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Madden 22 Superstar X-Factor Linebackers and DB’s

Rounding out Madden 22 X-Factor Week, EA revealed abilities for the rest of the defensive players. Linebackers and defensive backs are up next. Avalanche, Bottleneck, Reinforcement, Run Stuffer, Shutdown, and Zone Hawk are the X-Factor abilities on the docket. Let’s get right into it.

Madden 22 Defensive Superstar X-Factors


There are tacklers and then there are these guys. When they enter the zone, any successful hit-stick made while running towards the line of scrimmage will result in a fumble.

Zone: Downhill hit-sticks force fumbles

Trigger: Three hit-stick tackles

Knockout: 30 offensive yards allowed


A couple of Seahawks carry this ability in Madden 22. Bobby Wagner has been a dominant force and mainstay in the middle for Seattle, while newcomer Jamal Adams serves as the enforcer on the backend.

Madden 22 Bottleneck

Bottleneck defenders realize that the best way to stop a route is to act early. When they enter the zone; they are highly likely to dominantly win any man press encounter.

Zone: Dominantly win man press attempts

Trigger: Two forced incompletions

Knockout: 30 offensive yards allowed

A true lockdown corner, Jalen Ramsey has been elite on the outside since entering the NFL. Big, physical, long. More times than not, Ramsey turns his assignment into a non-factor.


The game’s top defenders excel in all situations. When they enter the zone, this ability increases their chance of defeating run blocks and disrupting catches via tackles.

Zone: Higher chance to defeat run blocks and disrupt catches

Trigger: Two tackles for loss, or two incompletions

Knockout: 10 offensive yards allowed

All-Decade team member Tyrann Mathieu and Chargers safety Derwin James hold this X-Factor ability in Madden 22. We all know about the Honey Badger. When healthy, James is a game-changing presence.

Madden 22 Run Stuffer

Run Stuffers can singlehandedly disrupt an offense. When they enter the zone, this ability increases their win rate and block shed speed against one-on-one run blocks.

Zone: Block shedding becomes more effective versus run plays

Trigger: Two tackles for loss

Knockout: 30 offensive yards allowed

Tom Brady’s arrival in Tampa Bay was able to shine a long-awaited light on linebacker Lavonte David. The 10-year vet has been one of the most consistent MLB’s in the NFL since the Bucs drafted him in the second round in 2012.


Shutdown defenders have the talent to erase receivers from the game. When they enter the zone, their coverage is tighter and interceptions are more frequent on contested catches.

Zone: Tighter coverage and more interceptions on contested catches

Trigger: Two forced incompletions

Knockout: 30 offensive yards allowed

Three of the games best have the Madden 22 Shutdown tag at launch. You can find Packers corner Jaire Alexander, Bills CB Tre’Davious White, and the Patriots Stephon Gilmore attached to the hip of opposing receivers.

Zone Hawk

Zone Hawk defenders lock down a part of the field. When they enter the zone, this ability increases the rate of interceptions while in zone coverage.

Zone: More interceptions in zone coverage

Trigger: Two forced incompletions

Knockout: 30 offensive yards allowed

All-Pro corner Xavien Howard, Patriots safety Devin McCourty, and SF linebacker Fred Warner are always a threat to take the ball away from opposing offenses.

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