The NFL is currently a pass-first league that does everything in its power to protect quarterbacks and give offenses every advantage to put points on the board. Madden 20 isn't much different as many players get pass-happy and will often look to throw the ball 95% of the time in almost every game. Running the ball isn't easy, and most of the time it's not flashy.
Having a strong run game though can help you control the clock and dictate the tempo of the game. Let's look at 10 tips for running the ball more effectively and with skill in Madden 20.
10 Screens Help The Run Game
Screen passes are some of the harder players to pull off for players, but they can pay huge dividends. Being able to have a reliable screen game will not only allow you the possibility of breaking a big play, but it will cause hesitancy in the opposing defense and in-turn can open up the running game.
Often defensive coordinators will say that it's the half-second of caution or hesitancy that can give an offense the advantage. The rule is always to play fast, but to also play smart. Running the screen pass can eliminate both.
9 Passing Makes It Easier
In the previous entry, screen passes were discussed as an option to help open running lanes, but effective passing as a whole can accomplish this. Coaches go on and on about how a solid running attack can do a lot for a quarterback in the passing game, but though the opposite isn't as prevalent it's also entirely true.
The whole strategy centers around trying to catch the defense off guard and/or lulling them into a false sense of security. If the box is stacked against the run, audible into some passes to make the defense second guess themselves.
8 Use Your Moves
When newer players begin to understand all of the moves at your disposal as a ball carrier they'll often do one of two things. They'll either try using them in tandem and will only hurt themselves, or more commonly they'll avoid them at all costs and just focus on using the left analog stick and sprint. Being able to pull off precise jukes, spins, or hurdles can seem intimidating on the surface.
Learning to use these moves effectively and sprinkle them in when needed can often turn a routine 3 yard carry into a first down or big gain.
7 Patience Is Key
Patience is important throughout the game of football, but if you're trying to run the ball effectively it's paramount. When talking about patience in the running game it doesn't only mean that you need to understand every carry isn't going for a touchdown, but also that when you're behind your offensive line it's okay to wait for blocks to set up.
Le'Veon Bell, the running back for the New York Jets is great at doing exactly that. A glance at his highlights on Youtube can clearly show you how and why you need to be patient in the backfield.
6 Work Inside, Then Outside
Football at the end of the day is a chess match played with real people trying to outsmart and outdo one another. Humans are creatures of habit that can easily fall into a routine as it feels naturally safe to the human mind. A good way to use this to your advantage in the running game is to pound the ball inside the tackles for a good while.
As you continue to do this the defense will tighten inside and almost begin to predict where the ball's going. When you see this happening it's time to call an outside run and go for a big gain down the sideline.
5 Spell Halfback
In football, players can get exhausted. During the game, if you are running the ball consistently, your starting running back is going to get tired. Though they are professionals, football players don't have unlimited stamina.
When your running back is tired he's more likely to fumble or get injured during the play. To avoid this you'll need to learn about quick substitutions that can be accessed with the right analog stick. Putting in your backup running back to spell your starter can mean the difference between winning and losing.
4 Learn Your Style
The best trainers and teachers in the world are ones who can educate in a way that develops a student in their personalized way, and not simply by having them become a carbon copy of themselves. Everyone is different and that doesn't change when you're talking about the millions of players who play Madden.
Take some time to practice and learn what types of running backs and plays feel most natural to you. Remember, you're not looking for easy plays, you're looking for the ones that feel like you can accomplish something great while running them.
3 Start Early, Start Often
As cliche as it sounds, practice does indeed mean perfect. Repetition does so much for the human brain when it comes to learning and adapting to new skills. How are you ever expecting to get better at something if you don't get more and more first-hand experience with it?
Running the ball is all about learning your style and understanding what's most effective for you. By staying committed to the run and making it a point of emphasis you're giving yourself an advantage purely based on statistical probability.
2 Know Your Running Back
Half the battle of practically any challenge is having all of the relevant information at your disposal. A simple pause to look at your roster and your running back's traits can provide enough information so you may devise a successful gameplan. If your team sports a large powerful back then chances are you wanted to run inside the tackles.
Now if the running back happens to be a smaller and speedier type athlete then maybe pitches and outside hand-offs could provide avenues for big yardage gains. It's simply about doing your research.
1 Stick With It
As humans, we like being rewarded early for committing to something as a way of confirming that we're doing the right thing. The game of football isn't always as forgiving as people would hope it would be and can often punch you in the mouth if you're not ready.
Players will often start a game with hopes of having a strong running attack, but if they're stopped 2 or 3 times for little to no gain they abandon it completely. Work on staying committed throughout and you'll often see it pay off into the second half and down the stretch of a game.