Overview of Madden Teams - San Diego Chargers
When looking at this Chargers roster, they are a solid, if unspectacular bunch who have a decent mix of veterans and younger players. They are by no means a top 5 team in madden, but they can push for the top 15 (if they haven't already) by rearranging some players.
Let's start with the quarterback position. Phillip Rivers is 32 years old, but is still a very solid passer. His 87 throw power isn't anything special, but his 91 short accuracy, and his 90 medium accuracy mean he is great on short-intermediate routes - even is 81 deep accuracy is quite solid. Rivers isn't any younger, however, and if you are to take over San Diego in franchise mode, you are not doing your team any favors if you don't look into acquiring a young option to take over in a few seasons. Kellen Clemens is a decent backup option, but nothing special - the general theme of this San Diego Chargers team.
Ryan Matthews (27 years old) is technically the best back on the roster, overall-wise with an 85. He is, however, injury-prone (79 injury rating) and a slight risk when it comes to ball security, compared to the other runners this team has. His 81 carry rating is eight points below change-of-pace back (my choice for screens and occasional stretch plays), Danny Woodhead. His agility (95) and catch (84) ratings lead the team at his position, and I like him as a return man as well. Donald Brown is underrated by many, and is my personal favorite to start, should you choose to use the Chargers. Brown has below average speed (89), agility (79), and acceleration (83) for a runner, but makes up for it with his decent trucking rating (84) and incredible 96 carrying. The drawback for him is that his injury rating is just a single point above aforementioned Ryan Matthews (80 injury), though I'd rather run with a 96 carry than an 81.Branden Oliver and Ronnie Brown make up solid depth, who can both carry the ball better than Matthews (82 and 87, respectively). I wouldn't give the ball to fullback David Johnson much (68 carry), it would be wiser to just let him do what he does best, and plow holes open for the ball carrier (73 run blocking).
There is some pretty good talent at wide receiver, starting with first round pick Keenan Allen (87 overall, 22 years old). He has good size and decent speed and quickness (87 speed, 91 agility) to go along with great route running (96) and and amazing oair of hands (93 catch, 94 catch in traffic). He is definitely someone I would recommend building an offense around. I would personally move Eddie Royal into the slot, and put Malcolm Floyd outside, opposite of Allen. Floyd has great size (6'5", 225 pounds) and can escape a cornerback who tries to jam him at the line of scrimmage, and win jump balls (94 beat press and 96 jump). Royal, on the other hand lacks those qualities and is better served using his speed and quickness (94 speed and 95 agility) from the inside. Both Dontrelle Inman and Seyi Ajirotutu provide solid depth, as both are 6'3", and have decent catch ratings.
Antonio Gates is obviously past his prime, yet somehow continues to perform on the field. Unfortunately for him, this is madden, so the 34 year old should be replaced rather quickly by the man ten years younger, Ladarius Green. Green has better speed (88 to an 82), better agility (87 to an 82), and better injury (83 to a 77). Gates still has the advantage in the hands department (91 catch, and 79 catch in traffic to an 81 catch, and 73 catch in traffic) as well as with route running (83 to a 68), but it shouldn't matter too much, as Gates lacks the speed to turn a quick slant into a 20 yard gain like Green can.
The offensive line as a whole is merely decent, with a variety in age. The three interior line positions are the ones most troublesome, with either performance or age as the problem.
Defensively, Corey Liuget is the best player on the line, although Kendall Reyes has the potential to become a force on the opposite end position. The inside of the defensive line needs to be improved, as Sean Lissemore and Ryan Carrethers aren't scaring anybody.
The linebacking core is a bit of a mixed bag. On one hand, there are a few players (Dwight Freeney and Jarret Johnson) who only should have a few seasons left, at most in the league - yet are still holding starting positions. On the other, Donald Butler is a serviceable and young middle linebacker, but I would start 23 year old Manti Te'o. He isn't quite as fast as Butler, but he has arguably more potential and is better in coverage. I suggest allowing Butler to switch to left outside linebacker, to take the job away from incumbent starter, Jarret Johnson. I would also look into giving Melvin Ingram a shot at taking over the right outside linebacker spot from Freeney. Nearly ten years his junior, Ingram has much more potential, and has better ratings across the board anyway, not to mention Freeney's injury risk (77 injury).
This group of cornerbacks is young, and great for man coverage defenses. Only one player here has a man coverage rating less than an 82 (rookie Chris Davis has a 72, with 76 zone). I would make Steve Williams my number two corner (85 man coverage), and use rookie Jason Verrett (84 zone coverage) my nickel back. Shareece Wright and Davis make up good depth, and former Chief Brandon Flowers is a solid choice at number one corner for this team.
Eric Weddle is still one of the best safeties in the league, despite nearly reaching the 30 year old mark. His zone coverage (91) is one of the best in the game for a safety, and he has been a force in the Charger secondary for years. Marcus Gilchrist is a decent option to go opposite Weddle, although he is not a big hitter or interception machine by any means (55 hit power and 54 catch). I would personally give backup Jahleel Addae (81 hit power and 71 catch) a shot at becoming the new San Diego strong safety, despite his average 77 zone coverage rating. If neither option works out, then I would try to pick up a new strong safety in the draft, free agency, or a trade.
Overall, this team has enough talent to make a playoff push, but maybe win a single wildcard game in the postseason. Madden-wise, they have potential, although I would rather fix their shortcomings (offensive guards, defensive tackles, linebacker depth, and find a starting strong safety) in franchise mode, rather than run the gauntlet against top players in online ranked games.