Nova is a play perfectly suited for quarterbacks who make the right throw, find the open receiver, and feel the play develop through pure instinct. I've used Nova with good success as part of my Nebula offensive package, getting big yards and touchdowns when I needed them most. However, when I run Nova the experience is different every time, because Nova has a flow, a feel that is different from just about every play I've ever developed or run. All five receivers run routes that are similar in shape but vary in effect, continuous curves without a single sharp cut. No one receiver runs a route that would be particularly effective on its own, but together a kind of synergy is formed that makes Nova extremely difficult to defense consistently. Every receiver is prepared to make a catch at any point in his route, the whole time curling through zones and away from man coverage.

Nebula - Nova

My favorite routes in Nova are the right SE drag over the middle and the right rear flanker swing streak. The drag route is the easiest throw for gaining 8-10 yards, with potential for more as the safeties are often split to cover the left SE and right flankers. The swing streak can usually pick up an easy 3-5 yards if thrown early, and as long as the pass doesn't hit the receiver in the back. If you need to score a long touchdown or just move a long ways downfield in one play, this is also the best route to throw a bit later, once the flanker has turned all the way upfield. I like to rollout my QB to the right (provided he's mobile enough), hang on just long enough for the right middle flanker to clear a path in front of the rear flanker, and then step into a nice lob pass down the right side. Because the middle flanker will draw the deeper coverage it often comes down to a cornerback to give chase to the rear flanker from behind, with his back turned to the QB. Put the ball up high and just let your receiver run underneath it.

Despite the its downfield capabilities, get ready to practice before you start launching bombs downfield with Nova. The unique routes utilized take some getting used to. By its nature, Nova must be executed more by feel and instincts than by rigid timing. You'll understand better when you run it yourself. It's kind of like being in The Matrix: no one tell you what Nova is, you have to see it for yourself.

Player Assignments

Position Action
O-Line Pass Block
QB Dropback 3yd
Left SE N3W1-N3-N3E1-N1E1 (open)
Left Flanker N1W2-N2W1-N2-N2E2 (open)
Right SE N2W2-N1W2-W2 (open)
Right Mid Flanker N1E1-N3E1-N3W1-N3W3 (open)
Right Rear Flanker N1E3-N2E2-N3E1-N4 (open)

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

Read Progression

  1. Left Flanker in flats
  2. Right rear flanker in flats
  3. Left SE up seam
  4. Right mid flanker up seam
  5. Right SE over short middle
  6. Left SE deep
  7. Left Flanker slanted in
  8. Right mid flanker post in
  9. Right rear flanker up sideline

Because each Nova route is a smooth curve, this read progression should be looked at more as a set of guidelines than hard and fast rules. Although every route except the right SE drag over the middle has two reads given, each route can potentially be thrown at any time depending on where the defenders are.

The best approach is to practice Nova in two stages. The first stage is the hot reads. Look for the early throws (first four read progressions). This will get you comfortable with running the play against a blitz. After mastering these throws move on to the later parts of the routes. The simplest way to think about it is the early throws are made when the receivers are running to the outside, the later throws are made with receivers running towards the inside (or straight downfield, in the case of the right rear flanker). These are the big yardage throws. Here you must not worry as much about timing as being able to just see the entire field at once and pick out the open spots receivers are running to.




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