When broken down to it’s simplest explanation, calling defensive plays in the NFL is no more than addressing what the opposing team wants to do and determining how the best way to stop them from doing that.

When playing defense in Madden 24, the coach suggestions feature can be useful, but it can also sometimes put your defense in a bad spot.

These suggestions may sometimes seem to ignore what formation the opposition is in, which can create mismatches and leave you vulnerable to giving up the big play.

The best way around this is to determine what the best defensive playbook is for you and to become familiar with its various plays and formations, allowing you to make the best defensive play call you can in every situation.

With that in mind the only question left is: what are the best defensive playbooks in Madden 24?

New England Patriots

It would make sense that the first defensive playbook in the list would be the one designed by arguably the greatest defensive mind in NFL history: Bill Belicheck.

The Patriots’ defensive playbook is the greatest all around, “jack of all trades” type defensive playbook in the game.

The playbook’s focus on the basic formations of 3-4 and 4-3 for early run downs as well as nickel and dime for passing downs makes it easy to use and apply no matter the situation.

The overall simplicity of this playbook, combined with it’s lack of true weaknesses make it a great candidate as the defensive playbook of choice for any players who may mainly play as the offense and might be newer to the nuances that come with defensive play calling in Madden 24.

The Patriots’ playbook works as a more than solid starting point to learn the further intricacies of the defense before either settling on the playbook that works best for your defensive style or even creating your own playbook.

New York Giants

When playing defense in Madden 24, there are few things as fun as sending the house on aggressive blitz calls to ensure you sack the QB to the turf.

If you enjoy calling an aggressive style of defense, namely one that employs a lot of blitzes, the New York Giants defensive playbook is a great option for you.

The Giants playbook is designed by Giants DC Wink Martindale, whose main reputation as a coach is being a mastermind of blitz calls.

This means that not only will the Giants’ defensive playbook have a high number of blitzing plays for you to choose from, but it also contains an extremely creative variety of blitz plays as well.

This will be useful to you when calling the hyper aggressive defense of your dreams, as repeatedly calling the same kind of blitz will allow the opponent to catch on and better protect against it.

New Orleans Saints

The New Orleans Saints are the only team to appear on both our lists for the best offensive playbooks as well as the best defensive playbooks.

It probably won’t surprise you that they’re on both lists for similar reasons.

While the Saints made the other playbook list for their simplicity, allowing you to succeed without any true standout talent, the Saints’ defensive playbook is notable for being a happy middle ground between the all-round style of the Patriot’s playbook and the hyper aggressive mentality of the Giants’ playbook.

If you are a bit more familiar with the chess match of calling defensive plays, the Saints are a solid choice thanks to the playbook not having any true weaknesses but being a bit more complex due to substituting the Patriots’ 3-4 formation with the 46 formation.

The Saints’ defensive playbook also includes some good options for when you want to get more aggressive with the blitz calls, but without being as risky of an overall scheme as you’ll find with the Giants.

Buffalo Bills

Some players that are more experienced with defensive play calling in Madden 24 may care less about what scheme a playbook is designed around as they’re able to use any playbook to attack the opposing offense with the scheme of their choice.

In that case, these players may be more focused on what formations are available to them in each specific playbook. If you’re main determining factor when looking for the best defensive playbook is the selection of formations, the Buffalo Bills are a great option.

While the Bills’ defensive playbook doesn’t contain every formation in the game (no playbook does), it does have a wide variety of playbooks for you to choose from.

The base formations in the Bills’ playbooks are: 4-3, nickel, dime, prevent, and goal line defense. For passing downs, the dime and prevent formations only have the base version of the formation available while nickel comes with Nickel 2-4 Dbl Mug, Nickel 3-3 Cub, and Nickel 3-3 Will.

In more run oriented situations, the goal line defense provides both 5-3 and 6-2, while the 4-3 formation contains five different variations: 4-3 Even 6-1, 4-3 Over, 4-3 Over Solid, 4-3 Over Wide, and 4-3 Under.

Creating a Custom Playbook

If you’re proficient at the game within the game that is defensive play calling, you may find that no preset playbook 100% fits your needs no matter how good it is. In this case, creating the custom playbook of your dreams may be the best choice for you.

To create a custom playbook, your first step will be to navigate to the Creation Center from the main menu. The Creation Center is the fourth option from the right, signified by the NFL Shield logo.

Once you’ve entered the Creation Center, you’ll want to navigate over to the “Playbooks” option, which will be the second option from the right. Once you’ve selected “Playbooks” the game will prompt you to choose a pre existing team playbook to use as the base for your custom playbook.

After choosing your base playbook you’ll be able to edit it in any way you see fit, so while you can theoretically choose any base playbook you’d like, it will make life easier for you if you choose a playbook that you know has formations you like and plan to include in your custom playbook as your base. Be sure to use L1 and R1 (or LB and RB) to ensure that you’re choosing from defensive playbooks.

Once you’ve decided which existing team playbook to use as your base, you’ll be able to start editing the formations and plays available within the playbook.

You can use L1 and R1 (or LB and RB) to toggle between “Audibles”, “My Playbook”, “All Plays”, and “My Gameplan”.

“Audibles” allows you to edit what the audible choices will be in-game for each formation that’s included in your playbook. This will help you be successful when you don’t like the look the other team gives you after calling your play, as you can be sure the audibles are plays you like and can execute.

“My Playbook” lets you take a look at all the formations and plays within them that are currently included in the playbook. From this screen you can remove plays you don’t want included as well as rate the frequency of when each play will be called by the CPU when using this playbook.

“All Plays” gives you a display of every play within every formation that’s in the game. This is the screen where you’ll be able to add new plays and formations to your custom playbook by pressing X (or A) when the play of your choice is highlighted.

The “My Gameplan” option gives you the most in depth control over when and how often certain plays will be called by a CPU using your playbook. You can rate each play on a five star scale of how likely the play is to be called in various situations. Simply use L2 (or LT) to toggle between the game situations, and then use X (or A) to edit the rating for each play in said situation.