Madden NFL 16 drops this week, and with it, players everywhere will take the field with a number of their favorite teams. However, as EA Sports clearly indicated with team rankings, they're not all created equal.
The team ratings are pretty accurate, as you can see from our top Madden NFL 16 teams. However, with the good comes the bad, and the following five teams are sure to pose a challenge for those looking to head to the Super Bowl…or, for that matter, maybe even the playoffs.
That's not to say it can't be done, but against higher-ranked teams, you may find yourself running ragged on offense or defense. Make sure you know what you're doing before you take the field with these squads…
Sorry, Chicago, but ever since quarterback Jay Cutler ran into his series of flubs that quickly took the team out of contention last year, the Bears will need to do a lot to recover.
With John Fox (formerly of the Broncos) headlining the coaching staff, there's a chance they could find their winning ways. However, keep in mind that the defense was ranked 30th last year—dead last. With Kyle Fuller and Jon Bostic on board, along with Martellus Bennett and Alshon Jeffrey, there's always a chance the team could turn things around. Emphasis on "could," of course. It's a matter of Cutler finding his footing again and getting back into a groove.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buccaneers have been in a tough position over the past few years, seeming to shy away from playoff contention. That could change, however, with number one draft pick, quarterback Jameis Winston, joining the squad. It's a matter of him adapting to the playbook and effectively throwing to his offensive partners, including Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson.
Offense isn't everything, though. The defense will seriously need to step its game up as well, and with players like Gerald McCoy, Lavonte David and Alterraun Verner, it might possibly do that. Then again, though, things could easily collapse…just as they did in previous years. The question is if we'll get Winston in his prime, or Winston messing up, as he did in his last Bowl game.
The Redskins have been struggling as of late, due to the lack of a defined leader to help guide the squad to victory. Many thought that Robert Griffin III, who's had his fair share of injuries and setbacks, would finally wake up and lead the team to greatness. Nope—he just got concussed, and whether he'll be back up to snuff is in question. As such, a new QB (like Colt McCoy) may need to step in and make good with the offensive line. That's easier said than done.
There are quality players on the team, like Brandon Scherff and Alfred Morris, that can get work done, but it needs devoted coaching and a strong leader in order to start putting wins on the board. That's a big task to ask, especially considering how previous years have gone. Maybe McCoy will make the difference—maybe.
The Raiders haven't had good prospects when it comes to contention in the NFL—and for good reason. Without a coach that can figure out offensive and defensive playbooks, and the kind of quarterback that can put points on the board, they've been shut out of the playoffs for years. Will this year make a difference? Well, it really depends on a few things.
For instance, second-year quarterback Derek Carr, who needs to overcome some issues that plagued the team last year—that's a priority. On top of that, the team, consisting of players like Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree, need to figure out effective plays that can help push the ball down the field and keep the opposing team at bay—and considering their strengths, that's like climbing a really big mountain. Without climbing gear.
Yep, it's the Raiders.
New York Jets
One of the few weapons that the Jets had in its arsenal was coach Rex Ryan—and he's gone to the Bills. As a result, there's a lot of struggling happening with this team, especially with quarterback Geno Smith out with a broken jaw over the next few months. That leaves Ryan Fitzpatrick at the helm, and he doesn't have the greatest stats in the world.
The defensive line could get some work done, with Muhammad Wilkerson and Sheldon Richardson in the lead, but it's a matter of coaching, and making it effective against much stronger teams. Even then, defense can't win games, so the question is if the new coaching staff and Fitzpatrick can work together to find that groove. Sadly, that doesn't look like it'll be the case—and even the Giants will have a better year than the Jets as a result.