Thursday, September 27, 2012

Madden 13 Roster update #5 (WEEK 4) - What positions are getting the most attention and which are getting overlooked.

First the good news.  If you haven't heard, the real NFL referees were back at work today.  The labor dispute was settled late last night, which allowed them to get on a plane and call tonight's game between the Ravens and Browns.  All NFL fans and players should be extremely happy right now.  Let me say for all of us, "It's about time."

I digress.  Back to the topic at hand.

On Friday, EA Sports will release another roster update for Madden 13 (Here is EA's Blog).  This was the biggest increase/decrease update since the regular season began.  Their blog contains the typical OVR increase and decrease information with a few carry (CAR) attribute adjustments noted.  Noting the few CAR adjustments was EA's weak attempt to share more attribute information with the fans.  The bottom line is Donny and EA know what attributes are being changed on a weekly basis, yet refuse to share that information with fans.  Yes, you can jump back and forth between rosters and figure it out (that is how I do it), but they know most fans won't spend the time necessary to find these adjustments.  That last thing they want to show fans is what they are really adjusting to manipulate OVR.  I will continue to share as many attribute changes as I can every week - since EA won't do it.  I don't have time to do every position each week, but will rotate through all positions.  Here are my first two attribute adjustment blogs (Week 3 and Week 2)

For this blog, I will update you on the OVR changes that have taken place since the Week 2 update.  I started at week two, because that is the first update after the regular season began.    

Below is a table I created to track ALL increases and decreases (based on OVR only) that EA reveals to us on their website.  This table will allow you to see what positions are getting the most increases, decreases, and which ones are being overlooked all together.


* Remember - I don't support weekly "kneejerk" attribute adjustments.  I would like to see players evaluated with bigger sample sizes prior to increasing/decreasing an attribute.  That said, EA is not going to change any time soon, so we need to evaluate what they are doing on a weekly basis.  Accuracy and consistency should always be their primary goal, even if they insist on a using small sample sizes.

1.  You can see that this update (Week 4) was over double that of last week.  While there was a increase in the percentage of decreases this week, it's still no where near balanced.  Like I said last week, decreases will not make you any friends, but they are just as important as increases if your ultimate goal is consistency and accuracy.  Currently, EA's goal is not consistency or accuracy.  Since week 2, for every two increases in OVR, there is only one decrease.  If this trend keeps up, there will be a bunch of overrated players who never received the decreases they deserved.    

2.  Notice WR's can do no wrong, but the CB's who cover them are almost twice as likely to receive a decrease.  As a matter of fact, the CB position is the most balanced defensive position when it comes to percentage of increases to decreases.  Should WR and CB be exactly the same?  No, but I think the gap should be much closer.

3.  The Offensive Lineman (OL) have the most balance for increases to decreases (56% to 44%).  On the other hand, their counterparts on the Defensive Line (DL) receive 69% increases to only 31% decreases.  Think about it.  Is it really possible that so many DL's are excelling, while at the same time very few are struggling?  I encourage all of you to check out, they hand out plenty of negative grades to Defensive lineman.  By the way, they also hand out plenty of negative grades on every other position.  Why PFF?  Because EA's Ratings person Donny Moore has stated multiple times that PFF is one of his most trusted sources for player analysis.  If this is true, why does he ignore the negative grades and statistics that they provide?  Your guess is as good as mine.  Maybe you could ask him on twitter @Donny_Moore?  

4.  What the hell is up with the TE position?  85% total increases is not a typo.  FYI - has 27 TE's with a positive grade and 27 TE's with a negative grade through week 3.  That is exactly 50/50.  It's one thing to tout a source as one of your most reliable, it's another to actually apply that information to Madden Ratings.


Here are some interesting numbers.

In the week 4 update:

6 players received an increase this week after receiving a decrease last week.
8 players received a decrease this week after receiving an increase last week.
20 players received an increase this week and last week.
6 players received a decrease this week and last week.
40 players received either an increase or decrease this week and last.

Since the week 2 update:

12 players have been adjusted three weeks in a row.  They are:

Increased all 3 weeks:  Anthony Hawkins (WR, CIN), Brandon Myers (TE, OAK), Daryl Washington (LB, ARZ), J.J. Watt (DE, HOU), Jerrell Freeman (LB, IND), and KJ Wright (LB, SEA)

Decreased all 3 weeks:  Chris Johnson (RB, TEN) and Nate Clements (CB, CIN)

Decreased week 2, increased week 3, decreased week 4:  Mitchell Schwartz (OL, CLV) and Mike Vick (QB, PHI)

Increased week 2, decreased week 3, increased week 4:  Aqib Talib (CB, TB)

Decreased week 2, increased both week 3 and 4:  Andy Dalton (QB, CIN)

By evaluating players on a 4 games basis, the EA's ratings "team" could save time during the week.  This time could be used to universally correct inaccurate attributes such as:  CAT, CIT, TAK, DAC, KAC, etc, etc.. 

What I mean by universally correcting an attribute, is that a procedure would be put into place that would objectively apply to all players on all teams.  This could be a formula with statistics to determine a particular attribute (example - CAT and drop %).  A range would be developed and players would be rated based on reality and their actual performance.  No more adjusting an attribute just to manipulate OVR.  


Final Thoughts:

Right now EA is using social media like facebook and twitter to make player ratings a popularity contest.  I completely disagree with this type of player rating.  As a matter of fact, based on my blog poll (right side of the page), only 5% of voters believe fan input should be the most important factor in Madden Ratings.  76% believe statistics should be the most important factor.  Is EA confused here?  Even fans don't want other fans giving input.  Most fans can not be objective in regards to their favorite team or a despised rival.  

Have you ever wondered why the Madden Ratings System hasn't been overhauled in years?  Other aspects of Madden get addressed when a new title comes out, but nothing changes when it comes to ratings.  Player ratings are not a priority at community day events, nor has it received the proper representation at those events.  

Does EA really think there is nothing to fix in regards to player ratings/attributes?  I sure hope not, because I've spent over 10 months blogging about the inconsistency and inaccuracy in their ratings and have practically begged them to provide fans with their policies and procedures for Player ratings.  Other websites point out the inaccuracies and inconsistencies as well.  

Unfortunately, EA doesn't have any procedures that are objectively applied to ALL players and teams.  How do I know that, because I look beyond OVR and into the attributes.  The inaccuracy of Madden player ratings is crystal clear if your look beyond OVR.  

Thanks for following my blog.  My next post will be breaking down the attribute changes after the update goes live.

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