Madden NFL 21 Title Update 3 patch notes make a 100-yard attempt worth of fixes

Much like a 100-yard attempt of anything in football, Madden NFL 21's latest title update probably leaves quite a ways to go.


Madden NFL 21 is a mess, top to bottom. The game has done little to rise over the slovenly state its predecessor launched in either. But EA Sports isn’t in the business of giving up. With so much to be desired in the game, the developers are looking to target some specific gripes and make Madden 21 a little bit more playable. Its latest Title Update 3 is on the way next week and patch notes have dropped detailing what kind of fixes, improvements, and content is coming.

Madden 21 Title Update 3 patch notes

The Madden NFL 21 Title Update 3 patch notes dropped on September 1, 2020 in the latest edition of Gridiron notes on the Madden NFL website with a target of launching the update on September 10. As might be expected, the patch notes consist of a massive amount of fixes for the game. Issues regarding pass rush, defensive coverage, tackling, and other aspects of the on-field game have been addresses. Meanwhile, the new The Yard mode has also received a substantial list of fixes, balancing, and improvement. As an aside, the Launch Day patch notes have also been included to show what was fixed and tweaked on Day 1 of Madden NFL 21.

Gameplay Updates

Pass Rush

  • Fix to an issue preventing defenders in contain from staying in contain when being blocked by a running back in the backfield. The rusher will keep their contain behavior when blocked by any blocker on the line or in the backfield
  • Fix to an issue causing the initial pass-rush move of contain players to take them to the inside gap instead of their assigned outside gap.
  • Addition of logic to support QB Contain vs. play-action passing plays
  • Fix to ‘On-Field Trainer’ issues related to pass rush
  • Addition of logic so that defenders without the Strip Specialist Ability will no longer cause fumbles on QBs standing in the Pocket with Normal Sack animations on Competitive game-style only. Only defenders with the Strip Specialist ability will be able to force a fumble on a QB standing in the Pocket on Competitive.

Defensive Coverage

  • Fix to an issue when using motion in a Twins/Slot formation vs. Nickel/Dime/Dollar defenses, defenders inappropriately swap assignments, leaving the receiver uncovered
  • Addition of logic to Cover 4 Quarters to better handle plays like PA Crossers
  • Fix to  an issue preventing defenders in press-alignment from backpedaling appropriately
  • Fix to an alignment issue when flipping Nickel 2-4-5 SS Reno Zone


  • Fix to some tackling issues sometimes preventing tackle animations from triggering vs. Juke and Jurdle moves
  • Fix to an issue causing a receiver to warp up off the ground into a tackle during a possession catch
  • Fix to an issue causing the QB to not react after throwing an INT while being hit by a defender
  • Fix to an issue allowing  ball carriers to fake-out defenders behind them when using the Spin Move

Throw Out of Sack*

  • Addition of new logic for when a defender is hitting a QB on his throwing arm the QB will no longer be able to throw the ball. The QB will be forced to tuck the ball or the ball will be fumbled
  • Increase to the fumble chance for QBs throwing out of a sack that are hit significantly before they have started their forward arm movement. The greater the Defender’s Tackle vs Quarterback’s Strength rating discrepancy is in favor of the defender, the higher the fumble chance
  • Fix to a throw out of Sack animation where the ball was not getting released by the Quarterback

*DEV NOTE: Our goal with the Throw Out Of Sack Improvements was to provide more balance to this new feature that has a significant impact on Gameplay. There is more risk to trying to throw the ball every time a defender is close to the passer. Now it is upon the user to make sure they have started the pass in time or else a defender will be able to force a fumble when they are hit before the arm has started going forward. We have also ensured that when you do start the pass in time, you get the ball off appropriately with the correct distance and accuracy


  • Fix to an issue preventing the left tackle from blocking the correct defender when running HB Zone Weak plays against Nickel 3-3-5
  • Fix to an issue with graphical distortion occasionally being displayed over blocker-resistance bars

General Fixes

  • Tuning to RAC-catch win-chances to reduce frequency of low-rated coverage defenders getting catch-knockouts vs. higher-rated receivers
  • Fix to an issue where Hitting RT/R2 + A/X at the snap would sometimes result in the Quarterback instantly throwing to the A/X Receiver
  • Tuning to give user control a little sooner after an interception
  • Fix to an issue causing Quarterbacks to use drastic turns on subtle movements
  • Fix to the run-speed for ball carriers on Triple Option and Speed Option, allowing sprint speed earlier
  • Tuning some celebration animation issues to clean up some minor hitching
  • Tuning to QB’s front elbow when inside the pocket to improve visual quality

Madden Ultimate Team Updates

  • Improvements to the speed in the menus of Madden Ultimate Team and returning from game modes
  • Improvements the speed when interacting with your players and items including upgrades
  • Address an issue where items in the lineup screen would initially show as 50/50
  • Numerous miscellaneous improvements to MUT Menu UI

Face of the Franchise Updates

  • General stability improvements
  • Fix to an issue with users selecting “Let Fate Decide” option when getting drafted
  • Fix to an issue with the user’s difficulty setting reverting to Rookie after every game

Franchise Updates

  • Tuning X-Factor abilities for users who select the “Active Roster” option when starting a new Franchise save.
  • The next franchise update blog will be released around the start of the NFL season and will outline current plans and target timing for the first of three planned franchise mode updates for Madden NFL 21

The Yard Updates

  • Addition of "Frienderboards" to The Yard
  • These are leaderboards populated by your friends list that will display the Highest Score per event
  • Addition of a pop-up to remind those playing VS CPU events that they need a full group to play
  • When a user is offensive captain, control will now default to the QB even if their CAP is in another position group
  • Fix to an issue where location icons may not appear
  • Fix to an issue where full list of house rules may not appear
  • Fix to an issue where users may erroneously see "Finding Teammates" after leaving a session
  • Fix to an issue where Coach Cam always showed a CAP as being QB #12.
  • Fix to the pass leading for the Slot receiver’s Drag Wheel Route in Crossfire
  • Fix to a minor camera issue where the view was blocked by objects
  • Fix to an issue allowing an extra play after a fumble that went out of bounds on the last play of the game
  • Fix to an ‘On-Field Trainer’ issue  displaying "Flick" above the ball carrier after catching a pass
  • Online stability improvements
  • General menu and interface improvements

Last Friday (8/28) Launch Day Updates

Face of the Franchise

  • Resolved an issue in Face of the Franchise Legacy where the Player Archetype players chosen in certain sequences did not follow them into the NFL
  • A number of soft-locks were fixed
  • Resolved a very rare issue where the user’s avatar skin tone wasn’t always carrying over into NFL scenes
  • Resolved a rare issue where there was no season game in one of the storylines
  • Fixed a rare visual bug where the coach’s head texture wasn’t loading correctly

Madden Ultimate Team

  • Fixed an issue where users were experiencing long load-times when entering or leaving sub-menus

Superstar KO

  • Replaced a placeholder model for a coach in Superstar KO: Backyard Heroes

Content Updates

  • Buffalo Bills stadium name updated
  • Washington team rebranding elements
  • Addressed an issue with uniform geometry
  • General Stability Fixes (Crashes/Desyncs)

And there you have it. The list of fixes is long, but the list of problems in Madden NFL 21 was arguably longer. Is it enough to overcome an abysmal score it received here in its Shacknews review or among the other criticisms fielded by its community? Arguable, but it still seems as though EA Sports has no intention of submitting to a mercy rule on Madden 21. Stay tuned for further improvements and updates on the game, here at Shacknews.

Senior News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player and writer with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. He found his way to the Shacknews roster in late 2019 and has worked his way to Senior News Editor since. Between news coverage, he also aides notably in livestream projects like the indie game-focused Indie-licious, the Shacknews Stimulus Games, and the Shacknews Dump. You can reach him at and also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

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