All Madden 21 Franchise Mode teams, ranked

Don't know what team to run with in Franchise Mode? We've got you covered.

Image via EA Sports

It’s been four long months since the Tampa Bay Buccaneers lifted the Lombardi Trophy. But now, the NFL’s offseason is in full swing. 

Organized team activities, or OTAs, just started, giving fans a glimpse of the new additions to the rosters, including the newest players added to the team via the 2021 NFL Draft in April. Madden NFL 22 will likely be announced in July during EA’s live event. But with the game releasing sometime in late August, football fans need a way to waste time during the dog days of summer leading up to the start of the 2021 NFL season.

Here’s our tier list of teams to use in Madden NFL 21’s Franchise Mode ranked from easiest to hardest. 

The championship contenders

  • Kansas City Chiefs
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • San Francisco 49ers
  • Green Bay Packers

These teams are either on the cusp of Super Bowl glory or have already captured a world championship recently. Sure, these teams can be fun to play with and beat up on the worst squads in the league, but there’s no challenge in that. Only use these franchises if you’re scared to build a team from the ground up. 

The breakout candidates

  • Buffalo Bills
  • Baltimore Ravens
  • Tennessee Titans
  • Cleveland Browns

These teams have made the playoffs, maybe won a game or two, but haven’t been able to break through to make a deep playoff run. Playing with these teams will bring you a sense of pride when you win a Lombardi Trophy. Watch out for your folding tables if you take the Buffalo Bills all the way. 

The aging quarterback

  • Pittsburgh Steelers
  • New Orleans Saints
  • Seattle Seahawks
  • Los Angeles Rams
  • Atlanta Falcons

These teams seem to have already hit their peak on the real gridiron. But in Madden NFL 21, anything is possible. These teams have some of the most experienced signal-callers leading the way but a roster that has some holes due to the contract their quarterback received. Ride into the sunset with these teams.

The fringe teams

  • Arizona Cardinals
  • Minnesota Vikings
  • Chicago Bears
  • Las Vegas Raiders
  • Dallas Cowboys
  • Indianapolis Colts

The teams in this tier sit right on the outside of the playoffs all season long and just can’t seem to break in. They have tons of talent but for whatever reason crumble down the stretch or start too poorly at the beginning of the season. Take these teams to the playoffs and hear the entire city breathe a sigh of relief. 

The new era

  • Miami Dolphins
  • Cincinnati Bengals
  • Los Angeles Chargers
  • New York Giants

These teams have drafted quarterbacks high in the NFL draft over the last few seasons and are poised to go through some growing pains. But they also have a lot of potential due to the unknowns of their quarterbacks. This is the best spot to be in outside of the top two tiers. 

The rest

  • Detroit Lions
  • New England Patriots
  • Houston Texans
  • New York Jets
  • Carolina Panthers
  • Jacksonville Jaguars
  • Denver Broncos
  • Philadelphia Eagles
  • Washington Football Team

These teams either have massive holes in their roster (looking at you, Detroit) or have some big contracts coming due that they won’t be able to afford. Only the best roster managers should take on these teams. Winning a Super Bowl with any of these franchises will feel like the real thing.