Knee-jerk reactions to Saints’ Madden 23 ratings: Defense edition

Cameron Jordan #94 of the New Orleans Saints. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)
Cameron Jordan #94 of the New Orleans Saints. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images) /
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Tyrann Mathieu, New Orleans Saints. Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports /

Saints’ Tyrann Mathieu, 94 OVR: I’m flattered, but…

The Honey Badger received the top grade of all safeties in Madden 23, which is flattering to say the least. But…do they know Mathieu is 32 years old?

This is no knock on Mathieu, who easily ranks as the Saints’ best offseason pickup in 2022, yet the safety did experience a slight regression in his last season with the Chiefs and probably isn’t trending upward compared to Derwin James or Budda Baker.

Make no mistake, Mathieu is an elite, top-10 safety, but I’m not so sure he’s the best safety in the league right now. What’s equally surprising is that Marcus Williams received an 86 OVR grade and doesn’t even crack the top 10.

It’s possible that Madden integrated a formula for missed tackle rate in their ratings system which would explain why Williams is so low, but seeing Williams rank eight points below Mathieu just doesn’t feel right. Mathieu’s and Williams’ numbers from 2021 are comparable as each player played 16 regular season games and recorded a similar amount of tackles, interceptions, and passes defended.

Just to make it clear, I’m not complaining. Mathieu should get the boost of confidence he needs to put in another strong tenth season in the league, but I am scratching my head a bit at these seemingly arbitrary ratings.