Madden NFL 11: The All-Time Atlanta Falcons Madden Team

Let's put together the best possible Falcons roster of the Madden era according to, well, Madden ratings.

Madden 11 ratings have been released. And so the Gods of Video Game Sports commissioned your humble author to put together the ultimate Madden Falcons lineup, based on ratings from Maddens 93-11.

"Why, O Gods?" I asked.

"There shall be a tournament," they answered. "The Team All-Madden Tournament. Each NFL team plus the Tampa Bay Bucs will field their ultimate Madden roster."

"I'll start Googling, O Gods," I said.

"Use Super Nintendo emulators for the really old Maddens," they replied.

And so it began.

Stipulations:

  • Regular lineups only. None of this johnny-come-lately, oh-it's-Madden-03, let's-revisionize-our-history-and-give-you-the-Unlockable-'98-Falcons-Commemorative-Bonus-Team-and-rate-HB#32-a-99.1-like-we-should've-the-first-time-around crap.
  • No roster update ratings. Street date ratings only. None of this invisible-hand, oh-it's-week-16, let's-bump-Curtis-Lofton-up-to-a-90-instead-of-a-79-like-we-should've-the-first-time-around crap.
  • From '93-'98, there weren't any overall ratings. I had to guesstimate based on speed/tackle/accuracy/etc. ratings. Making matters worse, for '93 and '94 there weren't any ratings at all, so I had to play through a quarter or so to check for any standouts besides Deion. Luckily, there were none. Asterisks mean estimates.

The '93-'11 All-Madden Falcons

QB
TECMO VICK 1,000
'05 Michael Vick 92
'06 Michael Vick 92
LE
'06 Patrick Kerney 95
'07 Patrick Kerney 93
'04 Patrick Kerney 92
HB
'10 Michael Turner 95
'07 Warrick Dunn 90
'99 Jamal Anderson 90 *
'11 Michael Turner 90
RE
'10 John Abraham 95
'08 John Abraham 93
'07 John Abraham 93
FB
'07 Justin Griffith 92
'08 Ovie Mughelli 91
DT
'07 Rod Coleman 94
'06 Rod Coleman 92
'08 Rod Coleman 92
'05 Rod Coleman 90

WR
'95 Andre Rison 95 *
'10 Roddy White 93
'11 Roddy White 93
'03 Tony Martin 90
'09 Roddy White 89

LOLB
'09 Michael Boley 87
'98 Cornelius Bennett 85 *
'08 Michael Boley 82

TE
'10 Tony Gonzalez 98
'11 Tony Gonzalez 98
'07 Alge Crumpler 96

MLB
'98 Jessie Tuggle 95 *
'04 Keith Brooking 94
'08 Keith Brooking 92
LT
'01 Bob Whitfield 90
'02 Bob Whitfield 90
ROLB
'07 Keith Brooking 96
'06 Keith Brooking 94
'05 Keith Brooking 94
LG
'97 Robbie Tobeck 85
'07 Matt Lehr 84
CB
'94 Deion Sanders 99 *
'93 Deion Sanders 99 *
'08 DeAngelo Hall 94
'07 DeAngelo Hall 93
'98 Ray Buchanan 90 *
C
'07 Todd McClure 91
'08 Todd McClure 89
FS
'97 George Teague 85 *
'95 Devin Bush 85 *
RG
'08 Kynan Forney 92
'97 Mike Zandofsky 90 *
SS
'07 Lawyer Milloy 92
'96 Kevin Ross 90 *
RT
'95 Bob Whitfield 95 *
'08 Todd Weiner 91
P
'02 Chris Mohr 90
K
'00 Morten Andersen 97
KR
'01 Tim Dwight 91

 

Sauces: '93-'98 SNES9x Super Nintendo emulator, '99-'02 Sixtyforce N64 emulator, '03-'04 GameFAQs.com, '05-'10 IGN.com

Some Data

Most appearances: 
Keith Brooking, 5
Rod Coleman, 4
John Abraham, 3
Patrick Kerney, 3
Michael Vick, 3
Roddy White, 3
Bob Whitfield, 3
Jamal Anderson, 2
Michael Boley, 2
Alge Crumpler, 2
Tony Gonzalez, 2
DeAngelo Hall, 2
Todd McClure, 2
Deion Sanders, 2
Michael Turner, 2

MVPs:
TECMO VICK 1,000
'95 Deion Sanders 99
'94 Deion Sanders 99
'10 Tony Gonzalez 98
'11 Tony Gonzalez 98

Most represented years:
'07, 11 players
'08, 9 players
'06/'10, 4 players

Most overrated:
'95 Devin Bush 85 (3 picks, 150 tackles in 56 games as a Falcon!)
'03 Tony Martin 90
'97 George Teague 85
'07 Keith Brooking 96
'07 Alge Crumpler 96

Most underrated:
All Jessie Tuggles besides '98 Jessie Tuggle (FIVE straight years of 185+ tackles weren't enough for you, Madden '95?)
Pre-'03 Terrence Mathis
'99 Jamal Anderson (1998 in real life, of course)
Post-'08 Jonathan Babineaux

Hardest cut:
'04 Brian Finneran, Tecmo Vick's #1 sidekick. Ho hum, let's replace him with the second-best WR of the early 1990's.

Did Tim Dwight somehow make the All-Madden Falcons?
Yes!

Fun fact:
Free safety George Teague never actually played for the Falcons. He was traded for, then released following Madden 97's release.

Breakdown

It's a good-looking squad, but this is the Team All-Madden Tournament. Every team is gonna look good, even the North Carolina Panthers, who recently signed up for tackle football in approximately 1999. To win the TAMT, we have to get past unholy unions like '98 Randall Cunningham/'10 Adrian Peterson/'03 Randy Moss/'95 Cris Carter, '07 Jared Allen/'96 Derrick Thomas/'93 Neil Smith/'00 Eric Hicks, '93 Elway/'01 Rod Smith/'08 Brandon Marshall, the Dan Marino Wildcat, unfathomable Ravens and Steelers defenses, '01 Jevon Kearse/'08 Albert Haynesworth, '02 Rich Gannon/'97 Tim Brown, '10 Charles Woodson/'94 Reggie White, '99 Charles Woodson/'09 Nnamdi Asomugha, '10 Flip Rivers/'06 Ladanian Tomlinson/20 time-travelin' LeBron-shaped receivers, and, um, '95 Steve Young/'95 Jerry Rice/'93 Jerry Rice/'94 Jerry Rice/'01 Terrell Owens/'96 Jerry Rice/'06 Frank Gore/'93 Harris Barton/'95 Deion Sanders/'94 Merton Hanks/'97 Dana Stubblefield/'99 Bryant Young/'09 Patrick Willis/'10 Patrick Willis (thank god Ronnie Lott left San Fran by '93!).

Come on... '98 Barry Sanders, '95 Scott Mitchell/Herman Moore, '93 Chris Spielman, '10 Calvin Johnson, and '99 Robert Porcher? Even the All-Madden Lions are good! But I like our chances. To get pokerphorical, I'll put this hand up against absolutely any other teams' straight flush, because we have the ace...

TECMO VICK. '04 Michael Vick was the second most unstoppable videogame athlete of all time, behind only Tecmo Bo himself. EA Sports tried to make him as explosive as he was in real life, but they went too far; he ended up being overtime-gamewinner-against-Minnesota explosive on every single play. With TECMO VICK on our roster, I'd actually feel OK putting the plain old '04 Falcons up against quite a few All-Madden teams. We could waste the All-Madden Bills with nothing but TECMO VICK and a bunch of scrubs, for instance.

But wait, there's more...

On offense: the Turner-Dunn-Anderson combo gives me the tingles, as many teams would likely be stuck with three iterations of the same guy ('05 Ladanian Tomlinson as '04 Ladanian Tomlinson's change-of-pace back, for instance). And ponder this: Alge Crumpler's real-life athletic pinnacle, and excuse for being rated a 96, was his role as Michael Vick's security blanket -- Vick scrambled left, then passed right to an open, wide-open, downright lonely Git Crump. We saw it dozens of glorious times. Now imagine putting the best tight end ever in that role. Now try and scheme against it.

Our relatively weak interior offensive line (there's probably one or two teams in Madden 10 alone that have three 85-plus guys at guard and center) invites blitzes up the middle, which gives Tecmo Vick an excuse to scramble even sooner than he would've otherwise. A fleet of Bob Whitfields holds down the rest of the line -- luckily, the better Bob has Vick's blindside.

On defense: None of our LBs are known for scoring sacks or picks, but they may somehow combine for about 230 tackles per game. And they don't need to blitz much anyway, as our front four is probably about as good (and monotonous) as any Team-All-Madden team. Good depth at cornerback, plus the Prime Time deletion of the other team's top two receivers, frees up our run-first safeties to roam and do activities. Certainly not the world's fastest defense, except at cornerback.

How do you feel about all this? Which team would be our toughest competition? Which pre-Madden players would you most like to add? Who's gonna run this show: Mike Smith or Dan Reeves?

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