New Madden 21 Gameplay Trailer Details All the Ways It Will Fix the Overpowered Running Game

New Madden 21 Gameplay Trailer Details All the Ways It Will Fix the Overpowered Running Game

License to Skill Stick.

If you played a decent amount of Madden NFL 20, you probably noticed how strong the run game was. Rather than an air-raid offense, running backs—and even running quarterbacks—were consistent and effective.

Madden NFL 21 is looking to shake that up in a few ways. Detailed today in a deep dive video on EA's YouTube channel, the Madden team is tuning up open-field tackling to specifically address the run game.

The first major change is "realistic" open-field tackling, letting defensive players break down and prepare for contact in an oncoming tackle. While you can still flub the timing on a tackle, the Madden team hopes this can provide a little bit more control and accuracy in tackling, reducing what they call a "guided missile" feeling from previous Madden games.

Of course, the ball carriers aren't coming up empty-handed. This year's entry sees some additional moves through the Skill Stick, like the "jurdle" (side hurdle) and the "dead leg," which can be linked into jukes and spins to create a flow of ankle-breaking moves. Only the highest-level players should be able to effortlessly dodge tackles, but still, I'm probably going to get "jurdled" a few times.

The defense gets some better pass-rush controls, too. It seems like the Skill Stick is going to play a big part in this year's Madden, hopefully breaking up the running monotony. A glitch early on in Madden NFL 20's lifespan created some curiously unstoppable players, but even after it was addressed, the run remained ubiquitous. This year's Madden Bowl champion won without even throwing the ball once. As an air-raid offense fan, I'm hoping these changes make my second down choices a little more dynamic.

Madden NFL 21 is set to kick off on August 28, with a special edition providing early access a few days ahead. It will also support a next-gen upgrade, though you'll want to redeem that while the window is still open.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. See our terms & conditions.

Eric Van Allen

News Editor

Eric is a writer and Texan. He's a former contributor to sites including Compete, Polygon, Waypoint, and the Washington Post. He loves competitive games, live music, and travel.

In other news

FIFA 21 on PS5 and Xbox Series X Will Continue Including Women's Teams

The defending world champion U.S. Women's National Team will be playable on next-gen consoles.

Next-Gen Price Bumps Reflect the "Quality of the Experience," Says Take-Two CEO

The $10 hike reflects an increase in quality and costs.

EA Lays Out Madden's Franchise Mode Roadmap Through Madden 22

Franchise Mode's updates will carry on into a whole new year of Madden.

No Taxation Without Misrepresentation

THIS WEEK IN BUSINESS | Electronic Arts sees a phenomenal surge in sales due to the pandemic, but the impact on the bottom line is minimal compared to a good tax dodge.

Need help?

FIFA 20 Best Young Players: Hidden Gems and Wonderkids With High Potential

Here’s a list of the players that have the most to gain in overall rating.

Madden 20 Face of the Franchise Tips - Teams, How to Get Drafted, and More

Here's our walkthrough for Madden 20's Face of the Franchise mode, featuring all the NFL teams, how to get drafted, and more.

All the Best Madden 20 Offensive Money Plays

Here's our guide compiling all the best Madden 20 money plays in one place, so you know which run or pass play to call whenever.

Madden 20: The Best Offensive Playbooks to Use

This is our walkthrough of the best Madden 20 offensive playbooks you can always rely on.