We all throw interceptions. We all blame the game. Unfortunately it’s not the game’s fault. It’s our own. Here are the Top 5 reasons you throw interceptions in Madden:
- Throwing Late in the Flat
- Quarterback Accuracy
- Falling in Love with Your Money Play
- Defensive Pressure
- Picking Random Plays
5. Throwing Late in the Flat
It’s third and 3 and late in the fourth quarter. You are down by a touchdown, and to have a chance at winning the game you need to convert. At the snap of the ball your receiver is open in the flat but you scan the field for better options. You settle on the flat and deliver the throw.
It results in a pick 6.
This happens for a couple of reasons. First, greed. It’s third and 3. You only need 3 yards to keep the chains moving—why are you looking elsewhere? Second, indecision. Before the snap of the ball you should be saying to yourself, “I’m going to throw to the flat if the flat is open. If the flat is not open I will check down to my TE who is meshing across the middle of the field.” Decide where you are going to go with the ball and then react as the play unfolds.
Pro Tip: In third and short situations your opponent should anticipate you attacking the short field. In this case your strategy is dominated by the situation. Every once in a while look to go deep via a play like Four Verticals to keep your opponent off balance.
4. Quarterback Accuracy
The most important stats to look at for quarterbacks in Madden are short accuracy (SAC), medium accuracy (MAC), and deep accuracy (DAC). You need to cater to your quarterback’s strengths.
Spend two minutes looking at your quarterback’s ratings and game plan around what type of throws he can and can’t make.
The ideal quarterback should have these ratings:
- SAC 90+
- MAC 85+
- DAC 80+
This doesn’t mean that you can’t compete if your quarterback doesn’t have these ratings, but I wanted to give you an idea of what a solid rating is. For example, DAC is much harder to come by than SAC. You will notice that even the best quarterbacks in the league (Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Peyton Manning) don’t have 90+ DAC ratings.
This will give you an idea of what each type of throw is in relation to yards:
- SAC = 0–20 yards
- MAC = 20–40 yards
- DAC = 40+ yards
If you force throws that your quarterback can’t make you will throw interceptions.
Ratings matter, and just like in real life you have to play to your players’ strengths.
3. Falling in Love with Your Money Play
How many times have you called Shotgun Trey Open—Four Verticals?
Way too many times!
Start calling new plays so you don’t become so predictable. Over the course of a game your opponent will learn your play style and will start clamping down on your “money play.” The more predictable you are the more likely you are to throw interceptions.
The easiest thing to do in Madden is defend what you know is coming.
Do this instead:
- On first down call Four Verticals from Gun Trey Open.
- On second down call HB Draw from the same formation.
- On third down call HB Slip Screen from the same formation.
In the short term this might frustrate you, but in the long run your win total will be your reward.
2. Defensive Pressure
I’m going to make a bold statement: You don’t block your halfbacks enough and you don’t call slide protection enough.
The result is intense pressure in your quarterback’s face and poorly timed throws leading to interceptions. Defensive pressure is what separates the best Madden players on the planet, and it plays a big part in why you throw interceptions.
You need to focus on picking up your opponent’s pressure. This is priority #1. It’s OK if the pressure gets to you early, but the goal is to make sure that over the course of the entire game you are able to prevent it.
The #1 thing you can do right away to improve your pass protection is to use Shotgun two-back sets. No matter where the pressure comes from you will be able to pick it up by blocking one (or both) of your backfield players.
Pro Tip: When in doubt block an extra player.
1. Picking Random Plays
There is no better way to throw numerous interceptions than to pick random plays and hope for the best.
Get into practice mode!
Practice mode in Madden is your best friend, and you should spend 10 minutes there every time you fire up your system. This will help build confidence for your passing attack and will also expand your play calling.
What you need to do right now is perfect one passing formation and one running formation.
This allows you to run multiple plays from a few formations so that your opponent can’t key in on anything specific that you’re doing. You will dictate the pace of the game and control your opponent this way.
Hop into practice mode right now and perfect five passing plays (from the same formation) and three running plays (from the same formation) and you will start winning more games.