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Madden 24: The Best and Most Unbeatable Defensive Scheme!

Posted: Sep 04, 2023

This defensive scheme has helped me go 54-13 online. With insane blitzes and lockdown coverage, this defense has it all.

Madden 24: The Best and Most Unbeatable Defensive Scheme!

First Play

This is in the Multiple D playbook and we will be first in the 3-4 Formation going over the plays, Pinch Buc Zero and Cover 4 Drop. If you don't have the playbook yet, you can buy one directly with Madden 24 Coins.

We'll be using these plays together to disguise the coverage and the blitz so that our opponent never knows what is coming.

The first play is Pinch Buc Zero, and this is a nasty blitz that is super easy to set up. But before you call the play, make sure that the alignment is set to default.

And the first thing you will do in the play is QB Contain your D ends. Then, user the Linebacker manned up on the Running Back. And to make this blitz fire on all cylinders, you want to make sure to stand over the A gap to make the offensive line think you are blitzing, which will open up gaps for other rushers.

You will see that once the ball is snapped, there will be a free rusher disrupting the QB in a matter of seconds. No matter if you block a running back or not, this blitz is lethal.

Madden 24 First Play Example 1

But let's talk coverage. Because we are all out man blitzing, we will have nobody to help over the top. Knowing this, you may want to keep your secondary backed off to avoid getting beat by deep routes. Or, if you do want to press your whole secondary, you can individually back off players that may be a mismatch.

And the way you can back off players individually is by pressing Y, A, and then you can choose the receiver you want to adjust coverage to. And in this case, it was B. And if you want to back them off, flick up with the left stick.

It's also worth noting that although pressing your corners in this blitz is a big risk, pressing successfully can also disrupt the routes at the line of scrimmage, which will give the blitz more time to get to the QB.

The last coverage tip for this play is for the user because you are manned up to the running back. It is important to watch the running back in case he goes out for a route. If he does, it's your job to shut it down. But if he doesn't, you can drop back into coverage to help the secondary and lurk the QB for potential interceptions.

Second Play

Now, let's talk about Cover 4 Drop.

Now that we have the core blitz for the defense, we need a play where we can make it look like we are running the Pinch Buc Zero play, but actually will be dropping back players into coverage. This is why we will be using Cover 4 Drop out of the 3-4 formation, which is great against the run because of the safety run help and it can eliminate the pass with eight players dropping back into coverage.

But to make this play look like Pinch Buc Zero, you want to change the alignment to base. But to make it even more similar, you want to user one of the Linebackers and put them over the A gap like we did in the Pinch Buc Zero play. This will give the opponent less of a tell for what play we are in because we are doing the same pre-snap adjustments every single play.

For Cover 4 Drop, the first thing I do is either pinch the whole defense or press my defense. This will bring everybody in the secondary down, including the corners. And the reason these corners are better off playing down is because it gives them better leverage to guard corner routes and run with vertical or any deep routes.

Now, because Cover 4 Drop is mainly a medium and deep route prevention defense, you may want to make some adjustments to guard the underneath routes. You can do so by putting the curl flat Defenders on a hard flat by pressing Y and down with the right stick. This will help defend any quick short passes.

And one quick tip is that if you want to put a cloud flat on the curl flat defenders instead of a hard flat, you can actually press Y, then up on the right stick after you put them on a hard flat, and then, they will turn into a cloud flat.

Cloud flats cover a little more depth and could guard out routes, curls, and some corner routes opposed to hard flats, which only cover quick short passes near the line of scrimmage.

Now you can also utilize Zone Drops in this play. Zone Drops are useful for when you want a zone to drop to a certain point on the field. So if you want extra help to guard corner routes, you can put the curl flat zones on 20 to 25 yards. This will help guard the corner routes along with a deep quarter zone that turned into an interception.

And you will see that the deep quarter was over the top of this corner out and the curl flat defender with the 20 yard zone drop was underneath the corner route. So, if the QB under threw the ball our curl flat zone drop at 20 yards would easily be able to make a play on the ball. So, we had the corner route on lock over the top and underneath.

And as the user in this play, you want to be one of the hook curl linebackers. Your goal is to take away any routes that go through the middle of the field and then work your way outside for additional coverage help. So, when running these two plays, Pinch Buc Zero and Cover 4 Drop, it's important to mix up the play calling. Because when each play looks the exact same, your opponent will never know what one you're running if you're bringing heat or dropping everybody back.

Dime and Dollar

Now, because you cannot substitute safeties in the linebacker position in the 3-4 Formation, it is important to have formations that can match teams with a lot of speed. So, we will be looking at the formations Dollar and Dime.

In Dollar, you want to make sure to sub in safeties at the linebacker position so you can match up well against pass heavy sets. This way, you'll be able to do more unique coverage setups by using hybrid defenses and cross manning.

Cross Man Defense (3rd Play)

Cross Manning is a way of disguising manned defense setups by manning up receivers, tight ends or running backs in the opposite direction of your players.

Madden 24 Cross Man Defense (3rd Play) Example 1

Here's an example. In this play, I am in Cover 4 Drop in Dollar. I decided that I wanted to cross man Trevon Diggs with the inside wide receiver because if the inside wide receiver were to run a corner route, Diggs would already have outside leverage to guard the corner. So, the wide receiver would just be running a route directly into my defensive back.

Then, I manned up the slot corner with the outside wide receiver and put my safety on a deep half this way. I have a defender helping over the top instead of having him on a deep inside quarter, which would not protect the rest of the deep left part of the field. This would be considered a hybrid defense because we are mixing Man Coverage and Zone Coverage into one play.

Madden 24 Cross Man Defense (3rd Play) Example 2

Now when the ball snapped, you will see that the receivers did not run out routes or corner routes, but instead ran crossing route. But because we are running a hybrid defense, the crossers ran right into our zones on the right side while still having the two manned up DBS following the crossers.

But because we lost our zone help on the side we cross manned, it is the users his job to help with any crossing route going to that side. So, as soon as I saw Kelce running across the field where I knew we had no help, I ran with him. And you will see everything was locked up on all sides of the field and the QB threw an easy interception.

Utilizing cross manning and hybrid defense can not only benefit your coverage, but can completely screw up your opponent's reads.

4th Play

Now there's also a blitz that you can create out of Cover 4 Drop in dollar.

In this case, you want to be sure that the alignment is on base. Then, when you were in the play, pinch the D line and press your secondary. This will make the two curve flat defenders come towards the line and these two players are the defenders that you want to put on a blitz.

And you will see that even when the running back is blocking, we are able to still get pressure on the QB. But if the blitz doesn't come in, we still need to make sure we have solid coverage on the back end.

Madden 24 4th Play Example 1

In a trips formation like you see here, I will usually man up the backside linebacker with the single receiver and you can also man up the corner with the running back if you think you'll be going out on a route.

Now, if you're not a fan of the man assignments, you can also leave the backside linebacker on his default zone or put him on a purple curl flat to help with potential corner outs. On the strong side, though, you'll be using the other linebacker.

The goal here is to take away quick passes and to try and take away your opponent's first read.

5th Play

Now in Dollar, I also run basic Cover 2 Man. But I want to show you an example of how you can optimize Cover 2 Man against certain offensive formations.

Madden 24 5th Play Example 1

In this play, I saw that the offense was in a trips formation to the boundary. And because there were three wide receivers on the short side of the field, I felt that it would be very tough to run any out breaking route because of how condensed the formation was and with my corners pressing, it would disrupt any route to the outside as well.

So because there was a high chance that all three of these receivers were running an in breaking route, I shaded my defense to the inside while usering the blitzing linebacker to help with routes going to the middle of the field.

And you will see that every receiver did in fact run an in breaking route, which led right into our inside shaded corners, which locked every route up and turned into a big pick six.

6th Play

In case you need another blitz in your arsenal, we're going to go over DB Blitz Zero in the Dime Formation.

In this play, you want to make sure to set the alignment to default. And when you get into the play, all you're going to do is pinch the whole defense by pressing RB and down with the left stick, and then you're going to slant your D line inside, but pressing left on the D pad and down with the right stick.

For you, you want to user the linebacker that is manned up on the running back. Of course, if you have an excellent running back, even better! As long as you have enough MUT 24 Coins, you can achieve this very quickly.

To make your life easier though, you can shade over to the side of the running back, but to optimize the blitz, hover over one of the defensive linemen or gaps and cover the running back If he goes out on a route.

And you will see that in this blitz, you'll have instant pressure coming from the edges for big time disruptions and sacks.

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