BY PETER HAILEY
Here is a memo for all those who are planning to play Madden '16 once the game hits stores on August 25th: Use the Ravens.
EASports.com has been leaking position by position ratings ahead of the game's release for the last week and a half, and during the past few days, three Ravens have appeared in the top five of their respective position -- Marshal Yanda, Daryl Smith, and Terrell Suggs.
In other words: If you're matched up against Baltimore on Madden's gridiron, good luck.
The site ranked Yanda as the best offensive lineman in the game, with a 98 overall rating. It sounds like linebackers who try to take on Yanda on running plays will have absolutely no fun.
"Yanda is one of the game’s elite guards, and is playing for a contract extension in 2015," the site wrote. "His 99 Run Blocking is tops in the league, and he also brings 90 Pass Blocking and 94 Strength."
Smith, meanwhile, is the fifth highest regarded middle linebacker, behind Carolina's Luke Kuechly, San Francisco's Navorro Bowman, Seattle's Bobby Wagner, and Green Bay's Clay Matthews. Given a 90 overall rating, Smith is well rounded in a lot of areas.
"The veteran linebacker showed up for the Ravens’ optional workouts and showed the rookies how it’s done. He has 92 Tackle, 92 Pursuit, and 95 Play Recognition along with 84 ZCV and 69 MCV."
As for Suggs, the 32-year-old is still renowned as one of football's top outside linebackers. His 93 overall rating is good enough for third in Madden, behind only Justin Houston and Von Miller.
"Suggs is heavy for a linebacker, and his 91 Strength is tops for OLBs. He brings a 97 Power Move (one of the best), 92 Tackle, and 95 Pursuit to get into the backfield."
Expectations for the real world Ravens are very high this season, and early indications are that the virtual world Ravens could be just as dangerous. With these types of ratings, it may not take long for Baltimore to be declared as an "unfair" team to use.