Blitzkrieg is a German word meaning "Lightning War." It was used to describe the core strategy used by Germany in World War II. Essentially, it is to strike as hard and fast as you can, always advancing upon your enemy and never letting him regroup or reestablish a fortified position. I decided it was an appropriate name for a play that runs out of a tank-like formation but hits a defense with the speed and suddenness of a V2 rocket. It is best used close to the goal line, when the defense is thinking power run.
Blitzkrieg is based upon two principles: surprise and quickness. The Strong T formation is normally best used for power running, and is effective in short yardage and goal line situations. Blitzkrieg is also designed for these situations, taking advantage of the fact that most defenses will not be prepared to cover five receivers. The lack of blocking help makes sacks a danger, but because the QB should always be looking for a quick throw the result is more often wide open, short range targets. This second principle, quickness, prevents defenses over committed to stuffing the run from recovering and most base defenses from reacting in time to cover everyone.
In goal line or short yardage situations every receiver except for the center running back on a wide swing should gain at least two yards where he catches the ball, enough to convert most downs or score a touchdown. Most routes do not work very far down field, move mostly sideways, and feature slow receivers like tight ends and the fullback, so yards after catch are not usually high. Still, this play does have potential in the open field as well. The fullback usually gains 8-10 yards if is able to turn back to the middle before catching the ball, and the whip RB circle post can gain 15-20 yards if open late.
|Left TE||N1W1-N1W5 (open)|
|Right TE||N2E1-N1E5 (open)|
|Whip RB||N1W2-N3W1-N3E1-N3E2 (open)|
|Center RB||E2-N1E2-N2E1-N7E1 (open)|
See the Madden Playbook Guide for a description of these symbols.
- Left TE out
- Right TE out
- FB circle
- Center RB swing
- Whip RB circle post
This progression is straightforward and designed for the open field. TE outs, FB over middle, RBs up the seams/on the flanks.
The progression is quite a bit different up by the goal line. The right TE is not a very good target here because he simply gets caught up in too much traffic. Also, the center RB swing, while not too hard to complete, is difficult to get any yards with when the defense is stacked up close. By the goal line I use a left-to-right progression, left TE, whip RB, FB, center RB, and right TE. The primary targets in this situation are the whip back whose route becomes more compressed, like a broad circle route, and the FB circle over the middle. If the goal line defense plays back against a pass the FB is your best bet because he runs straight across over the middle, beating man coverages and moving through holes in zone. On a blitz the whip back is good because the shallow corners are emptied, and the left TE can work too. The center RB may work best if the defense stacks the middle, which is usually the best way to defend Blitzkrieg, because the D-line can get to the QB quickly and will bat a lot of passes to the FB or right TE.
- Quick developing play with several good routes which can overwhelm goal line defenses
- Uses element of surprise by running a five receiver pass play out of a primarily running formation
- Multiple routes, especially the whip RB circle post, can stretch defenses in the open field
- Aggressive goal line or line stacking defenses can get to QB very quickly due to lack of blocking support, causing sacks, batted balls and knockdowns if the ball is not released quickly
- Best goal line route (FB circle) is a little slow developing and targets a position not known for great hands
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