Joe Flacco is the only new clutch player in Madden 25
EA Tiburon introduced its "clutch trait" for in-game athletes in Madden 12 as a means of providing a boost in players' ratings when the right circumstances were in place, namely when the game is on the line in the 4th quarter or overtime. That trait will carry over to Madden 25, and oddly enough, the list of players that will start the game out with the clutch trait is nearly identical to the one announced for Madden 13 last year.

One name is new to the list: Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco. Flacco certainly earned the trait, given his stellar playoff performance and Super Bowl win. Only two other names are missing from last year's list, Ray Lewis and Brian Urlacher, and that's because those linebackers retired during the offseason.

EA Tiburon's Donny Moore, the "Ratings Czar" for the Madden series, tells Joystiq the team "decided when we added these traits that we wanted it to be a special thing, very unique, there wouldn't be a clutch player on every team necessarily, so we sort of stuck to that mantra when we assigned the traits." There are certainly players "on the cusp" of becoming clutch in the game, however. Moore names Colts quarterback Andrew Luck and Ravens kicker Justin Tucker as two players that are only a few impressive, "clutch" moments away from being given the trait in Madden 25.

"Both were rookies last year, and both displayed great clutch abilities, I think Luck had seven game-winning drives," Moore said. Still, Luck didn't win a playoff game, and the majority of the Ravens' postseason success could be attributed to Flacco's performance, leaving both players off the list, at least for the time being.

As with other returning names like New York Jets receiver Santonio Holmes, the trait is often more about a player's career than it is about their performance in the last season. Moore said that "in the most general sense, when we assign someone the clutch trait, it stays for a good period of time."

A former clutch quarterback in Madden was Tampa Bay's Josh Freeman, who saw his play start to trail off to the point that the developers eventually removed the clutch trait from Freeman's virtual counterpart. "Once a guy has earned it, and once he's done something in a really 'un-clutch' way, we'll either remove or keep that trait," Moore said.

As for everyone's favorite clutch player, Patriots quarterback Tim Tebow, Moore said "that's one of the few things the guy has that sort of still keeps him around in the league," so he's still on the list for the time being. We've included the full list of players that will start Madden 25 with the clutch trait below, which players will see firsthand when the game launches on August 27.
  • CB Darrelle Revis (TB)
  • CB Champ Bailey (DEN)
  • FS Eric Weddle (SD)
  • FS Ed Reed (HOU)
  • FS Charles Woodson (OAK)
  • HB Marshawn Lynch (SEA)
  • HB Ray Rice (BAL)
  • HB Frank Gore (SF)
  • HB Maurice Jones-Drew (JAX)
  • K Rob Bironas (TEN)
  • K Adam Vinatieri (IND)
  • K Matt Prater (DEN)
  • LT Joe Thomas (CLE)
  • MLB Patrick Willis (SF)
  • MLB Derrick Johnson (KC)
  • QB Aaron Rodgers (GB)
  • QB Tom Brady (NE)
  • QB Peyton Manning (DEN)
  • QB Drew Brees (NO)
  • QB Joe Flacco (BAL)
  • QB Ben Roethlisberger (PIT)
  • QB Eli Manning (NYG)
  • QB Tim Tebow (NE)
  • RE Justin Smith (SF)
  • RE DeMarcus Ware (DAL)
  • RE Jared Allen (MIN)
  • ROLB Clay Matthews (GB)
  • SS Troy Polamalu (PIT)
  • TE Jimmy Graham (NO)
  • TE Antonio Gates (SD)
  • WR Calvin Johnson Jr. (DET)
  • WR Andre Johnson (HOU)
  • WR Larry Fitzgerald (ARI)
  • WR Steve Smith (CAR)
  • WR Anquan Boldin (SF)
  • WR Santonio Holmes (NYJ)
  • WR Mario Manningham (SF)

This article was originally published on Joystiq.