Despite being named First-Team All-Pro each of the previous two years, Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner has continued to find ways to improve his game and may have turned in his finest NFL season in 2018.
Leading a Seahawks defense featuring a bunch of new, unproven faces surrounding him, Wagner racked up 138 tackles, returned an interception 98 yards for a touchdown, forced two fumbles, and produced a career-high 13 passes defensed in coverage. If not for the presence of All-World defensive tackle Aaron Donald, he would’ve been in the mix for NFL Defensive Player of the Year honors.
As a show of respect for Wagner’s accomplishments throughout his career as well as last year, EA Sports announced the star linebacker would be one of only four players on this year’s installment of the Madden NFL video game to receive a near-perfect 99 overall rating, signifying him as one of the NFL’s premier talents.
Wagner clearly approves, as he'll no longer have to manually edit his player to be a 99 overall.
Along with Wagner, Donald also maintained his 99 overall prestige, while the other two players have yet to be revealed. But based on Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes being the cover athlete for this year’s game, one could surmise the young gunslinger will also receive the highest possible rating.
While video game ratings ultimately have no bearing on how players perform on the field, it’s an honor to become part of the exclusive Madden 99 Club, which EA Sports states is “reserved solely for earned and maintained excellence on the field” and “elevates a handful of players above even the most skilled superstars in the league.”
Taking a deeper dive into Wagner’s attributes, EA Sports gave the former Utah State standout a perfect 99 overall ratings in both tackling and pursuit. He also received a 98 in hit power. All three skills are the highest rated of any player on Madden 20.
New to this year’s game, specific superstars now have their own “X-Factor” skills. Wagner boasts the shutdown skill, which allows him to play tighter zone coverage and have an increased chance at interceptions on contested catches.
Fans will have their first chance to take to the sticks with Wagner and the Seahawks on September 2.