Madden 17 is just around the corner. And as is the yearly tradition, they have released a full list of player and team rankings so that sports fans can argue about how underrated their team is. Unfortunately for some fans, though, the worst 6 NFL teams in Madden this year really and truly deserve their spots. Let's take a look at them together, shall we?
The 6th worst team in Madden 17 shares an overall rating with the Los Angeles Rams and the Indianapolis Colts, but any NFL fan knows not to pick the Jags over either of those alternatives.
Though the Jaguars feature a serviceable young quarterback in Blake Bortles and a few truly scary receiving threats, their offensive line is full of holes, and their pass rush is laughably weak. Playing as the Jaguars will result in a catch-22: what good is a decent quarterback and strong receiving corps when you can't keep your QB upright long enough to get a pass attempt off?
The Dolphins are tied with the next team down in terms of overall rating, but get the benefit of the doubt with the addition of rookie Laremy Tunsil. But that's about the only thing this Dolphins team has going for it -- they truly are among the worst teams Madden 17 has to offer.
Though real-world front office drama doesn't really affect Madden that much, it did have an effect on the Dolphins' roster. This offseason, they revamped their defense with a bunch of overpriced and over-the-hill additions like Ndamukong Suh, and did the same thing on offense by signing the always-injured Arian Foster. If this were 2012, the Dolphins would be the team to beat. Unfortunately, it's 2016.
The reason the the New York Jets are the fourth worst team in Madden 17 can be neatly summarized by taking a look at their quarterback situation: the 33-year-old Ryan Fitzpatrick being backed up by Geno Smith, one of the most disappointing Jets QBs in history. And that's no small feat. Their receiving corps is solid, led by Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker, and Matt Forte is a huge threat at running back, but a porous offensive line can render all of that moot.
The Jets are very close to being a great team -- but in Madden, quarterbacks are paramount, and the Jets just don't have a good one.
Last year, the 49ers had the worst points-per-game average across all NFL teams, and ranked second-worst in total offense. There's no reason to believe things will improve this year with the loss of stars like Vernon Davis and Frank Gore.
There are so many questions with the 49ers that it's unsurprising that they are the third worst team in Madden 17. Is Chip Kelly fit to coach in the NFL? Is Colin Kaepernick still a threatening quarterback? Can Carlos Hyde stay healthy? Expect the team's rating to change, either for better or worse, as the season starts and some of these questions are answered.
This one hits a little close to home, but as a Chicagoan and a Bears fan, I can tell you that Chicago deserves its spot as the second worst NFL team in Madden 17. From an anemic, aging defense, to the loss of their #1 rushing threat, to a notoriously mediocre quarterback, there's not that many bright spots to find on this team with the possible exception of the receiving duo of a healthy Kevin White and Alshon Jeffery. This season isn't going to be pretty.
Nobody's surprised that the Browns are the worst team in Madden 17, but it bears mentioning specifically how bad they are. They're going to be starting a completely washed-up Robert Griffin III at quarterback, and surrounding him with a group of random-seeming weapons in Isaiah Crowell, Josh Gordon, and Gary Barnidge.
There is really nothing at all to look forward to this season for the Browns, and the Madden rankings bear that out. Consider the Browns as a "project team", a team to take into franchise mode with the singular goal of fixing them over the course of a few seasons. Hell, that's the goal in Cleveland, so why shouldn't it be yours?
Do you think EA Sports got the rankings right? Let us know in the comments and stay tuned in the coming weeks for more Madden 17 coverage!