This year’s edition of Madden NFL has brought a new take on how one plays offense and defense. Folks at EA have done their best to improve the offense, leaving defense to fend for its self. Defensive schemes in Madden NFL 11 have gotten a lot harder. Its much to easy to score points in this years Madden. If you are planning to take your Madden skills online I would suggest you first take a look on how to play unstoppable offense first, here is a link to my dominant Madden NFL 11 offensive scheme. After honing your offense capabilities to the maximum by practicing my West Coast Offense scheme, its time to learn how too affectively use defense and shut your opponents down!
Madden NFL 11 makes playing defense a chore mainly because offense is so overpowered this year. I have tested out hundreds of different play combination and have yet to find a set of plays that stop all offense. Such a thing no longer exists. What is affective this year is disguising your defense and mixing it up constantly. In this Madden NFL 11 defensive guide, I will go through what plays to call based off of what your opponent is throwing at you on offense.
First things first, you need to pick the best defensive playbook in this years Madden. That playbook is the New York Jets Defensive Playbook. Why is this book the best? Well because I said so, that’s why. No, actually it’s the best playbook to use for defense because it comes with many exotic blitzes and cover schemes along with the 3-4 and 46 formations.
What makes this playbook better then most others is that you will have a variety of plays to choose from in many different formations, allowing you to easily adjust if your opponent is frustrating you with plays that seem hard to stop.
Let’s start with a base defense. This is the defense you are most likely going to start the game using. It should be a mix balance between being able to stop the run and still giving you ample pass defense. Base defense should only be run to start the game when you are clueless about your opponent’s tendencies. Base defense will prevent a big run or big pass play but it is not a shut down defense that you should use throughout the game. Picking a base defensive play depends on the team you are playing as. If your team is best suited for the 3-4 defense, such as the cowboys, patriots or Steelers, you should run a 3-4 base defense. If your playing as the Vikings or saints or any 4-3 team, the 46 formation from the Jets playbook will be your best bet. As for which play to run, I suggest the cover three from the 46 formation or the Cover three from the 3-4 normal formation. Cover three provides support over the middle and deep downfield while allowing for linebackers to play close to the line of scrimmage, essentially stopping the run and only allowing minimal gains.
This next part of the guide will cover how to stop players that run the ball most of the game. These players usually use teams with dominant running backs such as Adrian Peterson or Chris Johnson. I love playing against these type of players because they usually lack any sort of passing game, allowing me to stack the box and shut them down. If you encounter these types of players online, and I promise you that you will eventually, here is how you shut them down based off of what type of runs they are using. First things first, when playing defense it’s essential to memorize what types of runs you opponent is using from certain formations. Are they constantly abusing the pitch or are they running Power plays? Remember what formation they came out in and what they ran so that the next time you see that same formation, you will know which play to use.
First I will go over on how to shut down inside dives, Isos and FB dives. Essentially the following plays will stop most runs up the middle. My favorite run stuffer is the Inside Blitz from the 46 formation. Here is how you set it up for maximum effectiveness. Re blitz both DT’s straight down and manually bring down the safety that is in man coverage with the running back. Dives and Isos rely on the A gaps being open, this play stuffs the A gaps full of defenders. For your information, the A gaps are the gaps between the Center and both guards. What is great about this play is that it allows the safety or a linebacker to fly through the line of scrimmage and pound the running back in the backfield a good portion of the time. It also has great coverage if your opponent decides to pass instead, with a man on every receiver and TE. I will come back to the inside Blitz later on in the guide when discussing pass defense as it brings a beastly amount of pressure.
Next part of the Run defense guide is how to shut down power O run plays. These plays have a guard pulling to one of the sides, overloading the blockers on one side of the field allowing the running back to find lots of room. Power O is a lot harder to stop consistently because of the sheer amount of blockers dedicated to one side of the field. The running back is usually looking to run into the B gap and burst through the line of scrimmage. To shut these plays down you need to know which side to adjust to. Usually a power play is run to the strong side, the side with the additional blockers such as tight ends and fullbacks. Once you know which side the run is going to, you need to adjust accordingly. My favorite play to stop Power O plays is the SS Blitz from the 46 and OLB blitz from the 3-4 normal formation. Let’s start with the SS Blitz. First thing is to slide your D line to the strong side of the line, next spread your linebackers and lastly switch to the Defensive End on the strong side, adjust him to a QB contain. All these adjustments should not take longer then four seconds to adjust. The DE in contain will come off and into the B gap while the blitzing SS should fly into the backfield. Sliding the Dline allowed you to occupy more Offensive lineman thus leaving no space for the running back to go. Set up the OLB Blitz in a similar way but slide the defensive line and linebackers to the strong side while bringing the blitzing outside linebacker on the strong side to beyond any blocker and manually have him crash in towards the running back.
Lastly, I will discuss stopping the pitch. The best way to stop pitches it to bring down both safeties and have them hover over the outside linebackers. Both the SS blitz and the OLB blitz are affective. If they are pitching from the massive goaline formation, contain both Defensive Ends.
The next part of the guide will be defending the pass.
EA developers catered to the offense more then the defense this year because passing on any defense is way to easy this year. I had a lot of trouble developing a decent passing defense this year because zones feel broken and useless this year. Basically, in this years addition of Madden NFL 11, pass defense is all about creating turnovers. Blitz with decent coverage and pray for an interception because stopping the pass entirely is impossible.
Key this year is to bring blitz constantly with overloads and zone coverage. Plays from Dime and Nickel coverage are the best. Forget simple cover 3 unless you want your opponent hitting you up for a 10-20 yard gain. If you let your opponent sit in the pocket, you can forget about it. Bring blitz with all sorts of players. Safeties and nickel/dime corners have the speed to apply a ton of pressure. Choose plays that have at least 2 guys playing deep coverage. I personally love plays that have three defenders in hook zones (“yellow” zones) and plays where the corners sit in Buzz zones while two safeties are playing deep with a linebacker in the middle. Plays like this allow you to bring at least 6 guys each play, overload a side of the offensive line and just flat out blitz. I can name blitzes all day but the key to playing pass defense is to switch it up. If you play only a few pass D plays, your opponent will adjust and pick you apart. Add Velcro 9 from the Dime package to your defensive audibles. It’s a D that puts 9 guys into coverage; it’s very affective inside the 20 when your opponent needs to pass. It’s also a great defensive play to defend long passes. It goes against everything I said previously but it should only be used when it’s a 3rd and super long, such as a 3rd and 20 or in the red zone.
Overall, the biggest and most important part of playing good defense is adjusting. One play will not stop everything, you must adjust to your opponents tendencies as the game goes on.