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If you're trying to break into the football craze, or searching for brand new strategies, our Primer Guide will show you the play-by-play fundamentals of Madden NFL 12. We've got a full list of team statistics, tips for both offensive and defensive formations and exciting rundowns from experts.
Defensive Formations and Playbooks
This section provides coverage of Madden 08's defensive formations and playbooks and provides tips on using defensive shifts and playmaker modes to stop the opposition's offense.
Defensive Formations and Packages
The table below covers all formations, reveals the personnel and packages, and offers some tips on when and when not to use them.
|Goal Line||Run prevent in short yardage situations, specifically third or fourth and short or on the goal line.||Safety Swap, Jumbo, 3 DT, Strong, LB Ends||Packed defense to prevent the short run. There are a lot of tacklers near the line of scrimmage.||Audible to another defense if the offense changes formation. So many defenders near the line can be disastrous if a running back breaks through.|
|4-3 Normal||Four Defensive Linemen, three Linebackers, four defensive backs.||CB Swap, Safety Swap, Coverage Flip, LB Flip, DE Flip||A balanced run and pass defense. Good against inside runs and short to medium passing.||Avoid using against four or more receiver sets (even three is risky). Blitzing Linebackers can leave slants and outside runs open.|
|4-3 Over, Under||Moves an outer linebacker to the line for five Defensive Linemen, two Linebackers, and four defensive backs (Over and Under refers to different sides of the line).||CB Swap, Safety Swap, Coverage Flip, LB Flip, DE Flip||Increased pass rush possibilities. Protect against inside and outside runs.||Vulnerable to the passing game and fewer Linebackers in the middle could mean fewer tacklers if the back breaks the line.|
|3-4 Normal||Three Defensive Linemen, four Linebackers, and four defensive backs.||CB Swap, Safety Swap, Coverage Flip, OLB Flip, MLB Flip, DE Flip, Dline Sub||A balanced run and pass defense. Defends outside runs and flat passes.||Softer pass rush, though more blitz variation with extra Linebackers. Vulnerable to multiple receiver sets.|
|3-4 Over, Under||Three Defensive Linemen, four Linebackers, and four defensive backs. An outside linebacker tightens up the edge of the line (Over and Under refers to different sides of the line).||CB Swap, Safety Swap, Coverage Flip, OLB Flip, MLB Flip, DE Flip, Dline Sub||Increased pass rush with linebacker at the line.||Fewer Linebackers defending the short passes. Vulnerable to multiple receiver sets.|
|3-4 Solid||Three Defensive Linemen, four Linebackers, and four defensive backs. Both outside Linebackers crowd the line.||CB Swap, Safety Swap, Coverage Flip, OLB Flip, MLB Flip, DE Flip, Dline Sub||Increased pass rush opportunities and disguised blitzing. Stuff the run with increased penetration.||Vulnerable to quick passes if outside Linebackers blitz. Avoid against multiple receiver sets.|
|3-4 Even||Three Defensive Linemen, four Linebackers, and four defensive backs. Outside Linebackers crowd the line and middle Linebackers tighten up.||CB Swap, Safety Swap, Coverage Flip, OLB Flip, MLB Flip, DE Flip, SS at LB||Balanced run stoppage for inside and outside runs.||Tighter formation could be vulnerable to the pass.|
|3-4 Stack||Three Defensive Linemen, four Linebackers, and four defensive backs. Resembles a 4-3 in alignment.||CB Swap, Safety Swap, Coverage Flip, OLB Flip, MLB Flip, DE Flip, Dline Sub||A 4-3 look for your excellent Linebackers. Variation in pass rushing for fast outside Linebackers.||Avoid using against heavy passing situations.|
|46 Normal||Four Defensive Linemen, three Linebackers, four defensive backs but shifts one safety up to the linebacker position leaving one safety deep.||Speed, OLB Swap||Similar to 4-3 but safety provides extra run stopping support. Pressuring defense.||Vulnerable to deep passes with just one safety back. Avoid using against heavy passing situations and multiple receiver sets.|
|46 Bear||Six Defensive Linemen (some are Linebackers on the line), one linebacker, three defensive backs with one safety playing in a linebacker spot leaving one deep safety.||46 Swap, LB/DE Swap, LB Coverage||Combines the 46 Normal and 4-3 Over defenses. Increased pressure along the line for stronger run defense and pressure.||Weak pass defense. Avoid using against multiple receiver sets.|
|Nickel Normal||Four Defensive Linemen, two Linebackers, five defensive backs.||Strong Nickel, Strong Shift, CB Swap, Safety Swap, LOLB Right, LOLB Left, LB Swap, Big Nickel||An additional defensive back helps protect against the pass. Be sure the "nickel back" is lined up against the slot receiver. Optimum against 3 WR sets.||Losing a linebacker means losing a good tackler. Use packages to ensure best corners are against best receivers. Your nickel back isn't as skilled as your starters, usually.|
|Nickel Strong||Same as nickel but shifts the safety toward the strong side.||Strong Nickel, Strong Shift, CB Swap, Safety Swap, LOLB Right, LOLB Left||Increased safety help on the strong side. Helps provide additional coverage on a stacked formation (where more receivers and/or tight ends are on one side).||Similar to the standard nickel. Also the safety shifted over could leave the other side open, especially if there are backs on pass patterns.|
|Nickel 1-5-5, 1-5-5 Prowl||One Defensive Lineman, five Linebackers, five defensive backs. Crowded line of scrimmage with basically one MLB (prowl with two). Found in the New England playbook.||DE Pass Rush, MLB Swap (MLB 2 in Prowl), OLB Swap, CB Swap, Safety Swap, SS Nickel, FS Nickel||Five Linebackers help defend against a run and five defensive backs help defend the pass. Allows for some blitzing variation.||Can be a weak run defense if your Linebackers focus on coverage.|
|Nickel 2-4-5||Two Defensive Linemen, four Linebackers, five defensive backs.||DE Pass Rush, MLB Swap, OLB Swap, CB Swap, Safety Swap, SS Nickel, FS Nickel||Added Linebackers help defend against an unexpected run. In the 3-4 playbook because of the team's typical linebacker skill.||Need to increase pass rush with linebacker pressure.|
|Nickel 3-3-5||Three Defensive Linemen, three Linebackers and five defensive backs.||4th CB, OLB Flip, Safety NB, Safety Flip, DE Flip, CB Flip||An added linebacker to defend the run or short passing.||Need to increase pass rush with linebacker pressure.|
|Dime Normal||Four Defensive Linemen, one linebacker, six defensive backs.||ROLB, LOLB, CB Swap, LB Pass Rush, Safety Swap, D-Line Sub||Six defensive backs to counter the passing game. Use against four or more wide receiver sets.||Weak against an unexpected run.|
|Dime Flat||Same as dime but closes Safeties in and backs off corners.||ROLB, LOLB, CB Swap, DE Swap, DT Swap, LB Rush||Defenders are tighter and closer to the line to protect against run or short passing. Good for end zone defense.||Weaker against deep passing.|
|Quarters Normal||Three Defensive Linemen, one linebacker, seven defensive backs.||Linebackers, LB Pass Rush, LOLB, ROLB, CB Flip, Safety Swap, Slot CB Flip, SS Tight||Seven defensive backs as a pass prevent defense.||Easy to run against.|
|Quarters 3 Deep||Same as quarters but shifts a defensive back into a deep safety position for three deep Safeties.||ROLB Swap, CB Swap, Safety Swap, Coverage Swap, Slot Swap, LB Pass Rush, LOLB Swap, Dline Sub||Three deep Safeties to protect against the deep ball. Use in long yardage situations.||Easy to run against.|
|Quarters Combo||Combination of Quarters normal and 3 deep.||ROLB Swap, CB Swap, Safety Swap, Coverage Swap, Slot Swap, LB Pass Rush, LOLB Swap, Dline Sub||Protects against the deep ball with three deep Safeties.||Easy to run against.|
|Dollar Normal||Eight defensive backs.||FS Sub, MLB/ROLB Swap, MLB/LOLB Swap, Safety Flip, CB Strong RT, CB Strong LT, Safeties, D-Line Sub, Quarter||Eight players focused on stopping the pass. Use in certain passing situations (long yardage) or even in the red zone to crowd the end zone.||You have a lot of bad tacklers on the field if your opponent runs the ball!|
Default Formation Playbooks
This chart reveals which specific defensive formations are featured within each default, non-team specific defensive playbook.
|PLAYBOOK||4-3 DEFENSES||3-4 DEFENSES||46 DEFENSES||NICKEL DEFENSES||DIME DEFENSES||DOLLAR DEFENSES||QUARTER DEFENSES|
|4-3||Normal, Over, Under||None||Normal||Normal, Strong, 3-3-5||Normal, Flat||Normal||Combo|
|3-4||None||Normal, Over, Under, Solid, Even, Stack||None||3-3-5, Strong, 2-4-5||Normal||Normal||3 Deep|
|Cover 2||Normal, Under, Over||None||None||Normal, 3-3-5, Strong||Normal, Flat||Normal||Combo|
|46||Over||None||Normal, Bear||Normal, Strong, 3-3-5||Normal, Flat||Normal||Combo|
|Multiple D||Normal||Normal, Under, Stack||Normal||2-4-5, 3-3-5, 1-5-5||Normal||Normal||Combo|
u cannot alter the slant route as illustrated in this guide, I loved that LAST YEAR, u cannot do that in '12. LAZY gamespot LAZY. I know EA is lazy too, but no excuses maybe play the game before write u write a guide.
@Mocafrost Yeah ... seems to be, just like they said in the review ... no real changes ... same but different cover
This seems to be last year's guide with a few edits. It mentions features as just being added in "last years" version that are actually from Madden 10. Not a great edit.
@dyns510 I was wondering the same thing. Is this a joke? I understand the lockout and rapid player movement prevented EA from updating rosters with the recent free agent movement and trades, but this guide has players on teams that they haven't been with in over a year.
These Games just keep getting Better & Better ! I love to play madden pre-game the actual two teams that are scheduled and then after that place my bets LOL LOL LOL !