Here are some of the improvements made to the defensive side of the ball in Madden NFL 16.


Play Ball (Ball Hawk) is back and has been heavily revised to ensure the most aggressive path possible to the ball. As with past years, the user plays the ball by holding the Y/Triangle button as soon as the pass is released.

Play Ball is the best way to challenge the receiver for the catch, but comes at the risk of triggering a catch animation behind the receiver and giving up a big play.


New this year is the Play Receiver DB mechanic. Hold the A/X button once the pass is thrown to play the receiver. This drives you towards the receiver as opposed to driving you to a catch point.

Hit receiver can be used to dislodge the ball during the catch, but comes at the expense of not being able to trigger interceptions.



Forget everything you remember about Pro-Tak. Madden NFL 16 delivers the most dramatic tackles in franchise history with a fully organic, physics-based gang tackling system. We now have fully realized momentum-based organic interactions on tackles that support a limitless number of defenders attaching to the ball carrier.

The system is complemented by new dynamic gang tackle animations that can “go organic” based on additional defenders in proximity.

We also worked on the stat-tracking side – Assisted Tackles and Half-sacks are now being tracked appropriately in the stats screen. It all adds up to the most authentic tackles


While most players raved about the changes to tackling in Madden NFL 15, some users complained about feeling too much “suction” in the conservative tackle system. The team took this feedback to heart and tuned both the tackle cone and match distance to eliminate warping (or suction) from the tackling system without sacrificing control or responsiveness.

Aggressive tackles were also improved so that defenders always dive towards the ball carrier instead of just at his facing direction.



Defensive quick adjustments give users the ability to adjust any of their defenders on the field without having to manually switch to the defender. Simply select the group (DL, LB, DB), choose individual adjustment, select the defender and set the assignment.

This addresses a long-standing legacy issue that put the defense at a disadvantage when it came to pre-play adjustments.


Madden NFL 16 also includes a few key defensive improvements demanded by the community. A few of the highlights include:

  • QB Spy logic has been updated to be more effective at stopping rushing QB’s
  • Contain Defenses and logic have been improved to help counter the new rollout and scramble mechanics
  • New mechanic where users can now make their defenders in spy assignment abandon the spy and chase the QB at any point in the play. This is done by clicking in R3 once he ball has been snapped.
  • Resolved an issue where users would not have time to audible to onside kick recovery when their opponents caught them in normal return vs. onside kick.
  • The offense can no longer use no huddle to consistently cause AI defenders to be called offsides.

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