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Scores To Settle: ESPN NFL Analyst Damien Woody Reviews His Best – And Worst – Madden Ratings . . .

And EA Sports replies with insight from a "Madden Ratings Adjuster" who played with Woody!

This week, ESPN exclusively has revealed the player ratings for the latest edition in the EA SPORTS Madden NFL franchise, Madden NFL 21. The excitement culminates in a SportsCenter Special breaking down the ratings process on Friday (7 p.m. ET, ESPN; see sidebar below).

Each year, Madden NFL unveils player ratings for all active players, indicating how a player will perform on the virtual gridiron in Madden NFL based on their performances on the real NFL field.

Madden NFL Ratings Performance Adjustors calculate several scores regarding every player – speed, awareness, strength, catching, and many more – that come together for a final overall tally. Performance Adjustors analyze player performances each week of the NFL season and make changes based on how well a player performed. Also, NFL legends like ESPN NFL analyst Steve Young, Barry Sanders, Michael Vick, and Chad Johnson lend their expertise to the Performance Adjustors to land on players’ final ratings.

Here’s Damien Woody’s Madden Player Card when he was a Detroit Lion. (Image courtesy EA Sports Madden NFL)

As E60 documented last year with a feature about the Madden Ratings process, both players and adjustors are passionate about the process.

Even some former players have “scores to settle.”

Front Row asked ESPN NFL analyst and two-time Super Bowl champion Damien Woody to review his best – and worst – Madden ratings over his 12-year NFL career. Woody was a stellar offensive lineman with the Patriots, Lions, and Jets from 1999-2010.

In the video above, he applauds his Madden 07 “93” rating – a career best, according to EA Sports – but good naturedly takes issue with his “85” Madden 10 score (see Madden score explanation later in this post).

EA Sports kindly responded to Woody via Madden NFL Ratings Adjuster Clint Oldenburg, a former lineman who also happens to be an ex-teammate of Woody’s with the Jets in 2008 training camp (see video below).

Said Woody of Oldenburg, via text to Front Row: “It’s nice to have my former teammate Clint appreciate my body of work … I’ll forgive him for the 85 rating LOL.”

*Note: A Madden score represents players’ ratings at the start of the prior season. For example, Woody’s Madden 07 rating would represent his rating at the beginning of his 2006 season, which was informed by his actual performance in the 2005 season with the Lions. His Madden 10 rating represents his rating at the start of the 2009 season, which was informed by his actual performance in the 2008 season with the Jets.

Allison Stoneberg contributed to this post.
Damien Woody and Clint Oldenburg produced the videos.


Since Monday, ESPN exclusively has revealed Madden NFL 21 player ratings this week via various platforms. For instance, players who are part of the Madden NFL 21 “99 Club” (those rated 99 overall, the highest rating possible in the game) are being revealed on Get Up; First Take has debated player ratings, and NFL Live and SportsCenter have revealed positional rankings. Friday at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN, a SportsCenter Special breaks down the ratings process. Laura Rutledge, Louis Riddick, Field Yates and Mina Kimes will interview players and reveal any remaining ratings.

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