Sidewinder is a power rushing formation that almost looks like something you might expect to see from the Nebraska Cornhuskers playbook. With good reason too, as that's exactly what inspired Sidewinder, though the result of lots of development is my own original formation. A while back I stumbled across a site based on the Nebraska offense, and a few of their bigger formations caught my eye. In particular, the OzBone looked quite interesting. I decided that I would make a formation which I eventually called the Super I, two fullbacks and one halfback lined up in an I behind the quarterback. I split a receiver out wide to either side to give the formation a more NFL flavor.


Unfortunately, the Super I just didn't work out as well as I had hoped. With no tight ends the lead blocking fullbacks were often forced to throw blocks in the backfield, jamming up the flow rather than opening lanes. Speed rushes around the edge were catching the halfback in the backfield. I tried replacing one of the receivers with a tight end, which helped, but not enough. I could have tried a second TE, but I didn't want another two TE, three back formation with Wishbone-Big already in my playbook. I thought about the OzBone a bit more, and I though that maybe spreading out the fullbacks would help things a bit. Lo and behold, my lead blocks had room to operate without running into each other or the QB, and I could make things work with just one TE. The Sidewinder formation was born, named after the snake-like appearance of the backs.

Because three back sets are a little uncommon in the NFL, I've adopted the OzBone running back naming conventions. The first back is the fullback. The second back is the W back. The third, featured back is the I back. I use the symbols FB, W and IB for these players in the names of plays and in play descriptions. I'll also use these symbols in player assignments, though with the standard position symbols alongside in parentheses.

With one TE and one WR, and the featured back in the back of the formation, the only real position assignments to decide on are the two lead backs. I make the W back a fullback, the #2 fullback to be precise, with the #1 fullback in the lead position. You can make W the #2 halfback if you prefer or your team doesn't carry a second fullback. This is primarily a lead blocking position though, so I wouldn't use anyone too small.


Sidewinder - IB Double Wham

IB Double Wham

A W lead block and FB kickout block create openings both straight downfield and to the outside. One of my most flexible power running plays, IB Double Wham is sure to become a core part of any power rushing attack's playbook.

Sidewinder - IB Mid Plunge

IB Mid Plunge

A simple looking double lead play that a smart field general can manipulate like a surgeon to cut through defensive lines. Designed to seek out and penetrate the soft spot between the defensive tackles, this play is most effective in the hands of experienced football tacticians.

Sidewinder - IB Lead Smash

IB Lead Smash

A pure power running attack designed to knock defenders flat on their backsides. The I Back takes a quick handoff and follows directly behind powerful lead blocks by the fullbacks with a burst of speed. No fancy trap blocks or slippery counters here, just good old fashioned smash mouth football.

Sidewinder - Drawbridge


Drawbridge looks pretty simple but only with practice can you realize the full potential of this passing play. Routes by the backs and the tight end really make this play tick. Especially effective against zones and able to beat press coverage using the dual RB swings.

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