8 Best Red Zone Money Plays in Madden 18
Getting down the field in Madden 18 isn't a tall task if you know what you're doing. But just like real life gridiron action, once you get into the red zone, things get a whole lot harder. When you pack 11 defensive players into such a tight box, reading coverages gets more difficult, while getting the ball into really tight windows proves extremely problematic -- unless you have one of the best QBs in Madden 18.
But even if you do have one of those stalwart QBs on your team, you'll need the right play to put them to good use. That's where high-percentage money plays come in -- plays that almost always make positive yardage and more importantly, get touchdowns.
That's why this guide is going to show you the best of these red zone money plays for Madden 18. Some will rely on your stalwart QB, while others will rely on a stout running back. Either way, once you add these plays to your playbook, you'll be an unstoppable force that will dominate the league.
Power-O (I-Form Tight Pair)
This off-tackle running play has been in Madden for a long time, but in Madden 17, gap controls changed things up a bit -- making the Power-O a formidable red zone money play. And in Madden 18, that's not changed.
You'll want to start this play either inside the 10- or 5-yard line to maximize its efficiency. As you can see from the screenshot above, you'll be hitting the right-side B- or C-gap for a majority of reps with this play. However, be aware of the defensive scheme you're up against, as you may have to stretch this running play to the outside (around your TE) from time to time -- especially when there's a blitz that clogs the B- and C-gaps.
Slant (I-From Twins)
Whether you're at your own 20-yard line or your opponent's 5, this is a passing money play that works all over the field. Here, you can either hit your primary receiver with a touch pass as he comes over the middle or your secondary receiver with a bullet as he comes across from the opposite direction.
You've also got an underneath receiver crossing into the middle and typically, this wideout will be your principal money option. He'll be open more often than your primary receiver -- and a more reliable target overall.
The reason this play works so well so close to the end zone is that it confuses the defense with your primary and underneath receivers running basically the same route -- and your secondary receiver running a mirrored slant route across both of those routes coming into the middle. On top of that, you've also got a HB coming out of the backfield into the corner of the end zone.
Drive Mesh (Gun Bunch Weak)
This is a great passing play to run out of the Gun formation anywhere in the red zone. You'll have a TE and WR crossing paths, a WR going vertical, and a HB and WR crossing paths. In this ordered chaos, the defense essentially short circuits because of the crossing routes coalescing into such a tight space.
And since most defenses play some type of zone coverage in the red zone, you'll almost always have your secondary receiver (who's crossing from the right of the field to left just inside the end zone) finding holes in the coverage.
Just wait as your secondary receiver on the right passes from one zone to the next (which is typically just around the left hash mark), and you'll hit your mark every single time. Alternatively, you also have a chance of getting a touchdown by hitting your running back as he comes out of the backfield, although the defense typically swarms him before he can cross the goal line.
Fullback Dive (Goal Line)
It seems rather rudimentary to include a fullback running play in this selection of best red zone money plays in Madden 18, but if you're inside the 4-yard line, a fullback dive will almost always result in a touchdown.
Even though you won't have a lead blocker, the fullback hits the A-gap much harder than a HB -- and he also benefits from finding any quick holes that develop in the defense, holes that might just as quickly close in the time it takes a halfback to get to the line of scrimmage.
But in the off-chance you don't get into the end zone with this play, you'll still be inside the 1-yard line, which means you'll punch it in during the next play -- especially if you call the fullback's number again.
PA Flood (Singleback Wing Tight)
If you've been gashing your opponent with the running game or you're in an obvious running down inside the red zone, change things up with a play-action pass like PA Flood.
This particular play is essentially money from about the 20-yard line. Why? Because your outside receiver running the fly route will almost always be open -- or beat the coverage every time. The key is this: As you come out of the play-action animation, go ahead and let the ball fly to your outside vertical WR. You'll either end up with a catch for big yardage or a TD. You may have to perform a skill move or use an aggressive catch to pull it in, but it's well worth the extra effort knowing you'll get money nearly every time.
And the great thing about PA Flood in Madden 18 is that it also works really well inside the 5-yard line. Here, you'll have the option to throw to your burly TE, who's running an out route to the left, and your secondary WR, who's running an in route. With almost every defense tested, one (or both) of these receivers was open every time.
Slots Out (Gun Pack)
The beauty of this play (which works at both the 20 and the 5) is that you have viable options on both sides of the field, with both your primary receiver and outside tight-end running quick out routes that put them open directly after their cuts. Quickly survey the defense and you'll almost always find one wide open.
But if they're not, you're still in the game because you'll have a HB running a V route into the middle. He'll easily cut between defensive zones or outwork defenders in man coverage, getting open in between.
Alternatively, if you're at the 20, you'll also have a vertical option with your left outside receiver. But to confuse the defense even more, you could set his hot route to cross over your primary receiver and hit him in the middle of the field, using your HB as a blocker.
HB Toss Crack (Strong)
HB Toss Crack is a solid play inside the 10-yard line against most opponents. As your wide receiver comes in motion, he draws the defense toward the center of the field. When the ball is snapped, defenders will be drawn right.
Be patient and let the play evolve. Your blockers will pick up defenders to help you get outside and into the end zone. However, as with any toss play or sweep, you'll sometimes come up against defensive schemes that overload the right or left sides of the field -- or ones where edge rushers cut you off from getting outside. In these situations, you'll have to adjust your route and run between the B- and C-gaps for big gains.
Zspot Stop (Strong)
This may very well be the best Madden 18 money play of the bunch -- especially when played within the 3-yard line. Nearly 80% of the time, the LBs in this situation will cover the HB in the flat and the primary receiver going into the back corner of the end zone. This leaves your motion receiver wide open at the end of his Spot route. If you hit him just as he comes underneath the line backers, you'll hit money every time.
Alternatively, Zspot Stop also works from the 15-yard line. Here, you can hit your outside WRs, one running a Deep In route and the other basically running a Dig route to the outside.
Of course, these aren't the only red zone money plays in Madden 18, but they are some of the best and easiest to pull off without assigning hot routes or making adjustments. So with these Madden 18 tips and tricks in your playbook, carving up defenses inside the 20 should be as money as a Patriots' playoff win.
What money plays do you use the most? What plays do you want to see on this list? Let us know in the comments below! And make sure to check out our other Madden 18 guides!