Split Hitch is designed for teams that like to throw for short yardage conversions. West Coast Offense teams like the Green Bay Packers, and teams with good receiving backs and tight ends are best suited for this. It can also be a good change-up for teams that like power running, because with two tight ends the Delta formation might have defenses thinking run is likely.
While you may be able to achieve long gains with Split Hitch through good runs after the catch, you won't be making any through deep throws, because there aren't any. All throws are designed to be targeted no more than 5 yards past the line of scrimmage. That's all right, because Split Hitch will gain those 5 yards very effectively. The right SE runs a very quick out just beyond the line of scrimmage, while the right TE runs an abrupt circle route to get just around the defensive line and right over the middle. The RB runs a quick seam swing route that splits between the TE and SE in hopes that the defenders part to cover these receivers. The Left SE runs a standard curl. Despite being a quick passing play the left TE stays in to block because in short yardage situations you can expect a big defensive rush
Because of its multiple quick routes, Split Hitch worked fairly well against every 4-3 and Nickel defense I tested it against. That isn't to say that it will always be easy to execute, as even the best plays are difficult to run in the face of something unexpected, but I can just about guarantee that one of the routes will be open quickly, you just have to be good enough to spot it and throw without hesitation. Be careful with the quick out pattern though, as a defender in tight coverage may pick of a bad throw and take it the distance for six if you get sloppy.
|Left SE||4yd Curl|
|Left TE||Pass Block|
|Right TE||N1E1-N1-W1 (open)|
|Right SE||N1-E3 (open)|
See the Madden Playbook Guide for a description of these symbols.
- Right SE out
- Left SE curl
- TE circle
- RB swing
For a lot of my plays I describe adjustments in the read progression you can make before the snap based on the look of the defense. Well not here. Split Hitch features four quick reads. Look right to the quick out, left to the curl, and back right to the TE circle and RB seam swing. If you really need this conversion, you may be able to but a bit of time for the TE and RB to keep moving, otherwise you can often throw it away by throwing later to the right SE out. This isn't certain though, because I made the out only 3 units to allow for him to work open late. You can pretty much ensure he runs out of bounds if you want by increasing the distance to the maximum 6 units.
- No defense I've tested can stop this play completely
- Easy to throw ball out of bounds (to right SE) if nothing is open
- Easy, no-adjustments-necessary read progression
- Quick out pattern can be intercepted an returned for an easy touchdown if a soft or off balance throw is made
- Mostly only good for short yardage
- TE being bumped off of the line can screw up timing of play
Contact Arkaein with any comments or questions regarding the Monstrous Madden Playbook.