Antigravity is one of the best plays you can ask for when you need to throw deep. Both split ends run fade routes along the sidelines, against which defensive backs are usually forced to turn their backs to ball to stay with the receiver. Even if the DB has good position the receiver may be able to jump in front of him and make the catch. Better yet, plays designed specifically to stop deep passes, such as Quarters - Prevent, are vulnerable because there is usually only single coverage down the sidelines.

Max Spread - Antigravity

At this point, you may be reading this and thinking "cheese" (a play that is unrealistically effective and would not work in real life, for those not down with Madden NFL lingo). To this I say it's only cheese if it cannot be stopped by running the appropriate defense. I actually think there are very few cheese plays in modern editions of Madden (and probably in most other football video games), because as the games have gotten more realistic the types of defensive breakdowns that let cheese plays work have steadily been reduced or eliminated. Well let me assure you, though Antigravity will eat up some defenses it can be stopped by mortal men.

The most effective way to stop the long ball with Antigravity is to use press coverage on split ends. Because the quarterback takes the snap under center and the halfback runs a pass pattern rather than stay in and block there is no time to wait for the split ends to work past the bump. This reduces the available options to the flanker inside fades and the HB deep swing. These routes are designed to be hit at or behind the line of scrimmage and gain most of their yards with a good run after the catch. These routes can be effective but just don't offer the same potential as the fade routes. If you really want to use Antigravity but the the opposing defense uses press coverage to stop it, one counter attack available is to put a flanker or the HB in motion, which brings him up near the line of scrimmage and gives a third quick target option. Making good use of other Max Spread plays that are more effective against press coverage may also open Antigravity up in later situations.

There are a few other ways to stop Antigravity, in case you still think it pushes the limits of realism. While the Prevent defense may not work well against it, Quarters - Cover 4 plays man with two CBs while dropping four DBs deep. This allows double coverage against each fade route (man plus one deep zone) while still leaving the safeties to protect the deep middle. A strong blitz out of a base formation may be effective, but is risky because the fade routes can be thrown very quickly.

Player Assignments

Position Action
O-Line Pass Block
QB Dropback 3yd
Left SE N2W2-N2W1-N4W1-N2 (open)
Left Flanker N2E2-N2E1-N4E1-N2 (open)
RB W1-N1W2-N3W2-N6W1 (open)
Right Flanker N2W2-N2W1-N4W1-N2 (open)
Right SE N2E2-N2E1-N4E1-N2 (open)

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

Read Progression

  1. Right SE fade
  2. Left SE fade
  3. Right Flanker in
  4. Left Flanker in
  5. RB deep swing

The progression for Antigravity is refreshingly simple for a five route, deep passing play. The first two looks are for the SE fade patterns. I look for the #1 WR on the right side first. Next, look for the underneath flanker fade in routes. You may want to look at one of these first if you motion a flanker up near the line. Finally, watch for the HB swing cutting under the left flanker.

A few notes about the SE fade patterns. You want to throw these early, after about one step back by the QB. This quick release will beat even most six man blitzes. To get the most yards put some air under the ball, letting the receiver run under it and forcing the defender to turn his back to run with the receiver. In some cases you may spot the DB covering start dropping back into deep zone. This will create a bit of an opening to throw the fade hard and to the outside, underneath and away from the coverage. Shorter gain, but maybe a smaller chance for the defender to make a play on the ball.




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