I recognized my main flaw was in play. While I'm generally able to move the ball down the field in most difficulties from the pc, I relied upon guesswork when picking defensive heroes -- and while you can just about get away with this from artificial intelligence, it is impossible to play this way against an online opponent, that can read what you're doing and make alterations to attack it.
My mindset was this: if I can understand my defense improved, then I will also understand its flaws and strengths, meaning once I come to play offense I will know how to harness my opponent. I set to work on trying to garner a simple comprehension of formations; I learned to stack the box in 3-4 or 4-3 formation when expecting a run, and also to work in Nickel or Dime whenever the opponent is likely to throw the ball -- possibly on a second down or third play.
I discovered success in Man policy overall, although I started to utilize Zone in situations where I was pleased to give the opponent some area. For instance, if I've got the guide with a couple of minutes left on the clock, I am okay with letting my opponent to play in front of me; I'll use a Cover-3 deep formation to give my competitor some grass, knowing that I am not likely to give up a big play. I can still get exposed doing this -- great players work the sidelines, for example -- but I am generally finding achievement.
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