Well... Another week has passed and that means EA Sports has released another roster update for Madden 13 (Here is EA's Blog). The good news, is that Donny Moore made fewer rating adjustments this week. There were many uniform adjustments, especially helmets.
I have gathered some very interesting numbers for this week's blog post. I will also be looking at individual positions and what attributes were really changed to manipulate the OVR. If you missed last week's blog on the attribute changes, Click Here.
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 is rather shocking, here it is:
1. The first set of tables is from the week 2 update, the second set is from week 3. The last set of tables is the combination of the two. I will continue to track these numbers as the season progresses.
2. You can see that there were (roughly) half the changes in week 3 when compared to week 2. Is this a new trend? Only time will tell, but if it is a sign of things to come, it's a good thing. Fewer "knee jerk" ratings is always a good thing.
3. It's clear that EA (Donny) is reluctant to give players a decrease. So far, over 70% of all adjustments have been increases. While this doesn't show each individual player or attribute changed, it's still disturbing.
Is Donny trying to avoid the negative feedback of giving decreases? I sure hope not. Assigning player ratings and attributes is not about making friends or keeping the fans off your back. It's about accuracy.
4. Does it surprise you that offense is getting more attention than defense? It shouldn't. Madden has been all about offense over the last several years. Offense may be more exciting to some people, but defense is 50% of the game. I would like to see more balance between offense and defense in regards to rating changes.
5. Under the microscope. The OL and CB position have the highest percent of decrease for their respective side of the ball. Does this mean their ratings were just way off to begin the year, of does Donny pay closer attention to the negative statistics at these positions? Since this is only the second update (based on regular season games), I will wait a few more weeks before answering that question.
Inside the numbers - There were 126 players who received rating adjustments for the week 3 update (based on the information EA released). Out of those 126 players, 44 (35%) players were adjusted the previous week as well. Out of those 44 players: 27 received back to back increases, 3 received back to back decreases, 6 were increased last week only to be decreased this week, and 8 were decreased last week only to be increased this week.
So, 14 players got adjusted in the opposite direction after just one week.
This illustrates that Donny is much more likely to increase a player than to decrease one. Giving 27 players back to back increases to only 3 back to back decreases should raise an eyebrow. Maybe, this was just pure coincidence, but I doubt it.
Would evaluating players every four weeks result in more accuracy and stability in Madden player ratings? I believe it would. That is why I will continue to push EA to evaluate players based on a larger sample size.
Week 3 Quarterback (QB) attribute adjustments:
* CAR does not effect the QB overall (OVR).
1. Dalton, Weeden, Vick, and Tannehill all received decreases in the week 2 update, but got increases this week. This is "knee jerk" rating at it's best.
Peyton Manning just received an increase last week, only to get decreased this week. Did he have a bad game on MNF? Yes. So far he has had one solid game and one poor game, maybe it would be better to wait 3 to 4 weeks before dishing out increases and decreases.
2. Notice AWR was the only thing Tannehill received a boost in (which is basically worthless). Adjusting AWR is the easiest way to show an OVR increase or decrease. Since many Madden fans don't look beyond OVR, EA can get away with this type of rating adjustment. This is the "keep the fans happy" rating increase.
3. Want hear something funny? According to Profootballfocus.com, Matt Ryan has only attempted 3 passes of 20 or more yards downfield in the first two games of the season. One of those attempts was dropped and the two others went incomplete. Maybe I'm missing something here, but I don't see how those numbers deserve a +2 to the DAC attribute. Ponder is 1 for 3 on deep passing as well this season and he received a 1 point increase to his DAC. I don't think either has earned an increase in that attribute yet.
4. Prior to this update, Russell Wilson only had a 49 (Play Action) PAC. This week he received an 18 point increase to raise his PAC to 67 (which is still poor by Madden 13 standards). Prior to this update, Wilson had one of the lowest PAC ratings in all of Madden 13. The interesting part is that Donny felt the need to reduce his mid-accuracy (MAC), most likely because it was just enough to keep his OVR from going up 3pts to 79.
Week 3 Defensive Linemen (DL) attribute adjustments:
1. Not one decrease on the Dline this week??? I've got a DT to put on your "watch list" Donny. How about Tyson Alualu? He has received a -2.3 and -3.2 grade from PFF for the first two games of the season. If you are going to give increases based on PFF analysis, then why not give decreases on that same analysis.
*I would recommend that EA start using a "watch list" to track players who are struggling or excelling. Follow the player's progress over at least four games prior to adjusting attributes.
2. Note, that every player on this list received an increase to AWR, but only five received an increase to PRC. For defensive players, AWR is basically just a way to adjust OVR, play recognition (PRC) is what matters in regards to game-play.
Week 3 Safeties (SS & FS) attribute adjustments:
1. McMillian, Jones, Moore, and Godfrey all had an interception last week and received an increase in their CAT attribute. Obviously, there is no set amount for how much an interception will count toward the CAT (1, 2, or 3 in this case).
Six other safeties had an interception in week 2, but they did NOT receive an increase to their CAT attribute. Those six players are: Woodson (GB), DeCoud (ATL), Weedle (SD), Byrd (BUF), Goldson (SF), and Reed (BALT). So why do some players get an increase to their CAT and others don't? This is a question I would love for EA and Donny to answer. Unfortunately, many direct questions about ratings get ignored. Also, when would a CAT attribute go down for a defender? I would assume it would happen it the player drops an interception. Unfortunately, I haven't seen a website that tracks INT drops for defenders.
2. Let's talk about the tackle (TAK) attribute, shall we. Last year, PFF introduced a new statistic called "tackle efficiency". It's the number of tackles a player makes per missed tackle. I was really hoping EA would consider this statistic when rating the tackle attribute. The number of tackles a player gets is one thing. By utilizing missed tackles statistics you can actually determine which players are better in regards to the actually "act of tackling". So far, EA has ignored this great statistic like the plague.
The three players who received a TAK increase this week are perfect examples of this.
Per PFF, Godfrey is one of the worst tacklers at his position so far this season (it's a small sample). He has missed 7 tackles in 2 games, with 4 of those coming in week 2. He is missing a tackle every 4 attempts according to PFF. Moore is not much better, he is missing a tackle every 4.3 attempts.
Just how bad is that. Consider this, the top 5 at the position in 2011 had a tackle efficiency of over 15. So they were missing a tackle every 15 attempts. A tackle efficiency near 4, puts you at the bottom of the league.
What about McMillian? Well, he hasn't missed a tackle yet, but he has only attempted 2 so far this season. Talk about a small sample size.
This is why you have to look deeper than just the surface numbers. When statistics like TACKLE EFFICIENCY are available, they should be used to provide the most accurate Madden attributes possible.
I will add a few more positions over the next couple of days. Thanks for following my blog. It's time to stop the nonsense and start looking at large sample sizes when it comes to Madden 13 player ratings.
OVERRATED ATTRIBUTE of the week goes to LaRon Landry (FS, NYJ) and his 90 STR (strength). Yes, I said 90. I double checked it. The next closest FS has a 74 STR. The next closest SS has a 78 STR. Get this, Ray Lewis is the strongest MLB at 90 STR. The strongest LOLB only has an 86 STR. Hell, until EA every fixes this one, put Landry at LB and enjoy. To bad you can't use him at Defensive Tackle. Wow!
UNDERRATED ATTRIBUTE of the week goes to Julius Peppers (DE, CHI) and his 68 (BSH) block shed attribute. Believe it or not, this has been an issue for over 2 years and EA has refused to correct it. I have blogged about this one and twitted the issue to EA and Donny.
Just the facts:
14 Cornerbacks, 24 Free Safeties, 37 Strong Safeties, and 70 Right Ends have a higher block shed (BSH) attribute than Julius Peppers. Can this finally get corrected, once and for all?
*** Don't forget to check out my Madden 13 Rookie QB series: http://maddenmanniac.blogspot.com/2012/09/madden-13-player-spotlight-rookie_19.html
I am following these rookies all season long.