In recent years, EA Sports has been adding stadiums to Madden NFL one year prior to their openings. In Madden 25 (2013), it was the 49ers’ Levi’s Stadium, which opened for the 2014 season. In Madden 16 (2015), it was the Vikings’ U.S. Bank Stadium, which opened this season. The LA Coliseum was added to Madden 17 for the Rams, and next season’s Mercedes Benz Stadium for the Falcons also was added. Should that trend continue, the new Inglewood stadium will first be seen in the 2018 release of Madden NFL 19.

It’s extremely rare for a league-licensed sports game to change as dramatically as having a team relocate or having an expansion take place, and even new stadiums don’t come around every year, so they become intriguing changes and additions for consumers to look forward to and play around with when they do. They also turn the previous editions of a video game series into somewhat of a collector’s item. The Chargers will make it back-to-back editions of Madden with a franchise move and, potentially, newly rendered stadium in the StubHub Center to play in for the next two years.

Remember, of course, that the Packers made the playoffs last year and won a wild-card game without Nelson at all, and made it to overtime against the Cardinals without Cobb for some three-quarters of that game.

The best of this era still depend largely on the cream of the crop to catch the ball, the aforementioned Brown and Jones being the current examples. Peyton Manning never went long in his career, if ever, without elite receivers.

Yet quarterbacks have lifted up more than their share of good-not-great receiver groups. The Seahawksreceivers used slights against their abilities as motivation when they and Russell Wilson won the Super Bowl three years ago, and last week Wilson was still throwing to players a level below. Jimmy Graham has still spent most of his two seasons there injured or returning to form from injury. jays_1232_dd5700fd830b85af-180x180