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“Madden” Throws Shade At Deshaun Watson

Why did the EA game-makers get it so, so wrong?

Wild Card Round - Buffalo Bills v Houston Texans Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Every summer, EA Sports releases its newest iteration of the best selling sports video game of all time—Madden Football. For every fan of NFL ball and video games, this is a serious event, with all sorts of hoopla and fanfare surrounding it.

If you’re a fan of the Houston Texans, this summer’s ratings release party is more like a funeral when it comes to Deshaun Watson. Widely viewed as one of the top ten, if not top three, quarterbacks in the NFL right now, the folks at Madden apparently didn’t get the memo, as they awarded DW4 an overall rating of 86.



For those at EA who just don’t know, Deshaun Watson holds/shares records for:

  • Most passing touchdowns in a single game by a rookie quarterback: 5
  • Most passing touchdowns in a calendar month by a rookie quarterback: 16
  • Most passing touchdowns by a rookie quarterback in one half: 4
  • First player in NFL history to pass for 400+ yards, throw 4+ TD passes, and rush for 50+ yards in a single game. (Week 8, 2017)
  • First player in NFL history with multiple 5 passing touchdown games within his first two seasons.
  • First player in NFL history to have 4,000+ passing yards, 25+ passing touchdowns, 500+ rushing yards, and 5 rushing touchdowns in a single season
  • Fastest player in NFL history to have 6,500+ passing yards and 500+ rushing yards (26 games)
  • Fastest player in NFL history to have 50 passing touchdowns and 10 rushing touchdowns (27 games)
  • First quarterback with back-to-back games with at least 375 passing yards and 35 rushing yards
  • Most passing touchdowns by a rookie in a 7-game span in NFL history: 19
  • Most passing touchdowns by a rookie in a 5-game span in NFL history: 18
  • Longest streak of games with 3 or more passing touchdowns by a rookie in NFL history: 4
  • Most games with at least 375 passing yards and 40 rushing yards in NFL history: 3
  • Most passing touchdowns for a quarterback through his first six career games: 15
  • First rookie with two games of 300+ passing yards and 40+ rushing yards in a season
  • First rookie to produce 5+ touchdowns in consecutive games
  • Most completions with a perfect passer rating: 28
  • Most attempts with a perfect passer rating: 33

And then there’s this:

Let’s ignore all that and give Watson the same rating as players like Budda Baker, Chris Carson, Joel Bitonio, and Johnny Hekker (a punter no less!). Here’s what others had to say about Watson’s rating:

Bleacher Report

Houston Texans QB Deshaun Watson: 86

The two-time Pro Bowler has put up 85 passing and rushing touchdowns in just 38 career games (37 of which he’s started). Only Dan Marino has accounted for more total scores at the 37-start mark, and yet seven quarterbacks have higher ratings than Watson.

How is that even possible? The 24-year-old’s skill set is perfect for Madden domination, and he’s one of the most clutch players in the NFL. I can’t see anybody opting to ride with Tom Brady (90) or Aaron Rodgers (89) over Watson at this stage, but those aging, fading quarterbacks have much higher ratings than Watson.

What it should be: 94

Houston Chronicle

[Matt] Ryan – who has an 87 overall rating in the game, making him the seventh-best quarterback – was excellent in 2016 when he took the Falcons to the Super Bowl and was the NFL MVP. However, he hasn’t so much as made a Pro Bowl since Watson entered the league in 2017. The past two seasons, Ryan hasn’t even guided the Falcons to a winning record.

Meanwhile, Watson – who has an 86 overall rating in the game to make him the eighth-best quarterback – has made two straight Pro Bowls and taken the Texans to the playoffs the past two seasons.

The 35-year-old Ryan definitely has the track record, having thrown for at least 4,000 yards in nine straight seasons. However, Watson threw just as many touchdowns as Ryan last season with fewer interceptions. Watson also has rushed for more than 500 yards in each of his previous two seasons. Ryan hasn’t rushed for 500 yards total since Watson turned pro.

The Man himself had this to say:

Meanwhile, many others are decrying the fact that J.J. Watt was given a 98 rating, despite an alleged declining skill set, health, and lack of overall production (due to injury, not lack of trying). While a reasonable case can be made to drop Watt down a few points, it still doesn’t excuse the utter crime of giving Deshaun Watson an 86. Take Matt Ryan, Aaron Rodgers, or any of the rest of them and put them behind the trainwreck of an offensive line Watson had to start with in his pro career, and we’d find out real quick how much better they aren’t than DW4.

In the end, it’s just a video game, based on a real game, with nothing earth-shattering at stake. Is it really worth getting fired up? You tell us.