Who makes the Madden 99 Club?

Based on Madden 22’s all-access schedule, “Ratings Week” begins on Monday, July 26. What makes the week-long event even more interesting this year, is that ESPN will be hosting it on their programming. Further adding to the allure, one member of the Madden 99 Club will be announced each morning on Get Up! at 8 AM E.T. So, what are our Madden 22 ratings predictions?

Madden 21 99 Club

Before predicting who will join the 99 Club in the newest installment of EA Sports’ football franchise, let’s recap who made the cut last season. When Madden 21 launched, there were only five players in the 99 Club:

DT Aaron Donald, Los Angeles Rams
RB Christian McCaffery, Carolina Panthers
WR Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints
QB Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs
CB Stephon Gilmore, New England Patriots

However, by the season’s conclusion, there were six athletes in the esteemed group:

DT Aaron Donald, Los Angeles Rams
WR Davante Adams,
Green Bay Packers
WR DeAndre Hopkins,
Arizona Cardinals
QB Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs
CB Stephon Gilmore, New England Patriots
TE Travis Kelce,
Kansas City Chiefs

With the most recent members of the 99 Club out of the way, who should crack the unit in 2022?

Madden 22 ratings predictions

Let’s begin our list of 99 Club members with the most obvious contender.

Aaron Donald, DT, Los Angeles Rams

Aaron Donald is no stranger to the 99 Club. He has owned a 99 OVR rating at launch for four straight years, beginning with Madden 18. There is nothing holding him back from making it five consecutive seasons. Donald came in as the No. 1 player in PFN’s Top 100 earlier in July. The Terminator is fresh off a 13.5-sack campaign that included 14 tackles for loss. He is a shoo-in for a spot in the Madden 22 99 Club.

Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers

The only reason the reigning MVP would not earn a 99 OVR rating is because of his current status with the Green Bay Packers. The uncertainty around Aaron Rodgers’ situation may lead the Madden developers to drop his rating just a tad below the upper echelon. Rodgers threw a career-high 48 touchdowns against just 5 interceptions. Sure, Tom Brady has more rings, and Patrick Mahomes may have the strongest arm in the league, but no one throws a prettier ball than the 2021 NBA Champion (Rodgers owns a minority share in the Milwaukee Bucks).

Davante Adams, WR, Green Bay Packers

Rodgers’ favorite weapon in Green Bay and one of the best receivers in the NFL, Davante Adams led the league in touchdowns (18) and receiving yards per game (98.1). What makes those numbers even more impressive is the fact that Adams missed two games. There is no doubt he deserves a seat at the 99 Club table.

DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Arizona Cardinals

It was DeAndre Hopkins’ first season in Arizona after Houston traded him away for what amounts to a chip, a penny, and a used napkin (Spongebob reference, anyone?). Not only did he reel in the second-most receptions (115) and receiving yards (1,407), but Hopkins ended the year with the most receiving first downs (75) at the position. He ended 2020 as a 99 overall, and I expect that to continue at the start of the 2021 season.

Derrick Henry, RB, Tennessee Titans

King Henry rushed for 2,027 yards last season, the most since 2003 and the fifth-most all-time. He is the most dominant runner there is, standing at a listed 6’3″ and 247 pounds. If his stiff arm doesn’t launch you into the Shadow Realm, his brute force will.

Patrick Mahomes, QB, Kansas City Chiefs

Mahomes is one of two cover athletes on this year’s Madden. He has led the Chiefs to back-to-back Super Bowls and is the favorite to do so again in 2021. Mahomes can sling the ball into any hole, whether looking or not. Like Donald, Mahomes is a lock to make it into the 99 Club, and honestly, those two should be in their own tier of 100 overalls.

Tom Brady, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Will the other Madden 22 cover athlete earn a 99 rating ahead of next season? The 43-year-old signal-caller recently received the SEVENTH Super Bowl ring of his career. Yes, Tom Brady is old. But does age even apply to him anymore? In all seriousness, Father Time will show up to his door at some point, but Brady has shown no signs of slowing down despite playing much of last year with a torn MCL.

Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs

After throwing one hell of a party, I mean camp, at Tight End University, Travis Kelce returns to Kansas City wearing the TE1 belt. He is the best receiver at the position, even at 31 years of age. In 2020, he racked up 105 receptions (5th), 1,416 yards (2nd), 11 touchdowns (t-5th), and 79 receiving first downs (1st), all of which were top five in the NFL regardless of position. Kelce concluded the season on the 99 Club and he will likely start there entering 2021.

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