If you have played online in Madden 17, you have probably seen many of the popular schemes both on offense and defense. Defense this year was riddled by Nickel Blitz 2, DB Fire 2 Press, Buck Slant Show 2, and Slant Zone 2 among others. The offensive side of the ball was a little more diverse in my opinion, though still far from where I think all of us would like for it to be.
If I had to cast a vote for the best play in the past year it would go towards Corner Strike out of the Gun Bunch formation. If you watched any of the major Madden tournaments throughout the year you saw a heavy dosage of this play among many of the top level players. For good reason too, the plays diversity is second to none in the game. With four unique routes built into the play that cannot be obtained through hot routes, along with the added bonus that each route is very good in different situations, it is easy to see how it rose to the top. In this little breakdown I am going to go over three different ways to run it that I think are both simple and effective.
Gun Bunch Wk ? Corner Strike
The first way is probably the most straightforward way to run it. All you are going to do is streak the bunch side receiver that is originally running the deep dig over the middle. This gives you a three man flood on the bunch side and a two man flood on the left. At this point the read becomes simple; you want to read the flat defender on either side of the route combo and stretch him vertically. If he plays hard and aggressive, you throw it to either the C-route on the solo receiver side or the corner on the right. If he sinks back, you can hit the flats on either side for a RAC catch and turn up field for some yards. The streak mainly acts as a clearout route, however it is still an option if you have a fast receiver who can get behind the defense or if you have a tall receiver you can go up and make a play on a highpoint pass in the seams.
The second way you are actually going to run it stock. In this case, all you do is motion the far outside receiver on the bunch side in one step and then snap the ball. The corner gets delayed by the motion, which allows the flat route from the TE and the deep dig over the middle to clearout space for the corner route to work with. When the route cuts it does so in a tender spot of the field that is difficult for zones to defend, so more times than not your opponent will be forced to user the route to stop it. However you must be careful against more savvy opponents as the inside motion will likely tip them off to the play and they will adjust accordingly and be expecting the corner route. This is where it is good to mix it up with similar motions on different plays, or even use the same motion but instead of leaving the corner route you hot route him to an in/slant. At this point it all becomes a mind game! Also this play is great in the redzone as the deep dig becomes a solid high point option in the back of the endzone.
The third and final way is a setup that excels in short yardage situations. You are going to drag your TE and put the far outside bunch receiver on an in route. You want to motion him to the outside and snap it as soon as he gets set. This route combo will give you a levels concept over the middle of the field, but the TE is your main read here. The table route out of the backfield by the RB does an excellent job of pulling any flat zones to the sideline which opens up space for the TE dragging across the middle of the field to occupy and turn up field for a nice RAC catch. This is not a setup that you will likely get huge gains on, but can definitely be solid when it comes to 3rd or 4th and short. Skimbo ran this particular setup several times throughout his championship run in the Madden 17 Championship Tournament and it worked out pretty well for him!
So what do you guys think was the best play in Madden 17 this year? I would love to hear your opinions!