All right, the AFC North is done. Remember that the lineups are based on the team's default depth chart in Roger's roster, with no injuries. I renamed the play's names based on their original playbook. So for example, in the Steelers playbook, Engage Eight is called "Steel Crush 3" (One of them anyway), in the Ravens playbook it is called "3 Bird Fire" (One of them as well), in the Bengals playbook it is called "
Base Playbook: Patriots 3-4.
As most know, the Steelers base defense (Yeah, those are still a thing) is the 3-4. That's as simple as it get. 3 Interior Linemen (Cameron Heyward as the Right End, Stephon Tuitt as the Left End. Javon Hargrave as the Nose Tackle), 2 Outside Linebackers acting as Edge Rushers (T.J. Watt as the Right Outside Linebacker, Bud Dupree as the Left Outside Linebacker) and 2 Inside Off the ball Linebackers (Ryan Shazier and Vince Williams). 2 Cornerbacks (Joe Haden and Artie Burns), a Free Safety deep (Mike Mitchell) and a Strong safety (Sean Davis) round out the formation.
Now the interesting stuff, sub-packages. The Steelers use 3 Nickel packages. The first one is the Nickel 2-4-5, and is the package the Steelers used the most. Most teams remove their Nose Tackle and place their Nickelback (Mike Hilton). In the Steelers case, they remove Nose Tackle Javon Hargrave and leave Defensive Ends Cameron Heyward and Stephon Tuitt as the 2 Interior Linemen. The rest of the formation remains similar to the 3-4. 2 Outside Linebackers serve as Edge Rushers. 2 Inside Off the ball Linebackers provide versatility. 3 Corners provide adequate pass coverage. The Free Safety and Strong Safety round out the formation.
The next package is the Nickel 1-5-5. This one has Right End Cameron Heyward lined up in a 3 point stance. T.J. Watt and Bud Dupree are still the Edge Rushers. 2 Middle Linebackers and the #2 Right Outside Linebacker (Keion Adams) line up as the 3 Off the ball Linebackers. 3 Corners line up against the receivers. The Free Safety is lined up deep and the Strong Safety comes up into the box.
Finally, there is the Nickel 1-5-5 Prowl. The one linemen present (Cam Heyward) is a stand up rusher. The #2 Left Outside Linebacker (Arthur Moats) lines up at the LOS, as a stand up rusher. T.J. Watt and Bud Dupree still serve as the Edge Rushers. #2 Right Ouside Linebacker (Keion Adams) and #1 Middle Linebacker (Ryan Shazier) serve as the off the ball Linebackers. The secondary is similar to the 2-4-5. 3 Corners lined up against the receivers, a Free Safety deep and a Strong Safety round out the formation.
Now, we have the Dime package. Specifically, the Dime 2-3-6. A Linebacker is removed from the lineup to add the Dimeback (William Gay). Both D. Ends serve as the Interior Linemen. Both Outside Linebackers serve as the Edge Rushers (Little problem here. I have not seen, or rather have not played attention, to the Steelers running their Dime set. So I'm not sure if T.J. Watt and Bud Dupree line up in a 2 point stance or a 3 point stance. I went safe and left them in a 3 point stance). Ryan Shazier serves as the lone Off the ball Linebacker. 4 Cornerbacks, 2 starters, the Nickelback and the Dime back, provide coverage. A Free Safety and a Strong Safety round out the formation.
Next up is the Dollar set. This formation has many names, is labeled in Madden as a "Dime" package. In modern Maddens is called a "Dollar". It would technically be a "Big Dime". I'll just call it Dollar and move on. So, we have Dollar 1-4-6. Cameron Heyward, T.J. Watt and Bud Dupree are lined up on the line in a 3 point stance. Both starting Middle Linebackers are the Off the ball Linebackers. 3 Corners and the backup Free Safety (J.J. Wilcox. The reason why this would be a Big Dime) line up against the receivers. Both safeties are lined up deep.
Finally, you have the Quarter. In the standard 1-4-7, Cameron Heyward, T.J. Watt and Bud Dupree are lined up on the line in a 3 point stance. Ryan Shazier is the only Linebacker present. 5 Defensive Backs, 2 Starters, the Nickelback, the Dimeback and the backup Free Safety, line up against the receivers. Both safeties are lined up deep. There is also the 1-4-7 3 Deep. The only difference is that the back up Free Safety is lined up deep coverting the middle of the field along with the Free Safety and Strong Safety.
Note: I kind of wanted to use the base 3-4 playbook. Reason is that after the Steelers lost Ryan Shazier, they started to show some 3-3-5 looks. 3-3-5 is not that effective in the NFL and they really didn't use the 3-3-5 a lot in general, Which is why I used the Pats 3-4 book, which doesn't have the 3-3-5.
Base Playbook: Ravens Hybrid.
The Ravens are interesting. They run a hybrid 3-4/4-3 set. While this hears complex (And it is), as I understand it, it depends on a single man if they show 3-4 or 4-3. Terrell Suggs can line up in a 2 point stance, making the Ravens show 3-4. They can show 3-4 in the Normal, Solid and Over sets. Suggs can also line up in a 3 point stance, allowing the Ravens to show a 4-3 Under front. Additionally, this playbook also has the 46 set, which is basically a 4-4 set with 4-3 personnel. Suggs has his hand in the dirt, and the Strong Safety (Tony Jefferson) comes into the box.
Now the interesting stuff, sub-packages. The Ravens use 3 Nickel packages. But they are also a team that like to go all Nickel, giving offenses Dime and Quarter looks with Nickel personnel. In the case of Nickel, they run the 4-2-5, 3-3-5 and 1-5-5.
Now, we have the Nickel "Dime look". That's the way I named them. First is the 2-4-5. With Terrell Suggs and Matt Judon as 3 point rushers. Za'Darious Smith occupies what should be the #4 Cornerback position and serves as a rusher. The alternate 2-4-5 "Flat" is similar, but as oppossed to the standard 2-4-5, which lines up both D. Ends on the line, this one lines up a D. End and a Defensive Tackle. Finally, you have the 3-3-5 "Dime Look" set. 3 Down linemen, 3 Off the ball linebackers, 1 of them lined up as a corner and used as a rusher.
Finally, you have the Nickel "Quarter look". 1 Down linemen, 2 Pass Rushing OLBs, 3 Off the ball Linebackers which serve as pass rushers. Finally, the 3-1-7 3 Deep set was left unchanged, to represent more deep coverage on the waning moments of a game.
Base Playbook: Vikings 4-3
Something that Head Coach Marvin Lewis likes is continuity and longevity in his schemes. You might remember that back in the day, Mike Zimmer was the Bengals' Defensive Coordinator. Fast forward to 2017-2018, the Bengals run an extremely similar scheme to the Vikings. Which is good for me since I can replicate both teams' schemes with the same base playbook. So, Mike Zimmer's scheme was an All Nickel set. Their base defense is a 4-3 set.
Now the interesting stuff, sub-packages. The Ravens use 3 Nickel packages. Their standard looks are 4-2-5, Strong 4-2-5 and 3-3-5.
Now, we have the Nickel "Dime look". That's the way I named them. First is the 4-2-5. MLB #2 plays as a rusher and coverage linebacker/Force player. Then comes the 4-2-5 Stand Up. The defense has 3 down linemen, plus the RE#2 as a stand up rushing linemen, and a Force/Contain player.
Finally, you have the Nickel "Quarter look". 3 Down linemen, 1 Stand Up Rushing Linemen (Who can serve as a Force player), 2 Linebackers (One serves as a Force Contain player if necessary), 5 Defensive backs. The 3-1-7 3 Deep set was left unaffected.
Base Playbook: Redskins 4-3
Off all the schemes, Cleveland had the simplest one. Basically a 4-3 set with no big changes to be done.
Now the interesting stuff, sub-packages. The Browns run the 4-2-5, Strong 4-2-5 and 3-3-5
Next, we have the Dime 4-2-5 and the Dollar (Or Big Dime) 3-2-6
Finally, you have the Quarter. Both 3-1-7 and 3-1-7 3 Deep.
Remember, if you think there is any change that is wrong or some change that could be done, post it here so I can correct it. Next up is the NFC North. Lions, Vikings, Packers and Bears.
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