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Madden NFL 20: Patch 1.19 Impressions

Madden NFL 20

Madden NFL 20: Patch 1.19 Impressions

It’s been a bumpy year for Madden, but despite all of the imperfections fans of the series continue to find, EA is at least trying to fix things. They continue to update their game through the duration of the cycle, which is why I just want to call out a couple things from the latest patch. Here are my brief impressions of the latest Madden 20 patch update (Version 1.19).

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Franchise Updates

  • New X-Factor Ability: ‘Omaha’
    • Inspired by Ultimate Team Legend QB Peyton Manning, this ability allows the QB to see defensive-back coverage play-art via pre-play coach cam when in the zone. This can be unlocked with 4 consecutive completions of 5+ air yards on Arcade & Simulation, and 6 consecutive completed passes of 5+ air yards on Competitive. Knockout conditions include 2 incomplete passes, or any INT, sack or fumble. Defenders can ‘hide’ their assignments from the QB by using the ‘Bluff Blitz’ hot route.
      • Franchise requirements: Available as a Zone ability for Field General QB’s
      • Ultimate Team requirements: Currently only available on Peyton Manning
  • Fixed various typos in text message conversations
  • Fixed an issue allowing league members to change league settings, such as Skill Level, in multi-user leagues where only the commissioner should have that ability

Personally, I love the addition of the Omaha zone ability. No, it’s not the easiest of the abilities to unlock, but once you do, it gives you a huge advantage over your opponent. Knowing what coverage the defensive backs are playing, you really feel like Peyton Manning pre-snap. For me, If it’s zone coverage, I prefer to use drags, slants and posts to find the holes in the opposition. If the defense is in man coverage, curls at the sticks are my go to, but I can’t deny my love for throwing the seam route to my massive TE with a LB trailing.

Omaha is so nice that once I became used to it, I never wanted to be without it, which maybe is also a negative for game balance. And whether the defense is bluffing a blitz or knocks you out of the ability, I find myself relying on it a bit more than I should — so much so that I tend to throw the ball exclusively in hopes of building it back up. This may be a fan favorite in the competitive Madden community, but the talented players will have a quick fix on how to counter it.

Overall, it’s a welcomed addition and I look forward to seeing what EA comes up with next.

All the rest of the franchise updates may seem small on the surface compared to a new X-Factor (at least to the masses), but some smaller tweaks go are also nice here. After all, no one wants a random user changing the skill level in a 32-user online league. There are also still a few typos and grammar mistakes in the conversations, but nothing too prevalent like before.

Now, if only they would update draft picks for those NFL teams that have made trades this offseason. No one wants to start a franchise with the Dolphins until they’re equipped with all three of their 2020 first-round draft picks.

Playbook Update

  • New ‘Nickel Triple’ defensive formation added to Bears, Giants, Redskins, Texans
  • New Nickel 2-4-5 Odd defensive formation added to Bears, Buccaneers, Cardinals, Packers, Panthers, Ravens, Titans
  • New Goal Line 6-2 defensive formation added to all team playbooks
  • Added 3-4 Odd defensive formation to Panthers
  • Added 3-4 Under and 3-4 Over ED defensive formations to Chargers
  • Added 3-4 Bear defensive formation to Cardinals, Buccaneers, Dolphins, Lions, Packers, Patriots
  • Added 4-3 Odd defensive formation to Jaguars, Saints, Vikings
  • New Taysom Hill formations and packages added to Saints:
    • ‘Taysom Hill QB’ Shotgun formation
    • Unique package adjustments in ‘Taysom Hill’ formation that allows the QB3 to be subbed into multiple offensive skill positions (Taysom Hill HB, Taysom Hill TE, Taysom Hill WR)
    • Singleback Wing Tight U, Singleback Wing Pair & Singleback Wing Tight with Taysom Hill at the TE3 position
    • Changed Gun DBL Y Flex Wk to Gun Taysom Slot, with Taysom Hill in the slot receiver position
  • Added I Form Wing offensive formation to Bills
  • Added I Form H Slot offensive formation to Cowboys
  • Added Gun Doubles ‘RPO Zone Peek’ and ‘RPO Read FL Screen’ to Bills
  • Added Wildcat Patriot offensive formation to Patriots (This is the same as the ‘12 Gauge’ formation from the Falcons playbook, reflecting the trade of WR Mohammed Sanu)
  • New RPO play ‘Gun Doubles Y Off RPO Zone Y Peek’ added to Chiefs, Colts, Eagles
  • New RPO play ‘I Form Pro Bills RPO Alert Z Lookie’ added to Bills
  • New RPO play ‘I Form Wing Power Alert Smoke to Lookie’ added to Cowboys, Raiders
  • New play ‘Gun Stack Y Off Red Zone HB Scissors’ added to Packers playbook (This is the play the Packers used on the first-quarter TD pass from Rodgers to A. Jones vs. the Raiders in Week 8)

The playbook updates were the meat of this patch, and that’s great. However, we need more of these updates. The turnaround on these playbook updates has to be more streamlined and occur more often. In short, we need more plays.

That being said, one thing EA has really started to thrive on as of late is their ability to create authentic playbooks. And although they will never compare to the size of those used on Sunday, they still offer the user a plethora of options.

The most notable updates, aside from the new defensive and offensive packages, can be found in New Orleans’ playbook. This is of course the Taysom Hill package and is something that users have been begging for since Sean Payton unleashed the versatile QB onto opposing defenses. Obviously, this is probably something that competitive gamers will find a way to abuse, but nevertheless, it adds a sense of realism to the game.

Sure, it’s not something I will use all the time. But to have the ability to spread the defense out and let Hill work his magic, can be quite valuable. There are a total of six plays in the new formation where Hill is lined up at quarterback. I’m old enough to remember when this was first introduced back in Madden 2009 and it was extremely overpowered. This isn’t quite the same, but it is definitely helpful in key situations. Though the read-option is effective, I most like to use this package to spread the defense out and have the option to run with Hill or throw the football.

In addition to the Taysom Hill formation, there’s a set of different packages where you can sub Hill in as a HB, TE or WR. Hill’s catch rating is a pedestrian 63, while his carry is a 69. These subs can be found in Singleback Wing Tight U, Singleback Wing Pair, Singleback Wing Tight and will feature QB3 as the TE. Depending on who your QB3 is, this can be a game changer but very few QB3s will be legit receiving threats.

The real threat aside from the Taysom Hill package is allowing him to line up in the backfield, which can be done by changing the package in the Gun DBL Y Flex Wk formation. For me, it wasn’t very effective using Hill as a traditional runner. But for MUT, this could help users get the most out of some of their backups. For example, I used this package several times to utilize Michael Vick’s speed. It felt beyond cheesy to be able to have Lamar Jackson running RPOs with Michael Vick with him, but nevertheless, this is Madden! Once users have time to get creative with these packages and formations, Madden might never be the same again.

  • Updated ‘Nasty Streak’ ability so that it will not activate when used by a player playing out of position

This had to get fixed as well. It was brutal dealing with Joe Thomas lining up as a TE and then him just ruining two of your players on every HB Stretch play in Ultimate Team. Is the run still overpowered and making the game boring to play in many online games? Yes. Is this still a good fix? Yes.

I know this is just a brief look at a couple things from the patch, and there’s still some work to be done before Madden 20 lives up to the high expectations of the football sports-gaming community, but these are the sorts of patches we need more of in the future. Patches can’t just be about “fixing” issues, they have to be additive in substance.

We need even more updates to these playbooks during the season, and we need better ways to deal with things like this run-heavy meta that are not so laced with defensive gimmicks. Nevertheless, the Madden team does try to add and fix the game as the year progresses in a way that’s notable. Now, if only they could get things right from the beginning, we wouldn’t need so many patches to “fix” things, and instead we could get more patches that “add” things.

About the author

I like video games and the miami dolphins.

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