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Madden '11 Steelers Player Ratings Will Have Pittsburgh Fans Grumbling

If you're a football fan, odds are you've played - and likely sworn colorfully at - some version of the popular Madden video game at least once, if not a bajillion times. The franchise has long been the only game in town, so to speak, and despite mixed gameplay results from season to season, hordes of NFL fans pre-order the game every year.

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So when the folks at EA Sports release their player ratings - determined from scouting data, past performance, and (I can only assume) rigorous Ouija board research - it's no surprise that they're often as contentious as any sports writer's preseason power rankings.

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This year, plenty of Steelers fans will be none too pleased with their team's rating (overall: 84). Most notably, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's stats have dropped from a 93 overall to an 88, despite accumulating over 1000 more passing yards, nine more touchdowns, three fewer interceptions, 1.6 more yards per pass attempt, over 20 more points in quarterback rating than the previous year - and a career-best 66.6 completion percentage.

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Alas, like love, the Madden video games work in mysterious ways.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.