For whatever reason, NFL fans and the media have glorified the release of Madden's player ratings. The oft-controversial ratings draw reactions from players, who go on to use them as motivation for the upcoming season. LA Chargers quarterback Justin Herbet is a prime example of this as his 88 overall rating was good for seventh at the position.
While ranking seventh isn't necessarily a slap in the face, the fact he was ranked behind Dak Prescott, who, while an elite QB, doesn't have half the arm talent of Herbert, doesn't make a lick of sense.
Luckily for the Chargers, the disrespect ended there and it's easy to see why. On paper, this is one of the most talented teams in the NFL. If everything comes together, they could be one of the last teams standing when all is said and done in 2022.
Madden 23 recently released its full team rankings and gave Brandon Staley's group a respectable 87 overall, which is tied for fifth with the Ravens.
The big takeaway, however, is the fact the Bolts were the highest-rated team in the AFC West, which many now consider the best division in the NFL. That includes the Chiefs, who checked in just behind LA with an 86 overall team rating.
Madden 23 believes the Chargers have more talent than the Chiefs.
Tied with the Ravens for the second-best rating in the AFC, the Chargers have a whopping five players (including Herbert) rated in the top 10 at their respective positions.
Derwin James, who's seemingly on the cusp of becoming the game's highest-paid safety, ranks second at the position with a 93 rating. That's good for the highest rating on the Chargers. Not far behind is prized trade acquisition Khalil Mack, whose 92 rating places him fourth amongst edge rushers.
Behind those studs, Keenan Allen's 91 rating and JC Jackson's 90 overall tied for eighth at their respective positions. To finish it off, Austin Ekeler tied for ninth among running backs with a 88 rating. Nice to see the 27-year-old bounce back after he was inexplicably snubbed from ESPN's top-10 RB rankings earlier this month.
The ratings of those players really helped the Chargers surpass the Chiefs, but the team is buoyed by legitimate depth, too. Corey Linsley and Joey Bosa were both given 91 overalls, while Mike Williams, Rashawn Slater, Bryce Callahan and Sebastian Joseph-Day resided in the mid-to-low 80s.
It's worth pondering if the Chiefs would rank higher had they not traded Tyreek Hill, but that argument is moot given he's no longer on the team.
The six-time defending AFC West champs could very well finish with a better record than the Chargers this season, but they lost a ton of talent this offseason and have burning questions at receiver, left tackle (Orlando Brown's holding out) and their entire front seven sans Chris Jones was inconsistent in 2021.
These ratings are just a reflection of that.