Peregrine 3-4 - Vertigo

Vertigo combines the Peregrine 3-4 signature ability to shut down outside runs with a deceptive zone blitz that will confuse quarterbacks. While it doesn't create quick pressure like more aggressive plays in this formation, Vertigo will flood the short zone with defenders to take away all of the easy reads, giving the attackers time to break down the protection. In addition, despite only sending two defenders deep this play is quite effective at handling three or even four wide receiver sets with just a few simple adjustments made before the snap. Overall Vertigo might be my most balanced Peregrine 3-4 play, able to handle anything except a straightahead power running attack.

The confusion starts front and center with the nose tackle. Rather than taking on blockers he drops straight back into short zone coverage. Combined with a safety to either side and any shallow crossing routes, quick slant or inside curls are quickly neutralized. Both linebackers runs outside stunts. While this means that only four players are attacking the offensive backfield, the angles taken outside the defensive ends can cause blown assignments in protection and allow a defenders to slip through. If you like to control blitzers manually a good technique is to take either LB, start running outside, and then cut back inside if the offensive tackle makes an outside step to counter your outside attack. Persistence counts here, as the coverage should do a good job forcing the QB to hold the ball and give attackers a chance to make an extra move.

Vertigo is most vulnerable to playaction passes. TEs over the middle as the most common target, but WRs streaking down the sideline will make the biggest plays. Dropping the coverage deep is one way to protect the outside, but taking manual control of an isolated CB might be safest if you have the confidence in your ability to single cover. If the offense runs an unbalanced passing formation, say two WRs to one side and one WR to the other I've found that the side with the single WR is most vulnerable to a defensive break down. Because Vertigo is essentially a modified Cover 2 it is most vulnerable to deep post and corner routes, so be careful if your opponent likes to make these passes. Against formations with three or more WRs the deep coverage audible will ensure that the CBs don't get beat and put the safeties in a good position to provide help on anything under 15 yards deep.

Player Assignments

Position Action
DEs Base
DT Hook Zone
ROLB Flats Zone Right
LOLB Flats Zone Left
RILB Blitz Right
LILB Blitz Left
SS and FS Hook Zone
CBs Deep Zone

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




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