No play is a guaranteed touchdown every time. Blitzes get home, elite defensive players work off blocks and make tackles, or get across the receivers face and deflect the pass. However, there are a handful of plays in Madden 19 that are incredibly difficult to stop even if you don’t have Aaron Rodgers, Rob Gronkowski, or Antonio Brown. Here are the best money plays in Madden 19.
Gun Trips TE – PA Shot Wheel
The PA Shot Wheel was good in Madden 18, and it is still money in Madden 19 because it’s fundamentally a strong concept. With a tight end and back away from the trips receivers, you give defenses a lot to think about before the snap. They need at least six, if not seven, in the box in case of the run. They also need to defend both sides of the tight end because there is a lot of space from his outside shoulder to the sideline, which is also a threat for the running back to leak into as well. That limits the amount of coverage a defense can load up on the trips side, which leaves them vulnerable to this route combination.
Straight off the bat, the play action keeps the linebackers down, and if you mix in some runs from this formation frequently enough, it will hold them even more and entice them to come downhill on the snap.
Against a cover 3 defense the outside receiver (X/■) is open almost immediately. Even if the underneath man gives him a little bump, he can still run into acres of space. Against a cover 2, especially a Tampa 2, you’ll have to wait for X/■ to come open, and Y/▲ is a complete no-go thanks to the middle linebacker’s drop. However, you can hit B/Circle with a bullet pass underneath the outside zone in a cover 2, as long as you hit A/X for a possession catch you’ll come down with the ball in front of the defender every time. Even if you don’t have elite playes this play works wonders. Here it is with the Titans offense, hardly the most potent passing team, against the Panthers.
PA Shot Wheel Vs Cover 3
While Y/▲ is covered, his route drags the middle zones over to the other side of the field, leaving a huge chunk of the field free for X/■ to run into. B/Circle is open quickly underneath if you want to get the ball out immediately, but X/■ is your guy against a cover 3.
PA Shot Wheel Vs Tampa 2
Here you can see that against cover 2 the B/Circle wheel route is open early and is a nice checkdown option. Again Y/▲ receives the bulk of the coverage and is dragging defenders away from where X/■ is running into.
Now I know what you're thinking, this play sounds great against zone, but what about man? Against man coverage this play is even better. Y/▲ suddenly becomes a wide open pass over the middle that you can loft into space, and B/Circle will always roast their man.
B/Circle has a step on his man down the sideline with no help, a touch pass into there is a touchdown. Meanwhile Y/▲ is so open over the middle that he could walk the rest of the route and still make an easy catch. Your only issue is making sure not to get overexcited and make a bad throw. A touch pass to either is good.
PA Shot Wheel Vs Cover 1 LB Blitz
While X/■ does get open again, he is the worst option here. B/Circle will always get behind his man, and as you can see Y/▲ is streaking across the field with at least three yards of space in every direction.
Of course, if you are using this online against another player and spam it too much then they can start to take away some of the routes by taking control of the safeties. Fortunately, if you throw in some runs and plays like Flood or HB Angle you can keep your opponent off-balance enough to enable you to dominate with this play at the right time.
Which playbooks is it in?
PA Shot Wheel is in several playbooks this year, but not always in the same formation or by the same name.
Atlanta Falcons: Gun Trio Falcon - PA Shot Wheel
Buffalo Bills: Gun Trips TE - PA Shot Wheel
Carolina Panthers: Gun Trio Panther - PA Shot Wheel
Cleveland Browns: Gun Trips TE - PA Shot Post
Dallas Cowboys: Gun Trio Cowboy - PA Shot Wheel
Denver Broncos: Gun Trips TE - PA Shot Post
Los Angeles Chargers: Gun Trips TE - PA Shot Post
New England Patriots: Gun Trips TE - PA Shot Wheel
Gun Tight Flex - PA Post Shot
Annoyingly similar in name to the PA Shot Wheel/Shot Post, the PA Post Shot has a slightly different makeup. From a spread formation rather than trips, PA Post Shot sends four routes across the field at different depths and is extremely tough to cover.
Your main routes here are the B/Circle route and the Y/▲ route. These two will come open against pretty much any coverage, and if the pass rush is getting to you, then the A/X drag route is the perfect checkdown for you. X/■ is mostly a decoy route, designed to pin the safeties back and open up space in the intermediate area, but if you have an elite receiver in that position then you can gain some serious yards with that route, especially online if your opponent starts to use safeties to crash down on the main routes.
Let's look at this play against zone defenses.
PA Post Shot Vs. Tampa 2
Against a Tampa 2, with the Jaguars of all defenses, The B/Circle route gets wide open. Two of the underneath zones collapse down onto the drag route, while the X/■ route takes the safety back, opening up a huge window for Kenny Golladay on his crossing route.
You can see on the other side of the field that after initially carrying Golladay downfield that Jalen Ramsey, the best corner in Madden 19, comes back down toward his flats zone, which if you hold the ball a moment longer leaves a big window to drop a pass into Y/▲.
PA Post Shot Vs. Cover 1 Hole Press
Against man coverage, against a defense with the two best corners in Madden 19, this play has multiple options. A/X is open for a checkdown again, B/Circle gets nice separation from Jalen Ramsey, and the Y/▲ route has plenty of space to make a play. You can even go deep to the X/■ route if you need a huge play.
As ever, your reads and pass selection (bullet/touch/lob) have to be good to make the play work. If you bullet it early to B/Circle against a Cover 1 hole the sitting middle linebacker will swat the pass away, but this play gives you simple reads and beats a lot of standard coverages. In online competition you'll want to mix in runs so that play action is effective, and you'll also want to sprinkle in some out-breaking pass plays so that an opponent can't just set his corners up on the inside with impunity.
Which Playbooks is it in?
Gun Tight Flex - PA Post Shot is pretty rare. This is the only formation that can run this concept, so unlike the PA Shot Wheel it is in just a handful of playbooks.
Cincinnati Bengals: Gun Tight Flex - PA Post Shot
Los Angeles Rams: Gun Tight Flex - PA Post Shot
Tennessee Titans: Gun Tight Flex - PA Post Shot
Big Nickel Over G
There is no singular defensive play that is super effective. There is no blitz that gets home every time, or a coverage that can take away every route combination. Playing good defense on Madden 19 is a matter of mixing up your coverages and having good skills as a user linebacker/safety. However, there is one formation in EVERY Madden 19 defensive playbook that gives you great balance against the run and pass as well a nice mix of coverages and blitzes, and that is the Big Nickel Over G.
New to Madden 19, the Big Nickel Over G is really a reboot of a 2-4-5 nickel formation from a few years ago. It gets your best pass rushers on the field thanks to the new rush DT and rush end options in the depth chart. Whoever those four may be, you can get them all with their hands in the dirt ready to rush. It also takes a linebacker off the field, but instead of bringing in a slot corner like the normal nickel you can keep some size and tackling ability on the field in the shape of a third safety.
The automatic set up is to drop your starting strong safety down into the box and start your #2 strong safety over the top. Depending on personnel you could be better off using your #2 free safety instead so that you get better zone coverage, or if you are particularly stacked at corner simply set your depth chart up so that your nickel corner is also your #2 strong safety. If your defensive line is really good and your linebackers are a little suspect, like in the case of the Los Angeles Rams, you can even sub out a linebacker for yet another safety, giving you even more speed on the field and still have some power.
The beauty of the Big Nickel Over G isn't just in the personnel it allows you to deploy, but also in the plays it has. Let's take a look at our favorite play from this formation.
Big Nickel Over G - Mike SS 3
A zone blitz, the Mike SS 3 is perhaps the most consistent blitz package in Madden 19, but it's not perfect. It brings the strong safety on a blitz off the edge as well as a loop blitz from the middle linebacker, while dropping the weak defensive end into coverage and playing a very good cover 3 behind.
Even if you aren't particularly strong as a user defender, this play offers a lot of coverage behind a nice blitz look. The purple Seam Flats zones are much better this year and get out to the sidelines if need be while carrying receivers up field, and the rotation from two high safeties into deep third zones can make people hesitate in their reads. If you linger in the middle with the non-blitzing linebacker and head towards the first receiver to come across, then you will give your strong safety and middle linebacker time to get there.
Shotgun play action passes are very effective this year, and yet this play is ruined thanks to the blitz. Even though the strong safety momentarily plays the running back, he gets back onto the quarterback and is unblocked. The weak defensive end takes off after the tight end rather than playing the outside zone as he should, but you can fix that by changing his zone to a hard flats.
The tight end does find some space with his post route, but you can take that away by using the middle linebacker, and even though Derek Carr spots him he is hit before he can get the ball away.
This play can be made more effective by pinching the defensive line and creeping the strong safety down a yard or two before the snap.
As I said, you can't run it every time and expect it to be successful. A good player will just cancel the play action and keep the back in to pick up the blitz, but if you sprinkle it in with the Cover 3 Sky, SS Blitz 3, and Cover 6 you will start to make your opponent rethink his strategy and hold the ball for a split second too long, allowing you to create turnovers.
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