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.
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.