Madden 21: Running back Superstar X-Factor abilities revealed

EA Sports
EA Sports /

Check out the four Superstar X-Factor abilities for running backs in Madden 21.

EA has revealed the next batch of Superstar X-Factors in Madden 21, this time focusing on the running back position. If you want to see the quarterbacks, you can find that here.

In total there are six running backs with Superstar X-Factor abilities and they are pretty much the ones you’d expect: Christian McCaffrey, Dalvin Cook, Derrick Henry, Ezekiel Elliott, Nick Chubb and Saquon Barkley. However, they share just four Superstar X-Factor abilities between them.

Christian McCaffrey (Carolina Panthers) – Ankle Breaker

"“Makes the catch; can’t be caught."

Christian McCaffrey, Madden 21’s only 99 rated halfback, possesses the Ankle Breaker X-Factor ability. This provides increased fakeout rates on skill moves following the catch. Anyone who has seen McCaffrey play knows this is perfect.

The Panthers running back is one of the best receiving backs in the league,r acking up 116 receptions for 1,005 yards last season. That’s in addition to his 1,387 yards on the ground. McCaffrey is elusive when he has the ball and this ability sums him up perfectly.

Ankle Breaker is activated when McCaffrey has three 10-plus yard receptions. He’s knocked out of it with a drop, incompletion or three consecutive non-targets.

Dalvin Cook (Minnesota Vikings) – First One Free

"Thrives on making defenders look silly."

Dalvin Cook has a way of eluding defenders. He’s just a tough guy to bring down on the first attempt. He makes defenders look silly which is why he has the First One Free Superstar X-Factor ability.

With this, Cook gains a high fake-out rate on his next juke, spin or hesi. He triggers it with three rushes of 10-plus yards and is knocked out of it with a single tackle for loss.

Derrick Henry (Tennessee Titans) – Freight Train

"Refuses to go down on first contact."

Derrick Henry runs like a freight train so it’s no surprise that’s his Superstar X-Factor ability. When triggered, Henry has an increased chance to break the next tackle attempt. Again, this is another spot on ability as Henry is an absolute beast. He literally carried the Tennessee Titans (and opposing defenders) on his back in the playoffs.

Freight Train is triggered when you have three rushes of 10-plus yards and is knocked out with a single tackle for loss.

Ezekiel Elliot (Dallas Cowboys) – Freight Train

Like Henry, Elliott also possesses the Freight Train Superstar ability. I don’t know if I’d exactly classify Elliott as a “train.” Sure, he’s tough to bring down on the first attempt but I don’t see him running over defenders in the same way as Henry does. Elliott definitely deserves superstar status but I’m not sure Freight Train is the right one.

Nick Chubb (Cleveland Browns) – Wrecking Ball

"Don’t avoid contact; create it."

Defenders don’t come at Nick Chubb; he goes at them. Unlike Ankle Breaker and First One Free, Wrecking Ball is all about seeking contact and making defenders pay. Once activated, Wrecking Ball provides a high success rate on the next three trucks or stiff-arms. It’s triggered with three rushes of 10-plus yards and knocked out with a tackle for loss.

dark. Next. Madden 21 ratings: Breaking down the ten best running backs

Saquon Barkley (New York Giants) – First One Free

Many believe Saquon Barkley got hosed with his 91 overall rating in Madden 21. Don’t worry, he’s still a superstar who possesses the First One Free ability. Barkley is a combination of speed, elusiveness and power which is why he can take it to the house on any given carry. I’d say this is a fitting X-Factor for him.

Overall, I’d say these are all very accurate Superstar X-Factor abilities that perfectly sum up the various aspects of the positions. You’ve got your receiving ability, elusive ability and power ability. Check back tomorrow for more Madden 21 Superstar X-Factor abilities.