RUN DEFENSESimply put, stopping the running game in Madden 20 was too difficult for most. For Madden 21, we aim for a more balanced run/pass ratio, so we’ve made some improvements to our Run Fits and Defensive Gaps system, with a strong emphasis on the Force defender, who is the defender responsible for setting the edge vs. the run. Here are some specific improvements we’ve made towards that goal:
- Force Defenders aligned on the line of scrimmage at the snap will use wider angles at the start of the play to show more anticipation and better pursuit prediction to set the edge vs. outside running plays.
- Force Defenders will show more anticipation in their pursuit angles at the start of the play when facing quick-hitting outside running plays, such as Jet Sweep and Touch Pass so that they’ll get in a better position to set the edge.
- Hammer and Fill players, who are the defenders in the run fit responsible for the open gaps inside of the Force player, will take wider initial pursuit angles vs. outside running plays, that will help them get over the top towards the outside of the formation quicker, and prevent them from getting mired up inside by blockers and other traffic.
- Force Defenders will have wider formation alignments in many base defensive formations, such as 3-4 and more plays within those base formations will have the Force player aligned on the line of scrimmage instead of off the ball.
- Edge and Force defenders will have wider Gap integrity vs Heavy/Wing TE Sets.
- New/improved blocking interactions with defenders disrupting running lanes by pushing blockers further into the backfield during engagements vs. all run types.
- Defenders will have better anticipation of the ball carrier’s movement by taking smarter angles while/after shedding blocks.