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Madden 21 X-Factors for Defensive Backs, Linebackers

Madden 21 Analytics

Today, EA Sports wraps up X-Factor week with reveals for Madden 21 X-Factors for defensive backs and linebackers.

EA Sports added the X-Factor mechanic in Madden 20. X-Factors are unique abilities given to superstar players to help better match their real-life counterparts. These abilities are activated in-game by achieving certain gameplay objectives. For example, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson activates his X-Factor, Blitz Radar, after three scrambles of over 10 yards.

We’re looking at X-Factors for the rest of Madden 21‘s linebackers and the NFL’s most dangerous defensive backs.


Let’s start with the first unique X-Factor revealed today, Bottleneck. Los Angeles Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey will dominantly win man press attempts when Bottleneck is active. Ramsey enters Bottleneck after two forced incompletions and loses it after allowing 30 offensive yards.


Avalanche is another X-Factor new to Madden 21. When Avalanche is active, downhill hit-sticks force fumbles every time. While Avalanche is not unique to one player, it is unique to a team. Only Seattle Seahawks middle linebacker Bobby Wagner and strong safety Jamal Adams have it. Avalanche triggers after three hit-stick tackles and ends after allowing 30 offensive yards.

Zone Hawk

Zone Hawk returns from Madden 20. Unlike in Madden 20, it is now the unique X-Factor of New England Patriots free safety Devin McCourty. Just like in Madden 20, Zone Hawk allows a defender to make more interceptions in zone coverage. Zone Hawk activates after two forced incompletions and ends after allowing 30 offensive yards.


Another of Madden 21’s X-Factors for defensive backs is Reinforcement. While active, Reinforcement gives the defender a higher chance to defeat run blocks and disrupt catches. Three strong safeties (LA Chargers’ Derwin James Jr., Minnesota Vikings’ Harrison Smith, and Kansas City Chiefs’ Tyrann Mathieu) share this X-Factor. Players activate Reinforcement after two tackles for loss, or two incompletions. Reinforcement ends after allowing 20 offensive yards.


The final Madden 21 defensive X-Factor is Shutdown. Defenders with Shutdown active perform tighter coverage and get more interceptions on contested catches. Green Bay Packers cornerback Jaire Alexander, San Francisco 49ers CB Richard Sherman, New England Patriots CB Stephon Gilmore, and Buffalo Bills CB Tre’Davious White possess the Shutdown X-Factor. These defenders enter Shutdown mode after forcing two incompletions. Like many of today’s X-Factors, Shutdown ends after allowing 30 offensive yards.

Miss a few days this week? We also have the X-Factors for Quarterbacks and Halfbacks, Defensive Ends and Other Linebackers, and Wide Receivers and Tight Ends. You can learn more about Madden 21, including coverage and analytics, here on Sports Gamers Online.

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