Madden NFL 15 Player Ratings continue with a division-by-division look at team and player ratings. We begin with the AFC North and NFC North.
The Bengals have plenty of potential this year. QB Andy Dalton has some big targets in AJ Green, Jermaine Gresham and Tyler Eifert. Their backfield is young and exciting with Giovani Bernard and Jeremy Hill, a second-round pick who is expected to contribute right away.
Defense is really where the Bengals show out in Madden NFL 15. Their D-line is anchored by big Geno Atkins, while Rey Maualuga and Vontaze Burfict lead a solid linebacking corps. First-round pick Darqueze Dennard gets his shot alongside Reggie Nelson and the rest of a talented defensive backfield.
The addition of Steve Smith gives Joe Flacco an added weapon at WR, but is that enough for the Ravens’ offense to flourish in Madden 15?
Their defense shouldn’t need to answer any such questions. John Harbaugh’s young 3-4 D looks like a problem for opposing offenses this year with Terrell Suggs, CJ Mosley, Daryl Smith and Elvis Dumervil at LB. That young secondary should also be much better with another year of experience under their belt. And don’t forget about Jacoby Jones at KR/PR!
Big Ben doesn’t get much help at WR this year with the exception of Antonio Brown, so he’ll need Heath Miller to come up big. The Steelers backfield is a dangerous mix of speed and power with Le’Veon Bell, LeGarrett Blount and Kent State rookie Dri Archer.
Their defense, led by veteran Troy Polamalu, should be solid this year with some young guys getting more reps.
Let’s address the elephant in the room right away – Johnny Football potentially adds immediate excitement to this Browns offense. To make Manziel’s (or incumbent starter Brian Hoyer) life easier, the Browns added WR’s Miles Austin and Nate Burleson along with RB Ben Tate.
On defense, the Browns secondary looks like a No Fly Zone. The Dawg Pound added Donte Whitner and rookie Justin Gilbert to complement All-Pro CB “Lockdown Joe” Haden.
GREEN BAY PACKERS
The Packers have an elite offense led by one of the best gunslingers around, Aaron Rodgers. WR’s Jordy Nelson and Randal Cobb will contribute to plenty of “Discount Double Checks” this season. To top it all off, the Pack’s backfield is absolutely diesel with Eddie Lacy, James Starks and John Kuhn.
As for defense, Green Bay added sack master Julius Peppers to complement BJ Raji, AJ Hawk and Clay Matthews amongst others. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix was a solid draft pick after losing Charles Woodson in the offseason.
QB Jay Cutler (health permitting) has weapons all over the place. Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery and tight end Martellus Bennett are a size advantage against anybody. On the ground, Matt Forte is a top-five running back.
On the other side of the ball, the Bears added some relentless pass-rushing in Jared Allen. MLB Jon Bostic should have a breakout season alongside veteran Lance Briggs
and might even have some Bears fans forgetting about Urlacher for a little. Michael Ford and Eric Weems can be a dangerous duo on the return team as well.
If Jay Cutler is happy about his pass-catching weapons this season, then Matthew Stafford has to be ecstatic. His new-and-improved arsenal includes rookie Eric Ebron and Brandon Pettigrew at TE to go with Megatron, Golden Tate and Ryan Broyles at WR. On the ground, Detroit’s in good shape with Reggie Bush and Joique Bell. We might need to rename Motor City to “Mismatch City.”
On defense, that tandem of Nick Fairley and Ndamukong Suh at DT is downright unfair.
If you enjoy having options at QB, then the Vikings are the team for you. Matt Cassel, Christian Ponder and Teddy Bridgewater are all solid options under center. Greg Jennings, Jerome Simpson and potential breakout Cordarrelle Patterson make up a talented receiving corps while Kyle Rudolph holds it down at TE. Did we forget someone on offense? Some guy named AP can carry the load All Day if the passing game isn’t working for you.
Defense is where the Vikings leave some room to be desired. They have some young talent in Sharrif Floyd and Xavier Rhodes. plus a proven leader in Chad Greenway. However, they’ll need work this season against some potent NFC North offenses.
Click here for a full breakdown of all player ratings from the AFC North and NFC North.