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Help stopping slants across the middle.

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Old 12-11-2011, 06:16 AM   #1
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Help stopping slants across the middle.

I wanted to know you guys tips for defending the middle of the field. I feel this is the only bad part of my game and that's what most people that play this game do. I have one friend that send Jimmy Graham and other receivers all going across the middle for slants and I can't user defend all of them. Just let me know some tips of how you guys stop slants. Once I get that figured out, I will be real good because if they throw it anywhere else most likely I will user pick it.

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Old 12-11-2011, 07:11 AM   #2
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Re: Help stopping slants across the middle.

It's not really user blocking the pass or whatever but whichever side the slot wr or te is on, set that OLB to zone. I usually do it and they either get tackled immediately or drop the pass when tackled.
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Old 12-11-2011, 08:29 AM   #3
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Re: Help stopping slants across the middle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jrocc23
I wanted to know you guys tips for defending the middle of the field. I feel this is the only bad part of my game and that's what most people that play this game do. I have one friend that send Jimmy Graham and other receivers all going across the middle for slants and I can't user defend all of them. Just let me know some tips of how you guys stop slants. Once I get that figured out, I will be real good because if they throw it anywhere else most likely I will user pick it.
1) You can either flood the middle with zones using one of the 2-Deep coverages with 5 hook zones (yellow) accross the middle of the field to tighten the windows to fit the pass into... Cover 2 may also be a god idea depending on how your opponent throws the pass.

2) When you call man coverage, be sure to have someone zoning the middle or two guys zoning the seams (between numbers and hashes). Your man coverage will break down as the receiver gets to the middle and will be able to run away as the receiver gets to the seams. Once the receiver gets outside the numbers, man coverage is again fruitful because the sidelines become an extra defender.

3) Don't blitz. Most slants exploit the area blitzing defenders leave vacant. If you leave defenders in coverage, the QB must wait to fit the ball into the receiver. If his timing is disrupted, you have a better chance of defending the pass.

4) Beware the slant cross. If you use man coverage, slants that cross will rub/pick defenders leaving a guy open on the other side similar to the Mesh concept that works so well. You can stagger your coverage depth so the rub doesn't happen, but doing so requires that you pull at least one defender away from the LOS leaving the inside cut open. Be sure to zone the area inside the cut to buy the time you need to bait the offense into throwing where they believe the rub to occur.

5) Shade coverage inside. It will take several adjustments to shade every receiver but usually simply using bump-n-run to jam the receiver will disrupt the timing of the pass while putting your defender underneath the elbow of the slant.

Hope these help... There are tons of ways to take away the slant, but they leave you susceptible to other routes and route combinations. Beware selling out against it unless you know it's coming (track those tendencies).

Later
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Old 12-11-2011, 03:04 PM   #4
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Re: Help stopping slants across the middle.

As TNT mentioned there are several ways to stop slant routes. When playing Man, it is essential to shade the receiver to the inside. When shading, you can shade left or right and it is from the vantage point of the CB. If you send pressure and the coverage is good, the QB will most likely be sacked or heavily pressured disrupting the throw. What I do sometimes is when calling 2 man under, I will put my LBs in hook zones forcing the QB to throw it into a very small window. Like TNT said, be careful selling out on it as you can give up big plays elsewhere.
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Old 12-11-2011, 08:06 PM   #5
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Re: Help stopping slants across the middle.

The only thing I would worry about playing a bunch of yellow zones over the middle is if he gets enough time those slants will go deeper down field and eventually pass the yellow zones leaving them wide open.

I'd try jamming the WR's at the LOS and just bring my safeties down into yellows to cover the middle of the field better for those slants. Just be aware that if the outside CB's miss the jam, he's likely be wide open. So try to user one of the safeties and just watch the outside, if the jam goes through move up in the middle of the field. If it doesn't go through, better start running!

Like TNT said, there is a lot of ways to stop slants. Just need to experiment on what works best with your abilities and your defense.
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Old 12-12-2011, 12:44 AM   #6
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Re: Help stopping slants across the middle.

I was playing the Colts the other day and they were utilizing the slant routes a lot. They kept beating me every time with man coverage. I finally had enough of it and started running cover two zone, and cover two sink zone. Once I did that, I shut them down. I picked off Manning two times.
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Old 12-12-2011, 08:41 AM   #7
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Re: Help stopping slants across the middle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by packerfan28
I was playing the Colts the other day and they were utilizing the slant routes a lot. They kept beating me every time with man coverage. I finally had enough of it and started running cover two zone, and cover two sink zone. Once I did that, I shut them down. I picked off Manning two times.
Yeah that's going to work most of the time, esp if the other player isn't patient. Just be aware that sometimes those slants get behind those hook zones and get wide open.
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Old 12-12-2011, 12:09 PM   #8
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Re: Help stopping slants across the middle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jrocc23
I wanted to know you guys tips for defending the middle of the field. I feel this is the only bad part of my game and that's what most people that play this game do. I have one friend that send Jimmy Graham and other receivers all going across the middle for slants and I can't user defend all of them. Just let me know some tips of how you guys stop slants. Once I get that figured out, I will be real good because if they throw it anywhere else most likely I will user pick it.
Can't believe I am even suggesting Madden "strategy" tips but let me add this disclaimer:

Although inspired in part by watching real NFL games, the following tactic is fictional and is not an attempt to depict any actual NFL tactic or strategy.

That said, although I have tried and continue to sometimes experiment with multiple counters against slants and other things, I find the best method to be entrapment, whenever possible. One of the biggest weaknesses of people with very little tactical diversity, is their predictability. So like others have eluded to, completely adjusting your playcalling to account for one tactic, while sometimes very effective against that tactic, can leave you open to other things and probably cause your opponent to attempt to try something else. Now, them trying something else might not sound like a big deal but I find it advantageous, although not very fun, to have a general idea of what my opponent is going to do versus not.

So, if defense A counters slants well but leaves me wide open for runs up the middle, screen passes and post corner routes versus defense B that counters screen passes, post corner routes and offers reasonable defense against middle runs but leaves the slants wide open, I opt for defense B. The reason being, I am not only in a better position to defend more, I also have the advantage of knowing what my opponent is likely to do and can manually make a calculated adjustment. Slants remind me of blocking shots in basketball or defending the goal in hockey, no matter what, all shots are aimed at relatively the same place. So the slant will likely be thrown to either the left or the right side of the field, decide the side you want to manually cover and use your defensive playcalling/player coverage adjustments, to account for the other. Besides, it's a good rule of thumb in Madden not to get enamored with one defense to stop one tactic because that is often not consistently the case anyway.

I think one of the biggest mistakes people make when trying to be successful at Madden, is trying to directly apply real NFL strategy. I have found very few tactics in Madden to make sense in relation to similar NFL tactics and sometimes they even seem to work the opposite of one another. Without getting into a list of obvious reasons, the main one pertaining to defending slants is the gameplay view, imo. Do to being able to see so much of the field when dropping back to make passes, attempt runs and defend, there is very little necessity for wholesale adjustments to playcalling and doing so will often cause far more harm than good, in Madden.

Honestly, just try to think of defending repeated slants in Madden as facing a "boss monster" in an arcade game and try to figure out their attack pattern, so you can pick a good spot to minimize your damage while attacking. IE, Space Invaders, lol.
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Old 12-12-2011, 01:40 PM   #9
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Re: Help stopping slants across the middle.

I agree with you.
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Old 12-12-2011, 01:47 PM   #10
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Re: Help stopping slants across the middle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Big FN Deal
[/b]That said, although I have tried and continue to sometimes experiment with multiple counters against slants and other things, I find the best method to be entrapment, whenever possible. One of the biggest weaknesses of people with very little tactical diversity, is their predictability. So like others have eluded to, completely adjusting your playcalling to account for one tactic, while sometimes very effective against that tactic, can leave you open to other things and probably cause your opponent to attempt to try something else. Now, them trying something else might not sound like a big deal but I find it advantageous, although not very fun, to have a general idea of what my opponent is going to do versus not.

So, if defense A counters slants well but leaves me wide open for runs up the middle, screen passes and post corner routes versus defense B that counters screen passes, post corner routes and offers reasonable defense against middle runs but leaves the slants wide open, I opt for defense B. The reason being, I am not only in a better position to defend more, I also have the advantage of knowing what my opponent is likely to do and can manually make a calculated adjustment. Slants remind me of blocking shots in basketball or defending the goal in hockey, no matter what, all shots are aimed at relatively the same place. So the slant will likely be thrown to either the left or the right side of the field, decide the side you want to manually cover and use your defensive playcalling/player coverage adjustments, to account for the other. Besides, it's a good rule of thumb in Madden not to get enamored with one defense to stop one tactic because that is often not consistently the case anyway.
I'm going to highlight the part I agree with because this is similar to my own strategy regarding defense. I like to limit big gains while tracking my opponent's tendencies. I don't mind if they score as long as they have to run a ton of plays. I feel that if I can make them go 12+ plays in their 1st drive, I have enough information to disrupt their reads for the entire game.

Against people that love to throw slants, I give them man coverage so they can have the quick throw just inside the numbers. Then I make sure I rally to make the tackle immediately. They get various man defenses all the way down the field, until they get into FG range.

That's when I bait the quick throw into the meat of a defense designed to meet the ball. Sometimes I'll put the safety in a flat zone, while still playing man to create a tiny window. Other times I'll blitz the OLB on the side I want the slant thrown, but zone with another player (S, DE, CB).

Some players like to wait for their slants to cross. Same technique. I manually defend the first player I anticipate breaking open based on the route combinations. Sometimes defending slants means letting a few slip by and making the tackle.

The overall point is to let them set their internal clock for comfort, give them several reasons to feel confident, wait til they get complacent, then spring the trap.

Later
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