Sunday, August 5, 2012

Madden 13 Player ratings - QB accuracy, carry, and throwing power attributes. My thoughts.

It's been three days since EA Sports released the full Madden 13 attribute ratings for Quarterbacks.  You can find it here:  (After opening the page, look for the HERE in blue.  Click on it and you can download the full excel file).

First, I would like to say thank you to EA Sports and Donny Moore for providing the full excel file.  It's a great tool for fans and makes my job much easier for evaluating and tracking the attributes.  Now, if we can just get them to show all the attributes that were changed with each weekly roster update, we will have it all. I can dream, can't I?

In this blog, I will review five specific QB attributes.  It will include the top 10 QB's in regards to those attributes and some other notable QB's for comparison.  

The attributes I will look at are:

SAC - Short Accuracy
MAC - Mid Accuracy
DAC - Deep Accuracy
CAR - Carry
THP - Throwing Power

 To be clear, these are not my ratings, these are EA's default ratings for Madden 13.  

For deep accuracy (passes targeted 20 or more yards down-field) and completion percentage on passes targeted under 20 yards, I referred to and their signature stats.  While they do supply specific deep accuracy statistics, they don't provide specific statistics on passes targeted less than 20 yards down-field.  I had to get creative.

I took their completion percentage statistics and subtracted their deep passing statistics, which left me all the data for passes targeted less than 20 yards down-field.

I used PFF for this because it's a source Donny Moore has claimed to use for Madden ratings in the past and present.  I encourage all of you to check out PFF, they are a great source for NFL statistics.

Please note:  Pro Football Focus has their own custom completion percentage statistics for all QB's. It's the most in depth completion percentage you will find.  They subtract:  spiked balls, batted balls, throw aways, and hit as thrown from the total number of attempts.  Then, they add dropped passes to all completions and divide that by the new number of attempts.  To get the number for completion percentage less than (<) 20 yards, I subtracted their deep passing statistics from the grand total.  

I realize that some people might not agree with this way of looking at QB accuracy; therefore, I also included the standard NFL completion percentage that can be found at multiple websites.

For each statistic, I added up all QB's for each of the last three seasons to come up with averages for the league.  I only included true QB's in the averages, no passing statistics by any other position player were included.  I wanted to compare QB's to QB's only.

Unfortunately, I was unable to find statistics on passes under 10 yards.  For this section I used the same statistics to look at SAC and MAC.


1.  You can see based on the NFL averages, that the average NFL QB is very accurate on pass attempts targeted less than 20 yards down-field.  These averages should be the bench mark for comparison.

2.  As usual, Brees and Rodgers are neck and neck in the statistics and the attribute ratings.  Remember, the standard NFL completion % does not account for spikes, throw aways, drops, batted balls, or hit as thrown pass attempts.  That is why there is such a big difference in the two statistics, plus the fact that the deep passing statistics have been subtracted from the <20 yard Completion %.  

Some people will argue that Rodgers should be #1 in SAC, while other will back Brees.  We are splitting hairs at this point, they are both ELITE in regards to passes targeted less than 20 yards down field.  

3.  There is a clear difference between Rodgers/Brees and the next level of QB's.  I would argue that Peyton Manning belongs in the conversation for #3, despite missing last year.  

4.  In my opinion, after Brees and Rodgers, there should be a bigger gap.  Eli, Brady, and Rivers are clearly a notch below the top two.  

5.  While Luck and Moore had elite college completion percentages, we can't forget that, in college, pass catchers only need to have one foot in bounds for a pass to be ruled completed.  

Should any rookie be in the top 10 in SAC prior to ever throwing a pass in the NFL?  That is something the entire ratings team should talk about prior to assigning the attribute ratings.  Remember - I think a ratings team should consist of at least 8 individuals, with each of them following not only the entire NFL, but a specific division (they should not be assigned to a division that their favorite team is in).  I think this type of team will reduce bias and result in more consistency in Madden attribute ratings.

6.  My biggest snub is Alex Smith.  Yes, his standard NFL completion percentage is right near the NFL average, but he clearly competes with Stafford, Ryan and even Eli on passes targeted less than 20 yards down-field.  It's Smith's deep accuracy that brings down his standard completion percentage.  

BTW - Before anyone thinks it, I am not a 49er or Smith fan.  As a Seahawk fan, I can't stand the 49ers.  

My goal is to always be objective, no matter how much I personally dislike a player or team:)



1.  Remember, I am using the same stats for both SAC and MAC due to not being able to find specific statistics on passes targeted less than 10 yards down field.  If someone knows a site that includes that information, let me know and I will update this ASAP.

2.  I absolutely love the MAC ratings for Rodgers and Brees (Great job Donny Moore).  What I really like is the gap between the top two and the rest of the QB's.  This is similar to what I would like to see in the SAC attributes.  

3.  I completely disagree with Andrew Luck at 90.  Is he really better than Eli, Peyton, and Rivers?  He hasn't even thrown an NFL pass yet.  Let him prove it before giving him the 3rd best MAC rating in Madden 13.  The hype for Luck has been huge; EA has clearly bet on Luck being elite from day 1.  His 60 awareness (AWR) is the only attribute keeping him from having an ELITE overall (OVR); he comes into Madden 13 at 84 OVR.  Maybe, we can blame this on Cam Newton.  Many experts thought Newton wouldn't pan out, but he exceeded expectations.  Maybe EA is trying to plan ahead with Luck.  

If history has shown us anything, it's that there is a good chance either Luck or RGIII will fail to live up to expectations.  Who's it going to be?  Maybe this pair will be the exception.  

4.  Once again, Peyton Manning is paying the price for missing a season due to injury.  Isn't that what the injury (INJ) attribute is for.  There was a ton of speculation about his throwing ability post-surgery, but doesn't he deserve the benefit of the doubt.  Let his play on the field be the reason for a decrease in accuracy attributes, not speculation.  Is it crazy to think Manning should be #3 on this list?

5.  Alex Smith is the snub again.  This time the gap is worse.  Doesn't he stack up to Stafford, Ryan, and Big Ben when looking at passes attempted less than 20 yards down-field.  Yes, he does.  I believe his SAC and MAC attributes are low to keep his OVR down (currently 83 for Madden 13).  This is why I continue to ask for a separate ranking system. 

Assigning inaccurate attributes just to keep OVR down is one of the biggest problem in Madden player ratings.  Don't take my word for it.  Go look at statistics on your own and compare them to the attributes; it doesn't take long to see what is really going on. 

6.  I challenge everyone to take a look at ALL the QB's and compare the actual statistics to the attribute ratings.  When you find legitimate inaccuracies, send a tweet out to @Donny_Moore and ask him to explain it.  He tends to dodge direct questions and may never get back to you, but keep sending the tweets.  The best advice I can give you is to be objective, don't just say, "hey my favorite player is getting screwed."  Provide logical information and maybe someone will finally take note.  Like it or not, Donny Moore is the only game in town right now, so let your voices be heard. 


* The deep accuracy (DAC) statistics are from


1.  FACT - Deep Accuracy (DAC) is one of the most inaccurate and  inconsistently rated attributes in Madden.  Some of the best statistics PFF provides are the deep passing statistics.  Their Acc % is based on passes targeted 20 or more yards down-field (in the air).  They add completions to dropped passes and divide it by the total deep attempts.  The QB gets credit for putting the ball right on the money, even when his receiver drops it.  That's the definition of an objective statistic.

2.  Eli Manning is flat out overrated in this attribute.  It's plan and simple.  Get this - From the Wildcard Game to the Super Bowl, EA increased Eli's DAC by 10 points in Madden 12.  That right, he went into the playoffs with an 86 DAC.  Can you say knee jerk reaction and prisoner of the moment?  This type of attribute rating has to stop.  Yes, Eli attempted the most passes 20 or more yards down-field, but last I checked attempts don't equal completions.  Maybe he should get an increase in throwing power (THP) or stamina, but he is simply NOT the most accurate QB when it comes to the deep ball.  One great catch during a Super Bowl should not erase years of statistics.  

For the record, here are Eli's deep statistics from the playoffs: 14 attempts, 6 completions, 0 drops, for a completion percentage of 42.9%.  

That's right, he was worse during the playoffs than he was during the regular season; but somehow EA justified a 10 point increase.  Why does this happen?   Once again, EA is trying to manipulate OVR.  In this case they are using DAC to increase it. 

3.  Is it just me, or is Drew Brees getting completely disrespected with his 84 DAC attribute.  Let's see.  Over the last 3 years, no one has been better; and last year, he was 3rd in deep accuracy.  Why an 84?  

Hell, he lost 3 points off his final Madden 12 attribute.  Honestly, this is what drives Madden fans crazy when it comes to ratings and attributes.  I call it like I see it and this is pure BS.

4.  While Drew Brees was busy getting 3 points knocked off his DAC, Josh Freeman was receiving a 10 point boost during his off time.  Pay close attention, this is where a real ratings TEAM would help.  Let's say Donny comes to me and says, "Hey, Josh Freeman was 2nd in the NFL in deep accuracy last year, let's raise him 10 points."  I would say, "You're kidding right?  He only attempted 36 deep passes last year and you can't just ignore his 3 year average of 41.67% (just above the NFL average)."  Donny would get mad, but if he was being objective, he would realize I was right.  If more support was needed, you could ask the other 6 team members.  Stats are great, but you need to look at the entire picture.  In this case, Donny has not looked at the entire picture.  He will defend his position by saying he was 2nd in deep passing completion % last year, unfortunately for him, now you know the truth.  

I include the most recent year and the three previous seasons for a reason, I believe it's a more accurate way to represent the player.  Veteran players have a body of work and only looking at one season just doesn't make much sense to me.  That said, a veteran can't live off the past forever.    

5.  Cough, cough.  Sorry Tom Brady, but you don't belong in the top 5 anymore when it comes to DAC.  You were below the league average over the last 3 seasons and this can not be ignored.  Even the great Tom Brady needs to receive objective attribute ratings.  I am not saying he isn't a great QB anymore, but he is close to average in this particular attribute.  BTW - I know the Patriot fans are going to make up every excuse in the world to explain these numbers, I've heard many of them already.  The truth can hurt at times.

6.  Now I will give Donny Moore a ton of credit for finally realizing that Matt Ryan is a below average deep passer.  Before you mention all of the dropped passes last year, just remember that PFF credits the QB with a completion on any dropped pass that was deemed "catchable".  Great job Donny, now apply this same logic to Tim Tebow and we will be moving in the right direction.  

Ryan received an 11 point decrease between M12 and M13, he deserved every bit of it.  It's frustrating to see that with one player Donny can be spot on, but with another player he appears to be just guessing.  We know you have it in you, Donny.  If you need help, just ask.

7.  Not Matt Schaub again.  He loses a point over the off season for having above average deep passing accuracy last year and more importantly over the last 3 years.  This is just par for the course.  Texan fans need to speak up and let @Donny_Moore know about this one.


For the carry (CAR) attribute at the QB position, I used career numbers for comparison.  Most QB's get very few carries as a ball carrier, therefore looking at career statistics will result more accurate ratings in my opinion.

Att + Sacks = Total number of rushing attempts plus total number of times sacked.

Total FUM% = includes rushing fumble and sack fumble statistics

For a complete breakdown of QB rushing fumble % and sack fumble % (my M13 suggestions included), see this blog:

*Fumble, rushing attempts, and sack statistics were gathered from 


1.  The single most disturbing thing about the NEW QB carry attributes, is that almost all of them are exactly the same as Madden 12.  That is unfortunate for the gamer, as the will have to deal with inaccurate CAR attributes that could have easily been corrected.  The QB CAR attribute doesn't even impact a QB's OVR in Madden.  Simply put, there is absolutely no excuse for inaccurate CAR attributes.  Fumble statistics are widely available.  While I had to create my own fumble per touch percentages, it would not be difficult for anyone to duplicate.  My QB CAR blog was released on July 1st, so maybe there is hope for Madden 13.  

In response to my tweets questioning the "New" Madden 13 QB carry attributes, Donny Moore tweeted me this on Aug 4th, 2012:

   I will definitely take a look before first roster update for QB CAR ratings, thanks, nice article.

The article he is referring to, is my July 1st QB carry blog (link is locate above spreadsheet). We can only hope Donny stands by that statement, especially since the attribute has gone untouched since Madden 12.

2.  Take note of the NFL average and compare it to the QB's in the above table.  Names like: Vick, Rodgers,  Ryan, Henne, Batch, and Hasselbeck should really jump out at you.  Each of them has a completely unacceptable CAR attribute based on their fumble percentage.  All of them are vastly underrated by EA.

Remember, the CAR attribute in Madden impacts how often the player will fumble the ball.  Turnovers are extremely important in both the NFL and Madden football, this attribute needs to be as accurate as possible, no exceptions.  A more accurate CAR attribute will result in a improved gameplay experience for the gamer.

3.  Don't forget Tim Tebow.  The #1 QB in carry attribute for Madden 13.  While he is much better than the NFL average, Cam Newton is even better.  Is there really 34 points difference between Tebow and Rodgers, or is that a typo?  It's not a typo.  Packer fans, are you actually going to sit in silence while Rodgers gets completely disrespected?

What about Ryan and Vick?  In reality, are they that much worse than Tebow when it comes to protecting the football?  Nope.

Again, let's see what happens once the game is released.


Next up is throwing power (THP):


1.  This is one of the most subjective attributes in Madden.  I believe an attribute this subjective should be rated only after a team of individuals have thoroughly reviewed hours of game tape and scouting reports.  While some will say the average per attempt should indicate throwing power, I completely disagree.  There are too many variables in average per attempt.  Things like yards after catch (YAC) and offensive scheme will have a huge impact on a QB's average per attempt.  Again, it's not the top players that are difficult for EA to rate, it's the average to good players that give them the biggest problem.  Throwing power has been a very important attribute when it comes to Madden gameplay.  Many gamers will use a QB with a higher throwing power over one with high higher accuracy and a weaker arm.

Throwing power (THP) is tied with awareness (AWR) as the 2nd most important attribute in the overall (OVR) formula for QB's in Madden.  You will find that many 2nd and 3rd tier QB's who have a high THP will have very inaccurate/inconsistent accuracy attributes.  This is to hold back OVR.

2.  Brock Osweiler at 96 just doesn't seem right.  Per Scouts Inc. "Arm strength is good but not elite. "  Here is the link:  I am not saying that Scouts Inc. is only source you should look at, but they are a highly respected source for scouting and shouldn't be ignored.  Being a PAC-10 fan, I've seen Osweiler play several times.  I don't ever remember him being described with "Elite" arm strength.  A 96 THP indicates that EA believes he has "Elite" arm strength.  

3.  I admit, John Skelton at 96 had me scratching my head.  So I check Scouts Inc. again, and this is what they said, "Elite in this area. Absolute howitzer for an arm."  Here is that scouting report:  

Here are a couple of videos of Skelton:

The dude does have a laser for an arm.  Of course, these are highlights. 

Since this is a very subjective attribute, I encourage you to do some research and watch some tape to come to your own conclusion. 

4.   For these subjective attributes, it helps to look at the Madden average (in this case 87.4).  By looking at the average for an attribute you can get a good idea of how EA views the player.  I highlighted some players that were below average in RED.  Do you agree that those players are below average in arm strength? 

5.  With the exception of Osweiler, I think Donny Moore did a very good job with the top 10 for this attribute.  Leave a comment if you agree or disagree.

6.  Here are some articles and videos regarding arm strength that you might find interesting:


UPDATE - Here is my newest blog on the top 10 Madden 13 Running Backs:

Thanks for following my blog.  Don't forget to vote in my latest poll (right hand side of the page).  Have a great week.  My next blog will be on the NEW RB ratings and attributes.


  1. Donny's THP stats look good for the most part, but Brady being at 96 is lunacy. The guy has great mechanics, but his raw arm strength isn't that impressive. Look no further than the final minutes of the Super Bowl--a 96 THP guy doesn't max out at ~50 yards in the air. Brady had to get to midfield to throw the Hail Mary, and even then he just barely had enough. By no means was that the kind of moonball you see when a guy like Stafford chucks it up.

    And Flacco got robbed. As you've alluded to, Jaws says he has the strongest arm in the NFL. I don't know if he's right, but I trust his opinion more than Donny's.

    Anyway, good stuff. Hopefully someday Donny will step his game up.

  2. Great article man. DAC is the main thing that stood out to me overall when I saw the ratings as well.
    Also I agree (as a falcons fan) as much as it hurts me it is time Matty Ice gets called on his lack of deep ball throwing ability lol.

    But I will say that I would rather him get hurt in throw power instead of as much in deep acc.

    Prob bring him down to 84 or 83 throw power and 78 dac

    He was always pretty accurate on the ball its just that he didnt have the arm in years past and the ball would die in the air.

    This past off season he finally hit the weights and added like 8lbs of muscle. Hopefully it helps lol

  3. best article i've read in awhile. time to stop ignoring objective stats.

  4. Where is joe flacco in arm strength? It's unreal that he's not in the top 10.. He should at least be top 3 if not #1.. I don't have access to Pff stats but I would like to know flaccos deep accuracy because he throws one of the prettiest deep balls in the league