Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady, who turns 44 in four days, comes in at No. 2 with a 97.
Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, the 2020 NFL MVP, has a 96. He’s third.
At No. 6 is Texans (for now) quarterback Deshaun Watson, at a 90 rating. Bills quarterback Josh Allen, at 88, comes in at No. 7.
The most glaring decision (beyond putting Brady above Rodgers) is dropping Allen at No. 7. But that’s the challenge of drawing lines in the top 10. There are plenty of very good quarterbacks in the NFL, and several have an argument to make or at least being ahead of Ryan, from Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert to Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield to Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to Raiders quarterback Derek Carr to Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins to Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray to Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford.
Although many will defend Brady’s placement at No. 2 with a 97 because he won a seventh Super Bowl (and it would have been awkward for the folks at Madden to have too much of a gap between the two cover athletes for this year’s game), how differently would he be viewed if the Packers had completed what would have been a comeback for the ages (and an epic collapse by the Bucs) in the NFC Championship? If Green Bay wins, the narrative on Brady would have been that he melted down with three straight interceptions after his team built a 28-10 lead, and that maybe it finally is over for him.
In the eyes of Madden, Brady’s glass remains more than half full. It’s 97-percent full, to be exact.