How To Beat Cover 2 Defenses In Madden 23
Everything you will ever need to know about beating cover 2 defenses in Madden.
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Cover 2 Zone
What Is A Cover 2 Defense?
Cover 2 is a zone defense where every defender is responsible for an area of the field and not a specific man. The field is divided into five underneath zones and two deep zones.
The two corners and three linebackers play the underneath fifths, and the two safeties play the deep halves.
How Is A Cover 2 Defense Played?
In a Cover 2 defense, the 2 deep safeties have a tremendous amount of field to cover. They need to get help from the underneath coverage to keep receivers from outnumbering them deep.
The cornerbacks must jam the receivers at to the line of scrimmage to keep them from running outside freely. If they get a free release, it is almost impossible for the safeties to get to the sidelines fast enough to defend the deep pass.
Cover 2 Defense Play Art (Base)
The image above shows what a typical cover 2 zone defense looks like in Madden without any adjustments made to it.
The 2 safeties split the deep part of the field in half. The 2 outside cornerbacks are in cloud flat zones, and the remaining defenders who aren't rushing the QB are in zones that take away the inside/middle part of the field.
Most Common Variation Of Cover 2
The most common variation of a Cover 2 zone defense is taking a linebacker (usually the MLB) and putting him into a deep middle zone. This provides better coverage deep but opens things up in the shallow middle area.
Good players will often set their zone drops to instruct the outside cornerbacks in cloud flat zones to drop anywhere from 0-30 yards deep. Keep an eye on them.
What To Look For Before The Snap
Before you snap the ball, you will want to look over the defense to see if you can figure out what coverage they are in.
The first thing you want to look for is the positioning of the safeties (in the green squares). If there are 2 safeties deep splitting the field in half then it is a good indication that the defense might be in a Cover 2.
Just because there are 2 safeties deep, doesn't automatically mean that it is a cover 2 zone though. The underneath defenders might be in man coverage.
So the next thing you will want to look at is the outside cornerbacks (circled in yellow). Notice how they are both lined up slightly to the outside of the receivers. They are close enough to jam the receivers but not directly in their face. This can often be a sign of Cover 2 zone.
What To Look For After The Snap
Against 90% of Madden players, you can gather all the information you need just from the pre-snap checks but top level Madden players will often disguise their defense. That is when you have to turn to post-snap reads.
You will want to make your post snap reads within the first 1 second of snapping the ball. In a Cover 2 defense, we will first look to the deep safeties.
If they both start drifting back and to the sidelines then we can confirm that it is some sort of Cover 2 defense.
Then, we look to the outside cornerback over whoever our primary receiver is. If he turns his back and runs with our receiver it is a Cover 2 Man defense. If he (and the other defenders circled in yellow) have their eyes in on the quarterback, then we can confirm that it is a Cover 2 Zone defense.
Simplified Pre-Snap Process
No matter what defense your opponent calls, there will either be 1 or 2 safeties deep (highlighted in the green boxes).
Answer: 2 Deep Safeties
Cornerbacks generally line up in 1 of 3 alignments: Inside, Outside, or Even. The corners are circled in yellow.
Answer: Outside Alignment
How much cushion are the corners giving your receivers (before any adjustments by your opponent)?
Answer: 5 yards of cushion