How to block field goals and punts in ‘Madden NFL 18’

Madden NFL 18 Tom Brady cover
EA Sports
For a very long time, blocking special teams plays in Madden sim was almost impossible. You had to get very lucky, even in designed block formations, as defensive players never seemed to get off the line fast enough. Even when you timed a running start up to the line correctly, momentum typically didn’t carry you close enough to get your defender’s hands on the pigskin. Madden NFL 17 added new features to make field goal and punt blocks more attainable. Those features carry over into Madden NFL 18. So while blocking a kick or a punt is still rare, as it should be, it’s not a pipe dream anymore. Here’s how to block kicks and punts in Madden 18, along with a few best practices.

Blocking field goals

Madden NFL 18

The first thing you need to do when blocking a field goal is to choose a block play (it will say “block” it in the name of the play). With a block play selected, you’ll see three players with red icons denoted with a “B” for block above their heads on either side of the line. These are the defenders that you can use to block the kick.

Two of the defenders will be lined up across from an offensive lineman, while the third defender typically sets up a few steps off the line on the edge. You can cycle through the player you control by pressing O (B).

Regardless of which player you choose to go in for the block with, you have to get a good jump on the snap. To do this, right when the ball is snapped, press R2 (RT). If you don’t press this, your chances of blocking a field goal are incredibly low (we haven’t blocked one without getting a good jump thus far).

Timing the jump heightens your chances of propelling the defender through the line of scrimmage. If a defender engages you, you’ll have to slither off of him by quickly pressing one of the face buttons (typically X on PS4, A on Xbox One).

At this point, the holder will have set the ball up for the kicker, and the kicker is in motion to make his attempt at knocking the ball through the uprights.

While charging in, you have the choice to either dive with Square (X) or jump with Triangle (Y) to block it. In our experience, diving works best when rushing with the outside the defender, and jumping is suitable when rushing with an inside defender.

Be warned, though, when diving and jumping, make sure to not hit the kicker. If you do, you’ll receive a roughing the kicker penalty and your opponent will get a new set of downs. To curb this chance, we make a horizontal dive directly in front of the holder, or quickly turn away from the kicker after jumping.

Your chances of blocking a field goal varies depending on the distance of the attempt. For extra points and shorter field goal attempts (35 yards or less), the trajectory of the kick makes it harder to block. You’ll have a much better shot trying to block a long field goal — 40 yards and up — which requires a lower trajectory.

We think that the reward outweighs the risk of inadvertently roughing the kicker in extra point and long field goal situations, but would advise against going in for a block on shorter 3-point tries until you get the hang of the timing.

Blocking punts

how to block field goals and punts madden nfl 18 20170818154645

For punt situations, once again, you have to choose a block punt scheme. Two to three defenders will have the icon above their heads for punt blocking scenarios. Like field goals, timing is key. You have to press R2 (RT) right when the ball is snapped to get a good jump on the play.

You have more ground to cover when blocking a punt, so make sure to continue holding R2 (RT) to sprint as you race into the backfield. If you get held up by a defender, which sometimes happens when attempting to block a punt with an inside defender, quickly press the indicated face button (again, typically X on PS4, A on Xbox One) to roll off of the lineman and charge into the backfield.

Like field goals, you can either dive or jump to block a punt. In our time with the game, diving for a punt should only be used when you are close enough to snag it right off the punter’s foot. Punts get airborne quickly, and you’re likely to miss it by diving even a step or two early.

Lastly, you have to be careful not to run into or tackle the punter. If you run into the punter, you’ll receive a five yard penalty (which could result in a first down for the offense). And if you rough the punter up, that’s 15 yards and an automatic first down. Unlike field goals though, we feel that going in to block the punt is a risk worth taking almost every time.

Tom Brady graces the cover of Madden NFL 18, available for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Will he be saved from the Madden curse? Check out our history of the Madden curse to see the troubling odds he is up against.


Unrestrained by heritage, Polestar sets its sights on becoming a digital brand

With no heritage to worry about, Polestar is free to move full-speed ahead towards its goal of becoming a digital brand. All of the company's upcoming models will be electric, and they will inaugurate an Android-powered infotainment system.

Shift it yourself: How to drive stick in a manual transmission car

Driving a manual transmission car might seem intimidating at first, but it's not as difficult as you might think. Knowing how to operate this type of gearbox will serve you well. Here's everything you need to know to learn how to drive…

The U.S. government plans to drop $500M on a ridiculously powerful supercomputer

The U.S. Department of Energy has announced plans to build a $500 million exascale supercomputer by 2021. The project, known as the Aurora supercomputer, is expected to boost research efforts in fields such as public health.

Free yourself! How to unlock a phone from the icy hands of your wireless carrier

Do you want to know how to unlock a phone through your carrier or a third-party service like DoctorSIM? Regardless of which way you want to go, we've compiled a list of requirements and methods for doing so.

Get in the Dark Zone and blow away the competition with our The Division 2 guide

The Division 2 has three Dark Zones, specialized areas for PvE and PvP combat. Our Dark Zone guide teaches you the ropes, from the recon missions to the leveling system to the dangers and benefits of going Rogue.

Here are all the awesome award-winning indie games from IGF

Indie games are now offering experiences capable of matching -- and often surpassing -- that of big-budget blockbuster titles. The Independent Games Festival recognized the best of them on March 20.
Product Review

Acer Predator Triton 500 review

Nvidia’s new RTX 2080 Max-Q is the fastest GPU you’ll find in any laptop, but it usually comes at a steep price. Acer’s Predator Triton 500, starting at $2,500, makes it a little more affordable. But what must you sacrifice in the…

The Division 2

The latest news, guides, tips and tricks, updates, patch notes, and more so you can learn how to level up your game in The Division 2. Related Categories: The Division 2 News | Guides | Features

Get a new Nintendo Switch? You'll need to grab these accessories

The Switch is a capable console right out of the box, but it has its limitations. Thankfully, these Nintendo Switch accessories will allow you to make the most of Nintendo's latest console.

From fatalities to new characters, here's what we know about Mortal Kombat 11

Mortal Kombat 11 releases April 23 for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC. Here is everything we know about NetherRealm's latest fighting game, including its characters.

Get a head start mastering Apex Legend's newest character Octane with our guide

Apex Legends' newest legend Octane ran so fast in the Titanfall 2 gauntlet that he blew off his legs. Now dropping into Kings Canyon with prosthetics, Octane's ability set is still centered around speed. Here's how to play as Octane.

The Division 2 offers nothing but a funhouse mirror of America

Tom Clancy's The Division 2 improves on the design shortcomings of the original game in several different ways, but its version of Washington D.C. is completely removed from reality.

World of Warcraft's allied races will make you want to start a new character

The Hord and Alliance are seeking new allies in their struggle for control of Azeroth. Rather you pledge your allegiance to the Horde or Alliance, we've got a guide to help you unlock every allied race that's coming in Battle for Azeroth.

How the Google Stadia could lead to a new era of multi-GPU gaming

Google's Stadia could use more than one graphics card to deliver the high-performance visuals it's promised. If that leads to better developer support for multi-GPUs, could that mean gaming with two or more graphics cards could finally be…