Slipstream brings a different look to the I Form-Twin Flex formation. A pair of routes with big gain potential include the running back wheel out of the backfield, able to catch defenses off guard and create mismatches in coverage. The deep routes make the play higher risk/higher reward than what the formation has previously offered, but the risks are not too great with a short curl route functioning as a safe checkdown and the ability to overthrow the wheel route if the QB is under pressure.

I Form-Twin Flex - Slipstream

The wheel route is the centerpiece of the play. While not much of an option short, in man coverage a speedy RB will be in a foot race with a linebacker. The safeties should be distracted initially by the TE streak and post route from the slot, meaning safety help should get there late, if at all. Against zones the situation is a little tougher, with single coverage by the FS being most likely, but there's still a chance to catch him out of position. The other deep threat is the post route, and this is really where the risk comes along with the reward. The left SE runs right through the heart of the defense and even with a hard, accurate throw there's a good chance the SS will be able to knock the ball loose with a big hit, and inaccurate or mistimed throws will likely be intercepted.

When the I Form-Twin Flex is derived from I Form-Twin WR this play has a large number of motions available, about half of which I've found to be useful. With the TE running a route, moving the FB to the right side can bolster the pass protection and allow the QB a bit of a rollout to buy time. Splitting the TE wide can stretch the defense to open up the post, or you can move the SE wide right to create a corner route outside of the TE. Moving the curl doesn't do much, but it might distract the defense from the wheel route. The most potent adjustment might be to motion the RB left to get a trips bunch set, allowing the wheel route a very quick release.

Player Assignments

Position Action
O-Line Pass Block
QB Dropback 2yd
Flanker 4yd Curl
SE 5yd Post
TE N9E3 (open)
FB Pass Block
RB N2W2-N2W1-N5W1 (open)

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

Read Progression

  1. TE streak
  2. SE post
  3. Flanker curl
  4. RB wheel

Slipsteam uses a direct progression that has become a signature of the Twin Flex formation. Look to the streak early, evaluating the coverage before the snap. This throw is actually quite difficult to complete (it's mainly a decoy to distract the SS from the post route) but any opening should appear early. The best option is usually to throw outside and arc over the shoulder. Scan left to the short post. This works best against man coverage, though one risk is that the receiver could be bumped off his route in traffic. The post does poorly against the hook zones employed in the Cover 2 plays, so consider using motion or audible to a drag or square in if your opponent likes to play press. The post is also a nice LB blitz counter, right in front of the QB and often with a good passing lane through a vacated LB slot.

Continue left to the curl. Against man coverage this play is fairly safe but will net 5 yards at most without a broken tackle or juke; more room is available against most zones and blitzes where the WR will have a chance to spin to the outside for a 10-15 yard gain. This route is also smothered by press coverage but there aren't many fixes in this case. Finally we come to the wheel route. Don't despair that this comes last in the progression, the QB is able to scan smoothly enough that it should only take a second or so to get to this read. Just look for a gap in the rear left (from the QB's perspective) corner of the defense and make a high arcing pass deep and to the corner, over the head of any LB underneath and away from the FS helping deep. Although a bit slow developing to use against most blitzes, if picked up this route can be a killer.




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