Madden NFL features a mind-boggling number of different plays to choose from, and Madden 18 is no different. Every team has its own playbook, and there are a number of generic playbooks to choose from as well. For a newcomer, the choices can be overwhelming.
The plays below are for the newcomers struggling to put together a coherent offense with minimal adjustments. Each one has an array of options and will almost always net you 10 to 15 yards – perfect if you need a first down in a pinch. Some of these plays have been a core part of my playbook over the course of multiple Maddens and continue to serve me well even now.
Divide Wheel (Empty Bunch)
Though it lacks a really solid running play, Empty Bunch still features a variety of fearsome plays, none better than Divide Wheel. Your first read should be the receiver on the out route. If that route is unavailable, check the tight end crossing to the deep middle. If none of those routes are available, then the second receiver coming across from the left will be open underneath. Divide Wheel is a great money play that beats both man and zone. You can find it in the Vikings playbook.
Four Verticals (Gun 5WR Trio)
Four verticals has been one of Madden’s most powerful plays for several years running, and Madden 18 is no different. 5WR Trio works especially well because it puts a receiver in the seam, where they are well-positioned to beat the defense. If they’re covered, then the slot receiver on the left will almost always be open. Keep an eye on the safeties as well: If they get too focused on stopping the routes in the middle, you may be able to hit a receiver deep for a touchdown. You can find 5WR Trio in the Bears playbook.
Pats Slant (Trips TE)
A funky play that works very nicely in the redzone. If they are playing man coverage, the tight end will be wide open off the slant corner. If they are playing zone, you can hit one of the two receivers running a slant in the soft part of the zone, or look to the receiver moving into the flat. You have to make your reads quickly, but all four receivers have a pretty good chance of getting open for a big gain. You can find Trips TE in the Patriots playbook
Cross (Tight Flex)
Not as lethal as in previous years, but still very good. The tight end and receiver on your right should be your first read, followed by the triangle/Y receiver crossing underneath. If you sense a pass rush coming, look to your running back out of the back field. If you have a really good receiver on the far left, they will almost always get open versus man coverage. Against a Cover 1 defense, the tight end can potentially take their catch all the way to house. You can find the Tight Flex formation in the Tampa Bay playbook.