I played a few games on arcade with AP default. While I saw some good game play and thought it was very promising, I did see some strange things to keep with the theme of "big plays". Receivers frequently were able to go up and get balls over DBs to make the big catch.
On 1 play at the goal line my receiver went up to get the ball. The ball's trajectory was below the receiver's outstretched hands, yet he somehow was able to make the catch. Viewing it in replay I saw the ball warp up into his hands. things like this is what has moved me away from this mode.
As to player edits, I'm convinced that this is what really needs to be done to bring out the best in this game. Khaliib's recommendations are great and I have been trying various player edits without adjusting sliders. I know he is working on a roster with edited players and plans to put it out as an example.
Madden is consistent in its over rating of players. I believe this stems from a need to make real life star players happy and supportive of the game. I've seen numerous reports of players complaining or referencing their Madden ratings. As such the current player ratings are often too high causing gameplay issues.
Khaliib has recommended that CFM rosters be edited to bring them in line with generated players. I've also read where people have had better results from the game where they sim forward and play with only generated players.
Editing over 3000 players is a time consuming pain, but appears to be the best way to get the most out of Madden.
My hope is that Khaliib will post a go by that will detail what edits to make to get the best results. I recommend that you read his numerous posts on player editing.
I have edits scales for sim stats, and they translate well for gameplay as well.
It is worth it to do edits, imo.