For having the league’s best team, Madden did the Eagles no favors rating some of the team’s key contributors. Before we get to the big ginger elephant in the room, let’s look at some other criminally low ratings on the starting lineup.
Case number one on the docket: Nigel Bradham. A 78!? Whoever made this rating must not have watched many Eagles games. The fact that Bradham scores lower than the jettisoned Mychal Kendricks (81) is a joke, and not the funny kind. He also ranks below Pernell McPhee (79), who has started 5 games in the last three years. Just to prove how awful this grade is, a 78 rating puts him on even terms with Clay Matthews and Jason Pierre-Paul who are a few years away from being remembered in ballads and tales of lore and second-year player Harold Landry III (who watched most of the season from the bench).
Now, can someone explain to me how Austin Ekeler (82), Lesean McCoy (82) and Frank Gore (81) are better running backs than Jordan Howard (80)? If it was 2014, Gore and McCoy would both have a legitimate claim, but after just breaking 1,200 rushing yards combined last season it’s clear both payers are on the back nine of their respective careers. Before last season Gore hadn’t broken 4.0 yards per carry since 2014. Howard’s production dropped off last year, only after Matt Nagy and co. did everything they could to scheme away from him.
The biggest knock against Howard is his pass-catching ability, which he wasn’t able to showcase with Tarik Cohen stealing the show. A 7.9 yards per reception average and stellar pass blocking should discredit the idea that the former Bear is useless on passing downs. Howard’s numbers are very similar to Houston’s Lamar Miller, who was given an 85 overall.
To drive the point home, Austin Ekeler’s two-year career stats: 814 rushing yards, 683 receiving yards, and 11 total touchdowns. Not to discredit what he’s accomplished hidden behind Melvin Gordon, but there’s a reason he’s not the every-down back in LA. Compare that to Jordan Howard’s 2,435 rushing yards, 423 receiving yards and 16 total touchdowns in his first two seasons. Not to mention he followed that up with a near-1,000 yard rushing season and 9 rushing touchdowns last season. Howard is tied with the likes of C.J. Anderson, Duke Johnson Jr. and Damien Williams — who have one total thousand yard rushing season between them. None of those three were even projected starters for their teams in 2019. Ouch.
Finally, to address the number one concern of Eagles fans who opened their phones to check the ratings yesterday: Carson Wentz‘s 82 overall. After finishing both of the last two seasons on IR, one assumes that this rating comes with injuries in mind. Still, being one year removed from an MVP caliber season, Wentz should be higher than the 13th (tied) ranked quarterback. Period. That puts him below: Matt Ryan (89), Ben Roethlisberger (85), Cam Newton (84), Jared Goff (83), Baker Mayfield (83) and Deshaun Watson (82).
EA Sports does its reasoning in numbers, so here are some numbers of my own. The following stats are taken from the last two years, to be fair to Jared Goff and Deshaun Watson.
If nothing else, the numbers above reflect that fact that both Carson Wentz and Deshaun Watson are criminally underrated in Madden 20. Carson’s touchdown to interception ratio is leagues better than anyone above him aside from Jared Goff. His QB rating and passer rating are also significantly higher than any QB apart from Watson. In seven fewer games Wentz threw just six fewer touchdowns than Goff and eight fewer than Big Ben. The Eagles signal-caller also contributes more with his legs than any other QB above him besides Watson and Cam Newton.
Looking at the culmination of all these categories, assigning points for rank, Wentz is at least the 3rd best quarterback of the bunch (behind Ryan and Watson). If nothing else, both Wentz and Watson should be closer to Ryan’s 89 overall. It’s impossible to tell how the injury rating factored into Carson’s overall, but 82 is far and away from a fair rating based on his on-field performance. With all the weapons he will have on offense (see above), Wentz will be in the 90 ballpark in no time.
26 year old Eagles writer from Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.