I've been able to play Madden NFL 15 for a few days now, but on Thursday, the early trial dropped for everyone playing EA Access. I've been talking about it a lot, so I figured ... why not do it more? Personally, I like the game a lot more than other recent games ... when it comes to the actual gameplay. Running plays feels great, but playcalling and menu navigation is probably the worst it's been in five years.
So in other words: it sure is another Madden game. On Saturday, I'll be running a livestream of the game, playing as the 49ers and probably taking on the Seahawks or something while I talk about the game. It's bound to be awful, so be sure to tune in. I'll go over the whole roster during that stream.
Anyway, I thought I would share some notes that are specific to the 49ers on Madden. Just a few things I've noticed from a few games since most of you who will buy it will primarily be playing the 49ers.
- OK so let's get this out of the way right now -- defensive lineman Lawrence Okoye is not in the game as of right now. He's not on the 49ers' roster and he's not in the free agent pool. This probably means that, if he makes the 53-man roster and they do put him in the game, he probably won't have a player portrait. So he'd just look like a created character. This is one of my biggest pet peeves -- I cut players without portraits. I'm weird. But seriously, why don't these people know who Lawrence Okoye is!?
- The determining stat in Madden is speed. For years, the 49ers have been one of the slowest teams in the game, with the ratings guys seemingly buying into weird draft hype. Michael Crabtree has always been slow, Frank Gore is among the slowest starting running backs in the league and that hasn't changed. Carlos Hyde and Frank Gore both are so slow that I think they're not even worth using much this year. It's brutal.
- Seems they're also buying into last year's drop issues for tight end Vance McDonald. Of the 14 passes that have hit him directly in his hands while open, eight of them have bounced off of his hands or his head. Clearly, they're not fans of McDonald over there.
- Stevie Johnson also has a drop problem, but he's pretty money from the slot.
- If you would like a positive: tight end Vernon Davis is impossible to cover. Send him up the seam, send him on a post, make him slant it literally does not matter. He's going to catch every single pass and he's going to truck a few tackles after he does it. Throw to Davis when in doubt.
- Everybody on defense is good. No, seriously. Everybody can break tackles, everybody can rush the passer, and safety blitzes with Eric Reid are particularly effective. There's not a bad player on defense on the 49ers, they're all worthwhile.
- Colin Kaepernick is totally fine. Blaine Gabbert is not. Yep. That's about all that's noteworthy, to me. I'll take any questions is ya'll have 'em.