Saturday, October 13, 2012

Madden 13 Roster update #7 (WEEK 6) - Is this progress or just mixed signals?

First, I would like to apologize again for neglecting my blog.  Work has been really eating up my time the last two weeks, leaving me only limited time with family and to sleep.  Things should get back to normal by next week.  I have a lot of great ideas for future blogs, but need to find the time to get them done.  Hang in there with me, I will do my best not to disappoint.

On Friday (10/12/12), the Week 6 Madden 13 roster update went live (Here is EA's Blog).  

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 are some tables I created to track ALL increases and decreases (based on OVR only) that EA publishes 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.


1.  This week's changes had mixed results.  For the first time all season, QB's received more decreases than increases.  For the 2nd week in row, HB's have been very balanced (50/50 this week).  Even the K's were balanced this week.  On defense, the DL and S's showed very good balance for the second week in a row, while LB and CB failed to show any balance this week and in the total numbers.

   Unfortunately, TE, WR, FB, LB, and CB continue with the same old trend of increases far outweighing decreases.  Take a look at the total numbers (with yellow heading) and you will see how unbalanced these positions have been in regards to OVR adjustments.

Speaking of TE, one of the worst this season has yet to receive a single attribute decrease.  That player is Ben Watson (CLV).  According to, Watson has earned a -5.4 OVR grade, which is good for 48th out of 50 TE who have seen 25% of their teams offensive snaps.  He has a negative grade in receiving, pass blocking, run blocking, and penalties.  PFF has a very good statistic called, "Yards per route run", Watson has a 0.97 YPRR which puts him at 37th.  He is simply not getting open.  So while TE's are receiving very few decreases in Madden13, this is an example of a player who deserves one.  Why does EA continue to ignore their "most trusted" source in PFF?


Did you know, that TE Kyle Rudolph (MIN) has received a negative overall grade (-1.6) from PFF this season, yet he has received two weekly increases to zero decreases?  EA is looking at his 4 TD's and ignoring his horrible passing blocking, run blocking, and below average drop rate.  According to PFF, Rudolph is 37th among TE's is pass blocking efficiency (PBE), is 43rd in run blocking, it below the 3 year average in TE drop rate (8.74%) at 9.52%. 

My assumption is that this play had a lot to do with  Rudolph now having the highest SPC (94) among Madden13 TE's:

Should one catch result in a 6 pt SPC boost and the top attribute rating at the TE position?  Think about and comment below.

Also, if one catch can boost SPC 6pts, than what about catch in traffic (CIT)?  Check out this highlight:

Currently, no one is tracking statistics for "catch in traffic".  While I don't believe one play should make a break an attribute, it's plays like this that should be considered when rating a players catch in traffic.  The players who consistently make these kind of catches, should receive the higher CIT ratings.  Right now Rudolph has a 72 CIT, do you agree?  Why?  Please comment below.

From week 1 to week 6, Rudolph has currently received the following attribute adjustments:

+1 SPD, +3 AGI, +2 ACC, +3 AWR, +5 TRK, +1 CAR, +2 CTH, +2 RTE, +1 CIT, +6 SPC, +2 RBK, and +6 IMP.

Remember, Rudolph is worse than the 3 year average in TE drop rate and has received a horrible run block grade from PFF.  

Once again, EA is adjusting attributes that don't reflect what is happening on the NFL field.  This is why I keep telling all of you to LOOK BEYOND OVR.  If you look beyond OVR, you will see just how inaccurate Madden player ratings really are.


Oh, I can't forget about Jason Witten. In the week 4 update, he finally received a decrease for his poor play (from 93 to 92 OVR), only to see an increase back up to 93 OVR in the week 5 update.

From week 1 to date, Witten has received the following attribute adjustments:  -1 AGI, +1 RTE, +1 CIT, -2 RBK, -1 IMP.  Witten currently has a -4.0 overall grade from PFF this season.  He has a -2.6 pass block grade, -2.8 penalty grade (4 penalties tied for 1st among TE's) , leads all TE's in drops at 6 (good for the 35th in drop rate at 22.22%).  Even after a last week's bye, Witten still leads all TE's in drops.  His 6 drops also tie him for the NFL lead among all players.  His drop rate of 22.22% would place him in a tie for 89th among WR's.

I'm the first to look at a players track record, but I also believe in adjusting attributes in 4 week blocks based on recent performance.  Witten's first four games have been horrible.  He has earned a decrease in CTH, AWR, and CIT, but hasn't received them.  Instead, he has a net gain in CIT and no change in AWR or CAT.  Yes, he is a future hall of famer, but through a quarter of this season Witten hasn't played like one.  

From 2009 through 2011, Witten had one of the best drop rates among TE's with 4.64%.  By adding this year's statistics to those numbers, his drop rate jumps up to 6.19%.  That 6.19% is still very good for a receiver or tight end, but that type of change in such a large sample size also justifies a decrease to his CAT attribute.  

Consider this, from 2009 to present, Tony Gonzalez has a 4.89% drop rate on 286 "catchable targets", Witten has a 6.19% drop rate over that same period of time on 307 "catchable targets", yet Gonzalez has a 92 CAT to Witten's 97.  Who do you think should be higher?  

Here are some final numbers from the Week 6 roster update:

34 players received an increase this week and last week.
20 players received a decrease this week and last week.
14 players received an increase this week after a decrease last week.
12 players received a decrease this week after an increase last week.

Oh and our buddy running back Chris Johnson (TEN) was adjusted again this week receiving a decrease after being increased last week.  So, Johnson was decreased in week 2, 3, and 4.  Increased in week 5, and now decreased again in week 6.  He has been adjusted every week during the regular season.  Oh, I have an idea EA, why not use bigger samples and only adjust players every 3 to 4 weeks?  

J.J. Watt is the only other player to have an OVR adjustment all five weeks of the season.  Watt has been increased 5 weeks in a row.  BTW - He has been a monster this season and deserves some attribute increases.  That said, would it have been the end of the world if his first increase came after week 3 or 4?

Donny Moore's number one priority should be attribute accuracy, but EA would rather have inconsistency and inaccuracy.  These numbers don't lie; at this rate many Madden13 players will be completely OVERRATED because EA and Donny Moore won't slow down and pay attention to detail.  I've said it before and I'll say it again, player ratings should not be about making friends, it should be about accuracy and consistency.  

Enjoy the games on Sunday and don't forget, "Look beyond OVR and into the attributes."

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