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Many teams in Madden go unused every year because of the Quarterback.  Some teams have a quarterback so good, not using them is tough; while teams with great defenses and stout run games get passed over because the quarterback is sub-par.  Here’s what you need to focus on to win with a bad quarterback.

Believe me guys I have been there.  My teams haven't always had MVP caliber players at quarterback.  Chris Weinke and Jimmy Clausen conjure memories of sleepless nights, but I managed to get by with those guys, and I passed the ball effectively doing it. 

Learn what your quarterback does well.  As with any coach, knowing the strengths and weaknesses of your personnel are essential.  Even if they aren't a stud, every quarterback in the NFL can play.  Some quarterbacks are amazing at throwing accurate deep passes, but can't complete a 5-yard pass.  Likewise, some passers can hit a short pass effectively, but have trouble completing throws down the field.  Users must be aware of the passes their Quarterback can and cannot throw adequately.

Practice throwing every route. YES EVERY ROUTE!

It's too late to find out your weak armed quarterback can't throw the 10-yard speed out on time across his body in a clutch game situation.  But if you practice ahead of time, you will know if you need to make accommodations to make that throw work or if you should avoid it altogether. You also need to know if your quarterback can throw accurately on the run and how well throws deep.  Be diligent. Leave no stone unturned.  The more you know about your quarterback's strengths, the better you can mask his weaknesses. 
 
Protection

If protection is key to winning with a elite quarterback, it is all the more important when playing with a lower tiered passer.  Pressure is the enemy of every quarterback.  Even the most prolific passers will have trouble when pressure disrupts their timing.  After all, a quarterback can't complete a pass from his back.   Make sure you have a protection plan for every play, and make it a point of emphasis because throwing on the run or from your back foot comes with accuracy penalties.  Protect the pocket, so your passer can setup and throw cleanly.

Throw To Open Receivers

Although this seems like a no brainer, many Madden players try to "throw the receivers open" instead of "throwing to open receivers."  The difference is simple.  Throwing to open receivers means that the throw you are making is going to a receiver with room to catch the ball, nothing to impede the catch, and the receiver won't take an immediate hit.  Throwing a receiver open means is almost the opposite; the quarterback leads a covered receiver to an open space but is usually tight fit and the receiver is likely to be hit immediately.  Lower tiered quarterbacks are lower tiered for a reason; they are often inaccurate and throwing an inaccurate pass into a crowd of defenders is likely to end badly.  Some plays will make a rebound improbable.  Throwing a poor pass to an open receiver is likely to hurt less. 

Maximize the Talents of Other Players

Although this is another simple concept, it's often overlooked by novice Madden players.  Quarterbacks that throw poorly shouldn't be throwing nearly as often as passers that throw well.    Use receivers that can catch.  If you have a receiver with a knack for catching jump balls, take a high shot where he has an advantage in making the grab.  If your receivers are quick, throw low passes that can be caught for the possession.  If your defense is stout, utilize your running back and work the clock so you can put opponents in predictable situations.  Think about how you will execute every play with an idea about how each play effects the next.

Resist the Bandwagon

The adage 'Speed Kills' is the most overused cliche of the football world.  Sometimes speed kills the opponent, but it can sometimes backfire and kill your offense.  Football is best played with balance, and how you balance speed against your quarterback's skill set often determines whether you reach your ultimate goal - WINNING.  Sometimes a fast receiver can be too fast for your quarterback's arm.  What good is a receiver runs a 4.2 40-yard dash if the defense knows your quarterback can't deliver a decent pass farther than 35 yards.  If your quarterback's arm isn't powerful, it is better to use slower receivers that run good routes than to try to take the top off the defense.

Have A Good Run Game

A run game is a quarterback's best friend.  Emphasizing a rushing attack forces defenses to focus on stopping the run and less on pressuring the quarterback.  This mental shift gives you the advantage when you want to throw.  Stay away from 3WR and 4WR sets.  You can use base (2RB, 1TE, 2WR) sets or heavy packages to create an expectation of run, then throw.  Holes in coverage will be bigger, receivers will have more room to run, and your reads will be easier to make quickly. In addition, protections will be easier to set with bigger bodies closer to the line of scrimmage.

In conclusion, it is not necessary to have a top-notch passer to win at Madden.  Any player can be a force by mastering these fundamentals.  Careful attention to the surrounding personnel, the strengths of your quarterback, and a little practice will any quarterback on the game a potential victor. 

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