(I apologize for the cut and paste, but I want to get as much input from as many sources as I can)
I have purchased ESPN and I have played a few games online with my brother and they have been excellent. Both of us try to follow the basic procedures for NFL football but I have been very disappointed with the tactics other players use online. For one thing, the QB spy does NOT work. The most frustrating games come against Atlanta and Philly and Minnesota players. In those games I am able to defend against their runs and pass plays rather effectively and then they pull out the "send 'em deep and run the QB play". I kinda expected it, and then knew it was coming because those guys were consistent in this "abuse". I would play a zone and have ALL THREE LB's (In 4-3, I knew what they were doing) set to spy the QB (I think only one of them will do it, I'm not sure if you can assign more than one to the QB but I damn sure tried). However, these running QB's consistently and effectively outran and abused first the O-Line, then the LB's, and in McNabb and Cullpepper's case- they ran over the DB's.
I know I'm whining about this and it sounds silly, but my last game against a Philly player was exceedingly frustrating as I would stop his deep bombs to Owens, stop his running game, and on 3rd down McNabb would routinely run for 12 yards. I was completely unable to stop it (If I switched to a 5lb defense he would just pass it to Owens who was set to run deep and MUST be double teamed). I switch between the Dolphins and Panthers (prefer Dolphins but with all the recent news I can't bear to run the ball with Ricky). I don't think it is a defensive thing, I tried taking control of the DE's, LB's, Safety's... to no avail- the LB's are too slow, and the DB's are too far away (remember, they send their WR's deep) and the D-Line mostly get swallowed up by the O-Line.
Is the above scenario going to be prevalent in Madden? I don't really care if someone wants to try it, but I want the game to provide a reasonably effective counter to, what is in my idea, this exploit of the running QB's.
(If anyone has some tips for countering this effectively in ESPN I'd be glad to try it out...)