How To Beat Cover 4 Defenses In Madden 24
Everything you will ever need to know about beating cover 4 defenses in Madden.
Get Started Beating
Cover 4 Drop
What Is A Cover 4 Defense?
A Cover 4 Drop is a zone defense where defenders are responsible for an area of the field, not a specific man. In a Cover 4, the field is divided into 4 underneath zones and 4 deep zones (with 3 players rushing the QB).
The two outside corners and 2 deep safeties play the deep zones, while the remaining defenders in coverage play the underneath zones.
How Is A Cover 4 Defense Played?
Before we go too far, we need to specify that on this page we are going over a standard Cover 4 Drop defense, not Cover 4 Quarters or Palms which employ "match" logic. We will cover those in the Match section.
In a Cover 4 defense, you have 4 defenders in deep zones to prevent your opponent from beating you deep. A Cover 4 defense also does a decent job of defending the run because both safeties can help in the run game.
Cover 4 Defense Play Art (Base)
The image above shows what a typical cover 4 zone defense looks like in Madden without any adjustments made to it.
The 2 safeties and 2 outside cornerbacks split the deep part of the field into 4 parts. Either an outside linebacker or slot cornerbacks take away the outside shallow part of the field in curl 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 4
Just like in a Cover 3, the most common variation of a Cover 4 zone defense is turning the Curl Flat (Purple) zones into Hard Flat (Light Blue) zones. This instructs the defenders responsible for the underneath sidelines to play more aggressively near the line of scrimmage.
A similar change can be done in the defensive coaching adjustments by setting the Curl Flat or Cloud Flat zone depths to a shallower or deeper distance (between 0-30 yards).
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 possible that the defense could be in a Cover 4.
Just because there are 2 safeties deep, doesn't automatically mean that it is a cover 4 zone though. It could be a cover 2 man, or a cover 2 zone instead.
So the next thing you will want to look at is the outside cornerbacks (circled in yellow). Notice how they are both lined up about 8 or so yards off the line of scrimmage. This indicator combined with the 2 high safeties tells you that the defense is likely in a Cover 4.
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. Using our process, a Cover 4 defense is the hardest to diagnose post-snap.
You still want to keep your eyes on the safeties right after you snap the ball. If both safeties step directly back (but not too far to the sideline) it is likely a Cover 4. This can be easily confused with a Cover 2 where both safeties move back and toward the sideline. So take some time in practice mode to see the subtle difference.
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: Even Alignment
How much cushion are the corners giving your receivers (before any adjustments by your opponent)?
Answer: 8 yards of cushion