T Bone-Jumbo - Power O Sting

Chances are you've already seen the Power O play in my U Bacon formation, based on the Green Bay Packers running attack from the 2003 NFL season. While I was trying to get that play figured out (both the real life version and a successful Madden replica) I came up with the T Bone-Jumbo formation and this play, Power O Sting, which has become maybe my favorite power running play. While the standard Power O uses a pulling guard to provide maximum blocking power right at the point of attack, this play gets all it needs from the two fullbacks in position in the backfield. Combined with the tight end on the strong side, raw straight-ahead blocking from the offensive line and a quick first step from the running back, Power O Sting is a truly formidable force.

Unlike Power O, which is designed to run nearly exclusively inside of either of the dual strong side TEs, in Power O Sting the HB takes a wider attack, giving him the option of pounding inside, or if the defense loads up inside bouncing it outside for a potentially big gain. Teams seeking to just contain this play, rather than hoping to stop it completely can have some success with zone coverages, using the defensive line to protect their linebackers from the FB lead blocks, then letting the LBs shoot the gaps to keep gains minimal. Defenses wanting to shut it down completely though will have their hands full, and will likely resort to man defenses which bring a lot of bodies in tight, as well as blitzing LBs at the strong side off the T Bone formation. This can stuff Power O Sting some of the time, but in addition to the ability to bounce outside against compact defenses the Playmaker control works well to create powerful runs even to the weakside. Overzealous blitzers may find themselves grasping at air as the HB takes off the other way.

Player Assignments

Position Action
O-Line Run Block
QB Handoff to HB
SE and TE Run Block
Left FB (FB #2) Lead Wide Right
Right FB (FB #1) Lead Outside Right
HB Back Step - Sprint Right

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

Blocking Assessment

The hole to run through is decided primarily by the D-line deployment and whether the coverage is man or zone. Against man most of the time the outside CB to the strong side will come in tight, over the TE or just outside. In this case look to spring outside, speed works well here. A zone is much stronger to the outside and should be overwhelmed with massive blocking power inside, forcing the CBs to run laterally to get involved in the play. Things are a bit more complex when looking at the arrangement of the front seven. If both the linemen and LBs shift to the strong side it's a no-brainer, hit that Playmaker and run weakside. This is also a pretty good move if the D-line alone shifts over. The tricky situation is if the D-line spreads out wide, and the LBs shift strongside or stay put. A spread D-line will make it dicey getting to the outside, forcing most runs back to the inside where the LBs will be in fairly good position. It will also provide good defense against a weakside Playmaker run because the FB lead blocking is definitely weaker here. Gains will still be made, but the chances of busting a big one will be diminished. Motioning the inside FB to the edge may provide a blocking boost, but is risky in case the defense decides to blitz up the middle.

Once the defense has been assessed and the play adjusted, the idea is simple and familiar. Look for the first hole, keep the shoulders squared and accelerate upfield. Although taking the play outside gives the best potential, only do it if the path is clear. Don't make big cuts that can kill forward momentum. Momentum is very important, because with all of the bodies likely to occupy a small area busting through arm tackles might make the difference between a minimal gain or loss and 5 yard or more rumble.




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