Wanna win? Virtually all coaches agree that winning the turnover battle is the single most important statistic used to determine the outcome of football games. Madden games aren't any different. The team that turns the ball over the least is usually the victor. On the flip side, forcing turnovers on defense earns extra possessions and scoring opportunities for your team while decreasing the same for your opponents. Simply put, playing good defense means taking the ball away from your opponent.
Many Madden players assume that fumbles are random occurrences or fluke happenings. Good Madden players know better. Putting the right hit on the ball carrier to jar the ball loose and recovering the fumble don't just happen by accident. Forcing fumbles is an art form that relies on timing and attention to detail rather than luck. Some Madden players have the uncanny ability to force several fumbles a game by taking advantage of an opponent's fundamental ball handling tendencies.
One way to force a fumble is using the strip button to attack the arm a ball carrier uses to hold the ball. Many Madden players use neither the "Cover Ball" nor the "Switch Ball" buttons. When players leave the ball exposed on the inside of the field, it is easier to wrestle the ball out with a well timed strip mechanic. Although there is a risk of missing the tackle, ripping the ball free once or twice a game can turn the tide of any game and change the way opponents execute their plays.
Laying a heavy hit on the ball carrier can also separate him from the ball. Using the hit stick or a dive tackle on a player with the ball exposed will both force the fumble and take the ball carrier out of the battle for the recovery. Using the hit stick is an aggressive tactic that risks a missed tackle, but forcing that one fumble makes the risk worth the reward.
Quarterbacks are notorious for putting the ball on the ground when they are pressured. If your pass rush can generate edge pressure, many quarterbacks will cough up the ball no matter which button you use for the tackle. That said, you can purposely opt for a strip tackle or go for the big hit to increase the chance of a fumble. Once again, the risk of a whiff on the hit is well worth the potential fumble that might occur.
Learning the art of forcing fumbles puts your team in the driver seat in head-to-head matches of all types. Emphasis on forcing fumbles will elevate any defense. Practicing the proper technique to rip the ball from the arms of ball carriers pays dividends in the form of stopping the drives of opponents and creating starting field position for your own offense. Occasionally, you can perform a scoop and score that earns instant points.