Madden NFL 20 has recently released and as veteran players are getting acclimated to some of the changes, there's a host of new NFL football fans who are diving into their first video game experience of the professional sport or are returning after an extended hiatus. Running the ball helps chew the clock and control the pace of the game, but passing is where the chunks of yards and highlight catches come from. With the NFL becoming more and more of a passing league every year let's look at 10 ways to improve your passing offense in Madden NFL 20.
10 Hot Routes
One tool that newer players forget about, or simply don't know are hot routes. They're an option that gives the player on offense the ability to specifically change predetermined routes for their receivers into one of several other routes with just a few button presses. Using hot routes is crucial when trying to develop a stronger passing offense simply because it gives you options. Don't be locked into the specific play you choose in the playbook if the defense is giving you an unfavorable look for the set routes pre-snap.
9 Use Your Legs
Now, if you grew up playing Madden in the hay day of Michael Vick and Donovan McNabb then running when nothing is open, or simply running because you can, will come naturally. For others, it may seem as though taking off with the quarterback during a play in which you picked a pass is a cardinal sin. That's not the case, and a glance at your quarterback's athletic traits will give you a heads up if they can effectively get you those crucial scramble yards. Sometimes your biggest gains can come from the defense forgetting the quarterback can run.
8 Know Your Match-Ups
This tip requires a little more knowledge on the players who are currently in the NFL, but you can still gather information if you're unfamiliar by looking at the roster in the pause menu as the game begins. Knowing if your opponent has a weak secondary or a glaring hole at a specific position can set you up for tremendous success in the passing game. Another set of players to look at are the edge rushers as they'll be the ones putting pressure on you as you drop back. Make sure you roll out of the pocket away from Khalil Mack and Aaron Donald.
7 Avoid Play-Action
Some people may be reading this and scratching their head at the fact this tip is suggesting to avoid a specific type of play at all costs. Well, it turns out over the last few years the Madden series has limited the success of play-action while at the same time giving the defense a boost rushing the passer. The only way you can make play-action work is by heavily pounding the ball via the run, or if you have a dual-threat quarterback and can use his legs to avoid the instant pressure coming your way.
6 Lob, Touch, Bullet
A mode in Madden that players often overlook is the Skills Trainer. It does exactly what its name suggests and will help you train your skills in the game and also introduce many of the second and third-layer mechanics of the game. If your goal is to be a better passer then it's good to get familiar with the various types of throws at your disposal. The game allows you to dictate the force of your throw depending on how long you hold the button. A tap throws a lob, a slight hold throws a touch pass, and holding it down will sling a bullet pass towards the pass catcher.
5 Where's The Tight End?
It's often said that a tight end is a quarterback's best friend. The reason this saying came to be is that a tight end who can get open underneath becomes a strong safety blanket for a quarterback in the pocket. Once a quarterback reads the defense and sees his first couple of options are covered he can come back down to his tight end and sling it to create a productive play in some capacity. A good thing to do is once you come up to the line of scrimmage, see what your primary receiver is running, and glance at your tight end's route so you know where the safety valve will be.
4 Screens For Days
Whenever two people are playing against one another and someone runs a screen play, the other person will often get frustrated and call the play cheap or lazy. Most of the time it has to do with a bruised ego and the person feeling as though they were duped. Screen plays can be highly effective in the passing game and come in handy against aggressive or blitz-based defensive schemes. Just make sure your starting running back can catch the ball, or that you subbed in a specialist specifically for pass-catching plays out of the backfield.
3 Don't Commit Early
A trap players will fall into is picking a play and as they're pushing the button they set their mind on the button they're pressing and the specific receiver they're targeting. The defensive look or whether or not the guy is even open doesn't matter. They've set their minds on throwing it no matter what which is something that doesn't contribute towards long-term success. When selecting a pass play it's best to have a primary and secondary option, and on top of that knowing if your tight end or your running back will be your safest option underneath.
2 Always Another Down
Go into the options menu and under the controls submenu learn about which button allows you to throw the ball away. It may not come easy but you have to train yourself to understand that sometimes your best option is to throw the ball away and live another down. Since it's a video game it's easy to look at it as an anything goes type of experience, but for the players looking to improve their passing offense and hone their skills, throwing the ball away when necessary is a great habit to develop.
1 Check It Down
Why throw for 5 yards when you can chuck the ball 40 yards downfield, right? This is a question that runs through many Madden player's minds as they try to score on any given offensive possession. When players are challenged offensively and their receivers get locked down it's hard for them to understand there are likely other options. Many passing plays in Madden out of shotgun have the running back doing a delayed option route and a glance at them post-snap will often reveal a wide-open option underneath that can help move the chains and continue the drive.