I just finished a match against an admittedly better player who was using a low chem squad with golds and bronzes. I won the match (not impressively, mind you) but his players - despite having low chem and being mostly bronze with poor defensive ratings - were sliding in all over making one perfect tackle after another. Zero slide tackle fouls the entire match despite often coming in violently from all angles and sending my players sprawling.
I'm at the point where I no longer believe defensive player rating have any marginal effect on gameplay. For example, by that I mean I'm not convinced that in-game standing/slide tackling of, say, an inform Sokratis is even marginally better than a bronze midfielder with a 55 tackle rating. I got this sense last year, as well, when I accidentally put Mati Fernandez in at CB instead of CAM in an online match. He made perfect tackles all over the place and ended up being MOTM.
If you can make 15 or 20 slide tackles in a match with (low chem) bronze players committing zero fouls, then player ratings in in that particular aspect of play seem to be at least somewhat irrelevant - and this can't just come down to the level of the player. Yes, the gamer's skill level should be relevant (timing and whatnot), but even world class FIFA players should commit fouls when slide tackling; and they should be more common the lower a player's tackling rating.
I think we can see this offline as well, like when you play WC and above and it seems like every CPU/AI player has across the board 99 defensive ratings. I'm starting to wonder the same thing about keeper ratings, as well.
None of this is meant to start a complaint thread. If EA want a certain arcade gameplay style with OP tackling and a woeful lack of fouls called, so be it. I complain plenty in other threads about these issues. What I'm mostly curious about is whether others can notice the difference in tackling ability both with their own and opponents' players.