Newly approved rules changes will only minimally affect Madden NFL 18

Posted March 30th, 2017 at 8:00 am

Every year new rules are considered at the NFL Owner’s Meetings with a few inevitably passing. The changes that have been enacted this year won’t have a huge impact on Madden NFL 18 but there are a few that will affect the way the game looks and plays.

Even though it wasn’t possible to do in the actual games, the opening cinematic sequence in Madden NFL 17 featured Alec Ogeltree jumping over the center to block a kick. That tactic was employed numerous times in the 2016-17 season and given the exciting moments it created pressure would have been on EA Sports to implement it in Madden NFL 18. Jumping over the line to block kicks is now prohibited however so they can breathe a sigh of relief. It would have been a difficult challenge to handle the relative rarity it’s attempted due to the risk of a penalty, adjustments teams surely would have made to counter it this coming season, and the game-breaking potential if it were imbalanced or exploitable.

The one change to look for in Madden NFL 18 will be presentation related, as replay reviews no longer will involve the referee going under the hood on the sideline. Instead, tablets will be used on the field, and the final decision will be made by the officiating department in New York. Another that is likely to happen but was tabled for the time being (returning to discuss/vote in May) is the shortening of the overtime period from 15 minutes to 10 minutes.

The big news out of the meetings of course relates to the approval of the Oakland Raiders to move to Las Vegas. The stadium there won’t be built until 2020 leaving the Raiders to play this coming season in Oakland, possibly 2018 there also, and then find another venue for 2019. Because of all that they’ll still be the Oakland Raiders in Madden 18. The one thing to expect is EA Sports to add Las Vegas as a relocation option in Franchise Mode.