There’s no denying that Madden NFL continues to improve every single year.

From deeper franchise modes to improved Madden Ultimate Team, the Madden machine just grows stronger and stronger. Still, there are a few things that we as fans want to see added to the series. Especially when it comes to on-the-field action.

It’s time for Part 1 of our Madden NFL 18 gameplay wishlist.

Running Back by Committee

Running back by committee and position specialization is a large part of the NFL. Outside of a few teams with upper echelon feature backs, NFL teams split the rushing load among several ball carriers. Outside of their ratings, runners should have a trait that let’s you know if they’re an every down back or not.

Without that trait, guys who start as a 60-rated running back because of their speed will see a decrease in their ratings after say 5-10 carries opposed to every down backs who will see no such decrease. Also there should be a system in place to automatically sub in your backs depending on a percentage of playing time you set before the game.

Improve Defensive Man Coverage.

Next is improving defensive Man Coverage. Make Man Coverage, Play Recognition and Awareness ratings matter to differentiate the average corners from the elite ones.

It’s funny, because in the last Madden man-to-man defense was so over powered that every type of cornerback was locking up routes no matter the receiver you had running them. Then this year, you can have Patrick Peterson and get dotted up by Josh Huff. Would love for last year’s man to man effectiveness to return, but only for the truly elite guys.

Give Defensive Linemen More Tools to Slow Down Offenses

Currently defensive linemen need more tools in their toolbox. Runs designed to bounce to the outside always seem to be way more effective than runs up the middle, every year…. So, giving the defenders who are blocked the ability to reach an arm out to slow down the runner would be a nice counter to that.

As of now, you would have to completely shed a block in 1 second if you’re a lineman to stop a run designed to the outside. When defenders in real life use their arms, when their blocked to slow down and redirect runners all the time. Another is letting the d ends swat at the ball if their close to the quarterback. The Panthers were never the same after Von Miller did it to Cam in the super bowl, why can’t I do it in Madden. It’s about giving the defense more options, than having to completely defeat their defender to make a play.

Blocking AI

One of the most important is blocking AI. Specifically, having the running back and offensive linemen work as a team, especially on edge blitzes if you keep your back in to block.

Too many times you see the nickel corner looking like he’s going to blitz off the edge, you slide the running back over and block him, yet he still blocks inside out first leaving a free shot at the QB. It would be nice if the tackle on that side would pick up the slack, but he’s doing the same thing the running back!

Defensive Assignments

Defensive assignments I one that is a carryover from last year’s list. Bring back defensive assignments, as of right now it’s a mess for the defense. If the offense has a beast receiver, good luck trying to make sure your stud corner is matched up on him on any given snap.

If my opponent puts OBJ in the slot, I should be able to follow him with Pat P, not pray he’s still in the slot once I move Pat P over in my formation subs. Speaking with the developers I have been told inclusion of man assignments with the zones and man coverage in the game but that they are hard at work getting this put back into the game.

Defensive AI Adaptation

More aggressive Adaptive Defensive AI. When I say this, there is a fine line thou. Smart defenders shouldn’t let you get away with the same thing over and over, but you also don’t want defenders to be so smart, that they basically remove any user involvement on defense. I don’t want it to be to the point where you call Cover 2 all game and let the CPU defenders make all the adjustments for you post snap.

But something where if you throw the same out route on Cliff Harris, the 2nd time you run it, his high ratings will kick in, and attempt to jump the play the next time. Or to keep it simple if you run the play twice in a row. In real life route recognition separates the good corners from the truly elite and guys like Asante Samuel made a career off of recognizing routes being one step ahead and I would like to see something like that brought to Madden.

Make Ratings Besides Speed Mattering More

Lastly is to make other types of ratings matter. For so long speed has been king, but in real life there’s a reason teams aren’t filled with guys who run 4.2-4.3 40 times. Unfortunately, in Madden, since man coverage still isn’t quite right, route running isn’t as coveted, thus leaving to fast guys being the most sought after players on the field.

Let me ask you this, what is your first thought when I say Eric Weddle and Jarvis Landry? A lot of you will say they’re slow, my point exactly. These are pro bowl players who while not the fastest at their position still excel because of other qualities….speed shouldn’t be the only one that makes someone elite.

Being built upon the highly successful infinity engine I have high hopes for Madden 18 and hope the developers can take advantage and build upon the things they did right with Madden 17 and start from scratch on some of the systems that need to be completely redone.

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