Best Zone Defense Playbook Madden 21

Ava Flores
• Saturday, 09 January, 2021
• 7 min read

Screens seemed to have been fixed for Madden21, so watch out for Gun Ace Slot Offset. The Single back and I Form are both great under center formations to run the ball from.

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Stretch plays are available in multiple formation types to get the defense on its heels. Factoring in plenty of trick plays devised by Sean Payton, it has a lot of surprises for defenses and mixes the run with passing attacks.

Lots of Single back options, with the unique Single Double North giving versatility that the other playbooks don't offer. I Form and Strong Close helps with running the ball, but the key is the Near and Far formations.

Having the option of Dime and Dollar is an embarrassment of riches when it comes to increasing the number of defensive backs on the field. Unlike previous Maddens, there are a handful of Madden21 playbooks that give the option of 3-4 and 4-3 versatility.

Honorable mention for the Giants, Patriots and Lions, but we have gone with Jets playbook. If you haven't already, check out our review for Madden21 right here, where we delve into the absolutely fantastic features, and highlight a few areas which could do with some tweaking too.

In the case of the Seahawks, the shotgun-heavy playbook works really well online where players tend to emphasize the blitz more than most teams do in real life. The space and variety of formations within the Seahawks' shotgun set offers dozens of different looks, so even if you're coming out in, for example, Shotgun Wing Tight Slots, your opponent won't know if you're going to attack the middle of the field, play the flats, or run a draw.

Like in real life, the Kyle Shanahan scheme is run-heavy with zone blocking efforts on many plays from the linemen. Who prefers to drain the clock and play ball control, sometimes possessing the football for full quarters at a time, the 49ers playbook is an excellent choice.

While most of these favor the air game, NCAASPREAD offers a range of RPO's (run-pass options) for teams using a shifty QB/HE combination. Just as Shanahan can seemingly turn any RB into a star on offense, his defensive scheme allows for some confusing and rarer formations to disrupt offenses, including the 46 and 5-2 formations which are excellent against the run.

As for the Patriots, Belching may not be in the game but his legacy as a mastermind lives on through the defensive prowess of “NE Coach.” No standard playbook offers this sort of versatility, and it makes sense when you consider the Patriots' proud history of real-life successes on defense.

DEFENSIVEBIBLE is the most versatile of the bunch, most closely mirroring a real NFL playbook with its many looks. HYBRIDSMOKE, like FLEXIBLE on offense, offers plays for all situations, whether you favor zone or man, and with plenty of blitzes for the right moments.

Future, meanwhile, offers the most Nickel looks I've ever seen in a playbook with six different schemes using the extra defensive back. This Madden NFL 21Playbook guide will go over the best Offense, Defense and Overall books in the game.

Madden NFL 21 has brought little changes from the previous entries in terms of the best playbooks. You can think of playbooks as guidebooks that come with their unique formations, strategies, personnel, defensive, and offensive options.

Miami Dolphins This is an absolute must-have playbook if you want to build the ultimate defense. However, there are other playbooks that are more suited to players who are just starting the game and getting a feel for their defensive capabilities.

It has some solid Gun plays that you can turn to with very tight doubles but one notable formation is Bunch T/E which is difficult to stop. New Orleans Saints This Playbook has been renowned over the years because of its great offense capabilities.

You get a wide variety of choices in Shotgun plays such as Y off Trio WK which is great for running. I Form Tight, Slot Flex and Close are all great, so this playbook allows you to cover some ground efficiently.

Baltimore Ravens This playbook has everything a running quarterback needs to get ahead in the game. Spread Y-Flex is a wonderful formation with many options such as Raven HE Seam, RPO Zone Peak, PA Deep Outs, and 8-ball.

Running Quarterbacks can take advantage of the Gun Y Trio Offset WK formation. It has options such as Inside Zone Split, PA FL screen and Z Under.

West Coast Alternate This one isn’t particularly stacked, but it makes up for it with some quality formations. The Gun Bunch formation has a lot to offer in terms of unique plays.

WR Post is an amazing pass play that is rare so don’t expect to find this in a lot of the other playbooks. The Gun Bunch play Deep Corner is similarly unique to this playbook.

Stick has one of the best corner outs in Madden NFL so don’t take it for granted. All this variety earns this Playbook the spot on the top of many lists every year.

The Shotgun has the best Split Close in the Madden NFL 21 because of impressive plays such as X Drag Trail, Pats Curls, Z Spot and others. It has plays such as Pats HE screen and Deep Slot Curl.

The Gun Ace Slot is one of the best formations because it allows you to run the ball across the field easily. It has some solid Gun plays that you can turn to with very tight doubles but one notable formation is Bunch T/E which is difficult to stop.

As shown in the video, it can work with any caliber receiver, but I prefer to have faster Was if possible, with my best WR running the post route that I motion. This play has 4 man beating options that allow us to attack all areas of the field simply depending on when we decide to throw the ball.

They say defense wins championships, so if that's the case you will want to know how to play lights out? There are some situations where it can work, especially if you are adamant it will be a running play, but a good opponent will audible at the line to take advantage of your defense.

As a general rule, if there are 3 or more Was then select a Nickel, Dime or Dollar defense. Understand the basic coverage options and what the pros and cons are.

Man defense has most of your defenders accountable for a particular player on the opposition. The downside is that if a player loses the battle, it can often give up bigger gains.

Zone gives the defenders areas of responsibility to cover. As the WR crosses zones there are gaps where they will be free, this is what the opposition is aiming to do.

Most players in Madden like to stick to zone for the majority as it's much more effective, especially Cover 3. There were some question marks over whether the new pass rush system would change the recommended approach to ushering in Madden21.

This allows the AI to handle the pass rush, but they will be more effective when you are controlling the coverage and playing tighter. Use the LT/L2 button to strafe and face the QB but then turning and running and following the WR.

Be aware this will leave holes in your defense, but if an opponent is spamming someone this makes it difficult for them. Press left on d pad to bring up DL adjustments.

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