One of the five members of the 99 Club, Stephen Gilmore is the top corner back in Madden21. Galen Ramsey takes the #2 corner spot with his 94 OR.
With 87 speed he's a touch slow, but he also brings 98 zone coverage, 90 man coverage, and 81 catching to create more turnovers than most. The Packers young corner leads the “new generation” of star coverage players.
Gather your team and prepare for the Fall Ball Cup! He also has 90 press along with 91 speed and 93 acceleration to be a truly fearsome cover player.
Finally, we get to the Ravens corner Marlon Humphrey. After a First-Team All-Pro appearance last season Humphrey could rightly be disappointed by his Madden rating.
You can now set the depth that your underneath zone defenders will drop to in your pre-plan adjustments menu. If you know an exact route combination is coming, you now have the tools to stop it.
In Madden 20, every good defensive setup ended in using QB Contain. EA Sports has made some adjustments to the pass rush to bring better balance to the game.
You will now have to decide whether to contain a mobile QB or bring a faster blitz. There will also be better defensive pursuit angles to stop the running game in Madden21 so hopefully the dive/stretch offense that was so prevent in Madden 20 won’t be nearly as effective.
The rankings are comprised of the projected starters in the secondary for nickel packages. They are broken out by man and zone coverage, then a composite ranking of the two is presented.
Led by emerging superstar safety Darwin James (89 OR), the Chargers also boast quality depth across the back end. Outside of White, the power of this group comes from the backend as free safety Micah Hyde (88 OR) and strong safety Jordan Power (85 OR) make up one of the vest tandems in the league.
The jump into the conversation of best cover units starts with the arrival of standout safety Mink ah Fitzpatrick (87 OR). Free safety Ronnie Harrison(75 OR) also has some upside if given long enough to develop.
The issues are prevalent however in the corner back group where none of the three corners possess a single coverage grade higher than 73. This group is anchored by corner James Brad berry (79 OR), who is an average cover corner, and safety Jab rill Peppers (80 OR) who is more of a linebacker than safety in terms of coverage skill.
Panthers: Done Jackson (82 OR) is an average cover corner with top-level speed, which may be enticing to many. After Jackson things get rough, as veteran safety Try Boston (79 OR) is the next best player in an underwhelming secondary.
Eli Apple (75 OR) still is young and could potentially grow into a second corner, but even that is a bit of a stretch based on his current ratings. I'm a long time Madden player who enjoys interacting with the community and looking at the game from all perspectives.
Not only will a tough defense stop the opposing offense dead in its tracks, but can also force turnovers and give you great field position. There are a number of controls and features that you need to know and be comfortable with in order to dominate the competition.
If you are planning on controlling a linebacker or safety, keep a close eye on the opponent’s wide receivers. This new stick is for pass rushers, as now it has become a bit easier to break through against the opposing offensive line.
Pass rushers can also perform a spin move by rotating the right stick clockwise or counter-clockwise. As we mentioned previously, most Madden players have stuck with using either a linebacker or safety in defensive coverage for quite some time.
However, because the new stick has made it a bit easier to break through opposing linemen, it might not be a bad idea to try to throw the opponent off by controlling a coverage linebacker one play, and a defensive lineman on the next play. Not only will this make you more unpredictable, but it also can help you take advantage of weaker offensive linemen.
Suppose the offense comes out in a shotgun formation with three wide receivers and one tight end. To run an audible, hit X/Square, and you will be able to call a different play based upon what formation you are currently in.
To change the formation and audible into a different play, hit either left or right on the pad. The last thing you want to happen is be stuck in a bad play call and cede a lot of yards to the opposition.
You need only look back at the last 20 years of the EA Sports mega franchise to understand that. The history of Madden covers has been dicey, whether it was the choice of athlete, the artistic design or simply some bad luck.
And keep in mind, Madden releases have a bonkers number system that doesn’t make a lot of sense. Heading into the 2003 season (which was when Madden 2004 was released), Pick was the most entertaining player in the NFL.
He was the closest thing to a rock star at the time, and unlike anything the NFL had seen up to that point. In turn, EA Sports made sure he was unlike any video game football player we’d seen since BO Jackson in Team Bowl.
Despite being the most unstoppable player EA Sports ever put into its game platform, Pick was never bestowed its highest possible skill rating. It’s pretty iconic, with the purple Baltimore Ravens jersey and Ray’s massive arms filling up the graphic.
This edition also is one of the few Madden covers that gets away with committing the sin of cutting off the top of the player’s helmet. Linebackers are meant to fill a hole, and this cover makes it look like Lewis is coming for you.
Interestingly, unlike Pick, Lewis was granted entry into Madden’s “99 club”. But that doesn’t change the fact that this one edges out all comes in the best “action” cover representation.
From the veins in Trees’ arms to the intensity of his face, to his clenched jaw and laser-focused eyes, it’s a great shot. It always felt like a tip of the cap not only to Trees but also the Saints fans who went through Hurricane Katrina just a few years before.
I prefer the black and white portrait of the MVP edition, which carries the “not bad for a running back” line. The use of a black and white photo is a new one for a Madden cover, and it really brings home a part of Jackson’s intensity in the picture.
It reminds me of black and white photos of a field general, which is probably part of what EA was going for. The running back line is also a part of his cocky personality, which a new avenue for a Madden cover.
Then again, if this was meant to be a player who was in the league during the Madden video game era, I get why it was Sanders and not someone like Jim Brown. I still think you could have made the argument for a Joe Montana or a Jerry Rice to be on the 25th anniversary edition, but I digress.
Sanders was an unbelievably entertaining player and likely the most elusive runner in NFL history. Madden 17 cover (via EA Sports)The iconic “Gonk Spike” takes center stage and stands on the Mount Rushmore of action shots for Madden covers, alongside Odell Beckham and Drew Trees.
But the weird thing about this one was that Minkowski landed the Madden cover honor before Tom Brady. This one ended up commemorating Favre’s last season with the Green Bay Packers, coming on the heels of his 2007 campaign.
He retired in March, leaving EA Sports to pay homage to him with the next cover. Favre came out of retirement, forcing the Packers to eventually trade him to the New York Jets.
Which meant that EA Sports had to release this puppy less than one week after Favre was no longer a member of the Packers. The whole thing was so screwed up, fans either had to engineer the trade themselves in the game play, or go into the online marketplace and download the updated rosters to fix it.
The interesting postscript to this debacle was EA making a downloadable Favre cover available that put him in a Jets uniform. Which makes Favre the only player to grace a cover with versions of him appearing on two different teams.
I’ll just stick with the PlayStation 2 platform cover, since that sold the most copies, and it’s at least similar to what landed on Xbox. He threw 49 touchdown passes in 2004, breaking Dan Marino’s single-season record that stood for 20 years.
What we don’t remember now is that Manning was also hated by a lot of fans at that stage of his career. This was long before he started doing funny commercials and “Saturday Night Live” and the larger landscape of fans began to warm to him.
That debut was so long ago, EA Sports issued the game on a floppy disk for the Apple II, MS-DOS systems and two early versions of Commodore computers. In mint condition with its original box, the first game occasionally pops up on eBay for as much as $2,000.
The best part about it (other than representing the birth of a monster franchise) is Madden busting through some cheesy cover graphics, with a rolling blonde wave of hair on his forehead. Little did Madden or EA Sports know that billions of dollars in sales would lie ahead, along with a game that would significantly aid the NFL’s decades-long drive to popularity.
But I have to be real: As much as Palatal and Fitzgerald are both Hall of Farmers and everything you’d want on your football team, it was just a so-so pairing from the 2008 season Super Bowl. If we had to stick with the Super Bowl theme, I would have preferred Kurt Warner trying to throw while James Harrison was closing in.
Whether it’s the sexual assault allegations, the ongoing investigation by the NFL, his social media outbursts or his open war with multiple NFL franchises, it just goes to show you that a lot can change quickly for the guys who grace a Madden cover. Madden 13 cover (via EA Sports/Microsoft)No arguments with the player choice, as Megaton was wrecking the league coming out of the 2011 season.
Instead, EA Sports went with a fairly uncreative picture of Mahomes flexing his right arm. One thing that was a little weird about the 2003 cover, though, was that Fault’s image was oversized to the point that he looks huge.
But let’s be real, it was Sherman’s ability to entertain and trash talk that earned him that cover. Unless they’re tipping or intercepting a pass, there isn’t much more that they do to lend themselves to making a sexy video game cover.
It was also the beginning of the end for Alexander’s career, putting him right in the wheelhouse of the Madden Curse” crowd. It was just one of those wonky years when a guy actually earned it on the field and then sank out of view pretty quickly after.
At the time, George was arguably the best running back in the NFL, not to mention the most stylistically complete. George’s arms and massive hands pop on the cover, but the franchise really blew a rare opportunity with the waist-up photo.
Too bad someone in the room didn’t point out that a head-to-toe Eddie George shot was worth the design trouble. 1 receiver, Randy Moss, who already had three seasons in the books as one of the most electrifying and uncoverable hideouts in NFL history.
In the prior three seasons, Moss had three Pro Bowl nods, two first-team All-Pro appearances, an NFL offensive rookie of the year award and had led all receivers in touchdowns twice. Imagine being that good and then seeing EA Sports jump on the Pepper hype train after his first season as a starter and gift him the Madden cover.
Particularly when you consider Moss never had a cover the rest of his career, including following the 2007 season when he set the NFL’s all-time single-season touchdown reception record. Unfortunately, the decision completely screwed San Diego Chargers running back Ukrainian Tomlinson, who only rushed for 28 freaking touchdowns in 2006, not to mention catching three more and putting up 2,323 yards from scrimmage.
For Tomlinson to not land a single cover during his epic burn through the league from 2004 to 2007 is felonious. The player choice was so bad that it completely negates the fact that the cover art was so good.
Hills was also Caucasian … which, if we’re being honest here, made him a little of an anomaly that got a lot of media and fan attention. And that matters in this case, because this Madden cover was born out of a stupid corporate gimmick.
Because ESPN loves its ability to cross promote, it paired with EA Sports in 2011 to create a bracket-style showdown between 32 players for the right to grace the Madden 12 cover. Long story short, Hills was a 10 seed who ended up beating out many, many more deserving players.
Because ESPN and EA Sports had a bad idea and some fans are both stupid and into hype machines. But the fact he won this in a year that it absolutely should have gone to the Packers’ Aaron Rodgers remains a forehead smack in Madden cover history.