Madden 13 Teams – The Top 15 Ranked by Scott and Joker
The Top 15 Strongest Teams for Madden 13
1. Green Bay Packers
2. New York Giants
3. Philadelphia Eagles
4. Cincinnati Bengals
5. San Francisco 49ers
6. Dallas Cowboys
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
8. Chicago Bears
9. Carolina Panthers
10. Baltimore Ravens
11. New England Patriots
12. Houston Texans
13. Kansas City Chiefs
14. Detroit Lions
15. New Orleans Saints
Bubble Teams: Atlanta Falcons, Seattle Seahawks, Arizona Cardinals
1. The Green Bay Packers
Although the Packers did nothing flashy in the off-season, their team is already widely-considered the best Madden team to have in a franchise or just for regular or ranked play. Why? Because they are almost built perfectly at every key position on the football field, and are one of the youngest franchises in the league. When you have Aaron Rodgers are quarterback, and have Jennings, Nelson (who should get a big boost for his performance last year), and Jermichael Finley in your wide-receiver core, you really can’t go wrong offensively. Although they are losing Matt Flynn as possible trade material and Ryan Grant in the backfield, does it really matter? It’s a back-up quarterback to the best quarterback currently in the game and no one runs with the Packers anyway. Plus, their fullback, John Kuhn, will probably be equally as good to Grant since he cracked The Top 100 player’s list last month and will probably be the highest rated fullback in the game.
So where did the Packers improve this off-season? On defense. Last year, the Packers’ almost made it to the Superbowl with one of the worst-rated defenses statistically, especially against the pass. So in the draft, they addressed this by adding defensive end/outside linebacker from USC, Nick Perry, who will have amazing Madden attributes based on his NFL Combine performance. They also drafted a steal in the 2nd round with Jerel Worthy from Michigan State at defensive tackle. With Perry and Worthy joining B.J. Raji and Anthony Hargrove, they definitely have one of the most talented defensive lines in the entire league. Plus, they are all very young with high potential. The only real loss was losing Nick Collins due to his neck injury, who still hasn’t decided if he wants to play again or not. Even if he does comeback, his injury rating will be so awful, that all he will be is a financial liability next year in Madden. It’s really upsetting because he is so talented and needed in that Packers’ secondary.
2. The New York Giants
The reigning Superbowl champs come in at 2 because they are just loaded with talent. Let’s start at QB; Eli Manning has become one of the best QBs in Madden once EA gave him the updates after their superbowl win. In the final updates of Madden 12 which I believe will most likely carry out to be very similar if not the same as the first version of the Madden 13 rosters, Eli was one of the most accurate QBs in the game, highlighting his statistics was his 96 deep throw accuracy which any of us knows is Eli-te. Their 1st round selection this past year was running back David Wilson, pairing him up with Ahmad Bradshaw should give the Giants a deadly duo in the backfield for anyone that like to ground and pound. But for those who don’t, they also have great WRs. Nicks and Cruz were outstanding last year for the Giants and they received great stat updates, deservingly so. With the addition of Rueben Randle from LSU, at 6’3 he gives the Giants another big WR to go across from Nicks so you can put Cruz in the slot.
Defensively, the Giants are known for their deadly pass rush. That’s where I will begin when praising their great D. Jason Pierre-Paul is probably the best defensive end in Madden in my opinion. He has great speed and acceleration along with moves that can make any OT miss. Add Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora to Pierre-Paul and you have a scary DL. If you could say anything bad about the Giants, it would be that they leave something to be desired with their LB core. However, Goff, Boley, and Blackburn can get the job done. Their secondary is also very good, highlighting them are S Kenny Phillips and CB Prince Amukamara. At 6’2 Kenny Phillips is elite and Prince is young and will improve tremendously throughout the franchise.
3. The Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles’ offense is still the truth. Michael Vick, LeSean McCoy, DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, and Brandon Celek are all still very nice. We cannot forget that LeSean McCoy had a breakout season last year and probably will be the most explosive running back in the game now with his attribute progression. And they got the Washington running back, Chris Polk, as an undrafted free agent who should be a nice compliment to McCoy in that offense. Plus, if anything were to happen to Vick, they drafted Arizona QB, Nick Foles, as the backup who should be serviceable in Vick’s absence. And finally, Marvin McNutt, who was a 6th round pick, is the big target that the Eagles desperately needed. A top 100 player slipping to the Eagles in the 6th round should give that wide receiver core some height at 6’4” and some big play-making ability (after a year or two of progression) as another contributing wide receiver in that lineup/
But the real story is that defense now. The Eagles drafted DT Fletcher Cox, MLB Mychal Kendricks (speedy LB from California Bears), DE Vinny Curry, and CB Brandon Boykins. I give all these players a solid B grade or better on the value they are going to be bringing to that defense. Plus, the Eagles got a steal in Demeco Ryans from the Houston Texans. I don’t think Asomugha, Dominic Rodgers-Cromartie, or Asante Samuels will dip that much from a poor showing last year, and I expect the Eagles defense to be much improved this year than it was last year.
4. Cincinnati Bengals
Hold up. The Cincinnati Bengals at number 4!? They even edged out the San Francisco 49ers because the Bengals are going to get a big boost offensively from their last year’s performance. Andy Dalton and A.J. Green were already a great combo to start the franchise in this Madden year, even though they were all rated low based on their draft spots as rookies. However, with one year of experience and great rookie statistical numbers, they should be a lot better with progression since both were impact players that made the pro-bowl last year. And the Bengals also did a great job adding to that offense by drafting the big rookie WR from Rutgers, Mohammad Sanu, in the 3rd round to give them more match-up advantages against smaller coverage unit. Plus, they still have a solid running game, bolstered now by the acquisition of the Law Firm (Benjarvus Green-Ellis) and they already had a great tight end and passing weapon in Jermaine Gresham.
But what really excites me is the Bengals’ defense next year. In the off-season, they were able to resign Reggie Nelson and Manny Lawson, which retained the amazing speed the Bengals’ defense brings to the table, but they were also able to add to it by signing the speedy cornerback and ex- Dallas Cowboy, Terrance Newman. They also drafted the big cornerback from Alabama, Dre Kirkpatrick, in the first round who can play the role of the shutdown cornerback. So now, Leon Hall, Dre Kirkpatrick, and Terrance Newman are the three cornerbacks in Cincinnati! But that wasn’t all they did, they also drafted George Ikoka from Boise State, the 6’3” free safety to join Robert Sands (6’4”), and Taylor Mays (6’3”) in that defensive secondary. And even after their nice draft, they were also able to sign Vontaze Burfict, the troubled, but talented linebacker from Arizona State as an unrestricted free agent after the draft. They are some that might doubt his Madden ability because of his poor combine showing, but I think the projected first-rounder for all of last year until the combine might be able to make a LeGarrette Blount-type of impact early and get a big boost in attributes from a strong showing in the pre-season. But this is only a possibility. Regardless, this defense is going to have a lot power, height, and speed. They also drafted the stud defensive tackle from Penn St., Devon Still, later in the draft who was a steal since he was also another projected first-round talent.
This defense and offense combination will make the Bengals one of the most entertaining teams to manage and play with. The Bengals are probably my favorite of all 32 teams.
5. The San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers were a muffed punt or two away from making the superbowl. They made many moves in the off-season to help their team. They also raised their status on our list in the off-season. Their offense added the likes of Brandon Jacobs, Mario Manningham, Lamichael James, and Madden superstar, Randy Moss. Although Alex Smith is still a below average madden QB, the rest of their team makes up for him. At RB, they made some “Ridge-like” moves adding the bruiser Brandon Jacobs and the speedster Lamichael James. Those two running backs along with Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter give the 49ers by far the most depth at running back heading into the next season. Last year they had really been struggling to get the ball into their receivers’ hands. Now with Vernon Davis, Mario Manningham, Michael Crabtree and Moss, they shouldn’t have that problem anymore.
The 49ers are known for the defense. It’s what kept them in the NFC Championship game against the Giants. It starts with the linebackers, Bowman and Willis. They are the best two MLBs in the game on one team. Along with one of the best young pass rushers in Aldon Smith, the 49ers front 7 is the best in Madden. Their secondary also has some heavy hitters with Goldson and Whitner. The re-signing of Carlos Rogers should help them for the early seasons in the franchise but for the later years, Chris Culliver is fantastic.
6. The Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys are the second non-playoff team to make our top 6. That just shows how much different Madden can be from the NFL. At QB, the Cowboys have Romo, he’s not the best QB in the game but he’s certainly not the worst. I would rate him above average. At running back, they have one of the best upcoming backs in DeMarco Murray; at his young age he should be able to be an all-star for the Cowboys for the entire length of the franchise. They also have many threats for players who love to pass. Dez Bryant and Miles Austin may just be the best WR duo in Madden. In addition, to have a great TE like Jason Witten gives the Cowboys a top 5 offense if not number 1.
The Cowboys also have a great D, they moved up in the draft to select the best and possibly the most impactful Madden player in the draft, Morris Claiborne. Adding him to a team that only really needed some help at secondary can be dangerous. With Ware, Sean Lee, Anthony Spencer, Bruce Carter and Ratliff, the front 7 is fantastic. The addition of Claiborne really improves the Cowboys on this list.
7. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buccaneers are probably the most improved team on this list. Offensively, they added two big-time Madden weapons in the running back from Boise State, Doug Martin (the perfect complement to Blount), and Vincent Jackson to go with Josh Freeman, LeGarrette Blount, Arrelious ‘Rejus’ Benn, Mike Williams, and Kellen Winslow to give that offense as a whole a lot of firepower that really doesn’t even need any improvement. And they are all relatively young with the exception of Vincent Jackson and Kellen Winslow who are both 29. I consider the Buccaneers offense to be the most Madden complete offense in the entire league.
But the Buccaneers didn’t stop there. They added the strong safety from Alabama, Mark Barron, who will be an absolute Madden stud next year. They have a solid front seven, especially up front on the defensive line with Da’Quan Bowers, Adrian Clayborne, and Gerald McCoy with fast, speedy linebackers behind it. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are one of the most sought after teams of all the teams in the league.
8. The Chicago Bears
The Bears probably wouldn’t have made this list if it wasn’t for their incredible “Madden Offseason”. The additions of WR Brandon Marshall and WR Alshon Jeffery do wonders for their offense. At QB, Jay Cutler is an average QB with a big arm. They also added RB Michael Bush as a power runner for short yardage situations, but Matt Forte is still the premier back and will be great for pass-first player. He can catch extremely well for an RB along with very good rushing abilities. WRs, Jeffery, Marshall, Knox, and Hester gives the Bears a great offense that can do damage in numerous ways.
The Bears are known for their smash mouth defense. Brian Urlacher, Lance Briggs, and Julius Peppers. They added even more defense with their 1st round draft pick Shea McClenin. McClenin and Peppers off the edge can be a dangerous thing to see for opposing QBs. Unfortunately, they don’t have much to talk about in their secondary.
9. The Carolina Panthers
The Panthers’s Cam Newton was the runner-up for the “Madden Cover” this year and he won offensive rookie of the year as well as broke several NFL rookie records. So in short, Cam Newton will be even more of a beast next year in Madden. In a pass-driven game now, it’s important to have a franchise quarterback and Cam Newton, Aaron Rodgers, and Robert Griffin III are considered my three best franchise quarterbacks to have for Madden 13. Plus, Cam Newton makes that entire offense better since he is a dual-threat quarterback and will stretch the defense and give defensive coordinators problems. Cam makes everyone on that offense better, even that unimpressive wide receiver core.
The Panthers also acquired Luke Kuechly in the draft and will be another Madden beast next year. Along with Beason, Thomas Davis, and James Anderson, the Panthers have one of the most talented linebacker cores in the entire league despite their previous injuries. The Panthers lack a big secondary, but still have serviceable players like Chris Gamble (tall with big time jump and catch) to still make big time plays when it really counts.
10. The Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens are a fantastic NFL and Madden team. At QB, Joe Flacco is good enough to get the job done, his cannon arm really helps. At running back, Ray Rice is great. He can catch, block, and of course, run. At WR, they have the speedy Torrey Smith, the sure-handed Anquan Boldin, and the newest addition is Tommy Streeter, he’s just so fast (4.4 40 time) and so tall (6’6”) and he can be a massive deep threat to beat the defense at any moment in the game. They also have great TEs in Ed Dickson and Pitta, both are quite fast and have good hands, perfect for madden.
When you think about the Ravens, you think of defense. They have the great Ray Lewis, the ageless Ed Reed, the ball so hard grad., Terrell Suggs, and Haloti Ngata, the massive DE/NT. To help out with this already great defense they added youth through the draft with Courtney Upshaw. Upshaw and Jimmy Smith give the veteran Ravens team enough youth to make it to 10th on this list.
11. The New England Patriots
The Patriots at number 11 might seem a little harsh for a team that was in the Superbowl, but let’s face it, the Patriots didn’t address any of their Madden needs! They still lack play-making WRs, a running back, and their entire secondary is absolute garbage. Those are still three critical areas of need for the Patriots. However, the Patriots added Chandler Jones, the defensive end from Syracuse, and Donta Hightower, the middle linebacker from Alabama, to at least solidify that front seven with Jared Mayo and Vince Wilfork. Plus, Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez, and Tom Brady are amazing offensive weapons that give the Patriots a very strong passing attack even though they lack a true, number 1 wide receiver.
12. The Houston Texans
When you talk about the Texans, the first thing you must talk about is Andre Johnson. Johnson is a top 3 WR in Madden. He alone gives the Texans a great offense. But adding Foster gives them a whole new dimension as one of the more balanced teams in the league. Schuab however is nothing special and other than Andre Johnson and TE Owen Daniels they don’t have any targets for him.
Defensively, the Texans have some great pass rushers with Brooks Reed, Connor Barwin, and rookie Whitney Mercilus. In the middle, they have big Brian Cushing. Up front they have one of the best upcoming young players in the league in JJ Watt. There’s no doubt they have a lot of youth but they really leave something to be desired in their secondary.
13. The Kansas City Chiefs
The Kansas City Chiefs, much like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, are another team that should be highly sought after in Madden 13. Offensively, they have Jamaal Charles, Dwayne Bowe, and Jonathan Baldwin as big offensive weapons. Those two wide receivers and that running back is the best combination in the league for young, offensive talent. However, they still a quarterback, and that will continue to be a big need for the Chiefs until it is addressed. But based on Madden 12 drafts, you should be able to easily find a franchise quarterback at the end of the first round or even in the early parts of the second round.
The Kansas City defense is also very strong with a strong linebacker core in Jovan Belcher, Derrick Johnson, Justin Houston, and Tamba Hali. Just sick! Plus, they drafted Dontari Poe who will probably be the best Madden DT to come out since Ndamukong Suh and Haloti Ngata (Madden talent-wide). The dude was an absolute standout at the NFL Combine and will have strong, freakish defensive attributes because of it. And how can we forget about Eric Berry in that secondary? He is one of the best young talents at strong safeties in the game today. There is no arguing that the Chiefs definitely have a lot of young potential on that roster.
14. The Detroit Lions
The Detroit Lions are on this list for one reason and only one reason, Calvin Johnson. The Madden cover boy is by far the best weapon in the NFL and Madden. Stafford and his 98 thp or so is the perfect QB to force the ball down field for Megatron to run down and catch it. The running back combo of LeShoure and Best is also good, but not great. Pettigrew is also just an average TE.
Defensively, the Lions are below average. Nothing stands out other than their pair of DTs, Suh and Fairley. Like I said earlier, the Lions are only on this list because of their standout wide receiver.
15. The New Orleans Saints
I don’t even know where to start with the New Orleans Saints. The only exciting move they made in the off-season was brining in Curtis Lofton. And with the bounty punishments, I am not even sure how EA will view that defense. It’s hard not to be bias and it seems like everyone is making a big ordeal over what has come out in the news in the last few months. It’s insane to think that the Saints are not rated higher than this too with Drew Brees, Darren Sproles, Jimmy Graham (who will be even better than Antonio Gates in his prime as a wide-receiving tight end), and Marques Colston. That’s a lot of offensive firepower, but with all the question marks surrounding the New Orleans Saints’ defense, we thought it is safe to include them on our list, even though it is at the very bottom of our top 15.
The “On The Bubble” Teams
The Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons didn’t quite make this list; they are one of the few teams that were on the bubble. There’s no questioning that the pair Roddy White and Julio Jones is very desirable, but other than the two of them and a solid QB in Matt Ryan, the Falcons don’t have much to be proud of in Madden terms.
The Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks are in the same boat of the Falcons, they don’t quite have enough weapons on their roster to be a top 15 team. Their secondary is undoubtedly the tallest in the game which is why they are on the bubble. However, they need more than just a tall secondary to make our top 15 list.
The Arizona Cardinals
The Cardinals are on this list because they have three players on their roster worth a damn, Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd, and Patrick Peterson. These three are the sole reason they are on the bubble. The rest of their team is very much below average.