Home
Madden NFL 16 News Post



In this video, we take a look at a couple of theories (out of many) on how to attack deep zone coverages in Madden NFL 16. In this video, we focus on the cover two, but the overall concepts presented would tend to apply to most other deep zone coverages as well.

The first concept we look at is how some playcalls in Madden simply don't work against some defenses. This is obviously a good thing in terms of realism! Our first playcall is a deep TE crossing route with two deep routes by the WRs into the teeth of a cover two playcall -- the results are predictably bad.

We then shift gears to a more reasonable playcall versus the cover two, which features some underneath and short routes which have more success. As with any passing concept against the zone, timing and space are everything.

This is the first in a series of videos on the passing game and breaking it down, let us know what other concepts you'd like to see covered in the comments!

Game: Madden NFL 16Reader Score: 7/10 - Vote Now
Platform: PS3 / PS4 / Xbox 360 / Xbox OneVotes for game: 23 - View All
Madden NFL 16 Videos
Member Comments
# 1 Wolverines05 @ 09/01/15 03:13 PM
Oh no. Chris this is a series I was literally just working on! hah. great work though
 
# 2 graphster21 @ 09/01/15 03:20 PM
This is an interesting video, but is somewhat misleading.

The deep holes in cover 2 are down the middle (particularly off play action or some other route combination that causes the MLB to not get depth), and down the intermediate sideline areas, between the corners and the safeties. Cover 2 is particularly vulnerable to smash concepts where the outside WR runs a short hitch (causing the CB to play short), and a slot receiver runs a corner route into the open area between the CB and the safety.
 
# 3 strawberryshortcake @ 09/01/15 03:51 PM
The problem is that you're using Alex Smith (King of Checkfown).

Wasn't Jamal Charles his favorite target last year? Didn't realize the Chiefs had wide receivers on the field of play when Alex Smith took the helm. All I ever saw was either Alex handing the ball directly to Jamaal Charles or checking down the ball to Jamaal Charles in the flat. The Chiefs could sign 4 wide receivers off the streets for a grand total of $100,000 to use a decoys and they would probably get the same production.

 
# 4 ggsimmonds @ 09/01/15 06:12 PM
I love the idea for this series but I do have a few remarks:

Almost any playcall will work against zone and cover 2 given enough time. In the TE crossing play, there is a window for a bullet pass to the weak side TE shortly after he passes the MLB. This is because the strongside TE carries the LB a bit and that creates room for the bullet pass. Granted, with Alex Smith's arm strength I am not sure how many times one wants to attempt such a pass, but the option is there.
But any zone coverage has holes in it, it is only a matter of time before a WR/TE reaches the hole. That is why the bad pass rush is such a problem -- if you run a cover 2 defense you need to be able to consistently get pressure with your front 4. That does not happen in Madden.

Also regarding the seam route to the TE -- They are near money if you have a underneath WR running something like a drag or slant that can hold the LB from dropping back to far. It is like the inverse of the dagger concept. In that route combination, the WR running a go route clears out the defenders for the deep in. In this route combo the underneath route holds the LB to complete the seam.

So the key thing to be aware of is that against zones you need route combos that work in tandem. They can be floods or hi-lo reads.

And if you are the defense running zone you better hope your pass rush can generate pressure (unless it is 3rd and long and you are content to give up the underneath and make the tackle short of the sticks).

Finally one comment to help in reading defenses immediately after the snap -- if the LBs shoulders are squared with the LOS it is zone, if they turn their shoulder to you it is man. If one stays squared up and another turns, that probably means a safety is on the TE. So look for the deep outside route :P
 
# 5 Find_the_Door @ 09/01/15 09:32 PM
How about someone posts how to beat cover 4 Drop when the opponent takes their defensive end off the LOS and uses him to cover the deep middle of the field.


Post that and I'm all ears.
 
# 6 graphster21 @ 09/01/15 09:57 PM
Either run the ball, or hold it forever against a 2 man pass rush and wait for zones downfield (particularly on the sidelines) to break down.
 
# 7 Number999 @ 09/01/15 10:14 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Find_The_Door
How about someone posts how to beat cover 4 Drop when the opponent takes their defensive end off the LOS and uses him to cover the deep middle of the field.


Post that and I'm all ears.
Draw play from your QB in the shotgun... you'll get 10 yards every-time if he keeps using the same play on 3 downs. I played a guy today in MUT who literally ran the exact same Cover 4 play with QB Contain and I just ran it down his throat before he was forced to make a change, and I made him pay deep.

I've noticed that while it applies in all Maddens, this year especially you have to have a fluid gameplan and not just stick with what you know. I never scored on under 10 plays against him but I milked a ton of clock and all he knew what to do was heave it deep and I ended up victorious (albeit, with a close call at the end).
 
# 8 SwaggerCoach @ 09/02/15 09:40 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by ggsimmonds
I love the idea for this series but I do have a few remarks:

Almost any playcall will work against zone and cover 2 given enough time. In the TE crossing play, there is a window for a bullet pass to the weak side TE shortly after he passes the MLB. This is because the strongside TE carries the LB a bit and that creates room for the bullet pass. Granted, with Alex Smith's arm strength I am not sure how many times one wants to attempt such a pass, but the option is there.
But any zone coverage has holes in it, it is only a matter of time before a WR/TE reaches the hole. That is why the bad pass rush is such a problem -- if you run a cover 2 defense you need to be able to consistently get pressure with your front 4. That does not happen in Madden.

Also regarding the seam route to the TE -- They are near money if you have a underneath WR running something like a drag or slant that can hold the LB from dropping back to far. It is like the inverse of the dagger concept. In that route combination, the WR running a go route clears out the defenders for the deep in. In this route combo the underneath route holds the LB to complete the seam.

So the key thing to be aware of is that against zones you need route combos that work in tandem. They can be floods or hi-lo reads.

And if you are the defense running zone you better hope your pass rush can generate pressure (unless it is 3rd and long and you are content to give up the underneath and make the tackle short of the sticks).

Finally one comment to help in reading defenses immediately after the snap -- if the LBs shoulders are squared with the LOS it is zone, if they turn their shoulder to you it is man. If one stays squared up and another turns, that probably means a safety is on the TE. So look for the deep outside route :P
GREAT post. Seriously. One of the better offensive strategy/play progression reads posts I've seen here. Thanks for posting this!

Quick question: let's look at the defense against the concept you suggested (TE seam, WR under route). How in the world would you go about stopping it? Or can you?
 
# 9 lebyex @ 09/02/15 11:02 AM
Wow this is useful.
 
# 10 ggsimmonds @ 09/02/15 01:14 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by SwaggerCoach
GREAT post. Seriously. One of the better offensive strategy/play progression reads posts I've seen here. Thanks for posting this!

Quick question: let's look at the defense against the concept you suggested (TE seam, WR under route). How in the world would you go about stopping it? Or can you?
If you have the personnel, yes it is stoppable. It is effective against zone, but as a route concept it is meaningless against man. The TE may still get open, but the underneath route will have no influence on him.

It is less effective against certain zone coverages though. It will eat up a cover 2 all day. It can also be completed vs a cover 3, as a matter of fact there is a option route that tells the TE to run the seam vs cover 3, but divide vs cover 2. BUT, the QB needs to throw it sooner and in my experience, the QB better hope the SS is covering the flat. If he has the middle hook zone it becomes a more risky pass. You can also bump the WR who is expected to run the underneath zone. What you would try to do is disrupt the timing of his route so that by the time he enters the LB's area of responsibility the LB is too far upfield with the TE. It does not completely stop it because the underneath will still be open, but it is better than the seam.

It is always helpful to remember what is meant by stopping a play. It is not always to force an incompletion. There is a reason NFL QBs have completion % where they are. If you forced him to take the underneath route then most of the time that counts as stopping the play. It is the bend but don't break defense. The offense will have to complete many more such passes before being able to score. Many gamers lack the patience for a 10+ play drive and will eventually force something. (of course a related topic would be whether or not aggressive catch is OP -- forcing things downfield may not be as risky as it should be)

For those that run the TE seam a common mistake I see is that they think it is a play designed for a deep shot down the field. This is wrong, you don't wait until the TE gets 20 yards downfield. It is actually a quick pass. You should look to gain 10-16 yards.

Finally if your opponent has an elite TE all I can say is good luck. Cover 1 robber will stop the seam consistently, but it leaves you wide open for the dreaded corner route. One of the hardest things to defend is a guy who has someone like Gronk or Graham and mixes seams, corners, and posts.
 
# 11 SwaggerCoach @ 09/07/15 12:21 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by ggsimmonds
If you have the personnel, yes it is stoppable. It is effective against zone, but as a route concept it is meaningless against man. The TE may still get open, but the underneath route will have no influence on him.

It is less effective against certain zone coverages though. It will eat up a cover 2 all day. It can also be completed vs a cover 3, as a matter of fact there is a option route that tells the TE to run the seam vs cover 3, but divide vs cover 2. BUT, the QB needs to throw it sooner and in my experience, the QB better hope the SS is covering the flat. If he has the middle hook zone it becomes a more risky pass. You can also bump the WR who is expected to run the underneath zone. What you would try to do is disrupt the timing of his route so that by the time he enters the LB's area of responsibility the LB is too far upfield with the TE. It does not completely stop it because the underneath will still be open, but it is better than the seam.

It is always helpful to remember what is meant by stopping a play. It is not always to force an incompletion. There is a reason NFL QBs have completion % where they are. If you forced him to take the underneath route then most of the time that counts as stopping the play. It is the bend but don't break defense. The offense will have to complete many more such passes before being able to score. Many gamers lack the patience for a 10+ play drive and will eventually force something. (of course a related topic would be whether or not aggressive catch is OP -- forcing things downfield may not be as risky as it should be)

For those that run the TE seam a common mistake I see is that they think it is a play designed for a deep shot down the field. This is wrong, you don't wait until the TE gets 20 yards downfield. It is actually a quick pass. You should look to gain 10-16 yards.

Finally if your opponent has an elite TE all I can say is good luck. Cover 1 robber will stop the seam consistently, but it leaves you wide open for the dreaded corner route. One of the hardest things to defend is a guy who has someone like Gronk or Graham and mixes seams, corners, and posts.

Ah that makes sense. Thanks for the response.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
# 12 Cusefan @ 09/07/15 01:58 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Find_The_Door
How about someone posts how to beat cover 4 Drop when the opponent takes their defensive end off the LOS and uses him to cover the deep middle of the field.


Post that and I'm all ears.
WR Screen, HB Screen, HB Draw, drag routes, etc etc.

Basically 1000 paper cuts.
 
# 13 Gorilla Glass @ 09/07/15 08:19 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Find_The_Door
How about someone posts how to beat cover 4 Drop when the opponent takes their defensive end off the LOS and uses him to cover the deep middle of the field.


Post that and I'm all ears.
Draw play followed by a Play action or. Mis direction.

If they take something, you take something.
 
# 14 Find_the_Door @ 09/07/15 09:13 AM
Draw play or misdirection don't work with how the safeties play the run in cover 4. Not to mention how everyone loads the box with 8 or even 9 when running this to prevent you from running period.

Oh, and they user the deep middle of the field to keep you from throwing any route that would beat it other than drags (10 yard gain max 15% of the time). When they pull their end off the line to play the deep middle it breaks the o-lines blocking logic somehow making a three man rush more effective than a four man one.
 
# 15 Gorilla Glass @ 09/07/15 11:17 AM
These work for me and I use the Redskins.

Maybe its the fact that I face these coverage so much in my online league and online in general, that I'm conditioned to dealing with it.

Also if your opponent is playing deep middle with a DT or is shifting the LOS over and using a DE, then go ahead and do some aggressive line play call, eventually your opponent will stop the BS.

If you face these guys, they assume you're not patient. Be patient!
 

Post A Comment
Only OS members can post comments
Please login or register to post a comment.