Cyclone, another Undercuts offshoot, is one of my best plays for throwing down the deep middle. The split ends glide out and up towards the corners, pulling the defense away from the middle. This opens up the medium to deep middle for the broad, circle post route run by the left running back. You'll be sure to want to have a fast, sure handed #2 back for this play. The flanker in and right RB back cut round out the play, giving it solid options for short yardage and a nice safety valve.
The primary targets are the left RB and the flanker. The flanker is best for reliable gains, but I really like going downfield to the RB. I have few plays that can gain as much yardage right over the middle as consistently as this. The SE routes can also pick up some good gains, but because of how the receivers curve out and up the QB may have to throw the ball over the top of a DB, so it is very important to be sure you know what the defense is doing. If you aren't sure a throw is open, take the safe route and dump to the RB cutting around the backside. One problem with this play that may hurt novices is that the three deep routes are very tempting, especially the RB circle post because of how open it can get, but the passing windows are tight and a mistimed throw can go right to a defender. As usual, practice, practice, practice.
|QB||Receive Shotgun Snap|
|Left RB||N2W1-N2-N2E1-N4E4 (open)|
|Right RB||S1W1-W4-N2W1 (open)|
|Left SE||N1W3-N3W2-N6W1 (open)|
|Right SE||N3E3-N3E2-N4E1 (open)|
|Right Flanker||N2E1-W7 (open)|
See the Madden Playbook Guide for a description of these symbols.
- Left SE out
- Left RB seam
- Flanker in
- Right RB back cut
- Left RB post
- Right SE corner
- Left SE corner
Special attention must be payed when reading the left RB, as there are two places in the route that make good throws. The first time is when he turns straight upfield on the second route segment. This works best if the LB to that side blitzes or just moves close to the line. The second position is on the post segment, directly over the middle. This requires a very careful read. Often the SEs will cause the defense to vacate the middle of the field, opening a nice area for the RB to catch the ball. However, it is important that the QB throw the ball before the RB is in the clear. If you wait until the RB is open the throw will head right towards the far safety. The best time to throw is right when the RB has curled around the left side LB. Wait just until you see that the LB will either stay in a short zone or the RB has him beat deep before making the throw.
The SE routes also require some care. The left SE can be hit early as he heads out into the flat or late towards the corner. The right SE takes a straighter heading downfield so it is best to skip reading him early. Once in a while a quick seam pass is available, but probably not enough to add this risky throw into the standard progression.
- Left RB has one of my best routes for getting big yardage
- Flanker compliments RB post with reliable short yardage route
- SEs give additional big play capability close to the sidelines, good for a hurry up offense
- No blocking backs means that high snap + blitz around end = sack
- Left RB seam/post route takes good perception and precise timing, an early throw will face LB coverage, a late throw may be aimed right at the right safety
- SE corner routes require good touch and placement to the outside to be effective
- Read progression jumps around a lot, often requiring players to just concentrate on a few preselected routes
Contact Arkaein with any comments or questions regarding the Monstrous Madden Playbook.