I’m taking a break from talking about practice football games to talk about pretend football games! Happy Madden Day everyone!

With the exception of those who pay for the privilege to play the game early, today is the release date for Madden 17. When you finally open the incredibly frustrating packaging, it’s time to dive into a franchise with the 13 time world champions, but what will meet you?

It is no surprise the Green Bay Packers are incredibly deep. You will notice ratings changed this year to create more of a divide between great players and average ones. Most teams will feature several starters with ratings in the mid-to-low 70s.

The Green and Gold are led by the highest rated QB in the game, Aaron Rodgers. At 96 overall, he is one of the best players in the entire game. His 98 throw power rating will make sure you can get the ball deep to Jordy and the gang. Speaking of the playmakers, Jordy Nelson leads the receiving corps as an 89 overall. Randall Cobb is rated an 86, Davante Adams is 75, and Ty Montgomery is a 71. The Packers also feature two highly rated TEs. Jared Cook is an 80 and Richard Rodgers a 79.

The running game has seen a huge improvement in gameplay, and the digital Packers should be able to take advantage. TJ Lang and Josh Sitton both come in at 91 overall, while the rest of the line is in the high 70s and low 80s. Eddie Lacy is rated as a 83, and with a Trucking rating of 88, should be able to take on almost all defensive challengers.

The Packers defense is led by Mike Daniels (92), CM3 (89), and Sam Shields (86). It’s a great defense to play with because of the young secondary, though the weakness at ILB is felt more this season than in the past.

Morgan Burnett with the big hit!

The Packers offense has always been fun to play with on Madden, and with the focus on the run game, and the wealth of riches at the skills positions, they will continue to be a fun option. The improvement on defense will make the Packers an even more attractive option this year. The kicking difficulty has been increased a great deal with the new triple click system, but Mason Crosby remains one of the best Kickers in the game.

If you choose to play with the real life rosters, Green Bay will give you a great chance to bring home the Lombardi Trophy on your system of choice. If you wish Ted Thompson were more aggressive, you can take over the reigns and see what it takes to trade for JJ Watt or Patrick Peterson. In any case, the release of Madden is a sign that real football is just around the corner, and for those of us who just can’t get enough NFL, it’s a chance for us to be “in the game”.


All ratings were taken from EA Sports website and reflect the Packers current scheme: https://www.easports.com/madden-nfl/player-ratings/?i=1&t=20&s=ovr_rating:DESC

Andrew Mertig is a a lifelong Packers fan and draft enthusiast. He has covered the NFL draft for radio and television stations in Green Bay. He is currently a host of the Pack-A-Day podcast and a writer for PackersTalk.com. You can follow him on Twitter @andrewmertig