Vikings Madden 2008 Ratings

Well, folks, it's that time of year again.  In less than a week, the folks at EA Sports will unleash their latest version of the Madden NFL series on the public, including a midnight opening of the Gamestop in the humble little village of D'Iberville, MS.  Workplace productivity will grind to a virtual halt as gamers everywhere call in sick on the 14th to stay at home and taunt people on XBox Live.  Except for me. . .I'll be at work.

Damn it.

Anyway, some of the player ratings have been leaked to various sources around this vast Interweb of ours.  In this case, I say to hell with the other 31 teams. . .lets take a look at what the beloved Purple will look like this year.  I'll just stick to the "Overall" ratings.  If you want all the numbers. . .well, damn, the link is right there.

Quarterbacks

Tarvaris Jackson - 76
Brooks Bollinger - 73
Tyler Thigpen - 67

Well, this is pretty much to be expected, I think.  Jackson is rated higher than Bollinger in arm strength and speed, but Bollinger has higher awareness and accuracy.  I don't know if it's good that there's not a significant gap between Jackson and Bollinger. . .if Jackson gets hurt, there's not much drop-off to the backup, I suppose.  The fact that there's not a more significant gap between Bollinger and Thigpen surprises me, though.

Running Backs

Chester Taylor - 86
Adrian Peterson - 85
Mewelde Moore - 77
Ciatrick Fason - 72

Taylor will enter the season as the starter, so he SHOULD be rated higher than AP.  All of the backs have pretty good speed and acceleration ratings, which bodes well.  Interesting that they gave Taylor the lowest stamina rating of the four backs. . .even lower than Mewelde Moore, who was hurt all the time early in his career.

Wide Receivers

Sidney Rice - 78
Bobby Wade - 75
Billy McMullen - 75
Troy Williamson - 74
Aundrae Allison - 72

Yes. . .Troy Williamson, according to Madden 2008, is the Vikings' #4 WR.  Thank goodness for the ability to adjust the depth chart.  Seeing Rice on top of the chart is a bit surprising, but in terms of physical talent, it might be accurate.  Allison and Williamson both have really good speed and acceleration, so the two of them (along with Rice) could probably be developed into a pretty good three-headed monster in dynasty mode.

Fullback

Tony Richardson - 89

Richardson is great.  We knew this already.  Next!

Tight Ends

Jim Kleinsasser - 80
Visanthe Shiancoe - 75
Richard Owens - 66

Shaincoe behind Kleinsasser?  Shows how highly he's thought of, eh?  Shiancoe, to his credit, does have pretty good speed, "catch in traffic," and route running ratings, which could prove helpful.  I don't see any sort of blocking rating for the TEs, which is strange.  Are we just supposed to base that off of the strength rating?

Offensive Line

Steve Hutchinson - 98
Bryant McKinnie - 94
Matt Birk - 92
Artis Hicks - 82
Anthony Herrera - 74
Ryan Cook - 74
Marcus Johnson - 73
Norm Katnik - 70
Brian Daniels - 70
Chase Johnson - 64

The fact that our starting RT. . .whoever it might be. . .is rated behind at least one bench player is a bit distressing.  Then again, the ratings are close enough where it might not be an issue.  We know the left side is awesome, and that's reflected in the ratings here.

And before anyone asks, no, I don't know who Norm Katnik and Brian Daniels are, either.  I believe Katnik might be German for "waiver wire," but I'll have to get confirmation on that.

Defensive Line

Kevin Williams - 97
Pat Williams - 90
Erasmus James - 82
Kenechi Udeze - 80
Darrion Scott - 77
Brian Robison - 74
Ray Edwards - 74
Spencer Johnson - 72
Jayme Mitchell - 68

Interestingly, Kevin Williams and Erasmus James have the same acceleration rating.  Oh, and just like in real life, the ratings reflect the fact that nobody can block either of the Williams brothers. . .note the 95 and 97 "block shedding" ratings for Kevin and Pat, respectively.  The DEs, as in real life, will be key.

Linebackers

E.J. Henderson - 84
Chad Greenway - 79
Ben Leber - 78
Dontarrious Thomas - 74
Rufus Alexander - 70
Vinny Ciurciu - 68
Heath Farwell - 65

The EA Sports folks seem to think that E.J. should have no trouble making the transition back to MLB, and I agree with that.  They also apparently think pretty highly of Greenway, even after he missed a year.  The biggest surprise?  Check out Rufus Alexander. . .specifically his coverage ratings.  It appears the optimum setup in this case would be Greenway and Alexander in nickel packages (or Greenway, Alexander, and Thomas in a 3-3-5 situation) and Alexander in dime packages.  Interesting.

Cornerbacks

Antoine Winfield - 92
Cedric Griffin - 83
Marcus McCauley - 75
Ronyell Whitaker - 69
Mike Hawkins - 67

First off. . .Ronyell Whitaker and Mike Hawkins (who?) ahead of Devonte Edwards and/or Charles Gordon?  A bit surprising, to say the least.  Second, Marcus McCauley has a higher "hit power" rating than Antoine Winfield?  I can't think of a CB in the league, let alone on the roster, that's a more powerful hitter than #26.  McCauley's recognition rating worries me a bit, too, but that can easily go up with games played.

Safeties

Darren Sharper - 93
Dwight Smith - 86
Mike Doss - 79
Tank Williams - 75
Greg Blue - 73

Our two highest zone coverage ratings belong to the two guys that are rated as strong safeties (Sharper and Doss).  Doss and Williams are both on one-year deals, but Blue looks to have the ability to become a suitable replacement after a season or two.

Special Teams

Ryan Longwell - 87
Chris Kluwe - 77

Pretty good ratings for Longwell. . .until you get to throw accuracy.  Did these guys NOT see the fake FG against Carolina?  Hell, that might have been the most accurate pass thrown by a Viking all year (that was actually caught).  Kluwe doesn't have the greatest ratings, but hey. . .when did punting ratings really ever make a difference in Madden, anyway?

So, there you go. . .your Minnesota Vikings roster for Madden 2008.  I've given you my thoughts on it. . .what do you think?

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