With the increasing use of the read-option in the NFL, Madden 25 has taken steps to plug the potentially explosive play into the appropriate playbooks for teams in the game.
If you've played online against other gamers who run with the San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks or Washington Redskins, chances are you've see your share of the play in action.
If you're not prepared, it can be devastating. If you play it correctly, you can keep the opposition in 2nd- or 3rd-and-long situations routinely. With a hat tip to Madden guru ZFarls, the author of the official player's guide for Madden 25, here's a video that gives a few golden tips on combating the Read Option.
ZFarls makes it sound so easy. If you follow the directions in his short tutorial you will undoubtedly experience more success. As he mentions, using the pre-snap controls that allow you to choose if you're going to contain the QB or RB is essential.
This tells your defense who to key on. Think of it as your middle linebacker barking out signals as he reads the offense's formation.
Mixing in blitzes where appropriate can take your defense to the next level. Big hits in the backfield could lead to turnovers and other big plays.
What other strategies are giving you issues in Madden 25?
How About Scrambling Quarterbacks?
The obvious option is to appoint a linebacker as a spy, but sometimes that isn't enough. This is especially the case if you're defensive line isn't getting enough pressure.
Here's one tactic I've used. With a 3-4 alignment against two-receiver sets, I hot route each of my linebackers. I alternate which linebacker is blitzing, spying and which two are dropping into short-zone coverage. This way, opponents online don't know which way the pressure is coming from, and they aren't sure what quick routes will be open.
If I still don't get into the backfield, but my secondary and linebackers provide adequate coverage, I still have my spy in place to help contain the QB should he attempt to escape the pocket.
Who do I control in this instance? The defensive tackle.
I love to try and get pressure straight up the middle. If all goes well, I can force a turnover or flush the QB into the blitzing linebacker. If the QB guesses right, or I get too predictable, I could have some issues with short, quick passes; so like any approach, this strategy must be used in moderation.
What About Those Quick Passes to Tight Ends?
I had to bow down to ZFarls again with this one. The man is an absolute genius when it comes to defensive adjustments in Madden. You can read all of his options for containing quick passes to the tight end at the link provided, but this one is my favorite.
Base Align Twice
This tip is primarily used when calling zone defensive coverage. We like to call Cover 4 zone from the Dollar formation. We then hot route both DEs into hook zones and then man align the defense twice. This rebalances the hook zones on the field to defend the field equally. This type of coverage is an absolute nightmare for opponents who target TEs.
Wow. To top off the strategy, Farls writes: "This is one of the most advanced defensive tips in Madden NFL 25." That's an understatement.
To pull this off you have to be quick and have an idea that this is the strategy you'll employ before the snap. If done properly, you'll drastically impact the way a team can target tight ends. It does significantly reduce your ability to stop the run, so it is ideal on third down or in obvious pass situations.
This is most effective against a team like the San Diego Chargers, New England Patriots or even the New Orleans Saints. These team's top pass-catching option is at the tight end spot.
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