ESPN.com and EA Sports has had an exclusive look at the “Madden NFL 12” overall team ratings for all teams. But when it comes to the “Madden” ratings, while the overall team numbers are here, starting soon we will be breaking down the ratings for every player in the game. Until then, check out how EA Sports sees the each division playing out, keep in mind this is before the free agent frenzy we all saw this week including the arrival of Nnamdi Asomugha, Cullen Jenkins & Vince Young to the Eagles, creating what Young labeled as a “Dream Team”, which will likely make their overall skyrocket and perhaps be Madden 12’s most played with team. Without further ado here are your overall ratings:
Dallas Cowboys: 82
Year after year, the Cowboys are a beast in the “Madden” community. This year, look for more of the same as not only do they feature three running backs with 90+ speed (Felix Jones: 96, DeMarco Murray: 93, Lonyae Miller: 90), but three wide receivers with 90+ speed (Miles Austin: 94, Dez Bryant: 94, Roy Williams: 90). Throw in two huge tight ends who seem to catch everything in the game, and you can see why the team is made for “Madden.”
Philadelphia Eagles: 86
EA’s love affair with the virtual Michael Vick continues as the quarterback looks to reclaim his spot on top of most dominant virtual athletes in history thanks to his “Madden 12” ratings. 91 speed from the quarterback position is just sick, and when you factor in his scrambles could turn into long bombs to DeSean Jackson (99 speed) or Jeremy Maclin (95 speed), I wouldn’t be surprised if the Eagles are the most played team in the game.
New York Giants: 83
Justin Tuck is a “Madden” sack master, and the ratings across the defensive line should make things tough for opposing offenses. Look for gamers using the G-Men to hand the ball to Da’Rel Scott as the halfback’s 96 speed, 94 acceleration will make him a “Madden” star no matter what the seventh round pick does in the real NFL.
Washington Redskins: 74
Expect custom playbooks to come into play big time with the Redskins as the team features six wide receivers and two running backs with 90+ speed. I’m intrigued to play with this roster myself just to see what I can come up with to utilize all of these weapons.
Green Bay Packers: 92
No surprise here as the Super Bowl champs are the highest-rated team in “Madden 12.” Aaron Rodgers falls just one pointshort of “Madden” perfection, with a 98 overall, while Charles Woodson (93 overall) and Tramon Williams (92 overall) will keep the corners on lock.
Chicago Bears: 85
Combine Jay Cutler’s 98 throwing power with Devin Hester (98 speed) and Johnny Knox (97 speed) going deep, and you have a very fun “Madden” team. Throw in the running of Matt Forte, and you have an offense to be feared.
Detroit Lions: 76
The overall team number is a little low, but I can see the Lions being a popular team this year for the simple fact that this defensive line is going to give people headaches. Suh (95 hit power) and Fairley (88 hit power) are going to abuse virtual backs so bad, “Madden” might need to bring back the old ambulance.
Minnesota Vikings: 74
Ever since Adrian Peterson stormed the league, the Vikings have been a popular pick to play as in “Madden.” But if you’re still playing as them this year, it’s really only because you want to run the ball down your friend’s throat as All Day. And why not when the back boasts a 97 overall rating with 97 speed, 97 acceleration, and 90 trucking.
Atlanta Falcons: 87
Roddy White (96 overall, 92 speed) and Julio Jones (78 overall, 94 speed) provide Matt Ryan with plenty of firepowerfrom the outside, while Michael Turner (93 overall) and Jerious Norwood (95) are just the type of one-two punch from the backfield “Madden” gamers live for.
New Orleans Saints: 85
Drew Brees has three receivers with over 90 speed to throw to, and a rookie runner in Mark Ingram who struts onto the field with 95 toughness and 87 trucking. Talk about a team that can drive a defense crazy.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 84
When I got the ratings, one of the first things I looked up was LeGarrette Blount’s jump rating (84), but it’s his 98 trucking ability that will make him a “Madden” favorite up the middle.
Carolina Panthers: 72
Cam Newton is going to be a handful for virtual defenses. Check these numbers: 83 speed, 94 acceleration, 97 throwing power, 81 throwing accuracy. Should make Steve Smith a happy man.
Arizona Cardinals: 70
If you have the Cardinals in your “Lowest Rated Team in ‘Madden 12′” pool, congratulations, you’re the big winner. Playing as Arizona, your best bet is throwing to former cover star Larry Fitzgerald and getting the ball to LaRod Stephens-Howling in space. With 93 speed, Stephens-Howling can make people miss and take it to the house on any play.
San Francisco 49ers: 77
The 49ers just signed Alex Smith to be their starter in real life, but in “Madden 12,” the Colin Kaepernick era has already started thanks to the rookie’s impressive 85 speed, 81 acceleration, 92 throwing power, and 75 throwing accuracy. Gamers can definitely find ways to win with a quarterback like that.
St. Louis Rams: 78
With fast receivers like Donnie Avery (96 speed) and Laurent Robinson (92 speed) stretching the field, Steven Jackson (94 overall, 87 speed, 90 acceleration) should have plenty of running lanes opening up underneath.
Seattle Seahawks: 76
Marshawn Lynch went into beast mode during the playoffs, and his numbers reflect his effort as the back boasts 96 trucking power. Look for Mike Williams to also make an impact as he’s the type of big receiver that has dominated “Madden” throughout the years (and his 95 spectacular catch rating doesn’t hurt, either).
Buffalo Bills: 73
The 28th-ranked team in the game, and it’s really no surprise when you only have two players on your roster rated an 89 overall or higher and one of those is your punter.
Miami Dolphins: 78
Having two studs at tackle should give Chad Henne plenty of time to hit Brandon Marshall in the open field. But with Henne’s 75 throwing accuracy, he might not always find the target.
New York Jets: 87
Tied for the fourth-highest overall rating in “Madden 12,” the Jets defense is a force to be reckoned with thanks to Mr. 99 overall Darrelle Revis, not to mention three other defenders rated 90 or higher overall.
New England Patriots: 88
The third-best team in the game, according to the ratings, thanks in part to Tom Brady’s 99 overall. But the “Madden” love doesn’t stop there as the Patriots feature 21 players rated 80 or higher overall.
Cincinnati Bengals: 71
The second lowest-rated team in “Madden 12,” but that shouldn’t stop gamers from playing as Cincinnati as this is a team built on receivers who can fly with A.J. Green, Chad Ochocinco, Jordan Shipley, and Jerome Simpson all rated 88 or higher in terms of overall speed.
Cleveland Browns: 74
Peyton Hillis is not only on the cover this year, he’s a beast in the game with a 91 overall, 99 toughness and 99 trucking. Talk about a one-man wrecking crew.
Baltimore Ravens: 86
Led by Ed Reed (98 overall), Ray Lewis (95 overall), and Haloti Ngata (97 overall), the Ravens have one of the hardest-hitting defenses in “Madden 12.” Ray Rice and his 90 speed should be able to carry the offense, when you’re not throwing across the middle to Todd Heap, that is.
Pittsburgh Steelers: 90
The second highest-rated team in the game thanks in part to the dangerous combination of Ben Roethlisberger’s 94 throwing power and Mike Wallace’s blazing 98 speed. Add to that the 99 overall of former cover athlete Troy Polamalu and you have a team that can do some serious polygonal damage.
Houston Texans: 80
This team might not be able to get over the hump in real life, but in “Madden 12,” they’re definitely one of the more dangerous offenses to deal with. Houston’s Big Three: Matt Schaub (88 overall), Arian Foster (92 overall, 91 speed), and Andre Johnson (97 overall, 94 speed) should make them a popular team online this year.
Indianapolis Colts: 85
Peyton Manning drops to a 98 overall in “Madden 12,” but the offense is still deadly thanks to weapons that include Dallas Clark (96 overall), Reggie Wayne (95 overall), and Pierre Garcon (95 speed).
Jacksonville Jaguars: 75
Maurice Jones-Drew leads the way with a 95 overall and 94 speed (not to mention, 89 trucking), but when your leading wide receiver is only an 80 overall, you might have some problems throwing for too many yards, even if with a stud tight end catching the ball over the middle.
Tennessee Titans: 73
People who play as the Titans typically do so for one reason: Chris Johnson. The back looks like a blur running down the field with 99 speed and 99 acceleration, and is pretty much impossible to stop in the open field.
Denver Broncos: 74
It’s all about who you want as your starting quarterback in Denver. Tim Tebow is 77 overall with 80 speed and 76 throwing accuracy while Kyle Orton is 82 overall with only 64 speed but 85 accuracy. Really depends on how you like to play “Madden.” As a guy who likes mobility, I’ll take Tebow.
San Diego Chargers: 85
With Philip Rivers clocking in at 96 overall and Antonio Gates at 99, the Chargers are going to be tearing up defenses through the air. The fact that they have three running backs with 90-plus speed doesn’t hurt, either.
Kansas City Chiefs: 84
Jamaal Charles was one of the surprises of the “Madden” cover vote, showing strong support throughout his campaign. His reward? EA Sports makes him one of the most feared backs in Madden with 98 speed.
Oakland Raiders: 76
Darrius Heyward-Bey blazes the virtual field with 97 speed but only has a 68 catching rating. That pretty much sums up the team right there. Oh yeah, Shane Lechler is a beast at 98 overall.