I’m still shocked by the domination that occurred on Sunday, and Chiefs Command has brought you plenty of analysis on the Chiefs’ 3-0 start. Since we have another full week until the road matchup with the Indianapolis Colts, I’m using today’s post to talk about playing with the Chiefs in Madden.
EA Sports’ Madden is by far the most successful sports video game franchise, selling around 90 million copies to NFL fans since 1988.
This year’s addition, Madden 11, is being played offline and online by countless NFL and Kansas City Chiefs fans.
Personally, I LOVE to play a little Madden. Or a lot. So, I figure I’ll spend this bye week writing about Madden 11 from a Chiefs fan’s perspective and also give some tips on how to win while playing with the Chiefs.
Choose to play with your squad
In previous years’ editions, you might have tried to play with your beloved Chiefs and gotten destroyed because the team simply lacked talent. In this Madden 11, you should be able to do just fine while repping KC because the Chiefs have some weapons you can use against your opponent.
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From the pre-season to this Thursday, the Chiefs have been at an overall rating of 71, and I have held my own on Xbox Live against elite teams. However, given Kansas City’s surprising 3-0 start, EA bumped the talent level on the Chiefs so high that it increased to a 78 overall rating. But if you use the Chiefs correctly, you can make sure that they play far above that level. Here is how to win with the Chiefs:
In real life, many other fans and I are trying to convince Todd Haley to give Jamaal Charles the ball (#FreeJamaalCharles!). In Madden, you can actually do this. JC is rated 88 as a running back, but his 97 speed rating makes him much deadlier. Giving Jamaal the ball works by doing anything you can think of: by handing it off inside, by handing it off outside, by throwing a screen pass, or even by using him as a wide receiver. Run with him and you won’t even need to juke or break tackles, you can just use the analog stick to weave around defenders.
Another thing I would do in the run game is put Thomas Jones in at fullback. That way, if you run with an I-Form package, you can set your audibles to give the ball to either Charles or Jones, depending on the defense and the play. This makes for the only no-huddle run offense that I’ve ever seen work on Madden, but be sure to give most of your carries to Jamaal (COUGH Todd Haley COUGH).
The other main thing you can do to help your offense is to not trust Matt Cassel (79 overall). I didn’t think it was possible, but Matt is even worse on Madden than he is in real life at times. You might have Dwayne Bowe or Chris Chambers streaking downfield with no defender in sight, and Matt will still drastically underthrow or overthrow them. So, for the most part, your passing game will have to rely on over-the-middle passes to Tony Moeaki and Dexter McCluster and screen passes to Charles. However, with arguably the best running back tandem in the NFL, you shouldn’t need to rely too much on your passing game.
Finally, the offensive line was the thing that improved most with the latest roster update. The most significant change was the left tackle, Branden Albert, improved from a 76 overall to an 84. The lowest grade for the O-Line comes with Barry Richardson (jumped from a 67 to a 75). This offensive line isn’t too shabby.
Overall, the Chiefs offense on this game is fairly competent. EA made running a lot easier in this year’s edition, and it helps that Jamaal Charles is ridiculous. Like I mentioned, the no-huddle works great with this offense, and don’t rely much on deep passes.
Okay, there are two changes that you need to make on your depth chart for defense: First, take out Mike Vrabel. Doesn’t matter who you put in, but he’s a huge liability on Madden due to his lack of speed. I would suggest putting Demorrio Williams at the 2nd MLB position (it doesn’t matter online who is strong side or weak side) and moving Jovan Belcher, with his decent speed, to Vrabel’s spot. This way you have three fairly quick Linebackers plus Tamba Hali.
If you’re new to Madden, stick to the new “Gameflow” feature which automatically picks the computer’s “best play.” If you understand Madden and football, I have a few tips on the types of plays to call:
The main thing to remember is to make sure that your linebackers (especially Tamba) aren’t overmatched in their assignments. NEVER have Tamba guarding anyone other than a slow tight end or a slow running back, and if you have more than one of your linebackers matched up on a wide receiver, call a timeout or audible out of it. Zone defenses in a 3-4 work pretty well.
The secondary fares pretty well; Brandon Carr, Brandon Flowers, and Eric Berry all seem to force turnovers and no one should get completely burned (unless you didn’t listen to me and left McGraw in). But, if you’re playing a receiver that completely overmatches you (Andre Johnson, DeSean Jackson, Randy Moss) you may have to manually select a play that doubles them.
This defense does very well with the right play calling. Always be looking to make sure there aren’t any bad matchups.
If you’re a Chiefs fan that has enjoyed Madden in the past, I recommend getting this year’s version if you haven’t already. If you have it, hopefully now you have a few tips to success with the Chiefs. Hit me up on twitter if you want to play me on Xbox Live.
P.S.: Vick Help
Okay, the latest update is great for Chiefs fans. However, the biggest change was Mike Vick. In the last two weeks they bumped him from a ratings in the mid-70’s to a rating of 85, putting his speed back at 90 and making him a competent passer. So, the people that like to piss you off by not having anyone open then running for 20 yards are back. This can be trouble. However, most people that play with Vick are morons, so let me help you out:
On defense, try putting both of your D-Ends on QB Contain. With luck, this guy is a moron and will do a typical sprint left, see you are using contain, sprint right, see you are using contain, then chuck up a random pass. This leads to easy turnovers.
If you’re using Vick, don’t be that guy. Use him as a pocket passer if he’s using contain and you’ll have all day to throw. If nothing opens up, you should be able to break off a decent run by scrambling, or you could always try throwing on the run since your opponent will likely overcompensate for Vick’s speed. Also, try to make sure he doesn’t take any hard hits. He will fumble. I repeat: he will fumble.
The image featured in this post is not the actual cover for Madden 11, it is a custom cover.