Friday, November 9, 2012

Why are Ryan Tannehill and Russell Wilson being disrespected by EA Madden 13?

Throughout the 2012 NFL season, I have closely followed the progress of the leagues five rookie starting quarterbacks (Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Ryan Tannehill, Brandon Weeden, and Russell Wilson).  Along the way, I have tracked the EA Sports Madden 13 player ratings for these rookies as well.  What I've found is that EA Sports doesn't treat each rookie equally, at least not based on the statistics.  In this blog, I wanted to focus on one Madden 13 attribute in particular, that is deep passing accuracy (DAC).

Fans of both the NFL and Madden 13 love the deep ball.  Unfortunately, what is going on in the real NFL is not being accurately represented in the video game version.

Let's take a look at the deep accuracy statistics for these five QB's as of 11/9/2012:

* Please note that (PFF) gives accuracy credit to the QB for a dropped pass and they define a deep pass as "passing attempts targeted 20 yards or more downfield."

Madden 13 DAC is current as of the week 10 roster update on 11/9/2012.


 All of these rookie QB's are exceeding the current 2012 NFL average, except for Brandon Weeden.

2.  Among rookie QB's, Robert Griffin III currently has the best Madden 13 deep passing accuracy (DAC) with an 88, but he is 4th in deep accuracy percentage (Acc %).

3.  What is going on with Russell Wilson and Ryan Tannehill?  They are both much better than the NFL average.  In fact, according to PFF, Tannehill is #1 in the NFL among starting QB's in deep passing accuracy and Wilson is 10th.  Is there an reason why Weeden should still be rated higher in DAC than either of these QB's?  In my opinion, "NO WAY!"

4.  Why is their such a big difference between RGIII and Tannehill?  Is EA still going off of NFL draft scouting reports?  I think they are.

Listed below are some quotes from Scouts Inc regarding the deep passing of these rookies prior to the NFL draft:

Luck:  "Deep accuracy is above average but can improve. Floats some of his deep throws and appears to aim it instead of pulling the string."

RGIII:  "Deep accuracy is vastly improved from earlier in his career.  Shows ability to drop the ball in between defenders.  Anticipation on deep throws is above average." 

Tannehill:  "More accurate short-to-intermediate than deep at this point. Deep ball sails too often." 

Weeden:  "Puts good air under deep ball to allow receiver to run underneath and adjust." 

Wilson:  "Misses the strike zone on occasion and deep accuracy is especially inconsistent"

5.  Isn't it possible the scouts were wrong about Tannehill and Wilson?  Isn't possible that Tannehill and Wilson have been coached up in regards to their deep passing?  It wouldn't shock me if Miami and Seattle fans see this as a form of disrespect from EA Sports.  

6.  All of these rookies have a long way to go in their careers and these sample sizes are relatively small .That said, we are over half way through the NFL season and EA Sports seems to be missing the boat on rookie QB deep accuracy (DAC) ratings.  

Final Thoughts:  

I have been an NFL fan all of my life, and a Madden football fan since the very first title was released in 1988.  Over the years the game has made amazing strides, but in recent years the inconsistency and inaccuracy in player ratings and attributes has been a sore spot for many Madden fans.  In the case of Tannehill and Wilson, I believe the lack of national exposure contributes to their inaccurate DAC ratings.  

Also, EA Sports does not have a true ratings team,instead they rely heavily on just one person (Donny Moore).  The job is too much for one person.  Fans should not expect accuracy and consistency in Madden player ratings until EA expands the ratings team, while at the same time implements standard rating procedures that will apply to each player and team objectively.

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