For the longest time, beating the Cover 3 has required the use of either a Flats/C Route combo or a Streak route with a Post running behind it. However, since this year, playing on All Madden has every secondary player jump passes before they are even thrown. It makes the passes you do complete feel like you dropped a pass into a bucket from 100 yards away. So, we had to regroup, throw out all that we’ve known about Cover 3 and how to beat it. Here’s a few ways you can stay ahead of the super human defenders and still dominate against Cover 3 defenses in Madden 18.

Madden 18 – Beating Cover 3

1METHOD: Delayed Posts

Regular post routes get swallowed up by the deep safety. We will need to move on to the second best routes attacking the middle. Those will be the delayed post inside Deep Digs. This gets us into the area we want to attack. The Dig doesn’t run directly at the safety making the route harder to do be jumped. Level concepts are also a great place to start. It creates hi lo reads on linebackers. If they drop deep to cover the dig, you have an underneath route running into the area he just left. If they stay short, you can go over their head. The point being, you’re removing the deep safety from the play and not allowing him to make any super human highlight reel interceptions on you.

2METHOD: Out Routes

Next is out routes. You’ll want to utilize them on the side where the linebacker/safety is responsible for the sideline underneath coverage. So, in 3-4 and 4-3 defenses, that’s both sides. Against nickle, it’s the side opposite of the slot corner. The reason for this being that linebackers and safeties in most cases won’t be as fast or as responsive as a cornerback playing the sideline pass. This helps you avoid them grabbing an unlikely interceptions.

3METHOD: Deep Crossing Routes

Another way is to use deep crossing routes. These are good for counteracting super human defenders swallowing up usual C3 beaters like C Routes. By utilizing deep crossing routes, you’ll put off corners momentarily as cornerbacks can’t guard or jump something that isn’t on their side yet. There is a chance it can still happen, but it is less likely giving you valuable seconds. The defense will also have to play more honest to keep up. However, you will need to make sure your guy gets past the deep safety first. You don’t want to give them an angle to jump the pass. An underneath route should be in place to keep user defenders honest. If they decide to follow the deep route, throw in stuff like in routes, drags and curls on either side of the side in combination with the deep crosser and fade to give the play the most success.

4METHOD #4

Lastly, and a favorite of mine, is PA Slot Wheel found in Trips TE. The adjustments I make are to hot route the tight end on a drag, block the running back and send the middle receiver on the Trips side on a streak route. This play is one example of what I mean by delayed routes over the middle. Imagine a regular post route. The receiver runs a streak, then immediately cuts down the middle. The route ran by the outside receiver in this play takes a split second longer. Forcing that safety to drop back a split second more, opening up more space in front of him. Putting the tight end on a drag ends up helping 2 routes. He’s there as the Lo read in the Hi-Lo read I went over earlier. That’s put him between the delayed post route down the middle. So, he’ll take advantage of user linebackers in the middle deciding to drop back deep to cover the post route and open up the post if the linebacker stays short to cover the drag. Once the tight end moves more towards the sidelines, he creates another Hi-Lo read with the wheel route on the sideline defender. Since the streak is clearing out the corner as a decoy, the underneath guy has to cover 2 routes. If he stays deep with the wheel, you’ll have the tight end. If they play underneath, the wheel is there.

5ADJUSTMENTS

Now, in default Cover 3 coverage, whether they rush 3 or 4, guys will either drop a linebacker in a deep blue to cover the post and user the drag by the tight end or user the deep post and man the drag. Now, that’s when you throw the back into the picture with a curl or option route to stay one step ahead of the defense.

The overall gist is the drag is the center point of the offense. It’s such a great route in this play because it assists in getting 2 guys open deep while being a receiving option himself. The play as a whole is a great option against popular blitz like C3 Cross Fire and the adjustments you will find within it (like changing cornerbacks assignments).


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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.