I don't understand why anyone not running a custom playbook would use any other book but Carolina. This book has everything this season. It has complete running sets. It's passing is fire.
We'll start with the running plays.
I form pro has the FB dive, FB fake HB flip, HB blast, ISO weak, HB toss, inside zone, and the HB power O.
I form Pro Twins has the HB misdirection, weak zone, power o (this was the best run play in the book last season, ISO, and the toss.
I form tight pair has Mtn zone, hb sweep, mtn power, fb dive, hb power o, counter weak, and iso.
Weak twins has hb slash, hb gut, toss weak (great pitch play), and the power o.
Strong pro has has the stretch, power o, hb blast, hb toss crack, hb dive, and counter weak. This is a great running formation.
Strong close has the hb dive, quick toss, end around, off tackle, counter weak, and hb slash fk end around. I'm glad EA finally added a counter to this formation in all books after several years of people complaining about this.
I'm not going to add the SB runs because for me they are more situational. For instance, if you come out in spread flex and the defense has 3 down linemen then you would pound the ball. I feel this way about SB bunch, SB tight slots, and spread flex.
Now let's get into the passing plays. These are the bread and butter of this playbook but you can see from the lists above that there are more than enough runs to keep your scheme balanced this season or to heavily pound the rock.
We'll start with SB bunch. Here are the mainly used plays:
A simple play like stick can kill zone and man defense. All you do is streak A. Then you will have a flat, slant out, and streak on the same side of the field. You can drag X or leave him as is. The routes on the right will overload zone leaving someone open. Someone usually gets open against man too. PA end around is a better play imo if you cancel the PA and put that receiver in a slant or drag. For flanker drive against zone, I like to put the bunch on the short side of the field. I slant out B and streak A for the zone overload. Usually against any zone, Y is open for a quick pass. If it is manually guarded, the slant out is usually open.
Now let's look at tight slot. This is still an awesome formation even without motion quick hikes (for defensive assignment switching) because your play looks the same every time you come to the line. You can flip without giving anything away. Also, this formation will audible easily with shotgun snugs flip. Here are some plays:
HB Wheel and Drag Cross Ups will again be 2 of the most used plays this season. There are so many different ways to set them up to overload zones and kill man defense. Also, the RB routes make them deadly. Here is a simple set up for mesh to kill zone. Just streak A. Then you have the RB running into the flat, the slant out, and the streak combo. Also, you'll have a drag coming across too. This simple concept can make your whole offense nearly impossible to stop. With the ability to flip the play without giving anything away, your offense will be really tough.
ACE is an underused formation by most but it always has some good things. Here are a couple plays:
From spread flex here are a few good plays:
It is easy to pick up blitzes from this formation. All you have to do is motion 1 player and snap when he is near the center. You don't even assign him. He will block whichever player is unblocked. This formation is great for spreading the d out to cause mismatches or to just confuse your opponent. Also, when your opponent moves to a 3 down linemen set, pound the ball. Like Irish always says, "Punish them North, South, East, and West."Hmmm....maybe it's spread them east and west then punish them north and south. Either way do it. Slot cross is always a great play. Against zone, hike the ball and look for the drag underneath. Against man, motion X right and snap when he is near the center. If nothing opens up, look for the blue route out the backfield.
Strong pro has enough good passing plays to stay in this formation as long as you'd like. You can pound the ball then pass. Here are a couple good pass plays:
I like the panther y-post play. It has max protection with 2 blue routes coming out the backfield. Hot route your receivers to whatever then hike. F angle is good as is against zone. Just hike and hit the FB route as he gets to the line of scrimmage. Against man I would Drag an outside receiver and slant the opposite side. Dbl Pump and go's you get max protection. This is a good play to try to go deep. I would slant one side of the field and streak the opposite. The blue route will be the bail out route.
Strong close is always easy to pass out of. Here are the main plays:
Now I'll concede that Houston has more plays in strong close than Carolina but with everything else in this book, it is still no question to me what is the better overall playbook. Y-trail's deep route has been toned down this season. It is still very easy to streak that deep route receiver against zone defense and hit him for an inside bullet pass once he clears linebacker depth for a jetpack. Also, if you are on the right hash mark, the zone overload with y-trail still works. You just slant out your B receiver and the FB will be open for a quick pass.
Now for the shotgun sets. This year Carolina has some great things out of shotgun. They even added snugs flip and trips TE. The following are all guns sets.
For FL screen, I still like putting the slot receiver on an out route. If you can't be successful with Z-spot, then you are probably new to the game.
Snugs flip has been added this season and has some great plays. These will compliment the SB tight slot plays so that you can easily audible back and forth between the 2 formations. Here are some plays:
Aggie spot will be a great play just because of the flat route like the one in the classic stick play. Again the snugs flip formation is great for causing easy zone overloads for beating zone defense and beating man too. Let's take a simple play like mesh switch. Slant out A and streak B. This will kill zone and this play should beat man easily too.
Trips TE was a great addition to this book. This formation causes great mismatches when audibled to or when you just flip the play. Here are some good plays:
Slot quick flat is a simple play to use out of this formation. You can leave the play as is or slant out LB and streak B to cause the overload on 1 side of the field. You also get max protection and 2 blue routes. This formation also has a TE screen, wr screen, bubble screen, and RB screen to keep the defense honest.
Now we'll move on to split slot.
The route from the running back in 689 hook still kills zone defense. Look to hit the RB as he approaches the line of scrimmage. Panther cross is a good play mainly for the 2 blue routes. You can work your way up the field just by hitting those back and forth.
Finally we'll look at Y-trips open. This is always a madden favorite formation because of the ability to attack deep. Here are some plays:
Panther y-corner doesn't look great until you realize the RB route is just like the split slot 689 hook RB route coming out the backfield. This route kills zone defense. Just hit the running back as he approaches the line of scrimmage. Cornerstrike is another good solid play. Streak B and slant out Y for the right side of field overload. This concept kills zone defense. Also, you have a good running back route too. For a simple play like stick against zone, I like to place y on a smart routed in route. This is for 1st and 10 situations against zone. The defense will drop back deeper to honor the in route leaving the TE open underneath. Panther y-trail is a good play because of the TE route and the blue route by the RB. Do whatever you want with everyone else.
Anyways, these are the reasons I like this playbook. There are several different ways to kill man and zone defense. You can pound the rock or pass all day. It's easy to audible back and forth between SB tight slot and shotgun snugs flip or to audible to strong close from these formations too. It is very easy to audible to strong pro from strong close too. The tight, close, and bunch formations give you the ability to read the defense instantly giving you the advantage to audible to a better play. The only weakness I see in this book is that it has so many different things you might have trouble picking what you want to do. This is why I like to develop several mini-schemes and make the opponent play each one until they can stop it. Then I'll move on to another mini-scheme. In this book, you can stay undercenter all day or stay in shotgun all day too.