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How to Beat Each Cover Defense in Madden 23

Surveying the field and reading defenses pre-snap is crucial
Madden 23 screenshot
Image via EA Tiburon

In Madden 23, players will utilize various cover formations to defend certain areas or players on the field. Whether you’re staring down a feisty Cover 2 defense or a loaded Cover 6 defense with two-deep coverage. Identifying and understanding the weaknesses of each formation is the best way to shut down any chance your opponent has of putting points on the board.

In this guide, we will break down how to beat each cover defense in Madden 23.

How to Beat Each Cover Defense in Madden 23

The best Madden players don’t just use the best defensive playbooks but they also know how to beat each style of cover defense. Not only will this help to throw off the other team’s passing game, but it could also completely shift momentum into your favor.

Related: How to Get Sacks in Madden 23

Here’s how to beat each cover defense in Madden 23.

Cover 1 Defense

Cover 1 is a coverage formation that typically utilizes man-to-man coverage and is usually accompanied by a pretty heavy blitz. Whenever there’s a deep safety in the middle of the field, you know the other team is in a Cover 1 defense.

To beat Cover 1, you will need to utilize crossing routes, such as mesh, slants, or drive plays. This will allow your receivers to run across the field and force the defenders to keep up. Which should have them open right in the middle of the field.

Alternatively, you can also try to beat the one deep safety with a vertical passing route using one of your faster wide receivers.

Cover 2 Defense

If you ever see two deep safeties in the middle of the field, this should indicate that the other team is in Cover 2. As the most common cover defense in Madden 23, it’s also the most easily identifiable. The safeties are almost always assigned a deep zone and needed to prevent big plays in Cover 2, each responsible for one side of the field. All of the rest of the coverage players will either be in man coverage or underneath zone.

However, if you see that the cornerbacks are close to the line of scrimmage, then you know they’re playing a man-to-man defense. As a result, the key to beating a Cover 2 defense in Madden 23 is to stick to short passes. This means things like hitch routes, spacing routes, and flood routes, all of which could be used to carve up defenses that can’t defend short passes.

Also, focus on using the middle of the field with your running backs or tight ends. As they will generally be left wide open since the opposing safeties and corners will be too busy covering your outside receivers.

Cover 3 Defense

Cover 3 utilizes one deep safety and two outside cornerbacks that play about five yards off the line of scrimmage, similar to Cover 1. You can tell if the other team is in a Cover 3 defense by flipping the play to the other side of the field, and seeing which opposing players follow your player’s movements.

For example, if you see that the other team’s cornerbacks follow your wide receivers to the other side of the field when you flip the play. This should let you know that they’re in a Cover 1 defense, but if the cornerbacks stay put, they’re in Cover 3.

To beat a Cover 3, you will need to hit your receivers in the seams between the deep cover zones, as each of the three deep sections of the field will be covered by a defender. This means utilizing post routes, dig routes, and seam routes, moving the receiver from the outside to the inside of the field in between zones. Timing is also a crucial factor when it comes to throwing the ball against Cover 3.

Cover 4 (Quarters) Defense

The Cover 4 (or Quarters) defense essentially splits the field into fourths (or quarters), each of which is covered by a different player. With the two outside sections covered by the cornerbacks, and the two inside sections covered by the safeties. It looks much like a Cover 2, but the cornerbacks will instead be playing further away from the line of scrimmage.

The best way to beat Cover 4 is with quick passes to the outside, hitting receivers between the line of scrimmage and the deep cornerbacks. This means you will need to use hitch routes, stick routes, and curl routes.

Cover 6 Defense

Lastly, there’s the least used of the defensive schemes, Cover 6. Which is a hybrid defense that uses Cover 2 on one side of the field, and Cover 4 on the other. You can always tell when the other team’s in a Cover 6 formation because the two deep safeties and corners are not equally aligned. One corner will be deep, well off the line of scrimmage, while the other will be playing closer to the line.

Since this defense isn’t balanced, there are tons of gaps both deep down the field and closer to the line of scrimmage. So, the best way to beat a Cover 6 is by exploiting the various weaknesses with corner routes, smash routes and flood route concepts.

That’s everything you need to know about how to beat each cover defense in Madden 23. If you’re interested in more Madden 23 content, be sure to check out our guides section here at Gamer Journalist. Where you can find tons of helpful information like how to force turnovers in Madden 23 or how to stop short passes in Madden 23.

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