It’s that time of year again. The last days of summer means many things: back-to-school clothes shopping, desperate attempts to hook up with a vacationing summer girl, and another glorified roster update to a mostly uncontested NFL gaming license in Madden NFL 11.
I haven’t actually bought a Madden game since Madden ’96. You’ll have to excuse me. I’m bitter. I am a Cleveland Browns fan. Madden doesn’t have a lot to offer me this side of Turducken. That said, I’m buying it this year. It’s my way of saying, “Thank you for last year’s ‘Madden Curse‘ on Troy Polamalu.”
I’m mainly jumping in out of curiosity. “Game Flow” sounds an awful lot like the old “Ask Madden” playcalling feature, but I’m hoping it’s better than that. Oh, John, Bump and Run again? Thanks. I love being burned for six, Ace.
How do my Browns stack up this season? Not so well. 70 overall. Well, that’s better than last year’s 69. I’m in for a long year.
I’ve never been a fan of playing as other teams. The exception to the rule, of course, was Bo Jackson and the Raiders in Tecmo Super Bowl. Bo knows button mashing touchdown runs. Eric Metcalf knew getting carted off the field every other game. It’s a shame the real world played out the other way around. Bo knows career-ending hip injuries.
This isn’t Street Fighter. This is a sport simulation. I’m not going to switch up for better match-ups. I’m stuck using Dan or whoever the third or fourth worst Street Fighter is. Rose?
That’s not to say everything is bad in Cleveland. The Browns do have a few elite players.
Josh Cribbs (WR, OVR: 78… because he’s not REALLY a wide receiver) holds the NFL record for kickoff return touchdowns, runs plays out of the “Flash” Package (Cleveland’s Wildcat formation, not a package for sexual predators. You’ll need to go to Pittsburgh for that… cue rimshot!), and is the best special teamer since Steve Tasker. However, when your team’s best player is a guy who’s primarily known for special teams, you’ve got a problem.
Shaun Rogers (DT, OVR: 92), the big, DUI-stopping, forgotten-handgun-carrying beast of a man, is a placekicker’s worst nightmare and has kept the Browns in games they had no business being in with a mighty jump. Freak of nature athleticism also allowed him to pick up a few sacks at nose tackle. This year, he’s projected to be playing at end. Of course, he may also be suspended for one of those two TMZ posts. Take a guess which one.
Phil Dawson, (K, OVR: 82) is the last remaining member of the 1999 Browns team. In the 2007 season, Dawson had two amazing kicks. The first one, against the Baltimore Ravens, is the reason there’s an NFL rule named after him. The second kick may well be the most amazing field goal in NFL history. He’s also a clutch, underrated kicker. In my eyes, this guy should be an OVR 87, minimum.
Joe Thomas (LT, OVR: 95) is the quiet outdoorsman who just happens to be one of the top blindside protectors in the NFL. Three years, three Pro Bowls, possible rookie of the year winner had it not been for some guy named Adrian Peterson.
Other than that, there’s not a lot to love. Eric Wright (OVR: 86) and Sheldon Brown (OVR: 87) could make for an interesting duo in the secondary that includes first-round selection Joe Haden (OVR: 79).
Lawrence Vickers (FB, OVR: 88) is an outstanding blocker and a great fullback, but that’s a dying position.
Jerome Harrison (RB, OVR: 83) is the next in a long line of “next-big-thing” running backs for the Browns. How’d that 2006 season work out for Lee Suggs, again? 2007 for Reuben Droughns? 2008 and 2009 for Jamal Lewis?
Eric Steinbach (LG, OVR: 91) may well be overrated for the year. However, being right next to one of the best tackles in the league probably isn’t hurting him. Alex Mack (C, OVR: 87) should be the centerpiece (pun unintended) of the O-line for the next decade. However, there’s that whole right side of the line to worry about. Floyd “Pork Chop” Womack (RG, OVR: 76) may well be overrated.
The newcomers on the team are a whole lot of blah. Scott Fujita (LB, OVR: 79) was a nice pickup, but he’s hardly an impact player. Jake Delhomme (QB, OVR: 74) is on the downside of a career and hardly looks like a better option than Derek Anderson(former Browns QB, OVR: 67) or Brady Quinn (former Browns QB, OVR: 71). We’re not talking game stats, either. Real world stats from last year were not pleasant. Delhomme’s rating this year is based off of past performance in the belief that he had an “off” year and something to prove as a proven veteran. Tony Pashos (RT, OVR: 72) doesn’t look so hot. Eric Ghiaciuc was cut a few weeks back and should be removed by launch or the first roster update.
If you’re amped for the game this year and still, for whatever reasons, haven’t stared at a bunch of arbitrary numbers in tables, then head over to ESPN’s Madden 11 Ratings.
If you’re on the fence about the game, I suggest adding the demo to your Xbox 360 queue.
Uh, PS3 owners, you’re on your own. I don’t particularly like you, anyhow. I kid, I kid. My brother’s a PS3 owner. He’s also a jerk. Man, you guys would love each other! Seriously, though, does the Playstation Store not allow you to add games to your system through the web?
I may have learned something new today…
Drew Brees image source: http://nfldotcom.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/d_brees_081026_04.jpg
Josh Cribbs image source: http://images.townnews.com/morningjournal.com/content/articles/2009/12/21/sports/mj2060286.jpg
About the Author
|Fade to Slack is a founding member of Delta Attack, an American expatriate in South Korea, and a true believer in the legitimacy of mobile gaming.
Keep up with him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/Fade2Slack so he can justify having a Twitter account.
Fade to Slack has written 308 posts on Delta Attack.