Sometimes I like to attack right at the heart of the defense, and other times it's best to just run away from defenders and force them to chase you down. Scatter Gun falls into the latter category of plays. It has an almost early 00's Chicago Bears feel to it with it's sideways routes, and contrary to popular opinion this is not such a bad thing as long as the offense doesn't beat it to death so that the defense knows it's coming.

Scimitar - Scatter Gun

Scatter Gun works well as a compliment to my favored power up the middle running game. Get the defense stacking the middle to start, then take quick slashes to the outside. In particular the flanker on the left has a chance to take a quick pass to the outside and turn the corner up the sideline. Making a quick throw is fairly critical with this play because the blocking on the strong side has no help with the halfback lined up in the left side of the backfield. The HB can be motioned right for support and a chance for the quarterback to rollout a bit, but this has the downside that it signals the defense that the play is sure to be a pass.

If you like to take deep shots downfield this play does have one deep route, but the right flanker circle post takes a bit long to develop considering the tempo of the other routes, and does not get open particularly easily. Generally consider this a decoy route unless the defense goes with press or flats zone coverage to take away the outs.

Player Assignments

Position Action
O-Line Pass Block
QB Dropback 2yd
Left TE N1-N1E6 (open)
Left Flanker N1-N1W6 (open)
Right TE N1-N1E6 (open)
Right Flanker N2E1-N3-N4W4 (open)
RB Pass Block

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

Read Progression

  1. Left flanker out
  2. Right TE out
  3. Left TE in
  4. Right flanker circle post

The key to Scatter Gun is the left flanker quick out. This play feeds off of the TE in it cuts under and has the speed to beat the CB to the outside. It's great against man coverage and because of its speed it gets open early against blitzes. About the only way to stop it is to run flats zone, press coverage (defaults to a flats zone because the flanker lines up inside), or maybe run a double team. Next is the TE on the right side, who perform essentially the same duties. The difference is that he's a little slower and a little more prone to getting caught up in traffic or in the flanker's route, and so is a little less reliable.

The third look is the TE cross in. This route is a bit of an enigma, because although the positioning is excellent to attack a LB blitz, its lack of depth causes it to get caught in traffic around the edge or over the middle a bit too often to be relied heavily upon. The final route is is the flanker circle post. This one is not something to throw too often as it takes a while to get open compared to the rest of this quick look play. Against press coverage though, it may be the best route if the QB fires a hard shot down the seam just after the WR turn upfield. It can also get open deep against a 3 deep zone.




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