The Madden 16 player ratings reveal train rolls on as EA Sports posted their top five highest rated quarterbacks heading into the 2015 season. There’s not much to argue about the guys on here, aside from whether or not this list should’ve include Peyton Manning. Of course, we’re assuming that Manning’s rating is only a shade under Andrew Luck’s 93-overall, which we can stomach given the 2013 MVP’s precipitous drop off toward the end of last season. (If they’re below 90 we’re gonna need some answers.)
From Week 12 until the Denver Broncos loss at the hands of Andrew Luck’s Colts in the AFC Divisional playoffs, Manning amassed six interceptions and only six touchdowns. But it was the eye test — not just the numbers — that told Madden’s ratings czar Donny Moore all he needed to know about Peyton’s place among the league’s top passers.
The guy simply no longer has the arm strength to huck it around like he used to.
Here’s what NFL circles were saying about the greatest statistical quarterback of all time after he premature exit from the playoffs.
[NFL.com] From an AFC executive: “Saw a lack of velocity, declining arm strength. No juice or zip on throws. Shelf life.”
One NFC scout said: “It’s sad watching him, even more sad how Denver treated one of the greatest. Arm looks shot, sad seeing him look like that, knowing how big a competitor he is.”
An AFC scout: “Missed deep ball, routine throws were getting knocked down because he couldn’t drive the ball, timing was off. Never looked like he could get in a routine. He couldn’t dictate the game like normal because he just couldn’t make the throws that needed to be made.”
That being said, it was revealed after the Super Bowl that Manning had been playing with a torn right quadriceps, which drastically limited his ability to move/use his legs to power his throws. Sure, the guy was never much of a flamethrower, but at 39 years of age and lacking the use of one of the largest muscle groups in the body, it’s understandable why he was lobbing ducks for the last month of the season. However, Madden 16’s ratings don’t seem to be buying this excuse, as they’ve permanently replaced him on the NFL’s QB Mount Rushmore with Andrew Luck. Ouch.
(This time last year Peyton Manning was rated a 98-overall.)
ESPN, on the other hand, seems a bit more understanding and has yet to give up hope on the five-time MVP. Wednesday, Mike Sando released his 2015 quarterback rankings, including Manning in his (ultimately semantic) “Tier 1” group of passers, albeit two spots behind Luck.
T-1. Aaron Rodgers
T-1. Tom Brady
3. Andrew Luck
4. Ben Roethlisberger
5. Peyton Manning
6. Drew Brees
7. Philip Rivers
8. Russell Wilson
9. Tony Romo
10. Joe Flacco
11. Matt Ryan
T-12. Eli Manning
T-12. Matthew Stafford
14. Cam Newton
Neither Madden 16 nor ESPN consider Russell Wilson to be an elite quarterback. That will not be the case for much longer.
The top five highest rated QBs, plus the five highest rated running backs and 10 highest rated rookies, below.
Madden 16 hits store August 25.