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49ers are the best defense in everything...but Madden

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Check out how real-to-life Madden is with their accurate defensive scores

It’s fair to say that while the 49ers have a long road to go in getting respect from the NFL, their defense has been the darlings of the league. It’s second in points against, second in yards against, first in passing yards defended and...ugh, I’m not going to bother listing all the highlights. That defensive line in particular is on pace to be something historic in a year once everyone gels (and the front office re-signs the free agents).

Well, everyone would say this but the folks at EA Sports who are behind the beloved Madden video games. Madden currently has the 49ers defense with an 81 grade if you are starting a franchise. The number wouldn’t be so bad if there wasn’t much in front of them, but Linus Jorgensen (give him a follow), friend of the site, was able to get me a list of teams, that either have the same or better defensive rating:

New England Patriots 88
Chicago Bears 85
New York Jets 83
Detroit Lions 83
Carolina Panthers 83
Los Angeles Rams 83
Baltimore Ravens 83
New Orleans Saints 83
Seattle Seahawks 83
Minnesota Vikings 83
Dallas Cowboys 83
Cleveland Browns 83
Jacksonville Jaguars 81
Pittsburgh Steelers 81
Houston Texans 81
Tennessee Titans 81
Buffalo Bills 81
Denver Broncos 81
Los Angeles Chargers 81
Philadelphia Eagles 81
Atlanta Falcons 81

This wouldn’t bother me if it wasn’t for the fact the Patriots sit above everyone with that ridiculous 88 grade while everyone else is looking up. To add insult to injury, the Green Bay Packers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers are sitting at 79.

Alright, let’s break this down a bit more. That’s overall team defense. Some players? Richard Sherman is the best player with a 93 rating. Deforest Buckner is next with an 87 grade. Dee Ford 84, Kwon Alexander and Fred Warner both finish at 80. Dre Greenlaw is the lowest with a 68 grade.

Yeah, something’s either off. Or, at the very least, outdated.

I think it was the NFL 2K series that allowed mid-season stat adjustments. That was all the way back in the Sega Dreamcast days (God, I’m old). That was innovative then and having a console with internet capabilities was pretty awesome. Common sense was nice too, because later when the 2K series went to the Xbox/PlayStation 2, it was $20 and not shovelware. Imagine that.

I think we knew the 49ers would have a good defense. I predicted a top-10 finish back in January. We also know how behind the times Madden is. Knowing that EA Sports hasn’t done a rapid stat adjustment to defensive numbers isn’t too surprising. We’re almost to 2020 and EA Sports still hasn’t found a way to sell a single game engine and then expansion passes to download for $20 every year. They insist we buy a $60 game that is usually broken beyond belief.

But it’s Madden and it prides itself on providing the best, most accurate football experience. There’s nothing accurate about the 49ers having a defense with the same rating as the Atlanta Falcons.