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If you've been following the competitive scene, you'll notice that the 43 Even 61 formation has become the go-to for many players, featuring a combination of lurk artist linebackers and pick artist corners. In this article, we'll break down this popular defense, exploring its strengths, weaknesses, and how to counter it.
The 43 Even 61 Formation
The 43 Even 61 is a defensive formation that utilizes three lurk artist linebackers and two pick artist corners. This setup grants you five out of seven potential players who can animate and catch the ball when it's thrown their way. However, it's essential to note that drop picks are prevalent in the current meta. Keep in mind that game updates may alter the meta, but as of now, this is how players are constructing their defenses.
Positioning Your Linebackers
When setting up your defense in the 43 Even 61 formation, you'll want to choose your lurk artist linebackers strategically. For this video, I'm using Dave Robinson at outside backer, Luke Keeley as my user at middle backer, and Patrick Willis on the other side. You can choose from various lurk artist linebackers depending on your preferences.
Defensive Line Requirements
In the interior, the defensive line is crucial for this defense. Speed and acceleration are more critical than pass rush moves because you're relying on players to hit the gaps and accelerate towards the quarterback. The primary goal is to get players to disengage from their blockers, creating pressure on the quarterback.
Setting Up the Coverage
Your coverage is another critical aspect of the 43 Even 61 defense. Most players will set their flats to 30 and their curl flats to five (sometimes zero in short-yardage situations) to effectively cover the flats. In the red zone, players often switch to hook curls to defend against short passes. Some players use Cover 2 over the top of their coverage, while others stick with quarters coverage in the middle of the field. The setup can vary, but these are general guidelines.
Blitzing Your Linebacker
The heart of this defense is the linebacker blitz. To set it up effectively, it's essential to understand the nuances. Start with a baseline defense, then pinch and crash your defensive line down. Many players also back up their outside corners to put them into 30-yard Blues.
To initiate the blitz, choose your linebacker and bring them down. You want to position yourself between the defensive tackles. A crucial technique is to wiggle your linebacker back and forth when the ball is snapped. This makes the interior offensive linemen uncertain about who to block. Your goal is to have multiple players crash through the middle. You won't get a clean sack on every play, but you'll create pressure and disrupt the opposing offense.
Blocking the 43 Even 61 Defense
While the 43 Even 61 defense can be effective, it's not unbeatable. Blocking it is simpler than many players realize. Here's how to do it:
Slide Protect Left: When you see your opponent running the 43 Even 61 defense, slide protect your offensive line to the left. This adjustment helps pick up most of the pressure and ensures your quarterback has time to make plays.
Running Back Assistance: If you have a running back in the backfield, they can help protect the quarterback. By running routes or staying in the backfield to block, the running back becomes a valuable asset in pass protection.
No Running Back: If you don't have a running back in the backfield, slide protecting left remains the most effective strategy. It's simple but efficient.
The 43 Even 61 defense has become a prominent feature of Madden 24's competitive landscape. It relies on a combination of lurk artist linebackers, pick artist corners, and a blitzing linebacker to create pressure on the quarterback. While it can be effective, blocking this defense is straightforward, and it's crucial to stay calm and execute the correct adjustments.
Remember that the Madden meta can shift with game updates and evolving strategies, so staying informed and adaptable is essential. Whether you're a competitive player looking to gain an edge or a casual player trying to understand the game better, mastering the 43 Even 61 defense and its counter-strategies is a valuable skill in Madden 24. Good luck on the virtual gridiron!