In Madden NFL 15, the AI tells lineman how to attack and penetrate their gaps, but not how to read and react to what the offense is doing. What this means is that lineman responsible for 2 gaps does not exist in Madden. But what does this mean when employing odd fronts in Madden, where 2 gap defenders are traditionally used? Well, it means that there will often be a gap that is unaccounted for, and will either force you to put an extra man in the box to make up for said unaccounted gap, leaving your secondary exposed, or you’ll just be more likely to get hit with big runs given the gap vulnerability. Either way, the inability of 2 gap defenders along the defensive line to, well, maintain responsibility for 2 gaps, puts common 3-4 or 3-3-5 fronts at a major disadvantage.”

Today, we’ll be taking a look at 2 gap defenders along the defensive line, their implementation in Madden, and the implications of said implementation on your defensive schemes. So first off, what does it mean when we say a defensive lineman is a 2 gap defender? Well, simply put, a 2 gap defender refers to a defensive lineman being responsible for 2 gaps at the line of scrimmage as opposed to just one.

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One gap defenders simply attack whatever gap they’re assigned, penetrate off the snap and take care of any running back going through that hole, but 2 gap defenders don’t crash through a gap so much as they read the play, anticipate the point of attack, and clog their gap. Bearing traditional formation concepts in mind, we’ll assume here that all 4-3 schemes employ 1 gap defenders on the line while 3-4 schemes utilize 2 gap defenders. In real life, most professional schemes utilize a combination of 1 and 2 gap defenders across multiple fronts. But again, with Madden, as we’ll find out soon enough, it’s safe to reject the concept of hybrid defenses and instead focus on the basics of your traditional 4-3 or 3-4 formations.

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So, lets get back to the topic of 2 gap defensive lineman in an odd front. To reiterate, the point for them is to hold their blocks, read/react, and try to make the play if it comes to either of their gaps by either pushing their blocker into that hole or stretching their arm out enough to stop ball carrier’s momentum. At the very least, they are holding these blocks so the LBs at the 2nd level can stay clean and make the play. So how does the cerebral nature of a 2 gap defender translate itself in Madden? In Madden NFL 15, the AI tells lineman how to attack and penetrate their gaps, but not how to read and react to what the offense is doing. What this means is that lineman responsible for 2 gaps does not exist in Madden. But what does this mean when employing odd fronts in Madden, where 2 gap defenders are traditionally used?

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Well, it means that there will often be a gap that is unaccounted for, and will either force you to put an extra man in the box to make up for said unaccounted gap, leaving your secondary exposed, or you’ll just be more likely to get hit with big runs given the gap vulnerability. Either way, the inability of 2 gap defenders along the defensive line to, well, maintain responsibility for 2 gaps, puts common 3-4 or 3-3-5 fronts at a major disadvantage. Stay tuned as I continue this series and breakdown more NFL principles and how they apply to Madden NFL.