Axe is an unusual formation named after its characteristic shape and designed to let the offense direct the defensive rush. Rather than forming a bubble shape around the quarterback and center like Singleback-Big or any Wing formation, Axe utilizes a wedge shape on the strong side which can funnel defensive rushes into the middle of the formation. If the defenders take the bait the back can run right by them, either to the strong side behind a wall of blockers or to the weak side with a quick first step.


While the wedge shape was created with running plays in mind, it also works well for passing plays. Axe puts plenty of speed on the field with three wide receivers and a tight end. The strong imbalance in the formation deters zone coverages which can be overwhelmed by the bunched receivers on short routes, and can cause mismatches against man. Axe is also a bit stronger running formation than most people expect from the given position package, and may cause opponents to select inappropriate defenses as a result.

Position assignments can make big differences in the Axe formation. Unlike many of my formations where the #1 wideout lines up close to one or more other receivers to work off screen and decoy routes, here I use the more traditional approach of isolating the #1 because of the plethora of receiving talent on the opposite side. I only use one tight end because I throw as much as I run with Axe, and the right two receiver routes as typically designed with speed in mind. Still, if you really like to run you may substitute a second tight end for the middle receiver on the strong side for extra blocking power.


Axe - HB Blast

HB Blast

A nice power running play to the outside. The right receiver wedge forms a wall to seal off the defensive rush while the QB gives a long handoff to the back. With a good initial seal and acceleration by the back this play can go for quite a few yards.

Axe - Flare


Flare is a very effective and balanced passing play. Both split ends run streaks to stretch the defense deep while the underneath receivers split apart into post and corner routes. This play is fast developing and send all receivers vertical for great YAC potential.

Axe - Dart


Dart is an aggressive and easy to execute passing play that will stun opponents with its lightning-quick execution. Both spreading the coverage and offering high percentage throws, this play is one of my favorites for clutch situations.

Axe - X Waggle

X Waggle

A play action pass that will leave defenders' heads spinning. After giving the fake the QB turns right on a bootleg and looks for the TE outside, with WR routes available in the middle and deep. A bit risky, but full of potential and tons of fun. Supplemented with Waggle Decoy, a weak side Axe running play designed as a setup for X Waggle.

Contact Arkaein with any comments or questions regarding the Monstrous Madden Playbook.