EA Sports will release Madden 23 on August 19. The release of Madden 23 represents an exciting day for football fans and avid video game players all over the world. With the release roughly four weeks away, news regarding Madden’s ever-popular ratings is starting to trickle
through social media. Debates regarding player rankings rage mercilessly on an annual basis.
With Madden 23 marking its arrival shortly, we’ve identified six running backs whose ratings we’re prepared to dispute.
TOO LOW: NAJEE HARRIS (85), RB, STEELERS
Madden’s ranking system took the cautious approach when assigning Najee Harris an overall rating of 85. We’d encourage them to cut it loose. Harris took the league by storm as a rookie playmaker in 2021, accounting for 1,667 all-purpose yards and 10 touchdowns while serving as the focal point of Pittsburgh’s offense. Harris finished fourth in rushing yards, fourth in all-purpose yards, and led all running backs in receptions. His 381 touches led all NFL running backs. Harris was selected as an alternate for the Pro Bowl for his efforts, eventually replacing Bengals running back Joe Mixon. Madden is taking a wait-and-see approach, but Harris has already earned a rating somewhere in the low 90s.
TOO HIGH: CHRISTIAN MCCAFFREY (96), RB, PANTHERS
It pains us to admit this, but Christian McCaffrey has no business being the second-highest-rated running back in Madden 23. McCaffrey’s 96 overall trails just Derrick Henry (97), is tied with Nick Chubb (96), and places him ahead of last season’s rushing yard champion Jonathan Taylor (95). When healthy, McCaffrey absolutely lives up to this billing. Health has been the unfortunate caveat for McCaffrey as of late, however. The former Stanford standout has appeared in just 10 of a potential 33 regular-season contests over the previous two campaigns while dealing with recurring ankle, hamstring, and shoulder injuries. It’s probably time to knock McCaffrey down a few overalls.
TOO LOW: ALVIN KAMARA (90), RB, SAINTS
Alvin Kamara is rated as the seventh-best running back in Madden 23, and there’s a three-overall gap between him and the top six backs. We disagree with that sentiment. One of the scariest dual-threat running backs across the entire league, Kamara’s skill set deserves more respect than the Madden decision-makers decided to show him this year. Perhaps Kamara’s injury or potential suspension docked him a few points, but Madden has typically overlooked injuries in years past. Kamara is a premier running back and despite the 90 overall rating, it doesn’t feel like he received appropriate recognition this year.
TOO HIGH: JOSH JACOBS (87), RB, RAIDERS
Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs was once viewed as one of the league’s most talented, ascending ball carriers. Jacobs burst onto the scene by recording 1,150 rushing yards as a rookie in 2019. Two years later, that remains Jacobs’ career-high. The 2020 and 2021 campaigns weren’t nearly as kind to Jacobs, who rushed for less than 1,000 yards (872) for the first time this past campaign. Jacobs averaged a pedestrian 3.9 yards per carry and 4.0 yards per carry across the past two seasons after averaging 4.8 yards per carry as a rookie. Jacobs hasn’t been as effective since his debut campaign. His latest performances haven’t showcased a running back that deserves an 87 rating.
TOO LOW: AARON JONES (89), RB, PACKERS
Aaron Jones should be a part of the 90s club. A dual-threat weapon, Jones enjoyed his third consecutive 1,000-plus-yard season in 2021 after totaling 1,190 yards (799 rushing, 391 receiving) despite missing two regular-season contests. Packers Head Coach Matt LaFleur puts a lot on Jones’ plate on a weekly basis, and the former fifth-round selection out of The University of Texas at El Paso is always willing and ready to step up to the plate. Jones is a consistent performer on an annual basis. Jones is the ultimate team-first running back that deserves a bit more respect in Madden 23.
TOO HIGH: RONALD JONES II (77), RB, CHIEFS
With all due respect, we’re not quite sure what Ronald Jones has achieved to deserve a rating that nearly places him in the eighties. The No. 38 overall selection in the 2018 NFL Draft, Jones’ career has failed to live up to its draft slot. Jones was an afterthought for the Buccaneers in 2021, having been replaced by Leonard Fournette while barely surpassing the 100 rushing attempts mark (100). Jones was allowed to depart the Buccaneers in free agency earlier this offseason, signing a one-year deal with the Kansas City Chiefs worth just $1.5 million. A 77 overall rating is an oversight for Jones.
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