Foxborough, MA - One thing every football fan loves to keep an eye out for during what can often seem like an interminable period of the offseason (between April’s draft and the start of training camp in July to August) is the release of the newest Madden video game.

The Madden franchise has long been one of the top choices for life outside the game for the average fan in addition to other fun activities like fantasy football. Fans love to quarrel over who is the better gamer, who should grace the cover of each year’s edition (notable members of the New England Patriots featured on the cover include Rob Gronkowski and Tom Brady, just last season), and what the player rankings should be.

When Madden and EA Sports eventually release their rankings every offseason, fans clamor to see how their favorite team and their favorite players are ranked. (The Madden rating system slides from numbers too abysmally low to ever apply to our beloved Patriots to the top ranking of 99.)

This year, there is a lot for Patriots fans to be proud of in the video game world, but there’s also a great deal of head scratching.

The good news is that a lot of familiar faces rank pretty high. Julian Edelman and Devin McCourty, for example, clock in with ratings of 88 and 91, respectively. This isn’t too shabby for two players who are perennially underrated by the NFL world. Additionally, the aforementioned Gronk and Brady both max out at 99 on the player rating scale in Madden 19.

However, Dont’a Hightower, arguably the Patriots’ best defensive player, and Stephen Gostkowski, one of the best kickers in NFL history, respectively achieved ratings of just 84 and 83, respectively. I know these are the problems only a fan so used to winning could be concerned with, but certainly our boys on the field deserve higher ratings than those! Perhaps injury concerns left expectations tempered in the Madden decision making booth, so I guess we’ll just have to wait to see Hightower dominate on the field again so they can be proven wrong.