Madden 20 January title update: Derrick Henry finally becomes a Superstar X-Factor

EA has released Madden 20’s January Title Update, which primarily focuses on end of season Superstar X-Factors abilities.

With Super Bowl Sunday right around the corner, EA has released the January Title Update for Madden 20. With the 2019-20 season just about at an end, these Superstar X-Factor updates are based on players’ performances through the end of the NFL regular season.

Of all the players who could become a Superstar X-Factor perhaps no one is more deserving of the honor than Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry. After leading the league in rushing yards (1,540) and touchdowns (16) as well as steamrolling the New England Patriots and the Baltimore Ravens in the playoffs, Henry has earned the X-Factor ability Freight Train, which gives him an increased chance to break the next tackle attempt.

He also has the Superstar abilities Arm Bar (more powerful stiff arm animations) and Outside Zone Guru (stronger blocking on outside zone plays). Henry replaces Jets running back Le’Veon Bell as an X-Factor player.

Another notable new X-Factor is Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb, who replaces Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster. Chubb was the league’s second-leading rusher with 1,494 yards on the ground and eight touchdowns. He also boasts the Freight Train X-Factor and Arm Bar Superstar ability, as well as Bulldozer (more powerful truck animations).

The other two new X-Factor players are Bills CB Tre’Davious White, who replaces Browns WR Odell Beckham Jr., and Vikings DE Danielle Hunter. Here are their new abilities:

Bills CB Tre’Davious White

  • X-Factor: Shutdown (tight coverage and more INTs on contested catches)
  • Superstar Abilities: Pick Artist (better catching and improved stamina on INT returns), Acrobat (diving swats and interceptions)

Vikings DE Danielle Hunter

  • X-Factor: Unstoppable Force (pass rush wins lead to quicker block shedding)
  • Superstar Abilities: Edge Threat (the ability to tackle/sack while engaged with blockers), Reach Elite (dominant pass rush moves from the edge)

EA confirmed that today’s update is the final X-Factor update of this season. In addition to these newly minted X-Factor players, there were a number of Superstar adjustments.

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers gained the Gunslinger Superstar ability. Bengals running back Joe Mixon gained the Arm Bar Superstar ability. Cardinals quarterback, after an impressive rookie season, gained the Escape Artist Superstar ability.

There are a ton of these types of adjustments, so be sure to check out the full change-log. EA also confirmed that these updates will apply to Front End rosters for Online head-to-head games, exhibition and new Franchise leagues created with the Custom Roster option.

While the primary focus of today’s update was on Superstars and X-Factors, it also featured some gameplay updates, including added logic to prevent “Pressure Inaccurate” throws versus Run Commit defense.

It also contains a controversial equipment update in which the new Nike Vapor Cleat was applied to Nike Vapor athletes: Christian McCaffrey, Odell Beckham Jr., Kyler Murray, Ezekiel Elliott and Dalvin Cook. What makes it so controversial is that these players gain increased speed and acceleration, the first time an in-game aesthetic update affects player ratings.

For Madden Ultimate Team, there’s new functionality with playcall cooldowns and limits tied to House Rules. This is pretty much exactly what it sounds like; after selecting a play with a cooldown, you can not select it again until a certain number of other plays have been run. While this is another controversial feature, I, personally, like it as it avoids spamming the same cheese plays over and over again.

Next: Madden NFL 20: Our Super Bowl LIV simulation results

What do you think of the January Title Update for Madden 20? Let us know in the comments below.

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