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 PML Offensive Guide - Passing

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ChargeredUp
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Gamertag/PSN/Persona : ChargedUpPML/chargeredup
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PostSubject: PML Offensive Guide - Passing   6/28/2011, 5:31 am


The offensive side of football is almost always the most enjoyable aspect of playing football to many Madden players (even if you've got, for instance, that corner back mentality - interception!), and takes the most skill to execute properly. While it's easy to run blitzes out of a 3-4 defense all day and all night, it takes more know-how to execute plays out of your team's versatile (and completely unique) play book on offense, because you have to keep the defense on its toes, exploit its weaknesses, and above all else, mix up the pass and the run. Only by combining these three aspects will you net positive yardage in your drive towards the end zone.

But it's not easy. Understanding your play book can, at times, be hard enough. Reading the defense, playing properly under extreme pressure and improvising broken or well-covered plays is truly the name of the game, however. We'll try to give you some guidance so no matter what team you're playing as, you have a general idea of just what to do next.

The Passing Game
There's no doubt about it--passing the ball is a lot more fun then say running the ball on every down. That's simply because, in the grand scheme of things, it's a more interactive way to play the game when you're not actually on the field but rather playing remotely with a videogame controller. But the passing game shouldn't be overused. Keep in mind a few of these suggestions to make your passing game more streamlined, effective, and above all else, neither under-nor-over used.

Try Disguising the Play
If you want to keep the defense on their toes and want them to expect a running play, going into the shotgun formation play book is probably not a good idea. Instead, do something more ambiguous, like lining up in the Singleback formation, or better yet, the I-formation, which will almost certainly suggest to the defense that you're going to run the ball. But that's not always the case, as you can show the defense by example when their blitzing corners leaves a wide receiver open for a long gain.

Throw It Away or Scramble!
Good defensive coverage can eliminate any throwing options a quarterback has, and when 300 pound defensive linemen are barely being held at bay by your hard-working offensive line, things will look especially dire. Don't be afraid to leave the pocket and throw the ball away - just make sure not to intentionally ground the ball or do anything else that may result in negative yards. While throwing the ball away, even if you're well-behind the line of scrimmage, will result in a return to the previous play's status quo (plus one down), scrambling out of the pocket and attempting to run the ball with your quarterback is another option. It's dangerous because many quarterbacks in the league are beyond fragile and prone to injury, but some quarterbacks are made to run, hit, and be tackled. They are especially good candidates for scrambling towards some positive yardage when a pass play doesn't go as intended. Just try to run out of bounds, take a light hit, or slide if some big defenders are coming your way. After all, you never know when your quarterback's card will be pulled... and scrambling in lieu of throwing the ball away can lead to negative yardage (and hence a sack) too.

Read the Routes
Unless you tell a player otherwise (or are controlling another player, like a wide receiver), players who are expected to run routes will do so pretty effectively. Therefore, it's a good idea to examine player routes both in the play book and again on the field to ensure that you know where to expect players to be at certain times, hence increasing your rate of success when chucking a ball their way and hoping for a reception. Knowing when a player is going to cut, screen, streak, et cetera is vital when you need to deliver the ball to them before anything ever really happens.

Have "Plan A"
When you're using the pass game, you're going to have options. It's not as fundamentally simple as handing the ball off to your running back and hoping for the best. You can have two, three, four, five, even six options when throwing the ball, and you need to utilize them all. But when you choose the play, have "plan A" in your head, the one player you will look to throw the ball to before you consider any other options. This particular plan might involve your must trustworthy and talented wide receiver, or use a route that you know will stump the defense. If your first plan is exhausted, you can then look around the field for other open and eligible receivers. But remember, you have to be quick! All of this will happen in a matter of seconds, and the pressure of the situation necessitates quick decision making. If "Plan A" falls through, abandon it and immediately think of another solution.

Keep On Trucking!
The quarterback's throwing of the ball to a receiver is really only half of the pass game, because once in the hands of a tight end, wide receiver, running back... whoever... the ball is still live until the player with possession of the ball runs out of bounds or has his knees touch the ground. This means that, aside from forward progress, you can actually lose attained yards by not being quick enough to keep your momentum running forward towards your endzone. Once the ball is caught and you gain control of the ball carrier, immediately think of your next move. Even if you can only gain a yard or two, it's better than nothing. At best, if your receiver was open to begin with, you should have plenty of room to move up-field and get great position for your team. In other words, don't get lax and lazy... get as many yards as you can. A 20 yard pass is great, but when you can add 10 yards to it by running up-field, that becomes a 30 yard pass. And isn't that better?

Interceptions Happen
The best quarterbacks of all time throw interceptions on a fairly regular basis - it's simply part of the game. Many times, it's not even the quarterback's fault, but rather a receiver for missing his route or the defense's fault (like a cornerback) for intuitively knowing where to be to make the pick. It's a team sport, and there are a lot of factors completely out of your hands. If an interception happens (and they will), playing defense is obviously your first priority. Make sure that if the defense flips the script on you like this that you are prepared. Interceptions might hurt enough, but when an interception is combined with a 30 yard gain, that sucks even more. Limit your losses! Also, be especially ready for interceptions when you're throwing into traffic - they seem to be most common when the defensive numbers are high, and hence their probability to grab an interception is mathematically increased.
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