When it comes to picking the right team to play as in Madden NFL 25, there are a number of things to consider. First off, if you’re a die-hard fan of your hometown team, they’re likely going to be your choice, just because you identify best with them. You may also feel compelled to go for another squad, or perhaps even start with the All-25 squad, just to see how you do with a championship squad.
Then there are those of you who look for the ultimate challenge in the game, playing as a lower-rated team just for the sake of proving to everyone that you can win a championship with them. There really isn’t a “loser” squad out there, as they usually sit at a ranking of 72 or higher, out of 100. That said, you’ve still got your work cut out for you before you start chasing the Super Bowl.
Here now are some of our picks for some of the “most challenging teams” to take on in the game. Again, that’s not to say they’re bad, but you’ve got a few kinks to work out. If you’ve got the skills, though, you should have no problem doing so.
New York Jets
The Jets have been the targets of a lot of off-season talk, mainly because of the poor coaching choices of Rex Ryan and Mark Sanchez’s less-than-championship caliber style of play. Two words- butt fumble. The new season hasn’t exactly been a “killer start” for them, with draftee Geno Smith not doing so hot on the field and Sanchez temporarily sidelined with an injury.
With a serious amount of dedication – and offensive plays that can open up the line – you could turn these guys around.
It’s been quite a while since we’ve seen the Bills in any kind of running for a championship – and when they did get to the Super Bowl, they weren’t able to complete the necessary drive to get the job done. This season hasn’t exactly been too hot for them either, as their promising quarterback Kevin Kolb has been knocked out with concussion-like symptoms.
Still, there is some hope here, mainly with the defensive line holding as well as it is, and E.J. Manuel stepping up to see what he can do. It’s just a matter of calling the right plays for them and driving them down the field.
Like the Bills, the Browns just don’t have what it takes to call themselves a championship team. However, that could change with promising new additions to the roster, namely receiver Josh Gordon, who’s good on his feet, and the up-and-coming Brandon Weeden.
Get the right plays going for these guys and you could make a promising run at a winning season. Emphasis on “might.”
The Cardinals have gone through a number of transitions over the years, but still can’t seem to find that rhythm to give them the wins needed to move forward. With Carson Palmer leading the squad as quarterback, some may still question if they can get there.
However, with Larry Fitzgerald on the squad and the inclusion of Jonathan Cooper, things could turn around. It’ll just take a good amount of patience and figuring out the right moves for Palmer to make. Try the passing game first and see what it does for you.
San Diego Chargers
At one point in time, the San Diego Chargers were one of the most dangerous teams in the Madden games. However, they’ve fizzled over the last few years, thanks to flubs by quarterback Philip Rivers and an offensive line that’s lost some of its oomph.
Defense, however, holds strong with the likes of Eric Weddle and Dwight Freeney, and if you can somehow find that chemistry in Rivers to give him a hot hand again, you could put this team back on the right track.
Kansas City Chiefs
For years, the Chiefs have been trying to find a meaningful quarterback to lead their squad, as well as a defensive line to back him up. With a less-than-winning record last season, fans once again figured they’d never get to that point. However, this year could mean something different.
With the acquiring of Alex Smith from the 49ers and an offensive line featuring Jamaal Charles, the team could see a big turn-around. All you need to do is make sure their defense holds, and that Smith doesn’t let the “new team” jitters get to him. Study the playbook carefully and you could very well be on your way.
The Eagles remain a viable threat in the league with their offense, thanks to Michael Vick’s winning numbers. However, their defense is in need of a lot of work, with Isaac Sopoaga standing as the best player with an 80 overall ranking.
However, if you can make the offense explode with the right plays and tinker with the defense through the modifiers, you could make the Eagles’ squad work out overall.
Finally, we have the Raiders, a team that has seen consecutive losing seasons over the last few years, mostly due to a lackluster squad and problematic situations in the quarterback seat. The team, however, did manage to dump Carson Palmer in favor of a new prospect by the name of Terrelle Pryor, who could turn things around.
It’s just a matter of tinkering with offense and defense around that player and making it work for you. This team will probably require the most progress, as they’re the lowest ranked in the game at 72. However, with the right dedication, you can put them on the same championship level that Madden did many years ago. Good luck.
Madden NFL 25 is available now for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.