Vengeance is a good passing play to run if you believe you can attack the defense through the linebackers and safeties, because its routes are stacked in layers vertically up the field. The tight ends strike the short and medium levels with a curl and post pattern, while the wide receivers run symmetric fade patterns just wide enough to prevent one deep safety from hovering in centerfield to break over for late coverage on either one. This means that the defense can play it conservatively and double cover both deep routes or swarm the middle zone, but probably not both at once.

Scimitar - Vengeance

The key route to this play is the right TE curl. While short, this route is an easy read and makes Vengeance a great passing play for converting 3rd and 4 or less yards. I make this route the Playmaker because a shallow drag to either side slips nicely under the more vertical routes run by the other three receivers, rubbing off tight man coverage. The post route is a bit more daring but very makable for medium gains, while the fade routes stretch the defensive backfield and offer nice opportunities for occasional deep strikes.

The compactness of Scimitar makes passing plays like Vengeance nice for attacking spread out zones, but at times things may get a little too crowded for comfort, especially when the defense plays tight man coverage. One nice feature of the Singleback-Big formation I used to create Scimitar in Madden 2005 is that by motioning the left TE outside the left flanker moves around to the wide left position, turning scimitar into a decent spread formation with a single motion. While not useful in every Scimitar play, this really creates a lot of room to work with for Vengeance, especially helping the deep fade patterns.

Player Assignments

Position Action
O-Line Pass Block
QB Dropback 2yd
Left TE 5yd Post
Left Flanker N1W1-N3W1-N5W1 (open)
Right TE 4yd Curl
Right Flanker N1E1-N3E1-N5E1 (open)
RB Pass Block

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

Read Progression

  1. TE curl
  2. TE post
  3. Right flanker fade
  4. Left flanker fade

Compared to many of my pass plays, especially those with four or five routes, this one has a refreshingly simply read progression: no quick reads built into the regular progression, no double reads for any player. Of course there may be times when you see that a receiver is going to burst wide open right off of the snap, and as usual I recommend throwing order out the window and attacking the first, best opening you see, but with this play just let it come naturally.

We start with the TE curl. I prefer to throw this against man coverage or a LB blitz. It can be squeezed past LBs in zone, but the window is usually pretty small and you risk a deflection or interception. Next is the post route. This is the best shot for solid, 10-15 yard gains, but requires care because this pass demands more touch than you might expect. Unless the LBs completely vacate the middle on a blitz the QB will need drop the pass in over the head of the MLB but well short of the safeties. This can be tough because the WRs will not have gone deep enough to demand the full attention of safeties in deep zone quite yet. Finally look for the fade routes deep. The best bet is too look for whichever side has single coverage and put the ball deep to minimize risk of an interception.

I generally use Vengeance with the intent of hitting the TE curl for short, reliable yardage. The fade patterns are more opportunistic routes, I generally look deep only when the defense smothers the short zone. If TE curl is covered you can use the Playmaker to move the TE to open spot, probably while rolling out to the right, though this really is best for creating a safe way to get rid of the ball and avoid a sack than to make a big gain.




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