An in-depth analysis of the Kansas City Chiefs in the recent Madden 21 ratings release.
Starting on July 13, ESPN began their reveal of “Madden NFL ’21” ratings. On July 17, the remaining ratings were revealed on a “SportsCenter” special. Below I will give my opinion on the ratings given to each player on the Chiefs roster but first I will explain how Madden decides on their ratings.
Many are quick to judge Madden for their ratings every year but are ignorant to what a ratings adjuster actually does to come up with an overall rating. Each player has 53 individual ratings that are taken into account to compile an overall rating. Madden Rating Adjusters have formulas they use for each individual rating. Each overall rating is derived from a combination of formulas, film study, and statistics. All of us have our own opinions on what a player should be rated but none of us put in the amount of work Madden does when setting a legitimate rating.
At quarterback the Chiefs hoist a member of the prestigious “Madden 99 Club” in Patrick Mahomes. This position group is well rated. Henne (59) has not taken a snap in the NFL in over a year. The Chiefs recently resigned Matt Moore and his rating has not yet been released by Madden, but based on his play last season I would expect an overall around 65.
The running back group was also well rated. With rookies, you can expect lower ratings which explains Clyde Edwards-Helaire’s 74 overall rating. All the other running back’s enter this Madden cycle with nearly identical ratings to the end of last year.
With 20/22 starters returning it makes sense that there is not a whole lot of change in the launch ratings from last year. Finally, Tyreek Hill has been granted an X-Factor that was long overdue. Hill will have the RAC ‘Em Up ability that increases the success rate on RAC catches against single coverage. Also, Hill will have the jukebox ability that will make him even more of a cheat code in this year’s game.
With the Madden 21 launch we see a slight increase in overall for Travis Kelce (97 ovr) who spent last Madden season at 96 overall. Kelce still possesses the “Double Me” X-Factor that increases the success rate on aggressive catches against single coverage. We also see new Chiefs addition, Ricky Seals-Jones come in with a fairly accurate 73 overall rating.
On the offensive line Madden finally showed Mitchell Schwartz acclaim after his fourth consecutive All-Pro season. His rating improved to a 96 overall which is a four point increase from last years game. Our first disagreement comes with tackle Eric Fisher who remains a 74 overall. It would be expected that Fisher at least earn a 76 or 77 rating after winning every game he was active in last season.
On the defensive line Chris Jones remains a 92 and will have an X-Factor called Momentum Shift which knocks all on-field opponents out of the zone, and loses any progression they had toward the zone. While the rest of the defensive line is fairly rated there is one major outlier. Frank Clark finished last season with 12 sacks in the Chiefs last 11 games. Somehow Clark, who in my opinion was underrated last year at 83 overall, is still the same rating in the Madden 21 launch.
The Chiefs linebackers were poor in last year’s Madden and did not improve this year despite the addition of second round pick Willie Gay Jr. The Chiefs highest rated backer is Anthony Hitchens at 73 overall. One interesting note is that even with all the Willie Gay Jr. hype he is only rated 68 overall which is lower than Dorian O’Daniel at 70 overall.
The cornerback group is one I think was the most disrespected in the initial Madden 21 launch ratings. Charvarius Ward (76 ovr) should be rated at least an 80 after his performance last season and Bashaud Breeland (75) I would expect to be at least a 77 overall after what we saw him do this past year. Lastly, Chiefs rookie L’Jarius Sneed is listed as a FS in the game despite numerous reports that Brett Veach drafted him to play cornerback.
The safety group is one that was rated well, but I expect to increase in overall as the season progresses. Tyrann Mathieu saw an uptick in his rating from 90 to 93 and also was given the X-Factor “Shutdown” which allows tighter coverage and more frequent interceptions on contested catches. Juan Thornhill ended last season a 77 when he got injured and will start this year a 78. Should Thornhill continue to ascend in the NFL safety ranks, we will see the same go with his rating.
For the first time since Madden 04 the Chiefs will field a punter not named Dustin Colquitt. Both Tommy Townsend and Tyler Newsome are rated 65 overall. Let’s just hope Townsend makes the roster because his 81 speed will make good for fake punts in this year’s game. Harrison Butker (82 ovr) boosts a 95 kick power which shockingly gives him the 16th strongest leg in the game.
All in all the Chiefs will field a similar team in Madden 21 due to the fact that they return 20 starters. I expect the Chiefs to be one of the most fun teams to play with in the game again this year and for many players to see an overall increase by the end of the season.
Also, in full disclosure, Madden has not officially released X-Factors and abilities. Recently, Madden School dropped a massive list that included every X-Factor in this year’s game, along with the players who will have them once the game is released. Below I will attach links to the official madden ratings and also to the Madden School release.