Seahawks will face four of the seven Madden 99 players
As if the Seahawks didn’t have enough to worry about this season, today we learned they’ll face four of the seven top-rated players in the league.
There’s a caveat to that statement. Those players are top rated by EA Sports for the video game Madden NFL 19. Now, you may think it’s silly to concern yourself about how a player is rated in a video game. I doubt that Pete Carroll or any of the Seahawks are going to lose any sleep over this. So what does it matter? Who cares about how some silly game ranks football players?
A quick search of the interwebs would give you part of the answer. This article is just one of the 508,000 results from a search for ‘Madden 99 player ratings’. You’ll find more than gaming sites or sports sites in your search. The article linked above is from Newsweek. Forbes is another of the first sources you’ll find. So, it’s kind of a big deal.
And why should you care? You, the undying ever loyal 12 who has not played a video game since your beloved Mattel Football II died? Because the more realistic the game, the more accurate the simulation, the more games they’ll sell. So EA Sports has a very good reason to make their player ratings as accurate as they can. Last year they had 5 million reasons. That’s how many copies Madden sells every year. The franchise has generated over $4 billion in revenue since it launched in 1988.
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Seahawks will face these 99’s in 2018
So yes, those player ratings are probably pretty accurate. So who got the top rating, and who will the Seahawks play? Seattle wastes no time diving into the deep end of the pool, as they face the Denver Broncos of Von Miller in the first game of the season. I marked this game as a win for Seattle earlier, and I stand by that. The 6-3 250 linebacker/edge rusher is an absolute terror. Although there is a better linebacker out there. Hint, hint.
The next 99 rated player Seattle will face is the Los Angeles Rams Aaron Donald. The 6-1 280 defensive tackle is as close to unblockable as anyone has been since Reggie White. Pro Football Focus rated him at 99.7 last year. The next highest rating was Geno Atkins at 91.5. The gap between Donald and the second-ranked Atkins is the same as the gap between Atkins and the 29th rated Malcolm Brown. Like we needed a reminder that Donald was good. Of course, the Seahawks have the pleasure of facing him twice.
Two down, two to go
Immediately after the rematch with Donald, the Seahawks will square off against another Aaron, that Rodgers guy with Green Bay. You may have already seen my opinion of Aaron Rodgers. You don’t need to read it to know he’s pretty good. If you somehow don’t know that already, you must have gotten lost. Perhaps you were looking for an abstract on the osprey? There you are. For those of you that stayed, yeah, Rodgers is ridiculously good. I think he should probably be rated 99, and everyone else be capped at 97. Which will make it that much sweeter when the Seahawks beat him.
The last of the 99’s Seattle will face is the Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Keuchly. In the age of edge rushers like Von Miller and natural safeties like Deion Jones playing linebacker, Kuechly is a an old school throwback. Kuechly is great, but I’ll take exception to this rating, as I did with Von Miller’s. If there’s any linebacker on this Earth better than the Seahawks Bobby Wagner, he’s 59 years old and not likely to come out of retirement. LT, we salute you.
Next: 2018 roster predictions: offense
The ratings get updated throughout the season, and I think it’s very likely we’ll see a couple of Seahawks join this illustrious group. Wagner, obviously, and Seattle’s other MVP candidate from last season, Russell Wilson. With a reinvigorated running game and an improved offensive line, Wilson is primed to have his best season yet. 99, here we come!