Every year, one of the most exciting times for me is when the Madden video game comes out. Typically, Madden comes out before the pre-season really gets going, so it's kind of like my first look at the Denver Broncos for the coming season, even if it is in a virtual world. This year, the release date of Madden was delayed a bit, and probably wisely due to the potential of a lockout lingering.
So, we will have to wait until later this month (August 30th) to make our purchase of the Madden video game, but we don't have to wait to see the first official ratings for our Denver Broncos. Some of the ratings may surprise you, some may not, and some may just downright confuse you (Ronald Fields a 77?).
Here are some of my reactions to the Broncos' ratings via ESPN's Video Game section.
Denver Broncos Best Individual Player
Champ Bailey, CB--97 overall
Champ is always the best player on the Broncos, so I can't say I'm surprised that he comes in first place once again this year. He is still a shut-down cornerback and one of the best players in the NFL straight up. The game even still gives Champ a speed rating of 95.
Best Position Group
Andre' Goodman--86 overall
This is easily the Broncos' best position in terms of rating at the top. Champ and Goodman provide Denver with one of the best cornerback duos in the league. Goodman is an underrated player, and if he can stay healthy this year, I see no reason why this shouldn't be the Broncos' best position in terms of starters. The next best cornerback, though, is Syd'Quan Thompson who checks in at 68, and Perrish Cox who checks in at 66 overall.
Best Offensive Player
Ryan Clady, LT--92 overall
I could have probably guessed this. Clady is one of the best offensive tackles in the NFL overall, so it's no surprise that he is the Broncos' best offensive player. He is a staple for this franchise and we need to lock him up immediately--I know I will when I get the game ;).
Clady is followed closely by Brandon Lloyd (88), Knowshon Moreno (85), Chris Kuper (84), and Kyle Orton (82) on the offensive side of the ball.
Tim Tebow (because you were all wondering)
Tebow checks in at a respectable 77 overall. Obviously the guys at Madden saw some potential in him from those last three games, because this rating is definitely higher than the one he had last year. I would compare his rating to that of Sam Bradford and Colt McCoy, but those teams' ratings are not available quite yet.
Tebow has the strongest arm on the team (88 throw power) but his accuracy is 76, nine points less than Kyle Orton. I think that's a pretty fair assessment. Any Broncos fan knows Tebow's accuracy is not as good as Orton's right now. Orton made some really nice throws down the field last year, and while Tebow had his moments, there were times when he telegraphed passes or let them sail a little bit.
What is pretty interesting to me is that Tebow has the best deep ball accuracy on the team. He was very good at throwing "Da Bomb" at Florida, and he made some nice throws for the Broncos down the field as well. His rating on deep balls is 77, while Orton's is a 73 and Quinn a 67.
Also interesting is that Tebow's toughness rating (98) is 18 points higher than any of the starting defensive tackles we had last year. That rating is the toughest on the team.
Demaryius Thomas is once again the fastest player on the Broncos with a speed rating of 96, followed closely by Champ Bailey (95) and Eddie Royal (95). I think in real life, they have this one just a bit messed up. I would expect Matt Willis would run the fastest 40 yard dash of the players listed on the first Broncos Madden roster.
So there are some of the tid-bits from the Madden roster as it pertains to the Broncos. What are your thoughts?