Madden 23 is now out for all modern consoles. Like the NFL itself, the yearly Madden roster update is inevitable.
Overall Team: 85
This is not a bad overall rating in a vacuum, but as the team that represented the AFC in the Super Bowl, it is strange to be behind teams that didn’t make the playoffs in the Ravens and the Chargers. Being the 10th team in overall rating seems a little silly, but the Bengals will just have to keep winning to get to the top of the charts.
Joe Burrow: 90
With Burrow a 90 overall, he is the fifth overall QB in the game which seems a lot more realistic than the team's overall rating. With another MVP-caliber season from the Bengals’ star behind the much-improved line, Burrow should be climbing the ratings up into the mid to high 90s.
Brandon Allen: 54, Jake Browning: 53
Allen could be argued as a slightly better player than this, but honestly, he has never shown to be that good as an NFL QB. Jake Browning has never even gotten regular-season snaps, so him being this close to Allen is what makes Allen’s rating seem a bit low.
Joe Mixon: 93
Mixon is the sixth overall rated running-back in Madden 23, which is very reasonable, especially considering the work Mixon put in behind one of the league's worst offensive lines. With the line vastly upgraded, this could easily be Joe Mixon’s best year in the league in terms of efficiency, if not production too.
Samaje Perine: 73, Chris Evans: 67, Trayveon Williams: 66, Elijah Holyfield: 63
Nothing much of note here; it wouldn’t be surprising if Chris Evans got some more work this year, but based off what they have all done in the NFL, these ratings are very fair.
Ja’Marr Chase: 87
This is insane. It makes sense the NFL is hesitant to make players top 5 at their position after one year. HOWEVER, Ja’Marr Chase just had arguably the best rookie receiver season of all time, making consistent highlight plays, all while his quarterback was running for his life.
He was fourth in the league in receiving yards, 3rd in receiving touchdowns, and 2nd in yards per reception. His rankings? 20TH IN THE LEAGUE, TIED WITH BRANDIN COOKS, behind guys like Amari Cooper and DK Metcalf who failed to cross 1,000 yards last year.
This is a tragedy, and a travesty, and disappointing.
Tyler Boyd: 84 Tee Higgins: 83
The other two starting wide receivers have solid ratings. You could argue Higgins should be higher but not nearly as egregious as Chase’s rating. Boyd is a solid rating for one of the league's best slot receivers.
Trent Taylor: 70, Mike Thomas: 68, Stanley Morgan: 68, Pooka Williams: 65, Trenton Irwin: 63, Jaivon Heiligh: 61
Mike Thomas was the Bengals WR with the fourth-most receptions in 2021, and he had 5 total receptions. The drop-off in the Bengals' wide receiver group is big, and it is accurately reflected in these rankings.
Hayden Hurst: 76
The Bengals’ new starting tight end is pretty low down the rankings at his position. This is not surprising, with a couple of years of low production as a tight end 1. With Burrow, he should have a decent year, but with how good the receiver trio is, he probably won’t be used all that much anyway.
Drew Sample: 69, Thaddeus Moss: 60, Mitchell Wilcox: 56
While it makes some sense to not invest in tight end with the position not being used much by the team, the position is ridiculously thin for the Bengals, and all four of their tight ends are not currently under contract for 2023 (although Wilcox is set to be an ERFA). Easily one of the Bengals' weakest positions in terms of starter and depth, but with how little the position is used in the offense, why invest much into it?
Clark Harris: 42
Every NFL team has a dedicated long snapper. They have for a decade or two at this point. It is absolutely silly that EA has not added in a Long Snapper position in a game that is pulling in probably over a billion dollars per year easily.
La’el Collins: 87, Jonah Williams: 78, Alex Cappa: 75, Ted Karras: 75, Jackson Carman: 69
With the Bengals' current presumed starters, it is a big upgrade over last year's OL. The left guard spot also still seems up for grabs, although I included Carman as he is the 5th highest overall. None of these seem egregiously off, and the hope has to be that they can be a big upgrade altogether over what the Bengals put out last year.
Cordell Volson: 64, Lamont Gaillard: 64, Hakeem Adeniji: 63, Trey Hill: 62, D’Ante Smith: 61. Devin Cochran: 59
None of the players here are egregiously off, mostly because not many of these guys have played much and the ones who have, have not been great. Hopes to Volson taking the left guard job and running with it.
Chidobe Awuzie: 85, Mike Hilton: 82, Eli Apple: 76
The Bengals' 3 presumed starters are all solid. Awuzie and Hilton both have solid ratings, with both at their best putting up elite play. Apple at the end of last season started to really step up, and the Bengals have to hope he has finally taken the next step into being the first-round pick he originally was. If so, this rating could quickly be going upward.
Tre Flowers: 76, Cam Taylor-Britt: 70, Jalen Davis: 63, Delonte Hood: 61, John Brannon: 58
For the first time, I would say a player is clearly a bit too high, with Flowers being at the same rating as Apple, a borderline starter rating. While he has a role he excels at, Flowers’ rating seems a bit high. Other than that the rest seem reasonable, but Cam Taylor-Britt may end up growing a lot if he gets to see the field.
Jessie Bates III: 90, Vonn Bell: 82, Daxton Hill: 75
Ignoring any contract negotiations, the Bengals are a better team when Jessie Bates is playing and playing at his best. The rating reflects that, and if he comes back and plays lights out, that will help the Bengals defense try to exceed last year’s output. Bell is solid, and Hill should get some run as a third safety/linebacker/slot corner role with his versatility.
Michael Thomas: 71, Tycen Anderson: 65, Trayvon Henderson: 63, Brandon Wilson: 62
As safeties these ratings all make sense, obviously underrating the special teams' impact players like Brandon Wilson have. However, looking at these ratings solely as safety rating, these ratings make fine sense.
Logan Wilson: 83, Germaine Pratt: 74, Akeem Davis-Gaither: 72
Wilson has a good rating that should climb if he continues to play like he did last year; he is a good player. Pratt’s rating seems a bit low, but he has been an up and down player so far in his career, and hopefully, in a contract year, he really steps it up. For the linebacker 3 role, Davis-Gaither currently has taken charge of that and seems locked in there.
Markus Bailey: 66, Joe Bachie Jr.: 65, Clay Johnston: 63, Keandre Jones: 63, Carson Wells: 62
Bailey was taken the same draft as Wilson and Pratt, and for a seventh-round pick, he had a lot of potential; however, going into his third year, he still has to prove himself. Beyond that, the ratings all make sense for the Bengals' backup linebacker group. It is definitely a position to look to upgrade depth to.
Trey Hendrickson: 85, D.J. Reader: 84, B.J. Hill: 79, Sam Hubbard: 75
Across the board, the Bengals' defensive line is underrated. Hendrickson played at an elite level last year, and Reader is still one of the best run stoppers in the NFL. Hill took a step forward last year and was a steal of a trade by the Bengals. Hubbard is maybe an accurate rating, a great run defender, but a middle of the road as a pass rusher at best. Overall, the Bengals’ starting 4 is very good.
Noah Spence: 68, Joseph Ossai: 67, Tyler Shelvin: 67, Cam Sample: 66, Josh Tupou: 66, Khalid Kareem: 66, Zachary Carter: 65, Jeffrey Gunter: 64
In terms of backup, the Bengals have added a lot of solid players, with the two most intriguing ones being two of their most recent draft picks in Ossai, who was a third-round pick from the 2021 Draft that lost his rookie season, and Gunter, a seventh-rounder who also has very good athleticism. The Bengals have to hope both can be a plus with their athleticism, as the pass rush when Hendrickson is off the field drops off heavily.
Special Teams Ratings
Evan McPherson: 83, Kevin Huber: 73
McPherson’s rating may seem a bit low, but he is the third highest-rated kicker in the NFL, which seems fair. Huber is a solid punter, but not one of the best in the league, so this rating seems fair.
Most of the ratings for the Bengals in Madden 23 seem fair, with a few egregiously wrong examples.
With the overall of the team itself being a bit low, fixing the egregiously wrong ones could help correct the team overall. In the end, the Bengals can be slept on, they just need to keep performing on the field to change people’s minds.