Strategy Guide Dreamcast

         
 
                              TABLE OF CONTENTS
                               -INTRODUCTION
                               -GAME BASICS
                               -TEAMS
                               -PLAYBOOK
                               -GAME MODES
                               -SEASON MODE
                               -CUSTOMIZE


INTRODUCTION

It's that time of year again.  School is back in session, amber colored leaves 
rustle in the breeze, and the football season is underway.  And what better time of 
year to attempt to steer your favorite NFL team to the Super Bowl?  The latest 
installment of Sega Sports' football franchise, NFL 2K1, is here to blow you away.  
With improved graphics, more modes of play, and even a network option, this game not 
only demands consideration as the greatest football game ever, but may possibly be 
the ultimate sports game.  Period.

With eight modes of gameplay NFL 2K1 is going to take you deeper into the football 
world than you've ever been before.  While the game's Season mode is it's bread and 
butter, other modes will let you concentrate on everything from getting your team 
ready for the playoffs to re-signing your star players.  Just be sure and have an 
extra VMU or two.  Only one game save can be placed on a VMU, thereby limiting you 
to one mode at a time.  

While the unique nature of each game prohibits this guide from being able to walk 
you through an entire season, it does provide plenty of explanations and tips on 
each mode of play.  Also, the core playbook, team schedules, and descriptions for 
each of the game's numerous options can all be found here.  And be sure to check out 
the page of screenshots.  Some of the more memorable moments during play have been 
captured in an in-your-face style via the in-game replay cameras. 


GAME BASICS

If you're looking for some really essential basics on how to play this game, or want 
to know how to make it snow in Miami, you've come to the right place.  Football is 
one of the most complicated sports on our great planet.   And in making a true to 
life simulation of it, this game can seem overwhelming to a newcomer.  To help 
remedy this, check below for pointers, overviews of button controls, and some extra 
tips.  But, if you really are new to the game, you may be best served by playing the 
game's Tutorial mode.

OFFENSE

You are on offense when your team has control of the ball.  Your goal--to move the 
ball into the opponent's endzone.  To do so, you have a multitude of running and 
passing plays at your disposal.  You will have 4 plays or "downs" to move the ball.  
If, by the end of these 4 downs, you have not gone 10 yards, your opponent retains 
possession of the ball.  Whenever you successfully make it ten yards further down 
the field, you are given a "first down".  Consider it 4 more chances.

While on offense you have certain rules to remember: 1) you cannot pass the ball 
beyond the line of scrimage (shown in blue), 2) you cannot throw the ball out of 
bounds unless you are outside of the tackles, and 3) don't move before the ball is 
snapped.  There are actually tons of rules in the game of football.  Most of them 
are obvious, and others are just obscure.  Let the game's keen-eyed zebras worry 
about it though.  If they nail you for commiting a foul, don't do it again.  Well, 
don't get caught doing it again he he he.

OFFENSIVE CONTROLS

BEFORE THE SNAP - 
Analog Pad - send reciever in motion
L/R - Zoom out to view player buttons, fatigue levels, and defensive set.
A - Hurries players to the line of scrimmage and snaps the ball
Y - Opens up the Audible Menu.  Select optional play via it's corresponding button. 
X - Lower crowd noise.
B - Fake snap signal (use to lure defense offsides).

RUNNING THE BALL -
A - Speed burst, hold for power move and then press other button for special.
L/R - Stiff arm left or right
L+R - Dance or "juke" past the defender
X - Dive
Y - Hurdle
B - Spin
D-Pad - Lateral the ball behind you

QUARTERBACK -
X/Y/B/A/L - throw the ball to corresponding receiver
D-Pad - throw the ball away
R+L - Juke move
R+B - Spin move
R+A - Speed burst, hold for power move
R+Y - Hurdle
R+X - Slide or dive.

CATCHING A PASS
B - Select receiver nearest ball
X - Diving catch
Y - Jump to catch

OFFENSIVE TIPS:

NO HUDDLE OFFENSE- tap the Y button repeatedly to hurry the guys back to the line 
and run the same play again.  Great for the infamous two minute drill when time is 
running out and you're down a couple points.

PLAY CALLING ASSIST- Press the A button twice while in the play calling screen to 
let the CPU select a play for you. 

BLUFF MODE- When playing against someone sitting next to you press and hold the A 
button down to select your play.  Then, with the A button still depressed, flip 
through the playbook to throw him off guard.

MAXIMUM PASSING- If turned on, this form of passing will allow you to actually aim 
your throw.  Use the analog stick to lead your receiver, underthrow him, or toss it 
up for grabs.  You can also adjust the way in which the ball is thrown by the way in 
which you press the button.  Tap it for a lob, press and release to throw normal 
passes, and hold it down for a bullet pass.

OK, the rest of the game of offense is up to you.  But think sneaky and do the 
opposite of what is expected for the situation.  For example, come out on first down 
and throw the ball deep.  Everyone looks for the run on first down, so exploit the 
depleted secondary.  Second down is typically a passing situation so pitch the ball 
outside and let your running back make a big gain.  These are the types of things 
that will help you to win games.  And don't forget to utilize the clock!  You have 
40 seconds in between plays, more than enough time to usually call a play and hurry 
back to the line.  But, if you take your time selecting your play you will chew up 
more of the clock and tire their defense even more.  


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DEFENSE

The goal of the defensive unit is simple--stop the offense from scoring.  
Surprisingly, the way in which this is carried out can be more complex than some 
offenses.  With a multitude of formations, defensive players will criss-cross 
or "stunt", they will blitz, play bump and run coverage, zone coverage, or straight 
up man-to-man.  But, it all boils down to stopping the offense.

The defense wants to get the opposing team's offense off the field as quickly as 
possible.  To do it, it must fight to not allow any first downs.  This should be in 
your mind when playing the game.  Always keep an eye on that yellow indicator, and 
do not let the opponent cross it.  If you can keep him from doing it, you will 
likely win the game.

DEFENSIVE CONTROLS:

BEFORE THE SNAP- 
B or D-pad - select a player to control
Analog - reposition defender
L/R - Zoom out to view players when D-back is selected
L/R - Shift lineman left or right when lineman is seleted
A - Hurry players into position
X - Pump up the crowd
Y - Audible, press A/B/X button to change play

AFTER THE SNAP- 
B - Gain control of player nearest ball
A - Speed burst, hold for special move
X - Dive tackle
Y - Jump to block or intercept pass
L/R - Lineman special move when engaged in a block
D-Pad - Select another player to control

DEFENCIVE TIPS:

There are several good things to keep in mind when playing defense.  First and 
foremost is to know what the play you called is designed to do.  It's easy to get 
caught up in trying to sack the quarterback.  But, if you grab hold of the 
cornerback and inch him towards the line for a blitz when he was supposed to be 
playing man coverage, you're going to get burned.  Even when you understand the 
play, it is easy to bring a defender out of his zone.  Be careful!

Don't always go for the interception!  One of the biggest differences between 
college football on Saturday and the NFL on Sunday is the level of play by the 
cornerbacks.  By going for an interception, a cornerback essentially takes away any 
chance he has of tackling the receiver.  If it's gonna be close, and no other 
defenders are nearby, don't risk it.  

Another thing to keep in mind is to go against the norm from time to time.  Blitz 
when the offense is least expecting it.  Sometimes catching them off guard is the 
only way you can.



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SPECIAL TEAMS

Special teams is the name given to the units that take the field in kicking 
situations.  Whether it's your team that's doing the kicking or the receiving, these 
are the guys that are out there.  When on offense and fourth down rolls around, most 
of the time you will be either punting or attempting a field goal.  For a good 
roundabout rule, if you're beyond the 35 yard line, should punt it.  

If you're on defense and the other team is about to punt the ball (or go for a field 
goal), you should select one of the "return" plays.  Essentially, telling the 
blockers whether you plan to run left, right, or up the middle. Or, if you got the 
oppponent deep in his own territory, go for the block.  Just don't hit the kicker!  
Roughing the kicker is like passing a stopped school bus--extremely frowned upon.

KICKING:

Analog - Aim the ball and set the trajectory (don't forget to account for the wind)
A - press once to start the play, a second time to stop the power meter.

RECEIVEING KICKOFFS AND PUNTS:

L/R - Zoom out to view players
Y - to signal fair catch before catching the ball, or to down the ball in the 
endzone after catching the ball
D-Pad - Lateral the ball
Analog - Control the runner

Special Teams is almost like a mini game, for returning kickoffs and punts for a 
score is one of the most eletric moments in sports.  Have fun with it, practice it, 
and love it!



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GAME OPTIONS

The Options screen, selected from the game's main menu, is where you go when you 
want to do some tweeking.  It can also be reached by pressing the Start button 
during a game, where it can double as a pause screen as well.  NFL 2K1 allows you to 
have an incredible amount of control over the settings in the game.  Whether you're 
looking to put the kibosh on Mother Nature or stuff those yellow hankies up the 
ref's, err, nevermind.  I think you get the idea.  

WEATHER 

As long as you're not playing in a dome, or in the middle of a Season or Playoff 
run, you can serve up any weather condition you want.  Time of day, temperature, 
precipitation, wind speed, and fog can be set to your liking.  Use the A and X 
buttons to increase and decrease the values for each option, respectively.  Want it 
to snow?  Simply crank up the precipitation and lower the temperature.

PRESENTATION

The Presentation screen is where to go when you're looking to dial into whatever 
level of realism you're in the mood for.  Toggle the settings on and off with the A 
button and slide the bars up and down with the A and X buttons, respectively.  

One of the cooler features of this screen is the preset audio presentations.  
Harmonic details such as PA volume, player chatter, and the roar of the crowd can be 
tuned in for a perfect balance from the presets "TV Broadcast", "In Stands", "On 
Field", as well as the default settings.  

PENALTIES

This is where NFL 2K1 really shines. No fewer than twenty one fouls are recognized 
in the game.  If the sheer number of recognizable fouls doesn't impress you, what 
would you say if I told you half of them have eleven-stop sensitivity controls.  
Amazing!   

So what to do, you might ask?  Turn it all on, and leave the default settings alone 
with the exception of clipping, which I would drop a notch or two.  Realism is 
great, but unless you like having the majority of your punt, kickoff, and 
interception returns getting called back for clipping, I'd lower it.  

GAME OPTIONS

The Game Options menu can be accessed at nearly any point during play or by the main 
Options screen.  These settings, as you probably have guessed, dictate the 
conditions of your game.  These settings can be adjusted any way you like, but I 
would recommend a "set and forget" approach to this screen.  If you want consistency 
in your play, scoring, and statistics, you will be better served in not changing 
these options too often.

That having been said, here's the rundown on what these options mean:

Quarter Length – choose 1 to 15 minute quarters.  When you factor in replays, 
stoppage of the clock, stats reports, etc, the games last a lot longer than you may 
expect.  A good rule of thumb is to multiply the number of minutes in a period by 10 
to get the total time to play a game (i.e. a game with 4 minute quarters will take 
about 40 minutes to play).  

Skill Level – Choose between Rookie, Pro, and All-Pro.  Play a few games in Rookie 
mode and then, when you have the hang of it, kick it up to Pro.  The quality of 
defense played in the All-Pro setting is really . . . All-Pro.  Watch out, they're 
tough!

Play Calling – "By Formation" will sort the plays in your playbook by their 
technical formation titles (i.e. 4-3 Blitz), whereas "By Type" will sort them by 
type of play (i.e. inside run).  Beginners should choose stick to "By Type" while 
learning the ropes.

VMU Calling – Tired of your friends always knowing what you're gonna do before you 
do it?  Turn this handy feature on and call the game in privacy.

Game Speed – Choose between slow, normal, or fast.

Fatigue, Line Moves, Injuries – Turn them on or off to your liking.

Coach Mode – Coach mode lets you select the plays without actually playing the 
game.  This is a great option for Fantasy and Franchise mode when you want to 
witness your team's level of play. 

Performance EQ – No more listening to your friends whine about the teams not being 
fair.  Performance EQ makes all of the teams virtually identical (from an abilities 
standpoint) thereby placing the outcome of the game entirely in your hands.

CONTROLLER

Scroll through multiple controller configurations and pick the one that best suits 
you.  Warning, many of the non-default settings will utilize the D-Pad for normal 
movement of your player, thereby eliminating your ability to lateral the ball.

 
TEAMS
AFC EAST

Buffalo Bills

The Buffalo Bills are a well-balanced team with a lot of heart. Although the team 
lacks true superstars (they traded them all last off-season), Rob Johnson, Eric 
Moulds, and Antowain Smith will work hard to make the shotgun-laden offense work 
well. The Bills rely a lot on sending receivers in motion and are, at times, a hard 
team to defend against. As for the defensive unit, they are handling the post-Bruce 
Smith years in stride. Look for defensive end Phil Hansen to control when playing D. 
One other aspect to consider when playing as the Bills, is the weather. You're going 
to have to rely on the running game, almost exclusively, when the snow comes. And it 
does come!

Bills Left Formation: Motion PA Throwback
This formation is so well attuned to the power running game, that it would be a 
crime not to occasionally run play-action from it. Send the single receiver, Eric 
Moulds, in motion. Once the ball is snapped, fake the hand off to Smith and hit 
Moulds as he releases from the DE. If the pass protection is holding up, and the 
safeties bite hard on the backs, you may be able to open it up with Moulds down the 
sideline.

Left Double Gun Formation: Motion Draw
By lining up in a shotgun formation with three receivers split wide, defenses will 
more than likely drop into zone coverage, banking on the halfback only being in on a 
blocking assignment.  Send the receiver in motion and snap the ball. As all three 
wideouts and the tight end, Reimersma, get 10 to 15 yards out, hand it off to 
Antowain Smith on the draw.


Key Players:
Eric Moulds (WR)
Phil Hansen (DE)


Indianapolis Colts

The Indianapolis Colts are a solid team composed of youthful, talented, players. The 
core of the team, composed of Peyton, James, and Harrison, are only going to get 
better as they become even more familiar with one another.  Their offense is one of 
big play potential both out of the backfield and through the air. If, that is, the 
offensive line can keep Manning on his feet. Unfortunately, the powerful offense 
isn't always enough to win. The Colts' D is known to blow big leads and get the team 
stuck in a shootout, when they should otherwise be up by a couple scores. The Colts 
are a fun team to play with, provided the defense doesn't get you too frustrated.

Right Double Gun Slot Formation: Pony Stop
The plays in this formation are the one's most commonly used in the Colts' long 
yardage situations. Call a couple other plays from this formation during the two-
minute drill and then go to the Pony Stop to catch the defense off guard. Two wide 
outs will slant from left to right, often drawing portions of the zone defense away 
from Harrison on the right. Harrison, the first read, is going to run a ten yard 
hitch. Zip the ball to him just before he turns around. If well-timed, Wilkins and 
Pathon will be there to block downfield. If having four receivers bunched up is not 
for you, dump it off to James on the left.

Ace Formation: Motion Cutback
One of the beautiful things about Edgerrin James is his ability to stop on a dime 
and redirect the play. The Motion Cutback calls for him to do exactly this. The play 
begins with the right-side wide receiver motioning to the left. As the ball is 
snapped and pitched to James, he starts left, selling the sweep around the left 
corner. Once the defense commits, James cuts it back around the tight-end on the 
right. A great play for goal line situations.

Key Players:
Peyton Manning (QB)
Chad Bratzke (DE)


Miami Dolphins

It's the dawn of a new era in Miami—the post-Marino years. Well, besides from that, 
not much has changed. The defense is still the stronger half of the team, striking 
fear in many of their AFC East opponents. While guys like Sam Madison and Brock 
Marion blanket the secondary, hard hitting Zach Thomas and company stuff the running 
game. Things aren't as sunny on offense, however. Although the receiving core is on 
par with the rest of the league and Lamar Smith is coming into his own as a running 
back, the inexperience at the QB position will ultimately hurt this team.   

Empty Gun Formation: Motion X In
This empty backfield play utilizes four wide receivers and a tight end. The motion 
will be slight, and consist entirely of a shift from the outside to the inside for 
the strong side wide receiver. By using five receivers on this play, the lucky QB 
will always have someone to throw to. Often, this will be the hot read O.J. McDuffie 
cutting across the field underneath the coverage. The Motion X In, and other plays 
from the Empty Gun Formation, are best used for third and long situations.

Double Right Slot Formation: Strong Trap
This play commits everyone to blocking for the lone back. The play will begin to the 
left, where the two wide receivers staying put should help to sell this idea. Then, 
behind the pulling left tackle, the ball carrying Smith will break it back to the 
right. Follow the tackle through the hole between the right-side tight-end and wide 
receiver. This play is best suited for first and ten situations, where grinding out 
a few yards is desired.

Key Players:
Olindo Mare (K)
Sam Madison (DB)


New York Jets

The Jets look to be back to their 1998-99 form. Testaverde is healthy, Martin is 
running great, and the defense is tight. With the Jets, you can expect to compliment 
the sound running of Curtis Martin with the accurate passing of Testaverde. A little 
short on receivers however, expect Chrebet to gang-covered on most passing 
situations. The veteran defense of the Jets will always provide you with an edge 
over even the toughest opponents. And the AFC East isn't short on tough opponents.

Bunch Formation: Stealth Corner
This formation puts three of the four wide receivers in a "bunch" on the left side 
of the line. What makes this play work well is that the bunched receivers all break 
off at different depths down the field, keeping the defense pre-occupied with this 
half of the field. To the right, Curtis Martin breaks to the sidelines where he 
could feasibly get a dump off in the flats. While all of these other routes are 
being run Wayne Chrebet is streaking down the right-side. Although it's unlikely 
that Chrebet is going to sneak by unnoticed, this play will work well to free him of 
the double-coverage he has come to expect since Keyshawn was sent south. And, if 
Chrebet still gets double-teamed, Martin should be a wide-open alternative in the 
shallows.

Bunch Formation: Toss
Like the above-mentioned play, three of the four receivers are bunched to the left. 
Upon the snap, the left guard will pull out and fill the gap between the inside wide 
receiver and the tackle. Now, with a line of blockers stretched four to the left, 
Martin will be able to take the Toss way around the end and off down the sideline. 
This play will work well for picking up a few extra yards and also for getting out 
of bounds and stopping the clock.

Key Players:
Curtis Martin (RB)
Aaron Glenn (DB)


New England Patriots

The 2000-01 season does not look to be a promising one for the Patriots. The offense 
is still relying on the heart of Drew Bledsoe's to lift them to victory. While there 
is no questioning Bledsoe's desire to win, it's his ability that bears scrutiny. 
Victim of having no running game and a Swiss cheese O-line, there is little he can 
do but throw to often double-covered Terry Glenn.  The Pats look a little better on 
defense, but this is primarily due to the outstanding coverage given to them by 
Lawyer Milloy. This can't overshadow the fact that they are still weak against the 
run and have little to no pass rush. 

Bunch Gun Formation: Under
The Bunch Gun Formation usually rears it's ugly head in deep yardage passing 
situations. However, by running the Under play as designed, you can effectively 
throw short and rely on the downfield blocking by the other receivers to help out 
your "yards after catch" stat. The Under utilizes three wide receivers: two of them 
bunched with the tight-end on the left, and Terry Glenn isolated on the right. 
Glenn, the inside wide receiver on the left, and the tight-end will be headed deep, 
with Glenn curling back inside. With the defense headed deep Brown, the outside wide 
receiver on the left, cuts across the middle 5 yards out. Hit him quick and let his 
feet due the rest. What really makes this play work well is that of all the 
receivers, Brown is the one least likely to stay shallow. 

I Queens Formation: Reverse
Albeit, a hard play to turn, this is an effective play for the Pats. The play uses 
the two backs in a traditional I with three wide receivers, two of them split to the 
left. Carter, the halfback, is going to get the handoff and head right. Just as the 
fullback throws the would-be lead block, Terry Glenn will come around for the 
reverse. Hand the ball off to Glenn and then use him to run around the line to the 
left. 

*The key to this play is working the Dreamcast controller effectively. I suggest you 
put your right thumb on the D-Pad immediately following the snap. Let your left 
thumb steer Carter with the analog stick and use your right thumb to tap to the 
right on the D-Pad as Glenn draws alongside him. Practice this play before using it 
in a game and you should be able to work up to the transition going as smooth as can 
be.


Key Players:
Drew Bledsoe (QB)
Lawyer Milloy (DB)


AFC CENTRAL

Cincinnati Bengals

You have your work cut out for you here. This team lacks leadership, a passing game, 
a running game, a defense, special teams, etc. You're best bet for winning with the 
Bengals "as is" is to continuously rely on Corey Dillon and Peter Warrick. Pound it 
out on the ground with Dillon until the safeties start to inch forward. Then catch 
them off guard with the deep ball to Warrick. Of course, you're best bet for winning 
with this team is to play Franchise mode and start from scratch with your very own 
draft.

Trey Gun Formation: Hail Mary
Just about every team has this play in their arsenal, so why talk about it with the 
Bengals you ask? That's easy—there isn't a single team in the league that you'll be 
having to pray with more often than the Bengals. Ok, joking aside, this play sees 4 
receivers lined up on the right (one of them being halfback Corey Dillon) and Peter 
Warrick split to the left. Although Yeast is the "go-to" guy in the playbook, you're 
better off tossing it up to the crossing Dugans or the nearby Warrick.

I Tight Formation: Power Dive
This "go for it" play is great for those situations when the endzone is so close you 
can smell it. Although the single wide receiver, two tight end set doesn't do much 
to hide the intentions of this play, everyone knows it's all up to Dillon anyway. 
Grab the ball and leap over the pile for pay dirt.


Key Players:
Corey Dillon (RB)
Takeo Spikes (LB)


Cleveland Browns

The Browns have come a long way from their rebirth of a couple years ago. Young QB 
Tim Couch is progressing nicely and is capable of getting the ball in the hands of 
receivers Johnson and Dawson. Unfortunately, the Browns have suffered from lack of a 
reliable running game since their resurrection. As for their defense, you're going 
to need to keep on top of them. Control Ellsworth in passing situations and hope 
they don't run on you.

I Queens Formation: Verticals
The play starts with taking the I Formation and bringing in another wide receiver in 
place of the tight end. Looking at this formation, there's no way to guess whether 
the Browns are going to run or pass. Excellent! By bringing the two backs out of the 
backfield and having them run short yardage routes, the safeties and linebackers 
have no choice but to take notice. Finally, by having Chiaverini break to the middle 
of the field at the end of his route, yet another defender will be drawn away from 
the sideline-streaking Dawson. Hit him in stride for an easy 40 yard gain.

Jumbo I Formation: Power Lead
Going for it on fourth and inches? This is the play you want. By bringing in a third 
tight end on blocking duty, you're not going to fool anyone here, but that's ok. By 
pulling the right guard out of position and using him as the lead blocker between 
the opposite side tackle and guard, you're bound to move some bodies. Follow 
Lindsay's and Edwards' wake with the ball carrying Ericct Rhett for the short 
distance you need.


Key Players:
Tim Couch (QB)
Percy Ellsworth (DB)


Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jaguars are a solid Super Bowl contender. They have one of the more potent 
offenses in the league in Brunell, Taylor, Smith, and McCardell. And keeping them 
healthy is All-Pro tackle Tony Boselli. On the defensive side of the ball, there is 
quality abound. The DE's and linebackers are great at getting to the QB, and the 
defensive backs seldom get burned. All in all, the Jaguars are a team you can win 
with.

Trey Gun Formation: Stretch
This third-down play puts Brunell out of harm's way and gives time for the play to 
develop. Expecting double-coverage to be on McCardell and Smith, this play is 
designed to go to the wide receiver Whitted. Coming from the outside, Whitted will 
slant to the inside and follow directly behind the tight-end, who will curl to the 
center of the field about 10 yards out. As soon as the tight-end makes his break, 
hit the trailing Whitted down the center for the first down. 

Weak I Doubles Formation: Sweep
This conservative running play is best used on first down and when you're trying to 
run some time off the clock. The fullback and the receivers are going to spend the 
play needlessly blocking the left side of the line. Meanwhile, Taylor is going to 
get the ball going right around the tight-end. Blocking for him will be done by the 
pulling center and left guard. Hit the hole between these two blocks to reel off a 3 
to 5 yard gain.

Key Players:
Fred Taylor (RB)
Tony Brackens (DE)
 

Baltimore Ravens

The Baltimore Ravens look to shake things up in the AFC Central this season. Fueled 
by their high-powered defense, the team should be able to keep even the best 
opponents under control with their hard-knocks linebackers and secondary. The 
question that remains with the Ravens however, is whether or not their offense can 
score enough to bring them home the "W". Tony Banks (QB) has yet to prove he can 
carry the load of the offense which lacks not only a running game, but a deep threat 
as well. Expect a lot of close, low scoring games.

Ravens I Formation: Motion Play Action Out and Go
This play pulls out all the stops in hopes of creating a one-on-one situation down 
field for Ismail. The deception begins with Taylor going in motion from right to 
left. At the snap, the QB will fake the handoff to Lewis, who will go into a short 
out pattern opposite the fullback who is doing the same. Sharpe and Taylor will both 
break off deep routes towards the center of the field. This whirlwind of motion does 
not include the hot-read, Ismail. Ismail will break on an out pattern about 10 yards 
out and then immediately break his new direction off and continue down the field. 
Hang it out in front of him as he turns back downfield for the big completion. 

*Be sure to watch the defense when calling this play. If it looks like they're 
bringing the blitz, you better audible at the line. This play leaves no additional 
blockers in to protect the QB.  Your big play can become an 8 yard loss if you're 
not careful.

Double Right Slot Formation: Motion Draw
The Motion Draw uses a three wide-receiver, one back set. Here, the slot receiver on 
the left will go in motion, bringing him even closer to the line. Upon the snap, the 
entire line will drop back into pass coverage, helping sell the idea of a pass. 
After a moment's pause, Lewis will get the ball and head through the hole on the 
right side of the line. Not a bad play to use on first down.


Key Players:
Shannon Sharpe (TE)
Ray Lewis (LB)


Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers seem to play as uninspired as they look. Questionable quarterbacks, 
unreliable wide receivers, and an inconsistent ground game, the Steelers are little 
threat to even the most average of defenses. As for their own defense, the Steelers 
are just plain bad. Cherish the games you play against the Bengals, they may be your 
only wins. 

Quad Gun Formation: Slot Slant
This play has the both right-side receivers and the outside left receiver break to 
the outside. This frees up the center of the field for the slanting Blackwell coming 
out of the slot. Despite taking the ball in the shotgun formation, the QB will drop 
back even further to get behind the halfback. What this means is that you're going 
to have to throw the ball hard and early to hit Blackwell in stride.

Jumbo I Formation: Stout Lead
It's time to take the Bus for a spin. This goal line offense stacks the line with 
seven players and an additional tight-end on the left. In this direct-hit running 
attack, Bettis will get the ball and blast through the hole between the tackle and 
tight-end on the right side. Clearing the lane for this "oversized vehicle" is the 
reliable Witman.

Key Players:
Dermontti Dawson (C)
Levon Kirkland (LB)


Tennessee Titans

The Titans look to be as unstoppable as they were last year. Their offense features 
the running of All-Pro Eddie George, the passing and running of Steve McNair, and 
the hands of Yancey Thigpen and Carl Pickens. The defense, however, is a little 
weaker than the offense. Jevon Kearse is an excellent pass rusher off the end and 
the DB's do a good job of covering the pass. Unfortunately, opponents can often 
exploit the Titans' weakness—their defensive interior

Triple Near Formation: Play Action Slot Boot Cross
When everything appears to be going to the right, the Titans go left. Despite being 
a tad difficult to pull off, this play is a great one to go to on second down. The 
two tight-ends will slant across the middle of the field, following the QB who rolls 
out to the right after faking the handoff. The two wide receivers, Pickens and 
Thigpen, will be headed deep. It's going to require throwing clear across the field, 
but if you can hit Thigpen as he breaks to the middle of the field, you will not 
only have a big completion on your hands, but a stunned defense.

Quad Gun Formation: Air QB Draw
Although the threat of the QB sneak is inherent when you play the Titans, few would 
expect to see a planned QB run out of the Quad Gun Formation. This third and long 
play calls for all four wide-outs to stick their respective cover guys long enough 
for the play to evolve. Just as the linemen drop into pass protection McNair will 
briefly hesitate and tuck it and head through the hole right of the center.  Eddie 
George will run around the outside of the line and be there for downfield blocking 
on the right.


Key Players:
Eddie George (RB)
Jevon Kearse (DE)


AFC WEST

Denver Broncos

The Denver Broncos are only a QB removed from back-to-back Super Bowl victories and 
are still a very adept team. Quality receivers like Ed McCaffrey and Rod Smith keep 
the threat of the passing attack alive, while Terrell Davis pounds it out on the 
ground. This team isn't only about offense though. With a solid core of linebackers, 
led by Mobley and Romanowski, this is one of the harder hitting groups in the NFL. 
Finally, Jason Elam, the forever-reliable long-range place kicker, may make the 
difference in more than a few of your games.

Bunch Formation: WR Screen
Like the other plays in this formation, this one puts two wide receivers on the 
left, a step off the line of scrimmage, and straddling the tight end. Rod Smith will 
loop back underneath the blocking of McCaffrey and Chamberlain and get the ball on 
the screen. With the speed of Terrell Davis out of the backfield, not to mention the 
O-linemen and receivers, Smith should have plenty of downfield blocking. Try using 
this play when it's second and short—a time most people will expect you to air it 
out.

Bunch Formation: Motion Toss
Like the WR Screen discussed above, this play aims to catch the defense off guard by 
running the ball out of an obvious passing-intensive formation. Smith will come from 
the left to the right in motion. Snap the ball just as he gets past the QB. The 
right guard will pull off the line and add to the downfield blocking on the right 
side. Smith, Reed, and Neil should be all the blocking needed for Terrell Davis to 
peel off moderate to large gains with this play.

Key Players:
Terrell Davis (RB)
John Mobley (LB)


San Diego Chargers

When you look up the word "unbalanced" in the dictionary you see a picture of the 
Chargers. As good on defense as any other team in the league (at least on paper), 
the Chargers have solid leadership in Junior Seau and a reliably effective core of 
guys who know how to play well. The problem with the Chargers is that they have no 
offense. And this isn't a knock against Ryan Leaf alone, the Chargers are equally 
deprived of standout receivers and backs. It may even be said that the best ball 
handler on the team is the punter—a guy you definitely don't want getting too many 
touches. 

Defense might win championships, but it's the offense that gives them that chance. 
Don't expect the Chargers' D to get that chance.

Chargers Right: Stop and Go Fly
The Chargers Right Formation uses two tight-ends lined up both on the right side of 
the ball. In this play the outside tight-end will take off up the field hard, stop 
and turn around, and then take off even deeper. The key to this play working is that 
the defenders find it difficult to stay stride for stride with the receiver once he 
starts going deep. If, for whatever reason, neither tight-end gets open, you can 
always give it to the halfback on the screen, or the wide receiver waiting in the 
flats.

Chargers I: Motion Counter Toss
In this deceptive running play, everything goes to the right except the ball 
carrier. The play will start with Graham coming in motion from left to right, 
drawing the OLB away from the play. Once the ball is snapped, the fullback will hit 
the hole left of the center, while the carrier heads left around the corner. One way 
you can mix it up with this play is to snap the ball just as Graham starts motioning 
to the right. By doing so, you will give our opponent the impression that you're 
running a reverse.


Key Players
Darren Bennett (P)
Junior Seau (LB)


Kansas City Chiefs

One of the most consistent teams over the past decade, the Chiefs have just enough 
talent on both sides of the ball to worry any opponent they face. Elvis Grbac brings 
veteran leadership to an offense effective at moving the ball down the field with 
both long and short passing. The defense is equally adept at doing their job. Solid 
linebackers such as Donnie Edwards and Marvcus Patton excel at keeping the short 
stuff under control while James Hasty takes away the opponent's deep threat. If 
there was one thing that appears to be lacking from the Chiefs, however, it is a 
solid ground game. Despite lacking a star in the backfield, this is a team you can 
go far with.

Chiefs Right Formation: Motion Option
Outside of the NCAA you don't see too much use of the option play; the option 
referring to the choice the QB has of pitching the ball to the running back, running 
it himself, or throwing it. The Chiefs, however, use a form of it rather effectively 
out of their Chiefs Right Formation. This play puts the two outside receivers in 
deep curling routes, effectively setting up the underneath pass. All-Pro tight-end 
Tony Gonzalez comes in motion from right to left, where he will immediately cross 
with Alexander, the third wide receiver. Gonzalez will run an 8 yard curl and is the 
go-to guy on the play. However, if the coverage is too tight to risk the pass, you 
can always option to the halfback on the swing pass.

Weak I Doubles: KC Blast
This is one of the Chiefs' staples for attacking the line of scrimmage and 
establishing dominance at the point of attack. Two wide receivers to the left will 
serve as little more than window dressing on this play. Here, the fullback 
Richardson will take the ball straight up the gut between the center and right 
guard. If you catch the defense blitzing the corners this play could result in big 
gains. Otherwise, be happy for the 3 yards it's intended to get you.


Key Players:
Tony Gonzalez (TE)
Marvcus Patton (LB)


Oakland Raiders

Playing with the Raiders is about playing with attitude,,, and winning. The Raiders 
have a deadly scoring attack with Rich Gannon at the helm. The Raiders make it easy 
for running back Tyrone Wheatley by having the downfield threat of Tim Brown, James 
Jett, and  Rickey Dudley, the tight-end, always keeping the secondary on their 
heels. The Raiders D is home to marquis DB Charles Woodson, and also features a well-
above-average set of lineman.

Split Formation: Havoc
This play will work well for you on first and second downs. Brown and Jett are your 
split wideouts, Dudley is in on the left as an eligible receiver, and the backs are 
set up in a wishbone. While eyes will presumably be on Brown going deep, Dudley and 
Jett run mirror-image curls 10 yards out. Clearing out the passing lane between 
Gannon and Dudley is the fullback, Ritchie, who runs an out pattern in front of the 
tight-end. Fire the ball into Dudley's numbers just as Ritchie makes his cut. 

Raiders I Formation: Assassin Pitch
Nothing goes better with the rough and tumble image of the Raiders, than the I 
Formation. In this particular play, the left guard will pull off the line and lead 
the charge around the left side tight-end. Close behind will be Ritchie leading the 
way for Wheatley who gets the ball on the pitch.


Key Players:
Tim Brown (WR)
Charles Woodson (DB)


Seattle Seahawks

The departure of Joey Galloway and the aging of Ricky Watters is leaving this team 
absolutely devoid of scoring potential. Inexperience at the QB position and a sub-
par receiving crew let defenses gang up on the line of scrimmage to stop Watters. 
The defense of the Seahawks is slightly better than the offense, but not by much. 
Like many teams around the league, they have a strong secondary but a weak first 
line of defense. The Seahawks better hope those hospitable Huskies don't challenge 
them to a scrimmage, it could be embarrassing.

Power I Formation: Fade
This particular play is extremely useful in goal line situations. The Power I uses a 
standard I and then adds a second tight-end to the backfield. The QB will drop back 
between the backs and this extra tight-end for an absolute shield of protection. Of 
course the big push from the defense will be at the line, leaving Mayes open on the 
left side. The key to this play is releasing the ball quickly with a soft touch. Lob 
it up to the far corner of the endzone where only your man can catch it.

I Queens Formation: Talon Zone Cutback
This play does a good idea of hiding its intentions. The three wide receivers give 
the appearance of a passing play, but that's not it at all. Both the fullback and 
Watters, the ball carrier, will start off to the right. Watters will cut it back to 
the left just before getting outside the tacklebox. Guide the running back through 
the hole created between the left tackle and guard. This play is not likely to 
result in huge gains, but will keep the defense honest when they see those three 
wide receivers!


Key Players:
Ricky Watters (RB)
Shawn Springs (DB)


NFC EAST

Arizona Cardinals

The Arizona Cardinals are a lot like their divisional foe New York Giants of the 
past couple years. A solid defense with several big-name stars such as Simeon Rice 
and Aeneas Williams, but an offense that can't even tell you where the red zone is 
on the field, let alone score from it. Until Jake Plummer and company get their act 
together on offense, these desert dwellers are going to suffer a serious drought in 
the "win" column.

Weak I Formation: FB Decoy Screen
At first glance, this is a pretty straightforward play—the fullback cuts along the 
line of scrimmage to the outside, drawing the right side corner or outside line 
backer out of position. This, in turn allows the short dump-off to go to the 
halfback who, if everything goes well, has been unaccounted for by the defense. What 
makes this pay work so well however, is the complex movement on the line. The right-
side tight end will take off on a deep route, thus leaving an imbalance on the right 
side. To balance this out, and serve a as a lead blocker for the ball carrier, the 
left guard will pull out and take the tight-end's place on the right side of the 
ball.

Split Gun Formation: Deep Cross
If the ground game isn't working for you and you need to get down the field quickly, 
turn to the Split Gun Formation. This particular play will leave the fullback in 
position to guard the blind-side of the QB while the receivers and halfback take off 
on passing routes. The key ingredient of this play is that the two outside receivers 
will cross, likely creating confusion in the secondary. Let the play develop and hit 
Jenkins 20 yards out.


Key Players:
Jake Plummer (QB)
Aeneas Williams (DB)


Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys are in a bit of a decline. Ok, that's putting it too mildly—they're in a 
tailspin. In theory, Aikman, Smith, and Galloway should be able to score at will. 
Unfortunately, the woeful offensive line seldom gives Aikman the protection he 
needs, nor Smith the holes he requires. And that is the good news. The bad news is 
on defense. Without Mr. Primetime taking care of half the field, the frailties of 
the rest of the defense are exaggerated. They have trouble stopping the run and can 
get lit up quite easily by a veteran passing attack. 

Double Left Slot Formation: Blast Off
You guessed it, we're going deep with Ismail! Galloway and Ismail are the split wide-
outs with McKnight in the slot near Galloway on the left. LaFleur and McKnight will 
close off their routes near one another in between the hatch marks, likely creating 
some confusion deep in the secondary. Meanwhile, the super fast Ismail will be 
streaking down the sideline on the right. Lead him with the ball and say hello 
endzone. Of course, if Ismail is covered you can always go to Galloway deep down the 
left sideline. 

Jumbo I Formation: Cowboy Pitch
This unique setup uses two fullbacks in addition to the essential Emmitt Smith. By 
lining up the extra fullback off the line on the left in addition to pulling the 
left guard and running him around the corner too, Smith will have way more blocking 
than he ever needs. In fact, one thing to be careful with when running the Cowboy 
Pitch is to not get too fancy as you slip through the HOV-lane sized hole that will 
open between the tight-end and fullbacks.


Key Players:
Emmit Smith (RB)
Dexter Coakley (LB)


Philadelphia Eagles

This year's Eagles are starting to make a name for themselves. The defensive side of 
the ball possesses a suffocating secondary led by Bobby Taylor and Troy Vincent, and 
an assuredly slouch-less D-line. The offense is growing into its own with youthful 
QB Donovan McNabb and slippery running back Duce Staley. Together, with an 
underrated receiving crew,  the offensive skills' men can score big when they get 
things firing on all cylinders.

Split Queens Formation: Weak Pitch
While most plays in this formation result in passing plays, the Weak Pitch shakes it 
up a bit. With the backs set up in a wishbone formation, they both break to the 
right at the snap. Staley will run his ass off, making sure to block the defensive 
end lined up inside the lone wide receiver. Assuming Staley sticks his block, 
Pritchett should have no trouble bringing the ball around the corner for a moderate 
gain on the pitch.

Doubles Formation: Exchange
At first glance this play looks like a smorgasbord of pass routes. Not to worry, 
it's really quite simple. To start with, the play has four wide receivers split 
evenly on both sides of the ball. The lone back, Staley, will come out of the 
backfield and start heading down field. Just as he breaks down the field, the right-
side wide receivers will cut to the inside and outside, thus giving the secondary 
plenty of reason to stay home. Meanwhile, wide-outs  Johnson and Brown head down 
field and cross about 15 yards deep. Chances are, even if you overthrow Johnson, the 
chaos created by the last-minute crossing route may draw a pass interference call. 
Either way, it will likely be first and ten Eagles! 


Key Players:
Duce Staley (RB)
Bobby Taylor (DB)


New York Giants

The G-men of the Meadowlands are a new-look team, and I'm not just referring to 
their old school uniforms. For the first time in several years, they have an offense 
that can move the ball both through the air and on the ground. While QB Kerry 
Collins is showing a unique ability to get the ball to Amani Toomer, it is the power 
running of Ron Dayne that minimizes the pressure past Giants' QB's have felt. As for 
the defense, with names like Strahan, Sehorn, and Armstead, it's safe to say they 
are a solid bunch. Look for the Giants to be a close runner-up in the NFC East and 
sneak into the playoffs as a Wild Card.

Ace Formation: Coffin Corner
This play is most often used on big yardage situations, like on second and 15. Both 
tight-ends and the the two wide receivers will head out on varying routes. The tight-
ends will cross about 5 yards out, with the left side TE cutting across the middle 
underneath the coverage. He is your safety valve if the wide-outs are covered. 
Nevertheless, the play is designed to go deep and Hilliard is the hot-read down the 
right side. Air it out as soon as he begins his angle to the sideline. Run this play 
properly and you'll be high-fiving on Hoffa's grave.


Double I Tight Formation: Goliath Lead
Definitely a short-yardage power play, this running play features the powerful Ron 
Dayne straight up the gut of the defense. Not without some help, mind you. The right-
side tackle will pull out of position and be the first to hit the whole between the 
center and left guard. The fullback, Comella, will lead Dayne through the hole for 
the yard or two they need.


Key Players:
Amani Toomer (WR)
Jessie Armstead (LB)


Washington Redskins

Great things are expected of this year's 'Skins. On paper they are arguably one of 
the best teams ever assembled… but that is on paper. On offense, the Redskins let 
the fireworks explode with Brad Johnson connecting deep with Michael Westbrook and 
Albert Connell. To balance the aerial assault there is the always consistent north-
south running of Stephen Davis. The Redskins defensive side of the ball is stacked 
with future Hall of Fame inductees. Bruce Smith, Darrel Green, and Deion Sanders, to 
name a few. When playing NFL 2K1 as the Redskins you can expect to win on "Any Given 
Sunday".

Author's Note: Go Redskins!!!!!!

Split Gun Formation: Z Dig
This third down play is great for catching the defense in mismatches. For starters 
Connell and Fryar are going to run straight, deep, vertical routes. Sure to lure the 
safeties away from the play. Westbrook, lined up outside on the left will start his 
route by slanting towards Fryar, where he will then follow him sown the field for 10 
yards. Westbrook will break to the center of the field about 15 yards deep, so 
release the ball right before he makes the cut. What makes this play great, however, 
is that Centers is in the flat on the left. If, for whatever reason, you can't get 
the ball deep simply dump it off to Centers. 

 
  
 
 

NFC East

Cardinals -- Cowboys -- Eagles -- Giants -- Redskins



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Arizona Cardinals

The Arizona Cardinals are a lot like their divisional foe New York Giants of the 
past couple years. A solid defense with several big-name stars such as Simeon Rice 
and Aeneas Williams, but an offense that can't even tell you where the red zone is 
on the field, let alone score from it. Until Jake Plummer and company get their act 
together on offense, these desert dwellers are going to suffer a serious drought in 
the "win" column.

Weak I Formation: FB Decoy Screen
At first glance, this is a pretty straightforward play—the fullback cuts along the 
line of scrimmage to the outside, drawing the right side corner or outside line 
backer out of position. This, in turn allows the short dump-off to go to the 
halfback who, if everything goes well, has been unaccounted for by the defense. What 
makes this pay work so well however, is the complex movement on the line. The right-
side tight end will take off on a deep route, thus leaving an imbalance on the right 
side. To balance this out, and serve a as a lead blocker for the ball carrier, the 
left guard will pull out and take the tight-end's place on the right side of the 
ball.



 
 
 
 
FB Decoy Screen
 Deep Cross
 

Split Gun Formation: Deep Cross
If the ground game isn't working for you and you need to get down the field quickly, 
turn to the Split Gun Formation. This particular play will leave the fullback in 
position to guard the blind-side of the QB while the receivers and halfback take off 
on passing routes. The key ingredient of this play is that the two outside receivers 
will cross, likely creating confusion in the secondary. Let the play develop and hit 
Jenkins 20 yards out.


Key Players
 

 
 
 
 
Jake Plummer (QB)
 Aeneas Williams (DB)
 

 

Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys are in a bit of a decline. Ok, that's putting it too mildly—they're in a 
tailspin. In theory, Aikman, Smith, and Galloway should be able to score at will. 
Unfortunately, the woeful offensive line seldom gives Aikman the protection he 
needs, nor Smith the holes he requires. And that is the good news. The bad news is 
on defense. Without Mr. Primetime taking care of half the field, the frailties of 
the rest of the defense are exaggerated. They have trouble stopping the run and can 
get lit up quite easily by a veteran passing attack. 

Double Left Slot Formation: Blast Off
You guessed it, we're going deep with Ismail! Galloway and Ismail are the split wide-
outs with McKnight in the slot near Galloway on the left. LaFleur and McKnight will 
close off their routes near one another in between the hatch marks, likely creating 
some confusion deep in the secondary. Meanwhile, the super fast Ismail will be 
streaking down the sideline on the right. Lead him with the ball and say hello 
endzone. Of course, if Ismail is covered you can always go to Galloway deep down the 
left sideline. 



 
 
 
 
Blast Off
 Cowboy Pitch
 

Jumbo I Formation: Cowboy Pitch
This unique setup uses two fullbacks in addition to the essential Emmitt Smith. By 
lining up the extra fullback off the line on the left in addition to pulling the 
left guard and running him around the corner too, Smith will have way more blocking 
than he ever needs. In fact, one thing to be careful with when running the Cowboy 
Pitch is to not get too fancy as you slip through the HOV-lane sized hole that will 
open between the tight-end and fullbacks.


Key Players
 

 
 
 
 
Emmit Smith (RB)
 Dexter Coakley (LB)
 

 

Philadelphia Eagles

This year's Eagles are starting to make a name for themselves. The defensive side of 
the ball possesses a suffocating secondary led by Bobby Taylor and Troy Vincent, and 
an assuredly slouch-less D-line. The offense is growing into its own with youthful 
QB Donovan McNabb and slippery running back Duce Staley. Together, with an 
underrated receiving crew,  the offensive skills' men can score big when they get 
things firing on all cylinders.

Split Queens Formation: Weak Pitch
While most plays in this formation result in passing plays, the Weak Pitch shakes it 
up a bit. With the backs set up in a wishbone formation, they both break to the 
right at the snap. Staley will run his ass off, making sure to block the defensive 
end lined up inside the lone wide receiver. Assuming Staley sticks his block, 
Pritchett should have no trouble bringing the ball around the corner for a moderate 
gain on the pitch.



 
 
 
 
Weak Pitch
 Exchange
 

Doubles Formation: Exchange
At first glance this play looks like a smorgasbord of pass routes. Not to worry, 
it's really quite simple. To start with, the play has four wide receivers split 
evenly on both sides of the ball. The lone back, Staley, will come out of the 
backfield and start heading down field. Just as he breaks down the field, the right-
side wide receivers will cut to the inside and outside, thus giving the secondary 
plenty of reason to stay home. Meanwhile, wide-outs  Johnson and Brown head down 
field and cross about 15 yards deep. Chances are, even if you overthrow Johnson, the 
chaos created by the last-minute crossing route may draw a pass interference call. 
Either way, it will likely be first and ten Eagles! 


Key Players
 

 
 
 
 
Duce Staley (RB)
 Bobby Taylor (DB)
 

 

New York Giants

The G-men of the Meadowlands are a new-look team, and I'm not just referring to 
their old school uniforms. For the first time in several years, they have an offense 
that can move the ball both through the air and on the ground. While QB Kerry 
Collins is showing a unique ability to get the ball to Amani Toomer, it is the power 
running of Ron Dayne that minimizes the pressure past Giants' QB's have felt. As for 
the defense, with names like Strahan, Sehorn, and Armstead, it's safe to say they 
are a solid bunch. Look for the Giants to be a close runner-up in the NFC East and 
sneak into the playoffs as a Wild Card.

Ace Formation: Coffin Corner
This play is most often used on big yardage situations, like on second and 15. Both 
tight-ends and the the two wide receivers will head out on varying routes. The tight-
ends will cross about 5 yards out, with the left side TE cutting across the middle 
underneath the coverage. He is your safety valve if the wide-outs are covered. 
Nevertheless, the play is designed to go deep and Hilliard is the hot-read down the 
right side. Air it out as soon as he begins his angle to the sideline. Run this play 
properly and you'll be high-fiving on Hoffa's grave.



 
 
 
 
Coffin Corner
 Goliath Lead
 

Double I Tight Formation: Goliath Lead
Definitely a short-yardage power play, this running play features the powerful Ron 
Dayne straight up the gut of the defense. Not without some help, mind you. The right-
side tackle will pull out of position and be the first to hit the whole between the 
center and left guard. The fullback, Comella, will lead Dayne through the hole for 
the yard or two they need.


Key Players
 

 
 
 
 
Amani Toomer (WR)
 Jessie Armstead (LB)
 

 

Washington Redskins

Great things are expected of this year's 'Skins. On paper they are arguably one of 
the best teams ever assembled… but that is on paper. On offense, the Redskins let 
the fireworks explode with Brad Johnson connecting deep with Michael Westbrook and 
Albert Connell. To balance the aerial assault there is the always consistent north-
south running of Stephen Davis. The Redskins defensive side of the ball is stacked 
with future Hall of Fame inductees. Bruce Smith, Darrel Green, and Deion Sanders, to 
name a few. When playing NFL 2K1 as the Redskins you can expect to win on "Any Given 
Sunday".

Author's Note: Go Redskins!!!!!!

Split Gun Formation: Z Dig
This third down play is great for catching the defense in mismatches. For starters 
Connell and Fryar are going to run straight, deep, vertical routes. Sure to lure the 
safeties away from the play. Westbrook, lined up outside on the left will start his 
route by slanting towards Fryar, where he will then follow him sown the field for 10 
yards. Westbrook will break to the center of the field about 15 yards deep, so 
release the ball right before he makes the cut. What makes this play great, however, 
is that Centers is in the flat on the left. If, for whatever reason, you can't get 
the ball deep simply dump it off to Centers. 
 
Jumbo I Formation: Hammer Toss
If you're inside the ten yard line and want to run it in, this is the play for you. 
As if Davis didn't have enough power on his own, this play gives him two tight-ends, 
a fullback, and the tank of a lineman Tre Johnson as blockers. The end result is 
almost always Davis walking into the endzone untouched.  While many teams will run a 
toss to the strong side, none attack it like the Redskins are able to with Johnson. 
He pulls from the left so quickly, with such power, it's a wonder that the 'Skins 
don't use him as a fullback.


Key Players:
Stephen Davis (RB)
Champ Bailey (CB)


NFC CETRAL

Chicago Bears

Either the NFC Central is starting to get a little weaker or the Bears are making a 
comeback. Probably a bit of both. Plagued by injuries, quarterback ineptitude, and 
playing in a kick-ass division in recent years, the Bears are poised for a 
turnaround. A very young team, they could have the makings of a great offensive unit 
in McNown, Enis, and Robinson. As for the defense, they are a young group as well 
with few, if any, true leaders. One thing for sure is that you don't play as the 
Bears for their kicking game.

Empty Bunch Formation: Big City Sneak
Nobody runs the QB Sneak more extravagantly than Da Bears! What's so special? How 
about lining Curtis Enis up as a fifth wide receiver, only to have all five of them 
sprint down the field 25 yards as decoys. Once they get good and deep, the QB tucks 
it in and heads to the right of the center. A very fun play to call on second and 
short when the defense is expecting you to take a shot down the field.

Bears I Formation: Motion Swing
Here the Bears are lined up in a traditional I Formation, except Bobby Engram is 
lined up off the ball. Engram will go in motion, cutting across the field from the 
right side, to become the outside wide receiver on the left. You can hit him quick 
off the line or, if the defense is clamping down on Robinson, hit Engram deep.

Key Players:
Marcus Robinson (WR)
Brad Culpepper (DT)


Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Buccaneers come into the 2000-01 season marked as one of the favorites to win 
the whole enchilada. Although the Bucs' have consistently been able to rely on their 
defense led by All-Pro Warren Sapp and Derrick Brooks, the addition of Keyshawn 
Johnson should give them the firepower they need to score more frequently. 
Unfortunately, the unproven Shaun King at QB may be the only thing stopping this 
team from knocking off the Rams as NFC Champions. 

If hard-nose football is your preferred style, then the Bucs' are for you. With one 
of the most suffocating defenses and perhaps the best halfback-fullback combo in the 
league, the Buccaneers are certainly a force to be wrecking with.

Doubles Tight Formation: Screen
The Bucs' take the idea of using a lineman on a pull block to a new level with their 
screen. Rather than simply pulling the guard, they pull the entire left side of the 
line of scrimmage to block downfield effectively setting up the screen. Despite the 
Bucs recently acquired deep threat, this solid screen to Alstott will consistently 
pick up 5 to 10 yards. 

I Tight Formation: Motion Zone
With two tight ends in on blocking assignments, and only a single receiver in on the 
play, the Motion Zone gives the appearance of an up-the-gut run play. By bringing 
the receiver in motion to the left, you get additional outside blocking. Together, 
Johnson and Alstott should succeed in clearing the way for Dunn, who is getting the 
ball on a pitch.  Assuming the play is adequately bocked, it will yield a 
respectable 6 yards on  most attempts.


Key Players:
Warrick Dunn (RB)
Warren Sapp (DT)


Detroit Lions

The Lions are a bit of an enigma. They are as likely to beat a would-be superpower 
as they are to lose to the league's punching bags. Case in point: last season they 
defeated both the Bucs and the Rams only to lose to the Arizona Cardinals the 
following week. 

The Lions have an average offense as led by Charlie Batch. The running game is 
improving with James Stewart primarily to credit for that. The Lions are a bit 
stronger on defense with Robert Porcher leading a solid pass rush. Of course, one 
cannot discount the Lions twelfth man—the Silverdome crowd. If there is a single 
field in the NFL that truly provides a home-field advantage, it is the Pontiac 
Silverdome. This place can rock!

I Pair Formation: Play Action Vertical
There is no way this is going to be a passing play! That's what the defense will be 
thinking when they see the pair of tight-ends on the left and the stacked backfield. 
Usually, the I Pair Formation will only come out in short yardage situations, but 
this play offers much bigger dividends. By faking the handoff to the fullback, 
Schlesinger, Morton will be able to get the separation he needs and take off down 
the field. Hang it out in front of him and let him chase it down. 

Ace Formation: Silver Zone
The Silver Zone may not look like much, but it works. With a stacked line of 
scrimmage, including a tight-end on each side, there is literally a ton of humanity 
blocking for you. And each one of them is blocking to the left. All this leaves you 
to do is to take the ball and lead Stewart around the right-side corner. 


Key Players:
Herman Moore (WR)
Robert Porcher (DE)


Green Bay Packers

The Packers of today are very similar to the Packers that won the Super Bowl several 
years ago—except they're older. Especially on the defensive side of the ball where 
they really get beat upon by the passing attack. On offense, the Packers are still 
alive and kicking. The strong arm of Favre combined with the great hands of Freeman 
is still one of the better duos in the league. Add to this the running of Dorsey 
Levens and you have yourself a winning offense. If, that is, the defense doesn't get 
you stuck in a shootout.

Split Queens Formation: Comeback
The Pack's version of the Comeback differs from many others you will find around the 
league in that it sends both backs out in flare patterns. Good or bad, this 
diversion leaves Favre very, very unprotected as there are no tight-ends in on Split 
Queens' plays. Both the inside left wide receiver and Freeman, on the right, are 
going to cut to the right 10-15 yards out. Bradford, your comeback man, will be 
lined up on the outside left. Use Favre's zippy arm to sling it in their as quick as 
you can. The key to this play working is throwing the ball before the receiver comes 
back for it. Pull the cord when Bradford get 8 yards out.

I Formation: Vince Lombardi Toss
This classic play works well for the Packers and it will work for you too. Lined up 
in the old-school I Formation, Levens is going to get the toss and head to the 
strong side. To make things easier on our ball-carrier, the right guard will pull 
and block the DE to the inside. This leaves the fullback as your lead blocker. Break 
inside of the wide receiver, Schroeder, and you should have a moderate gain on your 
hands.


Key Players:
Brett Favre (QB)
LeRoy Butler (DB)


Minnesota Vikings

Before last year's outburst in St. Louis, the Vikings were the most electrifying 
team to watch. Well, they are still a respectable second in that category. Despite 
turning to newcomer Culpepper at QB, you can count on the downpour of touchdown 
passes to continue. Just remember to not forget about the running of Robert Smith 
and future Hall of Famer Chris Carter when going deep. They are part of the reason 
for Moss's success. As for defense, the Vikings have sackmaster John Randle leading 
the charge. The front seven are pretty stalwart but the secondary can stand some 
improvement. This latter aspect will be the reason why the Vikings will lose to the 
Rams come December.

Vikings I Formation: Pillager
This play features the two star Vikings' receivers, Moss and Carter split wide. 
Culpepper will drop back behind the protection of his two backs. Carter will do a 5 
yard out pattern and Moss will slant across the field. The curl run by McWilliams, 
the tight-end, should put him in a great position to knock Moss's defender out of 
the play. Of course, this will require hitting Moss early in the route, about 7 
yards deep. 

Vikings I Tight Formation: Blood Thirsty Lead
Ok, I admit I just like the name of this play. But that doesn't mean it won't work. 
Of course, it is best suited for fourth and inches or goal line situations. This two 
tight-end set uses the classic I to take it straight into the heart of the defense. 
Requiring a big push by the offensive line, Smith should be able squeeze a yard or 
two out of this one. Any more would be barbaric.


Key Players:
Randy Moss (WR)
John Randle (DT)


NFC WEST


San Francisco 49ers

The 49ers are a once great team struggling to have a .500 season. Sure, legendary 
Jerry Rice still suits up for them on most Sundays, but don't think for a second 
that this is a team with a strong passing attack. Terrell Owens will get his share 
of passes by the accurate, if nothing else, Jeff Garcia, but you're going to need to 
make Charlie Garner carry the ball 30-plus times a game if you're to score much. And 
even then, you better hope the incredibly young defensive unit can keep you in the 
game.

San Francisco is often referred to as the birthplace of the "West Coast Offense" and 
it shows. The playbook is chock full of play-action, short range passing 
configurations. 

Split Queens Formation: Bingo
This play will have Rice and Stokes lined up on the right, with a slanting Owens 
joining up with them 10 yards out, putting all three wide receivers in a tight bunch 
on the right. Meanwhile, the two backs will cut across the field just pass the 
defensive line.  Garner should lure another linebacker or two to the right, freeing 
up the entire left side to the fullback. A good play for third and short yardage 
situations.

Split Twins Formation: Shift Trap
This play starts with a typical looking wishbone and then shifts the halfback 
outside the right-side tight end. By committing the halfback to the strong side of 
the line, defenses will often shift as well—preparing for a pitch. However, the 
fullback will get the ball and run left, shielded from defenders by the blocking of 
the two wide receivers.


Key Players:
Terrell Owens (WR)
Bryant Young (DT)


Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons are only two seasons removed from winning the NFC Championship and much 
of the team is still in tact. Unfortunately for them, their divisional rival St. 
Louis Rams, who they must play twice a year, look to have a lock on the divisional 
title. So what does this mean? It means that if you can get Jamal Anderson back to 
his pre-injured level of play and get Chris Chandler in a groove with Terance 
Mathis, you might be looking at a wild card team in Atlanta. As for the defense, 
they can cover the pass real well, but don't scare many with their D-lineman. Look 
for the defense to be a liability against the run.

Falcons I Formation: Screen
Another unique twist on the popular screen play. In the Falcons-preferred flavor, 
both backs will stay in close and protect the QB, who takes a 5-step drop. The tight-
end and the right side wide receiver will cross about 5 yards out. Meanwhile, the 
center and left guard and tackle will pull and cascade down the left side, outside 
of the typical tackle box. Behind this new shield of coverage the outside wide 
recieiver will come in close for the screen pass, get the ball, and head down the 
filed behind the nearly 1,000 pounds of blocking that have shifted over.

Strong I Formation: Motion Crack Lead
This running play is designed for Jamal Anderson to bust out around the outside 
corner for moderate gains on first and second down. The added oomph comes from the 
left side receiver, Mathis, who motions to the right and pops the strong side 
linebacker coming around the tight end. Anderson will follow the blocking of his 
fullback around the corner.


Key Players:
Jamal Anderson (RB)
Ashley Ambrose (DB)


Carolina Panthers

Primarily due to the impotent offense, the Panthers are slowly sinking to the bottom 
of the NFC West. The wealth of older veteran players they had built the team on in 
the 90's is getting too old and too slow to keep up with the rest of the league. It 
is apparent that the Panther offense of Steve Buerlein, Tim Biakabutuka (what 
happened to Tshimanga?), and Muhsin Muhammad can't find the endzone frequently 
enough. The defense, however, works well together but is rapidly approaching 
retirement. The Panthers will likely be a team that frustrates you due to their 
inherent lack of speed—especially on defense.

Double Right Slot Formation: Mirror Outs
When you're in your two-minute drill and in need of a play that will pick up a first 
down and stop the clock, go to the Mirror Outs. Buerlein will take a deep drop while 
the three wide receivers and tight-end, Wesley Walls, run their routes. Muhammad and 
Hayes on the left and right, respectively, will run ten yard out patterns. 
Meanwhile, Walls and the receiver in the slot will clog up the middle of the field. 
Zip it to either of the guys on the out pattern as soon as they make their cut. If 
they should be covered too well, dump it off to Biakabutuka on the left. 

Trey Formation: Cat's Eye Zone
This running play is going to feature both Biakabutuka's power and his speed. The 
entire line is going to block to the strong side. Biakabutuka will parallel the line 
of scrimmage behind their blocking and turn it north at the first it of daylight, 
presumably between the tight-end and inside wide receiver. Either way, should you 
break through the first two tacklers, this play will see you with considerable open-
field running. 


Key Players:
Wesley Walls (TE)
Eric Davis (DB)


St. Louis Rams

Speed kills… defenses. With perhaps the fastest team in NFL history, the St. Louis 
Rams are likely to repeat as Super Bowl Champions, much less NFC West title winners. 
Regardless of whether you run with Faulk, or pass to Bruce, Hakim, Faulk, or any of 
the others, this team can score from any position on the field. The defense of the 
Rams, however, is their Achilles heel. Without any of the big names found elsewhere 
around the league, the defensive unit of the Rams allows other offensive-minded 
teams almost as many points as their own offense can generate. So, look for close, 
high-scoring games against NFC teams like the Buccaneers, Redskins, and Vikings. You 
can expect blowouts against everyone else.

Ram Left Formation: Curls
Granted, it's one of the least complicated plays run out of the Ram Left, it is a 
very effective tool at chipping away yardage while eating up the clock. Dissection 
of this play begins with Faulk and the tight-end Conwell slanting to the right. The 
lineman will all drop back to pass protection, requiring Warner to take a deep drop. 
Hakim and Bruce are your receivers on the right, both of who will curl to the center 
of the field ten yards out. The key to this play is the speed of Bruce running past, 
and around, Hakim who is the intended receiver. Fire the ball into Hakim's hands 
just before he begins to curl and Bruce will be there to bust him free of his 
defender. From there on, it's off to the races!

Weak I Formation: Gold Reverse
There's only one thing better than busting Marshall Faulk loose around the corner, 
and that is reversing it the other way with Isaac Bruce. The play begins to the 
strong side with the fullback leading the way. Bruce will back behind the line of 
scrimmage and meet the ball carrier. Guide Faulk to the far side of Bruce and hit 
the D Pad to the left to lateral him the ball. All you have to do now is steer the 
speedy Bruce around the right side.

*The key to this play is working the Dreamcast controller effectively. I suggest you 
put your right thumb on the D-Pad immediately following the snap. Let your left 
thumb steer Faulk with the analog stick and use your right thumb to tap to the right 
on the D-Pad as Bruce draws alongside him. Practice this play before using it in a 
game and you should be able to work up to the transition going as smooth as can be.


Key Players:
Marshall Faulk (RB)
Kevin Carter (DE)


New Orleans Saints

Teams, for the longest time, had looked forward to playing New Orleans. If not for 
the trip to Bourbon Street after the game, then for the easy victory they would were 
likely to get. Not so anymore. The Saints have been rejuvenated by the veteran QB 
Jeff Blake and the running of Ricky Williams. Even the defense has improved to a 
certain extent. While still extremely susceptible to the deep ball, their ability to 
stuff the run is much better than recent years.

Double Gun Left Formation: Lure Deep Angle
This play utilizes three wide receivers, all of which are headed twenty or more 
yards down the field. With the secondary lured deep and Glover adding protection to 
the left side, Williams is free to leave the backfield. And he does. Williams will 
angle out and then back to the center. Hit him about 5 yards out and he should be 
able to pick up moderate gains in the open field.

Saints Right: Quick Toss
Assuming the Saints are able to get deep inside enemy territory, this is the play 
you want. The already stacked line of scrimmage will get extra help on the left by 
the second tight-end, and on the right by the fullback. Just as these two begin to 
jam the outside of the line, the ball is tossed to Williams who takes it hard around 
the left side. It's not a fancy play, but it works!


Key Players:
Ricky Williams (RB)
La'Roi Glover (DT)


PLAYBOOK

NFL 2K1 has several options for you when it comes to play calling.  The game comes 
packed full of plays in last year's NFL 2K "common" playbook that can be used for 
each and every team.  In addition, this year's game ships with team-specific 
offensive playbooks as well.  Here, you can use your favorite team's real playbook—
the one that you see them utilize every Sunday throughout the season.  Finally, for 
what may be the greatest new feature of the game, is the ability to edit and create 
custom plays of your own.  

NFL 2K1 gives you the option to view the plays in your playbook as either their type 
(i.e. inside run) or formation (i.e. I-formation).  If you're a casual football fan 
and are new to the role of head coach, sorting your plays by "type" is for you.  For 
those of you who've played some ball, know the difference between a nickel and a 
dime package, go ahead and choose the traditional "formation" sorting method.  
Either way, the plays will be there when you need them.

This section of the guide will outline all of the formations from the common 
playbook (for team specific plays, see the newly updated "Teams" section of the 
guide).  If you can master knowing what each of these formations are meant to do, 
you will have no problem with the little twists your favorite team may throw on 
these old standbys.   

Offensive Formations

Trips
This is a basic three receiver, one back set.  Often, a play in the Trips formation 
will "flood" one side of the ball with all three wide receivers, leaving the tight 
end to come off the line on the opposite side.  This formation is very effective for 
both running and passing plays.

Spread
The Spread formation is similar to the Trips, but the three wide receivers will 
always be split between the left and right sides of the ball.  The tight end will 
always be lined up on the weak side, typically in the role of lead blocker for the 
running back, as this formation does not utilize a fullback.  Many of your pitch-
type running plays will come out of this formation.

I Form
The I formation is where most teams turn when they are looking to wear down their 
opponent with the power running game.  This formation uses two wide receivers split 
wide, a tight end always lined up on the right side of the ball, and two backs in 
the backfield.  The fullback is always used in a lead blocking role in this 
formation.  In adition to the strong running game that comes out of the I formation, 
medium to deep range passing attacks are also prevalent.  In these instances, the 
tight end will either be a decoy, or add to the protection of the QB.

Pro Set
Otherwise known as the "wishbone" formation, Pro Set is nearly identical to the I 
except the backs are lined up side by side.  This formation is great for confusing 
defenses in that all of the options are there: deep passes, screens, halfback 
tosses, and even handoffs to the fullback.  You should get a lot of mileage and 
variety from this formation.

Shotgun
Although this formation isn't run by every team, it's a good one to know.  The most 
obvious feature is that the QB doesn't line up under center.  Rather, the QB is 
positioned a few steps back in the pocket prior to the snap.  This formation is 
almost always indication of a passing play, with four to five receivers heading 
downfield.  Often, either the halfback or tight end will hang close to assist in 
pass protection.  

Pro Slot
The Pro Slot formation utilizes three wide receivers and a full backfield.  The 
receivers will always be split, and the fullback will typically be in position to 
lead the halfback through the hole.  Oftentimes, the fullback will come out of the 
backfield and become a fourth receiver to replace the tight end who is sitting the 
play out.  Turn to this formation for plays that really mix things up, especially if 
you have a fullback with good hands.
 
Strong I
This formation differs from the more traditional I formation insofar as the running 
backs aren't lined up behind one another.  What this does, is allow for the fullback 
to be an option both as a receiver and primary runner.  

Quads
This is the formation that most resembles the days of playground football.  Four 
receivers split wide, a single back lined up behind the quarter back, and 
everyone "going deep".  Not surprisingly, this formation is most seen when a team is 
down a couple scores and time is running out.  Medium to very deep pass plays are 
the norm, but remember to run that HB delay to keep the defense honest.

Week I
Unlike the Strong I formation, the two receivers are almost always lined up on the 
left side of the ball, opposite the tight end.  The fullback will also line up 
favoring the strong side.  The "weak" in the Weak I formation comes into play in 
that the majority of these plays will be run to the weak side, that is where less 
blockers (and hopefully less defenders) are.  Shallow passing routes and screens are 
also run from this formation.

Ace
The Ace formation is unique in that it utilizes two tight ends and no fullback.  
With seven guys on the line, it should come as no surprise that you will see a lot 
of running plays come out of this formation.  But, perhaps more importantly, is the 
brilliant "play action" plays that can be pulled off.  The defense reads "run", the 
QB fakes it to the halfback and then hits the screaming wide receiver on a deep 
post.  Works like a charm. 

Clock
Whether it's spiking the ball or taking a knee; you're gonna be doing it from this 
no-frills formation.

Special
Special teams plays will each have a slightly different look with different 
personnel taking the field.  On offense, you'll be punting, going for a field goal, 
or faking one of them.  NFL 2K1 gives you several options for "fake" plays.

Goal Line
The standard formation to use when your deep inside enemy territory is the Goal Line 
formation.  Similar to the Ace formation, it stacks the line with two tight ends, 
but drops the second wide reciever in favor of a full back.  Power running, screen 
passes, and QB bootlegs are the norm when lined up in this formation.  Just don't 
forget to dive!


Defensive Formations

4-3 Cover
The 4-3 Cover defense is a basic, no frills formation.  Four guys on the line with 
three linebackers adding supporting the run defense right behind them.  You don't 
see any man-to-man coverage out of this set, nor do you see any blitzing.  

4-3 Blitz
This formation differs from the standard 4-3 in that the middle linebacker crowds 
the right side of the line, an obvious sign of a blitz.  Five guys on the line of 
scrimage opens up a lot of chances for creativity.  Many of these plays will see the 
blitzing linebacker drop back into coverage, while a member of the secondary 
bltizes.  Other plays will call for a four man rush, with everyone else in man-to-
man coverage.  And other plays will call for an eight man rush.  Expect it all with 
this versatile formation.

3-4
The 3-4 defensive set gets its name from utilizing three lineman and four 
linebackers.  Don't let this fool you into thinking there's not gonna be a strong 
pass rush.  There is always at least one linebacker (typically outside) joining the 
rush, often engaged in a stunt of some sort with the tackle.  The safeties will 
always be in a deep zone, whereas the corners will switch to man coverage if the 
linebackers are blitzing.

Nickel Cover
Nickel Cover plays utilize 2 linebackers and three corner backs.  These plays are 
designed to defend against the pass and often utilize a combination of bump-and-run 
man coverage by the linebackers with zone defense being applied by the safeties.  If 
it's third and long, this is where you should turn.

Nickel Blitz
This formation takes the basic Nickel package and turns it upside down.  Every one 
of these plays will call for a linebacker, corner back, or combination of both to be 
blitzing.  This formation is all about knocking the QB on his ass.  With mutliple 
blitzing linebackers, down lineman stunting every which way, the best way to counter 
this is to run the ball.  The defense will be so geared up trying to get the sack, 
that slippery running backs can typically peel off big gains against this 
formation.  Beware! 

Nickel Odd
The Nickel Odd formation is a combination of the 3-4 and Nickel Cover formations, 
using three cornerbacks, but swapping out the fourth lineman in favor of a third 
linebacker.  While few of these plays are going to tally a sack, they provide a 
great source of defense against the short pass, as well as the outside running game.

Dime
The Dime package is an often used formation in passing situations.  Four cornerbacks 
and one linebacker provide the meat of the secondary.  Many of these plays will 
utilize the lone linebacker on a blitz.  Othertimes, an impenetrable wall of zone 
coverage will be established by the seven guys in the secondary.  The Dime package 
is typically seen on second down passing situations, when the offense still has 
another down to get the first.
 
Dime Odd
You guessed it!  This formation switches out a tackle in favor a second linebacker, 
thereby bringing the total number of men in the secondary up to eight.  But, don't 
think for a second that you are only going to rush three lineman.  This formation, 
like the Nickel Odd, uses a plethora of stunts and blitzes to throw off the would-be 
offense.  You will find it to be a good mix of a strong pass rush and protection 
against the mid to deep passing attack.  

Goal Line
Defensive sets down near the goal line have the benefit of not having to worry about 
the deep ball.  Therefore, they drop the safeties in favor of an extra tackle and 
cornerback.  Five lineman and an outside linebacker provide the immediate rush, 
while two more linebackers guard up high.  The three cornerbacks help to protect 
against any short passes or bootlegs that are attempted.

Special
Defensive Special Teams plays consist of punt returns and punt and field goal block 
attempts.  If it's fourth down and a non-critical time in the game, get ready for a 
punt return, if the yardage is too great for a field goal.  Once you catch the ball 
with your return man it's just like playing offense.  


GAME MODES

Numerous modes of play exist outside of Season Mode.  Select the particular style of 
play you are interested in from the list.  There you will find a description of the 
game, tips on how to maximize your success, and even a mini-walkthrough of what to 
expect.  You can play any of the modes in any order you like.  However, for those of 
you new to the game, they are listed in what should be considered a  recommended 
progression of difficulty.

Practice - become familiar with the controls here.

Tutorial - a short game chock full of tips for helping you improve.

Quickstart - jump right into a quick game with random teams and weather.

Exhibition - a single game, set up any way you like.

Tourney - 4, 8, or 16 team single-elimination tournament.  Great for parties.

Playoffs - guide your favorite team through the post season.

Season - play through an entire season in hopes of reaching the Super Bowl.

Fantasy - draft your own Dream Team and see how they fair.

Franchise - play the role of General Manager, Coach, and player.

Network - see how you stack up against other players around the world. 


SEASON MODE

Once you feel you have the basics down and feel up to the test of will and endurance 
that is the NFL regular season, select Season mode from the main menu.  If this is 
your first time playing select New from the menu, but be careful as this will 
overwrite any in-progress tourneys or seasons.  

The designers of the game were nice enough to include offensive, defensive, special 
teams, and overall ratings of each team in the league.  Additionally, they've 
included their regular season records from last year.  You can see this guide's 
Teams section for a quick analysis of each team, along with their schedule for the 
upcoming 2000-01 season that you will be guiding them through.  

Once you pick a team press Start and enter the Season mode's main menu screen.  This 
is the screen you will return to after each game and whenever you want to change the 
game options, customize new players or teams, view the stats, or play another week.  
The Customize menu is the same as that which you can enter from the game's main 
menu.  See the Customize section of this guide for specific information on that 
feature.

The NFL regular season is 17 weeks long, with each team playing 16 of those 17 
weeks.  Statistics will be compiled throughout the season, seasonal tallies being 
reported in-game as of week 3.  After each game you can view the injury list, check 
out who's leading each position in Pro Bowl votes, and, of course, check on the 
standings and statistics.  Got a player out for the year with a torn ACL?  Consult 
the free agency pool and sign someone else.  You can also make mid-season trades 
with other teams.  But don't expect them to be fools; the computer owned teams are 
smart enough to decline imbalanced trades like your offer of Billy Joe Hobert for 
Brett Favre.  

Don't forget to keep an eye on those statistics.  Your performance week in and week 
out is directly correlated to the number of Pro Bowl votes certain players get.  If 
your well-balanced offense is holding back your star running back, pull in the reins 
on the gunslinger and start using the workhorse more often.  Also, know which team's 
studs are ahead of you in the voting.  When it comes time to play them, tee off on 
their aces every chance you get.

If you find that you are a mathematical lock for home field advantage all the way 
through the playoffs, and it's near the end of the season, go ahead and simulate the 
last couple of weeks.  While this is a good sign that you should be playing on a 
higher difficulty setting, there's nothing wrong with taking a roll of the dice.  
But be warned, you're gonna lose some precious Pro Bowl votes in the process.
 

The Playoffs:
Newcomers to "America's Passion" (good line Howie!) may be a bit confused by the 
format of the NFL Playoffs.  With terms like wild cards, bye weeks, home field 
advantage, it's no wonder.  It's really quite simple, though.  There are four weeks 
of play in the Playoffs: the Wild Card games, Divisional games, Conference 
Championships, and the Super Bowl.  The teams with the top two regular season 
records in each conference get a "bye week" and are able to sit out the week of the 
Wild Card games and host the Divisional playoff games the following week.  The next 
four best teams in the conference, including the other divisional winner, will play 
in the Wild Card games.  The team with the absolute best regular season record in 
each conference will have "home field advantage" all the way through the playoffs—
for as long as they keep winning.  After three weeks of play, through single-
elimination games, six teams in each conference will be whittled down to one—the 
Conference Champion.  These two teams, the AFC and NFC Champions, will meet at a 
predetermined site to play for the World Championship in the Super Bowl, the biggest 
sports spectacle in the world!  
 

The Super Bowl XXXV Anomaly: 
The site of the Super Bowl is typically a moderate climate stadium or a dome, due to 
the game's late January date.  This has always been at a neutral site over the 
thirty-odd years the game has been played.  This year, however, the Super Bowl is 
being played in sunny Tampa Bay, Florida, home to a team considered by many to be 
the NFC favorites.  Could a team actually play in the Super Bowl on their home 
turf?  Suit up as the Bucs' and see if it can be done!
 

The Pro Bowl: 
Whoa, it's not over yet!  You worked so hard during the regular season that you and 
your family have been awarded a trip to Hawaii to play in the NFL Pro Bowl.  In this 
AFC versus NFC yawner of a game, you will get to control either conference, 
regardless of which your in-season team belonged.  Personally, the best thing about 
this game is getting to see so many different helmets on the field at once 
(something Sega chose not to do).  No one wants to risk getting hurt, few outside of 
the stadium are watching, and no one remembers who won come dinner time.  Hell, if 
the NHL playoffs started earlier, this game probably wouldn't even be played!  Enjoy!


CUSTOMIZE

By selecting Customize from the game's main menu, you will be on your way to 
constructing your own players, teams, and plays.  Through this option you will also 
be able to keep records for yourself and download roster updates through the Sega 
network.

Although this section of the game is entirely up to your imagination, here is a 
brief step-by-step to help you through some of the customizable entities in the game.

Players:
The Players screen lets you import previously created players from other VMU's, view 
the Player Cards, and, of course, create your own player.  

To create your own player, select it from the menu and assign a name and jersey 
number to him in the following screen.  Pick the position you want him to play at 
and the Team.  If you're involved in a season already, you may have to cut someone 
or put your created player in the free agent pool until your roster has an opening.  
In the Player Attributes screen you get to design your player's appearance, shape 
and size, and pick out his accessories—all in real time.  Adjust the player's 
weight, height, face mask (27 types available), shoe style, all the way down to 
whether or not he wears a breathe strip.  Once the player is created physically, 
it's time to adjust his skills.  Select one of the presets and then divvy up the 
strength points to the various skills as you see fit.  Once your done, you'll see 
your new player added to the list.

Teams:
The Teams screen gives you the option to create your own team from scratch, trade 
with other teams, sign free agents, etc.  You can also reset the rosters to their 
original designs in this screen.

Begin creating your own team by picking a city, stadium, and uniforms.  You can even 
pick from a limited number of logos.  The next step in team creation is to begin 
signing players.  Sign pros, create from scratch, it's all up to you.  Once you have 
eleven guys on the roster your official.  They can be eleven of the same player, 
playing the same position and it will pass.

Plays:
When you have a solid understanding of the formations, know how to read the plays 
real well, and have some time to get creative definitely check out the create-a-play 
feature of the game.  

Begin your play creation by giving it a name and picking the playbook that contains 
the play you would like to base your play off of.  Select the formation and the 
specific play to open up the editing screen.  

Use the Position button to cycle through the positions, the Assignment button to 
cycle through blocking and passing routes, the Modifier button to adjust the 
blocking at the line, the Primary button to set the primary receiver, and the Motion 
Mod button to set a receiver in motion.  Once you're done coming up with a play of 
your own, save it into the user playlist.  Don't forget to Save!