that Madden isn’t great at gauging overalls for players. They may as well have a casual fan go around and make the ratings for the entire NFL.
Teams that are popular usually have their teams rated higher, and the ones who struggled the season before aren’t rated well at all. Not to mention small market teams that aren’t championship contenders are routinely underrated.
This year has been especially bad for Bengals players in Madden, but then again the team was especially bad last season. Still, there are more than a handful of players who are severely rated lower than they should be, which probably has more to do with the Bengals’ success from last year than anything else.
We aren’t going to dive too deep into rookie ratings either. Joe Burrow is tied for the highest rated rookie going into next year, which is fair. The rest is just really EA Sports throwing their guess at the wall.
It isn’t worth getting too upset over the ratings, but here are some thoughts on some of the more polarizing ratings from this season. Here is the complete list of Bengals and all players’ overalls for Madden 2021.
Here is a look at some thoughts on some of the most controversial Bengals’ ratings in Madden 21:
A.J. Green, WR, 88 overall: This was one that is worse when it gets compared to those rated ahead of him. He is the 14th rated wide receiver. Players like Allen Robinson and Cooper Kupp are rated ahead of him, and he shares an 88 overall rating with Chris Godwin and Tyler Lockett. Those are all talented wide receivers, but Green still has the ability to play at a top level in the NFL, and him not getting a 90 overall rating is pretty egregious.
The biggest thing holding Green back is his health, which kept him sidelined for the entire 2019 and part of the 2018 season. In a game where you can literally turn injuries off, that shouldn’t impact his overall.
Tyler Boyd, WR, 83 overall: This one is strange because it makes a little sense considering the other players rated around the same. Sure, there are players like Cole Beasley and Sterling Shepard around the same rating, but they also have comparable players in the 83 range like Devante Parker, Marvin Jones Jr. and Jarvis Landry. Those players may be rated either 84 or 85, but we really can’t get that upset over a few points.
Joe Mixon, RB, 89 overall: This is another one that can be pretty agreeable when you look at all the running backs. Mixon is the eighth overall running back. He is rated ahead of Alvin Kamara and Le’Veon Bell and just under Dalvin Cook, Saquon Barkley and Aaron Jones.
When you consider Mixon was going to get hit with the bad team bias that Madden loves, that isn’t a terrible place to end up. Would it be nice to have one player be rated 90 overall? Yes, however, this rating seems to track as far as how Madden does there ratings, which again just aren’t very reliable.
Kevin Huber, P, 68 overall: This is probably the laziest rating for the Bengals this season. To put this into context, there are only six punters rated below Huber. He is rated behind some backup punters. He isn’t even in the top 32. They only gave him 68 kick accuracy. It is like they never watched him punt or even looked at his stats.
Some impressive stats for Huber last season include 30 punts inside the 20 (37 was the most by a punter in 2019). He also averaged 45.3 yards per punt, which put him in the middle of the league’s punters, but he and the punt coverage team did have a net average of 42.1 yards, which was top 10 last season.
All of this is to say that Huber may not be the best punter in the NFL, but to say he is one of the worst is just ignorant.
Geno Atkins and D.J. Reader, DTs, 88 and 84 overall: We will combine these two as they are both in similar states. Reader is probably one of the more underrated players in the NFL, and if Cincinnati didn’t make him the highest paid interior defensive linemen this offseason, it is possible he doesn’t get rated as high as he is. Atkins is the prototype pass rushing defensive tackle, but his stats have left plenty to be desired for casual fans.
These ratings pretty much track when you consider the bias Madden has for bad teams from the year before. They are probably also projecting some decline as Atkins adds another year past 30. He still isn’t that far off from the 90 overall rated Grady Jarrett.
As far as Reader goes, he still has to show he can do more as a pass rusher to reach the higher levels of defensive tackles in the NFL. He is rated among the better defensive tackles who aren’t all-around players, but the could quickly change with a few more sacks this season.