Madden 22 welcomes new and old players back to the virtual gridiron. As the real NFL is constantly changing, so is Madden. Gone are the days of the conventional pocket-passers like Tom Brady. The era of Patrick Mahomes and the scrambling magic-maker QB is here to stay. However, the concern with real-life scrambling QBs is the potential for injury. Keeping the face of your franchise safe is more important than that early-game TD or first down. Sliding is the key to safety, so here’s how to slide in Madden 22 and why it’s so important.
How to slide in Madden 22
To slide in Madden 22, quickly tap Square (on PlayStation) or X (on Xbox) while running forward. Do not hold the button for too long, as you’ll accidentally dive instead. You can slide whenever you’re carrying the football, whether as a QB, running back, or wide receiver. However, the sliding animation takes a second to kick in. Make sure to initiate your slide before defenders get too close, or they’ll tackle you outright. So, when do the pros slide in the real-life NFL?
It’s third-and-long, and Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs are down late in the third quarter. While there’s a good chance Mahomes can bring his team back by the end of the game, picking up this first down will increase his chances of scoring on this drive. Nothing’s open, and his check-down throw isn’t anywhere near the first down. Mahomes must do what Mahomes does best — run for it.
But there’s one tiny problem — a 240-pound linebacker is barreling down on Mahomes as he nears the first-down marker. Should he dive for the extra yard or slide to make a more manageable fourth-and-short? In this situation, he slides down to avoid the big hit, living to run or throw again on the next play.
Madden players can be reckless at times, especially with their running QBs. Not only will diving or taking a hit risk injury, but it also risks a fumble. As sure-handed as QBs like Mahomes and Russell Wilson are, getting blown up in the open field is almost a guaranteed fumble. So, when and why should you slide in Madden 22?
The right time to slide in Madden 22
We’ve already gone over why sliding is the best way to protect your QB, so let’s look at some other situations where sliding might be the better option.
Keep the clock running
In the 2020 NFC Championship Game, Tom Brady hit WR Chris Godwin on a short route near the first-down marker. If Godwin ran or was tackled out of bounds, the clock would have stopped, and the Bucs would be forced to run another play. Instead, Godwin slid in-bounds after crossing the first-down line to keep the clock running, thus winning the game and sending the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to the Super Bowl.
If you find yourself in a Godwin situation, with first-down yardage all you need to seal the deal, slide down once you’ve crossed the line to keep the clock running and avoid a big hit.
While the Godwin slide is an example of heads-up football, let’s look at a time when a player should have slid but cost his team the game instead. The Atlanta Falcons were down by 2 points against the Detroit Lions. The Falcons were in easy field-goal range, and the Lions were unable to stop the clock. All they had to do was run the clock down and kick a game-winning field goal. QB Matt Ryan told Running Back Todd Gurly, “Don’t score!” Then, Gurly was handed the ball on a simple running play and ran toward the goal line. He scored, putting the Falcons up by 5. The Lions then drove down the field and won the game.
If he were playing Madden 22, Gurly should have slid at the 2- or 3-yard line to keep the clock running after picking up the first down. Then, all Ryan had to do was spike the ball with a second or two left and send out the field goal unit. Football is a mental sport, and sometimes giving yourself up with a slide is the smartest play you can make.