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Five takeaways from the Redskins' Madden 20 ratings

Five takeaways from the Redskins' Madden 20 ratings

With the release of EA Sports' Madden NFL 20 just a few weeks away, the game released their individual player ratings on Monday.

Madden ratings are usually a controversy-provoking topic. Each year, there are a lot more players disappointed with their initial Madden rating than those pleased with theirs.

This year was no different. Some players, such as Los Angeles Chargers' wide receiver Keenan Allen, have said they will boycott the game after being so upset with their rating.

The game unleashed a new rating system this year, which is intended to reward star players and have them feel different than just an above average player.

So how did Madden rate the Redskins?

The Burgundy and Gold come in at the 16th best overall team in the game, despite only having one individual player rated 90 overall or higher.

Two of the Redskins' NFC East foes, the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys, were the No. 1 and No. 2 overall rated teams in the game, respectively. The Eagles boast a rating of 89, and the Cowboys come in at an 88 overall.

The New Orleans Saints, New England Patriots and Green Bay Packers were all the next highest with an 87 overall.

Here are five takeaways from the Redskins' Madden NFL 20 ratings.

1. Left tackle Trent Williams was rated a 95 overall, the second-highest rated left tackle in the game.

Williams' rating of a 95 is very deserved. He's consistently been the best player on the Redskins from year-to-year, and one of the best offensive lineman in the league. Madden has recognized Williams' importance to the Redskins as well as his overall skill; only the Packers' David Bakhtiari (97) had a higher rating at his position.

The Redskins' Silverback was the third-highest rated offensive lineman in the game, with Bakhtiari and Cowboys' guard Zack Martin ahead of him. He's the only Redskins player to receive an overall rating of a 90 or higher.

Williams has been a key offseason storyline for the Redskins, as he was absent from Redskins' mandatory mini-camp in June. His absence was at first rumored to him wanting a new contract, but reports came out later that he was upset with the team's handling of his medical situation from a season ago. It is unclear whether Williams will report to training camp, which begins July 25.

If the Madden ratings are any indication, Williams is as important to the Redskins as anyone. The Redskins need him on the field.

2. Case Keenum and Dwayne Haskins have been rated just one number apart.

The main storyline throughout Redskins' training camp and the preseason will be the quarterback competition between veteran Case Keenum and rookie Dwayne Haskins. If the Madden ratings prove to be true, it's going to be a very close battle.

Keenum's initial Madden rating comes in at a 73 overall, while Haskins is a 72. In terms of specific ratings, Keenum slightly edges Haskins out in awareness (80 to 75) and speed (79 to 75), but Haskins has the edge in acceleration (83 to 82), agility (83 to 73) and strength (70 to 51). 

Of course, Keenum's ratings are based off his performance last season with the Denver Broncos, while Haskins' ratings are a rough estimate because he's a rookie. It's likely that both players could have a very different rating at the end of the season than they do now.

3. The Redskins have three defensive linemen all rated around the same number. 

The defensive line unit is probably the strongest position group on the Redskins and the Madden ratings agree with that.

Defensive lineman Matt Ioannidis and Daron Payne received an 83 overall rating, while Jonathan Allen received an 82 overall grade.

While all three had productive seasons in 2018, it is worth wondering how Allen is not the highest rated of the three.

In his second season, Allen finished second on the team in sacks (8.0) and tied for the team lead in tackles for loss (11). Out of the three, Allen had the most overall tackles, sacks, tackles for loss and quarterback hits.

While the Redskins expect Allen, Ioannidis and Payne all to have a major impact in 2019, don't be surprised if Allen has the highest overall rating of the three at the end of the year.

4. The Redskins' big free agent signing, safety Landon Collins, was rated a low 83 overall.

This number at first glance seems very low. In his four seasons in the NFL, Collins has made the Pro Bowl three times and first-team All-Pro once. 

But Madden has a whopping 10 free safeties rated higher than him. Recently acquired New York Giants' safety Jabrill Peppers has a higher rating than Collins, and anyone who's watched the two players over the past couple years knows that's questionable. 

A season ago, Collins was rated an 88 overall. Missing four games with a shoulder injury could be a partial reason for his dip, but the 25-year-old is still one of the elite safeties in the league. An 83 overall does not reflect that.

5. Haskins is the second-highest rated rookie QB in the game, while Giants' Daniel Jones is, uh, low.

While a 72 overall rating would not be flattering to anyone, Haskins has to be pleased being the second-highest rated rookie quarterback, only behind No.1 overall pick and reigning Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray.

Overall, the rookie ratings are a lot lower in Madden 20 than they were in Madden 19. A year ago, five rookie quarterbacks (Baker Mayfield, Josh Rosen, Sam Darnold, Lamar Jackson and Josh Allen) started with a higher rating than Murray, who enters the game as a 73 overall.

When looking at the rookie quarterback class, perhaps the most surprising ranking has to be the Giants' Daniel Jones, who enters the game at a 63 overall.

In years past, a 63 overall would be given to a fringe roster player, not a top-ten first-round pick. For reference, Redskins' seventh-round pick Jimmy Moreland enters the game at a 64 overall. 

To put it into perspective, the next lowest top-ten pick was Pittsburgh's Devin Bush, who checked in at a 72. The Giants have seven rookies with a higher Madden rating than Jones.

Jones' low rating is in unprecedented territory for a top-ten pick, let alone a first-round pick.

The beauty of Madden ratings is that they change. Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes was a 77 entering the 2019 season.

A year later, he's a 97 overall, and arguably the biggest snub from the 99 overall club. While many players may be upset with their rating, they have the ability to let their play do the talking.

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Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins' workouts are taking place at his parents' house

Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins' workouts are taking place at his parents' house

With the coronavirus pandemic putting a wrench in the NFL offseason and keeping team activities on hold, players have had to get creative with their workouts. 

Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins is among that population. Despite being a starter in the NFL and making millions of dollars, the former Redskin is now staying in shape in a very ordinary way: workouts at his parents' house.

In a story by ESPN, Cousins explained that his family relocated to his parents' house in Orlando, Florida with the league still waiting to resume. The move has been beneficial as it allows Cousins' and his wife, Julie, to have an easier time caring for their two young children. However, living in his parents' house has made it challenging to train the way an NFL quarterback needs to.

Cousins told ESPN that he's traded in a standard gym with machines and large amounts of equipment for his parents' driveway and backyard. He still has everything he needs to get sessions done, including WiFi to video chat with his trainer, but the setting is an interesting one.

Out on the driveway, the quarterback never knows who may pass by on a daily basis.

"I like my privacy, so being out in the driveway, on display for the whole neighborhood to see is probably less than ideal," Cousins told ESPN. "But desperate times call for desperate measures."

"[Every car will] see me doing my shuffles across the driveway, or my cariocas, or doing the jump-rope or different plank exercises, core work, medicine ball, lunges -- whatever it may be," he added. "And different people honk or wave, so it's kind of fun."

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Honks and even the occasional "Go Pack, go!" at Cousins in the middle of his workout bring a smile to his face as he navigates the new situation. Cousins may have been a Pro Bowler in 2019, but the current situation of the world has him and many other athletes heading back to their humble beginnings. If he finds success on the field in 2020, his parents' driveway and front yard will be part of the equation. 

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Adrian Peterson has his sights on passing Barry Sanders for 4th in all-time rushing

Adrian Peterson has his sights on passing Barry Sanders for 4th in all-time rushing

Adrian Peterson could go down as one of the NFL's all-time greats without ever having to play another snap in the NFL.

But as the running back gears up for his 14th NFL season and his third with the Redskins, he has one specific goal in mind.

"Passing Barry Sanders would definitely be one of the highlights of my career," Peterson said on NFL Network, via ProFootballTalk. "What he accomplished, and how I’ve looked up to him, I’ve always wanted to say I did something better than Barry Sanders."

What the 35-year-old running back is referring to is passing Sanders on the all-time career rushing yards list. Peterson, who has amassed over 14,000 rushing yards in his career, currently trails the Lions great by 1,054 yards.

As it stands now, Peterson is fifth all-time in career rushing yards, trailing only Sanders, Emmitt Smith, Walter Payton and Frank Gore.

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Moving past Sanders in 2020 might be a tough ask, as Peterson has not topped 1,054 yards in a single-season since 2015, where he rushed for a league-best 1,485 yards with the Vikings. The running back came close to topping that mark in 2018, when he finished with 1,042 yards in his first season in Washington.

Peterson has been the lead back for Washington the past two seasons, starting 31 of a possible 32 games for the team. But with a new regime in place in 2020 and a crowded backfield, it's unlikely that Peterson will turn in a third-straight 200-carry season.

Last season, Peterson went on record to say his goal is still to break Smith's all-time rushing yards record. Peterson currently sits just over 4,000 yards behind the Cowboys legend.

"Yeah, why not?" Peterson said. "I'm still playing the game at a high level, and I feel like I can continue to play for a long period of time. So why not keep my bar at reaching 18 [thousand yards] and surpassing Emmitt Smith?"

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