Sunday, October 21, 2012

Madden 13 Roster update #8 (WEEK 7) - The good and the bad. The numbers don't lie.

As work continues to take up most of my time, I am running behind on my blog.  In the next couple of weeks, I will be moving to a new schedule at work which should free up some extra time for my blog.  

The week 7 update (#8) had some very similar results to the week 6 update. 

On Friday (10/19/12), the Week 7 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.  First, look at the total percentages on offense from week 6 and week 7, they are exactly the same (59% increase to 41% decrease).  That is not a typo.  While it's better than the early weeks of the season, it's still going to result in having too many overrated offensive players by the end of the season.  

2.  For the 2nd week in a row there are have been more decreases for QB's than increases.  Is this a step in the right direction?  Time will tell.

3.  Running backs were exactly the same in week 6 and week 7 (50/50).  This is the 3rd time Donny has adjusted 22 running backs in a given week (week 2, 6, and 7).  He has never adjusted fewer than 22 running backs and never more than 24.  Is this some kind of target he is trying to hit every week?  Do you believe that 22 to 24 running backs need to be adjusted each week?  I don't.  REMEMBER - I believe the first question a player ratings person should ask prior to any adjustment is, "What attributes has this player consistently been exceeding or not living up to?"

As of this week, running backs now have the most balance on offense from week 2 to week 7 at 57% increases to 43% decreases.  

4.  For the second week in a row, Donny was able to find some TE's who deserved decreases.  The position as a whole is still very lopsided.

5.  I don't know what it is about the Wide Receiver position, but EA just refuses to find any balance here.  Does it makes sense that such a high percentage of WR's are seeing increases (69%), while at the same time a high percentage of CB's are seeing increases (62%)?  Couldn't someone argue that the success of a WR is at the expense of a CB and vice versa?

Trying to answer my own question, I went to to crunch some numbers.

*These numbers are based on players who have seen at least 25% of their teams offensive or defensive snaps through week 6:

56% of wide receivers has a positive overall grade from PFF (108 total players)

- 44% of cornerbacks have a positive overall grade from PFF (100 total players)

That is not a typo folks, you can go look at PFF's signature stats by position and see for yourself.

Here are some more numbers:

30 WR's received a negative grade from PFF based on their week 6 performance only and 34 WR's received negative grades based on week 5 only.  So if EA insists on making weekly player rating adjustments, there are plenty of WR's to decrease (note - that doesn't include other players who see a lower percentage of snaps).

40 CB's received a negative grade from PFF based on their week 6 performance only and 39 received negative grades based on week 5 only.  Again, there are plenty of players to decrease.  

6.  In regards to total increases and decreases, the defense is very close to being balanced in this week's update.  Does this show that EA is finally listening?  No, because you can't disregard the offensive players.

7.  Here are some final numbers from the Week 7 roster update:

36 players received an increase this week and last week.
13 players received a decrease this week and last week.
16 players received an increase this week after a decrease last week.
16 players received a decrease this week after an increase last week.

Over the last five updates, 66 players have received an increase after being decreased the previous week.  61 players have received a decrease after being increased the previous week.  That is a total of 127 players. You know what that tell me?  It tells me, that EA and Donny Moore do not have a consistent and accurate way of rating NFL players.  It tells me, that they need to look at larger sample sizes (3 to 4 games) to avoid wasting time.

If EA would go to a 3 to 4 week evaluation period, they would have more time to correct the inaccuracy and inconsistency in other attributes, such:  SAC, MAC, DAC, KAC, TAK, CAT, BSH, ect, ect.  I could go on.  I challenge you to look at each individual attribute in Madden 13 and sort them by best to worst at each position.  You will be shocked at what you see.  Then, go look at the best available statistics and game tape. I think you will see that there is a lot of work to do within each attribute rating.

When it comes to rating accuracy and consistency, no one at EA Sports holds Donny Moore accountable.  Think about it?  When you are at work, doesn't someone hold you accountable?  You bet they do.  In the case of Madden player ratings, the only people left to hold Mr. Moore accountable would be the fans and players.  Unfortunately, most fans are only concerned with their favorite team and can not be objective.  Players are too concerned with OVR and SPD.

Wouldn't it just be easier if a real ratings team was used by EA Sports.  I think it would be.  Player rating inaccuracy and inconsistency effects all Madden players.  Though some Madden players will claim ratings don't matter, the majority of us know that they do.  If player ratings didn't matter, then why was Green Bay the most used team in Madden 12?  Why do the top Madden players gravitate to the highest rated teams?  The fact is, ratings and attributes matter.  Yes, some attributes matter more than others, but EA's goal should always be to produce the most accurate and consistent ratings possible.

Get this, EA and Donny Moore can't even provide fans with the procedures they use when rating each attribute.  I've asked several times and have received no answer.  Without objective procedures, fans can not expect accuracy and consistency within Madden player ratings.

Final Thoughts:

Recently, an EA Game Changer told me that he liked my blog, but not the fact that I make people look incompetent at their job.  Simply put, "If the shoe fits, wear it."
I'm not out to hurt anyone's feelings, but are people really this thin-skinned?  EA is the only NFL video game, and last I checked Donny Moore is the so called "ratings czar".  Both EA and Donny are solely responsible for the Madden player ratings.  If I should be directing my criticism and suggestions to someone else, please let me know.  If EA wants to be the only NFL game in town, they need to be open to constructive criticism.

My goal is and always will be to challenge EA to produce the most accurate player attributes possible.

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