It's a date that's been circled on the calendars of video-game and football geeks for months: August 10, 2010.
Which's the release date of Madden 2011, pretty much the most successful video game ever.
Since some nerds will be lined up to buy their copy at midnight, we thought we'd break down the rankings for the Cardinals roster a little early for them (or for you).
Check out our breakdown after the jump.
Now that Kurt Warner is gone, this is probably the weakest link of the team. Who are we kidding? It may be the lamest trio of signal callers in the game. Matt Leinart leads the charge with an overall rating of 75.
His best attribute is his stamina at 92. We're not sure what this means...he's able to play the whole game? Maybe 92 percent of it? His worst rating (and rightfully so) is his speed, which is a horrendous 54. There are some offensive lineman who are faster than Matty. Madden should implement a beer bong/hot tub party rating -- Leinart would be a shoo-in for the Hall of Fame.
Led by the solid duo of Beanie Wells (82 overall) and Tim Hightower (79), the Cards running backs are a dependable group who aren't afraid to pound the rock. They may not get many yards, but they still try. Wells has a swagger rating of 87 (a new criteria this year), meaning he is confident in his abilities. It's either that or he thinks he should be an all-pro just because he went to Ohio State.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends:
This group took a hit with the loss of Anquan Boldin. But they are still a respectable bunch led by robot/beast/man-child Larry Fitzgerald who has the highest rating on the team at 97 overall. After Fitz, the group drops off to Steve Breaston (80) and Early Doucet (78). But it's going to be hard for these players to showcase their talents with Leinart missing his targets high and low and left and right.
The tight ends are an average group. Anthony Becht has the highest rating at 76 and does a good job of not getting injured. That's about it for this group.
Alan Faneca is the unquestioned leader of this team, even if he just signed a few months ago. With an overall rating of 91, Faneca is also known for his strength (94). Another notable lineman is right guard Deuce Lutui. A 76 rating overall, Lutui is the slowest player on the team with a 42 rating. Throw a few cheeseburgers and fries on the field, though, and this rating suddenly jumps up to a 99!
This is a solid group led by Darnell Dockett (94) and Calais Campbell (86). Both players have a good chance to make the Pro Bowl this season. Watch out for Dockett's power move, which is a 95, and Campbell's pursuit, which is rated 87. Other than these two players, the line is average.
Newcomer Joey Porter leads a line backing corps, which should be a surprise to many. Porter has a high swagger rating of 94 (thanks to his constant trash-talking) and Gerald Hayes is a pretty solid tackler at a 92.
The strength of the defense as they have three players ranked 88 or better: safety Adrian Wilson (94), cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (90) and safety Kerry Rhodes (88). All three have outstanding jumping ability, which is kind of important for grabbing those interceptions. DRC clocks in as the fastest player on the team with 98 speed.
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Kickers and punters are often the most overlooked players on the field. New kicker Jay Feely is an 86 overall while punter Ben Graham is an 83. Graham's swagger rating is only a 20.
Overall the Cards come in ranked 79 overall as a team. After a rating of 87 last year, they dropped the most points of any team in the league -- likely the result of Warner's departure. For a team that's been to the playoffs the past two seasons, things could be on the decline sooner than fans think -- at least in video-game-land.