When the New England Patriots roster was released for Madden 08, I didn’t think too much of it. They had a fairly slow and aging defense, mediocre run game and slow QB. They had just signed Randy Moss which gave them a large and speedy target, but coming out of Oakland, who knew what Moss had left in the tank!
As we all know, the Madden 08 Patriots turned out to be a Top 10 Madden Team Of All Time! (Click to see where they rank!)
What happened between Madden 07 and 08 that allowed this team to ascend to Madden prominence?
1.Madden introduces “Weapons” – Brady gets a rocket arm, Maroney a stiff arm, Moss a “spec catch” weapon. Their whole line seemingly has bulldozer weapons and is somehow impenetrable. Rodney Harrison has a hit stick weapon and lays licks! The game played right into their qualities and created a talented squad not seen in years before!
2. Patriots sign Donte Stallworth! While the move gave them a big play threat during their 18-0 run, Stallworths speed simply was unprecedented in the game. He came off a huge season before and would literally torch nearly anyone in the secondary. While he doesn’t have the size of Randy Moss, he certainly had the speed and constantly caught bombs due to Brady’s tremendous throw power. I specifically used him with a bunch set against cover 2 and 3. Moss would post to the corner, Welker would tear up the middle and Donte would run deep (very fast) and catch the deep ball for back breaking TD’s.
3. SGibs invents the “Moss Toss“ -It originally started with Champ Bailey, but Randy Moss turned this play into a staple with his agility weapon. Audible down from 5 WR to get Moss at the RB and simply toss him the ball on a pitch! This is the play that made Madden Bible famous! We used to get Moss in tremendous matchup situations whether it be at TE or on the deep post.
4. The Deep Ball Lives! - Brady had tremendous throw power and was able to stretch the defense over and over again. As long as you had the time, you could hit the Trips Attack route over and over again. Unless user defended, the bomb was devastating and always allowed you to jump out to a 7 nothing lead! It forced the D to be ready early and Tom (pre Gisell) could always put the ball on target!
5. Roster Updates! – They kept getting better, Welker started out rough. He was slow and a small target in a Spec Catch world. By the end of the season, he was making agile plays across the middle and constantly a headache for the defense. Moss re-emerged as the most dominant Madden WR off all time and washed the Oakland stink off of him. The defense got more solid and added some solid veterans who would always wrap up!
What went wrong? - Well the NY Giants happened! People realized that the Pats were a great team but not completely unstoppable! Madden 09 changed the style of play and made teams with big targets like San Diego the favorites. The FB dive dominated and the Pats simply didn’t have the personnel to create as many mismatches. The defense got one more year slower and the Pats Madden dynasty was over. Donte Stallworth left and voided a huge speed advantage for the Pats well rounded WR corps. This left defenses focused on Moss and ultimately made them too one dimensional. The deep ball was rendered useless and while the Moss Toss was still good, it didnt have the same flare as Madden 08. It was the end of a Dynasty, but the 08 Patriots will live on in all our hearts!
Do you think they are the greatest Madden team of all-time? Leave it in the comments!
About the Author: ZFarls is a 23 Year Old Madden Baller from Boston, MA. Along with Sgibs, he owns Madden Bible and looks to give players advanced strategies and tactics to win more madden games. He preaches confidence in what you are running and knowing the situation you are in. Everything else will come naturally!