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Playing defense can be one of the most frustrating tasks put in front of anyone in Madden 13, but things get a lot more fun with just a few key ways to put pressure on the quarterback.
Long gone are the days of “nano blitzes” where instant pressure would plague the online arena, and, for the integrity of the game, it’s good that we’ve moved past that sort of behavior. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t scheme your blitzers free, and put the QB on his butt in a matter of seconds. Here we’ve put together three awesome blitzes out of the Nickel Normal formation that you can use to your advantage against those pass-heavy gurus you are bound to come across online.
The JAX defensive playbook in particular has all of these plays, however you should be able to find them in most playbooks with the Nickel Normal. Turn on the “Strategy Pad Quick Links” from your options menu to make this a lot easier on yourself.
Nickel Normal Formation
Sugar 3 Seam
Sugar 3 Seam is a great blitzing concept that won’t leave you entirely vulnerable to the deep ball if for some reason the pressure doesn’t arrive, and also gives you a free linebacker that you can user control to disrupt passing plays over the middle of the field.
It works like this: Simply shift your linebackers to the right side (RB + Right on the 360) and you’re done.
Wait, that’s it?
When you make this small adjustment to this blitzing play, the blitzing linebacker will find himself on the outside hip of the defensive end, which will create a three-on-two rushing situation on that side of the field provided your opponent doesn’t keep a running back, or tight end in to block. You can even flip this play at the playcall screen, or on the field to send pressure from the opposite side.
The best part of this type of blitz is that it’s so quick to set up, which means you can spend the rest of your time configuring how you want your coverage to look behind it. I would recommend you control the free linebacker in the yellow zone and manually cover the TE or slot receiver depending on where you think you are most vulnerable for a quick pass. It’s important however (as with any blitz) that you use this selectively, so that you don’t tip your hand or give your opponent a lot of opportunities to figure out how to punish you for sending heat.
Sugar Blitz is the man-coverage equivalent of the Sugar 3 Seam blitz that we just learned above, and while it may not be quite as safe from the deep ball as the previous blitz, it does have the added benefit of being man-to-man, which means you can press the receivers at the line of scrimmage and give your blitz a few more valuable seconds to get home. Just be wary of the many ways someone might defeat press coverage in Madden 13, and don’t stick with the jam too much if it seems your opponent knows a quality way around it.
The Sugar Blitz is set up in the exact same way as you would the Sugar 3 Seam, as you shift the linebackers to the side of the field that the blitz is taking place. For proper coverage however, you will want to make some minor adjustments: Take the linebacker that isn’t being shifted to the side of the field (so if you are shifting to the right, take the linebacker on the left), put him in a yellow zone instead of blitzing (since you won’t need his rush) and manually cover the middle of the field with him. You can also put the safety in a deep blue zone for added security deep. Your primary responsibility will then be to cover the tight end or running back depending on how the formation is set up. You can even take your linebacker, step directly in front of the TE and manually bump him at the line of scrimmage like the rest of your players by holding down “RB” on the 360. Manually bumping the TE is a great trick on almost any passing play, as it can throw him off his route and it’s usually unexpected, since the TE is typically unbumpable from a tight alignment.
Overload 3 Seam
Overload 3 Seam is yet another great blitz out of the Nickel Normal formation, and its setup is exactly the same as the previous two: Shift the linebackers to the side so that the blitzing linebacker is behind the defensive end. It’s certainly no coincidence that all three of these plays are set up in the same way; blitzes that are quick to set up and arranged in the same way to generate quick pressure are much easier to call, and will let you spend more time learning the proper ways to cover behind it, and less time fuddling about with user adjustments.
On this play, I like to bring the safety that is over the middle of the field down closer to the box, put him on a yellow zone (DPAD+Down -> DPAD+Up) and then take control of either him, or the linebacker that’s sitting in a yellow of his own just next to you. This type of adjustment with this blitz will make you a little bit more vulnerable over the deep middle, but will give you better coverage over the immediate middle and give you some more play-making ability by giving you the option of controlling a speedy safety. If a quick pass to the running back is a problem when you’re blitzing, you can use this opportunity to cover the RB manually with the safety here.
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