Of course, that makes sense when you consider how stacked the Vikings are on defense (and how much their offense talent skews toward the running game). The Purple have three defensive starters with ratings of 97 or higher (Jared Allen and the Williams, as you probably guessed) and three other starters with ratings over 90 (Darren Sharper, Antoine Winfield and E.J. Henderson). Six of Eleven starters with 90 or better ratings? That's not bad, especially when you factor in that two other starters in the high 80s (Chad Greenway and Madieu Williams) and the rest all have ratings above 80. Personally, I would have given Ben Leber a better rating than an 81, but that's about the only problem I have (well, that and the fact that Ray Edwards won't have a chance of setting the sack record with a rating of 83--that's Madden for you--always crushing people's dreams).
Then there's the offense, which, unsurprisingly, isn't as stacked with talent as the defense. Steve Hutchinson matches Pat Williams rating of 98, but aside from Bryant McKinnie's 96 (wonder if he'll be suspended for the first four games of the Madden season as well) and Matt Birk and Adrian Peterson's rating of 95, there isn't another player on the offense with a ranking higher than 88. The passing game is full of average players, with Bernard Berrian and Sydney Rice getting ratings of 85 and 83 respectively, and both Visanthe Shiancoe and Tarvaris Jackson fail to crack eighty. Tarvaris' 79 is the second worst rating of any starting quarterback, tied with Joe Flacco (Really? He's going to be as good as Tarvaris in his first year out of 1-AA?), Josh McCown and Trent Edwards. Only the Chiefs' Brodie Croyle is worse, with a 78. So don't expect to be able to air it out 1998 Vikings style this year in Madden. That being said, it still should be better than last year's game, when Rice was the best receiver on the team with a 78, and Tarvaris had a rating of 76.