Best Madden 23 Defensive Playbooks and Schemes

Use any of these to get a leg up on the competition.

by J.R. Waugh


When playing Madden NFL 23, it might be more exciting to be on the offensive side, but the defense is your bulwark against your opponent performing as well as or better than you. While building your roster helps make a powerful defensive lineup, and skillful mastery of the gameplay on the field counts a lot, knowing your playbooks, in particular, will be crucial to performing teams have some exceptionally strong defensive playbooks that enable formations you’ll find to work extremely well, so read on for our picks of the Best Madden 23 Defensive Playbooks and Schemes!

Best Madden 23 Defensive Playbooks and Schemes


Right away we want to clarify that due to the nuances of the gameplay between these given playbooks, it’s ultimately down to execution and personal preference, but the following teams work well right off the bat:

Baltimore Ravens

The Baltimore Ravens are a relatively newer team compared to some of the mainstays but have quickly established themselves as strong contenders, winning 2 Super Bowl titles. While their collective playbook assembly is strong, a highlight for this list is their defensive capabilities. This team has some pretty solid defensive formations, particularly ones like Big Dime 1-4-6 to safeguard against opponents’ passing attempts, as well as 2-4-5 DBL A Gap, and 3-3-5 Cub. Use these and tweak your options as needed, and you’ll find a good way to contain your opponents and prevent them from gaining heavy yardage.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Buccaneers have been a strong contender for a couple of decades, and with their new acquisition of Superstar X-Factor Tom Brady, their strengths are further bolstered. Their defensive playbook will have some great pure pass coverage, with a Nickel formation and powerful blitzing capabilities to zip around and take down that QB. For further tweaks, consider changing your Auto-Alignment to Base. Additionally, you can consider the 2-4-5 Odd – 12 Plays formation, reputed to be the best defensive formation in the game.

Green Bay Packers

Another powerful presence in NFL competitive play, Green Bay has a strong defensive playbook as well. With particular highlights like the Dollar pass defense formation to match popular offensive lineups in the meta, and their 46 playbook, in general, is a reliable wall against the other team. Using these configurations will give you great blitzing coverage as well, and you’ll find that the playbook will serve you well in various situations. Be sure to adjust your Auto-Alignment like before to Base, and consider going to Coach Adjustments, and changing Zone Coverage to Match.

Chicago Bears

This, with some tweaks, will make for an adaptable defensive setup that allows you to respond to various offensive plays trying to score extra deep yardage or to exploit openings. The 4-3 Even 6-1 formation will be helpful here and be sure to set up your fastest players on the outside linebacker position to prevent anything from slipping in the cracks. This will allow for good pass coverage, but also great blitzing such as the Sam Will Blitz, as you’ll find coverage of the enemy team to be quite efficient as you break through to whoever has the ball.

This concludes our guide on the Best Madden 23 Defensive Playbooks and Schemes! Be sure to check out our other guides on the game!

Madden NFL 23 is available now on PlayStation5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, and PC.

- This article was updated on August 22nd, 2022

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