We’ve spent plenty of time the past couple of days talking about players being upset with their ratings in the new Madden game, and the motivation they have drawn from it. One player who shouldn’t be upset (and in turn has no basis for extra motiviation) is Rams running back Todd Gurley.
Gurley is the highest-rated running back in the game, with a 97 overall. And, frankly, that decision should spark the biggest questions about the skills, abilities, and knowledge of the nameless and faceless EA employees who come up with these numbers.
Gurley’s career remains at a crossroads, at best. He has an arthritic condition in his knee, along with a clear case of denial about it. The Rams kept him in bubble wrap during the offseason program, and there are real questions regarding whether he’ll even come close to being the guy that he previously was.
So, yes, Gurley apparently has a friend at EA.
Madden gave six other running backs ratings of 90 or higher: Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott (94), Jets running back Le'Veon Bell (92), Chargers running back Melvin Gordon (92), Giants running back Saquon Barkley (91), Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey (91), Browns running back Kareem Hunt (90), and Saints running back Alvin Kamara (90).
That’s more than a bit out of whack. Right now, the NFL has three special running backs: Elliott, Barkley, and McCaffrey. They should be the three highest-rated tailbacks.
Others with potential beef include Bengals running back Joe Mixon (88), Washington running back Adrian Peterson (83), Steelers running back James Conner (83), Titans running back Derrick Henry (83), Eagles running back Jordan Howard (80), and Raiders rookie running back Josh Jacobs (74).
If that motivates these players, so be it. What makes more sense, motivation from a perceived slight by the makers of a video game most NFL players have played their whole lives or motivation from a radio, TV, or Internet gasbag that they otherwise ignore? That’s an important point for any radio, TV, and/or Internet gasbags who are griping about players being motivated by Madden to consider.