The five biggest surprises from the Madden '10 player ratings

A partial list of the Madden '10 player ratings were released this week and they're actually quite solid. Who's going to argue with Peyton Manning(notes), Adrian Peterson and Larry Fitzgerald(notes). Still, there are a few surprises in the top 10 of the four offensive skill positions and overall defensive players. Here are the five biggest:

Carson Palmer(notes) (87 rating, 8th in quarterbacks) -- The Bengals quarterback went 0-4 last year before shutting his season down with an elbow injury. In 2007, the former No. 1 pick and two-time Pro Bowler led his team to a 7-9 record with a mediocre 1.4:1 TD-to-INT ratio. There's no doubting that, when healthy and on a good team, Palmer has the talent to be on the best quarterbacks in the league. He'll be neither of those things in 2009.

LaDainian Tomlison (94 rating, 3rd in running backs) -- It's not that LDT doesn't deserve to be behind his former backup (Michael Turner(notes), 95), because he does. It's just jarring to see, I suppose. Ten months ago, Tomlinson was a near-consensus No. 1 pick in most fantasy drafts (props to our Monday Night live-blogging partner, Andy Behrens, for ranking Adrian Peterson at No. 1). Now, he's not even the best running back from the 2007 Chargers.

Nnamdi Asomugha(notes) (99 rating, 1st among defensive players) -- The 99 rating isn't surprising, as Asomugha has established himself as one of the premiere players in the NFL. But the reaction to 99 rating has been a little, um, exuberant. Bay Area blogs have been breathlessly detailing Asomugha's ascedence to video game royalty, although it's done in a tongue-in-cheek manner with an acceptance that, as a Raiders fan, you have to take any victory you can get.

Terrell Owens(notes) (91 rating, 85 catch rating) -- T.O. being 10th overall sounds about right, but it's that 85 catch rating that's bothersome. Dude's got worse hands than the Venus de Milo. Giving him that score for catching is like giving Nicolas Cage an 85 rating in script selection, or Joe Biden an 85 rating in gaffe management.

Brett Favre(notes) (not among top 10 for quarterbacks) -- Clearly, John Madden played no role in the assignment of these ratings.

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