The Game Haus will be analyzing the player ratings from Madden 19 of every NFL team. Madden has a daunting task of rating all NFL players and their attributes. While they have the ability to correct some of these rankings with in-season roster updates, there are some issues with some of the initial rankings of players. This article will look into the head-scratching Madden 19 ratings for the Los Angeles Chargers.
Ekeler played his college football at Western State and the Chargers signed him as an undrafted free agent. He was not expected to play too much, but made the most of his opportunities. He finished the 2017 season with 260 rushing yards, two rushing touchdowns, 279 receiving yards and three receiving touchdowns. The rookie did this on 5.5 yards per carry and also helped out in the return game.
The 2017 season is something to be proud of for Ekeler, given his non-traditional start in the league, but Madden rated him entirely too high. Ekeler is rated at an 81 overall, which puts him on the same level as Joe Mixon and Alex Collins. Mixon accounted for over 800 total yards, while Collins had over 1,000 total yards. About the only justification for Ekeler being rated the same overall is his yards per carry and yards per reception (10.3).
Ekeler has some promise, but he will also have limited opportunity once again this season, as Melvin Gordon is a three-down running back. He will also have to compete with rookie Justin Jackson for any time that Gordon can’t play. His rating will likely be dropped after a roster update.
In 2017 Benjamin was decently productive with 34 catches for 567 yards and four touchdowns. He also added value in the return game for the Chargers. It was, however, his worst season since 2014 when he was a Brown. The 28-year-old was generously given an 83 overall by Madden.
Why is that rating too high? There are more productive wide receivers rated the same overall as Benjamin. Robert Woods is also an 83 and is coming off of a year where he had 781 receiving yards and five touchdown catches. Chris Hogan 439 receiving yards and five touchdowns in nine games played and was still rated an 83.
This rating is not egregiously bad, as Benjamin is still a quality receiver. He will be fighting with Keenan Allen, Mike Williams and Tyrell Williams for targets though. That is a talented group overall, but it isn’t likely that Benjamin will be able to produce enough to live up to an 83 rating.
Last season was another great year from Rivers. He finished second in the league to Tom Brady in passing yards with 4,515. In addition to that, he had 28 touchdown passes to only 10 interceptions while completing 62.6 percent of his passes. Those weren’t the best marks of his career, but are still solid numbers.
Madden deemed Rivers an 87 overall, which is a bit too low given how they rated other players at the quarterback position. Andrew Luck is also an 87 and hasn’t thrown a meaningful pass since the 2016 season. He’ll be back for preseason, but were talking about a guy who people get pumped up if he can throw a college-sized football. Luck has a lot of work to do before earning that rating back.
Ben Roethlisberger is rated ahead of Rivers at an 88 overall. They had the same number of passing touchdowns and Roethlisberger had a slightly higher completion percentage of 64.2%, but Rivers outclassed him in almost every other meaningful stat. Matt Ryan is rated an 89 and only bests Rivers in completion percentage while throwing eight fewer touchdowns and two more interceptions.
Yes, Rivers is on the backend of his career, but that shouldn’t allow these quarterbacks to be rated higher than him. This is especially true because Roethlisberger is from the same draft class and has more wear and tear on his body throughout the years. Rivers deserves to be rated a little higher in honor of last season and his body of work.
Austin Ekeler: 78
Travis Benjamin: 80
Philip Rivers: 90