While coach suggestions might work in some situations, complete freedom in playcalling on defense can be a game-changer.

Familiarizing yourself with different plays and formations will allow you to run the plays that best fit each situation and, more importantly, your personnel.

So, what is the best defensive playbook in Madden 22 and why?

Read on to see some of our favorites!

How to Find the Right Defensive Playbook

First, how do you even know which defensive playbook is the right one for you?

The general rule when choosing a defensive playbook is versatility. You want to go for a playbook that has a lot of different sets that would allow you to adapt to anything the offense throws at you. Of course, reading offensive sets and situations will also be a valuable skill here but having the right plays is the first step.

Also, try to find the plays that support your personnel. For example, if you have several top-tier linebackers and a weaker defensive line, your perfect playbook will likely have more defensive sets with a 3-4 formation.

The best way to find the right defensive playbook for your team is to simply play the game. Try out different things and see which defensive sets feel the most comfortable. You’ll likely run into a few defensive plays (or an entire playbook) that just feels right.

That said, here are some of the best defensive playbooks in Madden 22!

Pittsburgh Steelers

Pittsburgh Steelers defensive playbook

Versatility is definitely the name of the game when it comes to the Steelers’ defensive playbook.

You’ll find a bunch of different sets in their playbook and some really good 3-4, 4-3, nickel, and dime formations. If you’re looking for a playbook that has all of the basic defensive formations most Madden players like to choose, the Steelers will be a great choice.

They also have some new formations that have been added to Madden 22, most notably the Nickel 1-5-5 DBL A Gap.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay defensive playbook

You’ll enjoy the Bucs’ playbook if you like to go for quarterback spies, blitzes, and take out the middle of the field. In fact, thanks to their awesome defense, the Buccaneers are one of our best teams to use in Madden 22 Franchise Mode!

They have some of the best 3-4 sets in the game, perfectly suited for teams with talented linebackers. The Bucs’ defensive playbook also has some fun 4-4 options if you need some good defensive sets to protect against runs.

Since Madden always puts such a strong emphasis on speed, the Bucs’ defensive playbook will provide you with some great sets to counter opposition runs with quick linebackers. Just make sure you have the personnel to pull some of these sets off!

Minnesota Vikings

If you don’t want to rely on linebackers as much, Minnesota Vikings might have the perfect defensive playbook you need.

With lots of nickel, dollar, and prevent options, the Vikings put more emphasis on the 4-3 formation, along with some other popular formations. It’s a pretty versatile playbook but it does lean more towards pass defense.

New England Patriots

New England Patriots defensive playbook

The Patriots had a pretty strong defense last season and their defensive playbook in Madden 22 is a good reflection of that.

Just like the Steelers, the Pats offer some of the most popular schemes and their sets are pretty versatile. There is a good mix of formations for all types of roster constructions. Their dime formations are quite interesting so check them out if you have good cornerbacks in your roster.

The Dime 2-3-6 formation is one of my favorites for blitzing and it can be a perfect weapon in both online play and Franchise Mode.

The Pats also boast some of the best offensive playbook in Madden 22 options.

Building a Custom Defensive Playbook in Madden 22

There are a lot of great defensive playbooks in Madden but your best option is to build a custom playbook from different plays you’ve seen on different teams.

So, if you really like the Cover 1 LB Blitz play from the Pats’ playbook but you’re playing as the Packers, you can always add this play to the Packers’ playbook and use it whenever you want.

Doing this in Madden 22 is fairly similar to how we did it last year.

Simply tap on the NFL logo in the main menu and go to Playbooks:

This will take you to the Playbooks screen where you need to choose a playbook to customize. Navigate to the team whose playbook you want to rebuild and make sure to use your R1/RB to “Create Def” or “Edit Def” to change a defensive playbook.

Custom playbooks defense

Once you do that, you’ll be able to access all the defensive plays in the game. You can sort the plays by team and formation. You can delete plays you don’t use to make room for new ones, although there’s a 500 play limit so you’ll hardly run out of space. Still, it’s a good idea to scrap the plays you never use to save time when playcalling.

You can also delete entire sets if you never use them.

Custom playbooks delete play

The Conclusion

This year, defensive strategy before the snap may play an even bigger role, certainly bigger than user control during the action.

It might take you some time to find the best defensive plays in Madden 22 but that’s part of the fun! Play around with different teams and try the playbooks we just went through to get a head start.

The best defensive playbook will depend on your personnel and preferences but, in time, you’ll be able to recognize which plays you have the most success with. Add those to your custom defensive playbook and build some impressive defensive sets that play to your strengths.