Today, we’ll be covering the wide 9 technique. We hear this term a lot while watching games on Sunday, but what exactly is the wide 9 technique, and what are the ramifications of its implementation in Madden?
To start, the wide 9 technique refers to the two defensive ends’ alignment alongside the line of scrimmage. Rather than lining up directly over or shaded inside or outside of the offensive line, here the ends line up outside the tight end or a few yards off the tackle.
Teams like the Eagles or the Lions, or even Michigan State in college football, have employed wide 9 techniques as a way to maximize the pass rush. By isolating the ends, they have a more direct path to the backfield, and they work on an island one on one against the tackle in space. The alignment allows quicker, faster (and generally slightly smaller) defensive ends to better leverage their athleticism against opposing Tackles who are bigger but slower. Therefore, the additional space for the ends affords greater room to maneuver past the tackles and causes these massive tackles to overextend their weight, theoretically generating increased pressure in the backfield.
Below is a video illustrating the differences between Wide 9 defenders in Madden 25 and Madden NFL 15.
Here, we analyze how the wide nine technique is to be utilized in real life, how its been employed in past madden’s, and how its been improved through enhanced AI and technological improvements that allow for upper body animations to occur separately from player movement. The result is a much more aesthetically appealing line interaction that is backed by AI that more closely mimics what you see on Sundays, and lends increased depth to strategy in the trenches. At the same however, this is not yet a true wide 9 defense. In future iterations, these ends need to get upfield immediately and rush the quarterback. Wide 9 defenses can be successful against the run, but that’s more dependent on the tackles and backers.
Stay tuned for more in this Madden Training series and let us know if you have any questions or what else you would like to see in the comments below!