Last week at Cover 1, we examined the Buffalo Bills’ defensive ratings in EA Sports’ Madden 19 franchise which is set to release August 10. Today, we’ll dive into the offensive side of the ball. The group has just one player with a 90-plus overall rating and only three players rated at least 80. That’s not impressive, especially considering that all four are at their peak and will only decrease when playing in Madden CFM (Connected Franchise Mode.
Furthermore, with only three promising young players ranked in the 70’s, those who don their Brandon Beane/Sean McDermott cap in Madden’s CFM will have their work cut out for them.
Madden 19: Buffalo Bills’ RB/TE Ratings
Madden 19 rated just three of the Buffalo Bills’ running backs and tight ends as an 80 or higher. Running back LeSean McCoy (90 ovr) is the star of the team, with impressive ratings all around. He boasts a 90 speed, 92 acceleration,96 agility, 92 juke move, 90 spin move and ball carrier vision. Those playing with Buffalo will need to feature McCoy and utilize his well-rounded skill set in order for the Bills to win in the virtual world. But at 30 years-old, Shady will start to regress soon in the CFM and his 86 carrying and 81 injury rating can become big problems early. Father time is undefeated and that’s real in Madden too.
Another one of those 80+ players is the new backup running back Chris Ivory (80 ovr). His running style complements McCoy’s very well and he can be a valuable weapon on goaline and short yardage situations with his 91 trucking, 92 stiff arm and 85 ball carrier vision. But Ivory’s also not getting any younger, and two years are the best you can get from him in CFM, before his 83 carrying rating becomes a liability making him very susceptible to fumbles. Behind the top two, Travaris Cadet and Taiwan Jones are rated 74 overall, with Jones being the fastest player in the Bills’ offense with 92 speed.
At tight end, Charles Clay (84 ovr) is the third-best option on the Buffalo Bills offense in Madden 19. His 89 acceleration, 82 speed, 84 catch, 83 spectacular catch and 86 catch in traffic ratings can give a lot of problems to opposing linebackers and safeties trying to cover him. Madden 19 doesn’t think too highly of the depth behind Clay, though. Nick O’Leary (73 ovrl) offers reliable hands (84 catching) but nothing more. Logan Thomas (70 ovrl) is a beast athletically, with 84 speed, 88 accelaration and 85 jump, but lacks receiving skills, despite having team best 75 run block at the position and still having his 93 throw power rating, second best in the team behind only Josh Allen.
The biggest disappointment in this group and maybe even in the entire roster, is fullback Patrick DiMarco (67 ovrl). He was a top two fullback in Madden 18, coming from the Falcons, but after one year with the Bills, he became one of the worst players at his position and an awful contract to have in your CFM.
Madden 19 Buffalo Bills WR Ratings
The final 80-plus rated player on the Buffalo Bills’ Madden 19 squad is wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin (84 ovr). He’s very good at one-on-one situations against smaller cornerbacks, with his size, 93 spectacular catch, 92 catch in traffic and 89 catch ratings. Throw it up and he’ll come down with it most of the time. He’s also the only wide receiver on the roster who can beat press coverage consistently with his 90 release rating. His lack of speed (85) is a concern thought, especially considering he’ll be looking for a multi-year deal in CFM and when his regression starts, he can become unplayable because of it.
The second highest rated wide receiver on the team is Jeremy Kerley (77 ovrl). He offers reliable hands (86 CTH, 82 CIT, 85 SPC) and is solid route-running, a rating now divided into short, medium and deep route-running, one of the innovations in Madden 19. Kerley is rated 81, 79 and 75 in those respective categories.
Andre Holmes and Zay Jones are the only remaining wide receivers that have even average ratings, at 75 overall. The former is a sligthly faster (87 SPD, 88 ACC) poor’s man Benjamin (83 CTH and CIT, 88 SPC, 81 RLS). The later is one of the top 3 promising players the Bills have on their offense. Zay has speed (90), accelaration (91) and some really nice numbers to develop (86 CTH and CIT, 90 SPC).
The rest of the group are rated 70 overall or lesser. Kaelin Clay (62 ovrl) has the best speed on the group (91) with Austin Phroel (67 ovrl) just behind (90 SPD, 93 ACC), but offering more potential long term with solid route-running numbers to develop (80 SRR, 75 MRR, 70 DRR). Malachi Dupree (65 ovrl) is another young guy that offers some value (88 SPD, 90 ACC, 83 CTH, 85 SPC).
Madden 19 Buffalo Bills OL Ratings
Dion Dawkins (77 ovr) isn’t only the best player on this group, but also maybe the most promising young player on the Bills offense. With 90 strength, 80 acceleration, 69 speed and 64 agility, he offers good athleticism for the position. In Madden 19, the pass and run blocking ratings will be divided in four groups: run blocking power, run blocking finesse, pass blocking power and pass blocking finesse.
In the run game it will match the concepts, with power helping more in power runs, tosses and inside zone runs and finesse helping on outside zone or stretch runs for example. In the passing game though, it will match opposing pass rushers power and finesse moves. Dawkins is solid all around (83 run block, 81 impact blocking, 78 pass block). He’s a little bit better on the finesse side of the game (83 RBF, 79 PBF) than on the power side (78 RBP, 77 PBP).
Behind Dawkins, the Buffalo Bills’ offensive line situation is poor. Vlad Ducasse (74) is the next best offensive lineman, with Russell Bodine and John Miller (both 73 ovrl) just behind and Jordan Mills (72 ovrl) finishing the starting group. Bodine possesses elite strength (97 ovrl) and good accelaration and impact blocking numbers (both 83), but neither him or any other of the team’s linemen has a run or pass blocking rating in the 80’s, and that’s really concerning.
Given the state of this group, rookie guard Wyatt Teller (69 ovr) might be a good option early, since he’s a guy that can be developed (88 STR, 82 IBL, 77 ACC, 75 PBK, 73 RBK). That’s an unit that needs a complete overhaul besides Dawkins and maybe Teller. Even Miller looks difficult to develop given how low his ratings are compared to an age (25 years-old) that the ratings upgrades start to become more expensive.
Madden 19 Buffalo Bills QB Ratings
Finishing our Bills’ offense analysis, we’ll look at the quarterback group. According to my research, the Bills are going to miss Tyrod Taylor in 2018 and it looks like the case in Madden 19 too. With Tyrod (81 ovrl) in Cleveland now, the team’s options are rookie first round pick Josh Allen (74 ovrl), former Bengal A.J. McCarron (71 ovrl) and second year signal caller Nathan Peterman (68 ovrl).
Playing the rookie early is a no-brainer in Madden 19. Allen possesses the best arm in the entire league (99 throw power) and his accuracy can be developed quickly into the low 80’s (79 short, 77 medium and 74 deep accuracy ratings). He’s already good at play-action fakes (81) and his 84 throw on the run rating matches perfectly with his athleticism (81 SPD, 87 ACC, 84 AGI, 72 STR). He’s also a dangerous runner (81 ball carrier vision, 77 juke move) but be careful or you’ll have problems with fumbles (64 carrying). This year’s game has two new ratings for QBs, throw under pressure and break sack, and Allen is promising there too, with 73 and 78 grades respectively. No doubt he’s a nice prospect to develop and turning Allen into a top tier QB in the CFM will be one of the more fun things to do in this year’s game.
The backup battle is very close. McCarron offers better accuracy (85 SAC,80 MAC,74 DAC), is the most experienced guy on the roster (78 AWR) and the best throwing against pressure (75). Peterman on the other hand has a better arm (91 THP) and is better at play action fakes (80). He’s more mobile (78 SPD, 86 ACC, 82 AGI) and being younger, can be better developed. His accuracy (82 SAC, 76 MAC, 73 DAC) isn’t far off McCarron’s but the one area he really struggles is when under pressure (66 TUP). The best option might be keep all three on the roster, with McCarron as the backup in year one and moving on to Peterman in year two.
McCoy is the centerpiece of this offense and Clay one of the only two reliable targets available, but given their age and contracts, you better spend some scouting points on next class’ RBs and TEs to find potential replacements. KB13 lacks speed, but his re-signing is a must since only Zay Jones offers real upside in this WRs group. A deep threat type with 93+ speed to burn can be very helpful there.
The OL needs talent. Dawkins can be developed into a very good one and Teller can become at least a solid starter. Other than them, you will need to find guys, via draft or using the very healthy cap situation the team will have in the year two.
The good news are that, at least in Madden 19, the Bills finally have their franchise quarterback to work with. Allen comes with very good ratings and you’ll only need to play well and expend his XPs wisely to develop him properly.
The Bills offense offers a lot of challanges in Madden 19, but they’re surely one of the most fun teams to work with if you’re one of those players that love to make rebuild plans. “The process” will be at it’s full strength in Madden 19, enjoy it Bills Mafia.