September 25, 2018

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How to read the defense: Coverages


One of the key factors in your success on offense in American football, whether that be in real life or virtually, is being able to read the defense. In this article we’ll focus on the different types of coverage.

Coverage How to read How to beat
Cover 1d-x-Falcons-43_over_03 Watch FS. If he starts to creep in the middle of the field and the rest of the defence looks like they are in man coverage you are most likely seeing Cover 1 Vertically.The lone deep defender will be forced to make a choice as to which receiver he will help cover. This could lead to a most unwanted mismatch.
Cover 2d-y-Falcons-43_over_02 Lack of movement in both safeties. Cover 2 will leave a gap in coverage on the sidelines because the cornerbacks will most likely be covering the flats.  Hit out or corner routes.
Cover 3d-y-Falcons-46_normal_01 The strong safety is the key. When you see him creeping up into the box, and corners are back, you know its Cover 3. This leaves the corners and the free safety to cover one third of the deep field each. Cover 3 might be the toughest zone formation to beat consistently, as it works well against the run and pass.Flats tend to be very high percentage plays, and can go for big yards. It’s also not a bad idea to check out the deep middle of the field. A tight end could get open for a big gain.
Cover 4d-x-Falcons-43_over_04 When the corners drop back off the receivers and possibly towards the sidelines, and there’s 2 high safeties, this should be an indication of Cover 4 defence. Slants can be very effective as well as screens. A draw play mixed in could also catch the defense off guard.

Now we know that there are other things to consider with these plays depending on formation, personnel, but this is just to give an overview.

What about Cover 6?

We’ll come back to that one.

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