Every year before the NFL season officially begins fans gather nation wide to buy their very own copy of Madden. The video game allows players (EA Sports estimates between 5 and 7 million dedicated fans) to play against one another as their favorite team, play through the career of a rookie player, and participate in many other NFL centered game modes. The game becomes more realistic year after year constantly topping the previous game. As the years have passed the game’s popularity has rissen leading to a telivision show and even a madden bowl in which players compete for a trophy. Typically in the game the depth chart of the Oakland Raiders is poor to say the least. This should come as no surprise since the franchise has never really gotten the respect it deserves from the league it plays in. However, the newest edition of Madden says otherwise.
The NFL witnessed Terrell Pryor’s mockery of the Detroit Lions on Saturday night. Now in Madden NFL 13 you can constantly remind your friends of the menacing presense that holds the clipboard behind Carson Palmer (Not Matt Leinart). With a simple flick of your right analog stick you can quickly sub in your number 2 quarterback changing the outcome of any short yardage situation. Without a chance to put a spy on the quarterback the defense must now be ready to stop a scrambling TP6 who has a worthy 90 speed rating. This advantage given to the silver and black is almost hard to put into words and it might even be a good idea to use in a real life game if Palmer continues to throw to the other team.
Darren McFadden is surprisingly underrated in this Madden game. His 91 overall rating would be received with a warm welcome by most running backs. The simple fact of the matter is that Darren McFadden is not most running backs. Despite injury problems throughout his career most can agree that McFadden is a top tier running back. However, players will still flourish using McFadden to lead the offense down the field drive after drive. He is also a solid option to split out at wide receiver.
Marcel Reese finally earns solid statistics in the new Madden. Reese as we all know is the Raider’s X-factor. Teams today just simply ignore the full back position, and when you ignore the big wide receiver out of Washington then you are going to get burnt. Reese serves as an excellent check down receiver in the game, and also fills his blocking role rather nicely.
The Raider’s receiving corps in no way at all resemble those in Green Bay. However, their speed can be utilized by any experienced Madden player making them just as deadly. The ratings of the receivers are well deserved in my opinion. Not one of these receivers have truly proven themselves as anything more then a overall of 85 (Darrius Heyward-Bey is the highest ranked receiver for the silver and black at 85). I expect that as the season goes on the ratings of the receiving corps will improve drastically.
The defense in Oakland has been in shambles ever since opposing offenses realized their game plan has been the same since the 70’s. Coincidentally as Dennis Allen and the Reggie Mckenzie era has been ushered in so has an era of good defense in Madden. Typically the Raiders have been unable to stop opponents from running down their throats. The best way to stop any rushing game used in Madden NFL 13 is to utilize the 4-6 defense. Opposing running backs find themselves drilled in the backfield due to the beastly defensive line. The run defense is nicely complemented with defensive backs such as Tyvon Branch, Michael Huff, and Demarcus VanDyke stepping up their video game stature.
The atmosphere in Oakland is truly changing. People are no longer thinking of the Raiders as an easy win for their home team. Obviously the work being done by the staff and the players has translated over to fans being able to enjoy a video game a little more. In the end the primary goal will be to score real life touchdowns and translate that work into real life wins. Until then Madden will serve as a device to keep the Raider Nation sane while waiting for the ever anticipated regular season to begin.