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Written by: chiefrockab (Brian Daniels)
This FAQ is a (c) of Brian Daniles.  This document is for personal use 
only.  Any reproduction of this document without my expressed written 
consent is prohibited.  Do not create links directly to this page. If 
you would like to use any information within this document in anyway, 
contact me via e-mail at chiefrockab@netscape.net for consideration.  
All Q & A concerning this FAQ will be handled on the message boards of 
GameFaqs.com.
This guide was made for the gamers who visit my personal favorite 
www.GameFaqs.com website. Other websites do have permission to post this 
guide in its original form only.
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Visit www.gamefaqs.com to post questions and comments concerning this 
guide.


Last Updated March 6, 2002

TABLE OF CONTENTS
I.    INTRODUCTION
II.   CONTROL & OPTIONS
III.  BASIC GAMEPLANS
IV.   BASIC OFFENSE
V.    OFFENSIVE PHILOSOPHIES
VI.   BASIC DEFENSE
VII.  DEFENSIVE PHILOSOPHIES
VIII. TEAM RANKINGS & HOT PLAYS


Introduction

Reviews have been mixed on Sega Sports first title for the PS2.  Most 
love the change of pace NFL 2K2 brought to the genre.  Even though the 
game is far from perfect, its pluses far outweights its shortcomings.  
There seem to be one constant in every review or preview and that is 
fun.  Anyone can pick up a Dualshock and jump right into the action (on 
Rookie difficulty).  The excellent NFL simulation lies in the higher 
diffulculties.  Only the most season NFL2K pro will have success on the 
All-Pro difficulty.  Here are my strategies and some of the key 
offensive and defensive plays that will help in a tight situation.  Keep 
in mind that the strategies are only a foundation for you to build a 
balanced attack.  What worked for me may not work for everyone.
NOTE: Football Abreviations
To save space and time here are a list of abreviations that are commonly 
used in football and are also used throughout this Faq.
C = Offensive Line Center     G = Offensive Guard
FB = Fullback                 QB = Quarter Back
RB = Running Back or Halfback T = Tackle
TE = Tight End                WR = Wide Receiver
DL = Defensive Lineman        LB = Linebacker
DB = Defensive Back           CB = Cornerback
FS = Free Safety              SS = Strong Safety

Control and Options

I decided not to include all the control and options.  Hopefully, you 
have the game manual yourself.  These will all be included in a later 
update, I personally want to concentrate on actual gameplay strategies 
and hints. If a specific move or control is needed, the control for that 
move will be given.  

Basic Gameplans

Further below there are some stategies and Money Plays for each tean for 
must have first downs.  BUT, this section is devoted to the exhibition 
player who is looking to be more competitive right away with a couple 
quick hints.  These strategies are based on the game being played on the 
PRO setting against a computer opponent.  The ROOKIE AI is very easy and 
a basic understanding of how to run a play will bring success.  On the 
All-Pro difficulty, mistakes are magnified.  These strategies are still 
successful on ALL-PRO with pratice.  Below are a few of the biggest 
differences as you step up in difficulty whether you've decided to take 
on the PRO game or especially when taking the big step to ALL-PRO.  
1) Any forced passed is usually intercepted if you throw when a) the 
receiver hasn't finished his route. b) the receiver is double or 
triple covered or c) the QB is still running or trying to avoid a 
sack.  Watch for the underneath defender if the defense is in a zone.  
The defender can easily jump and take the bullet pass out the air.  
Practice lobbing the pass over the defender's head.   When the 
defense is closing in on your QB for a sack do not force the throw.  
Roll out as far as you can and throw the ball away (R2).
2) Most 1st down runs are stopped with minimal gains on ALL-PRO.  A 
single running play will only work 2 to 3 times in a single drive.  
Mixing Tosses, ISO, & Spread is your only hope.     
3) The punting game becomes very important.  On the ROOKIE and after 
getting used to PRO, a good player can go the whole game without a 
single punt.  With ALL-PRO, you will have to punt.  Field position is 
very important.
4) The CPU opponents have more speed on defense overall.  What was an 
open receiver before will be within the range of the nearest DB and 
LB.  After watching the CPU a while, I noticed the defenders move to 
the spot where the receiver is suppose to stop before the receiver 
completes the route on ALL-PRO.  There are still the same amount of 
broken tackles but with the extra speed of the CPU defense, more 
defenders are around the ball.
NOTE: The computer AI reacts well to a play you try to run over and over 
again, especially after Halftime and on 4th downs.  Mix up your play 
calling between pass and run.  Avoid going for long 4th downs.  The 
computer tends to sends what I call "The Mad Blitzer". It's one 
defensive player who reacts like a homing missle who is much harder to 
avoid.  On All-Pro, these Blitzers will come at any time on any play to 
disrupt the timing of your offense.

BASIC OFFENSE

With the introduction of the West Coast Offensive philosophy, NFL 
offensive schemes have become extremely complicated.  Your basic offense 
of 5 linemen, 2 WR, a QB, a RB, a FB, and a TE was commonly used every 
play.  Now, it seem the teams only use this formation for the first snap 
of the game and starting line-ups. The only constant now is the 5 
lineman and a QB.  The section will explain the basic offensive sets 
found in NFL 2K2 and give a brief description of what personnel is used 
in each one.
NOTE: The runnning backs are all shown in the split formation.  It's 
more common to find the RB's in the I formation.  On most occasion, if 
the RB's are in the I formation, the formation describtion will say so.

PRO
The PRO formation is the most common and basic set used in football.  
It's also the most flexible and is equally effective for passing plays 
as it is for the running game.  The PRO set has the two backs split 
behind the QB. The running game is known for its huge sweeps and tosses 
to the strong side with the TE lead blocking on the play.  The passing 
game usually relies on the 2 WR and the TE over the middle, but screen  
passes to either the FB or RB are also an option.  This formation is the 
foundation of the West Coast Offense.  If you love passing on every 
down, this set usually has a good mixture of deep routes and short 
passes.
Personnel: 2 WR, 1 TE, 1 FB, 1 HB

         WR         T G C G T TE       WR
                        QB

                      RB  FB
             
ACE
The ACE formation is predominately for the run, but with 2 good 
receivers and the protection of an extra TE, a good passing attack can 
come out of it. The single back can be hard to run out of because of the 
lack of a FB to lead but the TE on both sides of the formation make 
running to either side easy.  Draw plays and tosses are key to the 
running game.  This formation is good against a defense that blitz off 
the corners a lot.
Personnel: 2 WR, 2 TE, 1 RB

         WR      TE T G C G T TE       WR
                      QB

                      RB

BUNCH
The BUNCH formation is a passing formation.  This set is similar to the 
Triple. Both have 2 WR and 1 TE on the strong side of the formation.  In 
the BUNCH, the TE is on the line of scrimage in between the two 
receivers.  This formation is very effective with the QB roll-out.  Look 
for crossing routs, deep post, and outs.  There are usually more than 
one person open.
Personnel: 3WR, 1TE, 1 RB

        WR         T G C G T       TE
                       QB      WR      WR

                       RB  

DOUBLES
If you are a pocket passer, this is probably your best formation to work 
our of.  The main change in this set compared to PRO is the 3rd WR.  The 
DOUBLES substitutes your FB for your #3 WR in the slot.
Personnel: 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 RB

         WR         T G C G T TE       WR
             WR           QB
                          
                          RB

EMPTY
Your only option is to pass.  This formation is called Empty because of 
the empty backfield.  You have only the 5 offensive linemen to protect 
the QB.  With 5 targets lined up at the line of scrimmage, someone is 
bound to become open.  This is a good long yardage formation.
Personnel: 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 RB

         WR         T G C G T TE        WR 
             RB         QB         WR

JOKERS

The Jokers formation are generally for the power running game.  Jokers 
subs in an extra TE on the strong side instead of the WR.  Smash mouth 
football is this formation specialty.  Good choice for short yardage 
running.
Personnel: 1 WR, 2 TE, 2 RB

         WR         T G C G T TE
                        QB       TE
                        
                     RB   FB

PAIR SLOT
The PAIR SLOT is generally a passing formation.  The PAIR in its name 
comes from the two pair of WR's and TE's that appear on either side of 
the formation.  The 2 WR work similar to the TWINS formation, using outs 
and posts to confuse the defense, while the 2 TE provide more pass 
protection and some run support.  This is a well balanced formation that 
can support the passing game as well as the run.
Personnel: 2 WR, 2 TE, 1 RB

         WR         T G C G T TE
             WR         QB       TE

                        RB

QUAD
The QUAD is all passing.  If you love the deep ball, this is your kind 
of formation.  The 4 WR are a defensive nightmare.  Every route is 
usually covered by this formation.  There isn't much pass protection but 
with all the targets to throw to, someone will probably be open.  GO 
DEEP!
Personnel: 4 WR, 0 TE, 1 RB

          WR        T G C G T         WR
              WR        QB       WR

                        RB


SPREAD
The SPREAD is very good formation for a tough defense.  This formation 
is designed to spread out the defense, making the LB's and DB's of the 
opposing defense cover a larger portion of the field.  3 wide receivers 
are used to occupy the secondary while 2 RB has easy access to the flat 
for screen plays and short routes.  The one major problem with this 
formation is pass protection and picking up the blitz.  With no TE, the 
blitz off the corner is wide open, leaving you vulnerable.
Personnel: 3 WR, 0 TE, 2 RB

        WR         T G C G T     WR
                       QB              WR

                     RB  FB
                       
TREY
The TREY is passing.  It's almost the same as the BUNCH but has 3 WR 
lined up on the strong side with no TE.  If you give the WR's time to 
run their route, a big play is bound to happen.  A good receiving core 
and an accurate passer will have the pigskin in the end zone in no time.  
Unfortunately only a few teams have enough good wide receivers to take 
advantage of the defense.
Personnel: 4WR, 0 TE, 1 RB

        WR         T G C G T WR        WR
                       QB         WR

                       RB

TRIPLE
The TRIPLE is the TREY with the TE on the end of the line of scrimmage 
instead of a WR.  This formation is generally for those team who don't 
have the 4 good WR needed to run the TREY.  Just as dangerous as the 
TREY, the TRIPLE formation will also exploit the secondary by 
overloading one side of the defense.
Personnel: 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 RB

        WR         T G C G T TE         WR  
                       QB          WR

                       RB

TRIPS
The TRIPS formation is all passing.  The 3 WR to one side causes mis-
matches and overloads the defense.  There isn't much pass protection but 
if the defense does blitz, there is almost always someone open 
underneath.
Personnel: 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 RB

        WR      WR T G C G T TE 
            WR         QB

                       RB

TWINS
The TWINS combines good run blocking (1 FB and 1 TE) with a good passing 
set.  You can smash the middle of the defense with run on one play and 
then go for the DEEP POST the very next play with the same formation.  
This is a good formation if you throw to the TE alot.  The TWINS give a 
whole side of the field to just the TE.
Personnel: 2 WR, 1 TE, 2 RB

       WR          T G C G T TE
            WR         QB

                     RB  FB

WING
The WING formation is a short yardage formation designed for the run.
Most effective when the RB's are lined up in the I, the extra TE's and 
WR help protect against blitzers of the corners.  Suprise the Defense 
with a pass to the WR if the D finds a way to stop the run.
Personnel: 1 WR, 2 TE, 2 RB  

                TE T G C G T TE
                       QB       WR

                     RB  FB

FORMATION VARIATIONS
The other formations and sets that are available are variations of the 
basic ones listed above.  The most common variation is the I set of the 
RB's.  Putting the backs in the I behind the QB makes following your 
fullback lead easier.  A team may not have the personnel to run the 
formation as they are shown which is why the formation is changed 
slightly to compensate.  Here are some other variations you'll see.

Strong I or Weak I: The fullback shifts to the strong or weak side to 
get closer to the point of attack

Right or Left: In the single back formations, the back is moved to the 
right or left to aid in pass protection and also to set up the draw 
play.

Tight: Look for a WR to be substituted by a tight end.  For instance, 
Tight Triple will have 2 TE to the right with just one WR.

Motion: Look for a WR or TE to go in motion or a formation shift.

Shotgun: QB will receive the snap from center in the backfield. 

Z - IN: The WR that is usually lined up as a wide-out far right, will 
now be lined up next to the TE.

FOR EXAMPLE
A Strong I Pro Z - IN will look like this.

            WR      T G C T G TE
                        QB        WR
                            FB
                        RB
AND you won't see a Shotgun I.  If the QB is already backfield, there's
no room to have the two RB's in the I.

OFFENSIVE PHILOSOPHIES

Scramble, Scramble, Scramble.
A lot has been said about how great a passing engine to 2K series has 
had even since it first showed up on the Dreamcast and the PS2 version 
is no exception.  If you take the time to learn the timimg of the pass 
routes and master Maximum Passing, you will be an elite player, 
virtually unstoppable.  Put in the time, the rewards are great.

1) I wanna score like .....NOW!
I've found the most effective offenses that requires the least amount of 
practice to master are the ones with a QB who scrambles well (Gannon in 
Oakland, Brooks in New Orleans, and McNabb in Philly, My Top 3).  First, 
find a passing play with a fade OR post route to the far sideline or an 
in route across the field where the receiver runs parallel to the line 
of scrimmage.  

                 -//\
                 //                              
                //                    ___________
               //                    /___________
              ||         or         ||            
              ||                    || 
              ||                    || 
              ||                    ||
              ||                    ||

Then, roll your quarter back (Holding R1 TO SCRAMBLE) in the direction 
your receiver will be moving no matter how the play tells you to drop 
back (in this case, roll right).  Out-run the linemen to the sideline or 
until the receiver gets open.  Release R1.  Set your feet (come to a 
complete stop) and let it rip. Not setting your feet will cause a bad 
throw most of the time.  Also make sure you do not throw the ball as 
hard as possible unless you really have to.  On a roll-out, bullet 
passes are less accurate.  Medium strength throws are most effective.  
Lobs tend to give defense time to close in on a wide open player.  
Release the pass button once the QB's arm start to move forward.  
The roll out does two things. 1) It moves you away from any blitz up the 
middle and linemen who will bat the ball down.  The computer AI seems to 
be set for the QB working in the pocket.  Receiver that were covered in 
the pocket will be wide open from the new angle your QB is looking at 
them.  2) It gives your WR, TE, and RB more time for the deep route.  A 
very fast WR will be able to outrun the coverage deep or your TE will 
have enough time to come all the way across the field after running 10 
yards deep.
On the fade route, you WR will go behind the DB and will be far enough 
away from the Safety to catch and run for the score.  On the crossing 
route, as soon as your WR crosses the middle of the field the DB will 
drop coverage.  Even if you can't see the guy on screen, still throw it 
and he will be open.  This play is good for TE as well.  If everyone is 
still covered or you're almost to the sideline, RUN!  You can get close 
to 10 yards per run.  Make sure you run out of bounds or slide (square).  
The QB tends to get injured very easily when he's tackled on a roll-out 
even if you accidently jump, your QB still won't get injured but he 
might fumble.

NOTE: It's very hard to roll out when the defense pick a FAN rush or 
blitz from the outside.  But when this happens, take your QB straight up 
the middle for a nice gain. Don't forget to slide.
NOTE: When scrambling, anytime you are persued by a defender, you can 
trick him into diving.  When the defender is almost in diving distance 
fake like you are going to run up field then drop back again.  The 
defender will dive on the ground give you some more time (Like in the 
NES Temco Bowl, the weave method).

2) If it says "OPTION", its a good pass.
Option pass plays are all for the most part successful.  Look for the 
short and deep crossing in route over the middle.  The WR or TE will be 
open quick if there is a blitz and will continue across the field on a 
roll out. If you are in a tight spot, need 5 or 6 yards, try an Option 
pass.  If you have a fast WR, let him out run the coverage across the 
field to become open.

3) TWINS: Strong Flood. A defenses worst nightmare.
Almost every team has at least on play like this in multiple variations.  
STRONG TWINS,  WEAK TWINS, I TWINS.  Look under the formation with both 
receiver lined to one side.  One receiver will have an OUT route while 
the other goes for the POST.  Some plays have them crossing.  It is rare 
for the CPU to cover both receivers for a long period of time. Look for 
the POST route to go completely uncovered from time to time.  The OUT 
route is good for at least 7 yards, even if he's tackled right away.

4) A Tight End is a terrible thing to waste.
Don't forget your TE, especially during the Fantasy Drafts.  On some 
teams he's your best option.  Frank Whycheck in Tennessee, Chad Lewis in 
Philadelphia, Shannon Sharpe in Baltimore, and Tony Gonzalez in Kansas 
City.  They catch like top WR and they hold onto the ball better when 
hit after the catch.  A great 3rd option on a passing play, the TE seems 
to become uncovered and forgotten underneath

5) Power or Finesse
With the insane amount of broken tackles in NFL 2K2, the running game is 
much easier than in past 2K games.  There are 2 types runners.  You have 
Power and Finesse. Power running are big and strong.  Use the stiff arm 
or build up speed by rapidly pressing X and run over any would be 
tackler.  Finesse runners are fast and mobile.  Juke and spin your way 
to big yardage.  Either type you play with, 100+ yards per game is not 
unusual, except on the All-Pro difficulty.

6) Run It Up The Gut
Tosses are great!  They are the most useful running plays.  Your running 
back gets beyond the TE box and usually you're 2 DB's away from a TD.  
But if your Offensive line allows a defender thru, your RB is taking a 3 
to 5 yard loss as soon as he touches the ball, even worse a fumble.  
Don't forget the 22 and 24 ISO runs with the Power Backs (Eddie George, 
Tyrone Wheatly, Fred Taylor and Duce Staley are a few of the best).  If 
the defense blitz to the outside, you are two broken tackles away from a 
big run from the inside-out and up the sideline once you get pass the 
line of scrimmage.  It also makes the defense double think an outside 
blitz on your QB, giving you more time to pass and making roll-outs 
easier.  Don't forget to rapidly press the (X) button.  It's more 
effective with a power runner than the juke or spin and increase your 
chances of break the tackle.

7) Maximum Passing: An Unbelievable Touch of Realism
Non 2K2 players always ask what Maximum Passing is.  It is only the most 
innovative and realistic feature ever in the history of videogame 
sports.  I may be a little dramatic but Maximum Passing is ground-
breaking.  Maximum Passing always you to alter the trajectory of the 
pass to a wide receiver.  Sounds simple but gameplay-wise, it takes 
simulating the play of the QB to the next level.  Without the option, 
the pass is aimed at the numbers of the receiver.  Typically, this is 
the easiest spot for a completion.  It's also right in the range of the 
defender.  Maximum Passing allows you to lead your receiver away from 
the defender.  Throw the pass high and away from the D.  If the receiver 
is in traffic throw it low to avoid the big hit making the pass to be 
broken up.  PRACTICE! The Maximum passing is a more sensitive than in 
past games.  If you're getting too many incompletions and interceptions, 
try to ease up on the controls.  Also, make sure your QB starts the pass 
animation before you begin to throw.  If you don't he'll start to roll-
out or scramble before the pass.  This might account for most of your 
errand passes. Armchair pocket QB's MUST get used to using Maximum 
Passing otherwise you'll miss half of the fun!

8) Teach Me How to Run the Ball
Unfortunately, unless you have someone there to show you in person, your 
running game will completely rely on you personal play style.  Practice 
special moves so you can pull them off without having to wonder which 
button to press.  The offensive line plays a major part in the running 
game.  If your favorite team has a poor run blocking offensive line, no 
matter how much you play and practice with that team, the running game 
will be frusteating and ineffective for the most part.

BASIC DEFENSE
 
You got three parts to the defense.
1) The defensive linemen. 3 or 4 big guys on the line of scrimmage. The 
guess are accountable for stopping the run and putting pressure on the 
QB.  
2) The linebackers (LB). Provide support of your lineman against the 
run, provide extra pressure on the QB when asked to blitz and provide 
underneath pass protection. 
3) The secondary or defensive backs(DB's) covers wide receiver and deep 
routes. 2nd line of defense against the run.
NOTE: In the actual NFL, DB's are further broken down into Cornerback  
and Safety.  The Cornerback (CB)lines up across from the receiver and 
provides the man-to-man coverage.  The other DB's are safeties (1 Free 
and 1 Strong).  The Free Safety is responsible for coverering the middle 
of the field deep and Strong Safety helps to stop the RB should he get 
past the LB's.  Strong Safeties are known for making the big hits on the 
slants and those medium range passes.

DEFENSIVE SETS 
The most basic defensive formation is the 4-3.  This means you have 4 
linemen (2 DE and 2 DT) and 3 linebackers (Strong Outside, Weak Outside, 
Middle).  Most of the defenses in the NFL run this defense.  

Some teams run a 3-4 defense.  This means you have only 3 linemen (2 DE 
and 1 Center) and 4 linebackers (2 outside, 2 inside).

In the Nickel defense, one of your linebackers are substituted for a 
defensive back (DB) to provide better pass coverage. So you have 4 
linemen, 2 LB, and 5 DB's.
In a 3-4 defense, the Nickel becomes Nickel ODD. You have 3 linemen, 3 
LB, and 5 DB.

Dime takes it a step further and subs another LB for a DB. Resulting in 
4 linemen, 1 LB, 6 DB. 
In the 3-4, the Dime is called Dime ODD. Its 3 Linemen, 2 LB, and 6 DB.

Prevent takes out all LB's and puts in 7 DB for maximum pass protection. 
In the 3-4, the Prevent ODD uses one LB as the 4th lineman.

Goal Line is for short yardage and goaline stands. It has 5 linemen, 4 
LB's and 2 DB.

DEFENSIVE PHILOSOPHIES

Defense.  The right play at the right time.
Defense is a guessing game but there are some key plays that are 
effective when called at the right time.  It reminds me of the Original 
Tecmo Bowl (Not Super). If you call the right play the offense is 
powerless.  If you call a run play against a pass you got burnt.  
Unfortunately, some team just can't play defense!  With a bad defense, 
there are more broken tackles, the linemen are pushed around like dolls, 
and your DB's can't catch a pass if it hit them right in the numbers.  
Avoid bad defensive teams at all cost.  Indianapolis and Minnesote are 
about the only teams with a strong enough offense to overcome the paper 
thin defense. 
RUN: Nickel and Dime; Not just pass D anymore.
Your linebackers are key to stopping the Run.  Having a Pro Bowler like 
Ray Lewis or Zack Thomas as Middle Linebacker really helps. Your average 
LB is not fast enough to cover the whole field and do not come of a 
block soon enough to be effective.  Against a human opponent or an All-
PRO opponent,  you will need two hits very close together to bring the 
runner down. One to initially hit and break the runners stride and the 
2nd to actually bring the runner down.  That's one reason you might want 
to use the Nickel and Dime defense to stop the run if you have a weak 
defensive team.  The extra speed of the DB's replacing the LB's will 
have more tacklers around the ball.  This will cut down on the long 
breakaway runs.  
To play the most effective defense, you should start by learning to 
close the running wholes by pushing the offensive line in the direction 
of the run.  At the snap, get the quick burst of speed by tapping X.  
Watch the RB and move the same direction he's going.  Start charging 
your arrow by pressing and holding the X button.  When the RB is at the 
line of scrimmage, hit R1 to ome of the block and make the hit.  It's up 
to you to get the initial hit on or at least close the whole that the RB 
is trying to hit with the lineman.  If you need more help, call a Blast 
play (Middle, Strong, or Weak) to the spot of the whole.  With the 
blast, the linebacker will come in to clean-up.  If you prefer to 
control the LB yourself, bring the blitzer as close to the line of 
scrimmage as possible.  For faster running backs or against the Toss, in 
the same formation call the Weak or Strong Crash depending on what side 
your opponents prefers to run.  The blitzing DB will not bring the 
runner down by his self but he will delay him long enough for the 
pursuit of lineman and linebackers to catch up.  The Goal Line defense 
can be used in the middle of the field to provide a quick stop when you 
are sure that a run is coming.  BEWARE.  If the running back gets to the 
outside, there is not much between him and the end-zone.  If the offense 
drops back to pass, the extra lineman and linebackers at the line of 
scrimmage should get to the QB faster than the 4-3.  If he gets the pass 
off, more than lightly it will be a big gain, there is only single 
coverage and no one deep.  Also avoid the All Blitz.  It causes the same 
problems as the Goal-line defense. 

PASS: Nickel and Dime.  Prevent is soft.
     Pressure on the QB is key.  If you give the QB time to throw it 
when he wants to, it's gonna be a long frustrating day.  The earlier he 
throw it, the less accurate the pass.  Sacks by the defensive are very 
hard to come by.  The QB seems to get the ball away right before he's 
brought down for the sack.  Just forcing the QB to throw the ball early 
might be enough.  Pressure on the passer usually results in an 
incomplete pass or an interception.  You can blitz a linebacker.  
Generally, a blitz by a DB is not effective because of the distance the 
player has to come and DB's tend to stay blocked to long. Not only that 
it leaves a spot for a quick pass for the QB to dump off to.  Take 
control of the DB, and bring the player closer to the QB if you have to 
use the DB.  But Linebackers through the middle, and directly off the 
ends get to the QB in a hurry and can even tip the ball at the line of 
scrimmage against pocket passers.  If the LB is picked up by the running 
back in pass protection, they have enough strength to come off the block 
and still disrupt the passer.  Try to avoid the Prevent defense, it is 
effective against the pass but if your opponent suprises you with a RUN 
it could become a huge gain.  A 10 to 15 yard pass is common aganist the 
Prevent.  Prevent is design to stop big gains in the passing game by 
allow short underneath passes in bounds.  Meaning the middle of the 
field is usually open.  Practice the defensive lineman moves and get in 
the QB's face without a blitz and only 4 down linemen so the rest of the 
defense can cover the pass.  You'll need a top player like a Strahan, 
Sapp, or Kearse but it's worth the effort.  Take on of the DE.  Move him 
to the outside of the last offensive player of the offensive line.  Use 
the speed burst straight up the field.  If the blocker drops straight 
back with you, cut to the inside in front of the defender and go for the 
QB.  If the blocker is slow to drop back, go around the outside and the 
QB will drop back right into your arms.  
NOTE: Normal or Base, Gap Left and Gap Right should be the D-Line 
formations you mainly use.  They provide a good pass rush and still help 
contain the run. Use the Gap Left and Gap Right to pin the QB or RB 
between hash mark and the nearest sideline.  Use the FAN against 
scrambling QB's and against the TOSS.  It closes the corner down and 
contains the runner inside.  Unfortunately, it leaves the middle of the 
line wide open for the run and leave the passing lanes clear for the QB.  

To compliment the pressure on the QB, the 3 BUZZ package (only certain 
defenses have this) is very good.  It's also a good play to call when an 
offense tries to spread the field.  There are 2 DB's on each of the 
outside routes and 2 LB in the Nickel and 1 LB, 1 DB in the Dime lurking 
in the middle to stick receivers trying quick slants or crossing routes.  
A few team do have a 4-3 3 BUZZ which also works depending on personnel.  
Only your LB's provide the underneath cover in this formation.  The 
Sting 2 defense is good at causing pressure while maintaining coverage 
on the WR.

NOTE: The CPU opponent will go for it on 4th Down on some bad occasions.  
To keep from wasting a timeout, use the automatic play call feature to 
see if the CPU intends to punt or not.  When the play call screen 
appears, press X button without moving the analog stick.  The automatic 
play will be a normal defense if the opposition is gonna try and go for 
it.  It will give you a punt return if they plan to punt.

NOTE: Defense is all about experimenting with plays and finding their 
strength and weakness.  There is not a "great" defensive play that cover 
both pass and run but if you can anticipate what your opponent is going 
to do, you can stop them enough times to force a fourth down or cause 
turnovers.  If a play doesn't work the 1st time you use it, go back to 
it in a different situation (a different down or a different yard-to-
go).    

TEAM RANKINGS & HOT PLAYS

The basic strategies above will have you dominating computer opponents 
and undefeated seasons on Pro in no time.  To get a handle on the All-
Pro setting and to cause serious damage to a good human opponent, here 
are some specific offensive plays for each team to use.
The NFL 2K2 Rankings are based on the default ranking that are given to 
each team in the game.  These rankings are shown at the Exhibition's 
Team Select Screen.  A = Great to E = 1A High School Football.  For a 
further breakdown of how the grades were decided look below.
Chief's Ranks are my ranking of each team in a few more categories.  I 
prefer a strong defense, scrambling QB's, and a running game.  My 
ranking might show my preferences.
NOTE: Reading Hot Plays
The HOT PLAYS are written in a specific way so finding where the hot 
plays are will be easier.  The first Page # is the page of the playbook 
the play is located.  When you press L1 or R1 while finding a play, the 
playbook page number is shown in the top left corner (ex, 2/6 would be 
Page 2). Next is the formation name.  These name are shown at the bottom 
of the screen.  Then you have the play name. Some formation have 
mutliple sheets to look through but it should be farely easy to find the 
play.  Last is the play's target.  These targets are different from the 
primary receiver whose route is shown in red.  These targets are the 
receivers that I've found to be wide open against a zone defense and a 
good target against a man to man D.  If the receiver is not open right 
away scramble with your QB until he gets open. 


TEAMS

49ers                                 
NFL 2K2 Rankings:
     Offense: A
     Defense: D
     Overall: C
Chief's Ranks: 
     OVERALL: B                          
      Offense: B                        
        QB: B                           
        RB: C                           
        WR/TE: B                        
      Defense: D                        
        
HOT PLAYS:                          
Page 3/Shotgun Trip Left            
153 Bootleg Wheel
Target: #81 Owens

Page 5/Double H Motion                
152 Bootleg 2 Post                  
Target: #81 Owens

BEARS                          
NFL 2K2 Rankings:
     Offense: C
     Defense: D
     Overall: D
Chief Rank:                       
    OVERALL: C
      Offense: C                        
        QB: D                           
        RB: B                           
        WR/TE: C                        
      Defense: C                        
        
HOT PLAYS:
RUN
Page 4/Bunch
56 Stretch

PASS
Page 4/Bunch
50 Y OUT
Target: #88 Robinson
*Alternate between the Stretch run and Y Out pass on Human opponets.  
They are both out of the Bunch formation and can cause confusion.

Page 2/Shotgun Triple
50 A Under
Target: #88 underneath but #86 may open up deep left.


BENGALS                          
NFL 2K2 Rankings:
     Offense: C
     Defense: E
     Overall: D
Chief Rank:                       
     OVERALL: E                  
      Offense: D                 
        QB: D                    
        RB: A                    
        WR/TE: D                 
      Defense: E 

HOT PLAYS:
OFFENSE
Page 4/I Twins
122 Z OUT
Target: #80 Warrick

Page 2/Tight Triple
152 Y/T Option
Target: Two Tight Ends. Choose either direction.                 

        
BILLS
NFL 2K2 Rankings:
     Offense: C
     Defense: C
     Overall: C
Chief Rank:                       
     OVERALL: D                  
      Offense: D                 
        QB: D                    
        RB: D                    
        WR/TE: C                 
      Defense: D                  

HOT PLAYS:
Page 1/Doubles
50 X DIG
Target: #89 Black

Page 3/Split Spread
50 X/Z OUT
Target: #81 Price

Page 4/Triple H-Motion
132 T Option
Target: #85 Riemersma


BRONCOS                          
NFL 2K2 Rankings:
     Offense: A
     Defense: C
     Overall: B
Chief Rank:                       
     OVERALL: B                  
      Offense: B                 
        QB: B                    
        RB: B                    
        WR/TE: A                 
      Defense: C                  

HOT PLAYS:
Page 1/Trips
50 Z Option
Target: #80 Smith

Page 5/Triples
50 Strong Flood
Target: #80 Smith (Deep)

Page 2/Shotgun Trey
152 T Cross
Target: #87 McCaffrey


BROWNS                          
NFL 2K2 Rankings:
     Offense: E
     Defense: D
     Overall: D
Chief Rank:                       
     OVERALL: E                  
      Offense: E                 
        QB: D           
        RB: E                    
        WR/TE: E                 
      Defense: E                  

HOT PLAYS:
Page 3/Weak I Twins
50 F Wheel
Target: #82 Johnson

Page 4/ACE
153 Bootleg Flat
Target: #81 Morgan & #82 Dudley


BUCCANEERS
NFL 2K2 Rankings:
     Offense: B
     Defense: A
     Overall: A
Chief Rank:                       
     OVERALL: A                  
      Offense: B                 
        QB: C                    
        RB: A                    
        WR/TE: A
      Defense: A

HOT PLAYS:
Page 1/I Twins
122 X Dig/Z Corner
Target: #81 Green or #19 Johnson (Deep)

Page 6/Shotgun Trey Left
50 Power Flood
Target: #19 Johnson

Page 2/Triple
H Swing Strong
Target: #81 Green


CARDINALS                          
NFL 2K2 Rankings:
     Offense: D
     Defense: E
     Overall: E
Chief Rank:                       
     OVERALL: E                  
      Offense: E                 
        QB: D
        RB: E                    
        WR/TE: D                 
      Defense: E                  

HOT PLAYS:
Page 2/Shotgun Split Spread
50 X/Z Out
Target: #89 Boston

Page 3/Triple
50 T Cross
Target: #81 Sanders


CHARGERS                          
NFL 2K2 Rankings:
     Offense: C
     Defense: B
     Overall: C
Chief Rank:                       
     OVERALL: C                  
      Offense: C                 
        QB: C                    
        RB: C                    
        WR/TE: C                 
      Defense: B                  

HOT PLAYS
Page 2/Ace Trips
153 Bootleg Z Out
Target: #81 Graham

Page 4/Triple
50 T Corner
Target: #81 Graham


CHIEFS                          
NFL 2K2 Rankings:
     Offense: C
     Defense: C
     Overall: C
Chief Rank:                       
     OVERALL: E                  
      Offense: D                 
        QB: C                    
        RB: D                    
        WR/TE: C                 
      Defense: E                  

HOT PLAYS
Page 2/I Spread
122 Z Dig
Target: #82 Alexander (deep) or #87 Thomas

Page 3/Pair Slot Left
50 X Under
Target: #82 Alexander


COLTS                          
NFL 2K2 Rankings:
     Offense: A
     Defense: D
     Overall: B
Chief Rank:                       
     OVERALL: B                  
      Offense: A                 
        QB: A                    
        RB: A                    
        WR/TE: A                 
      Defense: E                  

HOT PLAYS
Page 2/Shotgun Quads Z-IN
50 Z Under
Target: #88 Harrison

Page 2/Trips
154 Strong Flood
Target: #86 Pathon (deep) or #88 Harrison

Page 3/Shotgun Ace Trips
50 X/Z Out
Target: #86 Pathon


COWBOYS                          
NFL 2K2 Rankings:
     Offense: D
     Defense: E
     Overall: E
Chief Rank:                       
     OVERALL: D                  
      Offense: C                 
        QB: C                    
        RB: C                    
        WR/TE: D                 
      Defense: E                  

HOT PLAYS
Page 1/I Spread
122 A Out
Target: #84 Galloway

Page 3/Pair Slot
152 Z Cross
Target: #84 Galloway (deep)or #82 Whalen

Page 3/Bunch
152 Y Corner
Target: #81 Ismail


DOLPHINS
NFL 2K2 Rankings:
     Offense: D
     Defense: A
     Overall: B
Chief Rank:                       
     OVERALL: B                  
      Offense: D                 
        QB: D                    
        RB: E                    
        WR/TE: D                 
      Defense: A  

HOT PLAYS:
Page 5/Shotgun Trey Left
50 Strong Flood
Target: #86 Gadsden

Page 2/Shotgun Split Spread
50 A/Z Cross
Target: #80 McKnight


EAGLES
NFL 2K2 Rankings:
     Offense: B
     Defense: B
     Overall: B
Chief Rank:                       
     OVERALL: A                  
      Offense: A                 
        QB: A                    
        RB: A                    
        WR/TE: C                 
      Defense: A

HOT PLAYS:
Page 4/Quads
50 Stop/Corner
#87 Pinkstom or #80 Thrash

Page 1/Pro
122 T Option
#89 Lewis


FALCONS                          
NFL 2K2 Rankings:
     Offense: E
     Defense: D
     Overall: E
Chief Rank:                       
     OVERALL: D                  
      Offense: B (with Vick at QB), D (with Chandler)                 
        QB: A(Vick), C(Chandler)                    
        RB: B                    
        WR/TE: C
      Defense: D
*Global Substitute Michael Vick for Chirs Chandler.  The offense is 
improved greatly with Vick's mobility.

HOT PLAYS:
Page 1/Quads
50 Stop/Corner
Target: #84 Jefferson or #81 Mathis 

Page 2/Split Spread Z-IN
50 Z Cross 
Target: #80 Martin

Page 5/Trips
152 Bootleg T Out
Target: #81 Mathis


GIANTS                          
NFL 2K2 Rankings:
     Offense: C
     Defense: A
     Overall: A
Chief Rank:                       
     OVERALL: B                  
      Offense: D                 
        QB: D                    
        RB: C                    
        WR/TE: C                
      Defense: A

HOT PLAYS:
Page 1/Weak I Twins
122 F Wheel
Target: #88 Hilliard

Page /Bunch Trips
50 Z Option
Target: #88 Hilliard


JAGUARS                          
NFL 2K2 Rankings:
     Offense: A
     Defense: B
     Overall: B
Chief Rank:                       
     OVERALL: B                  
      Offense: A                 
        QB: B                    
        RB: A                    
        WR/TE: B                 
      Defense: C

HOT PLAYS:
Page 5/Weak I Twins
122 X Out
Target: #87 McCardell (deep) or #82 Smith

Page 2/Shotgun Trey Left
50 Y/A Out
Target: #82 Smith or #80 Brady

Page /Weak I Pro
124 Z Post
Target: #80 Brady

                 
JETS                          
NFL 2K2 Rankings:
     Offense: B
     Defense: C
     Overall: C
Chief Rank:                       
     OVERALL: C                  
      Offense: C                 
        QB: C                    
        RB: B                    
        WR/TE: D                 
      Defense: C
HOT PLAYS:
Page 1/Doubles
50 X Post
Target: #83 Moss

Page 5/Weak I Twins
122 Strong Flood
Target: #80 Chrebet or #83 Moss

Page 5/Shotgun Quads Right
50 Jets Flood
Target: #80 Chrebet or #81 Hatchette
 
                 
LIONS                          
NFL 2K2 Rankings:
     Offense: D
     Defense: B
     Overall: C
Chief Rank:                       
     OVERALL: D                  
      Offense: C                 
        QB: D                    
        RB: C                    
        WR/TE: C                 
      Defense: D
HOT PLAYS:
Page 3/Trey
50 Y/A Cross
Target: #87 Morton

Page 3/Split Twins
132 Bootleg X/Z Cross
Target: #82 Crowell
                
PACKERS                          
NFL 2K2 Rankings:
     Offense: A
     Defense: C
     Overall: B
Chief Rank:                       
     OVERALL: C                  
      Offense: A                 
        QB: A                    
        RB: B                    
        WR/TE: A                 
      Defense: C
 
HOT PLAYS:
Page 2/Triple
50 Overload
Target: #84 Schroeder

Page 3/Shotgun Trey
50 Over Flood
Target: #86 Freeman

Page /Split Spread
50 Strong Flood
Target: #86 Freeman
                 
PANTHERS                          
NFL 2K2 Rankings:
     Offense: D
     Defense: E
     Overall: E
Chief Rank:                       
     OVERALL: E                  
      Offense: E
        QB: E                    
        RB: D                    
        WR/TE: C                 
      Defense: E                  
HOT PLAYS:
Page 1/I Pro
122 T Option
Target: #85 Walls

Page 5/Pair Slot
153 Bootled Z Cross
Target: #81 Hayes

PATRIOTS                          
NFL 2K2 Rankings:
     Offense: E
     Defense: C
     Overall: D
Chief Rank:                       
     OVERALL: D                  
      Offense: D                 
        QB: C                    
        RB: C                    
        WR/TE: D                 
      Defense: C

HOT PLAYS:
Page 1/Quads Right
50 Strong Flood
Target: #80 Brown(deep) or #87 Emanuel

Page 4/Patriots Trey Left
50 Strong Flood
Target: #80 Brown or #81 Johnson

Page /Split Spread Z-IN
50 Pewter Flood
Target: #80 Brown
                  

RAIDERS                          
NFL 2K2 Rankings:
     Offense: A
     Defense: A
     Overall: A
Chief Rank:                       
     OVERALL: A                  
      Offense: A                 
        QB: A               
        RB: A                    
        WR/TE: A                 
      Defense: B

HOT PLAYS:
Page 2/Ace Trips
50 Z Cross
#81 Brown (will catch it deep) OR #80 Rice

Page 5/Quads
152 Z Under
#81 Brown (deep right, lob over LB)

                  
RAMS                          
NFL 2K2 Rankings:
     Offense: A
     Defense: C
     Overall: A
Chief Rank:                       
     OVERALL: A                  
      Offense: A                 
        QB: A                 
        RB: B                    
        WR/TE: A                 
      Defense: B

HOT PLAYS:
Page 1/Quads Left
50 Stop/Corner
Target: #88 Holt or #80 Bruce

Page 4/Bunch Left
50 A Cross
Target: #80 Bruce

Page 2/Quads
152 X/Z Out
Target: #80(deep) or #87 Proehl


RAVENS
NFL 2K2 Rankings:
     Offense: B
     Defense: A
     Overall: A
Chief Rank:
     OVERALL: A
      Offense: B
        QB: B
        RB: C
        WR/TE: B
      Defense: A

HOT PLAYS:
Page 2/Strong I Pro
122 Strong Flood
Target: #82 Sharpe

Page 3/Bunch
50 Y/T Option
Target: #82 Sharpe or #87 Ismail

REDSKINS                          
NFL 2K2 Rankings:
     Offense: D
     Defense: E
     Overall: D
Chief Rank:                       
     OVERALL: C                  
      Offense: C                 
        QB: C                    
        RB: A                    
        WR/TE: C                 
      Defense: D

HOT PLAYS:
Page 2/Triple
50 Y Option
Target: #87 Gardner

Page 3/Trey
50 Z Under
Target: #87 Gardner

SAINTS                          
NFL 2K2 Rankings:
     Offense: A
     Defense: B
     Overall: B
Chief Rank:                       
     OVERALL: A                  
      Offense: A                 
        QB: A                    
        RB: A                    
        WR/TE: A                 
      Defense: A

HOT PLAYS:
Page 1/Double
50 T Option
#87 Horn (deep) or #34 Williams underneath

Page 4/Shotgun Quads Right
50 Stop/Corner
#88 Jackson

SEAHAWKS
NFL 2K2 Rankings:
     Offense: D
     Defense: B
     Overall: D
Chief Rank:                       
     OVERALL: D                  
      Offense: C                 
        QB: D                    
        RB: C                    
        WR/TE: D                 
      Defense: C

HOT PLAYS:
Page 1/I Spread
122 A Option
Target: #82 Jackson

Page 1/Ace Trips
152 T Cross
Target: #81 Robinson and #86 Fauria

Page 5/Triple
50 Blue Flood
Target: #81 Robinson, # 86 Fauria, or #82 Jackson (deep)
                  

STEELERS                          
NFL 2K2 Rankings:
     Offense: E
     Defense: C
     Overall: D
Chief Rank:                       
     OVERALL: C                  
      Offense: C                 
        QB: B              
        RB: C                    
        WR/TE: C                 
      Defense: C

HOT PLAYS:
Page 4/Shotgun Strong Right
50 Strong Flood
Target: #86 Ward

Page 4/I Twins
123 Bootleg Out
Target: #87 Bruener or Scramble

TITANS
NFL 2K2 Rankings:
     Offense: B
     Defense: A
     Overall: A
Chief Rank:                       
     OVERALL: A                  
      Offense: A                 
        QB: B                    
        RB: A                    
        WR/TE: A                 
      Defense: A

HOT PLAYS:
Page 2/Weak I Twins
122 Strong Flood
#85 Dyson (deep), #81 Sanders (7 or 8 yrds), #89 Whycheck (deep middle)

Page 2/Ace Trips
50 Power Flood
#89 Whycheck, #81 Sanders


VIKINGS
NFL 2K2 Rankings:
     Offense: A
     Defense: D
     Overall: B
Chief Rank:                       
     OVERALL: B                  
      Offense: A                 
        QB: A                
        RB: C                    
        WR/TE: A                 
      Defense: C

HOT PLAYS:
Page 2/Split Twins
50 X Out
Target: #84 Moss

Page 6/Shotgun Trey
50 A Corner
Target: #80 Carter

Page 3/Ace Trips
H Screen Strong
Target: #84 Moss


WHERE DID THE GRADES COME FROM?
The NFL 2K2 ranking are misleading in that it uses a 100 point scale but 
the lowest ranking of the 31 real football team is a 71.  To come up 
with the grade scale, I placed all the teams in order of the scores for 
each categories form greatest to least.  Then I separated the team as 
evenly as possible into each letter group.  If 2 or more teams had the 
same ranking, they all were placed in the same group which cause some 
unbalanced group (8 teams have a B OVERALL with only 4 E's).  The only 
difference between some grades are only one point.  If your think a 
certain team should be a single grade higher, more than likely they 
probably are.

NFL 2K2 RANKINGS
OFFENSE            
A
Rams 98     Colts 96     Raiders 94     Vikings 91     49ers 88     
Broncos 88     Jaguars 88     Packers 88     Saints 88
B
Eagles 87     Titans 87     Buccaneers 86     Jets 86     Ravens 86
C     
Giants 84     Bills 83     Chiefs 83     Bengals 82     Bears 80     
Chargers 80
D
Lions 79     Redskins 79     Cardinals 78     Panthers 78    
Cowboys 77     Dolphins 77     Seahawks 77
E
Browns 76          Steelers 75     Patriots 74     Falcons 73

DEFENSE
A
Ravens 100     Buccaneers 96     Dolphins 94     Giants 92        Titans 
92     Raiders 89
B
Eagles 88     Saints 87     Chargers 86     Jaguars 85     Lions 85     
Seahawks 85
C
Packers 84     Steelers 84     Bills 83     Jets 83     Rams 83     
Broncos 82     Chiefs 82     Patriots 82
D
49ers 80     Bears 79     Colts 78     Falcons 78     Vikings 78     
Browns 78
E
Redskins 77     Cowboys 76     Cardinals 73         Bengals 72     
Panthers 71     

OVERALL
A
Ravens 93     Raiders 92     Buccaneers 91     Rams 90     Titans 90     
Giants 88
B
Colts 87     Eagles 87     Jaguars 87     Saints 87     Packers 86     
Broncos 85     Dolphins 85     Vikings 85
C
49ers 84     Jets 84     Chargers 83     Bills 82     Chargers 83     
Chiefs 82     Lions 82
D
Seahawks 81     Steelers 80     Bears 79     Patriots 78        Redskins 
78     Bengals 77     Browns 77
E
Cardinals 76     Cowboys 76     Falcons 75     Panthers 75