When Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick graced the cover of “Madden 2004″ as a 24-year-old, his virtual self became one of the most legendary players in sports video game history. With a 95 speed rating and 97 throw power rating, he could evade defenders with ease and chuck the ball nearly the length of the field, becoming almost as unstoppable as Bo Jackson in Tecmo Bowl.
One day, Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson might be remembered just as fondly in Madden lore.
On Tuesday, Vick announced that Jackson would be given a 96 speed rating in the next “Madden 20” update, surpassing Vick as the fastest quarterback in the game’s 31-year history. In a video posted on Twitter, Vick revealed a pair of cleats he would present to Jackson, depicting the words “95 overall speed” with a red Nike swoosh on one side, representing Vick, and “Not bad for a RB” — a reference to Jackson’s famous postgame refrain after a 59-10 win over the Miami Dolphins in the season opener, in which he had a perfect passer rating — with a purple swoosh on the other.
“Lamar’s the modern-day, new-era quarterback. And well deserving of it,” said Vick, who was in attendance Monday night at LA Memorial Coliseum to watch Jackson throw five touchdown passes in a 45-6 rout of the Los Angeles Rams.
“The changing of the guard is all good, man. All records are made to be broken. The next generation are supposed to be better than us. Got to give credit where credit is due. I say, it’s your turn now.”
Jackson is on pace to break another record of Vick’s. With 876 rushing yards in 11 games, Jackson is 164 away from surpassing Vick’s single-season record for a quarterback, which he set with 1,039 in 2006.
Before the season started, Jackson was ranked 24th among quarterbacks in “Madden 20” with a 76 overall rating, tied with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Jameis Winston and right behind the Washington Redskins’ Alex Smith. But as Jackson’s star has grown, becoming the front-runner for NFL Most Valuable Player, the game’s rating adjusters have made changes, rating Jackson 87 overall, seventh among QBs.
With this week’s update coming on the heels of Jackson’s historic “Monday Night Football” performance, in which he became the first player with at least 3,000 passing yards and 1,500 rushing yards in his first two seasons in NFL history, expect that number to creep even higher.