How To Beat Man To Man Defenses In Madden 23
Everything you will ever need to know about beating man to man defenses in Madden.
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Man To Man
What Is A Man to Man Defense?
Man to Man coverage is where every defender in coverage is responsible for covering a player on the offensive side of the ball. 5 players are matched up against the 5 eligible receivers while all other defenders either rush the QB or drop into a zone.
How Is Man Defense Played?
Man to Man defense is the absolute simplest form of coverage. Along with the 5 defenders in man to man coverage, there can also be an additional 1-3 defenders in zone defenses to help take away passing lanes.
Cover 2 Man Defense Play Art
The image above shows the most common type of man to man defense in Madden: Cover 2 Man. This page will mostly focus on beating that defense.
In a Cover 2 Man defense, The 2 safeties split the deep part of the field in half (much like in a cover 2 zone). The 5 underneath defenders all match up with a player on offense and follow that player on his route regardless of where they may go.
Cover 1 Defense Play Art
Another, less common, variation of man to man defense is a Cover 1. This is a much less popular defense but you will see it from time to time.
In a Cover 1 defense, 5 defenders still match up against a receiving threat but there is only 1 deep safety who patrols the deep middle part of the field. There can also be an extra defender lurking in the shallow middle area of the field.
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 Cover 2 Man.
Just because there are 2 safeties deep, doesn't automatically mean that it is a cover 2 man though. The underneath defenders might be in zone coverage making it a Cover 2 zone instead.
So the next thing you will want to look at is the cornerbacks (circled in yellow). Notice how they are lined up slightly to the inside of the receivers. They are also lined up extremely close to the receivers in order to jam them. These can often be signs of a Cover 2 Man defense.
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. As always, 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. Either Cover 2 Zone or Cover 2 Man.
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 it is instead likely a Cover 2 Zone.
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: Inside Alignment
How much cushion are the corners giving your receivers (before any adjustments by your opponent)?
Answer: 0-1 yards of cushion