The newest edition of the top football video game franchise releases on Tuesday as "Madden NFL 17" hits store shelves. With that comes some outrage and displeasure among gamers and football stars, not over how players look in the game, but how they perform. It's the dreaded ratings debate. The guru who comes up with these thousands of numbers can't get every player right, but these 14 are certainly off the mark when it comes to their overall rating.
OVERRATED: Alshon Jeffery, 91 overall
When healthy, Alshon Jeffery is one of the toughest coverage assignments in the NFL. He’s a big, strong receiver with outstanding leaping ability – like a bigger Dez Bryant. Only, he’s missed 13 games in four seasons and has a hard time staying on the field. He’s the seventh rated receiver in Madden, ahead of guys like Bryant, Brandon Marshall, Jordy Nelson and Sammy Watkins.
Getty ImagesJonathan Daniel
Adam Jones, 88 overall
Adam Jones is a solid cornerback for the Bengals, but he’s not an elite one. He’s the 11th-highest-rated corner in the game, putting him ahead of Stephon Gilmore, Malcolm Butler, Ronald Darby and Marcus Peters – all of whom had better 2015 seasons than Jones did. Jones doesn’t have the best speed (88), but he excels with high awareness (92), which boosts his overall rating.
Joshua Lindsey-USA TODAY SportsJoshua Lindsey
Justin Houston, 97 overall
There’s no denying Justin Houston’s effectiveness as a pass rusher. He had the most sacks in the league two years ago, playing all 16 games. Unfortunately, he’s also had a hard time remaining healthy -- Houston has missed 10 games in the past three seasons. He’s certainly one of the top outside linebackers in the league, but a 97 overall rating is a bit high – seventh-highest in the game.
Pernell McPhee, 92 overall
Pernell McPhee has had exactly one season in his career with more than seven sacks. He’s also had just one season with over 27 tackles. His role should continue to increase in Chicago, but a 92 overall rating is a bit high for a player of his caliber – especially when it’s higher than Dont’a Hightower, Clay Matthews and Whitney Mercilus.
Jerry Lai-USA TODAY SportsJerry Lai
Eric Weddle, 92 overall
The former Chargers safety just isn’t the player he once was. His numbers have decreased in each of the past five seasons, seeing his interceptions go from seven in 2011 to zero in 2015. He’s still a solid all-around safety, but there’s a reason the Chargers were reluctant to give him the money he wanted. Weddle has a higher overall rating than Devin McCourty and is just one tick below Earl Thomas and Eric Berry.
Jake Roth-USA TODAY SportsJake Roth
Olivier Vernon, 91 overall
Olivier Vernon received a huge contract from the Giants this offseason, making him one of the highest-paid defensive players in the league. While his contract is massive, his production isn’t all that impressive. He has just one season of 10-plus sacks. He was solid against the run in 2015 to go along with 7 1/2 sacks, but those arent’e eye-popping numbers – certainly not worthy of making him the sixth-highest-rated defensive end in the game. Robert Quinn, Muhammad Wilkerson and Ezekiel Ansah should all be above Vernon.
Robert Duyos-USA TODAY SportsRobert Duyos
Giovani Bernard, 86 overall
Giovani Bernard is the “lightning” in Cincinnati’s backfield, complementing Jeremy Hill as a pass-catching running back. He’s one of the best in that regard, but it’s surprising to see how many high-caliber players he’s rated above. Todd Gurley, for one, should be higher than Bernard, as should David Johnson, LeSean McCoy and Devonta Freeman. Bernard isn’t a player to use as a three-down back in Madden, which the rest of those players are.
Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY SporTimothy T. Ludwig
UNDERRATED: Marcus Peters, 82 overall
The reigning Defensive Rookie of the Year comes in with an overall rating of 82. By comparison, this year’s fifth overall pick, Jalen Ramsey, has an overall of 81. Peters is an absolute ball hawk, pulling down eight interceptions in his first year in the league. He’s obviously still young, but he deserves more respect. Casey Hayward, Brent Grimes and Delvin Breaux should not be above him.
John Rieger-USA TODAY SportsJohn Rieger
Earl Thomas, 93 overall
It might sound somewhat unreasonable to call the fourth-best safety in the game underrated, but Earl Thomas is. He’s still the best pure free safety in the league today, making plays against the run and the pass. Yet, his awareness still sits at just 87, which is lower than both Harrison Smith and Eric Weddle. At the very least, Thomas should have a higher overall than Berry and Smith, if not Tyrann Mathieu, too.
Getty ImagesTom Pennington
Tom Brady, 94 overall
In what’s somewhat of a surprise this year, Tom Brady isn’t the best quarterback in Madden. That title goes to Aaron Rodgers, who comes in at 96 overall. Brady is tied for second with Cam Newton despite being arguably the best pure passer in the league. Brady had an overall rating of 97 in Madden 16, which makes it shocking that he dropped to 94 in this year’s edition. He can still carve up the best defenses with his 94 throw power and 98 Short and Mid Accuracy.
Boston Globe via Getty ImagesBoston Globe
Brandon Marshall, 89 overall
Brandon Marshall tied for the league lead with 14 touchdowns last season in what was a record-breaking year with the Jets. Marshall hauled in 100-plus passes for the sixth time in his career, surpassing 1,000 yards for the eighth time, as well. Even at the age of 32, Marshall remains one of the five best receivers in the NFL. His Madden rating, however, doesn’t reflect that. He’s the 12th-highest-rated receiver, which is tied with Doug Baldwin, T.Y. Hilton and Golden Tate – all of whom Marshall should be rated above.
Getty Images for New York JetsAl Pereira
Andrew Luck, 88 overall
There’s no arguing against the fact that Andrew Luck had a horrible season in 2015. He obviously missed time due to injury, but even before he went down, he wasn’t himself. This season, he should bounce back in a big way and drive his 88 overall rating through the roof. Luck is still above Andy Dalton and Matthew Stafford, as he should be, but not by enough. He should be up with Russell Wilson (91) and Ben Roethlisberger (93). By midseason, he probably will be.
Getty ImagesAndy Lyons
Todd Gurley, 85 overall
Last season, Todd Gurley was third in the league in rushing despite missing the first three games. He’s the second-best running back in the league behind Adrian Peterson, and he’ll show that this season. According to Madden, though, guys like Giovani Bernard, Matt Forte and Lamar Miller are better. Due to his inexperience, his Awareness rating is just 78, but as the year goes on, that should increase, as will his overall rating.
Getty ImagesDilip Vishwanat
Amari Cooper, 83 overall
Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree emerged as a solid wide receiver duo last season. Cooper had his ups and downs, but he was the better overall wideout for the Raiders. The two have the same overall rating in Madden 17, which is also on par with Brandin Cooks and Danny Amendola, and trailing DeSean Jackson (84) and Michael Floyd (85). Cooper should see his rating go up with each passing week, but he should have begun the year above Floyd, Mike Evans and Randall Cobb.