After his record-breaking 2019 season, Christian McCaffrey added yet another accolade to his resumé this week.
On Tuesday, McCaffrey was unveiled as one of the four players given a 99 rating, the highest in the game, in the latest iteration of one of the most popular video games in the world. The Panthers running back was the second player this week to receive the honor after it was revealed Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes would also get a 99 rating in Madden 21. McCaffrey’s rating shouldn’t come as a surprise to loyal gamers after he was bumped up to a 99 rating on Madden 20 midway through last season.
Last year, McCaffrey became the third player with 1,000 yards rushing and receiving in a season, joining Roger Craig (1985) and Marshall Faulk (1999) on the exclusive list. McCaffrey finished the 2019 season with 1,387 rushing yards and 1,005 receiving yards, as he ranked second in the NFL in rushing. He also recorded 116 catches on the year, becoming the first running back in league history to have two 100-catch seasons as McCaffrey broke his own record of 107 catches, which was the previous most by a running back in a year in NFL history, set in 2018.
McCaffrey is the only Panthers player to receive a rating in the 90s. The second highest-rated Panthers player in Madden 21 is 31-year old defensive tackle Kawann Short, who was given an 87 rating. Last season, Short was placed on injured reserve after playing in just two games because of a partially torn rotator cuff. Only Donald, Eagles Fletcher Cox (96), Grady Jarrett (90), Michael Pierce (91), Kenny Clark (90), and Casey Hayward (90) having a higher rating at the defensive tackle position.
The top 10 highest Panthers players on Madden 21 are wide receivers D.J. Moore (85) and Robby Anderson (84), cornerback Donte Jackson (82), center Matt Paradis (81), wide receiver (80), tackle Taylor Moton (80), kicker Graham Gano (79) and safety Tre Boston (79). Moore is tied with Cleveland’s Jarvis Landry as the 18th best receiver rating in the game.
For those who are into comparisons, Teddy Bridgewater has a 75 rating on Madden 21, three points lower than former-Panthers-now-Patriots quarterback Cam Newton, who has a 78 rating in the game.
Linebacker Shaq Thompson, who signed a four-year extension towards the end of last season, has a 76 rating. In 14 games, Thompson recorded 109 tackles and three sacks for the Panthers. Brian Burns, who finished third on the team in sacks with 7.5 last season has a 79 rating.
As far as the 2020 rookie class, defensive tackle Derrick Brown leads the group with a 78 overall rating. He also has a superstar development trait, which is the highest level of development that a player can have, which includes a game-changing trait or attribute. Second-round picks Yetur Gross-Matos (74) and safety Jeremy Chinn (70) both have lower ratings and fourth-round pick Troy Pride Jr. has a 67 rating, fifth-round pick Kenny Robinson has a 66 while Bravvion Roy has a 64 overall rating – seventh-rounder Stanley Thomas-Oliver is a 61 overall.
The Panthers team rating is 78 overall – the Joe Brady offense has an 80 rating while Phil Snow’s defense is at 76.
For the full set of the Madden 21 ratings for the top 10 players for each team, fans can check out the Madden School website. EA Sports will provide rating updates weekly during the 2020 season, so expect these ratings to change throughout the year.