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Cam Newton Underestimated? EA Raises Rookie Quarterback's Rating in Madden NFL 12

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Everyone says you have to earn respect in the NFL. Apparently, you have to earn it in Madden NFL 12 as well. According to EA Sports' NFL Ratings Czar Donny Moore, rookies are rated lower than veterans simply because they’re unproven. Fair enough, but even though Newton was the number one overall pick in the draft, the folks over at EA still weren't believers of the rookie quarterback. Newton didn't even crack Madden's list of top ten rookies.

So how did the Panthers rookie quarterback respond to those naysayers in his first NFL regular season game? For starters, Newton threw for 422 yards and 2 touchdowns for a QB rating of 110.4. The fans weren't the only ones who appreciated his effort. EA took notice of Newton's remarkable play also, resulting in an overall boost from 77 to 81 in Madden NFL 12. It may not be Tomy Brady's 99 overall, but then again, Tom Brady threw for 517 yards and already has the history and Super Bowl rings to warrant that rating.

“I think people were expecting [Newton’s] ground game to lead the way,” said Moore. “And then we all went 'whoa,' this guy is looking like a legit passing quarterback.” Take it easy, it's one game. Not every game will be against the Arizona Cardinals. Remember, this was Newton's first came and he could just as easily stink it up the rest of the season.

Before this week, Newton’s best attribute, according to Madden ’12, was his throwing power (94). His weakest was awareness (49). Yesterday, Newton won rave reviews for his poise. Moore says Newton’s accuracy rating will go up across the board. Madden ’12 will now consider him to be a better quarterback than Donovan McNabb, who threw for just 39 yards in the Vikings opener.

Newton is not the only player whose ratings went up. Steve Smith, who caught two touchdown passes and picked up 178 yards on Sunday, will go from 89 to 91. Wide receiver Brandon LaFell’s rating will increase from 71 to 73. The biggest ratings jumps tend to go to unproven players who prove themselves. Houston’s Arian Foster was a fourth-string running back last year before he exploded on to the scene. Over the course of the season, his Madden rating went from a 67 to a 92.

Newton is going to have to continue this high level of play if he wants to stay at this overall. In Madden NFL 12, player's overalls can just as easily go down. Running back DeAngelo Williams, for example, will drop from 89 to 88 after rushing for 30 yards against the Cardinals.

One game shouldn't make a difference, and at the end of the season it probably won't, but for right now, "in the case of a guy named Cam Newton,” Moore says, “it does.”

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Matt Liebl You can follow Senior News Editor Matt Liebl on Twitter @Matt_GZ. He likes games, sports, musicals, and his adorable dog, Wrigley. And his wife.
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