Havoc is a play intended only for fearless receivers that can run over the middle, make the catch in traffic, and hold onto the ball after taking a hit from the safety. The main routes are the quick slants run by the right isolated receiver and the left outside flanker. I love slant routes, as you probably know by now, and against man coverage a slant by the isolated receiver is almost unstoppable. The left slant works a bit differently, running right through the other bunched receivers, letting the inside flanker and split end screen off the nearby defenders to suddenly break out into the open and make a catch before the defense knows what's happening.

Dynamo - Havoc

As potent as these two routes are, you can't depend on them completely. Bump and run coverage will usually slow down both slants, and with no blocking help the quarterback doesn't have time to wait for receivers to beat the press. Additionally, press coverage against either the left split end or inside flanker can jam up the path of the left slant route enough to significantly disrupt it. This doesn't mean all is lost though. The SE runs a short corner route while the inside flanker runs a streak, and while a jam may slow down one of these routes the other is almost certain to break free. If all else fails, a simple curl run underneath the confusion stands a good chance of salvaging some positive yards out of the play.

Although I'll do the best I can to explain the intricacies of the route running in the Read Progression section below, I strongly suggest practicing Havoc against multiple defenses before using it in a critical game situation. It's an aggressive passing play that comes right at the heart of the defensive backfield, and has the potential to create big plays not only for the offense, but for the defense as well if not executed with precision and timing. Lots of different things can happen when multiple routes are run through the same area, and there's no substitute for a lot of reps to just get a good feel for a play.

Player Assignments

Position Action
O-Line Pass Block
QB Dropback 2yd
Left Outside Flanker N6E6 (open)
Left SE 5yd Corner
Left Inside Flanker 25yd Streak
Left Rear Flanker 4yd Curl
Right SE N6W6 (open)

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

Read Progression

  1. Right SE slant
  2. Left inside flanker streak (quick)
  3. Left outside flanker slant
  4. Left SE corner
  5. Left rear flanker curl
  6. Left inside flanker streak deep

The reads are fairly simple for a five WR play (especially one of my five WR plays). With the right side of the field often open the first look is naturally to the right slant. Next look left for a quick throw to the streak, especially useful to practice in case of a blitz. Then look for the left slant. This one is a bit tricky. If the slant receiver is bumped or gets jammed up because either the inside flanker or SE is bumped, just forget about it and move on to the next read. However, if the slant pattern runs clean you want to make the throw while the receiver is right in the middle of the bunch. The key is to watch for the spot the receiver should make the catch at (about 10 yards downfield, just outside the left tackle), make sure that no defender is waiting to pounce on your throw, and throw it when the receiver is right smack in the middle of the jumble. This can be tough to get down smoothly, but if executed correctly will basically ensure that man coverage will not be able to make a play on the ball.

That covers the main reads. Unless the defense is really playing soft you will probably have wanted to get rid of the ball by this point. If you do still have time look for the corner route next. This one is tricky, both to keep in bounds and keep away from the defender, so be careful. Finally go for the curl route. You might expect this to be wide open underneath, but with all of the defenders in the area there might be someone lurking, so be sure to throw this pass with authority, not off your back foot.




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