Studs & Duds - 2020 Madden Franchise Teams

Photo: Mark Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The latest edition of Madden, Madden 20, debuts on August 2nd. Over the course of the weekend, some lucky gamers had a chance to get their hands on the beta version of the game as a means to test out the controls, gameplay and help search for bugs. And now EA Sports will take the beta feedback, implement the necessary code changes and the football world will celebrate in early August when the game returns with the latest update.

In the meantime, we need to talk about something very, very serious. We need to discuss your plans for your online franchise. There's 32 options -- which can be a daunting task. So I'm here to help you set the record straight and whittle down the field. This is, OF COURSE, ignoring the fact that the only real way to play a Madden franchise is to conduct a fantasy draft and start from scratch.

So let's talk about it. Here are the Studs & Duds of Madden 20 franchise teams.

STUD - The Kansas City Chiefs

Okay, so Mahomes is on the cover, so you already know he's going to be rigged as shit. Like throwing off your back foot across your body? You're in luck. The game has implemented some new animations for such a player and (don't quote me on this) but I half expect them to be Mahomes exclusive. They've added the no-look pass for good measure.

Add in the fact that the Chiefs have SPEED (Tyreek Hill), power (Travis Kelce) and you'll never, ever be tempted to run the football and the Chiefs are a no-brainer option to start your franchise with. With the core pieces already in place, you can get super weird with acquiring a running back to upgrade Damien Williams with speed out of the backfield and dare the opposition to stop you. They won't.

DUD - The Jacksonville Jaguars

If you pick the Jaguars and aren't a die-hard Duval fan, I'll set the O/U at 2.5 years until you move that sum-bitch to London. The Jaguars defense is fixing to be super fun. But Madden is a video game and video games are all about fast paced play and scoring points. Where are you going to find points with this team? The vaunted wide receiver group of Dede Westbrook, Marqise Lee, Chris Conley, DJ Chark, Terrelle Pyror and Keelan Cole isn't making anything move for me, even with Footlong Foles at the helm. Oh and Fournette is a sledgehammer back who won't be that X-factor in your passing game, nor will TEs Geoff Swaim, Ben Koyack and Josh Oliver.

You want to build all that up from nothing just in time to lose all your defense talent? For those reasons, I'm out.

STUD - The Cleveland Browns

Folks this is America's team. Let's go ahead and start drafting the bill that's going to change the colors of Old Glory from red, white and blue to brown, orange and white. No, I'm not kidding.

A star quarterback coming off a record setting season (Baker) with the most exciting wide receiver in football (Odell), a superbly athletic pass catching tight end (Njoku), two young backs who can catch and run with quickness AND power (Hunt and Chubb) and Jarvis Landry. That's just offensive skill players. Myles Garrett, Denzel Ward, Sheldon Richardson, Olivier Vernon on defense.

Woooo nelly. You feeling dangerous yet? The threats to the Cleveland Browns in real life loom largely with chemistry and coaching. Are there any chemistry/coaching issues in Madden?

I didn't think so.

DUD - The New England Patriots

Tom Brady is eighty five and these dudes have won their division 10 years running and a ton of Super Bowls. You find me one fun aspect about taking control of that team, I'll wait., clubbing the Dolphins, Bills and Jets six times a year doesn't count.

STUD - The Arizona Cardinals

Meanwhile, you can absolutely, positively rest assured that the Arizona Cardinals are going to be fun to play with. Sure. You might go 9-7 instead of 14-2 the first year or two while you progress the Cardinals' impressive 2019 rookie class, but Kyler is essentially going to be a cheat code in this game.

(Play with the injuries on, you cowards.)

And everyone loves a worst to first Cinderella story and the Cardinals can give you that satisfaction while still having fun along the way.

DUD - The New Orleans Saints

Wut? Kyle, the Saints have a prolific offense, two of the most fun skill players in all of football, sick uniforms, play in a dome and some gifted players on defense.

Yes, you're right. They do. And how much fun are you going to have when Drew Brees retires after 2020 and suddenly you don't have a 98 overall quarterback throwing the ball to Teddy Ginn, Tre'Quan Smith and Austin Carr while your opponent double teams Michael Thomas? The Saints are one of the best teams to play in this game if you're playing an online ranked match or exhibition. But leave them on the sidelines when it's time to dial up a franchise.

STUD - Carolina Panthers

Let's be real. If you play as the Panthers and you don't wear the "Color Rush" blues, you're an idiot and I refuse to fraternize with you. But beyond looking good, you can play good with this Panthers team. Yeah, the team in real life has a tough road ahead in 2019 in this division and there's plenty of work to be done on the roster itself -- but the Panthers team sports a dual threat quarterback in Cam, one of the best 3-down backs in football with Christian McCaffrey and dynamic Madden threats in D.J. Moore and Cutis Samuel on offense. Plus a not yet retired Greg Olsen early on.

Oh, and remember a certain Saints quarterback is going to come marching into retirement before you know it.

DUD - San Francisco 49ers

I don't know what I have in Jimmy Garoppolo and I have to play in a division that features the Rams' offense, Russell Wilson and guaranteed Madden cheat code Kyler Murray. Hard pass, even with San Francisco's upgraded gauntlet of pass rushers. With offensive weapons that will probably be more effective in real life than they are in the digital arena, you're outgunned and facing an uphill climb to get this team into out of purgatory.

Written By:

Kyle Crabbs

Director of Content

Director of Content & Senior NFL Draft Analyst for The Draft Network. Co-host of the Draft Dudes podcast. Former NDT Scouting Overlord.