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Monday, August 20, 2012
'Madden 13' top-rated defensive players

By Jon Robinson

Troy Polamalu, a former "Madden" cover athlete, is the highest-rated strong safety in the game.
When it comes to playing a dominant "Madden" defense, it all comes down to putting pressure on the quarterback. It's no surprise that out of the top 10 defensive players in the game, six are dominant pass-rushers, including DeMarcus Ware, who has been arguably one of the most popular polygonal players since he was introduced in "Madden."

Then again, it’s not a pass-rusher but a pass defender who takes over the top spot on EA's list for "Madden 13."

10. Buffalo Bills defensive end Mario Williams: 97 overall
The Bills have one of the top defensive fronts in "Madden 13," and the addition of Super Mario charging off the end should have quarterbacks shaking in their virtual cleats.

9. Baltimore Ravens free safety Ed Reed: 97 overall
Reed is an all-time great when it comes to "Madden," and once again, he is right up there among the best in the game. Watch out when Reed picks off the ball, because his character has an uncanny ability to take it to the house.

8. Pittsburgh Steelers strong safety Troy Polamalu: 97 overall
When it comes to the Madden Curse, poor Polamalu was just another victim. But a healthy Polamalu equals big problems for the rest of the league. He is the kind of safety who puts the hit in hit stick.

7. Baltimore Ravens defensive end Haloti Ngata: 97 overall
Ngata is a force for the Ravens, pushing through the offensive line and making play after play behind the line of scrimmage. The dude hits so hard they should bring back the "Madden" ambulance.

6. Chicago Bears defensive end Julius Peppers: 97 overall
Peppers' speed off the edge is almost impossible to deal with unless you keep a tight end to help block. Otherwise, better hope your quarterback has wheels. (I'm still waiting for a fun "Cyberball" remake, by the way.)

Julius Peppers has been a mainstay at the top of "Madden" ratings for years.
5. San Francisco 49ers defensive end Justin Smith: 98 overall
People are talking about the big numbers the 49ers offense will put up in "Madden 13" (Vernon Davis, Randy Moss, Frank Gore), but with Justin Smith, Patrick Willis, Aldon Smith and NaVorro Bowman, gamers should be even more worried about this team's ferocious D.

4. Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jared Allen: 98 overall
With Allen and Adrian Peterson both so dominant in the game, it's crazy to think people still won't want to play purple because the rest of the Vikings roster is so poor.

3. San Francisco 49ers middle linebacker Patrick Willis: 98 overall
When you have 90 speed and 95 acceleration from the linebacker position, you know you're about to create havoc.

2. Dallas Cowboys outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware: 99 overall
It's not just Ware's tremendous speed that makes him a "Madden" immortal. It's also his character's height. Not only will Ware get after the quarterback, but even if he doesn't get the sack, he'll swat the ball down if you time the jump right.

1. New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis: 99 overall
Welcome to Revis Island. The best cover corner in "Madden" since the days of Deion, Revis can eliminate his opponent's best receiver, making gamers pay the price if they try to test the best defender in the game.

Don't like the official rankings? Hit up the EA Sports Facebook page throughout the week for your chance to change the numbers. That's right, fans will be given the ability to vote for which defenders should have the highest-rated special traits, and the winner of each vote will see his ratings increase when "Madden 13" ships Aug. 28.