I'm not really sure what it is, but something about the Spades formation brings out a desire in me to attack the outside on pass plays. Mace started this trend attacking the right side, and now Galvanize continues attacking this time to the left. Using these plays in combination will keep defenses wary of your next move and help produce some extended drives. Unlike Mace, Galvanize is easy to learn and use effectively with a less risky flats route, reducing the danger that an eager cornerback could gobble up the pass and take it the other way for six. The key is the combination halfback and tight end routes. While a CB in flats zone coverage can take away the primary HB route, this leaves the TE wide open for an even easier throw and catch. Smothering both routes without sacrificing coverage elsewhere might be a tall order for defenses to fill. Though it's intended mainly to produce medium sized 6-12 yard gains, Galvanize also gives you a nice opportunity to generate some YAC through the TE laying downfield blocks that can open long stretches down the sidelines where the RB can sprint.

Spades - Galvanize

The WR options fill the play out but really are secondary in consideration. The out can be effective but is a bit slow developing considering the lack of protection behind the right tackle, and the shallow slant curl is a low production checkdown option only. The benefit is that if complex passing plays with intricate sequences of reads end up confusing you more than the opposing defense, Galvanize can be a great asset. If neither left side route is open just loft a nice, high arcing pass over the heads of the HB and TE out of bounds and avoid lost yardage from being sacked or worse. With more practice you can learn the footwork needed to keep the QB alive in the pocket even if the play does break down, increasing the potential of the play by taking advantage of the secondary routes to the right side.

Player Assignments

Position Action
O-Line Pass Block
QB Dropback 1yd
TE N4W6 (open)
SE N1W3 (curl left)
Flanker N2-N1E6 (open)
FB Pass Block
RB N3W6 (open)

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

Read Progression

  1. RB out
  2. TE out
  3. Flanker out
  4. SE curl

Your focus before running this play should always be on getting the ball quickly to the HB, and only looking for other options if this route is definitely covered (there is one exception, described below). The reason is that while the flanker out route is a pretty decent backup option the lack of protection to that side means the QB shouldn't get in the habit of holding onto the ball for long. The HB quick out is a safe route under most circumstances, so that even if the pass is tipped an incompletion is usually the worst outcome. Waiting for another recevier to get open late is about the only way to risk serious trouble with this play. Spend time practicing getting the ball to the HB quickly, with decent velocity and aimed to the outside.

If the HB is definitely covered there are a few other options. The most likely case is if the CBs are playing press coverage. In this case the HB will be covered immediately and passing in his direction is not a safe move. The TE on the other hand should immediately break open behind the CB but well in front of and to the outside of the safety. Get the TE the ball before the safety can close the gap and you should get an instant 10+ yard gain. If the defense is not in press but the HB is covered anyways (or you're in a situation where a safe incompletion will really hurt you, like 4th down) then the SE out route is a pretty good backup plan. Make sure to take a quick step to the left after the QB drop even though you're not throwing that way to get behind the extra protection of your FB and prevent an easy DE rush around RT, then hold the ball until the SE gets to the outside. You might not have enough room for this if the play starts near the right hash marks. Only look to the shallow curl as a last resort unless you only need a couple yards because the YAC potential of this route is practically zero, and you risk getting your pass tipped by a D-lineman.




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