Saturday, October 27, 2012

Madden 13 Roster update #9 (WEEK 8) - Defense sees balance, the offense continues to get a pass.

Ok, life is finally starting to slow down and I plan on producing two blogs today (this being the first).  The week 8 Madden 13 roster update gave us some balance on defense, but continued the trend of inflated offense.  

On Friday (10/26/12), the Week 8 Madden 13 roster update went live (Here is EA's Blog).  

The is the 7th blog post in this series.  The goal is to show fans and EA the trends by position when it comes to weekly increases and decreases.  I do not support weekly attribute adjustments; I believe a larger sample size is required for more accuracy and consistency.  That said.  EA refuses to change their ways, which results in both inaccuracy and inconsistency in Madden player ratings.

In case you missed it, here my blog post from last week:  Update #8 (Week 7)


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.  The biggest news this week was that the defense had complete balance in regards to increases and decreases (50/50).  This was primarily due to the DL receiving seven more decreases than increases.  This is the 3rd week in a row the DLine has seen more decreases than increases, no other position on defense has done that this season.  As a matter of fact, on defense (other than the DLine) only the Safety position has had more decreases than increases anytime season (week 5 and 7).  

On the season, the Dline has received the highest percentage of decreases at 46% (of all positions).  Their counterparts on the OLine have only received 41% decreases this season and had a whooping 41 players increased this week.  Those 41 increases were a high for any position this year and that was coming off an NFL week where six teams had a bye.

2.  On the offensive side of the ball, you will see the highest percentage of increase (64%), since the week 3 update (77%).  Of the 64%, much of that was due to the OL receiving 23 more increases than decreases and the WR's seeing 11 more increases than decreases.  That is a +34 in only two positions. 

For the third week in a row, QB's received more decreases than increases (7 decreases/5 increases).  Get this, prior to this update, no other position on offense had received more decreases than increases in a given week.  After weeks of pointing out the how lopsided the TE position was, EA responded this week by giving them only 6 increases to 8 decreases.  This is long overdue.  Maybe it's just coincidence, they couldn't actually be reading my blog, could they?  Now, we need to get them to bring the WR position back down to earth.  

3.  For the second week in a row the WR position received it's largest number of increases with 24.  Maybe EA is afraid to give these divas what they deserve.  On the season, WR's have received 68% increases and only once have they received 40% or more in decreases in a given week (40% exactly in the week 6 update).  Last week, I pointed out that gives EA plenty of options to decrease at WR in a given week.  During week 7 alone, 41 WR's received a negative grade according to PFF.  Unfortunately, Donny Moore continues to disregard his most trusted source, especially when it comes to WR's.  

Did you know that 6 WR's that got increased this week actually received a negative overall grade from PFF for their week 7 performance.  Those WR's are:  Cecil Shorts (-5.7), Denarius Moore (-1.4), Josh Gordon (-1.3), Darrius H-Bey (-0.8), Miles Austin (-0.6), and Santana Moss (-0.5).  

BTW - Cecil Shorts received the worst grade of any NFL WR for his week 7 performance.

What do all of these WR's have in common besides a negative grade from PFF?  Well, all of them except Darrius H-Bey scored a TD in week 7 (Moss scored two).  With the exception of Miles Austin, they all received a negative receiving grade as well as a negative overall grade from PFF for week 7.  

*Austin received a -1.1 in blocking which brought down his overall grade.

EA Sports might say that these increases were not just based on the week 7 alone.  I completely disagree.  

Check this out:  

Austin and H-Bey, both received a decrease in the week 7 update, only to receive an increase in the week 8 update.  

Denarius Moore and Josh Gordon have received increases in both the week 7 and 8 roster updates.  

So it's clear that EA and Mr. Moore base many of these rating adjustments on the previous week's performance.  Of course, they utilize a "highlight based" rating system.  Does a TD really define a player true abilities and should all other aspects of their play be ignored if they score a TD?  I don't think so.

4.  Wait a minute.  Is there evidence that Donny Moore does look at ProFootballFocus?  Hmmmm.  The answer is:  Yes and No.

In this week's roster update blog, Donny noted that Free Safety Rahim Moore (DEN) received an increase to his tackle attribute from 60 to 72.  He also noted that safety Thomas DeCoud (ATL) received a decrease to his tackle attribute from 75 to 66.  

Why did EA do that?  Well, I checked out PFF and their Tackle Efficiency Statistics for safeties (signature stat section).  What I found was that Rahim Moore is ranked #1 for safeties so far this season (he hasn't missed a single tackle this year).  I also noticed that DeCoud is dead last with a tackle efficiency rating of 3.7.  That 3.7 means DeCoud misses a tackle every 3.7 attempts.  That is a horrible number to say the least.  Moore has 40 total tackles to zero missed tackles.  That a big difference.

So what is my problem with this.  On the surface, nothing.  Moore has earned his increase this season and at the same time DeCoud has earned his decrease.  But, let's look a little deeper.

The safety with the 2nd best tackle efficiency is none other then Moore's teammate, SS Mike Adams with a 25.0.  Currently, Adams has a 69 tackle attribute in Madden 13, just 3 points better than DeCoud.  

The safety with the 2nd worst tackle efficiency is 49er SS Donte Whitner with a 4.4.  Whitner currently has a 87 tackle attribute in Madden 13.  That is not a typo.  This is the inconsistency we get time after time from EA when it comes to Madden player ratings and attributes.  They do not objectively apply attribute ratings to each player on each team.  Why in the hell is Whitner getting a pass, when DeCoud gets hammered?  Either Donny doesn't want to face the wrath of 49er fans on twitter or he simply has no objective procedures for making attribute adjustments.  I actually think it's both.  

Now, some might say, "What about last year?"  Here you go.

Tackle efficiency for 2011: 

Mike Adams, 10.5
Whitner, 10.5
DeCoud, 9.5
Moore, 3.9

So, Moore was the worst last year and has since improved drastically.  He deserves the increase.  Adams has improved as well, but has only seen his TAK increase 2 points since the Release Day roster update. Very little separates DeCoud and Whitner in 2011 or 2012, yet Whitner has only seen a 2 point decrease all season from 89 to 87 TAK.

I would like to thank EA and Donny for adding these two specific attribute changes to their week 8 ratings blog.  While they thought it would show accuracy, consistency, and attention to detail, it actual shows the complete opposite.

Is this really the type of Madden player ratings that fans and players deserve?  Why can't EA be objective?  

Does a Falcons fans have a reason to be upset with DeCoud's decrease?  Yes and no.  Yes, because EA and Donny only targeted their player and essentially ignored the 49er player.  That said.  DeCoud deserves the decrease so they can't complain about that part.

I urge all of you to start looking deeper at all available statistics.  There are several players who have very inaccurate TAK attributes, not just the few pointed out here.  I suggested that tackle efficiency be used for the TAK attribute prior to the release of Madden 13 (Click here), but it fell on deaf ears.  

5.  Here are some final numbers from the Week 8 roster update (#9):

38 players received an increase this week and last week.
18 players received a decrease this week and last week.
20 players received an increase this week after a decrease last week.
14 players received a decrease this week after an increase last week.

*From the week 2 update to present, 86 players have received an increase just one week after receiving a decrease.  75 players have received a decrease just one week after receiving an increase.

In total, that is 161 players who have had their ratings adjusted in the opposite direction after just one week.  

As far as I'm concerned, that is 161 reasons why EA and Donny Moore should start looking at larger sample sizes (3 to 4 week blocks).  

Maybe Donny Moore should go after a career in politics, flip flopping 161 times should qualify him for a job.


Thanks for following my blog and stay tuned for one more blog post today, it should should spark a lot of discussion.

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