For years there have been rumblings that offensive line ratings don’t matter all that much in Madden. Most of the time, it was just frustrated Madden gamers venting that they are getting sacked too fast.
In Madden 20, however, there is some truth to it and we can prove it.
This all started based on a lot of community feedback mostly anecdotally that no matter how good their offensive lines are, they don’t seem to get any extra time to throw the ball.
That made a lot of sense to us just based on our own experiences with blocking in Madden 20 so we decided to put it to the test.
Here’s what we did.
We choose a team who had a decent offensive line and also had a 90+ overall X-Factor pass rusher. We settled on the Denver Broncos because they had Von Miller.
Note: We wanted to make sure we used a team with an elite pass rusher because at this point in the season, whether you are playing franchise mode, MUT, superstar KO, or another game mode, you are very likely to have a 90+ overall superstar pass rusher.
We took all the Broncos’ backup quarterbacks and switched them to various positions on the offensive line. We also went out and signed some free agent quarterbacks like Matt Cassell and Mark Sanchez and moved them to offensive line.
In the end, we had a full offensive line made up of all backup quarterbacks. We subbed them in and ran a bunch of tests.
The basic idea of it is to compare the times from when the ball is snapped between the real starting offensive line and our terrible 12 overall (only because they can’t be rated lower than a 12) backup quarterback only offensive line.
We kept everything consistent between formations, play calls, and user input. We would snap the ball and then not touch anything and just time how long from the first frame of the snap until our QB is first touched on the sack.
We did this from a bunch of different formations and plays but running through all of them in a video would be incredibly boring to watch. So we condensed it into a 3 minute video showing 5 snaps each (3 with no X Factor ability and 2 with it activated).
The first set of 5 snaps shows the all backup quarterback offensive line and the second set of 5 snaps shows the real starting offensive line.
Note, this was filmed on All-Madden difficulty using the competitive game mode setting. Results may differ using different settings.
Check out the results below.
To put it midly, the results surprised us.
Time until sack with all backup QBs blocking
Average Time Until Sack: 12.201/5 = 2.4402
Time until sack with starting OL blocking
Average Time Until Sack: 12.026/5 = 2.4052
The all backup quarterback offensive line blocked just as well as the regular starters. In the tests filmed for the video, they actually blocked slightly better! To be fair, that was likely due to human error or small sample size since in the non-filmed tests, it averaged out to just about the exact same times.
We didn’t test anything with superstar abilities on offensive linemen. That might be for a later date and very likely would effect the results.
In franchise mode though, superstar offensive lineman are incredbly rare. In MUT, most people don’t use 1 of their 3 superstar slots on offensive line, and in H2H it is rare to have many good pass blocking superstar offensive linemen.
So the actionable advice here is simple, there is absolutely no need to pay up for good offensive lineman in your franchise mode or in Ultimate team unless they have a good superstar pass blocking ability.
In our brief tests for the running game, offensive lineman ratings seem to actually matter but by no means did we run a comprehensive test on it.
This is something we definitely want to see fixed heading into Madden 21.