Titan Defense according to Madden11

Only 4 Tennessee Titan players have overall ratings in the 90s in this year’s Madden NFL 11, and 3 of them are on the offensive side of the ball (Chris Johnson, Michael Roos, and Rob Bironas).  In real life, the Titans did little to inspire confidence with the EA games analysts, finishing with the 28th ranked defense. So how accurate are their preseason ratings this year?

In the last post, I walked through the Madden player ratings for the Titans offense and all the individual player ratings for the Titans are here.  Like before, I won’t discuss each individual player in detail, but here are some thoughts about the defensive player ratings.

Linebackers:

Will Witherspoon (82 overall rating) (-4 pts from 2010): A slight drop off could be explained by Witherspoon’s increasing age, he turns 30 in August, however he is hardly a replacement for Keith Bulluck’s perennial status amongst the top outside linebackers.  If this is any indication of how things will go in real life, expect a void in our defense the size of Albert Haynesworth’s pants size.

David Thornton (79) (-2): Watching Thornton deteriorate each year in Madden has almost been as painful to watch as his falloff in play on the real LP Field.  Unfortunately, I expect more than just overall rating points to evaporate before our eyes this year.

Stephen Tulloch (77) (+4): Honestly, I was a little disappointed with his rating.  Only 12 players in the NFL had more tackles than him last season.  I’m not asking for him to be in the 90s, but an 80-85 overall rating seems more appropriate given his consistent play over the last 2 seasons.

Gerald McRath (73) (+9): Every Titan fan should be encouraged with this rating.  Coupled with his fill-in work for Thornton, I expect him to bounce back from this sketchy suspension and assume an outside linebacker role that will be his for the keeping.

Defensive Line:

Derrick Morgan (79) (Rookie): Only 8 rookies were listed with higher overall ratings than Morgan and his low awareness rating seems to be the only thing standing between him and an overall rating in the mid-80s.  I think this is a promising endorsement from the people at EA about our first round pick.

Jason Jones (77) (+2): Another encouragement for all Titan fans.  He missed most of the season and still received a modest boost in overall rating.  J.J. is poised for a breakout season.

William Hayes (71) (N/A): This low rating is confusing given his 4 sacks last year (more than Richard Seymour, Kyle Vanden Bosch, and Marcus Spears).  Again, I’m not asking for a rating in the 90s, but somewhere in the high 70s would have been more appropriate.

Jason Babin (69) (N/A): Unfortunately, Babin is a victim of the Madden system of self-regulating depth charts.  His ceiling is the low rating that was handed to Hayes, thus 2 Titan players are punished for the price of one.  With that being said, I still have no idea what to expect from this former first rounder.

Defensive Backs:

Michael Griffin (86) (-9) and Chris Hope (84) (-8): Hate to say it, but these two had this coming.  Hopefully, Chuck Cecil will get back to the basics with these two talented safeties. “Keep everything in front of you.”

Jason McCourty (68) (N/A): He made the roster this year and instantly jumped everyone but his immediate competition.  Tye Hill (70) and Alterraun Verner (66).  Honestly, it’s nice to have some young talented options in this area of the depth chart after last year’s tribute to Thriller.

Vincent Fuller (72) (+3): Dear EA, Vincent accepts your apology.

Punters:

Brett Kern (68) (+4): That’s right Titan fans, the post-Hentrich era has begun.

It is pretty obvious, EA expects this unit to be middle of the pack, at best.  Let’s hope for our sake, this unit simply underachieved last season because of a new defensive coordinator or injuries and not because of a complete lack of playmaking ability.  Shutting out Oakland to start the season would go a long way.

Topics: Albert Haynesworth, Alterraun Verner, Brett Kern, Chris Hope, Chris Johnson, Chuck Cecil, Craig Hentrich, David Thornton, Derrick Morgan, Gerald McRath, Jason Babin, Jason Jones, Jason McCourty, Keith Bulluck, Kyle Vanden Bosch, Madden, Marcus Spears, Michael Griffin, Michael Roos, Oakland Raiders, Richard Seymour, Rob Bironas, Stephen Tulloch, Tennessee Titans, Tye Hill, Vincent Fuller, Will Witherspoon, William Hayes

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