I suck at Madden. Maybe I'm not taking it seriously since it's I play at 3 AM with drinks involved. I don't know if I'm doing the slide protection thing right with the offensive line. I'm expecting a losing season online with Madden 10. Whatever, I'm still having fun with the game, maybe not as fun as my NFL2K5 days, but the Miami Dolphins Wildcat formations, anything involving Chris Johnson on the flat, and Michael Turner's stiff-arming bowling-ball running play has been worth the price of admission.
Vick and Favre got their contracts. Props to EA for getting them in the game with player photos and all. Favre is what he is. Rocking purple and horns and a definite upgrade from Tavares and Sage. He's slowed and aged, but capable of making the right plays. Favre isn't going to win the games in Minnesota, the Vikings are.
Vick's return is an interesting one. The overall rating is a 73. EA just brought everything down from the 08 Dogfighter days. I'll point out what he can't do in the game. 69 in deep accuracy, 69 in throw accuracy, and 65 in awareness. They also toned his stiff-arms and spins a few points. But look at this: 90 in speed (three points faster than Pat White), 94 in agility, 92 in acceleration, 95 in ball carrier vision and 93 in throw power. If you ask me that's a potential Tecmo Bo especially on the bootleg.
With my experience in football video games, scrambling quarterbacks are headaches to defend. IGN named Michael Vick as the greatest Quarterback in Madden history, but from my 2K days I managed to overcome Vick abuse by blitzing wisely. You know who really annoyed me? Steve McNair. The guy not only outran a blitz but his scramble passing was so nasty he was a bomb threat to the defense anytime he had a foot behind the line of scrimmage. You rush him, he throws. You nickel him, he goes.
In Madden 10, Vick's throw-on-run is 95. Enjoy.
Can he stiff-arm cornerbacks into obscurity? It's not only possible, it's recommended. You may not realize how potent he is in the game until you try using Vince Young (who I think is a 68 overall). Use Vince with caution, especially if you've had a few alcoholic beverages. For the love of God, NEVER THROW THE BALL with him. Take the sack if you have to. You don't want to know what's going to happen when that ball leaves his arm. It's either going to wrong colored uniform or sailing over the sidelines with Jeff Fisher as the intended receiver.
Madden is not football. It's an entirely different game where one man virtually out-coaches, out-throws, out-runs, and sometimes out-smarts the other in between canned commentary by Cris Collinsworth (I like to turn the commentary off and connect my iPod, it's for the best). Playmaker controls and hitsticks continue to blur the lines that distinguish animated athletes from comic book heroes. Madden is a mythology that boils the blood of both the nerd and the jock.
But what does it mean for the players who dedicate their minds, bodies, and spirits to work Sundays It's already begun to have an impact. T.J. Houshmandzadeh is boycotting the game over his 91 rating (tied with T.O. for the 10th best). DeAngelo Hall is using his rating drop (93 to 68) as motivation to improve the Redskins secondary.
Keeping in mind that it's only a video game, how much do Madden ratings really matter?