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madden-25-option-header.jpg POSTED BY EA SPORTS ON Aug 29, 2013

Defending the Read Option in Madden NFL 25

EA SPORTS Game Changers are high-profile members of the EA SPORTS community who use their expert knowledge of our games to inform, entertain, and assist others.

Today's Game Changers blog comes to us from “ZFarls,” who co-writes the official strategy guides for both Madden NFL and NCAA Football 14, and also runs Follow him on Twitter at @MaddenBible.

The option is quickly becoming one of the most popular ways to move the ball in Madden NFL 25, but it can be stopped.


Engage Eight is an extremely high-risk, high-reward defense. If you are looking to stop your opponent on the ground, then this play will likely do the trick. However, expect to get beaten by the pass if your opponent suspects Engage Eight is coming. This may not be an every-down defense against the option, but use this as a last-ditch effort to provide pressure on the QB.


User-defending and committing towards the option means attacking the QB from the play side with a MLB or safety. This can be tricky, because you’ll have to avoid blockers to make a play on the QB. User-control ability is extremely important here, so make sure that you only attempt this if you are confident in your stick skills. If your opponent throws a play action towards your side of the field, be sure to recover as quickly as you can back to your coverage assignment.


This can be done from any formation and any play in the game. The only rule is to make sure you send six defenders, excluding your user defender. Sit back and let your opponent decide who to give the ball to and then attack. Don’t commit too early, otherwise you’ll get picked up by blockers and get taken out of the play.


If you are facing a QB that isn’t a threat to run, use your pre-snap tools to select “Commit to HB,” which means your defense will attempt to take away the handoff. Decide on your game plan early, and consider mixing it up so that your opponent doesn’t get comfortable with the same read. The indicator for this will be your DE crashing in towards the snap of the ball.


A general rule of thumb in Madden NFL 25 is that your opponent will want to run with a mobile QB. Don’t allow it. Using your pre-snap adjustments, select “Commit to QB” to take him out of the equation. Your indicator for this will be your DE standing up at the snap of the ball. If the opposing QB keeps the ball, he will get crushed by the DE. This forces the handoff to the HB, and the defense will have to make a play in the open field. This is, without a doubt, the best way to not only stop the option, but also to frustrate your opponent.

For more from Zfarls, pick up the official Madden NFL 25 strategy guide today.

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