Madden 17 Articles RSS Feed | Madden 17 RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Ranking The Best Campus Heroes On Madden 17 Tue, 10 Jan 2017 11:36:04 -0500 JakeElman

I'll be honest -- I wasn't a huge fan of Madden Ultimate Team when the mode was first introduced as DLC for Madden NFL 10. The concept is interesting and I do love the nostalgia of seeing older players, but I was just more of a franchise player.

What eventually drew me in was how the mode handled older players. Ultimate Team was one of the first modes in any sports games that did nostalgia right, especially when it came to their throwback players and Campus Legends.

For some NFL players, you can get versions of them where their skillset matches up not with how they've played under Roger Goodell, but how they were back in college. Currently, there are 21 players (from Todd Gurley to A.J. McCarron) who have Campus Legend cards in Madden Ultimate Team.

Today, we're going to look at some of those players who, even for a bit of a high price, will give you a great bang for your buck. 

Before we start, I want to stress that, like with franchise and offline, having a higher overall rating doesn't always mean they're the best. This list is designed to not only show you the best players that you can get cheap, but to inform you of why they're potentially good fits for your team.

Keep in mind that this is a subjective but general list, and I will not be addressing 'advanced' topics like schemes or what plays are best for these players down ten points at the start of the fourth quarter against a 4-3 defense. I could bore educate you with that information, but I'd think getting to business before the cards go off the market is probably a safer bet.

Besides, how you build your team is your own decision. There are Campus Legend versions of quarterbacks who are best in certain schemes -- and with all of the great Ultimate Team cards out there, is it really worth paying a boatload on a college version of a quarterback who may not fit that scheme?

One final note: all ratings and prices are from MUTHead, though the price could vary depending on who you try to buy from. 

Jake Long, OT

92 overall, 179,000 coins

[Photo by Tom Pidgeon/Getty Images]

The first overall pick by the Miami Dolphins way back in 2008, former Michigan Wolverine Jake Long is the second-highest rated offensive lineman among Campus Legends and the lone center. Show some more love to the big uglies, EA.

When you land Long, you'll have nothing but love for him as well. With 93 strength, 88 run block, and a 91 pass block, Long is worth the high amount of coins most people will be asking for. That's if you can live with him having played at Michigan, of course.

Corey Linsley

91 overall and 210,000 coins

[Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images]

It wouldn't be right for me to show Michigan some love but leave Ohio State off the list. It'd be even harder for me to do that when, after double-checking the stats to make sure I wasn't going crazy, Linsley actually may be a better option than Long.

See what I meant about overall not meaning everything in the end? The former Ohio State center has a 99 in run blocking and a 91 in pass blocking, as well as a 99 bulldozer trait. That's not just scary, that's flat out terrifying -- regardless of what offensive style you run. 

Now, you can see why he's worth more than Long on the open market. It has nothing to do with Ohio State being better than Michigan!

Shaq Lawson, DE

91 overall; 85,000 coins

[Photo by USA Today]

Another player at a crowded position with players who will fetch much more on the open market, snatching a Campus Legend of former Clemson star Shaq Lawson is a bet you'll want to take. (Unless you'd rather pay 300,000 more coins for a legend version of Howie Long, that is.)

Lawson's strength and power has always jumped out to people and EA replicates that well, giving this card an 89 and 90 in those two categories respectively. I also like that 92 block shedding rating, which you'll need against those players who like to stack up on insanely-rated offensive linemen.

Cordarrelle Patterson, WR

90 overall; 70,000 coins

[Photo by Billy Weeks/]

I'll let you decide whether or not former Tennessee wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson was a smart pick by the Minnesota Vikings (to be fair, there were a lot of skill players in that draft class who teams reached on). But when it comes to his Campus Legend skills, it's hard to pass this kid up. 

With a 90 vertical threat and an 89 jump ball rating, Patterson is a player made for quarterbacks who just lob the ball up in hopes of making something happen (Aaron Rodgers, hint hint). There's also an insane 93 speed and 98 run after catch rating, which is perfect for plays like screens and drag routes. 

There's also his electricity at kick returning, but we already knew about that.

Shaq Thompson, LB

89 overall; 45,000 coins

[Photo by]

For only 45,000 coins, you can get a player that's a 95 overall in a 4-3 scheme. I know I said I wouldn't really talk about schemes and such, but a 95 overall player for just that price? 

With an 87 range and an 84 pass rush rating, you may not be wowed by Thompson the way you might with other linebackers. But with a 94 coverage rating and 91 tackle, this is a guy you can turn into the face of your MUT defense for a reasonable price. 

Now, all we need is an Alfred Morris Campus Legends card from the Florida Atlantic days...

Which Campus Legends do you have on your team? Make sure to let us know in the comment section below!

[Featured image via USA Today]

Why Aren't Game Studios and Companies Sponsoring More Esports Teams? Thu, 03 Nov 2016 06:00:01 -0400 Aaron Grincewicz

To the casual gamer/fan, eSports can seem like nothing more than playing games for money. That may have been the case a few years ago, with limited league play available. Now, eSports and competitive gaming have grown to rival some professional sports.

With growth often comes complexity. The world of eSports is beginning to emulate pro sports leagues in many ways. The most important similarity could be the way eSports teams and players are sponsored, and exactly who is sponsoring them. To understand the situation a bit better, I'm going to dive into a few sports management topics.

The League/Franchise Model also applies to eSports

Let's use the NFL as an example; all 32 teams are franchises. The owners are the franchisees. In short, each team is like its own business, and as long as they meet certain guidelines they can participate in the National Football League. The same thing applies to other companies like McDonald’s; Not every restaurant is owned directly by McDonald’s. A lot of them are owned by entrepreneurs called franchisees. The NBA, MLB, NHL, and NFL follow this business model (Major League Soccer follows a different structure with many similarities). Now, the pro sports league conversation has grown to include eSports.

Completely Different Structure 

The current landscape of eSports is chaotic at first glance. There are several leagues around the world, some focusing on one game franchise, others on several games.  Along with those leagues, there are dozens upon dozens of eSports organizations.  Some groups stick with one league, like Major League Gaming, while others participate in several leagues simultaneously. This is mostly because the concept of a franchise differs significantly compared to a typical sports team.  One eSports franchise can have several teams with each focused on one game.

Let’s say my organization, ASG Gaming has a Team CoD, Team LoL, and Team GoW.  Team CoD just finished a season in MLG, and now wants to start a season in another league. Once qualified, nothing is stopping them from doing so.  While Team GoW has never competed in the MLG. This is because eSports does not have one ‘Super Bowl', or a mutual agreement between leagues to determine a world champion.  Major League Baseball technically has two separate leagues, each with some minor rules differences (National and American), who have reached an agreement to have their best teams play in a World Series. Right now there is an open competition between leagues to see who will become the NBA of eSports. 

Neutrality: The Golden Rule 

The relatively unorganized system for eSports has managed to keep one major similarity to pro sports, and that’s the independently owned teams. The reason that leagues like the NFL don't own teams is that it creates a conflict of interest. They might occasionally take financial control of a team if it’s current owners violate league terms (default on loans, severe capital loss) but they often sell it to a new owner as quickly as possible. This has happened in the NBA with the New Orleans Hornets. The Hornets were eventually sold and rebranded as the Pelicans. Was the NBA to maintain control of the team, how would it look if the team started winning a lot of games, or getting referee calls in their favor? Rather than even think about the problems and scandals that could cause, it’s in the league's’ best interest to remain neutral.

The rule of neutrality applies to eSports teams, too. Activision Blizzard might own Major League Gaming, but it’s really nothing more than that. MLG allows players to compete in games from some of Activision’s publisher rivals like EA, Microsoft, and Take-Two. Now, that’s a smart business move on their part. MLG has a credit system where you pay real money to access tournaments for various games, no matter the publisher. This will most likely continue until publishers decide to institute a contract system. EA could easily limit it’s eSports participation to its own league, with a set number of teams that have agreed to a league franchise contract. Should that happen, and be successful for EA, others will follow. Some publishers could allow their games to be played in multiple leagues with the stipulation being they send their best teams to a mutual championship match at the end of the season.

Should a league organization or publisher take sides with one, or several teams by funding them, the notion that they're being favored comes into play. There is a similar comparison in pro sports leagues with a salary cap. Basically, salary caps exist so one team cannot be unfairly stacked with the best players. With no system of checks and balances in place for eSports, one league could lure every notable team to it’s stable by supplying them with gear and paying them. As it stands, the prize pools are what attract the best teams.

Maintaining Integrity

If eSports is to continue its success, the leagues and publishers must preserve their credibility by remaining a neutral authority.  Offering the same prizes and opportunities to all qualifying teams without directly sponsoring them will reinforce this integrity. Not only is this beneficial to the leagues and companies directly involved in making the games, but also the businesses that sponsor teams. 

A company like Microsoft could easily fund a team and be the only sponsor on all their gear (like the Seattle Sounders). Without direct sponsorship, other companies are given the opportunity to display their logos on team jerseys, and just about anything associated with the team. As any business owner will tell you, that can be the difference between success and failure. It’s because of this that I realized just how many companies are creating products aimed at gamers. All those brands would have a much harder time fighting through obscurity were the big companies taking up space.

Maybe someday soon there will be courses and degree programs offered in eSports Management. Until that day arrives, I can only hope that everyone involved in eSports takes a page from those textbooks to make it at least as successful an entity as the NFL or NBA. The responsibility also falls to the teams and the owners of those teams. As enticing as it sounds, if a developer or publisher tries to sponsor one team over many, it’s in the best interest of the team to decline. Many, many companies will jump at the chance to put their logo next to your teams.

Do you agree that the game companies should remain a neutral authority? Would you major in eSports Management if it were offered? Does the idea of an ‘NFL of eSports’ appeal to you? Let us know in the comments below.

SAG-AFTRA Releases List of Games being Struck Against Fri, 21 Oct 2016 12:30:59 -0400 Clayton Reisbeck

Today, SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) is conducting a strike in protest to the unsuccessful negotiations for a new contract that would allow for residuals for successful games, safer working conditions, and transparency with voice actors for the projects that they'd be working on.

Along with the strike today, SAG-AFTRA released a list of around 200 games that would be struck against. The entire list can be found on SAG-AFTRA's website.

Call of Duty Modern Warfare Remastered

Looking through the list shows many titles that are clearly project names without official titles, but the list does hold some pretty big titles that are supposed to be very anticipated in the next few years. This includes games such as Injustice 2, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, the Crash Bandicoot remaster announced at E3 this year, and Kingdom Hearts 2.8. The list also has some titles that are already released, such as Team Fortress 2 and Shadowrun: Hong Kong.

Those titles that are just represented with project names are also interesting to see. Certain titles that I found intriguing were a couple from Formosa Interactive called "Blood Dragon" and Brothers in Arms. Other project titles of note are from EA titled "American Football '17 and '18" and "Hockey '17 and '18." I think it's safe to assume that those are the next installments in the Madden and NHL series, respectively.

madden 17

Now if this strike goes on for an extended period of time, we could very easily see some delays from these games. The issue I foresee is the companies just hiring someone new to do the voice work. SAG-AFTRA only represents about 25% of voice actors today, so finding someone who isn't part of the union probably wouldn't be hard for the companies being struck against.

Whatever happens to these games, SAG-AFTRA is going to fight for this new contract. Their previous contract was written back in the 90's and hasn't been updated to reflect the current culture of video games.

Which games are you surprised to see? Leave a comment and let me know!

Madden 17 Online: 5 Things to Think About on Defense Wed, 24 Aug 2016 11:13:47 -0400 Eric Adams

Well football fans, its Madden season. Time to wrap our brains around the best of the best the NFL has to offer. For those who haven’t played a Madden before, get ready for competition -- because these games are described with one word and one word only, intense. For those who have played, back to war.

Unlike my offense-based article about Madden 17, my Defense article is not as complex. Simply put, defense is a little easier to play than offense because you are mostly just reacting to the opposing players’ play calling. With all of that said, here are the 5 things you need to keep in mind when playing defense in Madden 17. 

1. Know the team you are using AND the team you are playing

There is a reason this is in both of the articles. Regardless of what side of the ball you are on, you still need to be aware of who you have and who you are playing. If the opposing team includes an impressive set of receivers and you don’t have the strongest secondary, maybe do more zone coverage. If you have a stout front 7, then you should be able to get pressure on the QB.

Knowing the strengths and weaknesses of the team you are using AND the team you are playing will go a long way in giving you the mental edge in a game.

2. Check the opposing personnel BEFORE picking a play

Before you pick a play, make sure you check who the opposing player has on the field for the next play. If they have 2 TEs, 2 HBs and 1 WR, then the play will likely be run plays -- so don’t choose a play with too many cornerbacks. If they choose a play that includes 3 or 4 wide receivers, then make sure you have enough secondary help to cover. You don’t want to choose a play that causes a linebacker to cover a halfback.

Know who is on the field and you will know what play to pick.

3. Choose the player you will control and know your assignment

Unlike offense, where you must control the player with the ball, on defense you control one of your 11 defenders. The first piece of helpful information is simple: don’t control anybody in the secondary. You will screw the play up royally and give up a TD 9 times out of 10 so just don’t even bother. Choose either a linebacker or a defensive lineman.

If you choose a defensive lineman, then you will likely be asked to rush the QB, in which you will just have to get off your block and pass rush. If you choose a linebacker, then make sure you know your assignment. If you blow your assignment of covering over the middle then you put your defense in danger of giving up big yards or even a score.

4. Know the plays to do on 3rd and long AND 3rd and short

 Make sure you know the down and distance. If it is 3rd and 20, then make sure you choose a play that will give up 15-18 at the most. 3rd and longs are much easier to deal with than 3rd and shorts. If you do happen to be in a 3rd and short situation, then pinch your defensive line. It closes up any holes and will give your defensive line a chance to clog up the running back's running lanes.

This brings me to my next point, knowing how to dictate coverage and the defensive line.

5. Know how to shift the D-line and how to dictate coverage

The pre-snap commands are the most important commands for a defense. Pre-snap commands (click the right analog stick) allow you to pinch your d-line, shift your linebackers or turn your coverage from a soft coverage to press coverage. Most players just pick a play and don’t even bother with pre-snap commands, but sometimes they can make or break a play.

Knowing when to pinch the line or press your corners is a critical component to playing defense. If your opponent looks like he is about to run, then pinch your line. If you don’t like how far off your cornerbacks are playing, then press them. The pre-snap commands menu is critical when it comes to making plays on D.

Now you're ready! 

There you have it, the 5 things you need to know when playing defense in Madden 17. After two articles on what to do on offense and defense, you begin to see that a lot of the Madden battle comes down to your mentality. Having a good head on your shoulders and knowing what to do (i.e. being prepared) will help you go a long way towards becoming a Madden champion.

If you haven’t already, please check out my 10 things to keep in mind on offense in Madden 17 article and be sure to comment below. If you need extra help in Madden -- like finding the best money plays -- then GameSkinny has you covered!

Madden 17 is out now for PS4, PS3, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.

Madden 17 Online: 10 Things to Think About on Offense Wed, 24 Aug 2016 09:39:13 -0400 Eric Adams

Well football fans, its Madden season. Time to rack our brains around the best of the best the NFL has to offer. For those who haven’t played Madden before, get ready for competition -- because games are described with one word and one word only, intense. For those who have played, back to war.

Playing a game of Madden is a grueling process and a true mental test. The thrill ride of playing in a head-to-head game is unlike any other Sports game. Since the games take quite a while, a multitude of different things will happen where you will find yourself needing to read and react. With that said, here are 10 things you will need to keep in mind when playing offense in Madden 17

1. Know the team you are using AND the team you are playing.

There are 11 players on the offensive side of the ball and 11 players on the defensive side of the ball at all times. In order to have an edge in Madden, you need to know who these players are. Shocker, you need to know about NFL players to play an NFL game.

 If you know you have a good HB (halfback) along with a good O-Line (Offensive Line), then run the ball. If you have a potent passing game that includes a dominant TE (Tight End) and an elite QB (Quarterback) then throw the ball. Know the offense you are using and the defense you are facing and you will then figure out how to attack from there. 


2. Tight End is usually the QBs best friend.

In the non-gaming world of professional football, the running game is QBs best friend. In the gaming world, that is still partly true. However, the tight end is actually more important than the running game when it comes to Madden. The TE is usually the bail out when you try to run pass plays. Whether he runs an out route, curl route or just running straight up the seam, the TE is the safety valve that almost all players of Madden look towards.

This works both ways because if the other player on defense sees you targeting the TE (or anyone on offense with regularity) then they may try and cover that player themselves. Be wary of the player being controlled on defense.

3. Utilize the short yardage plays

So many Madden players just want to sling the ball or break off a big run right off the bat. Unfortunately, Madden doesn’t work like that most of the time. It is important to have plays where you tell yourself ‘this play can get me 3 yards if I need it'. Short yardage plays are extremely important when trying to convert 3rd and short. Plays like the FB (full back) run and 01 Trap are extremely effective. In fact, 01 Trap is probably the most effective run play in the game due to the Guard pulling and the Center pushing, which then creates a huge hole for the HB to run through.

These plays are also quite effective in 1st and long situations because your opponent is usually not expecting them. They can be drive starters, extenders and finishers. Know how and when to use them.

4. If a play works and you like it, know how to get to the recent plays menu.

Say you use a play and it works to perfection -- a nice play-action pass for a touchdown, for example. You want to pull it out again later in the game but can’t find the exact formation it’s under. This is when you need to locate the recent plays menu. The recent plays menu includes all of the plays you have used so far and it is critical to saving a few seconds on the clock when trying to find a play.

 Once you locate the recent plays menu, then you will be able to come back to a play you were successful on earlier and it will save you precious seconds. A few seconds here and there may not seem too important, but that really couldn’t be farther from the truth.

5. Work the clock

Tick, tock, tick, tock. It may seem like the clock never moves, but it does. All Madden players must be aware of the great and powerful clock. It controls the game and it can control who wins or loses. Show respect to the clock and treat your valuable seconds of controlling it with care. Controlling the clock is called working the clock.

Whenever you have the ability to shave seconds off or slow time down, you must be aware of what you are doing and how it will impact the game. Know when the 2-minute warning is and know how many timeouts your opponent has. You can win a game by winning the TOP (time of possession) battle.

 He who controls the clock, controls the game. You must have a sense of the importance of time in this long contest.

6. Know when and how to throw the ball away

Holding onto the ball too long is one of the most prominent problems when it comes to people who play Madden. I’m sure there are surprising amounts of people who play Madden and don’t even know that you can throw the ball away. Knowing when and how to throw the ball away can be the difference between 3rd and 10 or 3rd and 30.

Clicking the right analog stick will throw the ball away. This does not mean you can just sit in the pocket and yell ‘abort’ then chuck the ball three rows deep. That would be intentional grounding and you will get a penalty. Make sure you are OUT OF THE POCKET before you throw it away.

You’re welcome.

7. Know how to Audible

The Audible, it is God’s gift to QBs everywhere and it allows us to completely change the play in Madden. Say you don’t like the looks of a play and wish to switch to another? Hit the Audible button and you will have the options of 4 new plays. Usually it will be a run play and 3 pass plays, but that depends on the formation.

If you don’t like the way the defenders are showing blitz, switch to a pass. You see a whole on the defensive line? Switch to a run and shoot the gap. The Audible is a critical component when playing offense. You MUST know how to audible because sometimes the play you choose won’t look as good when it is up against the play being shown by your opponent.

8. Know how to utilize the Hot Route

Just as important as the Audible, the Hot Route completely changes the route of the receiver, TE or HB you choose. When you click the hot route button, you will be able to change the specific route a player on offense runs. Say you see the cornerback backing off in coverage and you want your receiver to run a curl instead of a post. This is when you use a hot route and switch from a post to a curl route.

 This is, along with the Audible, the most important feature in Madden when playing offense. Know how to utilize the hot route.

9. Points matter

Duh? For those who are clearly lacking in the brains department, you need to score in order to win a football game. So, next time you have a 4th and 8 at the opponents’ 30-yard line, do yourself a favor and kick the field goal. Too many times have I seen an opposing player lose a game because he decided to go for it at the wrong time instead of just taking the 3 points.

Points = victories and victories = bragging rights. Bragging rights are what people play Madden for.

10. Don’t try to do what you know you can’t do

If you haven’t been able to run the entire first half, then don’t run unless you see an advantageous opportunity. If you have been picked twice trying to go deep, then don’t throw deep anymore. Whenever someone tries to do what they can’t in Madden, they lose. It’s not an ignorant claim; it’s a fact that has been tested throughout time. Don’t reinvent the wheel here, just do what you know you can do and do it well.

Are you ready?

There you have it, 10 things to keep in mind when playing Offense in Madden 17. I know it seems like a lot but once you hone in on these 10 things, you will officially acquire a mental edge over your opponent. However, in order to have the full mental edge, then you will need to know how to play defense as well. Be sure to check out my 5 things to keep in mind while playing Defense in Madden 17 article as well.

If you have other things to keep in mind, leave me a comment in the section below. Madden 17 is out now for PS4, PS3, Xbox One and Xbox 360.

5 Madden 17 Money Plays (and How to Run Them!) Wed, 24 Aug 2016 09:18:12 -0400 RobotsFightingDinosaurs

Madden 17 is out, and it is a very worthy successor to last year's game, garnering a full 9/10 from our review team. But what good is a great game if you're not great at it? If you're sick of getting stuffed in 3rd-and-goal scenarios, we're about to help you take your game to the next level with a few Madden 17 money plays that offer a high percentage of success and chances for big gains.

Now, before we begin, we should note that these are all passing plays. Picking the right run play in Madden is incredibly dependent on specific defensive schemes, and there are very few one-size-fits-all run plays (save for safe runs up the middle for, like 3 yards) that will consistently work well. That said, if you pay attention to the defense, and the lanes your blockers open up, most run plays can break for some decent yardage depending on how many players the defense has in the box. So let's get started.

If you're looking for better ways to get into the red zone in Madden 18, check out these 8 Best Red Zone Money Plays in Madden 18

The Stick Concept

In terms of high-percentage Madden 17 plays, the Stick concept plays offer perhaps the biggest reward for a read that is almost always very easy. Stick plays are usually good for 7-10 yards (or more, if you can shake your defender after the catch), and rely on the player making a quick read of a single defender.

If you look at the above image, the key defender here is lined up over Zach Miller, our tight end -- although in some cases, they will be lined up over the receiver running the flat route. When we snap the ball, we simply make a quick read to see whether that defender is covering the player running that curling route or the flat route, and complete a quick pass to the open man. Some stick plays even include a third receiver running a short curl route directly in front of the quarterback to give the player even more options. Regardless of who is open, a successful Stick play, regardless of formation, is an incredibly potent weapon in 3rd-and-long situations.

The Curl Concept

This concept is a bit more high-risk, but as long as you wait to make sure your man is open, you'll be fine. It's a money play, but it requires a bit more patience and discipline than the Stick concept. As you can see, Kevin White and Alshon Jeffery are both running curl routes, meaning that they're going to fake like they're running up the field and then, about 10 yards deep, turn around and wait for the pass. Usually, if the defense is in man coverage, the defenders will continue upfield for a few steps while your receivers turn around and wait for the ball.

That said, make sure your man is open. Curl routes can easily be cut off by defenders -- and if they are, the ball will almost always be batted down or intercepted. Just make sure you've made your read before you throw the ball. Worst case scenario, you can always dump it off to a receiver running a safer route in the flat and try to make something happen on the ground.

The Slant Concept

This is the simplest concept in the world, and it's an easy way to pick up about 5 or more yards consistently in Madden 17. The idea is that all these crossing routes will confuse defenders and cause them to switch their assignments mid-play no matter whether they are in zone or man coverage. We want to take advantage of those times when either our receivers have beaten their man, or when they exit one zone and have not yet entered another. Luckily, both of these things usually happen at the same time.

The moment of truth occurs when your receivers on the outside (in this case, Kevin White and Alshon Jeffery), pass in front of the quarterback. At that point, you should be able to see whether they have either beaten their defender in man coverage, or whether they are both in one man's zone at the same time. Either way, one should be open, and if not, you'll likely have an open receiver on the outside for a short gain before he goes out of bounds.

Just be careful -- these passes over the middle can be tipped, and with Madden 17's new ball physics, there's much more danger of that leading to an interception.

The Texas Concept

Personally, the Texas Concept is my go-to when it's third-and-about-7 and I need to pick up a crucial first down. It's a high-percentage play in Madden 17, and the read is very similar to the Slant concept we just went over. Our primary receiver here is the running back, Jeremy Langford. And as you can see, he's going to curl around the offensive line a bit behind our wide receivers, who are running routes designed to open the middle up for him.

This play takes a bit of time to develop, so a blitz will beat it, but if your opponent isn't rushing very many players, you should have plenty of time in the pocket for your man to get open. The great thing is that if he's not open, you'll usually have someone running a deeper route who is.

The Slip Screen Concept

So far, like most pass plays, all of these Madden 17 money plays will be vulnerable to a strong blitz. The Slip Screen isn't. In fact, it's designed to get the defense to bite and pursue the quarterback and forget all about the running back, who should have open field in front of him. The key to this play is patience. You want the offensive line to break down somewhat, and for the defense to think they have a sure sack. When you see the defenders bearing down on you, dump the ball off to your running back, in this case, Jeremy Langford. The longer you hold the ball, the more open space your back will have to work with. Much like a draw play, this concept works best when your opponent thinks you'll be looking downfield for a big gain, and is therefore trying to pressure the quarterback. If, however, the defense has settled into a safer zone coverage, there's a chance your running back won't have room to run.

The great thing about all of these concepts is that they exist in one form or another across a whole bunch of formations, and they can be customized depending on the situation. They can also be combined with one another using hot routes, so don't hesitate to experiment in practice mode and see what works best for you. Personally, I love combining slant and curl routes, and the Texas concept with a few deep curl routes. 

What's your favorite 3rd-and-long play in Madden 17? Be sure to let us know in the comments!

Madden 17: Finally Some Real Improvements Tue, 23 Aug 2016 04:00:01 -0400 Stephen_1992

It’s that time of year again, and it’s time for a new edition of Madden. Specifically, Madden 17 by EA Sports. Madden 17 is available on Xbox One, Xbox 360, Playstation 4, and PlayStation 3. I am basing this review off of core gameplay while playing Madden 17 on Xbox One. I’m not going to cover franchise, ultimate team, or draft champions mode, as we will have those articles coming out later. Let’s get right to the field and review Madden 17.

New Mechanics

There are lots of new mechanics in Madden 17. Some are simple, some are complex. For instance, the ratings actually affect a player’s ability and you can actually block kicks now, but let’s start with the running game. You can now hurdle, spin and juke more easily. Your player doesn’t slow down all the way to make a cut, resulting in the lane not being open because he took so long to slow down. Also if you play on pro or rookie difficulty, it will tell you when to juke, or it will just perform the juke for you. You can turn this feature off if you don’t like it.

Something that I find helps with the running game more than the passing game, is the player direction indicator. It helps you find holes in the line that would be a loss of yards in Madden 16. In Madden 17 you can point your player perfectly in between those small gaps for positive yards using a visual indicator.

The jukes are also much easier to perform. In earlier Madden games you had to do crazy complicated button patterns to juke someone. Now you press Y/Triangle and your player will perform a hurdle, or press B/Circle for a spin move. In Madden 16 I didn’t bother to learn how to do those moves because it would take too long.

On top of that, player ratings will affect how well a player can do certain jukes. Eddie Lacy is going to trick someone better than Lesean Mccoy, but Lesean Mccoy will juke better than Eddie Lacy.

The kick mechanic is also much easier. You press A/Cross three times, once to start it, once for kick power, and once for accuracy -- basically, it’s like Tiger Woods golf. However, even if merely kicking the ball is easier, aiming the kick is much harder. You have to move the kick ark to the right spot as you did with Madden 16, but unlike in Madden 16 the kick ark doesn't stay in place, you have to hold it in place then press A/Cross -- once you press A/Cross the kick ark will stay where it is.

Also you can finally block kicks much more easily. As an example, you put three players on one side that have the ability to block the kick. It still is hard to do, but two of those defenders have to make a choice on who to block, leaving one man open to possibly block the kick. Even with all of this, it still makes a difference how quickly you can get onto the ball.

Realism Updates

In Madden 16 I always listened to music while I played, so I didn’t have to listen to commentators Phil Simms and his partner drone on and say the same things over and over. Well, I am very happy to announce that the in game commentary has been greatly improved. First of all, the commentary is more realistic and feels more like you are watching a professional game instead of just playing a video game. Mostly, the commentary improvement comes from more diversity and a bit more modern references. For example, the commentators reference fantasy football, which they sometimes do in real life.

The in-game player introductions are more energetic. In previous games, the player intros were just a player picture of them smiling, or making a serious face, and it was always just something I never paid attention to. Now, I want to see them because I don’t know what they will do next time. I’m hoping that Rob Gronkowski pretends to spike a ball. The graphics are outstanding, and the player movements and animations are so realistic -- which allows these introductions to happen. The movement shows how excited they are for the game to start as they mimic shooting arrows into the sky or flex for the camera. The players' audio has become more realistic as well because you can hear them grunt when they make a juke, or get tackled, and you can hear them breathing hard when they make a long play down the field.

They have also added more celebrations. While playing as the Packers vs the Chiefs, I got a sack as Julius Peppers -- who then did the whip and naenae. These little details makes the game feel more down to Earth, as the players do those celebrations in real life.

If you are looking for a Madden with a great soundtrack, though, then go back to Madden 10 or 16. This Madden missed the mark on the music. The other Maddens that I mentioned had a good mix of genres. In Madden 17 it is all crappy rap and hip-hop music. If you are that person saying “rap isn’t that bad” you haven’t heard the terrible rap in Madden 17 -- there is much better music out there.

Interface Updates

The menu is vastly improved, the colors are better, and everything is clearer. They kept the overall layout of the menu screen, but the backgrounds of some of the other screens just look better. It’s not some monumental change but it still makes using the menus a much better experience.

Also, as a quality of life improvement for the players of the game, there is a better skip feature during games. You can now skip timeouts and some other elements, like challenge reviews, that just tend ruin the momentum of the game. Again not a massive change but it helps the overall feel of the game.


Madden 17 is easily a 9/10. The new running mechanics make it more approachable to the casual player, but it keeps the intensity up for the hardcore player. The added realism makes the game that much more immersive. It is better than any other Madden, but then again I did give it a 9/10, so it’s not perfect and so there are things to dislike.

Yes, it’s the best Madden there is, but it is also just an improvement over Madden 16, which was an improvement of Madden 15 and so on. The new Maddens are all just improved versions of the last ones. So, even if the running directional indicators, among other things, puts the Madden 17 improvements on top, the soundtrack still sucks.

Note: GameSkinny was provided a copy for review by Electronic Arts.

The 6 Worst NFL Teams According to Madden 17 Tue, 09 Aug 2016 10:25:01 -0400 RobotsFightingDinosaurs


Cleveland Browns -- OVR 73


Nobody's surprised that the Browns are the worst team in Madden 17, but it bears mentioning specifically how bad they are. They're going to be starting a completely washed-up Robert Griffin III at quarterback, and surrounding him with a group of random-seeming weapons in Isaiah Crowell, Josh Gordon, and Gary Barnidge.


There is really nothing at all to look forward to this season for the Browns, and the Madden rankings bear that out. Consider the Browns as a "project team", a team to take into franchise mode with the singular goal of fixing them over the course of a few seasons. Hell, that's the goal in Cleveland, so why shouldn't it be yours?


Do you think EA Sports got the rankings right? Let us know in the comments and stay tuned in the coming weeks for more Madden 17 coverage!


Chicago Bears -- OVR 74


This one hits a little close to home, but as a Chicagoan and a Bears fan, I can tell you that Chicago deserves its spot as the second worst NFL team in Madden 17. From an anemic, aging defense, to the loss of their #1 rushing threat, to a notoriously mediocre quarterback, there's not that many bright spots to find on this team with the possible exception of the receiving duo of a healthy Kevin White and Alshon Jeffery. This season isn't going to be pretty.


San Francisco 49ers -- OVR 75


Last year, the 49ers had the worst points-per-game average across all NFL teams, and ranked second-worst in total offense. There's no reason to believe things will improve this year with the loss of stars like Vernon Davis and Frank Gore.


There are so many questions with the 49ers that it's unsurprising that they are the third worst team in Madden 17. Is Chip Kelly fit to coach in the NFL? Is Colin Kaepernick still a threatening quarterback? Can Carlos Hyde stay healthy? Expect the team's rating to change, either for better or worse, as the season starts and some of these questions are answered.


New York Jets -- OVR 77


The reason the the New York Jets are the fourth worst team in Madden 17 can be neatly summarized by taking a look at their quarterback situation: the 33-year-old Ryan Fitzpatrick being backed up by Geno Smith, one of the most disappointing Jets QBs in history. And that's no small feat. Their receiving corps is solid, led by Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker, and Matt Forte is a huge threat at running back, but a porous offensive line can render all of that moot.


The Jets are very close to being a great team -- but in Madden, quarterbacks are paramount, and the Jets just don't have a good one.


Miami Dolphins -- OVR 77


The Dolphins are tied with the next team down in terms of overall rating, but get the benefit of the doubt with the addition of rookie Laremy Tunsil. But that's about the only thing this Dolphins team has going for it -- they truly are among the worst teams Madden 17 has to offer.


Though real-world front office drama doesn't really affect Madden that much, it did have an effect on the Dolphins' roster. This offseason, they revamped their defense with a bunch of overpriced and over-the-hill additions like Ndamukong Suh, and did the same thing on offense by signing the always-injured Arian Foster. If this were 2012, the Dolphins would be the team to beat. Unfortunately, it's 2016. 


Jacksonville Jaguars -- OVR 78


The 6th worst team in Madden 17 shares an overall rating with the Los Angeles Rams and the Indianapolis Colts, but any NFL fan knows not to pick the Jags over either of those alternatives.


Though the Jaguars feature a serviceable young quarterback in Blake Bortles and a few truly scary receiving threats, their offensive line is full of holes, and their pass rush is laughably weak. Playing as the Jaguars will result in a catch-22: what good is a decent quarterback and strong receiving corps when you can't keep your QB upright long enough to get a pass attempt off?


Madden 17 is just around the corner. And as is the yearly tradition, they have released a full list of player and team rankings so that sports fans can argue about how underrated their team is. Unfortunately for some fans, though, the worst 6 NFL teams in Madden this year really and truly deserve their spots. Let's take a look at them together, shall we?

Madden 17 Play First trial date announced for EA Access Tue, 12 Jul 2016 05:23:20 -0400 Eric Adams

Xbox One users who own an EA Access membership will be the first to test out the new Madden NFL 17 video game. EA has announced that Madden 17 will have a Play First trial on August 18th. Those who have an EA Access membership will be able to fully play the new football simulation in all of its glory.

New to the game this year are brand new announcers and a brand new ball-carrier gameplay mechanic that promises to make the game more balanced than ever before. So Xbox players have some fresh features to explore.

Unfortunately for PC and PS4 owners who would also like to try the new Madden, EA Access is only available for Xbox One. Not to worry, however, as Madden 17 will release just 5 days after the Play First trial. There's no word yet on whether or not there will be a demo so that others without an Xbox One can try the game.

 Madden NFL 17 will release on August 23rd, 2016. The EA Access Play First trial will be playable throughout the day on August 18th, 5 days before release.

E3 Evaluation: EA Press Conference Thu, 07 Jul 2016 12:59:57 -0400 Dalton White I

So last month all gamers waited in anticipation for the E3 Press Conferences to show and wow us with what they have cooking for their audience. This year E3 had some solid presentations among its press conferences but also some cringe moments along the way. So basically it was the normal air and fare for E3.

Naturally, from forums to the live Twitch chat, there always seems to be a tremendous amount of competition between gamers who prefer different consoles. Sometimes it’s nice to see fellow gamers sticking up for their preferred systems but more often than not there are forms of bias, harsh words and annoying spammers present as well. For this set of E3 Evaluations, the plan is to comment and judge on the content and overall tone of the press conferences. Did they impress gamers and give their loyal fans something to look forward to or did they drop the ball this year? So without further ado, next up on the list is EA Games.

A Wordy Beginning:

EA did a lot of switching in their opening few minutes between the stage in California and a small gathering at their London studio. They covered that they had a lot in store to show their fans and for the most part they did not disappoint. Easy to say that it was much more impressive than their conference last year.

EA E3 2016

Starting Off Strong:

EA began with showing off Titanfall 2, which seems to have addressed some of the problems found in the original title, such as a campaign. The title is also coming to PS4, so any Sony gamers interested in the series (myself included) can finally get in on the action. The trailer for the game looked very impressive with mid-air combat that was impressive but probably very difficult for the normal gamer to pull off.

A Shaky Middle:

EA also went into detail about Madden ’17 and its tournaments and the professional players taking place in the tournament. Now naturally EA has its paws in most sports games out there, so naturally, they are going to take the time to talk about their newest projects in that area. Still, the amount of time devoted to it killed the exciting momentum they had been building up from Titanfall 2’s trailer. The same could be said for FIFA’s discussion as well although the game did show off some impressive enhancements and improvements. Additionally, the graphics show off what the newest generation of consoles are capable of and the professional cameo they had this year was an improvement over the painful and lengthy chat with Pele from last year.

Ending on its Feet:

Despite the small dip in pace, EA pulled out some of the games that many fans wanted to see. Finally, fans of Mass Effect got to see some artwork and an actual few moments of Mass Effect: Andromeda. This game has been in the works for a while now, but it seems that Bioware has not disappointed. The description of ME: Andromeda seems to have a lot of potential that combines the exploration eagerly anticipated in the upcoming No Man’s Sky with the diverse and colorful Mass Effect universe.

I was also very interested in Fe, a new Indie game that EA is developing that seems like a gorgeous and unique experience interacting with a different world than the one we know. Also naturally EA gave some love to the Star Wars franchise. Mostly it was updates on pre-existing games, but they did tease fans a bit with a short snippet of a new game that is in development. Finally, EA concluded their conference with the discussion of Battlefield One, which instead of going toward the future like many third-person shooters seem to be doing, this game is going back to World War 1. The style of the game with cavalry and tanks is an ambitious undertaking but EA DICE could deliver on this promise.

Final Thoughts:

As per usual EA’s section about their sports games kind of disrupted the solid vibe and momentum after showing off Titanfall 2 but after that section was over they got back on track. Their conference this year was a definite improvement over last year which had me groaning about when it was going to be over. EA gave it their best shot and covered some solid ground in the course of an hour, but they did stumble a bit.

Fe Camera ShotFe's world is both eerie and heartrendingly beautiful.

If I had to give EA’s performance this year a grade I’d give it a solid B, maybe a B-. They had some impressive projects that helped carry it through the full hour, but some of their projects just seemed to pull the entire conference’s energy down.

Do you agree with my evaluation? Any comments or arguments? If so, please leave a comment and stay tuned to GameSkinny for more E3 Evaluations and gaming news. If you want to see the conference and judge for yourself, you can check it out on Youtube.