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 PML Defensive Guide

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Gamertag/PSN/Persona : ChargedUpPML/chargeredup
Madden Rank : 10th
Posts : 350
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Join date : 2011-06-26
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Favorite Madden Team : Saints

PostSubject: PML Defensive Guide   6/28/2011, 5:51 am

Playing defense isn't easy. There's certainly ways to cop out of it, we're not going to pretend like there's not, but understanding just what's happening on defense will make your life a lot easier when the going gets tough. Many people dread playing defense in Madden because, unlike when playing offense, few things are really explained to you. It's a more hands-off variety of the game, where all you can see in-game are your various coverage areas. Knowing your team's defensive playbook is vital, as is knowing how to counter certain plays and formations.

Don't worry--we got you covered. We're not going to suggest to you "do this for this play," because you really have to take so many things into account. For instance, there's no guarantee that a team on 3rd and 20 will throw the ball. It depends on so many factors. But we will show you to follow some trends, and do certain things that will likely make your defense more successful. Other than that, playing defense is largely a by-feel endeavor. The more you play defense and become comfortable with your team's playbook, the better your defense's so-called "anti-production" will be.

What First?
Well, most times, a running play will be employed on first down situations, though this is hardly always the case. Many players of Madden will employ the 4-3 formation almost exclusively because of the fact that it covers both the run and the pass. This isn't necessarily a bad idea, though it can be easily exploited, which is why you need to know when the opposing team on offense might be attempting to flip the script a little bit on you to exploit your formations. However, if you're expecting the run or don't know what to expect, especially on first down, blitzing with the 4-3 formation isn't a bad idea at all.

Changing It Up
Dime and Nickel formations are designed primarily for pass coverage, though there are viable ways to stop the run with both formations as well. Familiarizing yourself with your playbook is a sure way to know off the top of your head what formation and/or play will fit into certain situations. If it's 3rd and 20, for instance, running a Dime play is a pretty sure shot since you know they're probably gonna pass. On the other hand, if it's 2nd and Goal, stack your players on the goal line with a goal line formation, which is your best protection against the run.

Suggested Formation
Yes, I suggest the 4-3, and we suggest blitzing on every play, too. This isn't a realistic approach to football and would get torn apart in real life by real teams and real coaches, but the CPU teams and coaches don't think like their human counterparts. They can adjust to your play calling and predict what you're going to do, but 4-3 coverages are so effective against both offensive options, especially the pass, that it's probably going to be your main workhorse on the defensive side of the ball. As far as the blitz is concerned, blitzing constantly puts a sort of perpetual stress on the offensive line and especially on the opposing team's quarterback, forcing him to rush to make a throw. Additionally, if they choose to run the ball, there's a chance that blitzing corners, for instance, can take the back down for a loss of yards. It's all a risk, though, because 4-3 blitzes will dedicate your defense to a certain course of action that, in certain circumstances, can be used against you for gigantic gains. It's more a formation of momentum, so you need to learn to use the momentum in your favor.

Blitzing is fun and should be done often. If you're playing a skilled CPU or human opponent, blitzing doesn't make much sense on every play since they can adjust accordingly. But if you're an average Madden player playing through a franchise or against a friend, throwing a blitz on every play doesn't hurt, as long as you have the pass and other run options properly covered to the best of your ability as well. Remember, it's better to be safe than sorry in football. Blitzing is a risk, so make sure it's a calculated risk. Don't call a 4-3 blitz on your own five yard line when the other team can run the rock right up the middle into the end zone. Call them to ensure that they don't get to that point to begin with. Putting the other team in constant pressure situations will only make your life that much easier.

Inherent In-Game Variables
No matter how hard a developer tries, football games won't play exactly like their real life counterparts. This is actually a positive thing since, in regular modes of gameplay, you can literally switch between any player on the defensive side of the ball. This is Madden's inherent in-game variable, because it allows you to get firsthand, controlled coverage of literally anyone on the field. You can throw a tackle with a defensive linemen or prevent a wide receiver from making a reception with your cornerback... and you can do that on the same play. Make sure to toggle between your players and get the most out of your defense - otherwise, the defense can be highly computer-controlled... and wouldn't you rather praise your successes and blame your failures on yourself than the CPU?

Interceptions and Fumbles
The fun part of playing defense is completely flipping the script on your opponent with game-breaking defensive plays that will put your team back on the offensive side of the ball. Remember that you have full control over stripping balls from your opponent's clutches, or scooping a ball from midair right before it strikes the receivers hands. While these things happen randomly and automatically at times, by controlling these players in said situations, you can catalyze events that would make them happen more often. And naturally, that benefits you and your team. Interceptions are more straight-forward in that once you intercept a ball, you simply want to run towards the other endzone, hopefully scoring, but at least getting some positive yardage for your offense to work with. Controlling a fumbled ball is a horse of a different color, since you must first gain control of the ball before you can do anything with it. In most cases, it's more conducive to your cause to simply jump on the ball, downing it and securing possession for your team, rather than trying to pick up the oddly-shaped ball, gaining possession, and going some extra yards. Of course, the situations will differ as they come at you, but this is a general rule. Interceptions will almost always net you some positive yards. Fumbles will simply give you possession. Don't push it!
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PostSubject: Re: PML Defensive Guide   7/15/2011, 2:37 pm

I have a question for the pros here.

How do you you stop the run right out of the 2 TE set. You all know the formation and the play...its the pitch out to the strong side that is very tough to stop. I know...I milked that all the way to the top 100 using the chargers...when you combine it with the ability to audible a counter to the opposite side, a dive up the middle and a play action to the FB/TE? Its a killer set.

SO I can run it all day. I used to (before I switched to the raiders and started to learn to pass).

So how to stop it?

I have relied on a nickel pr dime set zone (mostly a medium zone "yellow zone")....this seems to get the defense to fall back a bit to stop the run...but gives up 5 or 6 yards each time.

If I stack to defend...place more folks on the strong side, this leaves me open for the middle run. If I blitz middle that can backfire (since its a wide run).

I have had some luck blitzing corners...but this leaves open the flats.

Looking for some D that can combat the folks who run this play over and over and over.

Anyone? I know you have all seen it...care to share your knowledge?

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Gamertag/PSN/Persona : ChargedUpPML/chargeredup
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PostSubject: Re: PML Defensive Guide   7/15/2011, 2:55 pm

Well that's probably the hardest possible run play to stop. But what I do is 46 normal pinch the line spread the LBs. Don't run commit on the tosses that will just send your guys to the middle.

Commit on the middle runs though.

I personally don't use those plays. I find them somewhat cheesy because of how incredibly hard it is to get your line to run at the ball on that play..they work though. Really hard to stop.
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PostSubject: Re: PML Defensive Guide   7/15/2011, 5:41 pm


So you are in man to man? Or in a 46 zone?

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Gamertag/PSN/Persona : ChargedUpPML/chargeredup
Madden Rank : 10th
Posts : 350
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Join date : 2011-06-26
Location : EST
Favorite Madden Team : Saints

PostSubject: Re: PML Defensive Guide   7/15/2011, 6:02 pm

Zone blitz is usually what i roll with when facing a two TE pitch
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PostSubject: Re: PML Defensive Guide   7/15/2011, 9:24 pm


I see you like the chargers. I picked them when I was learning, mostly because they were "easy" for me as a beginner. I really liked that pitch formation and was able to roll off lots of yards.

I tried the raiders up front (I have cheered for them for years) but I could not win online.

Anyways, I was able to roll a very impressive record online with them chargers and that pitch right formation.

But it was boring. And I missed the raiders.

Now I find that the raiders, for me, are a better team. They have faster backs and wideouts. The quarterback can scramble. And their defense is good enough to overcome my poor defense skills.

I am going back to the charges offense book off an on...they have more gun plays in the book...and that killer 2TE set that I still like to run once an awhile...but not the whole game anymore.

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PostSubject: Re: PML Defensive Guide   7/16/2011, 2:20 am

I find that most guys who use this 2 TE formation hope to rely on heavy drumming to break tackles. I faced a guy who thought he would use this play all game, do not remember his name though. Anyway I ran the cover 2 defensive play book, Dime flat, 1 man DB strike. stopped him for a loss every down just about. He was able to drum himself free for 1 TD and a couple short gains but for the most part every down was at least a 4-5 yard loss. He ended up quitting on me. Even with the chargers he could not muster up any offense. Now I know this leaves the flats open for quick outs to the HB or FB but even when he would do that I was able to shut him down for a loss or very short 1 or 2 yard gain.

I align coverage but I do not press when I think they are running an outside pitch. I may control one of the blitzing DB's and move him up on the line. If you move the right DB up you will see how quick your opponent changes plays. Little does he know the other DB is blitzing to and he just fell into a trap. If he happens to cut back inside he will be met by your D- linemen anyway. Corner blitzes do not work because the man blitzing has to come in too far not to mention take a bump from the WR so that split second he is held up is all it takes for the back to break free.
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