Whether you're avidly on the sticks every fall, or couldn't care less, it's impossible to deny that the yearly release of Madden is as much a part of the yearly football landscape as anything we have.
Last year the Carolina Panthers started atrociously. Thankfully the advent of online play, and roster patching has meant that the rating structure is fluid, but because of excellent performance the Panthers drastically improved their stock over the 2012 season. Now with a 6-10 team on the upswing, it would seem Carolina were due for a little more love. Did they get it?
Carolina Panthers- Overall grade 79 (12th in the NFC, tied 24th overall)
This is a fair ranking for a 6-10 team. We may think they're much better than that, but remember the overall ranking is calculated from the starters AND the depth. It's that second part, depth, which hurts the Panthers.
More after the jump
Steve Smith- 95 overall (#4 rated WR overall)
Jon Beason- 93 overall (#4 rated MLB overall)
Jordan Gross- 93 overall (#4 rated LT overall)
Ryan Kalil- 93 overall (#2 rated C overall)
Charles Johnson- 91 overall (t-11th rated DE overall)
Cam Newton- 89 overall (t-10th rated QB overall)
Mike Tolbert- 89 overall (t-3rd rated FB overall)
DeAngelo Williams- 84 overall (t-19th rated RB overall)
Jonathan Stewart- 84 overall (t-19th rated RB overall)
I think these rankings are really fair, with the exception of Double Trouble. I understand why for balance purposes they tweak the overall ratings, but having them below Beanie Wells (85 overall), Willis MaGahee (85 overall), and Rashard Mendenhall (86 overall) is ludicrous. Thankfully they'll get a bump when the season starts, and they run over people again.
Williams/Stewart's ranking is an unfair reflection on them sharing the load. Statistically and box-score wise it's too easy to knock them, but their YPC is still high even through lack of use. I know this is art attempting to immitate life, but they were definitely unfairly treated.
Luke Kuechly- 81 overall
Amini Silatolu- 73 overall
Frank Alexander- 63 overall
Joe Adams- 63 overall
Josh Norman- 67 overall
Brad Nortman- 57 overall (sorry BW)
D.J. Campbell- 62 overall
These seem pretty fair. Kuechly's 81 puts him as the tied 20th rated ROLB in the game, which is pretty impressive for a rookie. As a comparison Andrew Luck is an 84 overall, and RGIII is 83 overall– so EA have faith in Kuechly.