The Madden 13 NFL video game goes on sale Tuesday morning, but player rankings have already been released and the popular game's maker has revealed the results of its official simulation of the season.
Let's just say EA Sports has a lot of respect for the Patriots. In addition to having some of the highest-rated players (Madden ratings are always a hot topic in NFL locker rooms), the Patriots emerged as the top seed in the AFC in the season simulation.
The game predicts the Patriots will finish 12-4 and quarterback Tom Brady will be the MVP with 5,000-plus passing yards and 50 touchdown passes. The other AFC teams that will make the playoffs are: 2. Ravens (11-5); 3. Chiefs (11-5); 4. Texans (10-6); 5. Steelers (10-6); 6. Bills (10-6).
The Chicago Bears will be the NFC's top seed, also at 12-4, according to EA. Other NFC playoff teams are: 2. 49ers (11-5); 3. Falcons (11-5); 4. Eagles (10-6); 5. Packers (12-4); 6. Saints (10-6).
Brady was assigned the second-highest player ranking of 98. Four players received a 99 -- Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, Jets CB Darrelle Revis, Cowboys LB DeMarcus Ware and Lions WR Calvin Johnson.
Tight end Rob Gronkowski was the next-highest rated Patriots at 97, the best of any tight end.
Other key Patriots rankings:
WR Wes Welker -- 95
DL Vince Wilfork -- 95
OL Logan Mankins -- 95
LB Jerod Mayo -- 90
TE Aaron Hernandez -- 88
WR Brandon Lloyd -- 88
K Stephen Gostkowski -- 87
SS Patrick Chung -- 85
P Zoltan Mesko -- 83
CB Devin McCourty -- 83
LB Brandon Spikes -- 83
The new features of Madden 13 include the new Nike uniforms, Total Passing Control, more realistic field lighting and "enhanced field degradation," additional replay angles, and a new mode called connected careers.
The main contributors to The Buzz are:
- Matt Pepin, Boston.com sports editor
- Steve Silva, Boston.com senior sports producer
- Gary Dzen, Boston.com senior sports producer
- Zuri Berry, Boston.com sports producer