How to Stop Crossing Routes – Madden 24
Every year, crossers are a pain in the ass to defend.
They get underneath deep blues and over the top of flat zones.
So how in the world are you supposed to defend them?
It can be infuriating playing online when that is all players spam.
The thought process behind defending
Here are the 3 best defensive strategies to stop crossing routes:
- User it
- Zone drop your flat zones to 30
- Zone drop your flat zones + a man up
1. User it
This is the most common-sense approach to alleviating the pain of playing versus crossers but is too often overlooked.
User your opponent’s best, most effective route and make them beat you with something else.
Adjust your coverage to play the underneath options then run with the route that is a threat to gain big yards.
2. Zone drops
As a coach and pro player myself, I have worked with many players who were confused as to how to work zone drops and what they do.
If you set your zone drop flat zones to “30” and your opponent is at midfield, the flat zones will play 30 yards from the line of scrimmage and stop there.
So, the flat zones would drop to the 20 yard line in this case.
A “30” flat would be the perfect zone drop to play a crosser since crossers run about 25 yards before completing their route.
A general rule of thumb is if a route will run “x” yards before completing their route, put a zone drop flat zone at 5 yards above the yards that the route will run.
You do not want the zone drop at the same depth of the route because with a pass lead up, most of the times the route will get over the zone drop. We delve into more detail in our “Madden 101” course.
3. Zone drop + Man up *Advanced*
This is a high level strategy that I call “hybrid coverage.”
If the QB rolls out, zone drops get pulled down, allowing for crossers to get over a flat zone set to the max zone drop of 30.
To counter that, the wide receiver on the crosser needs to be bracketed.
Man up the WR running the crosser, then have a 25 or 30 yard flat on the side of the crosser.
So even if the crosser gets over the zone drop, the zone will have help from the cornerback manned up.
Your Next Step To Becoming A Competitive Player Even If You Work 70 Hour Weeks Or Barely Know The Controls
(Skipping This Will Set Your Madden Game Back 20 Years)
You and me (Manu) have a lot in common.
Let me share a quick backstory that’ll make your Madden life 10x easier moving forward.
Like you, 12 years ago I was searching around for some help on the game.
I was made to believe learning money plays was the best way to become competitive.
I mean shit, all you saw on Youtube was “UNSTOPPABLE 1 PLAY TOUCHDOWN GLITCH VS. EVERY COVERAGE.”
It wasn’t until I met my mentor “AthleticCedes” (who ACTUALLY knew Madden) that my entire view of Madden shifted.
This guy was winning cold hard cash off the game.
And I wasn’t no slouch myself at the time (Madden 25). I was consistently ranked top 5 on the head to head leaderboards for 3 years.
From my shortsighted view then, I thought I was the best player ever.
Then in Madden 25, I matched up with the gamertag “AthleticCedes”…
He was different from everyone else I ever matched up with.
And when I say different, I mean I had to be playing the forthcoming of jesus.
What Your Game Will Look Like If You Learn The 12 Fundamentals From A Credible Competitive Player
His reads were superhuman. 20/20 laser vision like a fictional superhero from a movie.
His receivers parted like the 7 seas rendering my user useless as each receiver was perfectly spaced out (great route combinations).
His pocket presence, impeccable. Enough time back there for a calm relaxing family picnic.
His defensive schemes were so beautifully engineered and disguised that a prophet from 2050 couldn’t predict what he was doing next.
His defenders came in multiples. All his db’s stalked my wr’s like a crazy ex gf.
His user defender moved so eloquently and freely that it could have passed for a figure skater in the Olympics.
His adjustments were so precisely timed and lockdown that he might as well have been living in my head.
Yeah… the guy was pretty good. I didn’t set the record for my most points lost by or anything.
I was so puzzled. I just had to speak to this guy. I didn’t know it was possible for someone to be that good.
I wanted to be that good.
I wanted to have those 45 minutes of fame where the game starts and every exterior thought unrelated to Madden vanished like a ghost.
I wanted to have those experiences where for those 45 minutes, I am transported to a seemingly different dimension where I am just untouchable.
What if it was possible to erase the personal hardships of reality and be transcended into a mode of invincibility?
Why Listening To Random Youtubers And Sites Is Handicapping Your Madden Game
Luckily, Athletic accepted my party invite so we could chat.
What he told me overrode all 4 years of previous knowledge that I accumulated from all my favorite Madden Youtubers.
I realized everything I had ever learned from any Madden Youtuber was as useless as Shaquille O’Neal at the free throw line.
“Manu get to the fucking point!!”
Sorry guys, I have ADHD.
Anyways, he told me there was an entire undercover world of competitive players.
So more guys like him with the superhuman reads, playcalls, and adjustments.
But what was most alarming, none of those competitive players he mentioned do Youtube so I had no one credible to learn from.
Even worse, the few competitive players I later found were teaching the game the same damn way everyone on Youtube did.
The difference was the competitive players knew that the money plays was not their secret to success…
However the last thing they wanted to do was reveal their strategic fundamental secrets to the public.
They knew it was the fundamentals separating them from the rest of the world.
So releasing e-book money plays were the feasible option because they still got paid without releasing their secrets to success.
They were afraid of getting passed up.
Plus, the money plays change every month.
So if I were to have bought 4 e-books per year for the next 10 years to keep pace with the everchanging metas, it would of cost me $1000 to not even strategically learn the game.
Will they sometimes give you a quick boost in confidence for a couple games? Sure.
But to me, buying e-books to fix a problem with losing games would be like leaning on hardcore drugs to overcome the loss of a best friend.
You may get a short high but at what cost? Does it actually solve your problem or does it mask it?
I may have gotten a couple more wins with an e-book but what would’ve happened when I played another AthleticCedes?
I knew ebooks would completely impair my ability to think for myself so I wasn’t go to step foot down that treacherous path.
Athletic wasn’t going to teach me step-by-step how to master the fundamentals either…
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However he got me headed in the right direction and I learned from him what I needed to focus on:
Basic knowledge of what each zone defenders
Conceptually understanding how to attack every coverage
Building a solid base scheme to start games with on defense
Correctly reading defenses before and after snaps to determine my upcoming playcalls
Pocket presence mastery to buy more time
And best believe there was much, much, more…
I knew it was not going to be easy trying to figure everything out on my own but I was still a young kid at the time with loads of free time.
My plan was to throw myself into the fire and just start playing money games vs. everyone.
Fast forward a decade or so… It didn’t turn out to be too bad of a plan…
(This is not to brag or boast but to show you have I have the proven track record to coach up the next big competitive player again)
I became a well-respected 3x professional champion… *insert pics*
Pioneer and Inventor of 5 of the hottest offensive and defensive schemes including Trips TE *jayhimself testiomonal*
Featured On EA’s Livestream in front of over 60,000 viewers
Co-Star of the CW’s (popular TV network) documentary for Madden
Head Madden Gameplay Expert Writer For SportsGamersOnline (The Biggest Sports Gaming Organization)
Mentor of over 210 beginners and Madden vets including now mega-superstars like Chibatti Mitch (world’s biggest Madden streamer) and several of the world’s top players
It’s Time For You To Take Action Now And Get My $95 Madden 101 Course For Free
The best part is I documented my entire journey step-by-step for you.
So you no longer have to guess and be unsure on…
What it takes for you to transform into that Madden killer that is locked inside of you.
So you can finally experience those transitions into “invincibility mode” to escape the stress of real life.
So for those 1 or 2 hours of downtime per night your thoughts to the world around you are cut off…
And it’s just you focused on kicking the absolute dog shit out of that braindead money play spammer who used to kick your shit in…
Imagine how satisfying it would be to do that on a nightly basis every time.
Now it’s your choice…
You can attempt to figure out everything on your own, continuing to guess at what actually works or not…
You can ignore this guaranteed to work camp with a treasure trove of step-by-step strategic fundamental systems that has worked for even the most beginner level players who work 70 hour weeks time and time again…
You can attempt to figure out everything on your own but won
Or you can finally get yourself over the hump by…
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See you on the inside.