FAQ by Leif Powers

Version: 5.1 | Updated: 11/09/03 | Printable Version

What I Have Been Doing Instead:
A Tecmo Super Bowl For NES FAQ
Part 1 of 2: Strategy Guide
Version 5.1

By Leif Powers
Stock e-mail address: LEPmf@yahoo.com

The copyright and allowable usage of this document
is described by the legal statement at

Among other things, it says that this document may be
distributed freely, but in a WHOLE (not excerpted) form.
Go to the website if you want to do something else with
this document.


Table of Contents 

0.  Updates, Credits, Links, How To Get, How To Use, And Things Not Done

1.  Introduction

2.  The Roster
        Player And Roster Comments
        The Ratings Explained

3.  Special Teams
        1. Kickoffs
        2. Punts
        3. Field Goals/Extra Points

4.  On The Field: Offense And Defense By Play
        (look there for play indexes)

5.  Passing
        Effective Passing
        Protecting The Quarterback

6.  Pounding The Rock
        Runner Types
        Running Tips

7.  Pass Defense
        Coverage Tips
        Rushing The Passer

8.  Run Defense
        Gang Tackling

9.  Playbooks/Playcalling
        Formation Combos
        Slot Recommendations
        Good Playbooks And How To Shut Them Down
        Vs. MAN Playcalling
        CPU Playcalling

10. Tweaking The Tecmo
        (see there for tips index)

11. The Pro Bowl
        Pro Bowl Game And Roster Data
        Gaffney's Pro Bowl Even Teams
        Training Exercises (Best & Worst Teams)

12. The Season Game
        Tecmo QB Rating
        Stat Limits
        The Computer Adjusts Itself To Your Record
        Controllers (1P vs. 2P)

13. Bugs And Weird Stuff
        (see there for index)

14. Mechanics
        Contact Mechanics
        On The Field
        Possession Of The Ball
        Menu Screens
        Music And Sound

15. ID/Kill Lists

16. Tactics List By Player (empty)

17. Basic Instructions
        Sound Test
        Preseason/Pro Bowl
        Team Data
        Season Mode
        Playing the Game

18. Press Conference
        How do I make Tecmo harder/teach others how to play?
        Do you run or pass?
        Do you defend the run or the pass?
        How do you measure your performance?
        What do you think about tactics?

19. Rumors And Myths

20. Taunts

0. Updates, Credits, Links, Things Not Done, How To Get, How To Use, and Codes


Version 5.1:

Finally figured out what Quickness does (maybe...).
Added personnel note on kicking the punt in Special Teams.
Added notes on exploiting the run calls in Passing: Effective
Added notes on pass tipping to Pass Defense: Coverage Tips.
More notes on blitzing to Pass Defense: Rushing the Passer.
Changed up TE roster priorities in the Roster Section.
Added more notes to the Weakside Open defense.
Added the Frozen Player bug.
Some more roster stuff, particularly for the Raiders and the
Added some material to the drafting sections on types of players,
and also to the types of players I would get on my team.
Corrections and grammars and cleanups.

Version 5:

Big changes here. I only put things here other than
general reorganization and clarification.

Structural reorganizations:
- Added Personnel FAQ to a different file and put some
stuff from here in that.
- Took out Questions - I KNOW ALL THE ANSWERS MAGGOT!
- Took out Greets - it was stale.
- Took out Games - it sucked.
- Cleaned out a lot of stuff from Mechanics and put
it where it belonged conceptually.
- Just reorganized the entire thing.

Feature additions:
- Better index.
- Better link list to Section 0.
- Added discussions of special teams players (kickers,
punters, receivers) and offensive linemen to
The Roster.
- Added lists of call-safe receivers for each play if
they exist (full ones, not partial) above the Passing
Order. Also added lists of players who streak alone
on their side of the field, giving opportunities for
bomb plays. Notes on tactics that free up your boys
in the Exposition to Section 4.
- Added return specialists into the Pro Bowl teams.
- Added stat limits notes to Mechanics.

Play Notes And Additions:
- Added notes on throwing to the TE in Pro T Flare C.
- Added notes on how many guards pull to T Cross Run
- Devastating tactics for Pitch L Open.
- Added a note on how it is risky to throw the
ball when R&S Flare C is called.
- Added a decent chunk of stuff to R&S Sweep R/L.
An LILB tip there is due to Matt Knobbe.
- Added notes to R&S QB Sneak and R&S QB Run.
- Added a good tactic to use against Shotgun
Draw and rewrote its defense section.
- Added a new tactic for Roll Out R and FB Open L.
- Downgraded rating of Oneback Sweep R.
- Added explicit mention of roving blocker on
Play Action.
- Added some notes on Toss Sweep R.
- Added some useful tips on stopping FB Power Dive.
- Added useful notes on using the WR #2 on the
One Man Shift plays.
- Devastating tactics for FB Offtackle R and
Weakside Open.
- Added a tip on containment of Shotgun Sweep
- Put explicit mentions and listing of Defensive
Shifts in all of the plays that needed them and
cleaned up some material related to them.

New tips and discrete amounts of information:
- Added some notes about speed and power preferences
for defensive linemen in The Roster. Also noted that
TEs aren't in every offense, Hitting Power is good for
blocking in WRs, and some better ratings for
Interceptions LBs.
- Added notes on conditions changing before the
game even begins to The Roster.
- Added notes on how to use your blocker on
the punt returns, and also better strategy
on kick and punt coverage in Special Teams.
- Added notes on possession of the football
for various scenarios on special teams (one
of them due to Tommy Agee).
- Added notes on how the kicker may not keep
his field goal kicking stats if the kick is
- Added notes on how a kicker's accuracy has
physical effects on the kicking cursor.
- Added notes on maximum field goal range.
- Added notes on other methods of rushing the
- Added a note in Section 4 that the NTD is
less effective with 19 MS QBs or higher.
- Added that your QB stays on the leader board
if he throws at least 7 balls a game (credit
j<13 a's>y ).
- Revamped the "Ways To Waste Time" tip.
- "Split The Receivers" tip.
- "Run In Circles To Cover Multiple Men" tip.
- Added notes on another benefit in the "Move Your
Quarterback Around" tip.
- Added tips on how to smash through your own
O-line and open up holes in Rushing And Blitzing.
- Added a reminder that slide tackling a struggle
involving a ballcarrier will tackle the ballcarrier
to Rushing And Blitzing.
- Added notes on avoiding the MAN blitz in Protecting
Your Quarterback.
- Added a "Shotgun 2" playbook to Playbooks.
- Added the "touchdown celebration" bug to Bugs
And Weird Stuff.
- Added the "white injured player" bug to Bugs And
Weird Stuff and took it out of Mechanics.
- Added Matt Knobbe's (mknobbe@knobbe.org) derivation
of quarterback ratings in the Season Mode.
- Added a guess on how the Season Mode might
choose which team is Player 1 in a two-player

Miscellaneous stuff:
- Many wording and other miscellaneous cleanups
including spelling mistakes, minor corrections,
abbreviation changes.
- Using more ratings & abbreviations after the Roster
- Changed all occurrences of "split-I" to be "Strong-I"
to be compatible with Madden NFL 2000 =-O Also made
instead of "stats", "ratings", when talking about
Maximum Speed, etc.
- Added some more race defect notes to Shotgun plays
across the entire FAQ.
- Added my experience with five guys getting injured
in The Roster.
- Corrected some mistakes in the ratings section and
added notes there as well.
- Switched Warren Moon and Dan Marino as the starting
quarterbacks in the AFC's Best Team (because Dan can
be hit with the NTD more easily than Moon) in Pro Bowl.
I also switched out Mike Pagel with Jeff George and
Rich Gannon with Jeff Hostetler.
- Cleaned up the "worst team" part.

Version 4:

A lot of this is just redundant stuff that I added
for your convenience.

Stuff from the Tecmo manual:
- You can get out of Auto skip by repeatedly
pressing B. (Basic Instructions)
- "There is a high probability that the Returner
will be injured." (Mechanics & Season Game)
- Skip halftime by pressing B. (Basic Instructions)
- "Some players will need three games to recover from
their injuries." (Mechanics & Season Game)

Stuff with Jason Tcheng's assistance:
- Noted that T Fake Sweep R is sometimes call-safe to
Section 4.
- Edited out the "crackback block" assumption as to
the actual name of the lateral slide that blows away
- Changed the "Funky Triangle Shaped Formation" to
Split-I, but kept Paul's "staggered back" hypothesis.
- Concept of "twins".

Courtesy of Jeff Gaffney:
- Added a difference in Sound 1 and Sound 3 to the
Basic Instructions.

Stuff from Stonecutter/Hoby Brenner:
- Coach mode doesn't make players speed up in the season.
- Added cross-body block nomenclature to Mechanics.

Tips from XRayMind:
- Reminded me to put in the "cut back" trick for slowing
down Player 2 in the Tweaking The Tecmo section.
- Game Genie codes for time added.

My junk:
- Added Rumours And Myths section.
- Destroyed the Codes, Cheats, and Carrots section, and
put its remainder in the Other section.
- Added ID/Kill Lists section, with a "twin" idea from
Jason Tcheng.
- Updated Credits and Links to include new contributors
and my webpage.
- Added some suggested substitution stuff to The Roster
- Added that your players' condition changes at the
beginning of every quarter to The Roster.
- Added a lot of stuff on kicking a field goal to
Special Teams, in addition to some extra info on count
kicks for kickoffs and punts.
- Discerned the lineups on special teams.
- Added a Defensive Shift list.
- Explained why I don't identify the fullback in Section
4 instead of RB #2.
- Added a tactic for Top Handoff Plays to Section 4.
- Divided up certain plays in Section 4 and corrected
some diagrams:
     - Run And Shoot Sweep Left and Right
     - Onesetback L and FB Offtackle L (with Jason
     - Also fixed Shotgun 3-Wing.
- All of the One Man Shift play diagrams were either
fixed or adjusted and that whole part has been
refinished accordingly. Also, the Playbooks section
on these plays has been made over as well.
- Got some more defensive shifts on Flea Flicker and
No Back X Deep, as well as Redgun Z Slant.
- Added a nice tip about bad players' stats to the
Pro Bowl.
- Added some info on Coach mode to the Season mode.
- Added "Knock Off Lineman Blockers On Run Plays",
"When Not The QB, Hit A", "Cover A Fumble With A 
Slide Tackle", "Two-Tap Field Goals And 
Punts", "Check Your Returner's Condition" and two
forbidden tactics, "Look At Your Opponent's Controller" 
and "Look At Your Opponent's Face/Eyes" (with XRayMind)
to Tweaking The Tecmo.
- Added a ranking of plays for each slot in the playbook
to Playbook Combinations.
- Got pessimistic in the Playbooks section.
- Added the fact that players will change formation
depending on the shift of the ball in Mechanics.
- Added that players always appear white on the field
when they get injured.
- Added explanation of my criterion for bugs in
Bugs And Weird Stuff.
- Added a note that there are variants of the super
jump bug to Bugs And Weird Stuff.
- Added wrong man catching bug to Bugs And Weird Stuff.
- LT fumble bug added to Bugs and Weird Stuff.
- Added quarterback computer control bug to Bugs And
Weird Stuff.
- Added a worst teams section to the Press Conference.
- The best teams section in the Press Conference was
revised to include the Raiders.

Version 3:

Paul's additions and "point-ups":

- Added notes about bouncing punts to Punts and
to Bugs and Weird Stuff.
- Added notes about the crackback block (the
lateral slide thing that computer controlled 
players do) to Mechanics and to Bugs and Weird
- Added a tip to the motion plays about sending
extra blockers after human players.
- Stuff on Moonwalking. 
- Bugged me to put in Autoskip Cancel (hold B
- Other fixes and suggestions. 

My junk:

- Added the Rushing And Blitzing section.
- Added the Codes, Cheats, and Carrots section.
- Added the Taunts section.
- Added the Games With Tecmo section.
- Indexed the Press Conference section. I indexed
some other things too, but I don't remember what
they were, since I didn't add them in here when I
did so.  
- Fixed a stupid diagram error on R&S Sweep
- Fixed a stupid little typo in the Computer Behavior
section of Mechanics.
- Fixed a formatting error.
- Clarified a part on motion and early snaps and
their effect on receivers. 
- Added some things to the above Legal Statement. 
- Changed Links and Credits to better reflect the
hoss nature of Paul's newer version Tecmo FAQ,
as well as my own developed stats.
- Updated Personals and added a new question.
- Added a comment to the Tecmo Passing Study about
Jerry Rice's actual reception rate.
- Re-ranked a TON of stats in the Roster section,
according to my research and to a general better
sense of what makes good players in Tecmo.
- Added a big glunk of junk to the Roster section,
including expanded stats and conditions, and took
that stuff out of Basic Instructions.
- Added some extra point notes. 
- Refined a field goal rushing tactic in Special 
- Added a ton of comments and small tactics to
many plays in the On The Field section.
- Added two new tactics to the HATS Plays of the 
Onesetback formation.
- Added diagrams for all the HATS Plays tactics. 
- Adjusted the Playbook section accordingly,
re-ranking a playbook, adding another, and changing
some comments.
- Added a good tactic against Pitch L Open. 
- Added a new Defensive Shift:
     -  (OF) Flea Flicker & (DF) WTE Offtackle R 
- Added a tip about changing your players in a 
game to both Season Game and to the Tweaking the
Tecmo section, under "Work Around 'Scratch' Players".
- Added some stuff about the Pro Bowl rosters and
the Pro Bowl stats to the Pro Bowl section.
- Changed a formation in Playbook Combinations to
better suit my recent research.
- Added notes about the hitting power of your backs
to the Playbook Combinations section for R&S and
Shifting Onesetback formations.
- Added "Set Your Backups To The Return" to
Tweaking The Tecmo.
- Added a tip about moving out of bounds to the
tip in Tweaking The Tecmo, "Run Along The Sidelines
To Suppress Fumbles", "Call Plays That Cover For 
Others", "Watch For Blocking" and added a little note 
to "Ways To Waste Time" about passing. 
- Added some nice ones to the Bugs And Weird Stuff
section, like Rice's over the line catch and the
weirdest little bug ever seen, as well as the
"invisible" bug, which I should have put in there
- Added comments on fumbles and injuries to 
Mechanics, as well as some clarified stuff on
hitting power and contact, as well as how people
get up after getting slammed.
- Added explanation of ball possession to Mechanics
and added a pointer to mechanics, courtesy of Paul.
- Added how far a punt will fly to and some notes 
on pitches to Mechanics. 
- Added a new playbook, 2 & 2, to the Playbook
Combinations section. 
- Added some things for some things on how to make
Tecmo harder, and for helping novices, as well as 
a dissertation on the nose tackle dive and other
tactics to the Press Conference section, and 
revised the "best teams" notes. 
- Added that you have the names of the runners of
plays in the playbook screen.
- Added some new humour, which is not as atrocious
as last version's.

Version 2:

- Added this section.
- Added the Bugs And Weird Stuff section.
- Added the (preliminary) Mechanics section.
- Deleted Plays For The Tecmoers Of Tomorrow section
because I thought it was stupid and didn't really
do anything for me.  
- Divided up the Special Teams section into parts on
kicking and each side's tactics. This information was
already there, but I wanted to make it easier to find. 
- Added new punt tactics.
- Totally reordered the On The Field: Offense And 
Defense By Play section based on the number of 
plays in each formation. 
- Added indices to the plays and formations, as well
as to the whole On The Field: Offense And Defense
By Play section. 
- Added Passing Order for all pass plays. 
- Added Defensive Shifts and noted them on these 
     - (OF) Flea Flicker & (DF) FB Offtackle R
     - (OF) No Back X Deep & (DF) Oneback Sweep R
     - (OF) Oneback Z Cross & (DF) Any Defensive
        Pass Play Call Except For Oneback Z Cross
       (not noted except in Oneback Z Cross)
     - (OF) Redgun Z Slant & ??? (see play for 
- Added new defensive tactic for Pro T Waggle L.
- Added new defensive tactic for T Cross Run L,
thanks to Paul Schulzetenberg. 
- Extracted the General Comments for Set 2: 
Handoff After The Snap Plays from Power Fake Z Post.
- Added new defensive tactic for Power Fake Z Post
and Power Fake X Fly. 
- Big changes to the Shotgun Formation. Several play
diagrams were wrong and were changed; new race
defects were discovered; and the descriptions and
tactics were updated accordingly.
- Added new defensive options for Shotgun Sweep L. 
- Indexed Tweaking The Tecmo.
- Added On Called Run Plays, Move Through The Gaps,
Change Your Lineup, and Vary Your Hike Time With 
Shifting Plays to Tweaking The Tecmo.
- Added Formation Combinations to Playbook 
- Changed a ranking in Playbook Combinations.
- Added an interesting fact about David Meggett to
the Press Conference.
- Noted Vance Johnson as one who plays a position
and kicks and returns in the Press Conference.
- Officially recognized the Giants as the best team
in Tecmo in the Press Conference.
- Reorganized the Basic Instructions section and
added some tidbits. 
- Added a "Tecmo Passing Study" to this section.
- Fixed up a few things and cleaned up a lot.
- Added some dreadful humour; it's even worse than 
the last version's. 

Version 1: 

- Trashed "Version 0" TSB FAQ due to inferiority and
- Could not then update FAQ, due to lack of existing
FAQ. Thanks to Leif Powers for helping me with this!!!

"Version 0":

- Vaporware FAQ created and left sitting for six


TSB Message Boards - Tons of support and guidance
and ideas.
Paul Schulzetenberg - For putting a fire in my belly
to make this FAQ as good as it is and to improve it,
and for making a great documentation (still improving)
of the original Tecmo rosters. (edgarffvi@yahoo.com)
He also has given a great tip on T Cross Run L, and
a bunch of other things which are credited 
where they are placed. He writes an excellent 1991
Tecmo FAQ which you MUST read if you are interested
in the original rosters. He's also helped me edit and
correct my FAQ. My FAQ (I hope) is more useful than
his FAQ, but his is purely objective and has some
very interesting ratings measures so give it a 
Steven Maltby - For giving me his cart of TSB,
helping me become proficient, and being a good sport
even when I'm not.
Michael Christen <- elite competition. Great sport.
Jason Tcheng - See Version 4 Updates above.
Jeff Gaffney - See Version 4 and Version 5 Updates above,
let me use his Pro Bowl rosters.
XRayMind - See Version 4 Updates above.
Matt Knobbe - See Version 5 Updates above. Many
nice tactics and inspiration.
j<13 a's>y - See Version 5 Updates above.

Notable Longer-Lasting Links

My Video Games Homepage

This is my personal Tecmo page. As such, it's got
my FAQs on it, Paul's FAQ on it, and a ton of
other information including accounts of my seasons
and other video game info. 

Tecmo Repository
This is Matt Knobbe's site, great message board.
Also some downloads and some very interesting 
things on other Tecmo games.

Gamefaqs.com - TSB message board
Decent message board.

This is Gaffney's site, just a great all-around
Tecmo page.

Things Not Done

specialized playbooks against certain lacking defenses
(in roster section, with references to that in this part?)
Elijah's ST stuff?

 Putting down play numbers everywhere, other compilations.
 Doing total tactics testing for plays that are
 fundamentally weak (i.e. no-holds-barred players can
 destroy them without using linemen dives).
 Position profile for tactics and strategy.
 Synch section 4 with ID/Kill lists/player tactics lists.
 Put in more detailed tactics for good playbooks -
      have "call plays" "form tactics"
      "good/bad player tips".
 More diagrams esp. for killing plays?
 Stats on effective plays and playbooks, i.e. how many
      you should learn, how many effective ones there are
      singly, how many in multiple.

Studies Not Done:
 Expand Tecmo Passing Study?
 Dirty Play Study.
 Head Turn/Defense Altering Study. (this may be true)
 Jump Ball Study.
 Diving Pass Study.
 Test out "just-in-time" INT theory.
 Find out whether being in front or in back of a receiver
      makes you more or less likely to pick off the ball.
 Full stat limits.
 Fumble Study.

How To Get

Gamestop pretty much has a stranglehold over national used-game sales,
but they do have some games there. However, their ordering system is messed
both online and in-store, so sometimes shopping around their stores works.

eBay has always been a place where you can get used games but beware,
sometimes people will rip you off, so look for good feedback.

The phone book is also a place you can look for used-game outlets in your

There are obviously other places, these are just the notorious/general ones.

How To Use

See Basic Instructions. Insert it in the NES and go.

Codes, Cheats, And Carrots

This section contains some useful codes that I have
dredged up from the depths.

Some good Game Genie codes -
SXNXPZVG - Stop time (you have to reset the game to
stop playing)
From XRayMind's list:
APUXLZIA - 10 minutes per quarter instead of 5
PUXLZIA - 15 minutes per quarter
AZUXLZIA - 20 minutes per quarter
ZAUXLZIA - 2 minutes per quarter

Something else weird (from Paul's FAQ) - You can play
as the Bills (or AFC Team #1) all throughout the 
playoffs - in every game. If you have a team that does
not get a division champion title until after all of
Week 17 is over, then you hit Reset as they clinch the
title (during the cinema sequence), the Bills will be 
in every slot in the playoffs. Have fun!!


1.  Introduction

"They made a game, and called it Tecmo."

	I'm still writing this because sooner or later I'll 
forget all the crazy things I've learned about the 
brilliant game known as Tecmo Super Bowl for the 
Nintendo Entertainment System. Feel free to e-mail me with 
whatever you have come up with, great plays, suggestions, 
criticisms, whatever. Credit will be provided, of 
course. There are probably a few less errors in
this than before. Bear with me, and help me out if I
screwed up. 

2. The Roster

"He was made to march before the team."

This thing now has three parts:

Player And Roster Comments
The Ratings Explained

Player And Roster Comments

The most important thing about your roster in Tecmo 
is to always put in the best people for any given 
position. Sounds fair enough. However, not only do 
you have to watch your players' conditions in a 
season mode, you must also put in backups
automatically in some cases. For instance, Lorenzo 
White of the Oilers, "Butterfingers", is useless as a 
running back even though he can run and catch 
and especially for that Oilers team, block well. 
A good idea is to switch in Gerald McNeil or Allen 
Pinkett, both of whom have far better Ball Control. 

Moreover, in a Preseason or Pro Bowl game, where
injuries are not a consideration, you should put in 
your best running backs (or receivers or tight ends) to 
return the ball if that will yield an improvement in
special teams. However, do be aware that sometimes your
best players like Jerry Rice and Bo Jackson are far
worse than guys like John Taylor and Tim Brown on
returns even though their stats might be better. This 
is due to unknown factors in the game.

For some teams, you can also switch around your
players for a given play, or even just to eliminate a
bad  player, as above, like a slow fullback (an almost 
useless oddity in Tecmo). The position a person 
originally plays has no effect on their ability to
play others, although a receiver would have a hard
time being a fullback because of low Hitting Power,
for example. So you can, for instance, put in
faster receivers for a bad fullback (but make sure 
that they have good Ball Control).

There are some substitutions that you usually end
up wanting to make. These include: slow fullbacks
switched with backups or the tight end; low
Ball Control running backs put at tight end or 
benched altogether; and running backs or tight
ends with high Receptions switched into the WR
slots. Also, you may switch quarterbacks if you
think you can get a speed advantage on the run,
even if the passing stats are slightly worse.
If your returners' Ball Control dips below 50,
you should probably bench them too, especially
for the punt returner, as you tend to give up a
TD every time he loses the ball.

I made a priority list of what I look for in any 
particular position (or would look for, but some of 
these Tecmo league people who trade non-
changeable players might care). Here it is. Note 
that these rankings reflect the general tendencies
of players. For instance, if I actually found a
lineman with great Interceptions, I would take him
almost irrespective of his other statistics, but
because that doesn't usually happen, I rank the 
stats according to, in part, the variances that
such statistics usually have. Rushing Power is
another one because that usually tends to be
quite high or quite low. Sometimes you have players
like Lonnie Young or Bob Nelson with bizzare ratings
like high RP or Running Speed; evaluate them 
individually for your playing style. Sometimes they
are better and sometimes not.

1. Pass Speed (this helps so much against a human 
player controlling a fast defender)
2. Pass Control (this is by far the most dominant
stat - take a look at QB Browns)
3. Maximum Speed (mobility is a dynamite weapon 
against the other team's short yardage game)
4. Pass Accuracy
5. Running Speed (this and MS are great for using
cheap QB sneaks that get tons of yardage, but
only if you have enough of them to make your
QB a good runner, like QB Eagles. Otherwise,
they make you mobile, but not a large force on
the run)
6. Avoid Pass Block
7. Hitting Power
8. Rushing Power

Running Backs:
1. Maximum Speed
2. Ball Control
3. Hitting Power 
4. Receptions
5. Running Speed
6. Rushing Power

Wide Receivers:
1. Receptions
2. Maximum Speed
3. Hitting Power (so he can't get blown up on
running downs and you have to avoid him)
4. Running Speed
5. Ball Control
6. Rushing Power

Tight Ends:
1. Hitting Power
2. Receptions
3. Maximum Speed
4. Ball Control
5. Running Speed
6. Rushing Power
Note that for TEs, it really depends on your system
what you want. I noted down here a stereotypical
ranking for a TE, but if you send him deep a lot and
throw to him you definitely want more MS out of him.
Use your judgement.

Offensive Linemen:
1. Hitting Power
2. Maximum Speed
3. Running Speed
4. Rushing Power

Defensive Linemen:
1. Hitting Power
2. Maximum Speed
3. Rushing Power (see Bob Nelson)
4. Running Speed
5. Interceptions
6. Quickness (nobody knows what this stat does -
just ignore it)

1. Hitting Power
2. Maximum Speed
3. Interceptions (this is a big factor for the ILBs
who don't typically rush the passer - if you have
guys like this you can go out with a 5th DB many
times for free)
4. Rushing Power
5. Running Speed
6. Quickness (nobody knows what this stat does -
just ignore it)

Defensive Backs (Cornerbacks/Safeties):
1. Interceptions (this is what they do after all...)
2. Maximum Speed
3. Hitting Power
4. Rushing Power
5. Running Speed
6. Quickness (nobody knows what this stat does -
just ignore it)

1. Kicking Ability
2. Avoid Kick Block
3. Maximum Speed
4. Running Speed
5. Hitting Power
6. Rushing Power

Same As Kickers

Kick Returners:
1. Ball Control
2. Maximum Speed
3. Hitting Power
4. Running Speed
5. Rushing Power
6. Receptions (I have yet to see a returner drop the 
ball - even if people don't even get to the "X" on
the field they will still catch the ball - this has
happened with a punt return (bouncing punt phenomenon).

Punt Returners:
Same As Kick Returners

Note that with those returners individual evaluation
will be the best thing for them.

The Ratings Explained

Everyone's Ratings:
Running Speed (RS): This is how fast a person initially 
runs. It doesn't build, though. A person can have 100 
of this, but if their Maximum Speed is 25, they will be
quite slow.
Rushing Power (RP): This is how fast they speed up. 
According to Paul, most all offensive players have 69 
Rushing Power in Tecmo 1991 (I believe him, by the way).
Maximum Speed (MS): Self-explanatory. This is what you
want to maximize, so to speak, when you want a 
burning-rubber back or WR. I believe this stat also 
regulates how fast a defender moves through the program 
for the play, such as going from standing like a doofus 
to rushing the QB.
Hitting Power (HP): How well a player struggles and 
knocks off opposing players. The strength of the
player is determined by this stat and how fast you hit 
the A button. 

QB Ratings:
Pass Speed (PS): Self-explanatory. This is exponentially
useful, unlike the other passing stats, because the
faster you can get the ball to the receiver, the less
coverage will show up to cause problems, and the
lesser the possibility that a human will be able to
cover you. This also seems to exert an effect on
completions and interceptions: the more Speed, the
more completions and less interceptions, even in
Pass Control (PC): How well the pass makes it to the
receiver. This is more important than Pass Accuracy
for determining where the ball goes and for
interceptions; this emphasizes where the ball goes
and whether the receiver catches the ball vs. the
Pass Accuracy (PA): This shares duties of pass
controlling, completions, and interceptions with Pass
Control, but this is weaker in sum total, focusing more
on receptions by either the defender or the receiver
(case in point: Jim Harbaugh)
Avoid Pass Block (APB): When this is high, close
defenders won't hit the ball as much.

RB/WR/TE Ratings:
Ball Control (BC): The more Ball Control a player has,
the less fumbles he will have.
Receptions (RC): High Receptions means a lot of caught
balls. It also makes it less likely that the defender
will pick it off in coverage.

Kicker/Punter Ratings:
Kicking Ability (KA): This determines how accurate the
kick will be (for field goals and extra points) as well
as how far out you can kick a field goal without the ball
faltering before it gets to the uprights. For a punter,
the kicking ability rating determines how far the punter
can kick the ball given a power bar of a certain
Avoid Kick Block (AKB): Self-explanatory. Doesn't matter
for punters.

Defender Stats:
(Pass) Interceptions (PI): The higher this is, the more
interceptions a person will get if the ball is in the
vicinity. Also controls if the receiver will not catch
the ball.
Quickness : This rating is very controversial. I however
now believe, taking a look at the rosters, that it does
play some role in the game. Players who are often said to
be "possessed" without special assistance have very high
Quickness, such as Lawrence Taylor and Rod Woodson. The
players that really make me believe that this rating could
be meaningful are Darrell Green and Wayne Haddix, who have
very similar movement ratings except for Quickness. I
certainly remember how much more "possessed" Haddix is as
compared to Green. This rating particularly makes a
difference when players enter the 75-81 range, as they seem
nearly invincible. Further, I believe that it also influences
the amount of autodiving that a defender will do in response
to an unstoppable reception, by allowing the defender to
autodive less at large distances, and to close more rapidly
when the pass arrives. But your guess is still probably as
good as mine.

Note: Both Pass Accuracy and Quickness are said not to
make emulator games go out of sync, i.e. there isn't a
change in field events due to these factors. However, there
is a lot of evidence to suggest that these things really do
matter, even if it's just a little.


There are certain conditions that players go through
during the course of a season: Bad, Average, Good,
and Excellent. A player's default statistics are at
Average. Each condition has a particular decrement
or increment (of 6 or 7) for each stat; Bad has
one increment lower for each attribute from Average,
Good has one increment higher, and Excellent has
two increments higher. These improve or diminish a
player's abilities. Numbers on the slider:
6 - 13 - 19 - 25 - 31 - 38 - 44 - 50 - 56 - 63 - 69 -
75 - 81 - 94 - 100

Conditions shift during games, even Preseason ones
(and Pro Bowl games, but the actual Condition will not
change, even though the stats go up or down a notch).
They change every time a new quarter begins, so that's
when you want to go inquire. This is something you have
to watch out for and take into account (see the "scratch"
tip in Tweaking The Tecmo). You want to adjust your
rosters accordingly. For defensive players, you want to
not take chances early in a quarter if you are borderline
on throwing a player.
PLUS, the conditions change even BEFORE the game begins,
both on offense and defense (as per the quarter changes).
Beware. However, it's not known whether or not this
affects how the player plays, as far as their actual
performance is concerned.


3. Special Teams

"Tecmo has been ruled by special teams so long that 
people have forgotten what's special about that."

This section is divided into three parts:

1. Kickoffs
2. Punts
3. Field Goals/Extra Points

1. Kickoffs

     ROLB                       TE
      RILB            RB#2
      LILB        RB#1        C
  K             QB                  LT Returner
      LOLB        WR#1        LG
      RCB             WR#2
     LCB                        RG

Amazingly enough, if you set one of the RBs, WRs,
or TEs to the returner slot, they will also
appear in their normal place in the lineup,
meaning that you have two of the same player on
the field. This would be one argument for setting
Okoye to the return, except that Christian would
get injured during a season game too much
considering he is a cog on the offense. Wonder
how they check both of those guys in.

Kicking The Ball

The best thing for a kick is obviously practice,
because it makes it much easier to kick full-power
without a ton of onsides. If you're playing against a
good opponent, you may not even want to try for full.
Also, if you have a comparatively fast defensive
special teams unit and a great defense in general,
and the opponent has a bad kicker, you may want to
onside kick and get the periodic turnover. A good way 
to get the best onside kick is to go for a full-power 
kick and then halt for a split second before pressing 
the button.
Most of the time, you will always want to boot it, but
occasionally getting it to the ten or twenty-yard
line is better for stopping long returns. However,
never kick it with less power than that, because
some of your kicking team players will just sit
there and do nothing if you kick it too lightly
(but onside kicks will always make every player
go for the ball). Some people like to go for full
every time and it can work for you, but against
fast offenses, that won't go over so well because
you won't have much of a chance to recover the
onside kick every now and then that results from
going for full and missing. Again, practice is the

Returning The Kickoff

To return the kick with a computer opponent, try to 
move into the middle of the field to avoid getting cut 
off. If the kick was only at moderate power, some of 
the defenders will simply stay put and not even move 
until you pass them up. Simply use the usual dodging 
tactics to move upfield. With a human opponent, just 
attempt to put blockers between yourselves, since the 
human can not only tackle you, but slow you down 
enough to let the dumb computer players slide tackle
you. You can also engage and attempt to shove his 
man off, but with a kick where everyone is fast this is
rather risky. Try to run past guys who aren't engaged
in a struggle so that they pick up some of the guys
trying to tackle you.

Defending Against The Return

As far as defending the return goes, simply don't 
move too far ahead of the crowd unless you have a 
fast kicker with good Hitting Power, because you'll 
get knocked over pretty quickly. As you move in, hit 
the slide tackle button (B) repeatedly to avoid getting 
blocked early in the return. Also, if you start getting
pounded, hit A instead to struggle. Hitting either button
seems to make a difference. :) One key element to
remember is that if you are trying to penetrate the 
defense, run your kicker down between the gaps in the
return team's blockers. With a human, make 
sure that when you catch up you can either unavoidably 
slide tackle, struggle his man down, or have enough 
support around to make the tackle for you. 
Otherwise, you'll be immobilized and make it three 
times easier for your opponent to return the ball.
If you can't make the stop, just be a nuisance for him
and try to drive him into your guys.

2. Punts


          WR#1 RCB

      RB#2      ROLB
          LT  RE      FS
          LG     RILB
P           C NT
    RB#1  RG     LILB
          RT  LE      Returner
      TE       LOLB
          WR#2 LCB

Kicking The Punt

A punt is an extremely difficult kickoff. Practice such 
that you can kick the ball on the first charge of the 
meter - usually a count of two will yield a decently
powerful kick. Try to synch your count with the 
power bar.

The longest a normal punt can go is about 80 yards,
a little more sometimes, but 85/86 is about
the best you can get in Tecmo, but your limit
would be 90ish if you had a punter that could
reach 100 Kicking Ability.
The shortest a punt can go is about 20 yards
with a 6 Kicking Ability punter, possibly a 
little less if you get lucky. 

Note that when you punt, you know for sure that you
can't be blocked. Sometimes by waiting, you can get
your guys to beat down some of their guys, and that
will let them run the instant you kick the ball.
Therefore, sometimes you want to wait. Other times,
they are better than you are at coming through, so
you want to kick it the normal way so that you get
less free punt return guys.
In either case, after you kick it, dodge anybody
that may be hurtling for you, then free up at least
the boys that are right next to you. This way, you
will create a mob of punt coverage men that will
mangle the punt returner and recover the ball easily
if he fumbles. Then follow them downfield.
If you have a very fast RB such as Bo Jackson, he
will get downfield much more quickly than the other
cover men, and can even hit the PR right after he
catches the ball.

Returning The Punt

On the return, you only have one blocker usually, so 
try at first to maneuver behind him to stall some of 
the faster defenders, then take off in one direction 
and stick to it, unless you can get out into the open 
and start using the usual dodges and evasions. Three 
general situations can be used to determine what you 
should do next:

1. No One Out There

When you get the ball and nearly no one is after you,
simply run straight ahead and wait until people come
on screen. When they appear, then go into normal 
dodging tactics, attempting to put everyone behind

2. A Few Pursuers

If there are a few men coming after you, first move
down to the side you don't want to advance
to (i.e. if you're going to go up and then run, move
down, and vice versa). Then, reverse 
direction and move past the people that have moved
down to try and catch you. Begin the normal dodging

3. A Mob Thinks You've Stolen Their Football

If a slew of people at lightning speed are coming
after you, being perhaps less than 15 yards from
you when you catch the ball, simply take what you
can get and move straight ahead into the legion of
oncoming trains (some call them football players). 

Other methods of escaping, more hazardous, exist. One
way of evading the attack is to move backwards and
attempt to dodge the defenders, then go around them 
once they have dispersed and lost a good deal of their 
unity. However, one of the drawbacks of this method is 
its requirement for a faster returner, and if you are 
lacking in that department, don't even think about 
pulling a stunt like that. Another method of dealing
with a crowd is to move into them and run through a 
hole in their advance. This tactic is dangerous because 
you can get caught in a struggle (although a 
returner with high hitting power can lessen this risk),
and also because the defenders have a good opportunity
to slide tackle you. The benefit of this method lies 
in the possibility that all slide at you at once and
take themselves out in one fell swoop, or even that a
few of them do, and lessen the difficulty of running.


Make sure to use the blocker in front of you if you
can. You won't always get the most yardage that way,
but sometimes it is worth delaying a little in order
to maneuver a guy into him. Make sure you know how
strong your guy is, though, before trying this.
If your blocker is weak, there won't be any point to
doing this because he'll just get bowled over. The
blocker is the FS, so he's the guy you want to
check on.

Defending Against The Punt

Tackling a returner is no problem against a computer and 
usually easy against a human if you have enough hitting 
power and teammates to take the man down. If the 
returner doesn't have a lot of people moving in on him, 
simply be patient and let your fellow teammates catch 
up before you take him down. 

3. Field Goals/Extra Points

        RB#1       RE
             WR#1  NT   LCB
             WR#2  LE
             TE    ROLB
K   QB         C 
             LG    RILB      SS
             RG    LILB
             LT    LOLB FS
        RT         RCB

Kicking The Field Goal

A field goal is a piece of cake if you simply aim once 
and aim correctly.

Position: To align yourself properly for a 
field goal, get tackled in the middle of the field, if
at all possible, because that will make your life 
easier if you are close to the uprights. If not, don't
worry about it or spend a trash down just moving into
the middle of the field that could be better spent on
trying to get a first down or a touchdown. 

Aiming: You always want to get the tip of the kicking
arrow straight in a line with the fingers of the 
ballholder that are shown before the snap. One good way
of keeping track of them is to make a line about three
to five yards away from them and keeping your eyes on
a point on that line as your kicking arrow shows up.
Once that arrow comes into line with those fingers,
kick. The lag on the kick is pretty negligible, so
work on getting it in the right place rather than 
trying to lead the arrow. You want to try and get the
ball in between the outstretched fingers and the end
of the hand. If you are far from the goal posts, you
should also err on the side to which the ball will
have to go, i.e. if you're shifted to the top, err
to the bottom, and if you're shifted to the bottom,
err to the top. But don't do that too much, because
you can still very well miss.

Timing: When you kick, don't just sit there like a 
doofus and dawdle your time away. The arrow should not
rebound more than twice from the extremes of the kick.
What you need for most situations is one-rebound aim. 
You need to locate the arrow as it comes down from
the snap and keep track of it as it comes back up into
your aiming line that you made with the fingers of the
holder. If you're trying to be a Tecmo master, then
you need to get a count kick, where you count off a
fraction of a second and then kick right there without
even looking at the cursor. Your timing will take care
of the aiming by itself. That takes some practice,
though. Most of the time, the rush will not be able to
stop you on one-rebound kicks. However, there are
exceptions to this, such as a MAN controlled Lawrence
Taylor. If you can pick up the skill to kick it if
it's straight on before it rebounds, that is very
useful against great teams.

Here are some kicking ranges for you:
0-10 yard line: Basically impossible to miss.
10-15 yard line: Begins to be possible to miss, but you
need pressure and a wide kick.
15-20 yard line: You can miss with pressure and a sloppy
kick or with a wide kick.
20-45 yard line: You need to aim on these for sure.
45-or-more yard line: You really need to think about
whether or not you should kick from here. If your kicker
has a high Kicking Ability, you can boot it from the 50
yard line, but if he doesn't, then he will start to miss
kicks from here due to the kick not being powerful enough
to reach the uprights (Al del Greco, for instance, will 
start missing at the 35). Whether a player will not be 
able to make the range is a combination of ability and 
luck, just as with normal kicks.

The best kickers can kick field goals with the offensive
line of scrimmage on the kicking team's 40 yard line.
However, not all kickers can kick from this distance.
Practice in advance to know your kicker's range and 
know that your kicker's condition may change during the
game, so don't push it too much.

A side note: if your field goal is blocked, it won't
show up as either a made kick or a miss, it will just be
as if you never kicked it.

Defending Against The Field Goal
To defend against a field goal, simply tap the A 
button three times to find the fourth man on the line
from the top, who happens to be the top linebacker. This 
is about the only person who can consistently get inside 
in a reasonable time frame to block a kick. Simply run 
straight ahead until you are almost at the ballholder,
then move down and into the ball holder to tackle him.
If you get held up, attempt to wrestle off the 
blocker, though that is rarely possible before the kick 
comes off. You can still block the kick in a struggle if 
you're close enough to the ball. If you manage to tackle
the ballholder, you will get possession of the football,
even if it's not fourth down (thanks for the heads-up,
Tommy Agee).
Another way to do it is to use the LILB. There is a
crease in the line when the play starts and you can 
punch yourself up in there if you have a fast LILB. The
best way to do it is to watch a few kicks and see the
line move, then try it out, the timing is very tricky
and it's not close to 100%, but it certainly can be done.
I've even seen some people try using the RCB down low.
If he's in EXCELLENT and he's a great player he can
rush the kicker - Deion Sanders once blocked one of my
field goals.
Also, if the guy you play against takes a long time to
kick, and you have a guy close to you who is fast, you
can try and free him up and let him attack the ball.

Everyone - LISTEN UP!!!

One thing that is worth mentioning is that you can 
pick up a blocked field goal ball, unlike most 
situations where a player cannot pick up a fumble. So 
get the bloody ball after you knock it out of the air 
and make sure that your opponent doesn't have an 
unimpeded path to the end zone, because little else 
hurts like a field goal recovered by the kicking team 
for a touchdown.  One way that you can tell if there's
been a block early is that the cursor will appear over
the kicker's head before the kick if the field goal
will be blocked. You can pick up a first down from
this distance, and will also retain possession of the
football (unless it is fourth down, in which case it
is a turnover on downs).

Also, the better your kicker is (in terms of accuracy),
the slower the arrow will move back and forth. In
addition, it may not move as far to one side or the
other. Take this into consideration when you kick.

Extra Points

When you kick an extra point, simply hit A as fast as
you can to kick. You almost never miss (I've only 
seen someone miss three times out of thousands of kicks). 
You can get the ball blocked if you let the person
close in, and the ball can swerve and miss more
easily if you let someone in too close. The tactic
for defending an extra point is the same one as for
a field goal.


4. On The Field: Offense And Defense By Play

"In Tecmo, the best defense is a good offense."

This section is organized by formation. Each part will 
be prefaced by an ASCII diagram of a particular 
formation, following by a general discussion of the 
plays and defenses from that formation, and 
concluding with a list of plays in the formation and 
their characteristics. Before this, there is a list of
useful information in understanding the information 
after the useful information in understanding it, 
which makes the information after the useful 
information more useful. To be more concise, this is
the way this section is organized:

Exposition (Useful Information)
T Formation (Plays)
Onesetback Formation
Run And Shoot Formation
Shifting Onesetback Formation
Shotgun Formation
Strong-I Formation
One Man Shift Formation
Shotgun 3-Wing Formation
Slot Formation
WTE Formation
Formation/Play Oneback Z Cross
Formation/Play No Back X Deep
Formation/Play Run And Shoot 3-Wing
Formation/Play Redgun Z Slant

I have also devised some cruel indices for you to use 
in finding and comparing plays.

A notation used in the indices is called the 
Play Number <no. 1 & no. 2>: This refers 
specifically to the way the plays are organized in 
the Tecmo playbook selection screen. The first number 
is the slot in which the play is found in the playbook 
screen, left to right, then top to bottom. For instance, 
the second run slot (with FB Offtackle L) is 2, and 
the third pass slot (with Pro T Flare C) is 7. The 
second number is how many times you have to hit right 
to get to the play once you've selected the slot. For 
instance, in slot 1 (the first run slot), WTE Offtackle 
R is 0, and Run And Shoot Sweep L is 2. Put the number 
of the slot and the number of the play in the slot 
together and you get the play number. For example, WTE 
Offtackle R is 10 and Run And Shoot Sweep L is 12,
while Shotgun X Curl is 60. 

Formation Index:

<Formation, Plays In Formation>
	<Play, Play Number>

Exposition (0 plays)
	<no play> <nonexistent play number>

T Formation (16 plays)

 Pass Set 1: Straight Back Plays
     Pro T Flare C - 74
     Pro T Flare D - 62
     Pro T Screen L - 54
 Pass Set 2: Waggles    
     Pro T Waggle R - 50
     Pro T Waggle L - 56
 Pass Set 3: Other Plays
     T Play Action D - 53
     T Flea Flicker - 76
 Run Set 1: Power Plays
     Cross Offtackle - 32 
     T Offtackle R - 24
     T Sweep Strong - 25
     T Power Sweep R - 17
 Run Set 2: Technical Plays
     Pro T Dive - 42
     T Power Dive - 26
     Reverse Pitch R - 45
     T Cross Run L - 30
     T Fake Sweep R - 16

Onesetback Formation (10 plays)

 Set 1: Top Handoff Plays
     Reverse-Fake Z Post - 81
     WR Reverse R - 43
     Pitch L Fake - 21
 Set 2: Handoff After The Snap Plays
     Power Fake Z Post - 66
     Power Fake X Fly - 77
     Onesetback L - 11
     FB Offtackle L - 27
 Set 3: All Other Plays
     X Out And Fly - 80
     Oneback Flare A - 65
     Pitch L Open - 33

Run And Shoot Formation (8 plays)

     Run And Shoot Y Up - 87
     Run And Shoot Z Fly - 61
     Run And Shoot Flare C - 57
     Run And Shoot QB Sneak - 40
     Run And Shoot QB Run - 46
     Run And Shoot Draw - 20
     Run And Shoot Left - 12
     Run And Shoot Right - 37

Shifting Onesetback Formation (6 plays)

     Playaction Z In - 72
     Roll Out R - 51
     Onesetback Dive - 41
     WR Reverse L - 35
     Oneback Sweep R - 22
     FB Open L - 14

Shotgun Formation (6 plays)

 Formation 1     
     Shotgun X Curl - 60
     Shotgun Draw - 36
 Formation 2
     Shotgun Z S-In - 84
     Shotgun X Drive - 70
 Formation 3
     Shotgun XY Bomb - 86
     Shotgun C Draw - 44

Strong-I Formation (4 plays)

     Offset Flare E - 63
     Play Action - 55
     Toss Sweep R - 15
     FB Power Dive - 43

One Man Shift Formation (4 plays)

     FB Offtackle R - 13
     Weakside Open - 23
     Roll Out L - 52
     Flea Flicker - 73

Shotgun 3-Wing Formation (2 plays)

     Shotgun 3-Wing - 75
     Shotgun Sweep L - 47

Slot Formation (2 plays)

     Slot L Z Drive - 82
     Slot Offtackle - 31

WTE Formation (2 plays)

     WTE Offtackle R - 10
     WTE Flea Flicker - 67

Formation/Play Oneback Z Cross - 64

Formation/Play No Back X Deep - 83

Formation/Play Run And Shoot 3-Wing - 71

Formation/Play Redgun Z Slant - 85

Play Number Index:
64 total plays in 8 slots

XX: Exposition

10: WTE Offtackle R - WTE Formation
11: Onesetback L - Onesetback Formation
12: Run And Shoot Sweep L - Run And Shoot Formation
13: FB Offtackle R - One Man Shift Formation
14: FB Open L - Shifting Onesetback Formation
15: Toss Sweep R - Strong-I Formation 
16: T Fake Sweep R - T Formation
17: T Power Sweep R - T Formation

20: Run And Shoot Draw - Run And Shoot Formation
21: Pitch L Fake - Onesetback Formation
22: Oneback Sweep R - Shifting Onesetback Formation
23: Weakside Open - One Man Shift Formation
24: T Offtackle R - T Formation
25: T Sweep Strong - T Formation
26: T Power Dive - T Formation 
27: FB Offtackle L - Onesetback Formation

30: T Cross Run L - T Formation 
31: Slot Offtackle - Slot Formation
32: Cross Offtackle - T Formation 
33: Pitch L Open - Onesetback Formation
34: WR Reverse R - Onesetback Formation
35: WR Reverse L - Shifting Onesetback Formation
36: Shotgun Draw - Shotgun Formation
37: Run And Shoot Sweep R - Run And Shoot Formation

40: Run And Shoot QB Sneak - Run And Shoot Formation
41: Onesetback Dive - Shifting Onesetback Formation
42: Pro T Dive - T Formation 
43: FB Power Dive - Strong-I Formation
44: Shotgun C Draw - Shotgun Formation
45: Reverse Pitch R - T Formation 
46: Run And Shoot QB Run - Run And Shoot Formation
47: Shotgun Sweep L - Shotgun 3-Wing Formation

50: Pro T Waggle R - T Formation 
51: Roll Out R - Shifting Onesetback Formation 
52: Roll Out L - One Man Shift Formation
53: T Play Action D - T Formation 
54: Pro T Screen L - T Formation 
55: Play Action - Strong-I Formation
56: Pro T Waggle L - T Formation 
57: Run And Shoot Flare C - Run And Shoot Formation

60: Shotgun X Curl - Shotgun Formation
61: Run And Shoot Z Fly - Run And Shoot Formation
62: Pro T Flare D - T Formation 
63: Offset Flare E - Strong-I Formation
64: Formation/Play Oneback Z Cross
65: Oneback Flare A - Onesetback Formation
66: Power Fake Z Post - Onesetback Formation
67: WTE Flea Flicker - WTE Formation

70: Shotgun X Drive - Shotgun Formation
71: Formation/Play Run And Shoot 3-Wing
72: Playaction Z In - Shifting Onesetback Formation 
73: Flea Flicker - One Man Shift Formation
74: Pro T Flare C - T Formation 
75: Shotgun 3-Wing - Shotgun 3-Wing Formation
76: T Flea Flicker - T Formation 
77: Power Fake X Fly - Onesetback Formation

80: X Out And Fly - Onesetback Formation
81: Reverse-Fake Z Post - Onesetback Formation
82: Slot L Z Drive - Slot Formation
83: Formation/Play No Back X Deep
84: Shotgun Z S-In - Shotgun Formation
85: Formation/Play Redgun Z Slant
86: Shotgun XY Bomb - Shotgun Formation
87: Run And Shoot Y Up - Run And Shoot Formation


First, some general definitions and explanations are 

For some receivers, I have listed the number of times
you need to hit A from the beginning of the play
to get to them. Here are some examples:

RB#1 (A 0x) - Don't hit A at all: you already have
the cursor on RB#1.
WR#2 (A 3x) - Hit A three times to get to WR#2.

Remember that you can switch pass with A~B (A then
immediately B) or dupe pass with B~A (B then 
immediately A) so you can switch up how you get
to the receiver in question.

Reversible Play - This is a play that can be changed
by simply making the running back move in a different 
direction, useful against human opponents. 

Call-Safe (AKA Picked Play - Safe or Pick-Safe):

     Player: A call-safe player is someone who can 
generally be thrown to by most offenses and can 
catch the ball whenever a play is called.

     Play: A call-safe play is one with some ways
to get yardage if it is called.  

Nose Tackle Dive (AKA center trick, lurch, NTD, 
center slide, or simply slide): Using the nose tackle,
move in one or two yards down-diagonally inside 
and one or two more straight inside, and sliding into 
the QB/running backs by hitting the B button repeatedly
(and in some cases this means mashing the button, as 
the game does not always appreciate your efforts to
defy physics). In some cases, it is necessary to move
a bit farther in to catch some faster QBs, like Vinny 
Testaverde and QB Eagles, or a little less to hit
slower QBs before they do anything. The NTD is a 
nearly invincible move as is the normal slide, moving
through multiple people with the greatest of ease. 
However you can't rely on it in all situations. 
Typically you can't execute it if the QB has 19 MS or
more. Watch out for changing conditions in each

Passing Order: This is the order of your passing 
targets (receivers). For instance, the first receiver 
is the one the cursor starts on, the second is the one 
that you target after pressing A once, the third twice, 
etc. You loop back to the first receiver after going
through all the receivers.

Race Defect: When I use this term, I mean that a 
play can be discerned from others in its formation
if the races of the people are switched around. When
you look at the lineup of these plays, you will notice
that certain plays have lineups different from some
or all of the others in the formation. This allows you
to discern when a particular play or group of plays
has been called. This weakens the offense and 
strengthens the defense attendant to that play. Note
however that I am not a racist. The reason that this
phenomenon exists is because the people are
switched in position for that particular play, and
this can be noted by looking at the running backs' 
races if they are dissimilar. The plays with a race
defect are:

Pitch L Open (Onesetback Formation)
T Power Dive (T Formation)
Shotgun Plays

The Shotguns are a mess; look in that section for
more about their lineups and resulting race 

Curl-Pass: On some passes a player will curl and
this gives you an opportunity for a throw which
goes to the player, but goes past him, allowing 
for a jump-ball opportunity if you get the streak
target, the receiver's curl target, and the QB's
pass all in a straight line. Also can be used to
get the receiver to go straight on a play where
he usually doesn't, by throwing the ball much
earlier than normal in the play. Does not always 
work and can be stopped if you place your defender 
in the line of the pass. A fairly low-risk maneuver
in general but the pass can definitely be tipped.

Defensive Shift: This is when a certain defender
(usually the RCB) will move along with a moving 
player on the offense when the whole team
is in the lineup before the snap. This allows you
to tell when a certain play has been called so 
that you may act accordingly. However, defensive 
shifts only happen every so often. For most of 
these, though, the shift really doesn't matter
too much, except for Flea Flicker, where it is
terribly important. I only tested rigorously the
shifts for Redgun Z Slant and Oneback Z Cross,
so No Back X Deep and Flea Flicker might be
erroneous, but I doubt it. Here's a list 
of defensive shifts:

Offensive Play - Defensive Play

No Back X Deep - Any Play in Slots 1, 2, 5, 6, and 7
Flea Flicker - Any Play in Slots 1, 4, 5, 6, and 8
Oneback Z Cross - Any (Pass) Play in Slots 5, 7, and 8
Redgun Z Slant - Any Play in Slots 1, 2, 5, 6, and 7

Unless otherwise specified, all of the run plays are
not call-safe, but not necessarily the kiss of 
death. Almost any play in this book, though, can
be call-safe or call-nil in special situations, 
(such as a fast running back or QB and bad defense) 
so for passes, you might want to tap B if you think 
you can get a pass off and for runs you just want to
get as many yards as possible.

Also, not every tactic may work under certain conditions.
For instance, T Offtackle R's LOLB tactic may not work
in the season mode, and neither may Pitch L Open's left
end attack. However, they should be effective in one
way or another most of the time. Sometimes, you will just
get nailed by the CPU, no matter what you do.

When I say that a play has lots of blockers, I mean
that it has free blockers in front of the runner
(I call them "roving blockers"). These are the guys
that take out unnecessary defenders, shield the
runner for a few yards, and pull stuff like blocking
safeties in the back (you should have heard Steven's
indignant protest, "That's ILLEGAL!" when my roving
blockers on a Pitch L Open hit his free safety in the
back - the guy rolled over, too). These guys are
absolute nightmares for a human opponent because they
get in the way of direct confrontations with runners
and receivers.

When there is motion in a play, and you hike the ball
before the people stop moving, the receivers will
still go to the same spots, but the path that they
take will be altered according to their position at
the snap. Paul gives a good tip on using this to your
advantage: if your opponent is using a lineman or
linebacker, you can "send" a player after him by
hiking the ball when the person's running path
coincides with that of your opponent. I'm laughing
just thinking about it.

In here there are references to freeing up your boys,
those are not guaranteed, especially in Season Mode.

RB#1 (also RB #1 - in other parts of the FAQ, the
space is sometimes used for better readability) is
the first running back in the lineup and likewise with
WR#1 (also WR #1 for example).

I left RB #2 as RB #2 instead of calling him the
fullback because it's more compatible with the list
below. Moreover, some teams don't have fullbacks so...

One thing that is not really an explanation of this
per se, but that is quite useful, is who is who in
alternate team lineups, such as four WR/one RB or
three WR/one RB/one TE. The order is the same; it's
just that the names are different. In other words:

Normal Lineup




Three Receivers

RB = RB#1

WR#1 = RB#2
WR#2 = WR#1
WR#3 = WR#2


Four Receivers

RB = RB#1

WR#1 = RB#2
WR#2 = WR#1
WR#3 = WR#2
WR#4 = TE


Does that make sense? I hope so. 

T Formation Plays

RB#1       LT
          QB C
RB#2       RT             


or, for T Power Dive:

RB#2       LT
          QB C
RB#1       RT             

General Comments: For this formation and the next 
one, I have no general overreaching comments for the 
whole set. I have arranged them according to  
peculiar characteristics that each of them have. You'll 
see what I mean when you read them, and the general 
comments for each set are given with that set. There
are five groups for this formation:

Pass Set 1: Straight Back Plays
Pass Set 2: Waggles
Pass Set 3: Other Plays
Run Set 1: Power Plays
Run Set 2: Technical Plays

Pass Set 1: Straight Back Plays

General Comments: All of these plays are good, but 
susceptible to the nose tackle dive and most other 
blitz techniques. Make sure you're prepared to dodge 
any defenders. 

Pro T Flare C:

O          LT--RB#1          \
 \---------LG                ->TE
      QB---O C     RB#2
           RG       /
O          RT      /       
 \                /  
  ----------------       WR#2    

Offense: All people go past the line in this one. Move 
closer to the top to increase your chances of a 
reception to the middle receiver, because as he moves
down he tends to cause quarterbacks trouble in 
passing to him. If you pass to him, make sure you're 
not moving or under significant pressure. You can try
passing to the TE if you roll to the bottom but that
doesn't work as well because you have to basically
give up on WR #1 since you would have to cross-field
pass to him.
You may also be able to get a curl-pass opportunity
to WR #2. 
Call-safe receiver is RB #2 (A 2x).

Call-Safe Receiver:
RB#2 (A 2x)

Passing Order:

Bomb Threats: 

Defense: The one that really has to be watched is the 
tight end that slopes downward. He often shakes 
computer defenders, so oftentimes it's a good idea to 
take someone out and cover him for sure. However if
the QB is trying to run, go after the QB, the TE can't
be hit consistently on the run except by a great QB.

Pro T Flare D:

 --RB#1   O-------------------
/                             \->WR#1
|          TE---------  
O          LT         \
           LG          \
      QB---O C         TE
O          RT
\                ------------
 --RB#2    O----/            \-->WR#2

Note that RB #1 and RB #2 will sometimes run out
of their places and move straight out into the 

Offense: This is a great play in the second 
pass slot. You can almost always find someone open 
with this. If you want short yards, simply pass to the 
running backs on either side of you as quickly as 
possible after the snap for an almost guaranteed 
reception. The tight end moves into the middle about 
two seconds in, so keep him in mind and throw to 
him quickly, because your opponent can see him very
well if he's open. Call-safe receivers are the tight end 
(A 1x), RB #1 (A 3x), and RB #2 (A 4x, if you can do 
that before getting nailed). 
Abuse this play, call it 16 times a drive if you want.
There is almost no wrong that you can do with this
one, either for ball control offense, quick yards,
or crunch time. Just make sure that your opponent isn't
going to NTD you every time.

Call-Safe Receivers:
TE (A 1x)
RB#1 (A 3x)
RB#2 (A 4x)

Passing Order:

Defense: The wild card here is the two running backs 
on either side of the QB. If you move in to directly 
cover one of them, a pass to the other side is 
impossible to stop. Moreover, it leaves you 
susceptible to passes long or in the middle that get 
caught, because you have to run all the way back out 
to stop the receivers. What you should probably do is 
stay right in the middle where the tight end is and
move for whoever catches the ball once the pass is 
thrown. If you think this play will be used next, 
don't call it. The reason for that is the high
number of call-safe receivers and the utility of
those receivers to even a mediocre QB. Only call it
if you can cover the TE, and even so, if your 
opponent can tag the running backs before getting
sacked, it's usually not worth it. Calling it against
a general pass defense, though, is often useful. 

Pro T Screen L:

 ---RB#1  O---------------------->WR#1
|          O-------
O          LT      \
           LG       \
      QB---O C      TE
     -RB#2 RG
O---/      RT             

RB#1 will sometimes continue on straight ahead.

Offense: This is a well balanced play, with two
decent short opportunities. Move to the top to make 
your passes more accurate. You'll usually get sacked 
on this one if it's called - just hit B to pass in the rare 
event that you stay up long enough to make it. Paul
told me to mention the weird movement of the QB - 
he stops moving back for a second if the play is picked,
making it much harder to get a pass off. You
have a very easy "flash" opportunity with RB #1, if
the defense has been stopping your running game. 

Passing Order:

Bomb Threats:

Defense: If you pursue the long men, make sure to 
watch the shorter ones. 

Pass Set 2: Waggles

General Comments: Both these plays severely hurt 
linemen, though Pro T Waggle L can be dodged by a 
good nose tackle or even stopped by a
nose tackle dive. They should only be used for 
diversity and never abused, because each can be 
attacked either by a call, which results in a nine or ten 
yard loss, or by a defensive back or linebacker who moves 
in after the QB - same loss. Their difference lies in 
how far the receivers go out. 

Pro T Waggle R:

  RB#2     TE
O---|--    LT
    |  |   LG
    /--|---O C
  -/   |   RG
O/ |   |   RT             
   |    \               WR#2
   QB    \               /

Offense: Of the three short receivers, the best is RB 
#1 at the very bottom, because many times he's not 
covered and RB #1 is usually decently fast. This play 
can be confused with T Cross Run L. If everyone is 
covered on this play, you've got a great scrambling
opportunity. THIS PLAY REEKS - too easy for the MAN
to catch you for a short gain if you try to run.

Passing Order:

Defense: As with other plays with the quarterback on 
a track, take a secondary guy or linebacker and move in 
after the QB. Failing that, just make sure everyone is 
covered. A tactic that you can use if your opponent 
has T Cross Run L in his/her playbook is to use the
RILB linebacker and move in as you would for the run,
but watch in the middle or nearer RB #2 and see over 
whom the cursor reappears. When you deduce who it is, 
smash them. If it is this play though, you will have 
to deal with a blocker, so slide tackle the QB when 
you go after him. 

Pro T Waggle L:

 QB       -------RB#2          
  |      /      
  |     /  TE
O |    |   LT
 \\    |  -O            WR#2
  \\---|--|O C           /
   \   |  -O            /  
O---\--   |RT          / 
     \    ---LG & RG (block)
    RB#1             /

Offense: This one is better than Pro T Waggle R 
because your people go longer. Watch for the top 
receiver, because he's not often covered well or even 
at all. The shorter men are decent as well in that 
respect. This pass can be confused with T Power 
Sweep R, amongst others. Use a QB sneak if your
men are covered.

Passing Order:

Bomb Threats:

Defense: Move in on the QB as in Pro T Waggle R, 
but look out for the long man if you stay out in 
coverage. Alternatively, if you don't know what
play will be called, you can stop this play if 
you use an altered nose tackle dive: if you hold
down-diagonal toward the bottom as you normally
would, and hit B quickly (it may require you to
mash the button) as soon as the center snaps the
ball, you can slide through a few opposing 
men, hitting the QB as he comes up from the fake
handoff. This allows you to stay close for a
normal nose tackle dive to stop other plays. 
Make sure, if you use this tactic, that you do
it quickly. You can also slip through the hole
in the middle with linebackers and attack from
behind. The RCB is also a pretty good one for
this play.

Pass Set 3: Other Plays

General Comments: None. 

T Play Action D:

            TE                \
 O          LT               WR#1
/           LG       
|   QB------O-C----RB#2
|      /    RG 
|O-----     RT

Offense: Move yourself to the bottom a little bit to 
take advantage of the bias in the receivers. If this
is called, consider a trip to the hospital when the
seven defenders hit you all at once. WR #1 slants,
so keep your QB in one place and without pressure
if you pass to him in that motion - that is an 
effective man for eluding coverage as well. 

Passing Order:

Bomb Threats: 

Defense: This dies with a nose tackle dive. 
Otherwise, just go out into coverage, and watch the 
top receiver just a little; he's quite pesky. 
RB #1 can also give you problems if the opposing 
QB waits for him to come out. 

T Flea Flicker:

      -----------RB#2          \->WR#1
      |    TE
O     |    LT
 \QB  |   -O
  \\--|---|O C
   \  |   -O
O---\-    |RT             
     \    ---LG & RG   WR#2
    RB#1               /

The left and right guards are roving blockers,
I believe. 

Offense: This can be confused with T Power Sweep 
R, so use that to confuse your opponent. It can also
be confused with Pro T Waggle R and T Sweep Strong,
but to a lesser extent than with T Power Sweep R. 
You can't call this one very often, because this play 
can yield automatic fumbles if called by your opponent,
or if your opponent hits your quarterback. You 
may not even want to call it at all, but rather leave 
your opponent waiting for it and exploit the 
weaknesses of the defense. It's not call-safe, but
occasionally you will be missed and become able to 
pass the ball.

Passing Order:

Defense: One way that you can deal with this play
is to use the ROLB and move in as you would for T 
Sweep Strong, then attack the QB. If that's not 
permitted, just tag whichever ones aren't covered. 
Try to call this play and then recover the 
frequent fumble that results if you don't have 
anything more urgent (such as a running play you 
can't stop). 

Run Set 1: Power Plays

General Comments: These plays all have either a lot 
of blockers or the ability to stuff linemen or 
linebackers with the push of the offensive line after 
the snap. Thus, these are generally more useful than 
the plays in Set 2. 

Cross Offtackle:

     /     TE      (blocks)
O---/---   LT
   /   |   LG
QB/----|---O C   (whole line moves out to block)
 /     |   RG
O      |   RT             

Offense: This play is very good and decently fast, but 
watch yourself as you come out, because you rarely 
have roving blockers and anyone who approaches
you will take you down if you're not careful. 

Defense: Take the RCB or a safety and move in on 
the hole, slide tackling if useful. You can try an RILB 
attack through the middle, but you tend to attract 
blockers and your opponent can usually reverse before 
you can slide tackle. Be cautious if you try this. 
The LOLB can also make a pretty good play on this too,
if you have a great one. Just swing him up into the 

T Offtackle R:

          WR#1 (blocks)
O          LT
 \         LG
 QB--------O C (this line moves out to block)
   \       RG
RB#2\      RT             
   \ ----------------->RB#1            

Offense: This is a hard play on the defense because 
tons of people get hit. However, you need to avoid
making unnecessary moves since some linebackers 
can move down fairly quickly and make life hard for 
you. You have one roving blocker, but he usually 
goes for the strong safety. You're basically on your 
own with this one.

Defense: Use a defensive back to wrestle down the man, 
or, take a lower linebacker and slide tackle the runner 
down. One key to note here is that the guy who goes 
for the SS can often start cut blocking, and he will
then throw anyone who comes near him. One thing you can
do to stop that is if you can blow up the guy who
comes after you, just ram through him and and beat down
the RB. 

T Sweep Strong: 

  |        TE
O |        LT
 \|       -O
  |-------|O C (these fellas block)
  |       -O
O-|       |RT             
 \ \      ---LG & RG (block)      
  -------------RB#2 (blocks)----------->RB#1

Offense: This is a good run play, but the blockers are 
somewhat spread out, so watch for insurgent 
defenders. This play can be reversed somewhat. It can
be confused with Pro T Waggle L and occasionally
Flea Flicker, but this is actually a unique play
because RB #2 comes down to block.

Defense: Take someone on the top, either defensive back, 
linebacker, or lineman, and move through the 
blockers for the tackle. You can also move around 
the line and attack from behind. You may be able to cut
through hard inside against the sweep blocker action
but don't count on it.

T Power Sweep R:

 QB   ---------RB#2              
  |   | 
  |   |    TE
O |   |    LT
 \|   |   -O
  |--/----|O C (most block; see note)
  | /     -O
O-|-      |RT             
   \      --LG & RG (block)

Offense: This is one of the better run plays because 
the blockers are many and tight. This play can be 
reversed with a decent running back. This can be
confused with Pro T Waggle L and T Flea Flicker.

Defense: With this play, move through the hole in
the middle of the offensive line and come from
behind using one of the linebackers.
You can also move around the sweep 
with whatever defender you've chosen. You can 
move through the sweep, but it's a bit tougher than 
with T Sweep Strong (in my opinion, at least - the 
numbers would not suggest that). 

Run Set 2: Technical Plays

General Comments: These runs are nice, but require 
more care and skill to pull off than the power runs. 

Pro T Dive:

            TE         \
 O          LT         |
/           LG       (blocks)
|   QB------O-C--------------->RB#2
|      /    RG (blocks)
|O-----     RT /            
 \            /   
  ------RB#1  |   

Offense: This play is not great, considering you have 
no blockers through the middle. This play can be 
easily reversed, though, which is almost necessary.
This can be put in with T Fake Sweep R for confusion,
since the movements are the same, but the possession
of the ball differs between the two.

Defense: A nose tackle dive kills this. You can also 
just take someone in and struggle them down with 
few complications. Watch for a reverse to whatever
side is most open (if you're shifted to the bottom,
watch for the top). 

T Power Dive: 

            TE         \
 RB#2---    LT         |
        \   LG       (blocks)
       /    RG (blocks)
 RB#1--     RT /            

Offense: This play is like Pro T Dive, but with a 
blocker in front, making it much more useful. You 
can decently run in the middle, or you can go to 
either side on a reversal. However, this is the
one play in this formation that is afflicted with 
the cursed race problem - the two backs are 
switched on this play. Thus, you have to be 
careful about this play if you have different color 

Defense: You can nose tackle dive this, or you can 
take a defensive back and move in after the blocker 
has been taken care of. Watch the backs and see if 
they've switched for an indication that this play 
has been called. If your opponent likes to reverse,
don't move in, because you can get caught up with
RB #2 and your opponent can just move right around

Reverse Pitch R:

      --/----->RB#2 (blocks)
      ||   TE
RB#1--||-  LT
      |||  LG
     /-||--O C (this group blocks)
    /  ||  RG
O--/   ||  RT (blocks)(blocks)  
  /    \\     /        /
QB      --RB#1---------/--->WR#1

Offense: This is a nice surprise play, but not much 
else, so go in whichever direction seems most useful 
and free of defenders. 

Defense: Simply find the runner and take him down. 
This play can be detected by looking at WR #1 and 
seeing whether he remains stationary, and, if so,
this is the play in progress. 

T Cross Run L:

      -------->RB#2  (blocks)
      |    TE
O-----|--  LT
      | |  LG
     /--|--O C (this group blocks)
    /   |  RG
O--/    |  RT         (blocks)  
  /     \              /
QB       RB#1         /

(see below for the guard pulls)

Offense: This is a decent run play, but you don't have 
too many blockers (and the slower fullbacks tend to run 
this) so be careful about where you go if you want to 
get more than a few yards. This is only a little 
reversible. This play can be confused with Pro T
Waggle R.

Defense: Simply take a linebacker or secondary guy and 
just move in after the running back. Paul gave a good
tip which I had used before, but always had forgotten
and likely would not have made it in here; take the
RILB and simply move straight in. As long as you don't 
contact any blockers, you have a straight shot at the 
runner. You can either slide tackle or struggle him
down from there. Plus, Paul also found out (and told 
me) that if you pick a run, then only one guard will 
pull and lead block for the running back, as opposed 
to two. This provides an easy way for you to 
distinguish between this play and Pro T Waggle R. 
Thanks again Paul!

T Fake Sweep R:

            TE         \
 O          LT         |
/           LG       (blocks)
|   QB------O-C--RB#2
|      /    RG (blocks)
|O-----     RT /            
 \            /   

Offense: You can run this play and it works 
somewhat, but it's kind of weak due to the paucity of 
blockers. This play becomes useful with one other 
run play through the middle like Pro T Dive 
(especially Pro T Dive, because the motions of the
players are all similar) if your
opponent can't use the nose tackle dive. Simply run 
straight ahead and don't think about reversing it.
This play is call-safe if you have a really fast 
running back.

Defense: This play can be stopped with a nose tackle 
dive or simply by moving your man to the bottom 
and taking out the runner when he gets the ball (or
before, if you want to get a fumble). If you want
to ensure that you will recover the fumble, then
call this play, and then your berserk players will
swarm the ball and pick it up for you. Thanks Paul,
for that tip.


Onesetback Formation:

RB#1        QB C

or, for Pitch L Open:

RB#2        QB C

There are three groups for this formation:

Set 1: Top Handoff Plays
Set 2: Handoff After The Snap Plays
Set 3: All Other Plays

Set 1: Top Handoff Plays

General Comments: For these plays, the essential
thing to look out for is where the ball goes after the 
handoff. You can kill the play before then as well by 
attacking the two men involved in ball switching with 
a linebacker slide tackle or struggle. Moreover, you
can hit the quarterback as he pitches the ball and 
cause an automatic fumble (a nose tackle dive is the
best way to do this little trick). All of these 
plays are inferior because they can be tracked down 
and destroyed fairly easily. None of these are call-

Reverse-Fake Z Post:

      /     RB#2
    WR#1     LT
    /        LG
QB-O---------O C 

Offense: This play requires that you know who you're 
going to pass to before you get the ball, since there's 
a lot of time between the snap and the QB getting the
ball. Once you get the ball, pass quickly. If the long
man isn't open, then you can wait a little bit for the
short one to open up, but if there are blockers near
him he probably won't, because one or more will 
pursue him. In that case, simply QB sneak, or, more
likely for a person in the position that you end up
in, move as far back as you can get, and throw a
cross-field bomb in an attempt to get rid of the ball
without the risk of interception. 

Passing Order:

Defense: You can initially murder this play by 
attacking the QB. If you can knock the QB down
either by slide tackling him at the start of the play or 
hitting him with a nose tackle or other defender in the 
middle of the ballplay, you cause WR #1, who gets 
the ball, to throw it wherever the QB is, even if he's 
down, which yields you a automatic fumble. What's 
more, you can hit either the running back who goes 
up to handoff or WR #1 who takes the ball to 
stop or fumble the play. And more - you can cover 
the men who go out (since there are only two). You 
have no excuse if your opponent gets yards on this 

WR Reverse R:

      /     RB#2
     /       LT
    /        LG
QB-O---------O C (all but QB & WR#1 block)
    \        RG
     \       RT
      \      TE

Offense: As soon as you get the ball on this play, 
move forward, because chances are that your
opponent is watching you very closely and wants to 
take you out at the first opportunity, unless more
defenders are on the top, in which case going down
might be more advisable. 

Defense: This can be distinguished from Reverse 
Fake Z Post because the runner usually hooks toward 
the line instead of moving in a straight diagonal 
towards the QB. Simply take this guy out by making 
sure your man doesn't get caught up with the fake or 
a blocker. There's nothing more to it than that. 

Pitch L Fake:

      /     RB#2
     /       LT
    /        LG
QB-O---------O C (all but QB & RB#1 block)
   /         RG
  WR#1       RT

Offense: Move straight out as soon as you get control 
of the runner. Watch the defense as the computer is
moving the people around so that you know where to
run later. 

Defense: If the cursor on top of the man who runs up 
reappears, take him out. 

Set 2: Handoff After The Snap Plays

General Comments: On all the HATS Plays, you
can take the left end (hit A twice) and simply
move up-left diagonally at the snap and then
slide tackle to kill any one of these plays. The
right end can also work in this way, but in the
down-left direction, if he is fast enough, like
Bruce Smith or Greg Townsend. Anyway, if
this tactic is not allowed, you can take the RILB 
and move diagonally down-left into the formation, 
then slide tackle. With the passes, sometimes you can 
catch the QB with a slide from the line (sometimes
even the nose tackle can get in there), but most of 
the time you have to pursue him and then take him down. 
These are their fundamental weaknesses, but if you 
alternate these with something devastating like Pitch 
L Open or something tricky to recover from and defend 
against with those players like X Out And Fly, you can 
make this formation work somewhat. None of these are 
call-safe. Here are some diagrams for these:

Left End Dive (the best, but not always doable):


RB#1        QB C
 (slide here)-\
             RG LE

Right End Dive (for good right ends):

             LG RE
 (slide here)-/
RB#1        QB C

Linebacker Attack:

    (get him)LG     
RB#1        QB C

Power Fake Z Post:

                     |   ----RB#1
       /     LT      |
      /      LG      |
O----QB------O C     |
             RG      |
             RT      |
             TE     WR#1

RB #2 is a roving blocker. 

Offense: This is a good play to use when you want to 
lead receivers instead of having straight out situations 
where people get covered and blocked fairly easily. 
You want to watch for RB #1 who comes out and is 
often uncovered. There's a roving blocker on this play 
as well - always a good thing on a pass.

Passing Order:

Defense: If you want to stop the pass and go out into
coverage on this play, watch the shorter range 
men because those are the least frequently covered. If 
it's near the end of a half or fourth down, you may 
want to help cover the long receiver, because 
coverage for all people is usually single on this play.
The NTD can work on this play but it's not reliable
necessarily. Watch out for the blocker.

Power Fake X Fly:

       /     LT       
      /      LG       
O----QB------O C      
             RG      TE 
             RT     /   

Offense: This is a good handoff play with four 
receivers that go out. It has good medium and long 
pass opportunities. Pass soon to avoid getting stuffed 
by coverage that moves in front of your receiver. 

Passing Order:

Bomb Threats:

Defense: See General Comments. Also, coverage for 
this play is longer, so take out a man and put him in 
the middle of all the receivers to make it easier for 
you to cover multiple men. You can try a nose tackle
dive on this almost straight after the snap. 

Onesetback L:

            O/ LT
       /     LG
O----QB------O C (all block)

FB Offtackle L:

            O/ LT
       /     LG
O----QB------O C (all block)

Offense: These two plays are nearly indistinguishable, 
so I'll treat them as one. Don't do anything funny, 
just go through the hole and start dodging people as 
soon as you gain control. One thing to look out for 
is the RCB. Sometimes he gets blocked and 
sometimes he doesn't so take him into consideration 
as you run. You get a good thrust that blocks
multiple positions. If your opponent is blocking the
hole, reverse the play. Note that in Onesetback L,
the right guard comes back as if he were pass blocking,
whereas in FB Offtackle L, everyone goes out. Props
to Jason Tcheng for noticing this. He also noticed that
when the right guard comes back, no one blocks the
left end. If your opponent chooses the left end, he
will be unblocked. One way to disable these is to take
the LILB and run in through the left end and get inside.
FB Offtackle L is tougher to nail because of the 
right guard moving up. You may not be able to always
handle this one with the left end dive.

Defense: See General Comments. If those tactics are
not allowed, just use a safety or a lower linebacker to 
finish off the runner. The left end is also a good one
to choose for Onesetback L, because he does not get 
blocked by the right guard. Even in FB Offtackle L the
left end can still work well. Just watch out for the
MAN reversing the play.

Set 3: All Other Plays

General Comments: I just threw the rest in here.

X Out And Fly:

             O--------\       /-->WR#1
                 RB#2  -------
O       QB---O C   RB#1
 \           RG     /      TE
  \          RT    /       /
   \         O----/--------
    --------------           --->WR#2

Offense: This is a great five-receiver play. You have 
to wait for a little while for a couple of the short-
range opportunities to develop in the middle, but you
have a nice spread over the field. Make sure you pass 
quickly if you're going to the group of three in the 
center of the field to avoid increased coverage in that 
area as the play matures (I didn't want to use develop 
again). Call-safe receivers are RB #2 (A 2x) and RB #1 
(A 4x). This is one play that you can effectively QB 
run with in this formation, so keep that in mind as well.

Call-Safe Receivers:
RB#2 (A 2x)
RB#1 (A 4x)

Passing Order:

Bomb Threats:

Defense: You can nose tackle dive this play. Also, 
the three-receiver nest is easily handled if you stand 
in the middle of it, closer to the short men than the
long, so you can come back and cover them. The key here 
is not to miss an open man in the mess of people. 
Early pressure works well with this play because it's
slower to develop than most passing plays.

Oneback Flare A:

             LT    \
      -RB#1  LG     \
O----/  QB---O C    RB#2

Offense: This play is kind of weak. You should pass 
as soon as you find a man, because with only three 
receivers, coverage will come soon to all of them.
Call-safe receiver is RB #2 (hit A twice). You can
also Boomer with this one, but it's not so easy.
One trick you can pull with WR #1 is to pass to
him when he's 5-9 yards out, before he curls, and
he will run straight for the pass, which often 
makes him run straight out, or sometimes you can
curl-pass with this play.

Call-Safe Receiver:
RB#2 (A 2x)

Passing Order:

Defense: Just go out into coverage, or nose tackle 
dive the QB. You should watch the short range 
receivers, because those are not often both covered. 
Stick with the WR as he begins his curl then move
back away towards the TE if you have to cover both.

Pitch L Open:

   /        RB#1
  /          LT  (this whole side blocks up and out)
 /           LG
O           QB C 
             RG  (sits there)
             RT  (sits there)
             TE (moves out and blocks)
            WR#2 (moves out, up and blocks)

Offense: This is one of the best run plays in the
whole game. You often get three blockers who just roam 
around (they even block safeties in the back) and you 
gain control of your back quickly. Move as quickly 
as you can out into the field, since the blockers often
end up doing their own thing. This is a play to abuse.
The only drawback to this play is a problem mentioned
earlier, the bloody race problem (race defect).
This is (if I did this part properly) the only
onesetback formation play where the fullback (or RB#2)
is in back, making it easy for a good human opponent to
literally discriminate when you run this if you have
backs of different color. Watch yourself.
This is probably also the best stretch play in this
game; if you have a very fast back like Bo Jackson,
you can cut back inside your blockers and get some
yards that way as well.

Defense: There's a nice tactic you can use on this
play that will take you straight to your opponent.
You should first choose the left end.
When the QB takes the snap, move straight up (you
can hold the up button before the snap as well) and
you will find yourself on a totally clear route to
the runner, right behind him. The guard assigned to
block your player will just sit there like a doofus,
so you don't have to worry about getting blocked in
the back. The LILB can do this pretty well too, and
the LOLB is OK at it, but those guys, especially the
LOLB, can get caught up in traffic.
Another great tactic to use is with the ROLB. Directly
after the snap, just move straight past the guy across
for from you (don't hit him), moving to the outside, so
you will be between the WR and the RB #1, on the side of
the RB #1. If you do this the blockers will never even
see you and you will end up right in the backfield all
alone with the RB. This is what it looks like:

   O        RB#1  \ROLB
  /          LT
 /           LG
O           QB C


The SS can also move up at the snap and
find himself with a pretty clean shot at the back,
although if he is slow he will give up some yards thus.
If even this tactic is not allowed, when this
play starts, don't move in too quickly. Instead, wait
until the blockers have dissipated and then move in to
attack. The best people to control are the SS and the
lower linebackers, if you want to be conservative then,
but a lot of times with a great RCB you can destroy
this play by moving inside the gut of the line and
screwing up the RB's motion in the backfield.
You can see if this play has been called if the backs
have different colors from other plays in this
formation, if your opponent's backs have different


Run And Shoot Formation:

RB#1          QB C

Comments: Some of the best pass plays in the game
are from this position. The runs are also very 
balanced, though one of them is impotent (Run And 
Shoot Draw). Don't force big plays with this, 
because most of the best opportunities are short but 
definite gains. Look for the nose tackle on this one. 
He can get inside on all the pass plays and cause 
havoc with some of the runs. 

Run And Shoot Y Up 

    /         O--------
   /                   \
  /            LT       \
 /             LG      RB#2
O       QB-----O C

Offense: This is somewhat the Run And Shoot 
analogue of Shotgun Z S-In. You have three men that 
go long, one that curls into the middle (RB #2 from 
the top) and one that stays by the side of the
quarterback (RB #1). Simply use this one as you 
would the shotgun, but pass a bit more quickly as the 
defense can sack you more easily on this play, and you
don't have many short options. Call-safe men are RB #1 
(A 2x) and RB #2 (A 3x).

Call-Safe Receivers:
RB#1 (A 2x)
RB#2 (A 3x)

Passing Order:

Bomb Threats:

Defense: Go after the QB or watch the long receivers, 
especially the bottom ones. If they are taken care of,
move in closer to stop a short pass. If there is just
one man covering the WR #2 and the TE, then you should
often gamble and just leave them alone out there, trying
to stop the short pass. If the QB rolls up top, then
definitely break away from that single coverage. That
can't be a consistent throw from that position with most

Run And Shoot Z Fly

RB#1    QB-----O C

RB #1 moves up and blocks after the snap. 

Offense: This play is the best in the game for one 
simple reason: one or more receivers will almost
always be open. Apparently, the computer has a hard 
time handling this play, even when it has big speed 
boosts and whatnot. Go for the longest man who is 
open without delay, because people start covering 
better after about two or three seconds and the longer 
receivers will be harder to throw to when they are
farther away and more easily covered. The wild card 
here is a man opponent, who can plug up the gaps in 
But that's not all: if this play is called, with some
combinations of QB and WR #1, the QB can throw a 
curl-pass to the WR, right before the WR breaks into
the curl, and there will be no coverage
anywhere close to the WR. Furthermore, if this play
is called, the defense pulls back away from WR #1 and
the TE, so you can throw to them short if you can
stay upright long enough. Know this, Kemosabe, and
know fear in your opponent's eyes. Just don't abuse
it, you can be picked off trying this, especially
when you don't have a great QB.

Call-Safe Receivers (later in the play):

Passing Order:

Bomb Threats:

Defense: Either pursue the QB or go out and cover 
whichever man happens to be open. If you call this
play (try not to, look for another play that covers
all the receivers), then WR #1 may be able to get a
call-safe curl-pass. If the opposing QB is fast, 
both the TE and WR #1 will be open later in the 
play. Don't go cover long - here's what to do:
Take your guy. Move him into the line between the
QB, and the receiver's curl target. Then, when the
pass comes, move yourself into position, close to
the WR, so that you can go up for the jump ball.
This way, you will not have to worry about the WR
catching it too much, you can tip the ball, and if
neither one catches it, your DBs can get a chance
for an easy pick. The CPU may take control of you,
be warned. Stay close to the WR but always on that
After the WR curls, then cover short, closer to the
target on the side of the QB. 
This is not foolproof but it's pretty close, 
especially compared to other tactics like throwing
it into coverage or trying for a deep bomb jump ball.

Run And Shoot Flare C

                 /      \
               LT       RB#2
O-------- QB---O C
              O--------   /-------->WR#2
                       \ /

Offense: The nice thing about this play is the wide 
variety of receiving options. You have the standard
two long receivers and you have two short 
opportunities that develop a couple seconds into the 
play, plus an often-open longer shot to the bottom 
that stops some yards out. As long as you vary your 
receivers, you can make this play work for you. This 
play has no consistently available call-safe receivers, 
but RB #2 (A 2x) is usually still standing. Sometimes
RB #1 (A 1x) is available. A lot of times, you can throw
a pass to WR #2 on the called play and get the catch,
but this is unreliable.
However, there is a risk of getting picked off if you
throw and RB #2 is knocked down near the line.

Call-Safe Receivers:
RB#2 (A 2x)
RB#1 (A 1x)

Passing Order:

Bomb Threats:

Defense: Make sure that the lowest receiver and the
lower long receiver are covered, because one or the 
other often isn't and represents a good pass 
opportunity. Otherwise, move in to forestall the short 
pass. If the play is called, there are a lot of receivers
who can get thrown to (including WR #2) so keep on your

Run And Shoot QB Sneak


RB#1         --O C


Offense: You can run this play two ways: you can 
just run straight in and get a couple of yards, or you
can move at a diagonal down-right and follow your 
advancing line, which can sometimes yield you more 
than five yards and allow you to break out (as much
as a slow QB can do so). Follow your blockers and
be creative with this play.

Defense: Just get the quarterback down, either with a 
defensive back or with a linebacker. One thing to
take advantage of is the low Hitting Power of QBs. 
If you have a strong defender, simply touching him
will tackle him in many cases, and thus you can get 
yourself in more risky situations than you could with 
a decent running back. Do not underestimate, however,
the power of this play. It can get short yardage
consistently and there isn't a lot a DB can do about 
it; by the time you get down there he's already taken
off. It also has some of the most screwed up blocker
dynamics of any play in this game. Sometimes your line
will evaporate before this play with free blockers 
running everywhere. Other times the NT or LE will slide
tackle and take down the QB behind the LOS. Sometimes
it's worth it to call this play, it's that ugly. The
LILB often is unblocked on this play.

Run And Shoot QB Run

        |     RB#2
        \      LT
         \     LG
RB#1      -----O C 

All non-QB men block. RB #1 moves to the bottom and 
comes back up to block.  

Offense: Make sure you don't run this too often, 
because a familiar opponent can cause problems with 
it. However, it is a fairly strong run for this
formation, especially against defenders who prefer nose 
tackles. Simply run the play the way it goes, because 
you're too far up by the time you gain control to 
feasibly switch directions.

Defense: Take a bottom defensive back or a bottom linebacker
and smack the quarterback down. Hitting Power differences
are useful here for you, so pick a strong one, if your FS
is strong he can really blow this play up. You must
be careful against the blockers if your opponent has a
good A button. Again, you may have to call this play in
some situations. The final blocker who comes out, you can
usually keep yourself out of his "vision" so don't worry
too much about him. If you have a decent LOLB, you can also
come up in the backfield by going through the hole vacated
by the RG, that will snuff this play out pretty easily.

Run And Shoot Draw


O----QB--------O C  (all other men block)

Offense: This is the worst run play you could
possibly have. Only use it for surprise attacks and 
just get your yards before your opponent catches on 
to what you're doing.

Defense: You can discern this play from a normal 
pass by looking at the pocket. If a man is sitting there 
and doing nothing, it's the draw play. What you can 
do is a nose tackle dive to kill the runner and even the
quarterback before he hands off if you're fast enough, 
or you can take a linebacker or a secondary guy and just
struggle him down. All in all, you should have no 
problems with this play. Just don't overpursue it and
get stuck in the backfield.

Run And Shoot Sweep Left


     ----------------->RB#1    (these guys sweep)               
    /         RB#2
  /            LT
 /             LG
O             QB C  (all others move out and north and block)



Offense: Sweep up top, get your yards quickly, try to
cut back against your blockers (who stop!) in front of
you for some guaranteed yards. Call-safe with a very
fast runner, but you usually have to be shifted to the
opposite side.

Defense: R&S Sweep L is a weak run. The RCB can
stop it if he can blow up WR#1, the FS can easily
take it away, etc. There are a lot of things you
can do against it - just don't run into the blockers
the RB will get. Sometimes you can get caught up and
blocked by them if the RB moves their way. However
they aren't known for pursuit (they usually stop) so
don't worry much about that. Just don't use the ROLB,
the RILB, or the RE and you will basically be fine.
One way you can do things is, move the LILB right into
the C-RG gap, he will not get touched (thanks, Matt
Knobbe). You can also smash through the LILB's struggle
with the RG, using the LOLB, and you will come up thus
in the backfield also.

Run And Shoot Sweep Right


               WR#1 (blocks out)
         RB#2  O--\
            |--O  LT (blocks)
O           |  QB C (blocks)
 \          |--O  RT (blocks)
  \         \  O--/
   \         -----(LG & RG) (block)
    \         O-----TE (sweeps and blocks)
               O-------WR#2 (sweeps and blocks)

Offense: Simply move in the direction of the play.
Don't get fancy because getting yards with this is
not that easy, and moving in contraflow doesn't do
much. You can usually get two or three yards at least
with this. Note that since the guards come
out and block on R&S Sweep R, this play is more
effective and powerful than R&S Sweep L. Also, the
right end is unblocked on R&S Sweep R. Watch out if
your opponent picks him, wait for help from your

Defense: Take someone and move through the
blockers (or around if you have yards to spare) and
slide tackle or struggle the runner down. This play is
not a killer run by any means, so don't let your
opponent get major yardage on it. The right end is
free on R&S Sweep R, so you can use him pretty easily.
However, he can get seen by the pulling linemen so
keep a look out.
The ROLB can run right next to the line, going down,
possibly freeing up one of his boys along the way, then
getting a clean shot at the RB. This is not guaranteed
but it happens a decent amount of the time.
One thing to note is that if you go in too quickly
on R&S Sweep R, you can get manhandled by the
pulling blockers if the opposing runner moves into
them. Don't overcommit on R&S Sweep R, and don't
get cocky defending R&S Sweep L. On R&S Sweep R, the
WR #2 can start cut blocking, so try to obliterate
him early in the play if you have a powerful run
defender. Top defenders are much better than bottom
ones (except for the RE).
Note that on this play, if you have a guy like Bo
Jackson in EXCELLENT, the pitch will actually take him
out of bounds! Beware of this if you are shifted to
the bottom especially.

Shifting Onesetback Formation:

        |     |
        |     O
O       |     LT
|       |     LG
RB#1    |     QB C
        |     RG
O-------      RT

General Comments: All the plays in this formation 
can be slightly altered in the positions and paths of 
players, in either blockers for runs or receivers for
passes, by taking the snap at different times during 
the shift. 

Playaction Z In:

        |     |
        |     O
O       |     LT
|       |     LG
        |     RG          WR#2
O-------      RT          /
              O          /
              |         /

Offense: This play is good, with two short men and 
two long men. Note that the pass to the running back 
in the middle (who goes out for a pass and acts as a 
receiver) should probably be done as soon as possible 
since defenders guarding the receiver on top can 
move down more easily to prevent a pass. This play 
is not call-safe; if your opponent picks this play, you
eat it. 

Passing Order:

Defense: The man moving out in the middle can be 
ignored once he's gotten out long enough in the field
as long as you have enough people back there to 
cover him should the pass move in his direction. 
Following him for a little while is a good idea if no 
one has the man who curls from the bottom. This 
play can be stopped with a nose tackle dive and 
responds only mildly to the usual pressure tactics. 

Roll Out R:

     |        |        \
     |        |         \
     |  -----RB#2        \
     |  |     |           \
     |  |     O            \
O   / \ |     LT            \
|  /   \|     LG          WR#1
---     |----O C
  /     | RG--O
O/------ RT---O
 |            O----\
 QB           O    TE

Offense: Like its cousin, Roll Out L, this play has a 
vulnerability in that the QB can be taken out fairly 
easily. However, with more plays to choose from, it's
not quite as predictable or risky. The receivers are 
shorter range on this play, though two go out at 
angles. This is an ok play, but don't expect to get a 
pass off if it's called. RB #1 develops later, so if
all your other receivers are covered, watch for him
to come out. 

Passing Order:

Defense: The thing to watch is the hand off. If the 
QB takes the ball, it's Roll Out R, and if not, it's FB 
Open L. Calling FB Open L is a good way to insure 
yourself against a big gain. Stop the play by just 
moving a cornerback or linebacker behind the line 
and taking down the QB while he's still a drone. You
also have a slim chance of sacking the quarterback 
when the handoff occurs if you take the nose tackle 
and slide in. The best way to stop this, however,
is to take the bottom two linebackers and then go
through the gap between the guard and the center on
the bottom. You can also do this with the left end,
but you will also have to fight off a guard in this
case. Then you can just drop the QB (or RB) from the

Onesetback Dive:

              |    (these two move down and block)
        |     |
        |     O
O       |     LT
|       |     LG
        |     RG
O-------      RT
              O     (these two block)

Offense: This play is not as good as a power dive, 
you get no one out in front of you. It's reversible 
just as any other dive play. Go wherever you think 
you'll get the most yards. 

Defense: This one can be stopped with a nose tackle 
dive. If you can't do that, take a safety or cornerback
or even inside linebacker and tackle the runner. Watch 
for the RB reversing the play as always.

WR Reverse L:

       ||     |
       ||     O
O      ||     LT
 \     ||     LG
  \QB--||-----O C (men on the sides go out and block)
   \   ||     RG
O---\--||     RT
     \ |      TE
      \|      O
       |\     |

Offense: Surprise your opponent with this. You can 
get decent gains with this if your opponent isn't 
looking for it. The handoff can be confused with 
Oneback Sweep R. You can enter the fray at any 
point you deem viable on this play, since most of the 
blockers are usually disorganized. 

Defense: Oftentimes you can catch the runner 
moving up with the man you take in to catch 
Oneback Sweep R. Otherwise, simply stay back from
the line, until it is obvious what play is developing, 
then move. You can disable this one using a lower 
linebacker and hitting the decoy or the runner as well, 
I believe. 

Oneback Sweep R:

        |     |
        |     O
O       |     LT
 \      |     LG
  \QB---|-----O C (men on the sides go out and block)
   \    |     RG
O---\----     RT
     \        TE
      \       O

Offense: This can be an effective run play if you can
run alone and throw off the MAN without any blockers. 
Not ultra-reversible. 

Defense: Take a man in from the secondary or the
linebackers and take down the runner. It's that simple.

FB Open L:

     |  -----RB#2
     |  |     |
     |  |     O
O   / \ |     LT
|  /   \|     LG
---     |-----O C (men on the sides go out and block)
  /     | RG--O
O/------ RT---O
 |            TE
QB            O

Offense: Just as with Oneback Sweep R, note the 
relative absence of blockers and the predisposition of 
the play for being run the way it was designed. 

Defense: If your opponent has Roll Out
R in, you can take care of both by penetrating the
backfield through the gap that opens between the
guard and center, then smashing the person who ends
up getting the ball. You can do this with either the
left end (dangerous, because the guard will see you)
or with the LILB or LOLB. You should be safe going
through the line with the linebackers. This tactic
should work most all of the time.

Shotgun Formation:

Formation 1 - Shotgun X Curl and Shotgun Draw:



RB#1            LT
QB                C



Formation 2 - Shotgun Z S-In and Shotgun X Drive:



RB#1            LT
QB                C



Formation 3 - Shotgun XY Bomb and Shotgun C Draw:



RB#2            LT
QB                C



General Comments: There are three distinct shotgun 
formations. Two plays switch the running backs,
and two plays switch the tight end and WR #2. This
is a big problem for diverse teams. I have ordered
this section to put the separate formations' plays
next to each other. The runs in here are only good 
as surprise plays. If your opponent is watching for 
them, they are next to useless. The passes from here 
are superb. Going for the QB on these plays is a bad
idea since most of the time, an opposing player will 
find an open man before you can stop him from passing.
The best chance is to stay out in coverage using one 
of the defensive linemen or linebackers, which also 
insures you against the runs. I don't think as highly 
of this formation as I used to, but it is still 
decently useful, especially if you don't have to
worry about the race defects. One other thing to
note is that QB sneaking from this formation is not
terribly useful because it takes a while for the
QB to move up. If you're thinking about using them,
move toward the line as soon as you get the ball. 

Formation 1

Shotgun X Curl

     ------RB#1 O-------------------|
    /                              WR#1
   /           O---------|
  /                     RB#2
 RB#1           LT
QB                C

Offense: This is one of the best short range pass 
plays. Five receivers give you good options. The 
longer range men can be had, but usually the two 
shorter range ones are open and good choices, with 
the occasional fifth man pass to mix things up. This
play really works well in the red zone when the 
coverage begins to tighten. I love this play, and if it 
weren't for Run And Shoot Z Fly and Pro T Flare D, I 
would always choose this play. Call-safe opportunities 
are RB #2 (A 1x), TE (A 2x), and RB #1 (A 4x), but 
note that these, especially the tight end, may get 
knocked over. 

Call-Safe Receivers:
RB#2 (A 1x)
TE (A 2x)
RB#1 (A 4x)

Passing Order:

Defense: This play, like Shotgun X Drive, has two 
ranges of receivers. Make sure that each range is 
covered and put yourself in the middle if one isn't. In 
particular, use your best lineman to cover the two 
short range opportunities, because coverage is almost 
always lacking in that region and passes to those men 
are short and effective. The fifth receiver, as always, 
should be watched. One thing that your opponent will try
is to run his QB and then throw over your head to the
short player farthest away from you. There isn't much
you can do about that, just be decisive in whatever you
try and remember that you can tip a pass if you are on
the line of flight of the ball.

Shotgun Draw



 RB#1           LT
QB                C    



All people go out to block except for the QB, the 
center, and the guards. The three offensive linemen
in the middle (C, RG, LG) fan slightly to give the
running back more room. 

Offense: This is better than Shotgun C Draw and you 
can usually get a few yards using it if your opponent
isn't expecting it. Just be careful about moving every 
which way once you get the ball. Get your yards and 
then finish things. Dawdling behind the line gets you 

Defense: If you think your opponent will call this 
play, simply take the LOLB, swing around into the middle,
and wait for him. You can even go inside, but that 
gets risky because he can simply run out around you 
and you can get engaged or knocked over by a blocker.
However, with the LOLB move, you shouldn't have too
many worries about rogue blockers getting to you. Just
make sure you don't overpursue and get yourself 
stranded, because the other players on your team will
probably be blocked. If you have to stand your ground,
you can gamble by taking (in order of preference) the
LILB, the NT, the RILB, the ROLB, and some other people
if you can manage to squeeze them in there.  

Formation 2

Shotgun Z S-In

 RB#1           O---------------->WR#1
 |             O---------------\
 |                            RB#2
 O              LT
QB                C
                RG     WR#2
                RT     /


Offense: This play has some interesting properties. 
One of them is the running back on the side of the 
quarterback who is generally insulated from 
immediate coverage. The second is the short WR #2 
about five or so yards out. These two give you nice 
alternatives to the two men who go long, and the 
intermediate running back. If every man is covered, 
you might want to throw to the TE on the bottom 
because he usually only has one defender in his 
vicinity. Call-safe receiver is RB #1 (A 4x).

Call-Safe Receiver:
RB#1 (A 4x)

Passing Order:

Bomb Threats:

Defense: Watch the short range pass by staying in the 
middle and covering the man there, or by moving 
behind the line to cover there. Like all shotguns, just 
cover everyone and you'll be fine. Don't lose track
however of the RB out past 10 yards, he can hurt you
if you don't have any clue about him.

Shotgun X Drive

   /           O---------
 RB#1           LT
QB                C
                RG         WR#2
                RT        /


Offense: This play has two main long receivers
whom you should look at first. Then, look for the
short receiver in the middle and for the one who sits
near the top of the screen. Finally, look at the man
who starts running out about one or two seconds into
the play. This is how you should plan your pass on
this play. This is a good play, with short and long
men for good effect. Call-safe receiver is RB #2 (A 3x).

Call-Safe Receiver:
RB#2 (A 3x)

Passing Order:

Bomb Threats:

Defense. One thing to note is the duality of range.
There are two long and two short men. The two long
ones are usually covered (you may want to assist if
the defenders aren't keeping up) but the two short
ones aren't usually covered well. To stop those
passes, place yourself in the middle of those two
men. Watch for the fifth man who comes out,
because as soon as he passes the short-range
receivers he becomes a good target for a first down

Formation 3

Shotgun XY Bomb


RB#2          LT            \
              LG             \
QB              C            RB#2

            O----               ->TE

Offense: This play is, as you might expect, a bomb.
Everyone goes long and the best chance you have of
making it is if one person is uncovered. You should
toss to them promptly after you have identified them,
because the longer you wait, the easier it will be for
more defenders to obstruct the pass. The only real
diversity in the play is the shortest pass to RB #2.
Your opponent may try to lure you to pass to him
since you can't see where the defender or the receiver
is on this play until you pass, and then move in for an
interception or whatever. I don't like this play
because it just doesn't have a whole lot of options or
complications. You either make it or you don't. The
closest thing to a call-safe receiver is RB #2 (A 3x).

Passing Order:

Defense: Note the trap with RB #2 above. The only 
thing to watch for is a QB sneak that might come 
when you move away to cover a slightly open man.

Shotgun C Draw:

                      (these two go out and block)

 RB#2           LT
QB                C    

                      (these two go out and block)

Offense: The main difference between this play and 
Shotgun Draw is that this play keeps the ball out of 
the running back's hands for two seconds after the 
snap, when the QB tosses it to the running back. 
Thus, this can only be used as a surprise play since an 
opponent can cause severe problems with this.

Defense: If you want to watch for this play, simply
look at the running back. If he stays put for more than 
a second, then this is it. To prevent it from 
developing, either wait as before or simply move in. 
You can even go in right after the snap and engage 
the running back in a struggle, causing a minor 
fumble, but that usually doesn't pan out for you. It's 
better just to tackle the runner for a loss. 


Strong-I Formation


RB#2       QB C
     RB#1   RT


General Comments: The plays from here are decent, 
with Toss Sweep Right and Offset Flare E being the
better plays. It has good runs and good passes which 
complement each other.

Offset Flare E:


 O         QB C      RB#1
  \          RG       /
   \  O---/--O--------
    \    RE/---O
     \  TE-

General Comments: Good play, concentration to the
bottom and a short range bias, but plays well into a
mixed pass-run strategy. RB #2 is the call-safe
receiver (A 3x). You can throw a curl-pass to WR #1
move straight out if you pass 50%-80% of the way
through his motion, when he gets about 6-8 yards
out. Know that RB #2 is going to be thrown to a lot
because the MAN can often use the Circle of Death
technique to cover both the RB #1 and the WR #1 and
go for the INT on both. You can often get the auto-dive
if you go to RB #2 whilst the MAN is circling.

Call-Safe Receiver:
RB#2 (A 3x)

Passing Order:

Bomb Threats:

Defense: The long receiver is usually covered, so just
stay in the middle of the field about five yards from
the center for best results. Nose tackle dives and
other sacking techniques work here. You would rather
get all three short receivers covered than just the
RB #1 and the WR #1, but if you have a good coverage
or a good pass rush, you definitely want to blanket
those two receivers and try for the INT or sack.

Play Action:


            LG (slight shift up of these)     
        /   RG       \-RB#1 (blocks)   
     O--    RT       
            TE            WR#2  

RB #1 is a roving blocker.

Offense: This play only has three receivers, and two 
are short. Make sure your opponent is probably not 
going to call a pass play before you use it, because 
three receivers can be easily covered. One redeeming 
feature of this play, though, is that it has a free 
blocker who goes out and takes on defenders, which 
often opens up the shortest man for a pass. You will
get sacked if this is called. One way that you can
defeat an ROLB moving in on you is to alternate this 
with FB Power Dive to confuse your opponent. Running
your QB is surprisingly effective (though not very
effective compared to other plays).

Passing Order:

Bomb Threats:

Defense: Watch the blocker, because he will cause 
you grief if you don't. A nose tackle dive will finish 
this play off without a hassle. I wouldn't use other 
tactics to go after the QB, though, because of the
complicating blocker and also because only three 
receivers exist, with only one long, unless this play
is not accompanied by FB Power Dive. Covering these 
fellas is a piece of cake. You can try the ROLB rush, 
but your opponent may still be able to get a pass off. 

Toss Sweep R:

            LT    WR#1 (blocks)
 O         QB C
  \         RG
   \  RB#1  RT
    \       TE  (all these but RB#2 block)

Offense: This is a great play, with lots of low 
blockers. It can be close to invincible in certain
situations, such as when you are shifted toward the 
bottom. Staying behind the blockers is a good idea on 
this one. It can be reversed to some extent as well. 

Defense: If you take a hard inside cut against the
grain of the play, you may be able to get into the
backfield with an ROLB or RILB without the blockers
seeing you, but this can be risky especially if the
play is reversed. There are a few holes in the line;
if you can avoid the C coming down, you can get inside
the play with the ROLB or RILB if you can catch the back.
If you use the RILB for this, you must circle away from
the C so that he does not see you.
You can take the nose tackle inside, moving at a
diagonal, and follow the runner, but you have to slide
tackle and this method is not consistent even with a
good nost tackle. This play can cream you if the running
back is good because of the initial burst which stops
most linemen and linebackers. Otherwise, take a higher
defensive back or a higher linebacker and move
through or around the blockers at the first
opportunity. Moving around the whole line is also
possible with a good linebacker, but not recommended
otherwise. You can try and free up your LOLB with the
left end right after he gets blocked and then he will
come free to rush the RB, but it won't work every time;
however, it can be good if you can dominate down low
with the LE.

FB Power Dive

            LT  WR#1 (blocks)
            LG  (all the top offensive linemen shift up)
O--QB-------O-C----->RB#2-->RB#1 (blocks)
         /  RG
     RB#1   RT

        O----------WR#2 (blocks)

Offense: This is a dive play which means that you
can either take it through the middle for almost
guaranteed yards, or, move to the top or bottom
around the blockers (usually the top for this one) and
move out from there. This play has a great
reversibility, like almost all runs through the middle,
and has a blocker through the middle as well. Couple
this with Play Action if you can. If your opponent
tries to use the ROLB, just move straight through the
line and don't look back behind you at the ROLB chasing.

Defense: Nose tackle dives kill this play instantly. If
this is not allowed, take one of the defensive backs
(because the linebackers have to take care of the
blocker) and tackle the runner. However, this will only
work if you can get the linebackers to take on the blocker
that comes through the middle. If you have a fast
and powerful ROLB, you can run around the line and catch
the runner from behind. Another way to stop this play is
to free up your boys from the top of the line with the ROLB,
and those boys you free up will go tackle the ballcarrier.
When the ball is snapped, free up the two boys struggling
right next to the hole, first the top one, then the one
next to the hole. At the snap, the RILB engages the LT and
the RE engages the LG, and the NT engages the C. You are
going to free up the RE and NT. Then they will maul the
ballcarrier. This is how it looks:

         /  RG
     RB#1   RT

Still another way to stop this play is to use the left end.
It turns out that the guy right next to where the hole
opens up (the RG) is invisible at the snap, so you can go
right through him with the left end, and, if he does end up
hitting you, you are on his backside, so A button smashing
will get rid of him easily. Then you can take on either
the FB or the RB. Here's how it looks:

            RT \--LE

One Man Shift Formation

         | RB#2
         |   LT
         |   LG
RB#1     |  QB C
         |   RG
         |   RT
         |   TE

General Comments: These plays, for the most part,
can be taken out easily if your opponent knows what
you called or has called a play that defends against an
unexpected play (for instance, if he thinks you'll call
Roll Out L, he'll call Weakside Open so that when he
runs in to take out your quarterback, he doesn't have
to worry about a run to the bottom). So, mix up the
plays and don't have any pattern about them at all.
Roll Out L, in particular, is a good play, but it can be
taken out like all the rest, in fact, more easily, if your
opponent is watching for it. Watch the tight end: if he
goes forward, the play is Roll Out L. Watch the right
tackle; if he goes down, the play is FB Offtackle R.
Otherwise, the play is either Flea Flicker if the QB
goes straight back and otherwise it is Weakside Open.
A good trick here is to set up Roll Out L with the running
plays, provided the opponent doesn't use a top-side defender
to stop them.
One great thing to do with the running plays is to "send"
WR #2 into the RG/RT/TE area, this way you can get an
extra blocker to help you out at the point of attack,
should the MAN try and beat it down by freeing up some

FB Offtackle R:

             WR#1 (blocks)
 QB      | RB#2  (blocks straight out)
 |       |   LT
 |       |   LG
 O   ----|---O C
  \ /    |   RG
   \     |   O

The tight end first takes some steps back, and then
moves forward again to block, coming all the way
around the right tackle, not through the gap. The
right tackle moves diagonal downward to make the hole.

Offense: There are two main routes you can take on
this play: one through the gap in the line, and the
other moving around the whole line altogether.
Usually, you want to move through the line if that
will put you closer to a decent opening, or all
the way around if that will. If you move through the
line, watch out for a slide tackle, and don't go all the
way around if you don't have a fast enough back to
make it before the secondary or your opponent can
stop you. You can reverse the play, but I don't
recommend it in most situations.

Defense: If you think this one is coming, take the FS
or RCB or ROLB and just move in to tackle the runner.
Watch out for any unexpected blockers that may
break out. The ROLB is guaranteed in many cases but no
other LB necessarily.
Also, you can use the RILB to free up your boys, then
tackle the ballcarrier with your horde. The LILB can
do this as well, hitting the LOLB's man, but it's much
In addition, you can take the LOLB, hit him into his
man (the RT), then after you throw him, the RB will be
in your lap.

Weakside Open:

             WR#1 (blocks)
 QB      | RB#2  (blocks straight out)
 |       |   LT
 |       |   LG
 O   ----|---O C <- variable motion
  \ /    |   RG
   \     |   RT (blocks)
    \    |TE-O (the tight end moves like FB Offtackle R)
     ----|-->RB#1  (blocks)

The tight end first takes some steps back, and then
moves forward again to block, coming all the way
around the right tackle, not through the gap. The
right tackle moves diagonal downward to make the hole.

Offense: This is a play which you need to use with
discretion. Make sure you stay behind the blockers
and don't move around too much. It is more
reversible than FB Offtackle R, but it's not that good
of an idea unless your opponent is hurtling straight
for the spot where you will end up if you use the play
normally. You can use the WR #2 in this case (at least)
to cut block the defenders by running him through the
RG. If you have a pesky SS or LCB you are worried about,
this play can really cut through those positions,
provided you can hold out with your A button; the SS is
particularly vulnerable if you let your WR #2 go down
to the bottom of the formation, as he will then become
a cut blocker in various situations as far as the SS
is concerned. If you can then hold out against the SS,
(and the SS doesn't just blow up your guy), then this
play can really work for you, because the cut blocker
will throw off the SS on you, and, since it is a MAN,
you can spring a big play off this if the cut blocker
stays with the SS.

Defense: The key with this play, as it is with several
sweep plays that go to the bottom, is to get out of the
way of the blockers. You can either move through the
blockers, if you have a strong player who can end
things quickly, or you can bide your time and move
around the whole group and tackle the ball carrier
from behind.
As far as tactics are concerned, if you use any DB
but the LCB, or the ROLB, you can cut in close to the
line blocking and out of the "vision" of the CPU
blockers. Then you will have a clean shot at the
ballcarrier. If you use the SS for this, you have to
move up into the middle of the field, then move back
down to make this play. Also, you can use the RILB
or the LILB to free up your RE and LOLB on the bottom
of the blocking, this works pretty well as well.
You can also engage the RT (NOT the TE, who is on the
bottom, he pulls back) with the LOLB, throw him, then
the blockers will have passed you and, provided you
did that quickly enough and you have a fast enough
LB, you can liquidate the RB right there.
Also, you can use a shortcut that uses the LOLB (and
also the left end or the LILB, depending on how
good they are) to move in between the line and the
blockers when they first materialize and throw down
the back before the play gets going. That, however, is
more than a tad risky; the key to tell if you can't
do this on that play is to watch the center; if he moves,
then you can't perform this trick successfully, at least
with the LILB, whereas if he stays in, you have a clean
lane to the RB. If this play is shifted to the bottom
though, you cannot perform this trick consistently with
the LILB. However, the LILB (maybe others) can go around
the initial wave of blockers and never be "seen" if the
center stays in, even if the play is shifted to the
bottom. The center stays in during run calls, often
those out of Run 1 and Run 4 (I think); however, he will
stay in during Run 3 as well sometimes. However, with
pass play calls, he usually jumps out at you.
If you have a fast ROLB compared to the RB, you can just
go straight around the line and bring him down from
behind. I personally like to use the RCB to defend this
play. This play can be confused with Flea Flicker.

Roll Out L:

        ---O     /
QB      | RB#2---
|       |   LT
|       |   LG       TE
O   --------O C     /
 \ /    |   RG     /    --------WR#2
  \     |   RT    /    /
  RB#1  |   O-----    /
        |            / 

Offense: You need to make sure your opponent does 
not know you're going to call this play. Predictability 
is disaster, because if your opponent knows what's 
going on, he can make you lose nine or ten yards no 
problem. This is the weakest one-man-shift play
against a good defense. Look for both short and long 
receivers developing as your quarterback moves up and 
throw right after you gain control of your 
quarterback. This play is not call-safe at all (except 
for one or two notable instances in which the
quarterback gained control of the pass before the 
defenders caught up with him, then threw it to RB #2
right away). You won't have much time with
this, so think about to whom you're going to pass as
the your QB moves into position.

Passing Order:

Bomb Threats:

Defense: This play has a simple and deadly defense. 
Take a free safety, the RCB, the ROLB, or the RILB
and move around the offensive line, moving straight
for the quarterback, like this:

      ------O--------X (Die, QB, die!!!)
     /   | RB#2
    /    |   LT
(get him)|   LG
RB#1-----|--QB C
         |   RG
         |   RT
         |   TE

Since the quarterback cannot pass or move outside of 
the track until disturbed or until he finishes his 
movement, simply slide tackle him or struggle him 
down when he looks to have moved back around ten 
yards. Voila. Free loss. You can tell if this is a
Roll Out L because the tight end will come forward,
leaving you plenty of time to kill the QB.

Flea Flicker: 

         ---O   /          |
         | O----          WR#1
         |   LT
         |   LG
 QB  ----|---O C
  \ /    |   RG
   \     |   RT 
    \    |--O (moves out and blocks)
     RB#1|\------TE        ->WR#2

The tight end first takes some steps back, and then
moves forward again to block, coming all the way
around the right tackle, not through the gap. The
right tackle moves diagonal downward to make the hole.
This motion is similar to that of FB Offtackle R and
Weakside Open.

Defensive Shifts:
Flea Flicker - Any Play in Slots 1, 4, 5, 6, and 8

Offense: Pass quickly when you gain possession of the 
ball. This play is not call-safe (unless you get very 
lucky, and it does happen, in which case you pass to 
whomever, who usually ends up being WR #2, who is 
uncovered). If your opponent has a defensive shift, just 
pass as soon as you can, if possible, and hit A otherwise 
if you manage to get the ball. Make sure to be ready to 
cover a fumble if there's a defensive shift.

Passing Order:

Defense: This play can easily be defended by simply 
covering the three receivers. Also, you can take a 
defender inside and tackle the man tossing the ball
back or take out the QB and cause a fumble. You can 
tell that this is a Flea Flicker because the quarterback 
moves straight back into a passing position whereas 
the run plays don't have this feature. If you see 
a defensive shift, then this is the play, and you
can just take someone inside for a fumble. Consider
calling defenses that will reveal this play. This is a
twin of Weakside Open.

Shotgun 3-Wing Formation:

QB           C    
RB#1       RT   

General Comments: This formation is handy if you have
a fast quarterback, but a little predictable. You can
usually get at least a few yards using its two plays. 

Shotgun 3-Wing (Pass):

QB           C    TE
           RG    /
 O         RT   /
  \      O------
   \     O-----------RB#2     WR#2
    \----------RB#1          /

Offense: This play is good, with five receivers. The 
concentration short-range could be better, but this is 
pretty nice. Move your quarterback down to stifle 
defenders on one man from moving to the one you 
pass to before the ball gets there. You have a 
possibility of a RB #1 catch if this play is called
(A 4x).

Call-Safe Receiver:
RB#1 (A 4x)

Passing Order:

Defense: Make sure that the two longer receivers are 
covered, and then put yourself in a position where 
you can move to any of the uncovered short-range 
receivers when the pass comes off. 

Shotgun Sweep L:

    -------(LG & RG & TE block)----->QB
   /     / WR#1 (blocks straight out)
  /      | LT
 |       |-O
 O       |   C  (block straight out)  
RB#1   |   RT   
         RB#2   (these three block)

RB#1 stays put. The guards and the tight end
make a column that moves up the line behind the
blocking tackles and the center and WR #1 following
the path of the QB and blocking him thereby. 

Offense: Simply run it the way it looks. You have a 
good number of blockers on the play and people get
caught if they move into your line. Just run as usual 
and you'll come out well. This play can't easily be 
reversed, but you can move the other way if you are
really in danger. 

Defense: If you see this shotgun formation, and you
must stand your guard, don't think about taking 
the nose tackle. Take the ROLB, the RILB, or even 
a fast free safety, so that you can run around the 
sweep and slide tackle the QB as he runs. If you 
try to struggle with him, you probably won't succeed 
because blockers will knock you off him. You may have 
to mash the B button if you use the linebacker, because 
Tecmo does not respond well to that move. Alternatively, 
you can take the strong safety or lower linebackers and 
move through the sweep, then struggle the man down. If
you have strong people, then often the slide tackle
isn't necessary. Using the top guys ends up being
a gamble. If you want more of a contain,
particularly when you call a passing play, use the
LCB and move up around the sweep. You should be
able to keep the QB to five yards or less if he's
not a rushing quarterback. Calling a running play
against this often seals up the hole, but it gets
the QB more guaranteed yards.

Slot Formation:


O-------    LT
        \   LG
        |  QB C
        |   RG
        |   RT
RB#2    |   TE

General Comments: This is not the best formation, 
since the run play is not terribly good, but the pass is 
a pretty decent move. Only use the run if you want to 
surprise your opponent, because the run can be killed 
quite easily if you do it regularly. The pass, however, 
can be abused. 

Slot L Z Drive:

O-------    LT      \
        \   LG       \
      QB|---O C      WR#2
        |   RG
        |   RT
 O      |   O----|          ->RB#1
  \     |        TE        /

Offense: This is a pretty good play, with five 
decently and non-regularly spaced receivers. If it did 
not have this irregular formation, it would be great. 
Still, you can tag good receivers at any length. You
should run to the top in order to make your opponent 
come up to you if he wants to stop your run.
Call-safe receiver is RB #2 (A 3x). 

Call-Safe Receiver:
RB#2 (A 3x)

Passing Order:

Bomb Threats:

Defense: This play is a tough sucker, largely because 
it has a good mix of ranges. Just cover whoever 
would cause the most damage if two or more men are 
uncovered. If you are trying to stop a short-range 
pass, move into the bottom. You can use the nose 
tackle dives and other usual tactics here as well. 

Slot Offtackle:

            WR#1 (blocks straight)
          WR#2 (blocks straight)
O-----/-    LT
     /  \   LG
    /<-----QB C
   /    |   RG
  |     |   RT
  O     |   TE  (blocks straight)
        O ----RB#1  (blocks straight)

Offense: You don't really have a lot of blockers on 
this play. The only thing it really does is disable most 
of the defensive line. You should choose whatever 
path you think will get the most yards and incur the 
least defenders, which depends on what player your 
opponent is controlling (in the case of a man vs. man
game). This play is somewhat reversible.

Defense: Simply take the ROLB or RILB and pursue the 
running back by attacking from a diagonal position 
into the path of his run. You can also use the RCB to 
decent effect.

      (attack)<------X (Eat turf, sucker!)
O-------    LT
        \   LG
        |  QB C
        |   RG
        |   RT
RB#2    |   TE

You can struggle if you're fast enough at bringing 
him down, or just slide tackle and that will finish
it quite nicely.

WTE Formation:


RB#1     QB C


General Comments: This is the worst possible 
formation to have in your playbook because whether 
you choose the passing WTE Flea Flicker or the 
running WTE Offtackle R, both plays can be almost 
instantly stopped with a slide by a lower linebacker 
or the left end. Not only that, but both these plays 
aren't very good in their own right.

WTE Offtackle R:

          RB#2    (blocks)
O--QB---O  C
   \      RG
       RT/O       (blocks)
      TE-/         /

Offense: This play should be used with discretion and 
only if the defense slide is disallowed. You can 
usually get a few yards on it with a decent running 
back, but there's only two blockers that come out to 
help you, leaving you at the mercy of the secondary, 
and a human player will catch up with you. This play 
is mildly reversible, but is not call-safe at all. 

Defense: This play has an incredibly easy 
defense. Simply pick the left end or a lower 
linebacker and move into the running back, then 
struggle or slide tackle, like this:


RB#1  QB    C
      <--------X (Getting a free five yard loss!)


If this is forbidden, take one of the safeties or 
cornerbacks and move into the fray. 

WTE Flea Flicker:


  O<-----QB C
   \ \    RG
    \RB#1 O

Offense: Only if you can find an open man out of 
only two receivers, both of whom go long, do you
stand much of a chance. This is a surprise play and
little else. Run early and run often.

Passing Order:

Bomb Threats:

Defense: You can use the same tactics as for the run 
and slide in or you can simply take a linebacker or 
lineman and cover the two men who go long. Not 
much else about it, or to it. One odd thing that you
can try if you're really bored is to see if you can
disturb the QB during the flick to cause a fumble
by using a linebacker or cornerback. That tactic
isn't terribly useful, however. 

Formation/Play Oneback Z Cross

          O          -->WR#1
          |         /
RB#1  QB---O C    --WR#2
|          RG    /
|          LT   /
         |  |     |
         O  |    RB#1

General Comments: A first grader could spot this 
particular play, but the receivers will give almost 
anyone trouble for a few plays. This play has an
automatic defensive shift on defensive pass play
calls that must be taken into account.

Defensive Shifts:
Oneback Z Cross - Any (Pass) Play in Slots 5, 7, and 8

Offense: Don't call this play very often, because its 
best feature, the erratic paths of the receivers, is 
weakened by frequent use. Other than that, you might 
want to move your quarterback lower to take 
advantage of the three receivers on the bottom. Don't 
forget that you can move the receivers somewhat by 
changing the time of your snap to coincide with 
particular movements. There are no truly call-safe 
men on this one: RB #1 (A 1x) and RB #2 (A 2x) are 
only partially call-safe. The pass trajectory 
determines whether they are or not. If your opponent's
LCB shifts up to match your WR #2's movement, then your
opponent has called a pass play and you must get rid of 
the ball quickly before everyone is covered. If he 
doesn't, he's either called your play or he's called a run.

Call-Safe Receivers:
RB#1 (A 1x)
RB#2 (A 2x)

Passing Order:

Defense: Nose tackle dives and pursuing the QB are 
decent here, but you might want to take a man and 
cover the lower receiver nest. One thing to remember 
however is that WR #1 is the top receiver on this play 
and pinned quarterbacks may default to him. Be 
warned. Your LCB will shift up if you called a pass 
play against this (except for this play itself). 

Formation/Play No Back X Deep

--------| |    |          WR#1
|       | |    |
|   ----|-O----|
O   |   | LT
    |   | LG
 QB-|---|-O C
    |   | RG       -------->RB#2
    |   | RT       |
O---|   | TE       |
        | O        |

General Comments: This is another unique play that 
can be seen by any decent Tecmo player (since there 
is literally No Back), though it is harder to tell it from 
others with teams like Washington as opposed to the 
Redgun of Denver. It has good short and long pass 

Defensive Shifts:
No Back X Deep - Any Play in Slots 1, 2, 5, 6, and 7

Offense: The short receiver on the top is a good one 
to go for. Watch out for the receiver in the middle, 
because he can be quickly covered by any wandering 
defender out there for the top or bottom long 
receivers. Since this play shifts, you can change the 
destinations of your receivers by hiking the ball at 
different times before they get set. Call-safe passes
are to RB #1 (A 2x) and to RB #2 if you let him move 
all the way down to the bottom of the screen before 
hiking the ball (A 3x).
The defensive shift here isn't very important. If you
want to see it, you should give enough time for RB #2
to move around and draw the cornerback.

Call-Safe Receivers:
RB#1 (A 1x)
RB#2 (A 3x)

Passing Order:

Bomb Threats:

Defense: Don't let this play confuse you with the shift 
or the funky receiver paths. Just move long in the 
middle, since that receiver doesn't get covered often, 
and, as always, make sure someone has that short 
man obstructed. A nose tackle dive or any defensive 
lineman or linebacker rush can also work for this 
play. You don't really need to care if your cornerback
moves, because if you can't see this play without a
Defensive Shift, there's little chance that you will
be able to tell this play with the shift. However, if
you want your opponent to see that you called one of
the plays that shift, you need to switch around your
cursor and change defensive players long enough to
delay the snap so that the motion will draw off the

Formation/Play Run And Shoot 3-Wing


  O   QB---O C    ----TE--->RB#2
   \       RG     |    |
    \RB#1  RT     |    |
         O---------    |

General Comments: An easy play to spot, R and S 3-
Wing gets its strength from the four longer-range 
receivers, one of whom turns up short for a ten-yard 
pass. It does have a nice call-safe receiver though.

Offense: Pick your best long opportunity and
go for it. If you want to go short, make sure you pass 
quickly before your competitor can spot your open 
man. Call-safe receiver is RB #2 in the middle (A 1x).

Call-Safe Receiver
RB#2 (A 1x)

Passing Order:

Bomb Threats:

Defense: Rushing the QB does well here, with either 
nose tackle dives or just general pressure tactics. This 
is because the play doesn't really develop until the 
receivers move several yards out. If you want to go 
out into the field, just go long as soon as the man in 
the middle is taken care of. 

Formation/Play Redgun Z Slant

       /| O----------
      / O------      \   
     /    LT   \      \
    |     LG    \      \
QB  |       C    WR#1   RB#2
    |     RG
    O     RT

General Comments: A good play, lots of receivers, 
but everyone knows this play when they see the 
formation since it is unique. It's not that call-safe.

Defensive Shifts:
Redgun Z Slant - Any Play in Slots 1, 2, 5, 6, and 7

Offense: Hike the ball and find your first open 
receiver. Since most are downfield, this is of decent 
importance. Don't call this one if you're looking for 
decent short-range gains (unless you're going for a 
surprise pass) and don't call it if your opponent is 
proficient at Tecmo because chances are he or she 
will know what people to be looking for. Call-safe 
receiver is RB #1 at the top, short range (A 4x).

Call-Safe Receiver:
RB#1 (A 4x)

Passing Order:

Bomb Threats:

Defense: This is essentially another shotgun play.
Make sure all the receivers going long are covered
and catch them if they aren't, and otherwise, watch
for the short pass and QB sneak. A good place to put
yourself is in the middle of the field if you have to
guard both short receivers.


5. Passing

Notes on passing the ball:

Effective Passing
Protecting The Quarterback

Effective Passing

Here are some tips on effective passing.

Against Run Play Calls
Loft Your Passes (Jump Balls)
Move Your Quarterback Around
Don't Have A Moving, Covered Quarterback
When All Else Fails, Bomb
Dupe A Human With The Cursor - Dupe/Switch Passes
Jink The Quarterback To Move The Pass
Pick Up The Interceptor's Fumble By Tackling Him In Bounds

Against Run Play Calls

When your opponent calls runs, you will often have many
receivers open. The key to cashing in on this is to throw
as many wide-open deep passes as possible, while playing it
safe and getting the ball to your RBs and TEs short, so that
they can run faster to get the necessary yards. It much helps,
when you are trying to bait somebody into a run call, that you
have a receiver spread that gets your fast players out into
positions where they aren't on the edge of the screen. If they
go out too far, you can be baited into throwing a pick, and if
you don't have your fastest player out to catch a pass, you are
just plain giving up yardage. Ideal play: R&S Flare C. Un-ideal
play: Shotgun XY Bomb.

In order to throw as many deep passes as possible, you also want
to be able to know where the MAN pass defender is. If you know
that he is using a LB, this doesn't matter so much as you often
will throw it up anyway, but if you are against a powerful pass
defender, you must be cautious. One way to get the MAN back onto
the screen is to fake the QB run. One way to get him to influence
his motion is to switch to your checkdown. You can often see if he
is baiting you by noting the arrow cursor that points to the MAN,
and if it is moving around a lot up and down, you probably know that
the MAN is hovering short, waiting for you to throw to your checkdown.
However, you must be very cautious in the redzone, as the MAN will
often have the speed to hover AND cover your deep receivers.

Notes about QB positioning: if you run the QB a lot, you are not
going to get what you want out of the play most of the time. It's one
thing to run on 4th and 1, but running on 3rd and 8 can often result
in not picking up the first down. You must be disciplined and fake the
QB run, while relying on it only if your QB is fast and/or you are in
a key situation, your RBs can drop the ball, or you need to mentally
relax. In order to knock the MAN out of run calls/air patrol schemes,
you must be able to exploit the wide-open receivers deep and not allow
him to get picks or fumbles off you. This means not only going out of
bounds when your receiver or QB runs with the ball, but also not taking
sacks by fooling around too close to the LOS where the CBs and LBs are.
You must not exceed the limits of your QB in your movements.

Loft Your Passes (Jump Balls)

The biggest reason that passes, long ones in
particular, but short ones as well, fail is because
the target can't get his hands on the ball. This is
partly due to people swatting the ball, partly due to
the coverage causing an incomplete pass, and partly
due to interceptions. A good way to cut down on a lot
of that is by "lofting the pass". If you've played
Tecmo for a while, you know that receivers, good ones
catching passes thrown by good quarterbacks especially,
jump up and catch the ball. The trick is to get the
receivers to do this consistently. The first way, and
the easiest, is to time your pass so that the person
who needs to be catching the ball is still moving.
This increases the chances of the ball overshooting
the receiver, making it more possible for him to
have an opportunity to jump. This also hinders the
efforts of defenders, because a defender farther away
from the receiver will jump and miss or not jump at
all, and one on the "X" for the pass will not even
get a chance to intercept or interrupt the pass if
the receiver jumps and picks up the ball. It also
prevents the receiver from becoming lost in a clump
of defenders who zero in on a stationary man in no
time at all. The second way to do this is to jink
your QB so that the pass goes awry, as described
below. This gives more movement and more freedom
to the receiver. The third way is to attempt to loft
only when a receiver has no definite target. If he
does, oftentimes he will stop and either be too low
to catch the pass, or the pass will go straight to
him, AND the defenders that move in on the target
point. I must emphasize that using your best
receivers in loft attempts makes things much easier
because they have higher probabilities of catching
a difficult pass. Bo Jackson types need not apply.
I call the event of jumping up and catching the
ball a "clinch".

Move Your Quarterback Around

You should always be shifting your quarterback
around. The principal reason is to put your
quarterback right in line with your receiver so that the
pass has a better chance of getting in his general
vicinity. The secondary reason is so that, if you don't
have any good pass opportunities, you will usually be
off to one side or the other, making it easy for you to
QB sneak. The third reason for this is so that you
can get closer to the line of scrimmage and decrease
the time it will take for your pass to reach the
receiver, making it easier to complete a pass and also
to keep extra defenders from getting their hands
on the ball. However, read the next tip for a caveat.

Don't Have A Moving, Covered Quarterback

Two things can ruin your quarterback's pass:

1. If your quarterback is moving around when he
passes, it makes it much more possible for him to
throw a wild pass.

2. Defenders close to the QB can swat the ball down
and stop the pass (sometimes this is desirable though,
as in the case of a called play where receivers are
covered) or cause a wild pass as above. More
importantly, however, some defenders in the line of a
pass, such as general zone coverage and especially
linebackers who loiter around the offensive line, will
block the ball and sometimes even intercept it. Make
sure you have a clear path for a pass unless you have
a great QB.

When All Else Fails, Bomb

At the end of a half, or when it's fourth down and
every man is covered, simply trot back ten or thirty
yards (moving to the twenty-yard line is a standard
that still endures today) and throw to the longest man
out there, in the slim hope that you can get a
reception. It does work, especially with good passing
teams, although it is more than a bit cheap. Another
thing that you can try if every person is covered on
a pass play and you can't QB sneak is to use a
cross-field bomb in an attempt to throw the ball out
of bounds or out of the reach of defenders.

Dupe A Human With The Cursor -
Dupe/Switch Passes

A good way to snooker a human opponent is to place
the cursor on the man you don't want to pass to, then
switch at the last moment. Coupled with a QB right
about to sneak and on the opposite side of the field
with respect to the intended receiver, this can cause
quite a bit of havoc. A tactic to use, if you want to
use Tecmo's built in services for duping humans, is
the dupe pass, where you hit A+B, but B first, to
pass the ball and then to shift the cursor to the
next man. This ensures that the pass goes where you
know it will and where you want it, while causing
some minor harassment to a human opponent. The key
in using it is not to abuse it, because the cursor
lands on the person you're going to throw it to and
that is the cue your opponent needs to cover the
appropriate man whenever he hears the ball being
thrown. If your opponent is always wise to it, it's
of no use. A good way to exploit it is to have the
person who the cursor will shift to and the person
who will actually get the ball on a line, so that
only the depth of the pass can be analyzed to
determine its target, and by the time a human can
figure it out, it can be too late to do anything
about it.
The other, more sophisticated and nearly
impossible to stop, way of screwing with a human
opponent is to use the switch pass, where you hit
A+B but A first, so that the pass target is
switched and the ball thrown immediately afterward.
This, however, requires the user to know the order
in which receivers come, and that takes a bit of
work. It can be simulated somewhat by scrolling the
pass cursor over the field and noting the person
that comes right before your intended target, then
focusing on them. However, that won't do well if
you come up against a nose tackle worshipper who
rushes you on random plays. The full power of the
switch only comes when you can automatically flip
the cursor and wait for your opportunity, which
means memorizing the orders; not a worthwhile
task for a casual player, but it can be useful in
seasons where you only have four orders to
One great use for these is in call-safe plays,
where you can throw to the call-safe receiver and
not end up getting picked off, if you use the dupe
pass to throw off the defender. Some plays even
have multiple receivers all one after another whom
you can choose at random, so you can completely
befuddle your opponent by using the switch and
dupe passes on those plays.

Jink The Quarterback To Move The Pass

If everyone is covered and you can't escape with the
QB, simply choose the best receiver, then move a
second before you pass and continue moving through
the pass. With intermediate and poor QBs, what this
can do is move the "X" for the play from the receiver
to a position farther away, which makes it harder for
the defender to intercept, but also harder for the
receiver to catch. It is useful, however, if you can get
the X to move forward or to the side.

Pick Up The Interceptor's Fumble By Tackling Him In Bounds

Unlike most situations, you CAN pick up a fumble if a
defender who intercepts the ball then fumbles it on the
tackle. Therefore, be persistent about tackling the defender
in bounds and not allowing him to save the ball for the

Protecting The Quarterback

To get the pass off, you have to have a standing
quarterback. Well, gee, what's new? However, it's
not always so easy to do so and get a decent pass
off, especially with a mediocre QB. So, here are
some ways in which you can keep your QB from
losing his nose and nine yards.

Stay Behind The Offensive Line
Give Yourself "Slide Time"
Hold A Direction As You Take The Snap
Engage Rogue Defenders
Get Rid Of The Ball On A Tough Rush
Run Back To Dodge A Human Rush
Take The Tackle Back

Stay Behind The Offensive Line

During a play and especially during a pass play
against which your opponent has called a run, you
will have two kinds of threats: the linemen and
linebackers who rush against the center, guards,
and tackles; and the linebackers, with corners if
your opponent has called a run, who sit for about
two or three seconds on either side of your line,
and then start moving in to sack you. If you're off 
to one side and you're too close to those guys
on the ends, you're in danger of having to run
backwards to escape a tackle and jarring the
pass. On the other hand, if you stay too close
to the offensive line, you're toast as soon as 
someone breaks through. One way to cope with
the rush is to move back about ten or fifteen 
yards and then either move to the sides as you
need, or move back up towards the line and
pass to make it easier for the QB to get his

Give Yourself "Slide Time": 

Everyone has had the frustrating experience of 
"I hit the button, but I got sacked!" Tecmo has 
a very clean pass that encourages people to wait 
until the last microsecond (literally, the defender 
is on top of the QB) to pass the ball, especially 
if receivers haven't opened up fully. What keeps 
off these sacks is to watch when people get 
into slide tackle range. Right then, you have
a fourth of a second before you're in big 
trouble. That's only enough time to change
receivers once and then pass before you get
taken down, and that's if you switch pass.
Don't tempt fate. When someone is within
1.5 body lengths of you, and you're not
using a dodging tactic, then you are about to
get nailed, because the time it takes for you
to hit B once you see the slide tackle emerging
is not good enough to get the pass off. What
you can do as "slide time" is imminent is to
stop running and plant your feet for a split
second and then pass just as the defender gets
into terminal range, in order to give yourself
a better pass. 

Hold A Direction As You Take The Snap

A good idea for any movement in Tecmo, holding 
the directional button as you take the ball is
especially important for the QB. You can dodge 
a lot of slides if you hold up or down or 
sometimes even back as you move away from the
line, and even dodge the NTD most of the time
if you have a fast QB. To add to the fun, 
holding back if your opponent is rushing you
without a slide tackle (as with a linebacker)
gives you more time that you need to get a
decent pass off. 

Engage Rogue Defenders

Sometimes the computer just breaks through with 
one strong player, and he goes straight for you
when you don't have a receiver lined up. You 
should engage him in that situation as long as a 
human opponent is not also rushing you. You
want to move at him laterally to keep him
from slide tackling you. Once you've disposed
of him, you usually have two or three more
seconds to choose your target and pass. But...

Get Rid Of The Ball On A Tough Rush

If two or more defenders are coming for you at 
once, you are dead meat. Find an open or a
least-covered receiver and pass before they
get about 2 body lengths from you. You don't
want to play games by juggling two or three
or four defenders coming right at you, plus
the coverage calculations on a receiver, 
added in with the problems of a QB under
pressure, who may already be mediocre. If both
are computer players, then you may try dodging
tactics if no one is open and you can afford
to take a sack rather than risk an interception,
but if one of the rushers is a MAN player, then
just take the sack and save your time or get rid
of the ball or run out of bounds or something
other than tempting fate ten yards behind the

Run Back To Dodge A Human Rush 

Quite frequently on shotguns and on some other 
plays as well, a human will not slide tackle, 
but will go in for a struggle and the kill. To 
stave off the advance, simply move straight
back and keep moving until he gets too close
and then pass. If you stop, it makes it too 
easy for him to catch up with you and 
encourages him to keep rushing you in hopes
of getting the sack. Also, don't move 
laterally until you want to pass, because
there isn't that much room for you to move
once you're at the top or the bottom. You
can also try a jink or two like the Triangle
Dodge to reduce his speed. In any event, you
know at the snap where he will come from by
his player selection. However...

Bring That Tackle Back 

If you can get the OL to pursue the MAN 
blitzer, you can often engage in a struggle, 
throw his guy with the help of the OL, then 
throw a deep ball.


6. Pounding The Rock

Two sections:

Runner Types
Running Tips

Runner Types

When you get control of your runner, you have to 
consider a) your runner's speed and b)your runner's
hitting power. 

If your runner is slow, you should probably go for 
guaranteed yards and stay behind the blockers.
Reversing the run play is not a good idea with a 
slow fullback like Ickey Woods, because the defense
will advance upon you, breaking through the offensive
line and causing you big problems with slide tackles,
struggles, and assisted tackles (struggle+slide or
struggle+defender who moves in on your struggle). 
Breaking out is very hard with slow people. As your
speed increases (with different runners or with
the same runners in better condition), you want to
take more chances, move between more defenders, and
go for the holes in the defense, even if they are
far away, so that you can break out and get the
big yardage. 

If your runner has little hitting power, you can't
engage in struggles beyond one-man with the 
computer, and don't engage at all with a MAN if 
your thumb isn't good (although if your thumb is
good, you will want sometimes to advance upon a
human player if you can win consistently, because
getting rid of the MAN is a big bonus in Tecmo).
As your hitting power increases, you can take more
chances on struggles, which means that you should
go for a hole that's almost open, but blocked by,
say, a defensive back that you would have to 
engage. With a decent hitting power, you can go
for him and knock off people who attempt to
interfere in your struggle, and once you've 
beaten him, you can continue on to a touchdown,
instead of taking only two more guaranteed yards
that would be your only recourse if you had low
hitting power. If your runner has high hitting
power, what you should do is actually go for the
weak defenders head-on. If a defender is weak
enough, and your hitting power is high enough,
you can knock over the defender with little 
difficulty, which can open up new routes for
you, since you don't have to worry about the
defender in the middle of your path. Moreover,
that defender won't get up for two or three 
seconds. This tactic is quite effective when you
scout your opposing defenses' weaker players. If
you have a powerful back like Christian Okoye,
you can emphasize routes that go by weak corners
or safeties, or know that you can move up into
a limp linebacker squad to dodge a powerful

So I will now recoup: what do you do for certain
types of runners?

The Limp Noodle (slow and weak): With this 
character, you should simply focus on just getting
yards. Stay behind the blockers and don't reverse.
A good way to describe this play style would be
computer-esque. Don't be innovative because you
have enough problems with rushing as it is. 

The Slow Fullback (slow but powerful): With a
slow fullback, you should mainly follow the play, 
but you will also want to note whom you can bowl
over when your blockers dissipate. Get into 
struggles if you must, but be wary of doing so
in crowds. 

The Flash (fast but weak): This runner is one
with whom you should take new avenues. Go for
the holes because you won't survive in a 
struggle for very long, although you can 
engage one person if you can win and get away
from your pursuers thereafter. Reversing the
play should be done if it can evade the 

The Running Jack (mildly fast and with a 
dose of hitting power): When you run with this
person, you have a greater advantage over the
Flash in a man-to-man situation, because your
higher hitting power gives you more ability to
cope with the likes of Singletary and Taylor.
However, you still want to follow the play,
though you can reverse and go for holes if 
those options are viable. 

The Demon (fast and powerful): This runner is
the best of all worlds. You should be aggressive
in seeking to break out because that is something
which a Demon can do very easily. You should 
adopt the Flash's "hole-seeking" strategy, but
you must also remember that with a high hitting
power, a Demon can make holes through lesser
defenders. If someone is between you and the
clear beyond, and you know that you can knock
them down, go for the hole and ram through that
player. You can be especially effective if you
watch the defenders as the play develops, 
because you can keep track of the strong people
that you have to avoid and the weak people that
you can move through. 

You can apply this rushing knowledge to receivers
and tight ends after they get a pass as well. 
In addition to the knowledge above, generally, with
a tight end, you just want to get your yards, since
there usually aren't many holes with linebackers
behind you, corners near your sides and ahead, and
safeties on the horizon. As regards wide receivers,
you want to dodge and outwit the usually-powerful
secondary that is after you. When a running back 
acts as a receiver, he's either short, which means
he needs more of a tight end strategy, or long, 
which entails a wide receiver approach. 

Runner Tips

Make sure to augment your runner's hitting power,
no matter how high or low, by pressing the A button
as you run. That increases your initial hitting 
power and allows you to knock off more people and/or
get the advantage in a struggle. 

Also, when you get behind your blockers, try to 
move yourself into a position to set up
opponents in their paths. For instance, if you've
got a human Mike Singletary running after you and
you run Pitch L Open, if Singletary comes up 
behind you, move down and force the defender to
move into your blockers to get at you or force him
to move around and slow down his tackle. 

One move that you can try when you're desperate is
to move inside the offensive line and try one of
the holes there. Most of the time, you won't want
to do this since you can bounce off the line and
essentially stop your advance. However, if you
need a reverse and if you see the defense plugging
up your hole, go through the line, in between the
linemen (obviously), and try to break out from there.

Another move that you can use if you have a power
back is to smash into struggling players to open
up a hole. For example, if you are trying to cut
back inside, you can smash your center in the
back to try and knock off the tackle. The good thing
about this tactic is that unlike on defense, where
you will fall down if you don't have enough hitting
power, you will just bounce off a little bit. You
can then use this bounce to move into a hole on
either side of your center, since you just smashed
into him. However, the big drawback on this move
is that if it fails, you will have lost a lot of
time and gained no yardage. Make sure to scout
the matchups on the line and the anticipated
matchups of your other blockers and their targets
before trying to do this methodically.

Whenever a run play is called, there's always a best
direction you can go in to minimize your losses.
Find it and go for it. Sometimes, there will be a
gap between one group of defenders and another.
Move through this gap; it often allows you to
escape if you have a fast back. Don't give up just
because the play gets called. 


7. Pass Defense

Notes on pass defense, especially manually rushing
the passer:

Coverage Tips
Rushing The Passer

Coverage Tips

Many times, you will be faced with situations where
one or more deep receivers is open and you need to
cover all of them. The way to do this is to "split"
the two receivers (hopefully that's all you have open)
by running back in the middle of the field. When the
quarterback throws a pass, you can then easily move
to whatever side of the field the pass is going to.
One thing to remember about this is that even if
one of two deep guys is uncovered, for example, you
still want to remain in the middle to help the
coverage out on the other side of the field. You can
cheat a little, but don't sell yourself out just to
cover one receiver. In many instances, that works
against you because the receiver will "clinch" the
ball while you stand like a doofus on the 'X' on
the field - you can get there too quickly. So make
full use of the time it takes the quarterback to
get the deep ball to the receivers by running in
the middle and thus covering everyone who is deep.

Many times, you end up in a situation where you
have multiple receivers to cover short, and you
don't have any help. One way to contain this
situation is to run around in circles between the
players you want to cover. This allows you to
maintain a high speed while still remaining able
either to tackle the receiver who gets the ball
or to cover them before the ball gets there.
If you stand still, you won't get where you want
to be as quickly as you would if you ran around.
Locate your circle in either a) the closer of the
two receivers if you are covering 2 or more short
ones or b) the far side of the short receiver if
you are covering one short and one longer.

If you know you aren't going to be able to get to the
receiver, then don't get too close to them. The game
can make you "autodive" and you will totally miss them
and the ballcarrier will get 20 additional yards while
you pick yourself up off the ground.

Sometimes, you end up covering receivers (and good
passing games) with only LBs, for instance. In these
cases, you can try to cover by using tipped balls.
To tip a pass, get into the line of the pass, and
trail the receiver by about 3 player lengths. If the
pass is high, hump him. Thus, you can make plays
without having to take chances on the receiver winning
the battle for the ball.

Rushing The Passer

There are many different ways to get after him.
Here, I will address the peculiar ways in which you
can rush the quarterback, focusing on the ways
suited to particular groups. I also touch on how you
can generally stifle a run at the end of this
section. These do not address tactics that are
suited to particular plays - only the nose tackle
dive is really touched on.

Defensive Backs
Safer Blitzing (DLs & LBs)


The linemen are the hardest to get a clean, pure
rush at the quarterback with. This is because they
absorb the offensive linemen and get pursued by
them in many cases. The first and by far the
easiest way to attack the quarterback are the
various dives, most nefariously the nose tackle
dive, but also the left and right ends can do
damage of their own if they can get inside without
being engaged. These must be used with a little
caution, however, as a good quarterback can simply
dodge or escape them, not to mention the perils
involved in using a lineman to dive when a Pitch
L Open starts breaking. About 19 MS for the quarterback
is when the nose tackle dive loses its effectiveness.
However, if your nose tackle is bad, you can still end
up not being able to sack a 13 MS QB.
Look to the beginning of the play explanations section
(currently Section 4) for more info on the NTD.

The second way is to simply rush the QB with the
lineman. It's easiest to use the nose tackle, but
you can also use the others, especially if you
stunt them by moving them around another struggle.
With the nose tackle, you should move diagonally
up or down toward the line and then move more or
less straight in - a nose tackle dive, but without
the actual slide. Most of the time, the center won't
catch you, letting you advance. However, do take
note that the center then pursues you, and there
may be a running back or other blocker inside the
With the ends, simply move towards the nose
tackle and then move in, or move in an arc around
the guard and then rush, with the same caveats as
for the nose tackle. However, if you have a strong
nose tackle, one thing you will be able to do is to
have the weaker guard bounce off the struggle and
be taken out of the play, since the guard wants to
go through the struggling nose tackle and center
to get to you. This stunt blitzing is good stuff
and you want to use it if possible when you rush
a lineman.

The third method is to take one lineman and
exchange him. To do this, one must take a
lineman who is not the best on the line (you can,
but that's counterproductive, as you shall see) and
ram him into the struggle between the best lineman
and his offensive counterpart, pressing A as you
do so to raise your power. You then cause the
struggle to break up and the lineman that you
freed to run straight for the quarterback
without any blockers to stop him. Sometimes you
will accompany him, but you often get caught up
with the offensive lineman that you ignored in
order to free your compatriot.


Linebackers have an easier job and can rush in
two ways.
The first is to simply move right through the
line. With an outside linebacker, you need to
make sure that the tackle for your position
doesn't get in your way. To avoid him,
use the gaps between the center and the guards
to move inside. The inside linebackers can use
those avenues as well, and would be best
advised to use them in any case.

You can also free up your boys with your LBs,
but linebackers often don't have the hitting
power and sometimes bounce off, especially when
the person rushing doesn't hit A enough. This
can be a very effective tactic, particularly if
you have an Interceptions linebacker, but be
warned, you can get burned.

Another way in which linebackers can rush is by
moving around the pocket and hitting the QB from
the side or from behind. This is mainly limited to
faster outside linebackers and takes more time
than with the gap rush, but can yield results
if your opponent isn't watching the sides
(which happens a good deal; I myself scan the
pocket, then the middle (top and bottom), then
guess as to whether someone has gotten out of
coverage offscreen, but don't often look
directly at the quarterback). It works better
with certain formations that don't have as
many people dropping around a particular side,
like the formation for Offset Flare E.

Defensive Backs

These guys don't have much of a role in
attacking the passer, though they sometimes can
help. The main places they fall into are the
tactics for certain plays, but they can also follow
a certain play that looks like a run, but
turns out to be a pass. In such cases, it's
simply a matter of following the QB. You want
to be as direct as possible because some
receivers aren't being covered when corners
and safeties go inside to hurt the QB.
Sometimes you also have situations where your
opponent loves to roll out to the side of a certain
receiver, or rolls out to one side to avoid the pass
rush on the opposite side. In these situations,
an occasional unexpected CB blitz on that side will
cause problems, especially for QBs who crumble under
pressure and extra movement. However, you must have
pass coverage behind it, and you have to have an
opponent who won't just stand in the pocket, seeing
that your guy is open, because you won't have enough
time to hit him. The problem is that the receiver
is usually going deep on your side, and those routes
are difficult for the CPU-controlled FS to pick up,
though the SS is sometimes surprisingly smart.
Therefore, it is only a measure to be used against
certain opponents in certain situations, not a general
move that can be applied against every player; I for
one never see when guys are trying CB blitzes because
I release the ball well before the impact would ever

Safer Blitzing (DLs & LBs)

Oftentimes your scouting report will tell you whether
the opposing QB is susceptible to the blitz in terms of
a) his ability to evade the blitz and b) his ability
to throw the ball while the blitz is coming, to a receiver
who can make a big play out of it. Typically, the receivers
are good enough to where you can give up humongous plays
if the QB delivers the goods, so the key focus is on
jarring the QB and forcing an errant pass to an open man,
or in forcing a situation where the QB doesn't have enough
time to get the ball to the open man. Few QBs in this game
are both slow enough and poor enough (Jeff George) to where
you can just go straight after him with bloodlust, provided
you called a pass play. Therefore, you must detect the amount
and depth of the pass coverage BEFORE you totally commit
yourself to a blitz; otherwise, you can end up with a deep
receiver like WR #1 on many plays, on whom the cursor initially
rests, and who will burn you for the TD if the QB can deliver
the ball. To do this, you must know the opposing plays possible;
then, when the receivers show the play, you must read _your_
defense, especially the corners, to find out whether or not
your guys have adequate coverage to hold the QB until you can
get your hands on him. If you can see that your defense will get
the primary receiver (usually WR #1) and then the primary
checkdowns from that receiver, you continue your blitz.
Mind you, you've already started your motion; ILBs blitz
off-center, DEs stunt around the NT, and OLBs begin evading the
tackle. In the first second of the blitz you determine if you
can proceed; if not, your ILB reverses direction, your DE peels
off, and your OLB cuts back outside into coverage. Even LT can
be beat if he has nothing but air behind him, so be responsive
to what your defense is doing for you to keep the ball out of
the hands of the receivers.


8. Run Defense

There are three main ways of handling runs:

Gang Tackling
Tactics (not covered here)


Confrontation is the best way to handle a CPU
with low hitting power or a MAN with low hitting
power and a bad thumb. Simply take your best guy
with good to great hitting power and just touch
the runner while hitting A, and, if necessary,
have a brief struggle. You can also have a kind
of confrontation with a slide tackle against
strong backs, through I would not recommend
using that against a human unless you are sure
that you can make the tackle. The best people to
do this with are linebackers, though you can
also do it with linemen (having circuitous
routes) and the secondary (risking breakouts).

Three ways that you can tag the runner are to
move around the play and hit him head on, or
to cut through the blockers and hit him on the
sides, or, in the case of certain sweep plays
and others where the player you use to stop 
runs is at the tail end, is to go behind the
play and hit the runner from behind, which has
the added advantage of reducing the hitting
power needed for an instant tackle.

One key to remember if you get into the backfield
or you are all alone is that if your opponent
uses the circle move or something similar, they
may be able to make you lose your speed and thus
get past you. Another classic trick is to move
through their own blockers and thus tie you up.
In order to avoid this, run in circles if they are
trying to lead you into a trap, so that you can
keep the RB contained and let your boys help you,
and also don't pursue too quickly to the RB without
help, sometimes you can overpursue and end up
behind him, thus losing your speed. Only if you 
must make the stop should you take risks like that
in the backfield.

Gang Tackling

If this is not feasible because the runner has 
a high hitting power or he has a lot of friends
around him to smash you to kingdom come, then 
you can use a gang tackle.
The traditional way of gang tackling is that, you
let the play draw out, then, once the blockers
are engaged and can't hit you, go for the runner
and keep struggling until you either tackle him
or your comrades  help you make the tackle by
hitting the running back. One thing to remember
is that once your opponent is tied up, you can
slide tackle into the struggle and bring down the
runner. This won't help you much in short yardage
necessarily. The key here is to contain the big play
that you know you will get toasted on if you try and
confront the runner.
One easy way to get some guys to help you take
down the MAN is to free up some boys. Also, if
you have to use this strategy, calling runs a ton
gives you a lot more support. This means of gang
tackling is a lot better than letting the play


9. Playbooks/Playcalling

"On 3 - 1, 2, 3, turnovers!!!"

This part has information about having certain
formation combinations in your playbook as well
as amalgamated playbooks, good and bad. Note
for defense that, if your opponent is calling a
lot of runs or passes, you should adjust your
play calling accordingly. 

Formation Combos
Slot Recommendations
Good Playbooks And How To Shut Them Down
Vs. MAN Playcalling
CPU Playcalling

Formation Combos

T Formation Plays: These are good as long as you
have variety in the directions of the runs and the
length of the passes. One peril to watch for is the
nose tackle dive, because that can stop about
half of these plays. If there's a rule against that
tactic, then these become more useful. Try to pick
plays that look similar in the execution, like
Pro T Waggle L and T Power Sweep R. You probably
want about 6 or 4 of these in your playbook, if
you want this formation. If you go for 7, you
should probably have a bomb in the last slot, like
Redgun Z Slant or Shotgun XY Bomb (I would go for
Redgun, but some people seem to like XY Bomb, don't
know why, there are certainly enough opportunities
in the Redgun for a bomb, and two more short ones).
Half of these you can defend against with an NTD.
For the rest, if you have a T Cross Run L/Pro T
Waggle R combo, use the RILB, and for sweep plays,
use a defensive back or linebacker away from the
direction in which you think the sweep will go, or
use the ROLB and go behind the play (which will also
disable T Flea Flicker). If you have breakthrough
plays like Cross Offtackle or T Offtackle R, then
choose a defensive back and then move in after
the runner. Without the NTD, you should call and do
whatever works for you as regards the passes. One
note: don't call Pro T Flare D unless you're ready
to cover the TE, and don't call it if your
opponent can switch to the running backs. Just call
another pass play if you think Pro T Flare D is

Onesetback Plays:
     Top Handoff Plays: These plays are bad. When
you have this set of plays in your book, a person
can call Pitch L Fake and stop the other two
with the nose tackle or another lineman or a
linebacker for losses very easily. Or, if tactics
are allowed, they can just be stopped from the gun
with the ROLB. I would use a linebacker or
cornerback to defend these, or call Pitch L Fake,
then attack the QB and WR to end the play.
     Handoff After The Snap Plays: These plays are
horrible if the left/right end dive is allowed,
and less useful if the RILB attack is allowed, but
they can be passing in moderation and with one or
two of the Other Plays. If those tactics are not
allowed, these are good plays.
     Other Plays: These are good plays for variety
as complements to the other Onesetback plays,
especially Pitch L Open + HATS Plays, and also
Pitch L Open + X Out And Fly if you have same
colored running backs. For Pitch L Open only, use
the left end attack or the ROLB attack.

This whole formation should occupy about 4 or 5
slots if you want it.

Run And Shoot Plays: These are appealing, but
somewhat weak on the runs, and susceptible to the
nose tackle dive on the passes. These are good,
but don't get in patterns if you have these. One
way that these plays can be stopped is by calling
a run play in the opposite direction that the
ball is shifted, and then covering the pass with
a lineman. This formation needs about 4 or 6 to
be successful, including both Run And Shoot Left
and Right. If you have 6, couple this with
2 T Formation plays. Don't pick the Draw!!! You
will be slaughtered if you do.
This is one of the hardest to get a good defense
for. I would adjust myself carefully to the ratio
of runs to passes, then cover accordingly. If
the line was shifted to the top, I would take
my run defender from the top, and if it were
shifted to the bottom, I would take my run
defender from the bottom. If you can use the
nose tackle dive or something of that nature,
then you can just NTD passes and call only runs
for this formation. R&S Sweep R, you probably
want to call this play and then defend against
the other runs, if you think a run is coming.

Shifting Onesetback Plays: This formation is
good, lacking on blockers on the runs and
biased toward runs a bit much (only two passes,
and one Roll Out R, make the passing game harder),
but pretty good if the nose tackle dive is
forbidden. If you use this, make sure you use
a lot of runs because the passes can be nailed
fairly readily. You want the left and the right
run on this one. You should couple them
with Playaction Z In if you have only 3 plays in
your book, and add Roll Out R if you have all four
runs. This is a nice complement to the five
possible shotgun plays in the other slots. If
you have all six, you can also put in Shotgun
X Curl and Shotgun Z S-In for a good combo for
use in the end zone. The runs are low on blockers,
so that makes this a bit disadvantageous if you
don't have a back with decent Hitting Power.
If I were defending against the first good combo
(FB Open L, Oneback Sweep R, Playaction Z In),
then I would call the pass and defend the runs
with my best player. If I were defending against
all the shifting onesetback plays, I would
call Playaction Z In, then use a defensive back
close to the bottom of the screen (the LCB, if
he's any good) or a good linebacker to cover
the runs and Roll Out R.

Shotgun Plays: These are good if you want to be
safe in the end zone and free from unstoppable
tackles and sacks. However, the runs from here
are meaningless against a good opponent unless
you can struggle him down before help arrives.
If you want to shut this down, simply take a
linebacker and cover the run, and move out into
coverage if it becomes evident that no run is
coming, since it is tough to sack even a computer
QB in this formation, let alone a human. Put plays
of this formation in your book as they become
useful to the rest of your playbook, since there
are a ton of switched players that can be detected
from the lineup of the plays. I would put two or
three of these in my book if they were convenient.
For general defense of shotguns with runs and
passes, I would take either a lineman or a
linebacker so that I could tackle a runner, but
usually a linebacker if Shotgun Draw is in.
If there are only passes, I would take my best
lineman or linebacker pass defender and go out
into coverage, provided of course I had called a
pass play.

Strong-I Formation: If you put in
one run, put in a pass. If you put in both runs,
put in both passes. These can be powerful plays,
since if the NTD is forbidden, you can run and
pass with near-impunity, and also Toss Sweep R is
great even if the NTD is allowed. I would put
in Toss Sweep R with Offset Flare E, and then
FB Power Dive with Play Action. This is best in
terms of value with 2 plays, but all 4 give you
a lot more power on the run and the pass. To
defend against this, you should probably call
Toss Sweep R and defend against the other plays
with either the ROLB attacks, linemen dives,
or going out into coverage.

One Man Shift Formation: This one is pretty
bad. The passes are weak enough that
you can only call them every once in a while,
and hardly ever in a pinch. Not only that, but
all the runs are to the bottom. I would put only
2 of these in my book, and at the very most three.
What plays? I would want Weakside Open and then
FB Offtackle R, and if I had to have three I would
put in Flea Flicker. The reason for this is
because Roll Out L can be seen from the motion
of the tight end right after the snap, and while
this is true for FB Offtackle R and the right
tackle, in Roll Out L, you don't have any
protection for the quarterback and you can't just
throw the ball away while the QB is in motion,
whereas in FB Offtackle R, you have blockers and
a strong sweep that can't easily be destroyed
without prior preparation for the play. You can
ad-lib a defense for Roll Out L so easily that
you will get killed if you try it more than twice
a game, and you might never be able to use it
at all. However, if you only use Roll Out L a
few times a game at most, and your opponent stacks
up against the run with the ILBs or the LOLBs, then
you can get Roll Out L off and make a good play
out of it. Note that Weakside Open and Flea Flicker
are twin plays, so if you're concerned about
defending against either, pick Weakside Open and
attack the QB. For any defense against this
formation, pick a run, and usually Weakside Open
unless your opponent loves using FB Offtackle R.
Note this though: Flea Flicker can show a
Defensive Shift, so you want to be very careful
about using it, because if your opponent sees the
shift, it's over.

Shotgun 3-Wing Formation: Put both plays in if you
want this. Call the pass more than the run. If
you are defending against these plays, use the
top linebacker to tackle the QB on the run, and use
him out in coverage on a pass.

Slot Formation: Put both plays in if you want this.
Call the pass more than the run. If you don't know
which play of these has been called (or you want
to be hedge your bets), select the RILB as your
player so that you can stop the run right away and
so that you can cover any passes, unless you think
it's more likely that the pass was called, in which
case use whatever QB rushing tactic you can
muster (NTD, etc.).

WTE Formation: Don't put these in, but if you are
feeling suicidal, at least put only one in. Defend
using tactics or with linebackers.

Individual Plays: If you like the properties of
one of these in the 8th slot, then put them with
a T Formation playbook especially, but they can
also work with Shifting Onesetback playbooks well.
Otherwise, if you must have one (you don't) then
adapt the rest of your playbook to fit that
strategy. Refer to those plays for the appropriate
defenses against them. 

Slot Recommendations

These are some general feelings I have about the plays
in each slot and which ones you should choose for each.
More specific recommendations are in the Good Playbooks
section. When I say a play has good compatibility, I 
mean that several other plays also run from that 
formation and that this is a good fit for those plays.
I have ranked them in categories and within categories:
the higher up it is, the more I like it.

Slot 1:

Great Choices:
15: Toss Sweep R - Strong-I Formation: This is a great
run to just knock people away with. Smash-mouth
football should not be played without this run.

Other Choices:
12: Run And Shoot Sweep L - Run And Shoot Formation:
This is a great run, not as good as R&S Sweep R, but
very compatible and a little effective.
17: T Power Sweep R - T Formation: This is a nice,
solid run, but it does nothing particularly great,
especially since it's not hard to stop.
14: FB Open L - Shifting Onesetback Formation: This
run has good compatibility, but it lacks blockers.
13: FB Offtackle R - One Man Shift Formation: This
one has pretty good blocking, but it lacks
compatibility. It's also (almost) mirrored by a play
in Slot 2, so you want to think twice about this
11: Onesetback L - Onesetback Formation: This one is
a decent play, but it can be shut down with certain
tactics and has a (almost) mirror in Slot 2.

Bad Choices:
16: T Fake Sweep R - T Formation: You can get wiped
out in several ways with this play. Only good as a
surprise play.
10: WTE Offtackle R - WTE Formation: This is the worst
play you could possibly put in this slot. Don't do it.

Slot 2:

Other Choices:
25: T Sweep Strong - T Formation: This is just another
solid run play.
24: T Offtackle R - T Formation: You get a good push
with this that can stunt linemen and linebackers, but
you are pretty defenseless against the secondary.
23: Weakside Open - One Man Shift Formation: This play
has only a few blockers, but it has fair compatibility.
Not that that's of any use as all the One Man Shift
pass plays suck.
22: Oneback Sweep R - Shifting Onesetback Formation:
The compatibility on this is iffy and it has an (almost)
mirror in Slot 1, but it has really good blocking in
the front seven. However, it can be weak if your
opponent doesn't sell himself out trying to take you
down behind the line.
27: FB Offtackle L - Onesetback Formation: This play
is (almost) mirrored in Slot 1 and can be shut down, but
it does give you a decent shove.
26: T Power Dive - T Formation: This dive has someone
clearing the way for you, but it has a race defect,
so it isn't terribly optimal.

Bad Choices:
21: Pitch L Fake - Onesetback Formation: This is
pretty weak. It takes a long time and it doesn't
come out strong.
20: Run And Shoot Draw - Run And Shoot Formation:
This play just reeks. You can see it coming so
easily and stop it almost as readily. Choose any
play but this for this slot.

Slot 3:

Great Choices:
37: Run And Shoot Sweep R - Run And Shoot Formation:
Great compatibility and decent blocking on a
direct route with no holes make this the best one
for this slot.

Other Choices:
33: Pitch L Open - Onesetback Formation: This run
will bash the bones out of the secondary on top.
32: Cross Offtackle - T Formation: This one can
stuff an ROLB very well and gives you a good shove
off the snap.
30: T Cross Run L - T Formation: This play is not
that good, but it is mostly useful and compatible.
36: Shotgun Draw - Shotgun Formation: This is
a quick shot off that can get you yards, but if
your opponent is awake, you may not be able to get
very far. This is one to go for if you have
Shotguns though - but watch that race defect.
31: Slot Offtackle - Slot Formation: This play is
not very good because it has little compatibility
and because you get thrown out in between the
defensive backs and the linebackers with no one to
block for you. It can work with fast runners,

Bad Choices:
35: WR Reverse L - Shifting Onesetback Formation:
This is only a little better than the worst play
for this slot. Your opponent will nail you unless
blockers can somehow miraculously intercede
between the two of you.
34: WR Reverse R - Onesetback Formation: This is
the worst play because it operates out of an
even worse sequence (Top Handoff) than WR Reverse
L. It's just as bad in effectiveness as well.

Slot 4:

Great Choices:
43: FB Power Dive - Strong-I Formation: This is a
RB #2 blocking dive that works decently on the
reversal to the top.
47: Shotgun Sweep L - Shotgun 3-Wing Formation: This
is brutally effective with several blockers and
play reversal ability. Its only flaw is its low
40: Run And Shoot QB Sneak - Run And Shoot Formation:
This will get you only a few yards usually, but it
does well against players who like to take
defensive backs.

Good Choices:
42: Pro T Dive - T Formation: You go in alone on
this one, but it can be reversed to either side.
41: Onesetback Dive - Shifting Onesetback Formation:
This one can't be reversed as well as Pro T Dive,
and its compatibility is not as good.

Bad Choices:
46: Run And Shoot QB Run - Run And Shoot Formation:
This play will only work if your QB has feet and
your opponent is in the blocking path of this.
Otherwise, you're probably dead, unless your
opponent is weak enough that he can't flatten your
QB with one touch.
45: Reverse Pitch R - T Formation: A wide receiver
reverse is bad news, and this is no better. Too
slow and too weak.
44: Shotgun C Draw - Shotgun Formation: This is
obvious from the get-go. If your opponent is watching
your running back, you're gone. If you're showing
him the race defect, you're really gone.

Slot 5:

Great Choices:
57: Run And Shoot Flare C - Run And Shoot Formation:
Nice receiver spread and great compatibility.

Other Choices:
54: Pro T Screen L - T Formation: This is a pretty
decent play, but you will get nailed almost
automatically if it's called.
53: T Play Action D - T Formation: This play gives
you decent receivers, but loses time in the handoff.
55: Play Action - Strong-I Formation: There aren't
too many receivers here. Get this only if you've
got other Strong-I plays.

Bad Choices:
51: Roll Out R - Shifting Onesetback Formation:
The receiver spread is pretty decent, but you are
in a formation where your opponent will be looking
at the QB, and you have a lot of lag time before
you can pass on this one.
52: Roll Out L - One Man Shift Formation: You can
snooker people with this, but you will get totaled
if your opponent is wise to it and/or uses a
top-side defender.
56: Pro T Waggle L - T Formation: You have three
receivers at three different ranges, but you will
get waxed if your opponent is looking at your
50: Pro T Waggle R - T Formation: All of your
receivers are within ten yards, and your QB is a
sitting duck for a defensive back as he rolls out
ever so slowly.

Slot 6:

Great Choices:
61: Run And Shoot Z Fly - Run And Shoot Formation:
Someone is almost always going to be open. What
more can you ask for?
60: Shotgun X Curl - Shotgun Formation: You get
one running back beside you, two short options,
and two medium options, with no NTD possibility.
This is a great insurance play. But note it is
a Shotgun, so it has a race defect.
62: Pro T Flare D - T Formation: Three call-safe
receivers, short, medium, and long options, plus
five wideouts, with your running backs on either
side ready to take off. It doesn't get much
better than this.

Other Choices:
63: Offset Flare E - Strong-I Formation: This
play is a little compatible and you get a nice
range of receivers.
65: Oneback Flare A - Onesetback Formation:
You don't have many receivers, but they come at
good ranges.
66: Power Fake Z Post - Onesetback Formation:
You don't get a lot of options, but you get
decent compatibility.
64: Formation/Play Oneback Z Cross: This play
has no compatibility, but otherwise it offers
lots of receivers on good paths.

Bad Choices:
67: WTE Flea Flicker - WTE Formation: This play
gives you two easily-covered long receivers and
huge weaknesses otherwise. Don't make yourself
suffer with this one.

Slot 7:

Great Choices:
70: Shotgun X Drive - Shotgun Formation: This is
not the best play, but you get a good range of
receivers with a running back at your side.
Take care about the race defects.

Other Choices:
72: Playaction Z In - Shifting Onesetback Formation:
Good receiver spread and good compatibility.
74: Pro T Flare C - T Formation: You get a slanting
tight end, but everyone is rather distant.
77: Power Fake X Fly - Onesetback Formation: Four
receivers, but all go medium to long.
75: Shotgun 3-Wing - Shotgun 3-Wing Formation: This
gives you five wideouts, but three of them are
clustered close.
71: Formation/Play Run And Shoot 3-Wing: Everyone
goes medium to long on this and you have no

Bad Choices:
76: T Flea Flicker - T Formation: This one can
get you a fumble if it's called. Don't be so hard
on yourself.
73: Flea Flicker - One Man Shift Formation: This
one is a flea flick on top of an obvious formation.
Really, don't waste your time. The only good thing
about this play is that RB #2 has a tendency to
get open on it. It also has a defensive shift that
shows your opponent what play it is.

Slot 8:

Great Choices:
84: Shotgun Z S-In - Shotgun Formation: RB #1
curls on the top, WR #2 curls in the middle,
RB #2 curls off the screen, and WR #1 and the TE
go long. This is a great spread to have.
Just watch the race defects.
87: Run And Shoot Y Up - Run And Shoot Formation:
You get a close running back and a man in the
middle in addition to three long men.
80: X Out And Fly - Onesetback Formation: Two
go long and three cluster in the middle in a
very compatible package.

Other Choices:
82: Slot L Z Drive - Slot Formation: Little
compatibility, but great receiver spread,
including one on the bottom that comes out and
WR #2 in the middle.
85: Formation/Play Redgun Z Slant: You get
RB #1 on your left and a moving target in the
middle, plus three long bombs. However, there
is no compatibility to speak of.
83: Formation/Play No Back X Deep: No
compatibility, but a fair spread across the field.
86: Shotgun XY Bomb - Shotgun Formation: Your
shortest man is off the screen and most everyone
is long gone and covered after two seconds. I
wouldn't even call this as a desperation play
because there will be all kinds of coverage.
You can use this to Boomer people, though,
and it works pretty well for that. The race
defects don't matter so much for this, but
it is a weak play nonetheless.

Bad Choices:
81: Reverse-Fake Z Post - Onesetback Formation:
Two wideouts (one of them is your running back
who wades through the entire defense) on top of
a ball-switching frenzy that takes five seconds
makes this clearly inferior to any other play in
this slot.


Note: I've basically been able to destroy a ton of
playbooks, but there are a lot of people who don't use
my playbooks, which are optimized for running the
football with all tactics enabled. If some tactics are
disabled, those other playbooks may be more useful.

Also note that I haven't had the experience with the
coverage schemes in some of the playbooks I give below,
most of them I am not sure of. It's something you can
figure out though, and if by experience you do manage
to work out what does what then by all means contact
me with your results, and I'll credit you in here for
The Defensive Play vs. Offensive Play is by slot,
where say, for Draft Standard Playbook Z Fly, R&S Z Fly
is 6, and the play that heads them is the defensive call.
However for similar playbooks, I reversed the two so that
I wouldn't be wasting space and time.

Herein are some playbooks. I rank them according to
a one to ten system, where ten is the highest value
that a playbook could have and one is the least.

Example Formation - Balance Of Formation - Ranking

Play in Run Slot 1
Play in Run Slot 2
Play in Run Slot 3
Play in Run Slot 4
Play in Pass Slot 1
Play in Pass Slot 2
Play in Pass Slot 3
Play in Pass Slot 4

Good Playbooks And How To Shut Them Down

Draft Standard Playbook Z Fly | 3-2-2-1 | 8/10
This playbook is designed so that the runs
are going to be very difficult to stop with
just one player. The passes are not complete
yet as I haven't analyzed the coverages but
this at least seems to be the best what I can
muster up as far as runs are concerned.

Toss Sweep R
Weakside Open
R&S Sweep R
FB Power Dive
Play Action
R&S Z Fly
Shotgun X Drive
Shotgun Z S-In

Defense: Call Toss Sweep R, then NTD away
FB Power Dive and Play Action.
Call R&S Sweep R, then use the ROLB tactic
for the FB Power Dive in order to give you
a chance there, and play Toss Sweep R as you
go. However I wouldn't call it unless you are
really certain that you are going to be in good
shape because you aren't going to get any coverage
vs. the pass with R&S Sweep R.
Beat down Weakside Open with simple
tactics, try and get good anticipation of
run vs. pass, you'll need it.
Either shotgun will stand you in good stead
when it comes to the pass but will get you
blown up on the run. Play Action is at least
a better all-around defensive call.

Defensive Play vs. Offensive Play:

Toss Sweep R vs:
Toss Sweep R    - Called play.
Weakside Open   - Pretty good defense.
R&S Sweep R     - Shut-down defense.
FB Power Dive   - Room to run, blocker often is free.
Play Action     - SS sets up 10-yard zone, FS drops low and deep, everyone open.
R&S Z Fly       - Now and then SS sets up 10-yard zone.
Shotgun X Drive - Unpredictable coverage, at least two guys open.
Shotgun Z S-In  - Unpredictable, often RCB on RB #2 and SS in medium zone.

Weakside Open vs:
Toss Sweep R    - Defense gives no room to run.
Weakside Open   - Called play.
R&S Sweep R     - Defense gives a lane alone the sideline.
FB Power Dive   - Random DBs descend on the hole, decent defense here.
Play Action     - Corners pick up WRs, sometimes a guy tries to cover the RB #1.
R&S Z Fly       - SS sets up a 10-yard zone.
Shotgun X Drive - Unpredictable, but at least 2 receivers will be open.
Shotgun Z S-In  - Unpredictable, but at least 2 receivers will be open.

R&S Sweep R vs:
Toss Sweep R    - Defense gives a little room at the bottom.
Weakside Open   - Defense gives a little room at the bottom.
R&S Sweep R     - Called play, RB can escape out wide now and then.
FB Power Dive   - DBs mostly converge on hole.
Play Action     - Sometimes the corners pick up the WRs.
R&S Z Fly       - LCB picks up WR #2.
Shotgun X Drive - No coverage.
Shotgun Z S-In  - SS drops deep.

FB Power Dive vs:
Toss Sweep R    - Bad defense.
Weakside Open   - Shutdown defense.
R&S Sweep R     - Pretty good defense.
FB Power Dive   - Called play.
Play Action     - SS sets up 10-yard zone, FS drops low and deep, everyone open.
R&S Z Fly       - RCB picks up WR #1 usually, LCB picks up WR #2.
Shotgun X Drive - FS sometimes sets up 10-yard zone.
Shotgun Z S-In  - SS sometimes sets up 12-yard zone to the bottom.

Play Action vs:
Toss Sweep R    - Terrible defense.
Weakside Open   - Decent but thin layer of defense - easy to break out.
R&S Sweep R     - Defense gives a lane along the sideline.
FB Power Dive   - Defenders come in the area and contain.
Play Action     - Called play.
R&S Z Fly       - Unpredictable, but at least 1 receiver will be open.
Shotgun X Drive - Unpredictable, but at least 1 receiver will be open.
Shotgun Z S-In  - Unpredictable, but at least 1 receiver will be open.

R&S Z Fly vs:
Toss Sweep R    - Terrible defense.
Weakside Open   - Terrible defense.
R&S Sweep R     - Defense gives a lane along the sideline.
FB Power Dive   - Defenders come in the area and contain.
Play Action     - Wildly unpredictable coverage.
R&S Z Fly       - Called play.
Shotgun X Drive - Great defense, often only 1 receiver open, sometimes none.
Shotgun Z S-In  - Unpredictable, but usually 1 receiver will be open.

Shotgun X Drive vs:
Toss Sweep R    - Defense gives a lane along the sideline.
Weakside Open   - Defense gives a lane along the sideline.
R&S Sweep R     - Terrible defense.
FB Power Dive   - Stationary contain, can run right through it.
Play Action     - Unpredictable, but at least 1 receiver will be open.
R&S Z Fly       - Great defense, often 1 receiver open.
Shotgun X Drive - Called play.
Shotgun Z S-In  - Great defense, often 1 receiver open.

Shotgun Z S-In vs:
Toss Sweep R    - Defense gives a lane along the sideline.
Weakside Open   - Defense gives a lane along the sideline.
R&S Sweep R     - Terrible defense.
FB Power Dive   - Stationary contain, can run right through it.
Play Action     - A guy often tries to cover RB #1, WR #1 covered, WR #2 often covered.
R&S Z Fly       - Unpredictable, but at least 1 receiver will be open.
Shotgun X Drive - Great defense, often 1 receiver open.
Shotgun Z S-In  - Called play.

Draft Standard Playbook Flare E | 3-2-2-1 | 8/10
This playbook is designed so that the runs
are going to be very difficult to stop with
just one player. The passes are not complete
yet as I haven't analyzed the coverages but
this at least seems to be the best what I can
muster up as far as runs are concerned.
This one also changes Play Action for Offset
Flare E so that the NTD won't be so brutal,
provided your QB has good feet.

Toss Sweep R
Weakside Open
R&S Sweep R
FB Power Dive
R&S Flare C
Offset Flare E
Shotgun X Drive
Shotgun Z S-In

Defense: Call Toss Sweep R, then NTD away
FB Power Dive and possibly Offset Flare E.
Call R&S Sweep R, then use the ROLB tactic
for the FB Power Dive in order to give you
a chance there, and play Toss Sweep R as you
go. However I wouldn't call it unless you are
really certain that you are going to be in good
shape because you aren't going to get any coverage
vs. the pass with R&S Sweep R.
Beat down Weakside Open with simple
tactics, try and get good anticipation of
run vs. pass, you'll need it.
Either shotgun will stand you in good stead
when it comes to the pass but will get you
blown up on the run. R&S Flare C is at least
a better all-around defensive call.

Offensive Play vs. Defensive Play: Here it is
reversed since there are only a few changes. I just
put down the stuff that isn't in the other
playbook of this type.

R&S Flare C vs:
Toss Sweep R     - FS sometimes sets up a 10-yard zone.
Weakside Open    - FS sometimes sets up a 10-yard zone.
R&S Sweep R      - Unpredictable coverage, at least 3 receivers open.
FB Power Dive    - Unpredictable coverage, at least 3 receivers open.
R&S Flare C      - Called play.
Offset Flare E   - Unpredictable coverage, at least 1 receiver is open.
Shotgun X Drive  - Unpredictable coverage, at least 1 receiver is open.
Shotgun Z S-In   - Unpredictable coverage, at least 1 receiver is open.

Offset Flare E vs:
Toss Sweep R     - SS drops into 17-yard zone, everyone is open.
Weakside Open    - SS drops into 17-yard zone, everyone is open.
R&S Sweep R      - SS drops into 17-yard zone, unpredictable coverage, 2 men open.
FB Power Dive    - SS drops into 17-yard zone, unpredictable coverage, 2 men open.
R&S Flare C      - Unpredictable coverage, RB #2 usually open.
Offset Flare E   - Called play.
Shotgun X Drive  - Unpredictable coverage, RB #2 usually open.
Shotgun Z S-In   - Unpredictable coverage, RB #2 usually open.

Power + Cover Playbook | 4-4 | 7/10
This playbook puts in the powerful
Toss Sweep R and FB Power Dive to
enhance the strength of the run,
specially with less able players. This
covers the new additions by complementing
them with pass plays. It also adds the
superb Pitch L Open to further make
FB Offtackle L viable and to enhance the
running game generally. It also introduces
a race defect in Pitch L Open, so watch
your backs and make sure they are of
the same color.

Toss Sweep R
FB Offtackle L
Pitch L Open
FB Power Dive
Play Action
Offset Flare E
Power Fake X Fly
X Out And Fly

Defense: Call Toss Sweep R, then nose tackle
dive everything in the Strong-I form. Call
X Out And Fly, and skewer the runs with the
left end. Not much to this one. Get caught
by the Onesetback form, and go to the left
end to stop the run if he can also cover the
pass, otherwise use the SS or LCB. Get caught
by the Strong-I form, and defend against Toss
Sweep R.

Older Playbooks And How To Shut Them Down

Shotgun 2 & 2 Playbook | 4-4 | 7/10
This playbook takes the 2 & 2 and puts in
some non-race defective shotguns in order to
stop any persistent nose tackle diving.

Run And Shoot Sweep Left
T Sweep Strong
Run And Shoot Sweep Right
Pro T Dive
Run And Shoot Flare C
Pro T Flare D
Shotgun X Drive
Shotgun Z S-In

Defense: Call R&S Sweep R, when you get
them into an obvious passing situation,
call anything but Pro T Flare D (it is too

2 & 2 Playbook | 4-4 | 7/10
I really don't believe I missed this one
for so long. This playbook has three 5-receiver
plays in it and two-way runs for two formations
(you have to reverse and go up for Pro T Dive).
The biggest asset of these plays is the balance
of options. R&S goes Left and Right, T Sweep
Strong goes south, and Pro T Dive goes through
the middle and can be reversed to go in any
direction. One nice thing about putting in Pro
T Dive instead of R&S QBSneak is that it puts
a person with actual Hitting Power (and no,
Dan Marino, you do not have Hitting Power in this
game, sorry) on the run through the middle, and it
makes problems for the top linebacker, who can
run around T Sweep Strong and also rush the QB,
but will get into a struggle if he runs straight in
or downward, causing him to stall on the other T
formation plays. The R&S passes are good for
short and long opportunities, Pro T Flare D needs
no explanation, and Pro T Flare C has the moving
tight end that causes big problems. You also have
good flash opportunities on Y Up and D, as well
as good field saturation on the other two. This, my
friends, is (nearly) boss.

Run And Shoot Sweep Left
T Sweep Strong
Run And Shoot Sweep Right
Pro T Dive
Run And Shoot Flare C
Pro T Flare D
Pro T Flare C
Run And Shoot Y Up

Defense: Call R&S Sweep R, bye bye run (provided you
use the LOLB or somesuch). Then you can use whatever
pressure tactics you want in obvious passing downs.

2 Shotgun Playbook | 4-2-2 | 6/10
If the nose tackle dive is allowed, this
gives you five plays immune to its effects
instead of three as 2 & 2 does, and
sacrifices some unpredictability thereby,
but not too much, since there are still passes
for every run. This does have a race defect,
though, so you need to take that into
consideration as well.

Run And Shoot Sweep Left
T Sweep Strong
Run And Shoot Sweep Right
Pro T Dive
Run And Shoot Flare C
Shotgun X Curl
Pro T Flare C
Shotgun Z S-In

Defense: Call R&S Sweep R and you should have
no problems with the run if you are going to
play it with the LILB or a DB, for instance.
Against Shotgun X Curl, call R&S Flare C to
get good coverage.

Redgun T: This one has 7 T Formation plays and
Redgun Z Slant for two-minute offense. It's
decently strong, but it is susceptible to tactics,
especially if the opponent has good linebackers or
a good RCB.

T Power Sweep R
T Offtackle R
Cross Offtackle
T Power Dive
Pro T Screen L
Pro T Flare D
Pro T Flare C
Redgun Z Slant

Defense: Call T Offtackle R and then use the RILB
to throw this running game down, or call a pass and
use your best DB to stop the runs before they can
get any yards. Don't call Pro T Flare D, it is
not easy to stop even if you do call it.

Power: This playbook's strength is the number of
blockers and receivers that come out, but its
weakness is its three-formation split and
predictability, not to mention a race defect.

Toss Sweep R
FB Offtackle L
Pitch L Open
FB Power Dive
Play Action
Shotgun X Curl
Power Fake X Fly
X Out And Fly

Defense: Use the LE against the Onesetback plays,
call Play Action if Shotgun X Curl is being abused,
but otherwise, call either Strong-I running play.

T Run Playbook | 6-2 | 6/10
This offers the balance and power
of Run And Shoot without the lousy Draw
(there are more appropriate vulgarities
for that horrid play, but I'll simply
leave it at this) and the predictable

Run And Shoot Sweep Left
T Sweep Strong
Run And Shoot Sweep Right
Run And Shoot QBSneak OR QB Run
Run And Shoot Flare C
Run And Shoot Z Fly
Pro T Flare C
Run And Shoot Y Up

Defense: Call R&S Sweep Right, use the ILBs
against the T, pressure the passer as you
desire, there should be no real problems here.

Power Shoot Playbook | 5-3 | 6/10
One of the great things about Onesetback
plays is that they break through the
defense very well in many cases. This
playbook substitutes Run And Shoot Y
Up with X Out And Fly to offer the ability
to have HATS Plays without having to
worry about an impudent defender slide tackling
the running back or the quarterback all of the

Run And Shoot Left
FB Offtackle L
Run And Shoot Right
Run And Shoot QBSneak OR QB Run
Run And Shoot Flare C
Run And Shoot Z Fly
Power Fake X Fly
X Out And Fly

Defense: Against the pass, call X Out And Fly,
then NTD. R&S Z Fly will do well if you can't
NTD the QB because he's too fast, so long as
you remember the curl-pass defense. If you
are thinking run, call R&S Sweep R, that will
screw them up good, and defense the Onesetback
form as you normally would, while defending the
other two plays with, say, the LILB (though many
other positions will work as well). Overall this
is just not strong at all.

Shift And Shotgun Playbook | 6-2 | 7/10
The Shifting Onesetback is also a very
respectable formation, not least for the
ability to shift receivers. This playbook
provides Shotguns to fill in the gaps in
the playbook where no original formation
play exists. It does introduce a Shotgun
race defect though.

FB Open L
Oneback Sweep Right
WR Reverse L
Onesetback Dive
Roll Out R
Shotgun X Curl
Playaction Z In
Shotgun Z S-In

No defenses for this one, haven't seen it
much at all, got pretty good at shutting
the Washington offense down and this is
basically a slightly upgraded Washington

Total Power Playbook | 4-2-2 | 6/10
(this is one to use on the computer)

This is a tested playbook that I have
used on the computer for quite some time.
Since the computer has no real intelligence,
it doesn't really care a whole lot what 
plays you call and it doesn't have a good
idea of how to kill some plays. Thus, this
playbook sacrifices predictability for the
advantage of increased yardage gains due to
the efficacy and power of the individual
plays chosen. 

Toss Sweep R
FB Offtackle L
Pitch L Open
FB Power Dive
Run And Shoot Flare C
Run And Shoot Z Fly
Power Fake X Fly 
X Out And Fly


Vs. MAN Playcalling

General play selection depends largely on your personnel
and what you can do well, but in general, it depends on 
what your opponent calls vs. what you have to attack him
with. If your opponent calls runs, but you have Marion
Butts, it may be in your best interest to run even though
your opponent is stacking up to stop you from keeping
it on the ground.

A good rule of thumb to remember when considering a run
on a given down is, "Can I turn the corner?"
Usually, if you can get around the corner and start
going straight towards the end zone, it's a good idea
to run. Even if you can get four yards going diagonally,
it's not worth very much, since your opponent can call
one of your plays and take you down, leaving you with
either a long third or fourth down. Even if you only
need to pick up a few yards, you have a much greater
risk of having your play called if your opponent's
defense is breathing down your neck (since chances are,
he's called a run, or, he's called something out of
your formation).

Passing can be done on almost any down that you aren't
in an obvious situation (i.e. 3rd and 21 - yes, it does
happen in MAN games). However you can definitely run on
3rd down, especially if you have a good back. Teams can
and do pick up 3rd and 10 because it can be tough to
stop certain plays.

About finding patterns on offense, with a computer or
human: look to see whether your play was in trouble.
Were there four men covered? Did all the
defensive backs descend on me like locusts? From
this, you can determine whether a play defended
against was of the same nature as the one you
called or opposite. Once you get enough data on
the plays your opponent calls, you can then
begin to exploit the pattern in the way your
opponent reacts to your plays and successes.
Remember always that with a human opponent, the
opponent will change strategies as you begin to
tear them apart, even if you do it accidentally.
Factor this in to your future plays and strategy.
If you did very well with passes, start mixing
in more runs, and vice versa. The ideal opponent
to face is a bigot, who either calls one play
type or another, or even just one play; lacking
that, a more realistic objective is to totally
confuse and frustrate your opponent with a
combination of random plays and exploitation of
the defense that you oppose. Once the opponent
has been broken down, even partially, it disorders
their strategy and makes things like bomb plays more
likely to work that would normally be suppressed and
even punished with a methodical and determined
opponent with a definite plan of action. That's a
window of opportunity you can take advantage of
until your opponent reforms a pattern and starts
the cycle all over again.

A little trick you can use is to open up the menu by
pressing A when you are going to call a
pass. Your opponent may then think you were trying
to call a run and thus will call a run. Of course,
like anything else on the play menu, your opponent
may be wise to this and crush you.
Likewise, if you DID accidentally open the play
menu, you can try and go to "Change" to make it
appear as if you didn't screw up so badly.
Defensively of course you can't go into Change. :)

Defensively, if you are getting beaten a little by
a particular play that isn't a threat to break out,
let the MAN use it a little bit. Then, start calling
it on a key play and then return to normal playcalling.

Always remember defensively that if you have already
called a given play out of a formation, don't bother
about trying to defend it, because you should have it
shut down (most of the time anyway).

CPU Playcalling

The computer, being plain silly, always chooses
to return the ball if it wins the coin toss.

The computer's patterns are set before the end of
the first half, at least. It may also switch
in the fourth quarter. Once you find these
patterns, it becomes much easier to exploit the
computer, on both offense and defense. The defense
especially benefits from knowledge of patterns.
The easiest way to do that is to keep track of
what plays the computer calls, even in your head,
because that aggregate probability is what usually
determines what the computer is going to do.
Sometimes, you'll light upon a computer doing the
same things it did in a previous drive, and you
can exploit that, playing just as you did on that
drive to beat the computer down.

CPU Playcalling On Fourth Down:
If the computer is behind the fifty-yard line
and it isn't fourth quarter, the computer will
almost always punt. It will also punt in front
of the fifty-yard line if the kicker is not all
that good - how bad determines where the computer
will kick a field goal. During the fourth quarter,
if the computer is losing, it will keep the
ball, but if not, it will punt it as normal.
If it is past the fifty yard line and it isn't
fourth quarter, the computer will kick a field
goal. During the fourth quarter, if the
computer is losing by seven points or more, it
will almost always try for the touchdown/first
down and call a play. If it is losing by
few enough points such that a field goal will
win it for the computer, the computer will
kick a field goal. Its behavior in the
intermediate range I have not yet determined,
since I either blow the computer out or am
worried about losing so much I don't give it
much heed (if I am less than 7 points ahead).
I believe, however, that it will go for the
touchdown or first down if the point
difference is more than 3. I don't think it is
entirely predictable, certainly not to the
degree that the others are.


10. Tweaking The Tecmo

"Just a few more adjustments, and your Tecmo will
be better than ever."

Herein are some nice tips and tricks, some obvious
and known, others obscure, that generally help your

The Triangle Dodge
The Sine Dodge
The Circle Move
Free Form Advance
Move To The Middle
When Not The QB, Hit A
Attack Drone Players
Call-Safe Your Playbook
Call Plays That Cover For Others
Watch For Blocking
The 65th Play: "The Boomer"
Watch The Shift
Use Different Players On Defense
Work Around "Scratch" Players
Freeing Up Your BOYZ
Run Along The Sidelines To Suppress Fumbles
Cover A Fumble Behind The Line
Cover A Fumble With A Slide Tackle
Two-Tap Field Goals And Punts
Check Your Returner's Condition
Set Your Backups To The Return
Run Out Of Bounds To Save Time
Use Your Time-Outs
Ways To Waste Time
Change Your Lineup
Vary Your Hike Time With Shifting Plays


Look At Your Opponent's Controller
Hide Your Controller
Look At A Play You're Not Picking
Look At Your Opponent's Face/Eyes (with XRayMind)
Skip The Coin Toss If You Lose

The Triangle Dodge

This is the classic way to avoid getting tackled. 
Whenever you get the ball and are in front of all your
pursuers, simply move up and down like this:

      \    /\    /\    /
       \  /  \  /  \  /
        \/    \/    \/

When you do this, your computer controlled
opponents will attempt to slide tackle you, but will 
miss. Also, when the defenders change direction, they 
will slow down in many cases. 

The Sine Dodge

The Sine Dodge is like the Triangle Dodge, but used 
whenever you have men in front and men behind. 
What you do is simply maneuver in the spaces in
between players and then, when you get significantly 
past the player in front in the y-direction (up and 
down), you move past the player in front. It looks 
somewhat like this:

        |         ___
        \       /     \       /
         \  X  /   X   \  X  /
          \___/         \___/

This is useful when you escape the initial defenders 
on a punt return and also when you are using a run
play or short pass.

The Circle Move

"The circle move is like...the extreme...corner move."
Really, it's like...the extreme...MAN defender
speed-draining move. When the MAN comes close to you and
is almost about to catch up to you, pull the circle 
move by moving in a circle (so you avoid him), first in
the direction that he was heading, then come back around
into the direction that you were going previously before
the MAN entered the picture, like so:

            /    \
-----------/->MAN O

In this way hopefully he will make a turn too sharp and
lose his speed, or get a bad angle to take towards you.
Keep in mind that this won't always work, especially if 
your opponent is wise to this and goes straight for you 
or moves in a big circle. Also if the defender is too
fast you may not see any gains out of it because they 
won't lose enough speed to allow you to gain yardage.

Free Form Advance

The best Tecmo dodging strategy combines the above 
three with a few twists: 

1. Try to change directions whenever someone is 
about to slide tackle for best results.

2. If you have a computer or human opponent that is 
far ahead of all the others, and you know that player 
poses the most threat to you, simply run up to him 
and engage in a struggle. If you can defeat him, it 
makes it much easier to move upfield, especially 
against a human who is much smarter than a drone.

3. Even moving backwards can help your advance, 
because everyone will follow you back. If you have a 
fast enough player, you can then move in a circle 
around the mob and get everyone behind you, which 
makes it easier to dodge people as they approach.  

Move To The Middle

Whenever you use a run play or catch a short pass,
moving along either side is fine for getting 
guaranteed yards, but you can often get cornered
before you can break out. One way to avoid this is to
move into the middle early in the run, so that you can 
dodge each defender in ones or twos instead of fours 
and fives. You can also use this tactic on defense if a 
good running back is destined to advance ten or more 
yards, because getting into the middle makes it 
harder, especially for a human player, to completely
break away from you. 

When Not The QB, Hit A

When you are not controlling the quarterback, you
are either a defender or a ballcarrier. A defender
should hit A frequently at all times to avoid getting
knocked over and to give oneself an advantage in
struggles (and even giving oneself enough power to
flatten an offensive player). An ballcarrier
needs to hit the button for the important struggle
advantage and to raise one's power enough to
flatten defenders. In either case, hitting A is
a good idea.

Attack Drone Players

The best way to attack drones is to hit them with a
high Hitting Power player, either on offense or defense.
If you have 50 more HP than the drone, they won't even
be able to make you struggle, and you will beat them down.
If you hit them from the sides or the back, you can get
away with 44 HP difference or maybe even less. However,
do note: conditions change before the game even begins
and continue changing during the game, so do know that
sometimes this won't work.

Another miscellaneous point is that drone contact
is irrespective of your movement. If you stand still
and do nothing, you can still take people down or
people will still bounce off you. As an example,
I ran over Phil Simms with Karl Mecklenberg
without hitting A at all, and I once stood in
the middle of the Indianapolis defense with about
6 people just bouncing off Tom Rathman. HOWEVER,
this does not apply for MAN contact.

Also, on many plays, players are controlled by the
computer until some specified point. For instance, on
handoffs, neither a runner nor a quarterback has any
player control until the handoff executes, and even
then, sometimes the quarterback is uncontrollable.
What you want to do is exploit these opportunities
and tackle or hit drone players to stop a play or make
it untenable.

Call-Safe Your Playbook

One thing that will improve your game drastically is
a play that you can use even when your opponent
calls it. How about having several of those? What
you want to do is stack your playbook with pass
plays that have call-safe receivers and run plays that
running backs like Bo Jackson can get out of, such as
Run and Shoot Sweep Right. Not only is it
demoralizing for your opponent, it also can gain you
five or more yards.

Call Plays That Cover For Others

On some plays, especially passes, people move in
ways that either hurt or help your defense. One
thing that they do is that they move up to the
line (like cornerbacks). Another is that they
spread out over the field. What you should do is
watch how your defenders move on certain plays and
take that into account as you call your plays. If 
your corners always move up on one pass play when you 
really need them, or your safeties are contracting, 
call another pass play to get better coverage, or if
one run play call is really getting you pounded,
call another that allows you to contain better.

Watch For Blocking

On some plays that begin alike, one way that you
can tell whether the play action ends in a run
or a pass is to look at whether wide receivers
and others are making contact with defenders. If
they are, then it's a run, and if they are passing
through, then it's a pass.

The 65th Play: "The Boomer"
(also known as "calling Boomer Esiason"
or "Esiason" or "Boomering" as in, "I've been

One particularly effective tactic when you are on 
offense is to be able to both run and pass with one
play. Pro T Flare D can do this a little bit, with the 
two running backs on either side of the pocket, but 
it's not really that sound given that the back has to 
catch the ball (they don't always do this), be
uncovered, and that everyone on the opposing team 
goes after him. Thus, I created "The Boomer" 
(although others, I'm sure, have used it before). The 
Boomer is simply calling a pass play, a shotgun if
you're cheeky, and just running the ball with the 
quarterback, sometimes not even looking at the 
receivers. You want to run in the large gaps between 
the offensive line and the boundaries of the field. 
This tactic is effective because the computer 
defenders don't "wake up" to the fact that you're 
running the ball until you get one or two yards past 
the line. For those of you wondering why it is called 
The Boomer, it's because I was playing a season with 
Cincinnati and about Week 9 I was beginning to have 
problems with red zone touchdowns. Thus, I simply 
used Boomer Esiason to run in all the balls for me,
which was extremely cheap. At the end of the season,
he was about 13th on the high scorer list. One thing
to do if you know that you're going to want to get
big yardage instead of just running out after getting
the first down is to let the pass play go for a few
seconds, and after everyone has found their receiver
to cover, go. That way, not only will many people be
farther away from you when you scramble, they will
also be blocked much more heavily since their
wideouts will start hanging on to them.

Watch The Shift

When a player gets tackled on the top or the bottom 
of the field, the ball will be shifted to that particular 
side. What this does is it makes it harder for a player
to run to the particular side the ball is shifted to, and 
easier for the other side. On a pass, it concentrates 
receivers on one side or the other. What you want to 
do is take this into account when you call your plays 
(mainly for runs though - the pass shift is usually 
insignificant). If you think there's going to be a run 
play called, and your opponent (Player 1) is shifted to 
the top, and he has both Run And Shoot Right and 
Left, you want to call Run And Shoot Right to cover 
your weaker side, letting the blockers that are already 
going to be close for the run take care of a run to the 
top. Because of the bias, those blockers will be
concentrated more heavily at the top than at the
bottom, and will make it harder for the runner to the 
top to try to make it out. It usually won't completely 
eliminate yardage gains, but it does reduce their 

Use Different Players On Defense

Sometimes on defense your opponent will try and key in
on a particular player that you are using with success.
To combat this remember that if you have two or more
viable players, you should try and attack the opponent's
play which is attacking the player the MAN hates. Of
course, if you are fully dominating with that player or
if you wouldn't do any better using a different player,
dont' switch up.

Work Around "Scratch" Players

Sometimes even during games, especially during
Season where players' conditions are permanently
variant, but even in Preseason games, what you may
notice is a phenomenon I term "scratching". 
Scratching is simply when conditions that are 
usually reliable in a game change for reasons of
matchups (such as those between offensive linemen
and defensive linemen) or condition (your best
linebacker drops to Bad during a game, and as a
result can't beat the running backs to the ground
as usual). The classic scratches are the weak
guard getting pummeled by the star defensive end,
the cornerback who intermittently knocks off your
blockers, and the run stopper who drops to a bad
enough condition that he can't defeat the running
backs, and vice versa, although there are certainly
others, like the running back who suddenly carries
a lead weight. In such situations, you first want
to see what you can do about mitigating. The best
way to do things is a starter change or a different
selection of defender. If the problem can't be
solved in this way, then you have to apply other 
remedies. For the intransigent star lineman, simply
engage him after you get the snap and wrestle him
down. For a loss in run stopping, call more runs
and cover the pass harder. For laggard and weaker
running backs, simply dodge more and get behind
those blockers. 

Another way to look at the game is to use 
"scratch" situations. Look for ways in which you
can make opposing players scratch. For instance,
using a powerful defender against a weak runner,
smacking him into the ground on contact, causes
that opposing player to be an effective scratch
for the person who's playing him, with the
attendant problems. In addition, you can scratch
a weak offensive lineman by ramming into him with
a linebacker and causing your defensive lineman
(hopefully a fast one) to run straight at the
QB. On offense, you can use fullbacks to slam
weak points in the defense, forcing your 
opponent to switch strategy. Another good tactic
is to mismatch defenders and receivers. One
example would be setting Sam Graddy (a backup
WR for the Raiders with a ton of speed) against
Andre Waters, and smiling as your opponent is
forced to double-cover Graddy, leaving shorter
receivers wide open. 

Freeing Up Your BOYZ

If you are playing as a strong linebacker and a
run play is happening behind the line of scrimmage
(as with wide receiver reverses, for instance), what
you can do to increase the efficacy of your run
defense is to hit the struggling linemen. That way,
your defensive linemen will be freed up to start 
roaming and your opponent's offensive linemen will
be lying on the ground, not only taking them out of
the blocking picture, but also opening up holes for
you and your fellow defenders to run after ballcarriers
behind the line. However, if the run is going straight
out from the line, don't waste your time getting extra
run blockers that will never arrive in time to catch
the runner.
You can also use this tactic to get a pass rush.

Run Along The Sidelines To Suppress Fumbles

If you don't want to lose yards and possession of
the ball to fumbles, moving along the sidelines ensures 
that nearly half of the fumbles that occur will go out
of bounds. In addition, if you really want to ward off 
fumbles, simply run out of bounds to avoid the tackle. 

Cover A Fumble Behind The Line

Because a MAN-controlled player cannot pick up a 
fumble in most cases, what usually ends up
happening in situations where a fumble occurs behind 
the offensive line or close to it is that the computer 
for the offense will get a man down there, pick it up, 
and start running for yardage, sometimes getting first 
downs, or, occasionally, touchdowns. Therefore, 
when a fumble happens, you should either, if you 
think your players might be able to recover the ball, 
struggle off your opponent's men and keep them 
away from the ball, or, if you don't think you can 
recover the ball, move away from it somewhat and 
tackle the person who picks up the ball to end the 
play. Also, make sure to slide tackle through the
opposing players.

Cover A Fumble With A Slide Tackle

One nice thing about Tecmo is that when you hit the 
slide tackle button, the ball is the target. So, when
the ball gets loose and opposing players are all around
it, slide tackle through them to knock them down
and keep them from gaining possession and/or tackle one 
who may come up with the ball.

Two-Tap Field Goals And Punts

Don't take chances with your playcalling. When you
choose either a punt or a field goal, only tap
twice - that is, tap twice downward to punt, and
tap twice upward to kick. There are several 
advantages to this, the principal one being that
you can't go over or under your choice and choose
a field goal or a punt that you don't want and that
can kill your game. Moreover, if you under-tap, then
you will either use a timeout or you will go into
the change menu - two quite harmless actions 
compared with kicking a punt from your opponent's
thirty-yard line or kicking a field goal from your

Check Your Returner's Condition

Ball Control is crucial to successful kick and
punt returning. If you don't have a lot, then
you will put the ball on the grass, which means
excellent field position should your opponent
recover a fumbled kickoff and a free touchdown
on a fumbled punt. To avoid this, if you have a 
returner who only has 50 Ball Control, even in
a Preseason game, check his condition during the
game to make sure he doesn't drop below 50 by
changing condition. If he does, put in someone
else. You simply cannot afford fumbles on the
return. Conditions change after every quarter.

Set Your Backups To The Return

Returners have a tendency to get injured because 
because they take at least three or four tackles a
game, and sometimes, if you set one person to both
kick and punt returning, that can increase to eight
or ten a game. So, don't set your starters, 
especially your good starters, to returns in Season
games because they can get injured quite easily.

Run Out Of Bounds To Save Time

Remember that whenever you run out of bounds you 
stop the clock. This is very useful for capping time-
consuming returns by simply running out around the 
ten-yard line. It takes more than a minute to return 
the ball all the way into the end zone from your own, 
whereas passes where receivers can move straight out 
into the end zone can take less than 15 seconds. 

Use Your Time-Outs

Remember, even if you're winning, use the time-outs 
you have whenever the half is about to finish and you 
need more time on offense. Obviously, a losing team 
should use them on both defense and offense. However,
if you choose your plays very quickly, you may
actually lose time choosing the time-out, so be

Ways To Waste Time

1. A strong punt can waste 30 or more seconds of 
game time. Try to keep the ball from landing
into the endzone (and thus forcing a return)
for maximum effect.

2. Dawdle on the play screen. You can burn 10
seconds this way.

3. Call a pass and run backwards and forwards, 
dodging opponents, and get tackled near out of 
bounds to avoid fumbling. If you can make a wild
throw and you have a QB with low PS, then you can
waste even more time by passing the ball off with
a bomb.

4. On third down, choose a running play with your
fastest runner, whether he's a RB or a WR. Then,
run backwards until you get to your own 20- or 30-
yard line, and dawdle there until you get tackled.
Then make a booming punt on fourth down into the
end zone to avoid a big return (although if you
have great coverage, you can also leave it in
bounds and dive tackle).

Change Your Lineup

One good way to screw with your opponent, if it is
allowed, is to change your offensive lineup once
or twice every drive. One thing this does is it
makes it harder to exploit race defects. 
Another thing it does is to add one more layer of
paranoia and guessing to the play. If you shift
a receiver into the fullback slot and you have
Pitch L Open in your playbook, your opponent may
think, "Gee, I wonder what play he's going for.",
and call Pitch L Open. In the meantime, you've 
called X Out And Fly, leaving two open receivers,
one of whom is your substitution. Or maybe it's 
the other way around! Maybe he thinks it will be
X Out And Fly, then you call Pitch L Open to 
drive him into the turf. It's one more dimension
of Tecmo. 

Vary Your Hike Time With Shifting Plays

If you switch around your snap time with plays that
have motion, you can deceive your opponent and 
just generally annoy him/her. For example, with a
Shifting Onesetback formation, you can let the
motion end for, say, FB Open L, and hike quickly
for Playaction Z In. Then, you hike quickly for
your next FB Open L and your opponent can lose 
a second on the play from the general disorientation,
especially if you've been using that shift pattern
for a quarter or more. You can also just randomly
hike the ball to keep your opponent focused on when
the snap will come (since the motion distracts from
readiness). Another trick you can use is to snap
the ball so that a wide receiver or other player
will come out of the formation and get in the way
of an opposing human player.


These are some tactics that most people don't allow,
but which do belong in your arsenal if you have
a no-holds-barred game.

Look At Your Opponent's Controller - 
If you know what play your opponent has called by
doing this, it makes your game easier for obvious

Hide Your Controller -
If you have a game where you can look at your
opponent's controller, you need to do this in some

Look At A Play You're Not Picking - 
If you can look at your opponent's face and eyes,
you will want to deceive him like this. Also, you
can look at the play you're going to call, get it
called, then look at another play that you
haven't called, and fake out your opponent.

Look At Your Opponent's Face/Eyes (with XRayMind) - 
This can do the same thing as looking at your 
opponent's controller. Watch out though - your
opponent may try to deceive you and look at one
he/she is not calling.

Skip The Coin Toss If You Lose -
This gives you a chance to reset the flip, and maybe
you will win it. Only worth doing in overtime though.


11. The Pro Bowl

"Tecmo Super Bowl should only be attempted by 
trained professionals."

This is in three sections now:

Pro Bowl Game And Roster Data
Gaffney's Pro Bowl Even Teams
Training Exercises (Best & Worst Teams)

Pro Bowl Game And Roster Data

In this mode, injured players are playable (in Bad 
condition). Also, there seems to be some sort of
operation which Tecmo performs on the players:
many times it will take players' stats down a 
notch for all the players, or sometimes some of
the players. This seems to turn off if you then
enter Team Data and look at the affected players.
Also, some of the worse players will move up in
terms of stats when in the Pro Bowl rosters.
It's quite strange. Conditions also shift in this
mode as in Preseason.

There's one bug that's unique to this section,
which I will get more into in a second: the
fourth player on the third AFC Central Team
(Ernest Givins/Oilers in Tecmo 1991) is in the Pro 
Bowl roster as the fourth WR (unless you've 
changed that position). However, if you
switch him out, you cannot put him back as
a WR, but only as a RB! Be careful. 

When you use the AFC/NFC All Stars rosters, you
can choose from only the categories that are
listed for each position. However, this doesn't
work like you would think it would. It goes down
the list of offensive players in a similar fashion
to the OF Starters menu. This is how it works:

QBs - Put in any QB in either of the slots.
RBs - The players that you can use here are the
four that are listed after the QBs (3-6). Most
of the time these are running backs, but they 
can also be wide receivers (like Ernest Givins). 
WRs - You can use the players from the 7th-10th
slots here. These are usually WRs, but there are
also some running backs here that you can put in.
TEs - You use the players from the 11th through
12th slots here (the ones right before the center
in the list). There are tight ends, and also some
C - Self-explanatory.
G - You can put either left or right tackles in
either of the slots. 
T - You can put either left or right tackles in
either of the slots. 
DE - You can put any defensive lineman (left end,
right end, or nose tackle) in these slots.
NT - You can put any defensive lineman in this
LB - You can put any linebacker in these slots,
irrespective of their original position.
CB - You can put any cornerback wherever you
like here. 
S - You can put any safety in any combination
in these slots. 
K - Self-explanatory.
P - Self-explanatory.

The Ernest Givins bug occurs because the game
does not select players based on their position,
but rather their place in the rosters. I suspect
this was done to make the roster more ergonomic,
but it kind of backfired with three or four WR
offenses. So, you ask, how were they able to get
Ernest in the roster? They could get Ernest in
there because Tecmo stores the information in
the rosters with pointers. Instead of duplicating
even all the name data, the game simply "points"
to where the information is stored on the normal
rosters. What I suspect they did was to enter
in Ernest manually with the default information
into the fourth WR slot without using the normal
mechanism, the menu that we use, which filters
out the 3rd-6th slots for that position. That
also means that you can put other players that
don't belong in that slot if you put other data
in there. 

Gaffney's Pro Bowl Even Teams

These teams were hammered out by Jeff Gaffney to give
each side an equal team. As he says on his webpage:

"There are only three dissimilarities in the teams... 
The first is that Maury Buford has slightly less Avoid 
Punt Block than Brian Hansen. Of course, punts cannot be 
blocked in this version of Tecmo (go ahead and try, you 
either get tackled or get the punt away, there is no 
blocking), so this difference is essentially non-existent 
in gameplay. The other two differences kind of balance 
each other out. Tim McKyer and Don Griffen have identical 
stats, except McKyer has 44 Hitting Power, while Griffen 
has only 38. Brian Washington is identical to Mark Murphy,
except he has 38 hitting power and Murphy has 44. Thus, 
they essentially cancel each other out - sure one could 
argue that the hitting power is better served in the safety 
position, but over the course of a game, the difference 
is really negligible. 

Anyway, as far as I could tell, this is as close as you 
can get. If you find any better plan, please let me know,
especially if I overlook a pairing. For the most even 
results, plug the players into the positions defensively 
in the order listed for both teams. To add more of a 
managerial aspect, you can allow players to use only the 
given players, but switch around where on defense they 
play to best defend their opponents offensive style. 

I'm sure you can tell the QB's and LB's suck, but the 
DB's, WR's and RB's aren't half bad. It makes for some 
pretty interesting gameplay, I must say."

Here goes nothing:

QB #1: Steve Beuerlein (Rai.)
QB #2: Gary Kubiak (Den.)
RB #1: James Brooks (Cin.)
RB #2: Blair Thomas (Jets)
RB #3: Chris Warren (Sea.)
RB #4: S.Jennings (Cin.)
WR #1: Haywood Jeffires (Hou.)
WR #2: Stephone Paige (K.C.)
WR #3: Mark Jackson (Den.)
WR #4: Irving Fryar (N.E.)
TE #1: Ozzie Newsome (Cle.)
TE #2: Paul Green (Den.)
C: Paul Fairchild (N.E.)
G #1 (top): Gregg Rakoczy (Cle.)
G #2 (bottom): Randy Dixon (Ind.)
T #1 (top): Will Woolford (Buf.)
T #2 (bottom): Jeff Criswell (Jets)
DE #1: Doug Smith (Hou.)
NT: Ron Stallworth (Jets)
DE #2: Lee Williams (S.D.)
LB #1: Kevin Walker (Cin.)
LB #2: Ed Reynolds (N.E.)
LB #3: Chris Singleton (N.E.)
LB #4: Terry Wooden (Sea.)
CB #1: Raymond Clayborn (Cle.)
CB #2: Tim McKyer (Mia.)
S #1: Brian Washington (Jets)
S #2: Jarvis Williams (Mia.)
K: Pete Stoyanovich (Mia.)
P: Brian Hansen (N.E.)

QB #1: Stan Humphries (Was.)
QB #2: Anthony Dilweg (G.B.)
RB #1: Emmitt Smith (Dal.)
RB #2: Harry Sydney (S.F.)
RB #3: Robert Drummond (Phi.)
RB #4: John Harvey (T.B.)
WR #1: Gary Clark (Was.)
WR #2: Sterling Sharpe (G.B.)
WR #3: Robert Clark (Det.)
WR #4: Hassan Jones (Min.)
TE #1: Ed West (G.B.)
TE #2: Damone Johnson (Rams)
C: Mark Stepnoski (Dal.)
G #1 (top): Ron Hallstrom (G.B.)
G #2 (bottom): Todd Kalis (Min.)
T #1 (top): Tim Irwin (Min.)
T #2 (bottom): Ron Heller (Phi.)
DE #1: Darryl Grant (Was.)
NT: Erik Howard (Gia.)
DE #2: Freddie Joe Nunn (Phx.)
LB #1: Mike Wilcher (Rams)
LB #2: Darrion Conner (Atl.)
LB #3: Eric Hill (Phx.)
LB #4: Fred Strickland (Rams)
CB #1: Mark Lee (G.B.)
CB #2: Don Griffin (S.F)
S #1: Mark Murphy (G.B.)
S #2: William White (Det.)
K: Steve Christie (T.B.)
P: Maury Buford (Chi.)

Training Exercises

I have to date found only one other use for the Pro Bowl 
that develops your skills: use the Pro Bowl Change 
Players option to choose any player from the 
respective conferences (AFC and NFC) to stack the 
deck against yourself with horrid players, like the 
backup receivers of Chicago and Hugh Millen for the
NFC, or Steve Grogan and the whole defense of 
Indianapolis for the AFC. Here are some of my
vile creations for this purpose, with a bad playbook
to give yourself headaches. Give your opponent 
whatever playbook you have the most problems with.
Note that for the playbooks, there are several 
alternate players with the same stats, who are just
as bad and can be substituted, and some other things 
which I have noted. 

Tips on making this harder for all teams: switch in
the pathetic WRs for the faster running backs or 
even put them in at tight end if you can spare it.
For your opponent, put in the demons (Okoye and
Anderson) as the primary running backs and returners,
because those guys will give you no end of trouble;
Bo Jackson can't even compare. 

AFC's Worst

Lots of people from Cleveland, Indianapolis, and New 
England on this one, although Buffalo makes a good 
showing, mainly because they had the first people 
with the worst stats on the list. The Broncos and 
Jets also show they've got the talent to be "Super 
Bowl Champions". 

QB #1: Steve Grogan (N.E.)
QB #2: Jeff George (Ind.)
RB #1: Kenneth Davis (Buf.)
RB #2: Don Smith (Buf.)
RB #3: Anthony Johnson (Ind.)
RB #4: Sammy Winder (Den.)
WR #1: Al Edwards (Buf.)
WR #2: Fred Banks (Mia.)
WR #3: Terance Mathis (Jets)
WR #4: Jojo Townsell (Jets)
TE #1: Mike Dyal (Rai.)
TE #2: John Talley (Cle.)
C: Paul Fairchild (N.E.)
G #1 (top): Damian Johnson (N.E.)
G #2 (bottom): Brian Baldinger (Ind.)
T #1 (top): Paul Farren (Cle.)
T #2 (bottom): Danny Villa (N.E.)
DE #1 (RE): Tim Goad (N.E.)
NT: Jeff Lageman (Jets)
DE #2 (LE): Harvey Armstrong (Ind.)
LB #1 (ROLB): John Grimsley (Hou.)
LB #2 (RILB): Fredd Young (Ind.)
LB #3 (LILB): Richard Harvey (N.E.)
LB #4 (LOLB): Chris Singleton (N.E.)
CB #1 (RCB): Carl Carter (Cin.)
CB #2 (LCB): Wymon Henderson (Den.)
S #1 (FS): Thane Gash (Cle.)
S #2 (SS): Kevin Porter (K.C.)
K: Jerry Kauric (Cle.)
P: Bryan Wagner (Cle.)
KR: try Kenneth Davis
PR: try Kenneth Davis

AFC's Best

This team has a very strong DL and QBs with
great Pass Speed, as well as a better running
game and receivers with massive ball control,
with a great secondary. The only thing this
team lacks in comparison to the NFC's best is
a rushing quarterback and a better linebacking
squad. Houston was the biggest because of 
their WRs with 81 Ball Control and 75 Receptions
(no one in the AFC has 81 Receptions), but 
the Bills, Raiders, and Chiefs make their mark with
stars on the run and on defense. Make sure to start
Drew Hill and Ernest Givins. Kendal Smith and
Dwight "hands of" Stone are there to return.

QB #1: Warren Moon (Hou.)
QB #2: Dan Marino (Mia.)
RB #1: Bo Jackson (Rai.)
RB #2: Christian Okoye (K.C.)
RB #3: Thurman Thomas (Buf.)
RB #4: Bobby Humphrey (Den.)
WR #1: Dwight Stone (Pit.)
WR #2: Drew Hill (Hou.)
WR #3: Kendal Smith (Cin.)
WR #4: Ernest Givins (Hou.)
TE #1: Rodney Holman (Cin.)
TE #2: Marv Cook (N.E.)
C: Kent Hull (Buf.)
G #1 (top): Bruce Matthews (Hou.)
G #2 (bottom): Steve Wisniewski (Rai.)
T #1 (top): Anthony Munoz (Cin.)
T #2 (bottom): Richmond Webb (Mia.)
DE #1 (RE): Bruce Smith (Buf.)
NT: Greg Townsend (Rai.)
DE #2 (LE): Howie Long (Rai.)
LB #1 (ROLB): Derrick Thomas (K.C.)
LB #2 (RILB): C. Bennett (Buf.)
LB #3 (LILB): Greg Lloyd (Pit.)
LB #4 (LOLB): Dennis Byrd (Jets)
CB #1 (RCB): Rod Woodson (Pit.)
CB #2 (LCB): Richard Johnson (Hou.)
S #1 (FS): Eddie Anderson (Rai.)
S #2 (SS): David Fulcher (Cin.)
K: Nick Lowery (K.C.)
P: Mike Horan (Den.)
KR: Dwight Stone (Pit.)
PR: Kendal Smith (Cin.)

NFC's Worst

These guys have a pathetic line and blocking 
capability due to the fact that WRs are put in
for running backs and tight ends, with the
commensurate results. If you can get the ball
to the QB, though, you have a better passing
game than the AFC's Worst by far because of
Rich Gannon's superior abilities as compared
to Steve Grogan, and the extra Receptions of
the WR running backs and tight ends. This team
has an even worse defense than the AFC's Worst,
due in large part to a total lack of hitting
power. Four teams, Minnesota, Atlanta, Tampa 
Bay, and Detroit make up most of the list,
with Detroit making its splash because of
low Hitting Power WRs in RB and TE slots, and
the rest because their players gimp around
for a living. Shame of the day goes to Barry
Helton, who disgraces the 49ers by appearing
on this list of grannies. 

QB #1: Jeff Hostetler (Gia.)
QB #2: Hugh Millen (Atl.)
RB #1: Aubrey Matthews (Det.)
RB #2: Michael Haynes (Atl.)
RB #3: Jessie Clark (Min.)
RB #4: Alfred Anderson (Min.)
WR #1: Glen Kozlowski (Chi.)
WR #2: Leo Lewis (Min.)
WR #3: Danny Peebles (T.B)
WR #4: Lonzell Hill (N.O.)
TE #1: Mike Farr (Det.)
TE #2: Terry Greer (Det.)
C: Randy Grimes (T.B.)
G #1 (top): Carl Bax (T.B.)
G #2 (bottom): Ron Solt (Phi.)
T #1 (top): Rob Taylor (T.B.)
T #2 (bottom): Mike Kenn (Atl.)
DE #1 (RE): Brian Smith (Rams)
NT: Keith Ferguson (Det.)
DE #2 (LE): Jim Skow (T.B.)
LB #1 (ROLB): George Jamison (Det.)
LB #2 (RILB): Eugene Marve (T.B.)
LB #3 (LILB): Ray Berry (Min.)
LB #4 (LOLB): Dennis Gibson (Det.)
CB #1 (RCB): Mark Lee (G.B)
CB #2 (LCB): Leroy Irvin (Det.)
S #1 (FS): Scott Case (Atl.)
S #2 (SS): Andre Waters (Phi.)
K: Mike Lansford (Rams)
P: Barry Helton (S.F.)
KR: try Lonzell Hill
PR: try Lonzell Hill

NFC's Best

This team has all-around capability, from linebacker
interceptions to Boomers to Montana-Rice. The
running game isn't as strong as the AFC's Best, but
this team has QB Eagles, which is more than enough
to justify this team's superiority. If you think
the line needs more hitting power (such as if you
don't take the NT inside) then you can switch out
Bob Nelson with a guy like Pierce Holt. If you 
don't like Gary Reasons because he lacks hitting
power, put Charles Haley in his place. Make sure
that when you use the OF Starters screen and 
verify which backs run what that you don't get
confused between the Andersons. Ottis should be
the primary running back, with Neal doing 
everything else. You might want to temporarily
switch in Sanders until you get things figured
out and then put in Neal.  

QB #1: QB Eagles [AKA God, sharing duties with
Rod "God" Woodson] (Phi.)
QB #2: Joe Montana (S.F.)
RB #1: Neal Anderson (Chi.)
RB #2: Ottis Anderson (Gia.)
RB #3: Barry Sanders (Det.)
RB #4: Mel Gray (Det.)
WR #1: Jerry Rice (S.F.)
WR #2: Henry Ellard (Rams)
WR #3: Andre Rison (Atl.)
WR #4: Gary Clark (Was.)
TE #1: Jay Novacek (Dal.)
TE #2: Keith Jackson (Phi.)
C: Jay Hilgenberg (Chi.)
G #1 (top): Randall McDaniel (Min.)
G #2 (bottom): Mark Bortz (Chi.)
T #1 (top): Luis Sharpe (Phx.)
T #2 (bottom): Stan Brock (N.O.)
DE #1 (RE): Chris Doleman (Min.)
NT: Bob Nelson (G.B.)
DE #2 (LE): Reggie White (Phi.)
LB #1 (ROLB): Mike Singletary (Chi.)
LB #2 (RILB): Lawrence Taylor (Gia.)
LB #3 (LILB): Gary Reasons (Gia.)
LB #4 (LOLB): Pepper Johnson (Gia.)
CB #1 (RCB): Wayne Haddix (T.B.)
CB #2 (LCB): Deion Sanders (Atl.)
S #1 (FS): Ronnie Lott (S.F.)
S #2 (SS): Joey Browner (Min.)
K: Steve Christie (T.B.)
P: Sean Landeta (Gia.)
KR: Mel Gray (Det.)
PR: Mel Gray (Det.)

Pro Bowl Pussycat Playbook
(for the AFC's Worst and the NFC's Worst)

WTE Offtackle R
Pitch L Fake
WR Reverse R
Shotgun C Draw
Pro T Waggle R
WTE Flea Flicker
Flea Flicker
Reverse-Fake Z Post


12. The Season Game

"How the seasons of Tecmo change! From fall to 
winter to spring to summer, the fields of Tecmo are 
always green (and the cheerleaders are always ugly)."

There are some things that deserve mention as 
regards Season Game in Tecmo:

Tecmo QB Rating
Stat Limits
The Computer Adjusts Itself To Your Record
Controllers (1P vs. 2P)


Injuries only happen when a person is tackled,
injuries can be avoided by simply running out of bounds
when a tackle is imminent.

The condition of a player does not really seem to affect
his injury rate.

A player's recovery from the given injury is at least
partially random. Sometimes you can get a guy back
in a week and other times you won't get him back for
five weeks, and if you reset and play the game again
the player may come back, or conversely, may not
come back. You usually won't have him out for more than
three weeks though.

Injuries seem to be mostly random, unaffected by
condition. The only reliable determinant of them 
seems to be the number of tackles a person takes, 
but no defender or offensive lineman or kicker or 
punter can get injured. 

According to the manual (which by the way I do not
endorse, since it's quite wrong about the team
assessments {take their comments about the 
Indianapolis linebackers as an example}):

"There is a high probability that the Returner
will be injured."
"Some players will need three games to recover from
their injuries."


It seems to me that the number of statistics that a 
player racks up helps the performance of said player 
ever so slightly, but this may just be psychosomatic. 
In any case, watch your players' ability stats after 
every game so that you can switch in other people if 
necessary (you may want to check their conditions after 
every quarter if you are really wanting to always have 
the best guys in). However, sometimes I think the game
will downgrade your players' ratings behind the scenes 
if you always switch out players like that. 

You can stay on the leader board for QBs if you throw 
7 or more passes a game (credit j<13 a's>y).

Tecmo QB Rating

Courtesy of Matt Knobbe, here is the Tecmo QB rating

"It's much like the NFL formula except that your QB
rating can be a lot higher because it probably would 
have taken a lot more programing space to code in the 
limits that the NFL ratings have.

Tecmo QB Rating Formula

You need five numbers: Attempts, Completions, Yards, 
Touchdowns, and Interceptions. I will abbreviate them
Att., Comp, YDs, TD, and INT.

Next you need to figure out 4 values: Percentage of 
Completions, Average Yards Gained per attempt, Percentage 
of Touchdown Passes, and Percentage or[of] Interceptions. 
I will list the formulas, respectively, from A-D.

A. (Comp/Att)*5
B. (YDs/Att)*.25
C. (TD/Att)*20
D. 2.375 - ((Int/Att)*25)

Take those 4 values, add them together, divide by 6 and 
multiply by 100.

Raw QB Rating = (A+B+C+D)/6*100

Tecmo does one more thing here: They subtract 37.6 from 
this number to come up with the QB Rating. So, take 
your Raw QB rating, subtract 37.6, and then round UP to 
the nearest decimal point and you will have your Tecmo
QB Rating. (IE: 45.6544 = 45.7 and 45.6002213 = 45.7.)

Tecmo QB Rating = Raw QB Rating - 37.6

I have this on a spreadsheet @ 

Stat Limits

Tecmo doesn't have infinite SRAM. Therefore, there are
limits to how much of a given stat you can have. The
carries/receptions max out at 255, the yards max out
at 4095...therefore if you are going for major stat
building with one player in a season game, watch out
for a stat limit in whatever you are going for.

The Computer Adjusts Itself To Your Record: 

As you win victory after victory, the computer opponent 
gets more and more bonus statistics until you lose a game 
or two. This makes passing harder and running 
without capable (i.e. fast) backs almost impossible. It 
may actually be to your advantage, if you don't have 
any pride, to lose a few games in the normal season 
and forestall demonic computers in the playoffs. The
ultimate result of this is running backs that clear
ten yards in 1.5 seconds and linebackers that
immediately stuff you when you dare to run against the
God Machine. A point worth mentioning is that this 
works in reverse: if you lose a ton of games, the 
computer will get weaker. Probably the worst aspect of
the cheating will be the turnovers the computer will 
force, especially fumbles, as a result of the stat 
increases, for whatever reason. Some claim this is
a good argument for greater forced-fumbling ability by
high-hitting power players.

One note about this: in Coach Mode, the computer won't
get any easier or harder. That's not saying much,
though, seeing as how it's very tough to counter a
balanced opposing offense in Coach.

Controllers (1P vs. 2P)

In the Season Mode, I believe that the teams for the
two controllers in a MAN game are decided by the order
in which the names appear on the schedule. For example,
if G.B. * T.B. is on the schedule, Player 1 will be
Green Bay and Player 2 will be Tampa Bay. However, keep
in mind that the order of the teams on the schedule
sometimes changes according to Tecmo's pseudo-random
schedule re-ordering, BUT, this does not change 1P vs. 2P.
In TSB 1991, BUF always has home-field because of this,
and ATL is always away (left, right sides) in a 2-player


13. Bugs And Weird Stuff

"Tecmo Super Bowl has some minor 'issues'."

The strange things in this section are ordered
by familiarity. The more something occurs, the
farther down it is. I only put in stuff I see
for this, though if I had multiple confirmations
of something, I might add it in.

Waters Broke The Ball: This has many variants,
under the heading of "super jump bug", including
different timings and scenes. During one of the most
slaughterfest games that I have ever played, Troy
Aikman passes to Michael Irvin, who is covered
by a computer-controlled Andre Waters. Waters 
jumps up and smacks the ball, but as the ball is
coming to the ground, it shows the "double jump"
cinema, and then the ball flying right past the
hands of Michael Irvin. The game then returns to
the landing of the ball, which is nowhere near
Irvin. I guess Waters just sliced the ball in

So That's How You Got The Pick: I had the 
misfortune of passing with Jim Harbaugh, and, since
I was playing against the skilled Minnesota 
secondary, they covered my men terribly well. So
well, in fact, that on one interception, a Chicago
black-and-white jerseyed player caught the ball - 
everything else was the same, just that the uniform
was different, and the cinema was for a close catch
(not the clinch). Those defensive backs sure know
how to bamboozle an offense (not to mention the
hapless human player involved). 

Now That's An MVP: If a player catches a pass, and
he fumbles, and if another player recovers it and
scores a TD, then the player who recovered the ball
will run the "receiver" part of the passing TD
celebration. So if a QB recovers the ball, he will
not only be the jumping quarterback, he will
also be the running receiver! That's one way to get
a big payday - throw a TD to yourself. Not even
David Patten and Walter Payton have done that.

Frozen by Fear: Every now and then, when a turnover
occurs, the team that does not possess the ball will
have its MAN player frozen. Example: Washington throws
a pass which the receiver fumbles, then WAS recovers.
My MAN defender was frozen and could not move as the
WAS offensive lineman ran it in for a touchdown. In
that case, it was ever after called, "The Grim Reaper."

Lunatic: Now and then, on a caught pass, the defender
will actually dive, not before the pass is caught,
but AFTER the receiver clearly has the ball in his
hands. This happens with no intervention on the
human's part. Talk about bad coaching.

I Can See The Dementia: In one game I played, after
an opposing player made a pick, I lost control of
my quarterback to the computer, which promptly
proceeded, amazingly enough, to actually go after
the ballcarrier. This happened twice during that
game, which leads me to believe that turnovers
dazzle the brain-beaten quarterbacks in Tecmo so
much that they actually play properly. 

They Named A Power Bar For You, Boomer: After 
safetying Scott Mitchell (the Dolphins' backup QB),
by using the nose tackle dive tactic against a Pro
T Waggle L, the power bar came up and to the left
of it was a 7-. Boomer Esiason, the QB for the 
Bengals, has number 7, and, as fate had it, I was
playing as the Bengals. This bug can be replicated
with any other quarterback as well - I did it with
Dave Krieg too. 

Don't Hate Me Because I'm Perfect: I once had the
occasion to run a perfect 100 yards on a kickoff
return, all the way from one end zone to the other,
and celebrated my massive accomplishment. Well, 
my friend Steven and I went after the game into
the Kickoff Returns stat menu, and guess what?
The 100 yards was NOWHERE! Somehow they just 
didn't count it at all. I was so pissed. 

What Are You Staring At Now, Rice?: During
the Tecmo Passing Study, I was tossing the ball to
Jerry Rice and was greeted by another odd little
error; instead of getting on the X, Rice moved 
past it and stood there facing the other direction
as Montana's ball bounced off two defenders. Good
job! and I thought the 49ers were overrated. Who
knows what he was looking at? There's a variant
of this called, "I Guess You're Taking A Stroll,
Eh, Cornerback?"

Who's Got The Ball?: The notorious "fumble bug"
first manifested itself to me on a field goal
blocked by my Lawrence Taylor. The game said that
he gained possession of the ball, but in 
actuality, the ball was sitting on the 20-yard line.
A HUGE kill-the-man-with-the-ball game emerged as
every player tried to get the ball in the middle
of the field. However, no one could actually pick
it up, except me. That didn't stop me from getting
knocked around for three minutes as I tried to 
escape the mob. I finally did, and tried to see 
whether I could run out of bounds or score a
touchdown or anything. No dice. So I had to fight
my way back in to go get the ball and end the play
as I was tackled on my fumble recovery to set up
a Giants possession.

I'm Getting There: It may not technically be a bug
per se, but one interesting thing that happens on
punt returns is the bouncing punt. If you have a
slow returner, sometimes he won't get to the X on
the field before the ball does, and the ball will
bounce once before the returner picks it up.

I See That Football Up Your Sleeve: On flea flicks
(especially T Flea Flicker) and occasionally on
punts, sometimes the ball doesn't even come close
to the person trying to catch it. Even so, the 
person will still have a ball to carry or throw,
and there's even a healthy accompanying thump. I
think some of the offenses in the league have 
been to Las Vegas for a little "spring training."

The Grass Gave Me Power: If an offensive blocker
hits a defender with something that looks like a
crazy lateral slide (which will knock him over) then
he will become a god for the rest of the play,
playing Tekken with every defender he meets, no
matter their Hitting Power (credit Paul). I refer
to it in other parts of this FAQ as a cut block.

They Must Be Really Hard Hits: Everybody knows that
you can hit a person who's scored a touchdown in
the end zone after they've scored, knocking them
down, and sometimes struggling with them. Well,
occasionally, if you get hit in the end zone, your
player will fumble the ball. In so doing, the yards
you've gained in getting the touchdown will be 
lost, since the game erases the yardage from a
fumbled play. I think what must happen is that the
intransigent tackler hits the man so hard that
even the scorekeepers get amnesia. 

Are These House Rules We're Playing By?: Everyone
at one point or another has had the chagrin or
joy of having a reception out of bounds, a running
back over the sideline, or even an interception
off the field and getting the yards and catches
counted. Not only that, but errant quarterbacks 
throw passes into the stands that both receivers
and defenders run for, sometimes triggering 
"dropped ball" cinemas. The classic is the Jerry
Rice catch of a ball above the line, then his
landing out of bounds for a first down. One 
thing I would like to know: who gets sued when
players run over the cheerleaders and the people
in the "nosebleed" seats?

Tecmo Is So Realistic, They Even Got The 
Refs Right: Tecmo has a tough time deciding 
whether certain hits are one or the other. For 
instance, you can slide tackle a QB in a flea 
flick or a running back in Shotgun C Draw as he 
gets the ball and the ball can pop, but the play 
is over. But if you struggle with these same
people, the ball bounces off as a fumble. How
does this come about, I wonder? (see Mechanics
for Paul's explanation of this)

(no funny comment here): Every time a 
player gets injured, no matter whether he is 
black or white, he will always be represented 
as a white player when he is lying injured on 
the field (before the "Injured!" cutscene 
appears on the screen).

It Isn't Over Yet: On many plays, if you get a
safety, the runner will continue to go if he
can get up. In addition, if you tackle the QB
on a pitch play and he gets up, he will "pass"
the ball to the running back downfield, and 
sometimes he will miss him by ten yards! This
works with any pitch play and even people who
can't play QB (see Mechanics for why). 

Tecmo End Zone Dances: One thing you can do in 
Tecmo is get crazy things to happen to people
caught in the end zone. If you hold the button
in the opposite direction to the end zone, you
can make a receiver move out of the end zone
as soon as he catches the ball. In addition,
you can make your runners move out of bounds 
and into the stands by holding the button in
the appropriate direction. Moreover, if you
have a defender who slides for a guy in the
end zone, he can slide for twenty yards or 
even slide right off the screen. If a guy gets
in a struggle with someone who's in the end
zone, they can have it out, or in the best
tradition, the successful team's man starts
cheering and his antagonist keeps wrestling.
One that I haven't quite figured out how to
trigger yet is the moonwalk, where the player 
runs in and then runs backward. Paul says it
happens sometimes when the player is hit as
he enters the end zone. 

Is This A Comment?: The inability of a player
controlled by a human to pick up a fumble in
every situation but that of a dropped field goal
(and the botched pitch) is truly amazing. Not only 
that, but the fact that a ball can be bouncing about 
in a swarm of twelve big, muscular guys, and move 
ten yards over out of bounds is stupefying. Is this 
the ultimate meaning of Tecmo - a parody of football

I Guess This Is What Quantum Theory Is All About:
No matter how many people stand between you and
a ball carrier behind the line, you can move
through all of them and just touch one pixel of
the holder to take him down. At the same time,
you can escape a slide tackle past the line if
the slider flickers, even if the guy half
engulfs you. In addition, if you end a struggle
and a man is in your midst while you do so, you
will be invincible against his attacks until you
part company.

And of course, the Ernest Givins Pro Bowl bug.

14. Mechanics

"Let's take a look at Tecmo 'under the hood'."

I put some interesting observations about the way
that Tecmo works in here. Most of these are just
the oddball tinkerings and curiosities of an
fanatic, but a few of these are actually useful
and/or interesting.

Contact Mechanics
On The Field
Possession Of The Ball
Menu Screens
Music And Sound

Contact Mechanics

See also the Tweaking The Tecmo tip "Attack
Drone Players".

If a player has less hitting power than his
antagonist, he will be at a disadvantage in
the struggle. If the less strong player is
not strong enough to shake the other off,
but he manages to hit the A button fast enough,
he can sometimes keep from getting tackled, but
will not be able to break out. This often happens
during interceptions, when the computer becomes
possessed and won't let go of you.

The struggle is resolved whenever one person's
A hitting and hitting power are large enough
to overcome the other. The actual reaction is
dependent on how much the one was able to overcome
the other. If one dominated, the other will be
thrown into the air and roll on the ground,
placing him around 15 or more yards away. Lesser
degrees produce long rolls, short tosses and rolls,
short rolls, and simply hitting the other player to
the ground.

The domination also changes the time it takes for
a person to get up. If they were dominated, then
they will have a harder time getting up than if
they were just barely beaten.

People who attempt to enter struggles
between fierce opponents by simply walking in
may get knocked off if their hitting power is
low. If it is higher, or if the struggle
is not so heated, they will knock off a blocker
or tackle a ball carrier. On defense, a
slide tackle works well in these situations.

One variable factor in this is the hitting of the
A button outside of a struggle. It boosts your
hitting power significantly, and can be enough to
knock away certain defenders, although it does
not seem that way when I studied it. If you can
throw extra defenders by hitting A, hey, more power.

When two humans make simple contact:

Usually, there will no flattening the opposing player.
However, if the other player is in a struggle (i.e.
the ballcarrier tied up) then a defender can (and
often does) bounce off the struggling players, if his
hitting power is not high enough. It is crucial to
slide tackle into struggles and to not just walk up to
them to avoid this. However, if the MAN breaks out of
the struggle right then, he can be invincible and your
slide tackle will bounce off him. Also, if you run right
up to him at the moment of impact, you will sometimes
not be able to tackle him unless you get out of his
character's vicinity. Beware.

Higher hitting power helps in a struggle. However,
sometimes it seems like the odds are against you.
Quarterbacks in particular always seem to have an
advantage against defenders with four times their
hitting power. Wide receivers can also exhibit this
same behavior from time to time.

On The Field

The reason why some plays work better when people 
are shifted to one direction is because not only
is there more (or less) room to run (in the cases
of few blocking and breaking out, and much blocking
and getting definite gains), but also because the
actual formation will shift a little. Players on 
the compressed side will move closer together,
and players on the open side will move farther 
away. There's something to consider.

Computer controlled players (the other 10 that
you don't control) have a fixed coverage pattern
for one play vs. another. However, if one of
those plays changes, the coverage pattern will
change also. The coverage patterns are tough to
predict and since there are so many of them
(8 for each play) it's really not something you can
figure out beforehand too well. However, during
a game, you might find that one play covers
better than another, and use that. Also, if you
have your opponent's playbook, you can see which
ones work best for general coverage, and then
plan to call those plays. 

Sometimes on certain plays (especially on T
Offtackle R), a computer controlled player will
do a lateral slide tackle (one term
for it is cut block) and hit opposing 
computer players. Us peon humans can't do it
(why can't you use Select?). Paul says with an
"Amazing, but true!" that if an offensive 
player does this, he will be invincible for the
rest of the play and knock off defenders with
impunity as per a fullback, but against any
player for the defense. 

I've always wondered why the slide tackles are
so horrible, both in the aiming and in the 
computer defenders' use of them. I'm guessing
that maybe the computer doesn't take into 
account a person's speed or that the former
state of the screen is used to determine a 
player's target when the slide tackle is 

If you decide to QB sneak, the computer players
will not catch on until you cross the line, so
you can take your time and get yourself lined
up for the greatest gain. Be aware, however,
that sometimes linebackers will start going
for you after a few seconds, so that may impede
your run somewhat. 


Fumbles, are, as far as I can tell, dependent only
on ball control. I think that every time you are
tackled the game does a fumble check, and if you
get unlucky, you fumble. People think that QBs and
defenders don't have 50 BC, but it's not really certain
one way or the other, whether or not they fumble more
in general. However sometimes people think that this is
also something that is influenced by the Hitting
Power of defenders vs. the ballcarrier (see Pittsburgh's
D). There may be something to that.

There are two instances in which a human-controlled
player can pick up a fumble: if a field goal is
blocked; and if a pitch botches and falls to the

Possession Of The Ball

Thank Paul for this nice tip: The possession of 
the ball is determined by who the number (1 or 
2 depending on the player) is over. Whenever the 
QB takes the snap, the number is over his head. 
When he passes, the number switches to the receiver 
(or another one if you use the dupe pass, but the
computer still recognizes it the same way). With a
pitch, the computer will switch the possession of
the ball from the pitcher to the pitchee about
halfway through the pitch. This accounts in large
part for one "fumble bug": Sometimes the computer 
thinks that the person being pitched to has the
ball and sometimes it doesn't.


A pitch in Tecmo is handled just the same way that
a pass is. Whenever a player pitches a ball, the
game does the same calculations that it would for
a pass, which means that a person can throw a bad
pitch just as they can a bad pass. So how can
WRs and RBs and TEs pass, you ask? I think that
there is a default value for people who don't 
have QB stats, probably around 50 for each of
the categories, which would make the wildest
pitches believable. I don't think that a person
can drop a pitch, though. That much has been
taken care of.

Menu Screens

If you look closely at the background of the
NFL Leaders screens, you'll notice that the 
motions on the cinemas therein are the same ones
as actual cinemas in the game, except that the
players change colors and there's no other 

Music And Sound

Whenever you have the first down music playing, if
you enter the menu it shuts off. I guess the 
menu noise is a little too much for the NES sound

15. ID/Kill Lists

These are a series of lists detailing how you can identify
particular plays and how then to destroy them, and what
players to use for the job. It is organized by formation.
I have not put in any of the single formation plays 
because it would simply be redundant. This should be useful
for those of you who don't want to go and look through
that whole horrendous Section 4 for tactics. This may not
be entirely complete since I focused on tactics that usually
always work (to one degree or another). I didn't put in a
lot of personnel-dependent tactics.

Run stop - just do what you normally do to beat run plays.
Cover - cover open receivers
Blitz - go straight for the QB
NTD - nose tackle dive
Twin of - the play referred to has most of the same motions
          as its twin
DB - defensive back

T Formation (16 plays)
(watch for a race defect to show T Power Dive)

IF: QB drops straight back
    =  Pass Set 1: Straight Back Plays
           IF: No wideout is behind the line
           = Pro T Flare C - 74
           IF: The RBs both curl behind the line
           = Pro T Flare D - 62
           ELSE Pro T Screen L - 54
           Kill with NTD, Blitz or mid-long coverage

IF: Blockers start moving up
    IF: WRs start blocking or RB #2 starts juking
        = T Cross Run L - 30
        ELSE Pro T Waggle R - 50
    Kill both with RILB or LILB or CB attack through 
    O-line. These two plays are twins.

IF: Blockers start moving down
    IF: RB #2 does as well
        = T Sweep Strong - 25 - Kill with man through
                                O-line hole or Run stop
        ELSE IF: QB moves straight back
                 = T Flea Flicker - 76 - Kill with
                                         Cover or Blitz
             ELSE IF: WRs start blocking
                      = T Power Sweep R - 17 - Kill with
                                               man thru
                                               O-line or
                                               Run stop
                      ELSE Pro T Waggle L - 56 - NTD,
                                               Hit QB,
                                               hole run
    Kill most of these with RILB or LILB or DB through
    the O-line hole. Pro T Waggle L is the twin of
    T Power Sweep R

IF: QB moves straight back for handoff
    IF: RB #1 moves close to the QB
        = T Power Dive - 26 - NTD or Run stop
        ELSE IF: WRs don't block
                 = T Play Action D - 53 - NTD or
             ELSE IF: RB #2 gets ball
                      = Pro T Dive - 42 - NTD or
                                          Run stop
                      ELSE T Fake Sweep R - 16 -
                                          NTD or
                                          Run stop
    Kill all of these with a NTD. All of these
    except for T Power Dive are twins.

IF: WR #1 stays in place at top
    = Reverse Pitch R - 45 - Hit WR #1
    ELSE IF: RB #2 comes diagonally up to QB
             = Cross Offtackle - 32 - RILB slide 
                                      or DB Run stop
             ELSE T Offtackle R - 24 - LOLB slide
                                       or DB Run

Onesetback Formation (10 plays)
(watch for a race defect to show Pitch L Open)
IF: QB trots and pitches the ball with WR remaining
    at the top of the screen without blocking
    = Set 1: Top Handoff Plays
          IF: QB runs straight back
          = Reverse-Fake Z Post - 81
          IF: WR takes handoff
          = WR Reverse R - 43
          ELSE Pitch L Fake - 21
      Kill with ROLB or RCB dive from top at RB #1
    ELSE IF: QB moves for play action with RB #1
             =  Set 2: Handoff After The Snap Plays
                    IF: WR #1 cuts down without blocking
                    = Power Fake Z Post - 66
                    IF: TE goes out without blocking
                    = Power Fake X Fly - 77
                    IF: Right guard drops back
                    = Onesetback L - 11
                    ELSE FB Offtackle L - 27
                Kill with left end dive, right end
                dive, RILB attack, or secondary stop
                or coverage, or for the runs, can also
                use LE
         ELSE IF: Tons of blockers come forth
                  = Pitch L Open - 33 - Left end move up
                                        or wait and
                                        then go for man
                  ELSE IF: RB #2 moves down into middle
                           = Oneback Flare A - 65 -
                             Cover or Blitz or NTD
                           ELSE X Out And Fly - 80 -
                             Cover or Blitz or NTD

Run And Shoot Formation (8 plays)
IF: RB #1 stays in place
    = Run And Shoot Draw - 20 - Slide tackle or stop
    ELSE IF: QB drops only a little and blocking starts
             = Run And Shoot QB Sneak - 40 - Attack QB
                                             maybe w/LILB
             ELSE IF: QB starts to sweep with blocking
                  = Run And Shoot QB Run - 46 - Hit QB
                                                or LOLB tactic
             ELSE IF: QB pitches the ball
                          = Run And Shoot Left - 12
                            if runner goes to top;
                          = Run And Shoot Right - 37
                            if runner goes to bottom;
                          Kill both with slide tackles
                          and moving around the blockers
                          or LOLB attack for R&S Sweep L
    ELSE: QB drops straight back
         IF: RB stays inside
             = Run And Shoot Z Fly - 61 - Cover or Blitz
                                          or NTD
         ELSE IF: RB moves up to the offensive line as WR
                  = Run And Shoot Flare C - 57 - Cover or
                                                 Blitz or
                  ELSE Run And Shoot Y Up - 87 - Cover or
                                                 Blitz or

Shifting Onesetback Formation (6 plays)
IF: The QB does play action with RB #1
    IF: People block
        = Onesetback Dive - 41 - NTD or Run stop
        ELSE Playaction Z In - 72 - NTD or Cover
    ELSE IF: Blockers move upward
             IF: People block
                 = FB Open L - 14 - Run stop
                 ELSE Roll Out R - 51 - Hit QB or Cover
             ELSE IF: WR #2 stays in place at the bottom
                      = WR Reverse L - 35 - Hit WR
                      ELSE Oneback Sweep R - 22 - Run
    Good strategy against these: Call Roll Out R and
    attack runners with a strong defender. Roll Out R
    is the twin of FB Open L.

Shotgun Formation (6 plays)
(watch for race defects to assist you)
IF: RB gets the ball right away
    = Shotgun Draw - 36 - Slide tackle or stop
    ELSE IF: RB stays by QB
         = Shotgun C Draw - 44 - Slide tackle or stop
         ELSE IF: RB goes straight out
              = Shotgun XY Bomb - 86 - Cover and watch
                                       for QB scramble
              ELSE IF: RB goes directly up and curls
                       = Shotgun Z S-In - Cover
              ELSE IF: RB goes diagonally after the snap
                       = Shotgun X Curl - 60 - Cover
                       ELSE Shotgun X Drive - 70 - Cover
    Watch for a QB sneak on these.

Strong-I Formation (4 plays)
IF: QB pitches the ball down to RB #2
    = Toss Sweep R - 15 - Run stop
    ELSE IF: QB drops straight back
             = Offset Flare E - 63 - NTD or cover
             ELSE IF: WRs block and hook in
                      = FB Power Dive - 43 - NTD
                      ELSE Play Action - 55 - NTD
    A good strategy is to call Toss Sweep R, then
    NTD. FB Power Dive and Play Action are twins.
    Can also free up RE and NT with LOLB on FB Power

One Man Shift Formation (4 plays)
IF: TE moves forward
    = Roll Out L - 52 - slam the QB
    ELSE IF: The right tackle goes downward
             = FB Offtackle R - 13 - Plug the hole
                                     & Run stop
             ELSE IF: QB moves straight back
                      OR WRs don't cut in or block
                  = Flea Flicker - 73 - Hit QB
                                        or RB #1
                  ELSE Weakside Open - 23 - Run stop
    A good way to stop these is to call Weakside Open
    or, if that's not available, FB Offtackle R, and
    cover the passes with a fast defender. Flea
    Flicker and Weakside Open are twins.
    Stop the runs by fighting the RT with the LOLB,
    RILB attack for both, taking a hard angle to the
    line with the ROLB, a FS or RCB, or the LILB freeing
    up boys on Weakside Open only.

Shotgun 3-Wing Formation (2 plays)
IF: WRs block OR guards drop out
    = Shotgun Sweep L - 47 - LOLB end-Run inside play
                             or DB Run Stop
    ELSE Shotgun 3-Wing - 75 - Blitz, Cover

IF: WRs go out OR guards stay in place
    = Shotgun 3-Wing - 75 - Blitz, Cover
    ELSE Shotgun Sweep L - 47 - LOLB end-Run inside play
                                or DB Run Stop

Slot Formation (2 plays)

IF: WRs block OR QB slants downward
    = Slot Offtackle - 31 - RILB rr defensive back Strike
    ELSE Slot L Z Drive - 82 - Blitz or NTD

IF: WRs go out OR QB drops straight back
    = Slot L Z Drive - 82 - Blitz or NTD
    ELSE Slot Offtackle - 31 - RILB or defensive back Strike

A good strategy for these is to call the pass and cover the

WTE Formation (2 plays)

IF: WRs block OR QB fades
    = WTE Offtackle R - 10 - Left end dive or LOLB attack
    ELSE WTE Flea Flicker - 67 - Left end dive or LOLB attack

IF: WRs move out without contact and QB stops running
    = WTE Flea Flicker - 67 - Left end dive or LOLB attack
    ELSE WTE Offtackle R - Left end dive or LOLB attack

I should think you can figure out what you should do for these.
These two plays are twins, but that's a bad thing rather than 
a good thing.

16. Tactics List By Player (empty)

Here, for your convenience, is a list of tactics that each
player can execute, and the plays on which the player can
execute them. At least, that is what I would have done with
this section. :) I haven't seen much of a need for it, but I
am too lazy to just edit this out. So I will just go and
list the positions I like the most for putting great players
for tactics:


17. Basic Instructions

"Let me show you the Tecmo, kid."

This section is divided thus:

Sound Test
Preseason/Pro Bowl
Team Data
Season Mode
Playing the Game

Sound Test

At the title screen, press Left and B to access the 
sound test. The sounds are as follows (names mine,
and I know they're pathetic).

1. Tecmo "Killer Team" Intro Cinema (after 
"Ready!") with an additional flourish at the end
(thank you Gaffney for pointing this out - 
what a mental error for me to have made)
2. Tecmo "The World Is Watching" Cinema (until 
3. Tecmo "Killer Team" Intro Cinema
4. Pro Bowl - Theme Of Player 1
5. Pro Bowl - Theme Of Player 2
6. Postseason - Theme Of Player 1
7. Postseason - Theme Of Player 2
8. Season - Theme Of Player 1
9. Season - Theme Of Player 2
10. Preseason - Theme Of Player 1
11. Preseason - Theme Of Player 2
12. Super Bowl Finish Cinema #1: "Super  
Champions" (until the roster starts scrolling)
13. Super Bowl Finish Cinema #2: "Tecmo's 
Greatest" (when the roster starts scrolling)
14. Kickoff!
15. Theme Of Run Touchdown/Coin Toss - Kickoff 
Or Return?
16. Safety! 
17. Touchback!
18. Interception!
19. Turnover
20. Theme Of Player 1 First Down
21. Theme Of Player 2 First Down
22. "It's Good!" - Theme Of Successful Extra Point 
And Field Goal Attempts
23. "No Good" - Theme Of Unsuccessful Extra Point 
(it happened once to me) And Field Goal 
24. Injury!
25. "New Quarter" - The Theme That Plays When 
The Scoreboard Appears After The First And Third 
26. Halftime
27. "Is It A First Down?" - Theme Of Measuring The 
Position Of The Ball
28. Tecmo Sports News
29. Division Champions
30. Conference Champions
31. "The Playoffs Await" - Theme Of The NFL 
Standings Sequence After Week 17
32. "Prophecy" (this theme is not used in the game, 
but it seems to me from listening to it that maybe it 
would have been used for a season cinema where a 
player commits a crime and gets put in the clink, kind 
of like an injury, but Nintendo didn't want to have to 
kids frightened by the shady characters in the holding 
pen, so Tecmo had to censor it out. However a much more
probable scenario is that it would have been used when
penalties were called, as there are some lines in the
code that indicate plans were underway for some simple
penalties like offsides)
33. Recovered! - Theme Of Injured Players' Return 
To The Game (also known as the "we nurses don't 
have anything better to do but stand up on the 
hospital all day long and wave at departing football 
players who don't have cars or changes of clothes and 
have to run to the game in their jerseys and pads - 
just what the doctor ordered for a guy who just got 
out of the hospital" cinema theme)
34. Theme Of Pass Touchdown
35. QB Sack!
36. Fumble!
37. QB Throws The Ball
38. Hike! (??)
39. Player Catches The Ball - Kicker Kicks The Ball
40. Players Hit Each Other #1 
41. Ball Thump #1
42. Whistle
43. Ball Thump #2
44. Two Minute Warning
45. "Time Is Running Out" - Noise Played When 
Time Is Ticking Away At The End Of A Quarter
46. Gunshot - End Of Quarter
47. Ball Thumps Against The Uprights
48. "Press Start" - Noise When You Hit Start At The 
Beginning Of The Game
49. "What Do You Want To Do?" - The 
Unintelligible Muttering Of The Referee At The Coin 
50. "Kickoff/Return" - The Even More Unintelligible 
Muttering Of The Player Who States His Wish
51. Week Skip Selection Noise
52. Ball Is Punted Or Players Hit Each Other #2
53. Applause #1
54. Applause #2
55. Applause #3
56. Applause #4
57. Ready!
58. Down!
59. Hut!
60. Touchdown!

Once you've had your fun with this menu, hit Start. 
To select, press A, and to cancel, press B. 

Preseason/Pro Bowl 
This is a game where you can choose from a variety of 
man, com(puter), and coa(ch - where you choose the
plays but don't actually control a player) games. The 
Pro Bowl is the same, but you play with the Pro Bowl 
people listed in the Pro Bowl menu under Team Data in
AFC All Stars and NFC All Stars. The players' data 
that changes during a season also changes for the
Preseason; if someone is injured in the Season, they
won't be able to play in Preseason, and the condition
of the player affects their performance. The Pro Bowl
games will put all players who are injured into Bad
condition, but otherwise is the same as Preseason.
The AFC divisions are at the top and the NFC divisions
are at the bottom, starting with Eastern divisions in 
the first column, Central in the second, and Western
in the third. 

Team Data
Team Data is where you find all the smatterings of 
team data like names and numbers and stats and 

Players Data
OF Starters
DF Starters
Play Book

Players Data
To take a look at the players, go into Players Data 
and select the player you want to see. The positions
are indicated at the top right hand corner with 
abbreviations. Here's a list of them:

RB=Running Back
WR=Wide Receiver
TE=Tight End
LG/RG=Left Guard/Right Guard
LT/RT=Left Tackle/Right Tackle
RE/LE=Right End/Left End
NT=Nose Tackle
ROLB=Right Outside Linebacker
RILB=Right Inside Linebacker
LILB=Left Inside Linebacker
LOLB=Left Outside Linebacker
RCB=Right Cornerback
LCB=Left Cornerback
FS=Free Safety
SS=Strong Safety

Note that all the Right people are the top people and
all the Left people are the people closer to the 
bottom for defense, and the reverse for offense. 

For detailed explanations of the players' statistics
and conditions, go to the Roster section. 

Offensive Starters
To change your offensive starters, go into OF Starters 
and choose the position you want to fill and then fill 
it with whoever is available. Players with red X's 
beside their names are injured and can't be selected
unless they were just injured and need to be replaced. 
To reset the starters, press A on Starters before you
go down into the actual starters and select Yes. If
you want to look at players' data in this section,
simply press Start when the cursor is next to the
desired starter to see that person's stats. 

Defensive Starters
To view the defenders and their positions, go into DF 
Starters. For those of you wondering where the top
of the screen players are, the left is the top of the
screen and the right is the bottom. 

Play Book
You can change the plays by going into Play Book, 
hitting A on the slot of the play you want to change, 
and choosing from among the list. To reset the plays, 
select Data Reset at the bottom. The red dots are
a pitch to a man, the red lines are either the path
of a runner or the paths of receivers, and white 
dotted lines signify a shift before the play begins.
Note that some shifts are not shown on certain plays.
You have been warned. The names of the plays are 
shown at the bottom and the names of the plays that
you can select from are shown on the menu bar (but
when you choose run plays, you can't see the name
of the play that is currently in the slot). The
runs are the top four slots and the passes are the
bottom four slots (to yet again state the obvious).

Season Game

There are several options here:

Team Control
Game Start
NFL Standings
Team Rankings
NFL Leaders
Team Data

Team Control
This lets you choose the type (man, com, coa, skp 
(don't play this game, but if the other team has 
an option set, this is com)) of control the team 
will have. 

Schedule is the place where you look at the past 
and upcoming games. Hitting the A button brings up
a menu:

Auto Skip - Choosing this lets you pick a week to
skip to. This will automatically skip to that week
and its games (if you choose Week 1, it will play
all the games to Week 2) when you choose Game Start,
unless you have man, com, or coa chosen for a team
playing in those weeks, in which case it will stop
skipping and return you to the Season Mode menu to
allow you to play the game currently up by selecting
Game Start. You can make the game stop Auto Skipping
by holding the B button, which will return you to
the Season Mode menu (thanks for reminding me, Paul).
You can also tap the B button repeatedly for the same

Playoffs - This allows you to view the Playoff 
schedule as it is created through winning of division
championships, and also when the the regular season
is over, you can use it to go back to the Playoff

Reset - If you choose this option, it will give you 
two menus to confirm that you really want to clear
away all the season data. Selecting "Yes" for both
of these will reset the season to the beginning of
Week 1, change all the players' conditions to 
Average, and clear away all the players' statistics.

During the Playoffs, the Schedule option will default
to the Playoff Screen that shows the results and the
upcoming games therein. 

Game Start
Game Start plays or skips the games you've selected,
according to the options that you've chosen. Keep
in mind that if an option other than skp is chosen
for a game, the game will be played out in full
just like a Preseason game.

NFL Standings
NFL Standings shows the records and progress of 
each team in the NFL with total points for and 
against a team, as well as any wild card (noted with
a white circle doodad under the team's helmet) or 
division champion status that team may have earned 
(noted with a red star under a team's helmet). The 
teams are listed by conference and division. 

Team Rankings 
This lists each team in the league or conference 
by the total amount of yards gained in Offense or 
the least amount of yards allowed in Defense, 
depending on what list you chose. Once you are
in the ranking, you can then move the cursor right
or left to show the ranked yards gained or allowed
for passing only or rushing only. 

NFL Leaders 
This lists individual leaders in certain stats by 
NFL, AFC, and NFC. In each menu except for Sacks,
you can press right and see another set of list
options for each one. This holds true for all of
the sub-menus as well. I have made a list of my own
that shows the options for ranking as
well as the initial ranking criterion:

<Category> - <ranked criterion> 

Passing - Rating
Completion %
# Of Pass Attempts
# Of Completions
Total Yards Gained
Yards Per Attempt
# Of Touchdown Passes
Least Interception %

Receiving - # Of Receptions
# Of Receptions
Total Yards Gained
Yards Per Receptions
# Of Touchdowns

Rushing - Total Yards Gained  
Total Yards Gained
Rushing Attempts
Yards Per Attempt
# Of Touchdowns

Scoring - Total Points
Total Points 
# Of Touchdowns
# Of Extra Points
# Of Field Goals

Punting - Average Punt Yardage
Average Punt Yardage
Total # Of Punts

Interceptions - # Of Interceptions
# Of Interceptions
Total Yards Gained
# Of Touchdowns

Sacks - # Of Sacks
# Of Sacks

Punt Returns - Average Yards Gained
Average Yards Gained
Total Yards Gained
# Of Returns
# Of Touchdowns

Kickoff Returns - Average Yards Gained
Average Yards Gained
Total Yards Gained
# Of Returns
# Of Touchdowns

Team Data 
This is the same Team Data that is in the first menu, 
but duplicated for your convenience in the Season 
Mode menu.   

Playing The Game

Table of Contents:

Other 1
Special Teams
Other 2

Other 1
In a game, pressing B will skip through the coin toss 
and randomly assign a kicking and returning team. It
will also skip through halftime.

A struggles (or hits) and B does nothing for a plain
old vanilla-and-nothing runner or returner. On the play 
formation screen, A brings up a menu where you can 
call time outs, punt, kick a field goal, or change your 
offensive lineup. To choose a play, hit the directional 
arrow and button simultaneously that are shown 
underneath the play you want to call. To hike the 
ball, press A. For a run play, you only have to control 
the runner. For a pass play, you change receivers with 
A and pass with B. There are two more sophisticated 
ways of passing. One of them is the switch pass, in 
which you hit both buttons (A+B) at the same time, but 
with A a little earlier, which switches the pass from 
one receiver to the next in the order for the play. 
The second is the dupe pass, in which you do the same 
thing, but hit B first. This will shift the cursor to
the next receiver, but will throw the pass to the one
the cursor pointed to previously.

On defense, hitting A or B will move you
progressively through the people you can control, with
A moving forward and B moving backward through the 
players. B slide tackles and A struggles as with
offense. You cannot change players during the course
of the play. In the play screen, you can call time
outs by bringing up the menu by pressing A. 

Special Teams 
Kicking a ball from a field goal position is done with 
A, the direction being determined by an arrow. Kicking 
off is done with A, with the power meter on top 
determining the strength of the kick. The higher the 
bar is when you hit A, the more powerful the kick will 
be. Kicking when the meter is in the blue will cause 
an onside kick. If you hit up or down when you kick, 
the direction of the kick will change to move up or
down correspondingly. Punting is done the same way, 
but you cannot change its direction and you cannot 
"onside punt". 

Other 2
Note that the numbers and names of the offensive and 
defensive players are shown at the top (though often
not in full). Also, in the playbook screen, it shows
the person who runs the play atop the actual play for
the run plays.  

At the end of the game, you can either hit A or B to 
exit the score screen. 


That's about it for the serious stuff.

18. Press Conference

"I completely deny these false and Tecmo 

This is all the random thoughts I have (and others 
have, hopefully) about Tecmo.

Leif Powers - 

Index: These names do not match the formal titles in
some cases; you'll see why in a bit, but this is the
general order of my press conference. 

How do I make Tecmo harder/teach others how to play?
Do you run or pass?
Do you defend the run or the pass?
How do you measure your performance?
What do you think about tactics?

I've beaten the computer for about the 10000th time,
259-0, 75 points 4th quarter, 500 yards passing,
500 yards rushing, 100% receptions with my backup
QB, the worst person on my team returning both
kicks and punts for a total of 300 yards, stopping
so that the rest of my team could get some action,
0 first downs for and against, no yards against me, 
no one even shown for the computer on the game stats 
screen, 95 QB sacks, 25 safeties, -367 yards rushing 
for the computer (I was so bored I kept that stat
myself), and to top it all off, 1 successful
field goal for my 6 Kicking Ability (he was in Bad
condition) kicker from my 30 yard line. But I love
Tecmo so much, I don't want to stop playing, and
say, go into accounting. How can I make Tecmo harder?
Also, I want to teach my little sister how to play 
too. She just turned 4, and I figure I could use some 
competition. How can I?

Some ways in which you can make it harder to play
Tecmo are as follows:

1. Pick a horrible team and play against a great
team (one way you can do this is to use the
Pro Bowl options).
2. Set your slowest people to running backs,
and try to get them with low Hitting Power as
3. Set your slowest/worst Receptions people to
4. Set a low Hitting Power/slow/bad Receptions
guy to TE.
6. Put in your worst overall QB (low Pass Speed
and low other stats). 
6. Play some games in Season and win with the
team you will want to play and lose with the one
you want to oppose. 
7. Don't do anything that is unrealistic, like
nose tackle dives or other really, really, 
physics-defying stunts. 
8. Pick the worst defender for any play to play
as, or play games with whom you choose as your
controlled man. Even worse, let your opponent
select as whom you play.
9. Run straight out instead of using dodging
tactics when you break out. 
10. Give yourself time consuming plays like
oneback reverses and low-receiver passes. 
11. Give your opponent the plays and playbook
which give you the most trouble.
12. Don't kick punts or field goals (though the
latter may make it easier, depending on how
good you are).

And the worst way in which to make Tecmo harder

13. Use Coach Mode. 

Paul tells me that not hitting A in a struggle
is one thing you can also do, but I don't know
about that. You could also just stop whenever you
get the ball. I think it goes a little bit too
far, but you can try it if you like. 

Do you run or pass?

I personally like to run. However, if my opponent is
stacking up against my run, I look to go deep and let
my best receiver go up and get the ball against single
coverage, if the secondary is not good. Most of the
time, I look to pass to the open guy instead of taking
a risk, but if nothing is available short, I go long
and take my chances if I can't run the ball with my
quarterback. Throwing it up works better than one might
expect if the QB-WR tandem is decent on the receiver

Do you defend the run or the pass?

Right now, I have been looking to stop the run, and
take my best player to stop the pass. However, this
will not work if your opponent comes out throwing on
every down and knows how to move with the quarterback.
The opposing player doesn't necessarily have to be
a good runner with the quarterback, but the opponent
has to know where to move his QB to get himself in
position to "chicken" the MAN defender or to set up
a longer throw (not to mention avoiding the sack).
If he does those two things, I have to call passes
to get enough coverage to force the opponent to either
call runs or take a bunch of hits on his QB as I
slam into him when he tries to run.

How do you measure your performance?

Few statistics in games other than the scores are any 
good. The reason for this is because most stats, like 
yardage in passing or rushing, completion 
percentage, or interceptions, don't reflect the fact that 
you may have monopolized the passing game or one 
running back to get statistics, or that you may have 
unsuccessfully bombed the ball at the end of the half 
into the end zone in order to get a chance at a 
touchdown. I only use a couple of statistics to determine 
my success at Tecmo:

1. The Pimp Index - The Pimp Index is the sum of (2 
* # of your touchdowns) + your net first downs 
(yours - your opponent's). This is designed to 
measure how well you control the ball. If you make a 
lot of touchdowns without ever getting tackled or 
stopped (as you would if you cheap out with Joe 
Montana - Jerry Rice or Bo Jackson runs), the index 
will be middling. On the other hand, if you make no 
touchdowns and play poorly, the index will be low
(or even negative for you, if you really botched). 
To maximize the index, you have to switch up plays 
enough to get both first downs by gradually moving 
the ball upfield and getting big touchdown plays. On 
defense, if you hold the line, the index will be higher 
than if you let your opponent roam the field. I think 
this is of moderate use in determining a better player 
when games are always close, and of the quality and 
variety of plays and tactics. Although, this can be
abused - I once played for strictly Pimp Index and
got a 45 or something with Bo Jackson. 

2. The Gimp Index - The Gimp Index is your points 
in a season minus your opponents' points (found in 
NFL Standings). This measures your overall 
domination (or submission) of (to) your opponents: you 
may get 21-14 usually, but if you play a 35-7 game 
against some teams, that will be factored into the 
index. Alternatively, the Gimp Index may be 
expressed as a ratio: 23.7 points to every opponent 
point, for instance. 

What do you think about the scandalous nose
tackle dives and tactics so well documented
and perfected in your FAQ? Aren't they just
cheap excuses for gameplay, the Virginia Woolfs
of video game football, that only progeny
of John Wilks Booth use, revealing the ineptness,
juvenilinity, and Limburger-Brie-cheesiness
of the person who uses them?

About tactics...there are many people who play
Tecmo who think that things like the nose tackle
dive and a ton of the techniques listed in the
plays are cheap and shouldn't exist in Tecmo. I'm
not one of them. I look at it this way: if you're 
going to play a game, you should play your hardest
(at least in most situations) or else you're not
really playing at all. Would you not attack the
castled king in chess because "it's cheap"? Would
you forbid the Dragon Punch in Street Fighter 
because "the person who does it is invincible if
you're in the air"? Of course you wouldn't; that's
how those games work. To some extent, the NTDs and
unstoppable tactics like the left/right end dive on
HATS Plays are tough to handle. If people aren't
allowed to choose playbooks before a game or season,
then I can see full well how such tactics can be
forbidden, because some playbooks can be shut down
hard using tactics. But if people are allowed to
weed out weak plays and put in strong ones, then 
they should be allowed to use whatever tactics they
see fit. Otherwise, you have situations where all
you can do against certain plays like Toss 
Sweep R and FB Power Dive is to sit back and watch
as the fullback simply drives ahead for three or 
five yards a play, because you can't stop the 
passes with NTDs, and you can't call both FB Power
Dive and Toss Sweep R, making it nearly impossible
to halt the drive, even if you know what's coming.
It would be like boxers who are only allowed to
use one hand and could only hit the upper torso; 
the fighter who has the better combination of the 
punch and the body would win, with little room for
ingenuity, upsets, and the use of natural 
strengths. Playing a game like 49ers-Oilers would
be meaningless, because the 49ers have a much
better defense as opposed to the Oilers, making
it impossible for the Oilers to win without having
some brains. But without tactics, how can those
brains be utilized? Games simply become seesaws
of offense followed by offense, each side scoring
touchdowns because there's nothing to stop the
advance of the runners or the bombs of the passers.
Luck would prevail rather than skill. If you got
two called plays in a four-down set, that would be
the only way to make the offense buckle in a 
Preseason game. The person who got the most 
interceptions and recovered the most fumbles would
be the winner. Tecmo becomes a coach game
with improved offense if tactics are not allowed. 
So, for my part, I think anything you can do is
legal as long as there's a way for your opponent
to circumvent or defeat your actions. Have a 
problem with nose tackle dives? Call Pitch L Open.
Gary Reasons covering all your men? QB sneak.
And on defense: if they're battering you with
runs, call runs and lurch. If they're
hitting you with passes, cover the run with your
best defender and call passes. Whatever you do, 
though, don't knock the people who use the game
to their advantage. The only tactic that is 
illegal is looking at the other person's
controller, because that destroys the game, rather
than making it possible.


19. Rumors And Myths


O=My Take

R: People can catch blocked balls.
O: I believe that it could be true, because I
have seen people diving for the ball, but I have
never actually seen it in action. However, the
incidence of this phenomenon would be very rare.
It's only the intended receiver who could do such
a thing in any case, because they're the only offensive
players who slide for the balls.

R: Changing receivers a lot helps a QB's accuracy/receptions.
O: This one is speculative. Maybe it does and maybe it
doesn't. I might have seen some slight improvements with
Steve Grogan. I don't think it does anything much for any
decent passer though.

R: Getting mob tackled increases the rate of injury.
O: I studied this recently and it seemed as though tackles
involving two or more defenders produced more injuries.
However, I watch a lot of mob tackles that don't injure
anyone, and one day, I had two single-tackler injuries in two

R: Getting hit by powerful defenders increases the chances
of a fumble.
O: Very possible, but not proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

R: Making your receiver dive for the ball increases the
chances of a reception and decreases the chances of
O: Possible, certainly, but I am not at all sure about it.
One of the problems with this rumor is that when a player
makes a diving catch in coverage, you typically remember it
but the interception on that play, not so much. Tough to
say, but I have seen it happen a lot, that the defenders
will be all over the play, and then the receiver slides in
to make the catch.

R: Struggling a lot/not struggling at all makes a person
more fumble-prone.
O: I think I would need more study on this before I could
come to a real conclusion.

R: Punts can be blocked, however rarely.
O: This was probably a feature, like penalties, that the
programmers and developers were going to put in, but
never finished. Whether this can actually be activated
is doubtful. Extensive tests have turned up nothing, not
even a pressure.

R: Changing plays in the middle of a season helps your
ability to run them.
O: Don't think this one is quite the case.


R=Reason(s) Why It's Wrong

M: Quickness does anything significant.
R: Many hours of tests prove this wrong. The fact that no
one can agree on it is the most convincing argument.

M: Running in the opposite direction makes defenders more
likely to struggle with a runner instead of slide tackling.
R: I checked on this for a few games, and noticed nothing


20. Taunts


Some of these taunts are lame, but some are all right.

"With that kind of speed, you could play in Madden. 
Maybe you're even Madden himself."
"O-ho! That's hitting power!"
Kick field goals from where you would punt and punt
from where you would kick field goals.
Kick the extra point at the last minute or even take
the tackle. 

On interceptions:
Run the ball as if you were the intended receiver 
towards a touchdown. For even greater effect, make it
into the end zone and start humming the pass touchdown
"This is how <quarterback> got in the NFL, no doubt.
He passes the Grogan test with flying colors."
"It's too bad I can't set <interceptor> as a wide
"Do you get bonuses for these?"

On fumbles:
"Couldn't hold your lunch, eh?"
"I didn't know <fumbler> could pass."
"If you keep behaving like Lorenzo White, you'll
never win this game."
"Thanks for giving me back my ball."
"Touchdown celebrations are done in the end zone."

On safeties:
"You're safe all right - from getting a touchdown."
"You ran to the wrong end zone."
"You're better at getting to your end zone than I
"You should have punted."
"I don't have to play - you win this game for me."
"You could have made things easier for me and 
kicked a field goal."
"That was an old-school 2-point conversion."

On BAD passes (credit Paul for some inspiration):
"In another era, you could have been an anti-aircraft
artillery piece/shuttle launching pad/flare gun."
"The geese are breaking formation almost as quickly
as you are."
"Do you hunt that way?"
"If you break the Tecmo blimp/scoreboard/uprights, 
you're going to have to pay for it, and on the salary 
you're getting next year, it'll be a tough buy - that 
is, if they don't fire you for <insert other bad 
quarterback here> and leave you totally destitute."
"Giving the fans balls is certainly generous of you."
"That's one way to avoid an interception."
"If you could kick as well as you pass, every team
in the league would want you. Are you trying to be
the next Tom Tupa?"
"The coaches don't need all this practice."
"I repeat: just because the cheerleaders are in red
doesn't mean they're your targets."
"If you keep throwing like that, the cheerleaders
are going to have to wear pads too."
"I guess cheerleaders get breast implants to absorb
your incoming passes."
"Getting revenge on the mute fans, I see."
"The parachutist only comes at halftime."
"Are you Groganing again?"

On dropped passes:
"Gee, that guy came straight from junior high."
"You have to catch the ball first to be able to 
"My linemen are better receivers."
"You're confusing football with hot potato."
"Gee, maybe I should have thrown it to the
bleachers. Someone might have caught it there."
"<dolt> isn't catching and he isn't blocking. Why
do you pay this guy?"

On missed field goals:
"The cheerleaders can kick better than you can."
"You wanted to be a sniper, but..."
"Too short to be a punter and too high to be a
soccer player..."
"<bad quarterback> gives away balls on passes and
<bad kicker> gives away balls on kicks."

On oafed kicks and punts:
"You're the argument for the thrown kickoff/punt."
"You could have just thrown <backup or bad player> 
over the line with the ball and gotten more yards. 
Or for that matter, you could have kicked him."
"In golf, that kind of thing is called a bogey.
In football, it's called pathetic."