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What Would a 2K Football Game Look Like? (Part I of V)

In Part I of V in “What Would a 2K Football Game Look Like?”, we look at the basics: the players. The Madden games have had basic ratings for their players for years now, which makes for unrealistic gameplay (i.e. everyone more or less plays the same—which we know isn’t the case in the NFL or anywhere else). We’ll break down the player ratings, and yes, badges. Plus, we will do an example player at the end of Part I to give you an idea of how a player will “look” in an NFL 2K game.


Part I: Players

Part II: Presentation

Part III: Franchise Mode

Part IV: Career Mode

Part V: “Ultimate Team” Mode




There are plenty of different body types when it comes to football players, but you wouldn’t know that if your knowledge was solely based on how they look in Madden. The EA Sports tired video game franchise has basically one, arcade-looking body type. The linemen are all jacked, the kickers are built like linebackers, fat guys aren’t fat, and skinny guys aren’t skinny. Also, the players who don’t go in for face scans look absolutely nothing like themselves, and they mess up hairstyles all the time (in Madden 16, Tevin Coleman had dreads in the game; this year, it’s Malcolm Mitchell with the dreads he doesn’t have in real life). It honestly could not be any worse.


A 2K football video game, like NBA 2K, would likely have almost all players look like they do in real life thanks to face and body scans. NBA 2K is able to update how players look, including hairstyle, throughout the season, while Madden 17 still has Malcolm Mitchell with dreadlocks—and it’s January.


Perhaps the biggest thing that differentiates players on the field is their gear. EA Sports is miles behind where they should be here, with gear that is not at all unique. NBA 2K games have had arm sleeves for years now, while Madden games just added “arm sleeves,” which turned out to just be long sleeves for one arm, rather than an actual arm sleeve that ends at the bicep, as you can see here on Le’Veon Bell (photo credit: Pittsburgh Steelers):




EA Sports has also declined to give players the ability to wear forearm sleeves like Antonio Brown or Philip Rivers. The word used is declined because there is clearly a way to get them in the game, as even ESPN NFL 2K5 had forearm sleeves.


An NFL 2K game would be detailed from the helmets to the cleats. When Russell Westbrook, Derrick Rose, or others were forced to wear a mask in real life thanks to a facial injury, 2K Sports was able to give them the mask in NBA 2K. How cool—and realistic—would it have been to have Matthew Stafford wear a custom glove for when he hurt his finger, or for a running back to take off his gloves when there are rainy conditions? Both are and should be possible, but EA Sports has become complacent with the exclusive NFL video game license.




Anyone that has played Madden should know how the player ratings work. For those that need a refresher, they are pretty basic (speed, agility, awareness, tackle, throw power), with the least basic being things like block shedding and throw on the run. They have recently added an intangibles rating, but it has no apparent impact on the game.


Now, anyone that plays NBA 2K should know their ratings are much more in-depth, despite basketball being a much simpler game than football. A good idea for a hypothetical football game would be having no overall ratings because it limits players and makes it unrealistic. In Madden, for example, Bears RB Jordan Howard was probably rated in the 60s to start the season, so there is probably no chance he would get 1,000 yards or have a good season (in real life, he was second in the league in rushing with over 1,300 yards as a rookie).


Instead, we would get people that actually know the game of football to provide full ratings for players—because it is clear that the Madden developers have limited football knowledge—but no actual overall rating. We will have player models with ratings and badges after the “Badges” section.




Badges will work how they do in NBA 2K games, which helps to differentiate the players and have them perform and look like their real-life counterparts.


QB Badges

Championship DNA: steps up in championship games

Comeback Kid: team is never out of it with him at quarterback

Deep Ball Specialist: throws a pinpoint deep ball

Scramble Drill Specialist: at his best when the play breaks down

Surgeon: disects the defense with accurate passes

Pocket Monster: difficult to bring him down with arm tackles

Back Shoulder Specialist: throws perfect back shoulder passes (Aaron Rodgers)

Cerebral Assassin: can tell if the defense is in man or zone

On-field Coach: can audible into any play in any formation with the right personnel

Streaky Passer: prone to hot or cold streaks

Home-field Advantage: unstoppable when playing at home

Play-action Specialist: sucks the defense in with his play-action fakes

Cannon Arm: can bomb passes, including Hail Mary plays

Laser Arm: can fit passes into tight windows with frozen ropes

Turnover Machine: prone to turnovers

Game Manager: doesn’t make key mistakes and doesn’t turn it over

Zone Read Runner: effective keeping it on option plays

Veteran Calls: gets calls that others don’t (i.e. roughing the passer)

Cadence Champ: higher chance of drawing the defense offsides in short yardage situations

Free Play Specialist: good chance of a free play thanks to offsides or too many men on the field

Short-yardage Maven: ability to convert short yardage situations as a runner

Quarterback Sneak Specialist: ability to pickup positive yardage on quarterback sneaks

Field General: makes others around him better

Dome is Home: puts up monster numbers in indoor games

Snowman: snow does not negatively impact his play

Mike Check: ability to identify the blitzers before the play

Staring Down the Barrel: unafraid of stepping into throws when taking a hit

Extra Eyes: can avoid a pass rusher coming free from behind


RB Badges

Touchdown Machine: has a knack for converting at the goal line

Chain Mover: can dominate a possession with first down after first down

Screen Specialist: effective at catching screen passes

Matchup Nightmare: consistently wins when matched up with linebackers

Track Star Speed: sees a speed increase when he gets into the second level

Elite Receiver: possesses wide receiver skills at the running back position

Bruiser: shakes off arm tackles and falls forward on most tackles

20/20 vision: sees holes that most can’t

Elite Patience: can stay behind the line of scrimmage until a hole opens up

Workhorse: gets better with more touches as the game goes on

Dime Cutter: elite change of direction

Ankle Breaker: makes defenders look foolish with jukes in the open field

Golden Arm: has a deadly stiff arm

0-60: immediately gets close to top speed when accelerating


WR Badges

Deep Threat: can easily get behind the defense and draws double teams when going deep

Better than 50/50: comes away with most 50/50 balls

Back Shoulder Specialist: has great ability to connect on back shoulder passes

Red Zone Specialist: has a knack for scoring in the red zone

Chain Mover: great at making first down catches

Sticky Hands: can easily make one handed catches

Unguardable: gets open despite double teams and shaded coverages

Alpha Dog: excels as the #1 receiver

Beta Dog: excels as a #2 receiver with an alpha dog

Slot Expert: highly effective from the slot

YAC: can take a short pass to the house

Running Back Skills: plays like a running back with the ball in his hands

Double Move Master: leaves defenders in the dust with double moves

Crisp Route Runner: creates separation with elite routes

Golden Hands: doesn’t drop passes

Catch in Traffic: makes contested catches over the middle with defenders hitting him

Elite Blocker: a willing and effective blocker

Boundary King: excels at making catches near the sidelines and back of the end zone

Circus Catcher: can make spectacular diving and jumping catches


OL Badges

Mobile Blocker: excels as a blocker in space

Bully: throws smaller defenders out of the way

Bulldozer: clears running lanes

Second Quarterback: ability to make checks at the line and identify blitzers

Elite Protector: keeps the quarterback upright

Pancaker: stacks up the pancake blocks

Versatile: can play multiple positions on the line


General Defensive Badges

Big Hitter: lays the wood on defense


Pass Rusher Badges

Elite Spin Move: uses a spin move to get to the quarterback

Fighter: great at using his hands to fight off blocks

Bull Rusher: powers through blockers to get to the quarterback

Speed Rusher: elite speed and quickness to get to the quarterback

Technician: wins with fundamentals


DL Badges

Space Eater: draws double teams on run plays

Game-wrecker: can dominate the game with sacks, TFL, and forced turnovers

Run Stuffer: plugs up holes in the running game

Shot Blocker: great at swatting down passes at the line of scrimmage


LB Badges

Field General: ability to call out the offensive plays

Coverage Specialist: can shut down lesser players and will hold his own against elite players in pass coverage

Run Stopper: plugs up holes in the running game

Premier Blitzer: great at shooting the gap and blitzing

Get Off Me: easily gets off blocks, especially against weaker players

Tackle Machine: is always around the ball to rack up tackles


DB Badges

Pick Specialist: great hands for his position

Ball Hawk: baits the quarterback into throws that he can take the other way

Lockdown Defender: quarterbacks typically don’t throw at him

Feared: some receivers tend to alligator arm passes or hear footsteps with him nearby

Elite Tackler: can make tackles other defensive backs wouldn’t

Center Fielder: can cover the whole back end of the defense

Shy Hitter: avoids tackling bigger players

Puncher: ability to punch the ball out to force fumbles

Deflector: great at deflecting passes

Shadow: follows the opposing #1 receiver around the field

I’ll Take a Third: elite cover 3 coverage on the perimeter

Slot Expert: excels at defending in the slot

Zone Expert: excels in zone coverage


Kicker Badges

Big Boot: can hit long field goals with room to spare

Automatic: deadly accurate

Proven: makes crucial kicks in the playoffs

Last-second Savior: makes kicks with the game on the line


All Player Badges

Expressive: voices concern about performance, playing time, or contract issues

Team Player: values winning over everything else

Mercenary: willing to sign a one-year or short-term contract to win a ring

Businessman: plays hard-ball in negotiations; wants to make as much money as possible

Legendary Work Ethic: the hardest worker at all times

Dirty Player: higher chance of personal foul penalties and ejections

Off-field Issues: can run into issues whether criminal, drug related, or otherwise

High Character: zero issues on or off the field

Fearless: can dive for the pylon by putting his body on the line

Breakout Potential: has the ability to become an elite player but isn’t there yet

Injury Prone: a player known to get injured

Game-breaker: can take one touch to the house to change the game

Primetime: shines in night games

Ironman: almost never gets injured

Choke Artist: stats are decreased in big moments

Playoff Performer: steps his game up in the postseason

Showboat: a player known to taunt and celebrate

Humble: doesn’t celebrate after making big plays

Clutch: makes big plays in big moments

Football Guy: plays through injuries if he can

Fired-up: gets teammates and fans pumped up


Coach Badges

Psychological Advantage: opposing coaches make decisions they normally wouldn’t

Teacher: players have increased chance at earning badges

Former Player: players relate better to him

Offensive Mastermind: increased offensive stats

Defensive Mastermind: increased defensive stats

Schemer: easily schemes people open offensively

Motivator: players feel like they are in the game despite large deficits




Tom Brady | QB | Patriots

Throw velocity: 99

Arm strength: 96

Intelligence: 99

Pocket mobility: 99

Throw accuracy short: 99

Throw accuracy mid: 99

Throw accuracy deep: 97

TOR short: 98

TOR mid: 92

TOR deep: 90

Escape pocket: 96

Scrambling: 75

Play-action: 95

Speed: 70

Acceleration: 68

Agility: 76

Strength: 65

Toughness: 99



-Championship DNA, Surgeon, Laser Arm, Back Shoulder Specialist, Cerebral Assassin, On-field Coach, Home-field Advantage, Play-action Specialist, Veteran Calls, Cadence Champ, Quarterback Sneak Specialist, Field General, Snowman, Mike Check, Staring Down the Barrel

-Team Player, Legendary Work Ethic, High Character, Primetime, Ironman, Playoff Performer, Clutch, Football Guy, Fired-up


Tevin Coleman | RB | Falcons

Speed: 96

Agility: 89

Acceleration: 99

Strength: 75

Ball carrier vision: 89

Patience: 82

Stiff arm: 83

Trucking: 79

Juke move: 81

Spin move: 80

Elusiveness: 79

Carrying: 89

Catching: 86

Catch in traffic: 82

Short route running: 83

Medium route running: 76

Deep route running: 76

Spectacular catch: 78

Release: 78

Jumping: 86

Pass blocking: 65

Run blocking: 62

Intelligence: 87

Toughness: 97



Screen specialist, Matchup nightmare, Track star speed, Elite receiver, 0-60

-Fearless, Breakout Potential, Game-breaker, Football Guy



Antonio Brown | WR | Steelers

Speed: 97

Agility: 99

Acceleration: 98

Strength: 67

Intelligence: 98

Catching: 98

Catch in traffic: 97

Short route running: 99

Medium route running: 99

Deep route running: 99

Spectacular catch: 97

Release: 98

Jumping: 90

Elusiveness: 98

Stiff arm: 83

Juke move: 98

Spin move: 87

Patience: 97

Ball carrier vision: 96

Run blocking: 69

Return: 96

Toughness: 96



-Deep Threat, Back Shoulder Specialist, Chain Mover, Sticky Hands, Unguardable, Alpha Dog, Slot Expert, YAC, Running Back Skills, Double Move Master, Crisp Route Runner, Golden Hands, Catch in Traffic, Boundary King, Circus Catcher

-Legendary Work Ethic, High Character, Fearless, Game-breaker, Primetime, Ironman, Playoff Performer, Showboat, Clutch



Lane Johnson | OL | Eagles

Speed: 78

Agility: 75

Acceleration: 85

Strength: 88

Footwork: 85

Zone blocking: 88

Man blocking: 91

Pass blocking: 86

Intelligence: 77

Toughness: 84



-Mobile Blocker, Bully

-Expressive, Off-field Issues



Ndamukong Suh | DL | Dolphins

Strength: 98

Tackle: 83

Hit power: 96

Block shedding: 87

Finesse moves: 73

Power moves: 92

Intelligence: 81

Play recognition: 84

Pursuit: 82

Speed: 73

Agility: 82

Acceleration: 81

Intelligence: 80

Toughness: 89



-Big Hitter, Fighter, Bull Rusher, Game-wrecker

-Dirty Player



Vic Beasley Jr. | Pass Rusher | Falcons

Speed: 89

Agility: 85

Acceleration: 90

Strength: 83

Tackle: 80

Hit power: 86

Block shedding: 73

Finesse moves: 93

Power moves: 80

Play recognition: 83

Pursuit: 85

Intelligence: 84

Toughness: 88



-Fighter, Speed Rusher, Game-wrecker, Shot Blocker

-High Character, Breakout Potential, Football Guy



NaVorro Bowman | LB | 49ers

Intelligence: 94

Speed: 82

Agility: 83

Acceleration: 85

Strength: 81

Tackle: 94

Hit power: 95

Block shedding: 89

Play recognition: 96

Pursuit: 97

Toughness: 95

Finesse moves: 67

Power moves: 79

Man coverage: 66

Zone coverage: 74



-Big Hitter, Field General, Run Stopper, Tackle Machine

-Team Player, Legendary Work Ethic, High Character, Injury Prone, Primetime, Humble, Football Guy



Byron Maxwell | CB | Dolphins

Speed: 92

Agility: 89

Acceleration: 94

Strength: 77

Man coverage: 90

Zone coverage: 97

Press: 93

Intelligence: 90

Tackle: 63

Catching: 72

Hit power: 70

Block shedding: 52

Play recognition: 89

Pursuit: 76

Toughness: 75

Jumping: 89



-Lockdown Defender, Shy Hitter, Puncher, Deflector, I’ll Take a Third, Zone Expert




Justin Tucker | K | Ravens

Kick power: 98

Kick accuracy: 99

Intelligence: 94



-Big Boot, Automatic, Postseason Performer, Last-second Savior

-High Character, Primetime, Proven, Showboat, Clutch



Bill Belichick | Coach | Patriots

Intelligence: 99

Offense: 98

Defense: 99

Game-planning: 99



-Psychological Advantage, Teacher, Offensive Mastermind, Defensive Mastermind, Schemer





Part II of V, Presentation, will be released soon, which will help build the base of the fictional game. After that, we get to the good stuff in Franchise Mode and Career Mode. 

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Wow this is in depth…… awesome


Are you sure you want to stop your Fantasy Consigliere from auto-renewal?