By Tim Graham
Video games aren't real football, but over the years they've become a significant enough part of the NFL industry that they're mentioned in the same breath as gambling and fantasy leagues.
Earlier this week, EA Sports revealed a spreadsheet for the 2,367 players in its "Madden NFL 13" video game -- all the Buffalo Bills from Aaron Williams to Zebrie Sanders -- in advance of the game going on sale to the general public Tuesday.
These ratings are a big deal to gamers and to real-life players, who take pride in their scores and can be heard debating them in the locker room.
Buffalo earned a total team rating of 80. That ranked them 10th in the AFC.
The Bills highest-rated player is defensive end Mario Williams with a 97 overall. He's tied for 10th among all defensive players.
Left guard Andy Levitre (fifth in the NFL at his position) and defensive tackle Kyle Williams (seventh) are next with 90 overall ratings.
Running back Fred Jackson (tied for 13th), receiver Stevie Johnson (tied for 13th) and linebacker Nick Barnett (tied for eighth) posted 89 overall ratings.
Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick scored an 82, tying him for 22nd in the NFL. His least-favorable category was deep throwing accuracy. His 68 ranks him 61st in the NFL. The only starting quarterback with a lower deep-accuracy number is Matt Cassel.
Running back C.J. Spiller is an 80 overall, but has a 95 in speed and a 96 in acceleration.
Brad Smith has an overall rating of 75, making him the second-best Bills receiver. But his number is distorted by his passing and running scores. Donald Jones is a 73, while David Nelson is a 72. Rookie T.J. Graham rated a 64 overall but has a 96 speed and 94 acceleration.
Defensive tackle Marcell Dareus has an 86, giving the Bills two of the game's top 18 at that position.
Jairus Byrd is tied for the NFL's sixth-best free safety with an 87. George Wilson is the NFL's ninth-best strong safety with an 81.
But if you use the Bills on "Madden NFL 13," your opponent likely will have success throwing to the outside.
The Bills are weakest at cornerback. Terrence McGee is their best at 82 (tied for 41st in the NFL). Rookie cornerback Stephon Gilmore is a 77, Leodis McKelvin is a 75 and Aaron Williams is a 72.