Lightnings is one of my oldest passing plays in the Diamond Wing formation (making it one my oldest overall). Against the CPU on the Pro or All Pro difficulty settings it was quite useful as a red zone play, with the fullback or tight end often getting open in the end zone, shielding passes from defenders with good body position. Unfortunately, the CPU pass rush is simply too good at the All Madden level to use these routes effectively, as they take some time to develop, and this play fell into disuse. Recently I have started using it more in the open field, and have discovered that when the pass rush is more restrained and the receivers have some room to work with, it is effective at any level for gaining modest yardage.

Diamond Wing - Lightnings

The play's symmetry makes it easy to learn. The wide receivers start in to compress the defense before breaking sharply to the outside, where they can be hit relatively safely for 3-10 yard gains. The FB and TE run right up under where the wideouts break outwards before turning in for short post patterns, which are good for 10-12 yards. If nothing is open, the FB and TE quickly break towards the corners. While lack of speed limits the effectiveness, the double move each backfield receiver makes can sometimes shake defenders, and running downfield gives more room for the WRs underneath to brake off their routes and scramble to get open.

Player Assignments

Position Action
O-Line Pass Block
QB Dropback 3yd
Left SE N1E1-N3W7 (open)
TE N3W3-N1E1-N6W4 (open)
RB Pass Block
FB N3E3-N1W1-N6E4 (open)
Right SE N1W1-N3E7 (open)

See the Madden Playbook Guide for a description of these symbols.

Read Progression

  1. Right SE out
  2. Left SE out
  3. FB over middle (after first turn)
  4. TE over middle (after first turn)
  5. FB corner (after second turn)
  6. TE corner (after second turn)

The split ends are your best targets for short yardage. Additionally, if they're not open early they can gain as much as 10 yards when hit late, close to the sideline. The FB and TE should generally be hit over the middle on the post section of their routes, because with their lack of speed it's very difficult to get open on the corner route, which also requires the QB to hold the ball for a long time. In practice I have found that the FB tends to get open earlier and much more often than the TE, presumably because the defense keys more on the TE position and is more likely to jam him early.




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