Madden 21: How to run the ball – Ball Carrier Stick Skills & more

EA have updated the gameplay to rushing the ball. These simple tips will help you rush to a title.

Tom Owen by Tom Owen
madden 21 ball carrier skill stick guide

Madden 21 is here.

Despite a lot of mixed feedback, one of the areas that have had some focus from a development perspective is stick skills for rushing.

These tips will help you pound the rock all the way to a Lombardi Trophy.

Why is rushing important?

Rushing the ball has always been important in the game of football.

From a generic perspective the ability to control the clock by consistently getting first downs and keeping the clock ticking is a huge game changer.

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It also opens up a good balance on offense. If you pass every play, the opposition knows to defend a pass.

madden 21 gameplay footage pass rushing system ball carrier stick skills
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We saw last year’s Madden Bowl winner not throw a single pass in the entire tournament and cruise to victory.

Whether you truck defenders with Derrick Henry, dance around defenders with Christian McCaffrey, or dead leg tacklers like Lamar Jackson – stick skills win games.

What has changed in Madden 21?

One of the areas that has had development focus in this years game – rushing has had a few tweaks.

A couple of new additions in the ‘jurdle’ and a deadleg move, as well as making the whole process more responsive and a little more deadly too.

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The timing of going through the gaps feels a lot more important, as the pace of the game has been slowed down to make it a bit more deliberate.

Finally, there is more emphasis on abilities. Superstar and X-Factor abilities have more of an impact on in game performance.

How to run the ball in Madden 21 – Stick Skills

So here are the basic elements of rushing the ball and how to perform stick skills;

Juke

Press RS left or right when carrying the ball

This is the most common move in Madden and works really well when facing a defender one on one. Try to avoid juking back into trouble towards other defenders.

Spin

Press B/circle when carrying the ball (or rotate RS)

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Again this works really well when one on one. You can also chain together these moves with jukes to create hard to stop combinations. Factor in that it slows you down, so too many spins and defenders you had beaten will catch up with you.

Dead Leg

Press back on RS

This is a new move for Madden 21 and it combines a hesitation with a juke. The key is that it does finish with a juke so will change your direction a little. In Madden 20 is was just the hesitation and you would continue straight, this is more pronounced. This works really well toward the sideline and is all about timing.

Super Juke

RS to right or left followed by left stick the opposite way

This creates a stronger juke that creates a drastic change in direction. To do this effectively you need a player with good change of direction like Saquon Barkley or Christian McCaffrey.

Hurdle/Jurdle

Press Y/Triangle when carrying the ball (use LS direction for Jurdle)

rsz madden 21 x factor
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The hurdle has been a staple of Madden for a while but the new Jurdle move aims to make it a little more useful. Historically, this move would usually lead to a fumble or an easy defensive tackle. The jurdle move allows you to not jump as high, but avoid diving defenders. Players with the leap frog ability are great at this move.

Truck Stick

Press up on RS when carrying the ball

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A classic move on Madden and great for a player like Derrick Henry. Flick the RS up when coming into contact with a defender and there’s a chance you will knock them over and keep going. This is key for pushing for an extra few yards which could be the difference between first down or not.

Stiff Arm

Press A/X when carrying the ball

This move is all about timing. When the defender gets within reaching distance you press the button and the rusher will use his arm to push back the defender and get extra yards. Players with the arm bar ability do this well.

Dive

Press X/square when carrying the ball

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This can help you get first downs or even touchdowns by diving for the extra yards. The animation makes the player reach out with the ball, but be careful as fumbles are very common if getting tackled at the same time.

Slide (QB)

Press X/square when carrying the ball as a QB

rsz lamar jackson madden 21 juke
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There’s a myth you have to press it twice, but a single press works when you are the QB scrambling for extra yards. It’s always tempting to keep going, but don’t get greedy. A well time slide is much better than fumbling because you wanted an extra 2 yards. Make sure you aren’t touching any other buttons to prevent a dive.

Slide (Non QB)

Double tap X/square when carrying the ball

This is where you do have to double-tap, and your player will crawl to the floor and give themselves up. This can be handy at the end of a game when you have made the first down to run the clock out, and you don’t want to risk a fumble from a tackle.

Celebrate

Press LT/L2

Your player will do a variety of moves that will rub in a score in the opposition’s face. But don’t be that guy that does it too early and gets tackled. You will slow right down!

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Tom Owen

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