For the last few years, Man Defense in Madden has shifted from one end of the spectrum to the other. In Madden 16, man D was quite effective. Everybody covered like Deion Sanders. Only one or two routes gave you a chance of consistently moving the ball. Then, in the last 2 Maddens, 70 rated corners once again played like 70 rated corners. With that said, here are several routes you can use to protect against the Man D coverage.

1METHOD (In Breaking Routes)

Take for instance Deep Digs, the receiver runs a streak then cuts on a dime inside. Due to the angle of the route, there are limits to the space the defender has to intercept. There becomes even more separation if the route running is above 91. Having 91 plus route running accelerates the speed of one’s cut inside. You’ll find even more difficulty because of it being a hot route which allows it to be committed in under 5 yards.

In addition, you have the post route streaks that cut at an angle up the field. Versus press coverage, I personally prefer the Dig route. The defender won’t be able to recover as effectively. I also favor the post vs Off Coverage as there is an obvious one play touchdown chance since the cornerback can get completely turned around.

There’s also deep crossing routes run by the outside receiver. You can usually find these in play action type plays. If the defense is playing Man Press, the route is unbumpable. So the receiver will get into position every time as soon as possible. It’s a great route to choose if you expect any type of Man Press blitz.

Lastly, the route that Packer receivers will run as long as Aaron Rodgers is in the building is the slant. It’s simple but sweet and equally good taking on man and zone defenses. I think it’s every formations top audible as well, so don’t be shy to use it.

2METHOD (Out Breaking Routes)

The first of two breaking routes you want to make use of against the man is out routes. I don’t even know how many times I’ve seen guys convert 3rd and long using a smart routed out route. It’s the most frustrating because, once they hit you with it once, you sit there like “did I really let him do that?” Then, you wind up letting it happen again after you forgot about it the first time.

Next are the C Routes. Popular in the Shotgun Bunch; it’s nasty because it develops so fast. Due to the speed of the unbumpable C Route, you can throw to him before he makes his final break and he will come open while the ball is in the air. Despite the cornerback typically looking like their in good position, the play usually has a great success rate. Its versatility makes it a great zone beater as well. It’s no surprise it’s been a popular route in Madden for a long time.

3METHOD (Running back Routes)

Finally, there are angle routes to your back. This includes plays like the one out of Y Trips Offset Wk-HB Angle . The back creates a good amount of separation cutting back inside because the linebacker always opens too wide to defend the flat route.

However, even with all the ways to beat Man, the defense still has adjustments like changing defenders assignments to try and cut off a certain route. This is why it’s important to be able to attack Man outside and inside. This way they can’t just put their safety in the flat and cover x,y and z.

They also can use Cover 1 style defenses, which will still be man coverage. However, instead of two deep safeties, there is now one by default. The missing deep defender turns into a Robber whose job is to jump underneath routes. The robber is the yellow zone you will find in Cover 1 coverage and guys like to user control the players with these assignments. He has no defined receiver to cover and is encouraged to user jump routes. So it’s important to have more than one man beater on a given play. That way they can’t cheat on a route you have been running 3 straight plays.

Since 2 Man Under isn’t the best coverage, when guys use it, be prepared for some Man Blitz action with the user trying to jump any route you can throw out there. Don’t be predictable in your quick pass man beater. If he has seen you throw a slant when he went to free fire last time, it’s best believe as soon as you snap it he’s going there again. Have an out route and the slant on the other side to give yourself options. Like with all things in Madden, never be predictable.


Alright Sports Gamers, hope I was able to help you out against the Man Defense in Madden 18. Make sure to check out our other Offensive Tutorials as well. You might find something else that will suit your needs. Lastly, be sure to check back here daily at Sports Gamers Online for new Madden 18 content.

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Christopher Walker
I have been playing football games since 99’. All starting with the NFL Game Day demo and NFL Blitz on PlayStation, then I moved on to Madden for the next 5 years, where I really didn't know what I was going yet. I flirted with NFL 2K for a year, but have played Madden and NCAA (up until its demise last year) ever since steadily improving my game each year and developing a passion for the X’s and O’s part of football.