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The quarterback position is the toughest job on the field and true franchise-caliber gunslingers are rare, but we can help you get there. Here are a few tips for how to become a better QB in Madden NFL 15.
This year's game features more aggressive defenders, which means you have to play smarter than ever, using a number of tools at your disposal – including the skills trainer in the game. These help you recognize defensive concepts and tell you how to attack them with appropriate wide receiver routes.
We've also put together a video highlighting a few things to look out for, from using the Total Control passing to reading defensive before the snap and even animation tells for defensive backs.
Here's a little additional context and info for some of the tips in the video above.
Pre-Snap Reads & DisguisesThe pre-snap radial menu can be accessed by pressing R2 (on the PS4) and then moving around the dial with the right analog stick. It's a great way to identify mis-matches in coverage. Even if you can't take advantage of it on that play, you may want to call plays or switch your depth chart/sub packages later to do so.
Before the snap also check to see if the cornerbacks are up at the line of scrimmage or backed off, try to identify possible blitzers, and note the position of the safeties. Remember though – coverages can be disguised. In the video you can see an example of how a two-safety look before the start of the play can easily turn into single-safety coverage.
Tighter Coverage, Errant Throws & Total Control PassingMadden NFL 15 features all of these aspects of the passing game, but even with good man-to-man coverage you can still complete passes in tight coverage. As you can see in the video showing the same slant play performed multiple times, defenders often react a little differently for each play, so be sure you're paying attention to what they are doing before automatically judging that your receiver is or is not open. The key is using Total Control passing to throw away from defenders. Perhaps some of the throws in the videos would have been completions if I lead the receiver by pressing right on the left analog.
Also be sure to set your feet and get your velocity right. Errant throws can produce more spectacular catches, but throwing with a lot of velocity with some QBs can produce wild overthrows.
Deep BallsPlaying on All Pro difficultly (which is what the video footage is taken from), I didn't see a lot of receivers wide open on deep routes. Even when they looked open initially, a roving safety was often able to close the gap and break up the pass. Completing the deep pass requires the successful use of a lot of the factors I talk about in the video – Total Control passing, timing, touch, and a good read of the defenders.
Defensive Back Animation TellsThese are little things to watch for in how a defensive back is moving that may indicate what they're going to do. Anytime a defender is staring into the backfield you have to be careful of throwing in their direction. Pay attention to his positioning as your receiver reaches the top of their route. As you can see in the examples in the video, the defender may be already shading toward another player in the vicinity or started breaking on the ball in anticipation of your throw.
One of the tells that I don't mention in the video is that different defenders are able to stop and come back to the ball better than others. Thus, you may notice your receiver able is to get more separation as the defender tries to decelerate and catch up. In general, it's simply harder to throw against good defensive personnel.
For more on Madden NFL 15, check out my review.
Email the author Matthew Kato, or follow on Twitter, and Game Informer.