Madden NFL 11 is the newest installment in a long storied sports video game franchise. Madden 11 hit stores August 10th, 2010 and as it does every year, it sold extremely well. Millions of people have purchased Madden this year in the hope of getting a taste of the upcoming NFL season. Each and every year, Madden gamers take their favorite teams and battle it out on the virtual gridiron.
Madden NFL 11 has come out strong with new features and major upgrades. EA’s catchy phrase for Madden this year is “Simpler, Quicker, Deeper”. The newest feature is gameflow, an innovative take on the coach calling plays on defense and offenses, giving you tips and go to guys along with simple reads. Gameflow is a fun feature for those who can’t spend 45-60 minutes playing their games, but for hardcore madden balers; it’s a pretty useless features. This guide will focus on offensive scheme in this newest installment of Madden NFL 11. I promise to turn your offense into a juggernaut as long as you follow, practice and execute the offense as I describe it.
Most players take their skills online; others take on the task of defeating their opposition on All-Madden difficulty. This years gameplay improvements have thrown many of the effective schemes from last year out the window. As always, as a hardcore Madden player, I take it upon myself to develop an offensive and defensive scheme that I take online and dominate my opponents with. This year was no different as I have developed an offensive scheme that is close to unstoppable. In online play since implementing my new scheme, I have gone 14-1 with my only loss coming down to my defense giving up a field goal in overtime.
Instead of being general, like most other guides out there, this guide is specific, providing play by play information. I will provide you with every minute detail that goes into running my offensive scheme and I will explain how to execute it flawlessly in this years Madden.
Let’s start of with the playbook, my offensive scheme only works with the West Coast Offense playbook. You may have no knowledge of this playbook and that is ok because I will teach which plays to run and how to set yourself up for success.
Go into the audible set up screen and choose the following plays to be your offensive audibles. Four of the five Audibles are from the Far Tight Twins formation. Lets start with the Quick Toss, then the FB dive, x spot and Flats. Your last Audible comes from the Empty Treys formation called Smash.
Next thing you need to know is how this offense is run. First of all, my offense requires one to use a team with the following: A great QB with extremely good accuracy, atleast one fast/great running back and three decent wide receivers, preferably a tall number three wide out and a great tight end. The best team for this offense is the Cowboys with Romo, Felix Jones, Barber, Austin, Williams, Bryant and Witten. I’m currently undefeated when running this scheme with the Cowboys. For their depth chart, I suggest you switch Felix Jones and Barber, putting Jones in as the Starter. Put Barber as the FB.
Ok, onto how to execute the plays. Let’s start with Quick Toss. This running play is money with Felix Jones. I run this play early and often, it forces your opponent to blitz his outside linebackers in order to stop it. I suggest you run it if you see three or less defenders off of your left tackle. This play kills any goaline defense so use it inside the 5 for an easy touchdown.
The key to the offensive scheme is to adjust at the line of scrimmage and keep your opponent guessing. Are you running the Toss or plowing through the middle with the FB dive? That brings me to the FB dive play, with Marion Barber at FB and your opponent defending the sidelines from the Toss, the middle is left wide open for easy yardage. If you see your opponent crowding the sidelines trying to stop you from running the quick toss, audible to the FB dive. The Formation should not change, thus your opponent can’t key in on which play is coming. Pound it up the middle and force your opponent to defend it. Always line protect aggressive when running the dive and alternate between running behind the LG and RG so your opponent can’t blitz a certain A gap.
The following play is unstoppable once you master it and use it in combination with the other plays I told you to place into your audible list. It’s the X spot play and it is a beast. Here is how you set it up. First hot route the wide receiver on the outside to run a streak then smart route the inside receiver. What assentially happens is that if its man coverage, your running back, in this case Felix Jones, runs to the outside beating his man 90% of the time. If your opponent is playing simple Cover 3 zone, the outside WR takes the corner with him making the linebacker or safety assigned cover either the running back in the flats or the inside wide receiver you hot routed. The inside WR is running a unique short corner route after the smart route allowing him to get above anyone covering the flats and below any corner covering the deep sideline. My first read on this play is the RB, he should be open almost always, if you see a linebacker sticking with the running back then your next read is the inside WR you hot routed. Usually he is open against most zones while the RB should be open against most man defenses(Unless your opponent has a beast like Patrick Willis covering him). Cover two defense that protects the sidelines completely with a light blue flats coverage, a purple buzz zone coverage and a deep blue safety coverage can shut down both the running back and the inside WR. Don’t fret though because this play has an ace in the hole against the all mighty cover two defense. The TE is running a middle post route that goes right in-between the two deep zones in the cover two defense. Essentially, if you go through your progressions you should find a man running open for a decent gain 90% of the time.
I have seen people attempt to manually cover the X spot and I even had an opponent put all eleven defenders in zones. This play, when performed correctly, frustrates your opponent to no end because there really is no way to stop it. If your opponent throws everyone into zones, just scramble for a decent 4-10 yard gain. Romo is a decent scrambler and 4-10 yards is fine.
It gets really tempting to use this play over and over again but I suggest against doing so. Throw in the Toss play and especially the FB dive after using the X spot a few times. Your opponent will be so focused on the sidelines that the middle should be almost completely wide open.
That brings me to the next play, Flats. This play does the exact opposite of the X spot, it focuses entirely on the middle of the defense. After throwing a bunch of Tosses, dives and utterly carving up your opponents defense with the X spot, audible to the flats. It’s a beast play on the goaline. Your WR’s will be running short crossing routes over the middle. After torching your opponent on the sidelines, he will be forced to leave the middle open and when he does, make him suffer with the Flats play.
Here is how you set it up, it’s fairly simple. Take your FB, in our example, Marion Barber, and motion him outside to your TE’s side. Call hike and if your Number one wideout is not open over the middle for what ever reason immediately look at the TE. What the running back does is take anyone covering the Flats with him, freeing up the TE who is running a quick out. If it’s against zone, the TE will be open 100% of the time, if its against man, your number one wideout will be open almost always (unless your opponent stuck him with Revis). For me, this play never fails because even if somehow the FB, TE and number one WR is covered, you can always hit your RB running to the flats in the opposite direction of all your other offensive players.
This is where having a fast and dynamic back like Felix Jones comes in handy, he has unbelievable speed that burns man coverage, he can catch and is really reliable. The best part about this scheme is that all four plays come from the same formation, thus your opponent can’t key in on whether you are running with the Toss or Dive or if you are passing in the X spot or Flats plays. The only give away is the motion by the FB when doing the Flats play; the good thing is I have found a way to keep even that a secret. What you have to do is mix it up. If you have shown your opponent that you will be doing the flats play every time you motion your fullback, then they are bound to adjust and shut you down. The way around it is use the motion even when you aren’t doing the Flats play. Motion when doing the X spot, the Toss and the Flats. It will keep you opponent on his toes and completely confused.
Once you learn how to adjust the plays at the line of scrimmage based off of pre snap reads, this offense for Madden NFL 11 becomes absolutely unstoppable. There is just no way to defend against it without leaving something else open. Whether it’s the sidelines or the middle or the run or even the scramble, something is bound to be open. The single greatest part about this offense is that once you mastered your reads, the ball is in and out of the QB’s hands in mere seconds. This offense works really well because it nullifies the notorious Nano Blitzers and most blitzes in general. I have been sacked a record low amount of times in this years addition of Madden NFL. In fact, according to the stats, I take .20 sacks a game, that is one every 5 games. Less negative plays means longer and more productive drives and in the end that is exactly what you are looking for in a great offensive scheme.
One last thing, I mentioned putting in the play Smash into your offensive audibles. This play is a great way to catch your opponent off guard. If they like to call their defensive plays quickly or if you know that they are running that pesky Cover Two defense, its time for Smash. I suggest you take your time in the play selection screen. Why you might ask, well because if they are thinking your coming out in the Far Tights formation, they will quickly select a play before seeing your players. This is a 4 WR and 1 TE set that blows any regular defense out of the water.
Here are your reads, first is the pre snap. Check to see if your opponent is in man coverage, if they are make note of any linebackers in man coverage. This play will burn all linebackers placed into man coverage against your wide receivers. Usually there is atleast one linebacker on one of the slot WR’s. Both Slot wideouts are running deep corner routes. If a linebacker is covering them, they will be open and you will score. If the defense is in Cover Two, your TE is running a deep post over the middle, just like in the X spot play and should be open. Lastly, if your opponent smartly picked or audibled into a cover 4 with purple buzz zones, the number one and number 2 WR’s should be open. They are running midget curls as I like to call them. Curls that are about 3-4 yards deep and will sit underneath most zone coverage’s. These guys are your last reads if all else fails and they are open for a decent 5-10 yard gain. If everyone is covered, that means only one thing, you opponent has manually placed everyone into coverage which means that you should scramble and slide for a decent 5-10 yards.
Take what you learned here to the practice field, or in this case the Practice game mode in Madden NFL 11 and try it out. I suggest you try running this offense against the CPU atleast once or twice in a play now game so you can get used to all the hot routing, motioning and reading defenses. Lastly, go out into the online world of Madden NFL 11 with all the knowledge I have passed onto you and dominate your opponents like there is no tomorrow!