One aspect of the latest Madden NFL 12 roster update that I didn’t address earlier was the removal of the ‘clutch’ trait from Eli Manning. Having already broken down the 36 players in the NFL who originally received the trait – which provides a ratings boost during in-game pressure situations – Manning stood out as one of the most questionable. Still it was surprising to see the change made after just a single outing.
According to Donny Moore it wasn’t just week one of the NFL season that cost Manning his ‘clutch’ trait. Instead he was already teetering on the edge and the rough performance did him in. Even though he hasn’t been widely perceived as a ‘clutch’ player it’s still difficult to see how that one game could have made that difference given the framing of the qualifications and in context of the other players in the club.
Those like Tracy Porter and Marshawn Lynch have been deemed ‘clutch’ for making a memorable play in a critical moment and probably don’t warrant receiving the trait otherwise. However what constitutes taking away the trait now unless they were to screw up in a big spot? What will Peyton Hillis have to do in order to lose his ‘clutch’ trait? In the case of Manning maybe it shows that as time passes from those moments that entered them into consideration the individuals will need to reestablish themselves by coming through in more pressure situations or simply by performing at an elite level.
Some players are inherently at a disadvantage when it comes to ‘clutch’ because the teams they play on or the positions they play may not provide much opportunity to prove themselves in that regard. Calvin Johnson is a good example of that even though he continues to make big play after big play. It’s encouraging that the traits will be updated over the course of the season so maybe there will be adjustments made to their distribution and their determining factors. It’s certainly become a hot topic rivaling the always heavily-debated player ratings and at the very least generates quite a bit of discussion so EA will take full advantage of that by making updates throughout the season.
When it comes to quarterbacks they are always going to be in the spotlight with whatever they do making it easier to justify whether ‘clutch’ or not. So what do you think…should Eli Manning have lost his ‘clutch’ trait or even had it in the first place?