We are only days away from the Madden Holiday, August 10, midnight, EA Sports Madden 2011 will be available for retail sales. Once again the Green Bay Packers will not be an overused team in Madden, they are not Madden Great. The Packers always lack game-breakers on offense, forcing you to drive the entire field which increases the chances of a crap holding call or fumble while other teams who are not nearly as good as Green Bay contain game-breakers that make it much easier to score. This is in direct contrast to the actual Packers who led the league last year in scores over 20 yards and usually have the best RAC(run after catch) in the league.
Just to give you a quick example of how the video game still has some problems, for the last two or three years the Oakland Raiders have still been one of the top two or three teams to use in online games. Their speed on defense and speed(and height) on offense have allowed gamers to exploit some of the deficiencies in the game.
For one year I would love the Packers to be really good in Madden. If you knew what you were doing you could use last year’s team with some success. One thing is always lacking, a fast running back. The offensive line sucked in the video game almost as much as it did in real life. The wide receivers do not get nearly enough credit in the game. None of the Packer wideouts, beyond Greg Jennings, stands out at all and I think that is a disservice to not only Donald Driver but to James Jones and Jordy Nelson. The Packers have a really good core of receivers but the game rewards speed and height, Jones and Driver lack both, Nelson does have some height. The game does not do a very good job with receivers breaking tackles after the catch, only stars like Andre Johnson possess this ability.
Jeremicheal Finley has been a Madden stud for a couple years now due to his height and speed at tight end. He should be even more dangerous this year.
This year Aaron Rodgers will be one of the best quarterbacks in the game.
Here is the Madden 2011 Packer Player Ratings. Below are my postives and negatives for the Packers.
- Lack of RB speed
- Lack of WR speed or Height
- Oline still weak
- Defensive secondary is slow, especially Harris, who is rated slower than some DL players.
- Mathews and Jones did not get enough speed, should Freeney and Mathis, a DL, really be faster than both of these guys?
- The DL is built for a 3-4 and without Kampman it will be tough to fill out the depth chart for the DL to our advantage
- Aaron Rodgers will be a Madden Stud, one of the best QBs in the game. Accurate, fairly fast for a QB, 73, and is good at Short, Middle and Deep throws.
- Jeremicheal Finley will be the best offensive weapon. With Rodgers accuracy, Finley’s height, speed and the improved user catch ability, this combination will be deadly.
- Press Coverage, although Woodson and Harris will be slow, they will be tough to get off the line against. Until a lot of unbumpable routes are discovered the Packers press coverage will be really tough.
- Depth, the Packers have a lot of good players at all positions, they just lack the great players that can really change the game.
One thing that was overlooked by many players last season was the Packers had one of the most underrated playbooks in the game. They had a couple off tackle runs which were all the rage, they had a full house which contained some great quick passes, but their money formation was Packer Trips.
Some teams have at least one formation to itself, it is these formations that people need to investigate. For the Packers it was the Packer Trips which included two deadly plays, Packer Slants and Packer Fade. Both were great plays that were impossible to defend in conjunction with each other.
This year we have not been able to see the playbooks for the teams but I do see that Packer Trips is back.
On Defense the Packers have the Big Okie in their playbook. This will just be a variation of the very good 1-5-5. But it will be a variation, it is when EA adds in some variations that can expose bugs or problems. When something is not common in the game it is not tested enough and I would not be surprised if the Big Okie has exploits in it.
So, again the Packers will be better on the field than they are in the video game. Unless the Packers ever put some priority on running backs or speed on defense this will likely never change. Which is fine, but I really wish we had a better weapon in the backfield.