Quick Dime - Arc Zone

When an offense needs to move the ball quickly down the field without using up the clock, the traditional strategy is to throw passes to the sidelines to let the receivers run out of bounds after making the catch and stop the clock. To counter this strategy I developed Arc Zone, a defense that covers deep and along the sidelines while allowing more room towards the middle of the field. Hurry up offenses facing the Arc Zone will have to make a choice: keep trying to work the sidelines against zones and double coverage, or attack the more vulnerable middle of the field and hope they don't run out of time.

The arc shape is formed by curl zone coverages by the slot corners and deep zone coverages by the safeties. I like to use the skills of my top cornerbacks to the fullest, so I play man on the outside, effectively creating double coverage on most passes to the sidelines as well as any streak or corner routes run deep by the outside receivers. What this leaves open is the area up the right and left seams to either side of the linebacker playing a short hook zone. Any quick throw to slot receivers, and curls or streaks in particular along these seams will likely be open, however the receiver will be trapped to the inside and unable to stop the clock. A third, less significant vulnerability is the medium deep middle. This is the spot behind the linebacker and between and in front of the safeties. The linebacker makes most post passes risky, though the deep middle may be open if the outside receivers manage to draw both safeties away from the middle. This is something to watch out for, but not really a serious weakness.

One other thing I took into consideration with Arc Zone is the mobility of many of today's quarterbacks. A problem with deep zone coverage schemes is that if a quick QB can get by the pass rush he may have 15 or 20 yards of open field to run through. To counter this I put use the LOLB as a QB spy. Having only one spy won't prevent every scramble, but it should limit their effectiveness. The disadvantage of this is that it only leaves three down linemen to rush the QB. Keeping all this in mind, use Arc Zone sparingly and only in appropriate situations. It does its job of protecting the sidelines well, but is not an all-purpose defensive play.

Player Assignments

Position Action
Defensive Line Base
ROLB Hook Zone
Right Outside CB (CB #2) Man WR2
Right Slot CB (CB #3) Curl Zone Right
Left Slot CB (CB #4) Curl Zone Left
Left Outside CB (CB #1) Man WR1
FS and SS Deep Zone

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




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