Tsunami was first conceived for use by my college 7-man flag-football team a few years back. I named it after the Japanese word for tidal wave, because I imagined various plays, especially utilizing the trips formation on the left, as hitting defenses suddenly and unstoppably.


Unfortunately I could not convince my teammates (despite being team captain!) to use a formation featuring 3 wide receivers to the left, one on the right, a center, H-back and quarterback. My philosophy was that by spreading out the defense and using as many receivers as possible, quick, well executed plays would burn any teams that dared blitz. The left trips receivers would work together to create screens, block on short throws, and pull most of the defense to that side, opening up the right side. If the other team wanted to rush the QB at all they would almost certainly risk allowing a short throw to turn into a big play. The center, unable to block effectively without helpers would just run quick hooks and outs to the first available soft spot in the defense. The H-back would be available for emergency dumpoffs and could block by having the QB rollout to the right behind him. On broken plays the QB would have a lot of room to try and run with.

Because we never actually used this formation, I never got to test my ideas. When Madden 2003 came along Tsunami was one of the first formations I tried. It isn't really the same as I first envisioned; adding 4 offensive lineman and an equal number of defenders means that things aren't that wide open in Madden. Defenses can put on a decent pass rush without gambling too much, it's harder to completely lose a defender (pro athletes don't get confused as easily as amateur collegians), and you can't rely on single coverage for the right wideout. Still, I've made more plays for this formation than any other in my playbook (about 15) because even in 11-on-11 it is still extremely versatile and effective.

Because of the deep position of the quarterback and running back, Tsunami is a passing only formation. Unlike most of my other formations, including the all-passing ones, Tsunami does not emphasize the running back, who spends most of his time blocking. Instead it relies on creative combinations of routes by the trips receivers balanced by an isolated receiver to the other side. The isolated receiver usually works against single coverage, though there may be safety or linebacker help depending on where the route is run. Most Tsunami plays are really designed around the trips receivers. I put the #1 receiver as the left flanker because he benefits the most from decoys and screens run by the other two trips receivers. The #2 receiver is isolated on the right. The #3 receiver is the inside left flanker, and the left split end is #4, who is a viable target but is best at drawing coverage from the underneath routes.


Tsunami - Deep Drag

Deep Drag

An excellent 3rd and 10 play, especially from the right hash marks. The outside flanker drags across the middle, under the deep post and streak. The inside flanker breaks out of the jumble to the left sideline.

Tsunami - Backslide


This attacking play is great for those times when you really want to go after a defense. Its quick execution will stun defenses and slow down blitzes, and a multitude of potential reads gives great depth and versatility.

Tsunami - Quick Look

Quick Look

Maybe my best blitz-breaker. Three quick developing routes across the line give the QB the tools to target almost any defensive attack, while creating enough of a downfield threat to keep defenses honest.

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