Generally, when video game announcements hit the newsstands, it registers as hardly more than a blip in the sporting world. Madden rankings have become the exception. Ten years ago it was unheard of for professional sports players to comment on their virtual avatars and their skill sets, but now, the production spans from the rookies to the veterans. Everyone wants to know their rank amongst peers as projected by EA Sports’ team of scouts. Plus, it makes fantastic fodder for the otherwise monotonous NFL offseason. Who got too much credit? Who received too little, and why will more and more gamers be playing as the Eagles in 2020?
It doesn’t take much digging to find encouraging numbers for Eagles fans. The Philadelphia Eagles are Madden 20’s top-ranked team. No joke. They’re better than the defending champion Patriots, the runners-up LA Rams, the star-studded Saints, and the high-flying Chiefs. Interestingly enough it is the Eagles and their NFC rival Dallas Cowboys that are atop EA’s chart. The Birds have an overall rating of 89 to go along with an 87 offensive rating (tied for 7th overall) and an 84 defensive rating (tied for 6th). There are teams with higher collective offensive and defensive ratings, but Philadelphia’s overall of 89 is unmatched.
This is led by a strong showing on both sides of the trenches. The Eagles have five players on either side of the line with 89 overall or above: Fletcher Cox (96), Jason Kelce (94), Brandon Brooks (90), Brandon Graham (89), and Lane Johnson (89). Jason Peters isn’t far behind with an 87 overall. Clearly, EA’s thinking is in line with Howie Roseman’s own — the path to success is one paved by solid linemen.
Malik Jackson (80) and Timmy Jernigan (78) both got lower marks than we’d have hoped, but those are fair rankings after down years. I expect both numbers will be on the rise. Rookie Andre Dillard was given a 70 overall, which was the second-best among rookie left tackles behind Bengals’ Jonah Williams. Isaac Seumalo also earned a 70 overall, which certainly could be higher, but is on par with other backup swing guards around the league. There are some names missing from this list, but we’ll get to those later.
The Eagles also have one of the more dangerous receiving corps in the game. Zach Ertz (93) headlines what is one of the team’s deepest groups. Alshon Jeffery (87) and Desean Jackson (85) should wreak havoc on opposing secondaries with help from Nelson Agholor (83) in the slot. Even second-year tight end Dallas Goedert broke the 80 overall threshold (he squeezed in with an 80). Eagles fans know he deserved it, but it’s surprising that EA was willing to bet on his upside.
Beyond that, rookie J.J. Arcega-Whiteside earned a generous 73 overall and Mack Hollins was given a 71 despite limited game-time experience. Shelton Gibson and Braxton Miller both received a 70 overall and AAF transfer Charles Johnson is just behind them at 69. Virtual Carson Wentz will have a ton of weapons to attack defenses through the air even if you have injuries switched on.
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25 year old Eagles writer from Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.