FAQ - Guide for NFL 2K2
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############################################ # # # # # ######## # # # # # # # # ##################### # # # # # # # #### # # #### # # # # # ######## # # # # # # # # # # # # # # ##### # # #### # # # ## # # ###################### # # # # # # # # ## ############ # # # ############################################# Written by: chiefrockab (Brian Daniels) This FAQ is a (c) of Brian Daniels. This document is for personal use only. Any reproduction of this document without my expressed written consent is prohibited. Do not create links directly to this page. If you would like to use any information within this document in anyway, contact me via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org for consideration. All Q & A concerning this FAQ will be handled on the message boards of GameFaq.com. Version & Updates 1.01 First Submission. Lacks Control & Options. Lacks Money Plays for approximately half the teams. TABLE OF CONTENTS I. INTRODUCTION II. CONTROL & OPTIONS III. BASIC GAMEPLANS IV. BASIC OFFENSE V. OFFENSIVE PHILOSOPHIES VI. BASIC DEFENSE VII. DEFENSIVE PHILOSOPHIES VIII. TEAM RANKINGS & HOT PLAYS Introduction Reviews have been mixed on Sega Sports first title for the PS2. Most love the change of pace NFL 2K2 brought to the genre. Even though the game is far from perfect, its pluses far outweighs its shortcomings. There seem to be one constant in every review or preview and that is fun. Anyone can pick up a Dualshock and jump right into the action (on Rookie difficulty). The excellent NFL simulation lies in the higher difficulties. Only the most seasoned NFL2K pro will have success on the All-Pro difficulty. Here are my strategies and some of the key offensive and defensive plays that will help in a tight situation. Keep in mind that the strategies are only a foundation for you to build a balanced attack. What worked for me may not work for everyone. NOTE: Football Abbreviations To save space and time here are a list of abbreviations that are commonly used in football and are also used throughout this Faq. C = Offensive Line Center G = Offensive Guard FB = Fullback QB = Quarter Back RB = Running Back or Halfback T = Tackle TE = Tight End WR = Wide Receiver DL = Defensive Lineman LB = Linebacker DB = Defensive Back CB = Cornerback FS = Free Safety SS = Strong Safety Control and Options I decided not to include all the control and options for now. Hopefully, you have the game manual yourself. These will all be included in a later update but for now, I want to concentrate on actual gameplay strategies and hints. If a specific move or control is needed, the control for that move will be given. Basic Gameplans Further below there are some strategies and Money Plays for each team for must have first downs. BUT, this section is devoted to the exhibition player who is looking to be more competitive right away with a couple quick hints. These strategies are based on the game being played on the PRO setting against a computer opponent. The ROOKIE AI is very easy and a basic understanding of how to run a play will bring success. On the All-Pro difficulty, mistakes are magnified. These strategies are still successful on ALL-PRO with practice. Below are a few of the biggest differences as you step up in difficulty whether you've decided to take on the PRO game or especially when taking the big step to ALL-PRO. 1) Any forced passed is usually intercepted if you throw when a) the receiver hasn't finished his route. b) the receiver is double or triple covered or c) the QB is still running or trying to avoid a sack. Watch for the underneath defender if the defense is in a zone. The defender can easily jump and take the bullet pass out the air. Practice lobbing the pass over the defender's head. When the defense is closing in on your QB for a sack do not force the throw. Roll out as far as you can and throw the ball away (R2). 2) Most 1st down runs are stopped with minimal gains on ALL-PRO. A single running play will only work 2 to 3 times in a single drive. Mixing Tosses, ISO, & Spread is your only hope. 3) The punting game becomes very important. On the ROOKIE and after getting used to PRO, a good player can go the whole game without a single punt. With ALL-PRO, you will have to punt. Field position is very important. 4) The CPU opponents have more speed on defense overall. What was an open receiver before will be within the range of the nearest DB and LB. After watching the CPU a while, I noticed the defenders move to the spot where the receiver is suppose to stop before the receiver completes the route on ALL-PRO. There is still the same amount of broken tackles but with the extra speed of the CPU defense, more defenders are around the ball. NOTE: The computer AI reacts well to a play you try to run over and over again, especially after Halftime and on 4th downs. Mix up your play calling between pass and run. Avoid going for long 4th downs. The computer tends to sends what I call "The Mad Blitzer". It's one defensive player who reacts like a homing missile who is much harder to avoid. On All-Pro, these Blitzers will come at any time on any play to disrupt the timing of your offense. BASIC OFFENSE With the introduction of the West Coast Offensive philosophy, NFL offensive schemes have become extremely complicated. Your basic offense of 5 linemen, 2 WR, a QB, a RB, a FB, and a TE was commonly used every play. Now, it seems the teams only use this formation for the first snap of the game and starting line-ups. The only constant now is the 5 lineman and a QB. The section will explain the basic offensive sets found in NFL 2K2 and give a brief description of what personnel is used in each one. NOTE: The running backs are all shown in the split formation. It's more common to find the RB's in the I formation. On most occasions, if the RB's are in the I formation, the formation description will say so. PRO The PRO formation is the most common and basic set used in football. It's also the most flexible and is equally effective for passing plays as it is for the running game. The PRO set has the two backs split behind the QB. The running game is known for its huge sweeps and tosses to the strong side with the TE lead blocking on the play. The passing game usually relies on the 2 WR and the TE over the middle, but screen passes to either the FB or RB are also an option. This formation is the foundation of the West Coast Offense. If you love passing on every down, this set usually has a good mixture of deep routes and short passes. Personnel: 2 WR, 1 TE, 1 FB, 1 HB WR T G C G T TE WR QB RB FB ACE The ACE formation is predominately for the run, but with 2 good receivers and the protection of an extra TE, a good passing attack can come out of it. The single back can be hard to run out of because of the lack of a FB to lead but the TE on both sides of the formation make running to either side easy. Draw plays and tosses are key to the running game. This formation is good against defenses that blitz off the corners a lot. Personnel: 2 WR, 2 TE, 1 RB WR TE T G C G T TE WR QB RB BUNCH The BUNCH formation is a passing formation. This set is similar to the Triple. Both have 2 WR and 1 TE on the strong side of the formation. In the BUNCH, the TE is on the line of scrimmage in between the two receivers. This formation is very effective with the QB roll-out. Look for crossing routs, deep post, and outs. There is usually more than one person open. Personnel: 3WR, 1TE, 1 RB WR T G C G T TE QB WR WR RB DOUBLES If you are a pocket passer, this is probably your best formation to work our of. The main change in this set compared to PRO is the 3rd WR. The DOUBLES substitutes your FB for your #3 WR in the slot. Personnel: 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 RB WR T G C G T TE WR WR QB RB EMPTY Your only option is to pass. This formation is called Empty because of the empty backfield. You have only the 5 offensive linemen to protect the QB. With 5 targets lined up at the line of scrimmage, someone is bound to become open. This is a good long yardage formation. Personnel: 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 RB WR T G C G T TE WR RB QB WR JOKERS The Jokers formation is generally for the power running game. Jokers subs in an extra TE on the strong side instead of the WR. Smash mouth football is this formation specialty. Good choice for short yardage running. Personnel: 1 WR, 2 TE, 2 RB WR T G C G T TE QB TE RB FB PAIR SLOT The PAIR SLOT is generally a passing formation. The PAIR in its name comes from the two pair of WR's and TE's that appear on either side of the formation. The 2 WR work similar to the TWINS formation, using outs and posts to confuse the defense, while the 2 TE provide more pass protection and some run support. This is a well-balanced formation that can support the passing game as well as the run. Personnel: 2 WR, 2 TE, 1 RB WR T G C G T TE WR QB TE RB QUAD The QUAD is all passing. If you love the deep ball, this is your kind of formation. The 4 WR are a defensive nightmare. Every route is usually covered by this formation. There isn't much pass protection but with all the targets to throw to, someone will probably be open. GO DEEP! Personnel: 4 WR, 0 TE, 1 RB WR T G C G T WR WR QB WR RB SPREAD The SPREAD is very good formation for a tough defense. This formation is designed to spread out the defense, making the LB's and DB's of the opposing defense cover a larger portion of the field. 3 wide receivers are used to occupy the secondary while 2 RB has easy access to the flat for screen plays and short routes. The one major problem with this formation is pass protection and picking up the blitz. With no TE, the blitz off the corner is wide open, leaving you vulnerable. Personnel: 3 WR, 0 TE, 2 RB WR T G C G T WR QB WR RB FB TREY The TREY is passing. It's almost the same as the BUNCH but has 3 WR lined up on the strong side with no TE. If you give the WR's time to run their route, a big play is bound to happen. A good receiving core and an accurate passer will have the pigskin in the end zone in no time. Unfortunately only a few teams have enough good wide receivers to take advantage of the defense. Personnel: 4WR, 0 TE, 1 RB WR T G C G T WR WR QB WR RB TRIPLE The TRIPLE is the TREY with the TE on the end of the line of scrimmage instead of a WR. This formation is generally for those team who don't have the 4 good WR needed to run the TREY. Just as dangerous as the TREY, the TRIPLE formation will also exploit the secondary by overloading one side of the defense. Personnel: 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 RB WR T G C G T TE WR QB WR RB TRIPS The TRIPS formation is all passing. The 3 WR to one side causes mis- matches and overloads the defense. There isn't much pass protection but if the defense does blitz, there is almost always someone open underneath. Personnel: 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 RB WR WR T G C G T TE WR QB RB TWINS The TWINS combines good run blocking (1 FB and 1 TE) with a good passing set. You can smash the middle of the defense with run on one play and then go for the DEEP POST the very next play with the same formation. This is a good formation if you throw to the TE a lot. The TWINS give a whole side of the field to just the TE. Personnel: 2 WR, 1 TE, 2 RB WR T G C G T TE WR QB RB FB WING The WING formation is a short yardage formation designed for the run. Most effective when the RB's are lined up in the I, the extra TE's and WR help protect against blitzers of the corners. Suprise the Defense with a pass to the WR if the D finds a way to stop the run. Personnel: 1 WR, 2 TE, 2 RB TE T G C G T TE QB WR RB FB FORMATION VARIATIONS The other formations and sets that are available are variations of the basic ones listed above. The most common variation is the I set of the RB's. Putting the backs in the I behind the QB makes following your fullback lead easier. A team may not have the personnel to run the formation as they are shown which is why the formation is changed slightly to compensate. Here are some other variations you'll see. Strong I or Weak I: The fullback shifts to the strong or weak side to get closer to the point of attack Right or Left: In the single back formations, the back is moved to the right or left to aid in pass protection and also to set up the draw play. Tight: Look for a WR to be substituted by a tight end. For instance, Tight Triple will have 2 TE to the right with just one WR. Motion: Look for a WR or TE to go in motion or a formation shift. Shotgun: QB will receive the snap from center in the backfield. Z - IN: The WR that is usually lined up as a wide-out far right will now be lined up next to the TE. FOR EXAMPLE A Strong I Pro Z - IN will look like this. WR T G C T G TE QB WR FB RB AND you won't see a Shotgun I. If the QB is already backfield, there's no room to have the two RB's in the I. OFFENSIVE PHILOSOPHIES Scramble, Scramble, Scramble. A lot has been said about how great a passing engine to 2K series has had even since it first showed up on the Dreamcast and the PS2 version is no exception. If you take the time to learn the timing of the pass routes and master Maximum Passing, you will be an elite player, virtually unstoppable. Put in the time, the rewards is great. 1) I wanna score like .....NOW! I've found the most effective offenses that requires the least amount of practice to master are the ones with a QB who scrambles well (Gannon in Oakland, Brooks in New Orleans, and McNabb in Philly, My Top 3). First, find a passing play with a fade OR post route to the far sideline or an in route across the field where the receiver runs parallel to the line of scrimmage. -//\ // // ___________ // /___________ || or || || || || || || || || || Then, roll your quarter back (Holding R1 TO SCRAMBLE) in the direction your receiver will be moving no matter how the play tells you to drop back (in this case, roll right). Out-run the linemen to the sideline or until the receiver gets open. Release R1. Set your feet (come to a complete stop) and let it rip. Not setting your feet will cause a bad throw most of the time. Also make sure you do not throw the ball as hard as possible unless you really have to. On a roll-out, bullet passes are less accurate. Medium strength throws are most effective. Lobs tend to give defense time to close in on a wide-open player. Release the pass button once the QB's arm start to move forward. The roll out does two things. 1) It moves you away from any blitz up the middle and linemen who will bat the ball down. The computer AI seems to be set for the QB working in the pocket. Receivers that were covered in the pocket will be wide open from the new angle your QB is looking at them. 2) It gives your WR, TE, and RB more time for the deep route. A very fast WR will be able to outrun the coverage deep or your TE will have enough time to come all the way across the field after running 10 yards deep. On the fade route, you WR will go behind the DB and will be far enough away from the Safety to catch and run for the score. On the crossing route, as soon as your WR crosses the middle of the field the DB will drop coverage. Even if you can't see the guy on screen, still throw it and he will be open. This play is good for TE as well. If everyone is still covered or you're almost to the sideline, RUN! You can get close to 10 yards per run. Make sure you run out of bounds or slide (square). The QB tends to get injured very easily when he's tackled on a roll-out. Even if you accidentally jump, your QB still won't get injured but he might fumble. NOTE: It's very hard to roll out when the defense pick a FAN rush or blitz from the outside. But when this happens, take your QB straight up the middle for a nice gain. Don't forget to slide. NOTE: When scrambling, anytime you are persued by a defender, you can trick him into diving. When the defender is almost in diving distance fake like you are going to run up field then drop back again. The defender will dive on the ground give you some more time (Like in the NES Temco Bowl, the weave method). 2) If it says "OPTION", it's a good pass. Option pass plays are all for the most part successful. Look for the short and deep crossing in route over the middle. The WR or TE will be open quick if there is a blitz and will continue across the field on a roll out. If you are in a tight spot, need 5 or 6 yards, try an Option pass. If you have a fast WR, let him out run the coverage across the field to become open. 3) TWINS: Strong Flood. A defenses worst nightmare. Almost every team has at least on play like this in multiple variations. STRONG TWINS, WEAK TWINS, I TWINS. Look under the formation with both receivers lined to one side. One receiver will have an OUT route while the other goes for the POST. Some plays have them crossing. It is rare for the CPU to cover both receivers for a long period of time. Look for the POST route to go completely uncovered from time to time. The OUT route is good for at least 7 yards, even if he's tackled right away. 4) A Tight End is a terrible thing to waste. Don't forget your TE, especially during the Fantasy Drafts. On some teams he's your best option. Frank Whycheck in Tennessee, Chad Lewis in Philadelphia, Shannon Sharpe in Baltimore, and Tony Gonzalez in Kansas City. They catch like top WR and they hold onto the ball better when hit after the catch. A great 3rd option on a passing play, the TE seems to become uncovered and forgotten underneath 5) Power or Finesse With the insane amount of broken tackles in NFL 2K2, the running game is much easier than in past 2K games. There are 2 types of runners. You have Power and Finesse. Power runners are big and strong. Use the stiff arm or build up speed by rapidly pressing X and run over any would be tackler. Finesse runners are fast and mobile. Juke and spin your way to big yardage. Either type you play with, 100+ yards per game is not unusual, except on the All-Pro difficulty. 6) Run It Up The Gut Tosses are great! They are the most useful running plays. Your running back gets beyond the TE box and usually you're 2 DB's away from a TD. But if your Offensive line allows a defender thru, your RB is taking a 3 to 5 yard loss as soon as he touches the ball, even worse a fumble. Don't forget the 22 and 24 ISO runs with the Power Backs (Eddie George, Tyrone Wheatly, Fred Taylor and Duce Staley are a few of the best). If the defense blitz to the outside, you are two broken tackles away from a big run from the inside-out and up the sideline once you get pass the line of scrimmage. It also makes the defense double think an outside blitz on your QB, giving you more time to pass and making roll-outs easier. Don't forget to rapidly press the (X) button. It's more effective with a power runner than the juke or spin and increase your chances of break the tackle. 7) Maximum Passing: An Unbelievable Touch of Realism Non 2K2 players always ask what Maximum Passing is. It is only the most innovative and realistic feature ever in the history of videogame sports. I may be a little dramatic but Maximum Passing is ground- breaking. Maximum Passing always you to alter the trajectory of the pass to a wide receiver. Sounds simple but gameplay-wise, it takes simulating the play of the QB to the next level. Without the option, the pass is aimed at the numbers of the receiver. Typically, this is the easiest spot for a completion. It's also right in the range of the defender. Maximum Passing allows you to lead your receiver away from the defender. Throw the pass high and away from the D. If the receiver is in traffic throw it low to avoid the big hit making the pass to be broken up. PRACTICE! The Maximum passing is a more sensitive than in past games. If you're getting too many incompletions and interceptions, try to ease up on the controls. Also, make sure your QB starts the pass animation before you begin to throw. If you don't he'll start to roll- out or scramble before the pass. This might account for most of your errand passes. Armchair pocket QB's MUST get used to using Maximum Passing otherwise you'll miss half of the fun! BASIC DEFENSE You got three parts to the defense. 1) The defensive linemen. 3 or 4 big guys on the line of scrimmage. These guys are accountable for stopping the run and putting pressure on the QB. 2) The linebackers (LB). Provide support of your lineman against the run, provide extra pressure on the QB when asked to blitz and provide underneath pass protection. 3) The secondary or defensive backs (DB's) covers wide receiver and deep routes. 2nd line of defense against the run. NOTE: In the actual NFL, DB's are further broken down into Cornerback and Safety. The Cornerback (CB) lines up across from the receiver and provides the man-to-man coverage. The other DB's are safeties (1 Free and 1 Strong). The Free Safety is responsible for covering the middle of the field deep and Strong Safety helps to stop the RB should he get past the LB's. Strong Safeties are known for making the big hits on the slants and those medium range passes. DEFENSIVE SETS The most basic defensive formation is the 4-3. This means you have 4 linemen (2 DE and 2 DT) and 3 linebackers (Strong Outside, Weak Outside, Middle). Most of the defenses in the NFL run this defense. Some teams run a 3-4 defense. This means you have only 3 linemen (2 DE and 1 Center) and 4 linebackers (2 outside, 2 inside). In the Nickel defense, one of your linebackers are substituted for a defensive back (DB) to provide better pass coverage. So you have 4 linemen, 2 LB, and 5 DB's. In a 3-4 defense, the Nickel becomes Nickel ODD. You have 3 linemen, 3 LB, and 5 DB. Dime takes it a step further and subs another LB for a DB. Resulting in 4 linemen, 1 LB, 6 DB. In the 3-4, the Dime is called Dime ODD. Its 3 Linemen, 2 LB, and 6 DB. Prevent takes out all LB's and puts in 7 DB for maximum pass protection. In the 3-4, the Prevent ODD uses one LB as the 4th lineman. Goal Line is for short yardage and goaline stands. It has 5 linemen, 4 LB's and 2 DB. DEFENSIVE PHILOSOPHIES Defense. The right play at the right time. Defense is a guessing game but there are some key plays that are effective when called at the right time. It reminds me of the Original Tecmo Bowl (Not Super). If you call the right play the offense is powerless. If you call a run play against a pass you got burnt. Unfortunately, some team just can't play defense! With a bad defense, there are more broken tackles, the linemen are pushed around like dolls, and your DB's can't catch a pass if it hit them right in the numbers. Avoid bad defensive teams at all cost. Indianapolis and Minnesota are about the only teams with a strong enough offense to overcome the paper- thin defense. RUN: Nickel and Dime; Not just pass D anymore. Your linebackers are key to stopping the Run. Having a Pro Bowler like Ray Lewis or Zack Thomas as Middle Linebacker really helps. Your average LB is not fast enough to cover the whole field and do not come of a block soon enough to be effective. Against a human opponent or an All- PRO opponent, you will need two hits very close together to bring the runner down. One to initially hit and break the runners stride and the 2nd to actually bring the runner down. That's one reason you might want to use the Nickel and Dime defense to stop the run if you have a weak defensive team. The extra speed of the DB's replacing the LB's will have more tacklers around the ball. This will cut down on the long breakaway runs. To play the most effective defense, you should start by learning to close the running wholes by pushing the offensive line in the direction of the run. At the snap, get the quick burst of speed by tapping X. Watch the RB and move the same direction he's going. Start charging your arrow by pressing and holding the X button. When the RB is at the line of scrimmage, hit R1 to come off the block and make the hit. It's up to you to get the initial hit on or at least close the whole that the RB is trying to hit with the lineman. If you need more help, call a Blast play (Middle, Strong, or Weak) to the spot of the whole. With the blast, the linebacker will come in to clean-up. If you prefer to control the LB yourself, bring the blitzer as close to the line of scrimmage as possible. For faster running backs or against the Toss, in the same formation call the Weak or Strong Crash depending on what side your opponents prefers to run. The blitzing DB will not bring the runner down by his self but he will delay him long enough for the pursuit of lineman and linebackers to catch up. The Goal Line defense can be used in the middle of the field to provide a quick stop when you are sure that a run is coming. BEWARE. If the running back gets to the outside, there is not much between him and the end zone. If the offense drops back to pass, the extra lineman and linebackers at the line of scrimmage should get to the QB faster than the 4-3. If he gets the pass off, more than lightly it will be a big gain, there is only single coverage and no one deep. Also avoid the All Blitz. It causes the same problems as the Goal-line defense. PASS: Nickel and Dime. Prevent is soft. Pressure on the QB is key. If you give the QB time to throw it when he wants to, it's gonna be a long frustrating day. The earlier he throw it, the less accurate the pass. Sacks by the defensive are very hard to come by. The QB seems to get the ball away right before he's brought down for the sack. Just forcing the QB to throw the ball early might be enough. Pressure on the passer usually results in an incomplete pass or an interception. You can blitz a linebacker. Generally, a blitz by a DB is not effective because of the distance the player has to come and DB's tend to stay blocked to long. Not only that it leaves a spot for a quick pass for the QB to dump off to. Take control of the DB, and bring the player closer to the QB if you have to use the DB. But Linebackers through the middle, and directly off the ends get to the QB in a hurry and can even tip the ball at the line of scrimmage against pocket passers. If the LB is picked up by the running back in pass protection, they have enough strength to come off the block and still disrupt the passer. Try to avoid the Prevent defense, it is effective against the pass but if your opponent suprises you with a RUN it could become a huge gain. A 10 to 15 yard pass is common against the Prevent. Prevent is design to stop big gains in the passing game by allow short underneath passes in bounds. Meaning the middle of the field is usually open. Practice the defensive lineman moves and get in the QB's face without a blitz and only 4 down linemen so the rest of the defense can cover the pass. You'll need a top player like a Strahan, Sapp, or Kearse but it's worth the effort. Take on of the DE. Move him to the outside of the last offensive player of the offensive line. Use the speed burst straight up the field. If the blocker drops straight back with you, cut to the inside in front of the defender and go for the QB. If the blocker is slow to drop back, go around the outside and the QB will drop back right into your arms. NOTE: Normal or Base, Gap Left and Gap Right should be the D-Line formations you mainly use. They provide a good pass rush and still help contain the run. Use the Gap Left and Gap Right to pin the QB or RB between hash mark and the nearest sideline. Use the FAN against scrambling QB's and against the TOSS. It closes the corner down and contains the runner inside. Unfortunately, it leaves the middle of the line wide open for the run and leave the passing lanes clear for the QB. To compliment the pressure on the QB, the 3 BUZZ package (only certain defenses have this) is very good. It's also a good play to call when an offense tries to spread the field. There are 2 DB's on each of the outside routes and 2 LB in the Nickel and 1 LB, 1 DB in the Dime lurking in the middle to stick receivers trying quick slants or crossing routes. A few team do have a 4-3 3 BUZZ which also works depending on personnel. Only your LB's provide the underneath cover in this formation. The Sting 2 defense is good at causing pressure while maintaining coverage on the WR. NOTE: The CPU opponent will go for it on 4th Down on some bad occasions. To keep from wasting a timeout, use the automatic play call feature to see if the CPU intends to punt or not. When the play call screen appears, press X button without moving the analog stick. The automatic play will be a normal defense if the opposition is gonna try and go for it. It will give you a punt return if they plan to punt. NOTE: Defense is all about experimenting with plays and finding their strength and weakness. There is not a "great" defensive play that cover both pass and run but if you can anticipate what your opponent is going to do, you can stop them enough times to force a fourth down or cause turnovers. If a play doesn't work the 1st time you use it, go back to it in a different situation (a different down or a different yard-to- go). TEAM RANKINGS & HOT PLAYS The basic strategies above will have you dominating computer opponents and undefeated seasons on Pro in no time. To get a handle on the All- Pro setting and to cause serious damage to a good human opponent, here are some specific offensive plays for each team to use. The NFL 2K2 Rankings are based on the default ranking that are given to each team in the game. These rankings are shown at the Exhibition's Team Select Screen. A = Great to E = 1A High School Football. For a further breakdown of how the grades were decided look below. Chief's Ranks are my ranking of each team in a few more categories. I prefer a strong defense, scrambling QB's, and a running game. My ranking might show my preferences. NOTE: Reading Hot Plays The HOT PLAYS are written in a specific way so finding where the hot plays are will be easier. The first Page # is the page of the playbook the play is located. When you press L1 or R1 while finding a play, the playbook page number is shown in the top left corner (ex, 2/6 would be Page 2). Next is the formation name. These names are shown at the bottom of the screen. Then you have the play name. Some formations have multiple sheets to look through but it should be fairly easy to find the play. Last is the play's target. These targets are different from the primary receiver whose route is shown in red. These targets are the receivers that I've found to be wide open against a zone defense and a good target against a man to man D. If the receiver is not open right away scramble with your QB until he gets open. TEAMS 49ers NFL 2K2 Rankings: Offense: A Defense: D Overall: C Chief's Ranks: OVERALL: B Offense: B QB: B RB: C WR/TE: B Defense: D HOT PLAYS: Page 3/Shotgun Trip Left 153 Bootleg Wheel Target: #81 Owens Page 5/Double H Motion 152 Bootleg 2 Post Target: #81 Owens BEARS NFL 2K2 Rankings: Offense: C Defense: D Overall: D Chief Rank: OVERALL: C Offense: C QB: D RB: B WR/TE: C Defense: C HOT PLAYS: RUN Page 4/Bunch 56 Stretch PASS Page 4/Bunch 50 Y OUT Target: #88 Robinson *Alternate between the Stretch run and Y Out pass on Human opponents. They are both out of the Bunch formation and can cause confusion. Page 2/Shotgun Triple 50 A Under Target: #88 underneath but #86 may open up deep left. BENGALS NFL 2K2 Rankings: Offense: C Defense: E Overall: D Chief Rank: OVERALL: E Offense: D QB: D RB: A WR/TE: D Defense: E HOT PLAYS: OFFENSE Page 4/I Twins 122 Z OUT Target: #80 Warrick Page 2/Tight Triple 152 Y/T Option Target: Two Tight Ends. Choose either direction. BILLS NFL 2K2 Rankings: Offense: C Defense: C Overall: C Chief Rank: OVERALL: D Offense: D QB: D RB: D WR/TE: C Defense: D HOT PLAYS: Page 1/Doubles 50 X DIG Target: #89 Black Page 3/Split Spread 50 X/Z OUT Target: #81 Price Page 4/Triple H-Motion 132 T Option Target: #85 Riemersma BRONCOS NFL 2K2 Rankings: Offense: A Defense: C Overall: B Chief Rank: OVERALL: B Offense: B QB: B RB: B WR/TE: A Defense: C HOT PLAYS: Page 1/Trips 50 Z Option Target: #80 Smith Page 5/Triples 50 Strong Flood Target: #80 Smith (Deep) Page 2/Shotgun Trey 152 T Cross Target: #87 McCaffrey BROWNS NFL 2K2 Rankings: Offense: E Defense: D Overall: D Chief Rank: OVERALL: E Offense: E QB: D RB: E WR/TE: E Defense: E HOT PLAYS: Page 3/Weak I Twins 50 F Wheel Target: #82 Johnson Page 4/ACE 153 Bootleg Flat Target: #81 Morgan & #82 Dudley BUCCANEERS NFL 2K2 Rankings: Offense: B Defense: A Overall: A Chief Rank: OVERALL: A Offense: B QB: C RB: A WR/TE: A Defense: A HOT PLAYS: Page 1/I Twins 122 X Dig/Z Corner Target: #81 Green or #19 Johnson (Deep) Page 6/Shotgun Trey Left 50 Power Flood Target: #19 Johnson Page 2/Triple H Swing Strong Target: #81 Green CARDINALS NFL 2K2 Rankings: Offense: D Defense: E Overall: E Chief Rank: OVERALL: E Offense: E QB: D RB: E WR/TE: D Defense: E HOT PLAYS: Page 2/Shotgun Split Spread 50 X/Z Out Target: #89 Boston Page 3/Triple 50 T Cross Target: #81 Sanders CHARGERS NFL 2K2 Rankings: Offense: C Defense: B Overall: C Chief Rank: OVERALL: C Offense: C QB: C RB: C WR/TE: C Defense: B HOT PLAYS Page 2/Ace Trips 153 Bootleg Z Out Target: #81 Graham Page 4/Triple 50 T Corner Target: #81 Graham CHIEFS NFL 2K2 Rankings: Offense: C Defense: C Overall: C Chief Rank: OVERALL: E Offense: D QB: C RB: D WR/TE: C Defense: E HOT PLAYS Page 2/I Spread 122 Z Dig Target: #82 Alexander (deep) or #87 Thomas Page 3/Pair Slot Left 50 X Under Target: #82 Alexander COLTS NFL 2K2 Rankings: Offense: A Defense: D Overall: B Chief Rank: OVERALL: B Offense: A QB: A RB: A WR/TE: A Defense: E HOT PLAYS Page 2/Shotgun Quads Z-IN 50 Z Under Target: #88 Harrison Page 2/Trips 154 Strong Flood Target: #86 Pathon (deep) or #88 Harrison Page 3/Shotgun Ace Trips 50 X/Z Out Target: #86 Pathon COWBOYS NFL 2K2 Rankings: Offense: D Defense: E Overall: E Chief Rank: OVERALL: D Offense: C QB: C RB: C WR/TE: D Defense: E HOT PLAYS Page 1/I Spread 122 A Out Target: #84 Galloway Page 3/Pair Slot 152 Z Cross Target: #84 Galloway (deep)or #82 Whalen Page 3/Bunch 152 Y Corner Target: #81 Ismail DOLPHINS NFL 2K2 Rankings: Offense: D Defense: A Overall: B Chief Rank: OVERALL: B Offense: D QB: D RB: E WR/TE: D Defense: A HOT PLAYS: Page 5/Shotgun Trey Left 50 Strong Flood Target: #86 Gadsden Page 2/Shotgun Split Spread 50 A/Z Cross Target: #80 McKnight EAGLES NFL 2K2 Rankings: Offense: B Defense: B Overall: B Chief Rank: OVERALL: A Offense: A QB: A RB: A WR/TE: C Defense: A HOT PLAYS: Page 4/Quads 50 Stop/Corner #87 Pinkstom or #80 Thrash Page 1/Pro 122 T Option #89 Lewis FALCONS NFL 2K2 Rankings: Offense: E Defense: D Overall: E Chief Rank: OVERALL: D Offense: B (with Vick at QB), D (with Chandler) QB: A(Vick), C(Chandler) RB: B WR/TE: C Defense: D *Global Substitute Michael Vick for Chirs Chandler. The offense is improved greatly with Vick's mobility. HOT PLAYS: Page 1/Quads 50 Stop/Corner Target: #84 Jefferson or #81 Mathis Page 2/Split Spread Z-IN 50 Z Cross Target: #80 Martin Page 5/Trips 152 Bootleg T Out Target: #81 Mathis GIANTS NFL 2K2 Rankings: Offense: C Defense: A Overall: A Chief Rank: OVERALL: B Offense: D QB: D RB: C WR/TE: C Defense: A HOT PLAYS: Page 1/Weak I Twins 122 F Wheel Target: #88 Hilliard Page /Bunch Trips 50 Z Option Target: #88 Hilliard JAGUARS NFL 2K2 Rankings: Offense: A Defense: B Overall: B Chief Rank: OVERALL: B Offense: A QB: B RB: A WR/TE: B Defense: C HOT PLAYS: Page 5/Weak I Twins 122 X Out Target: #87 McCardell (deep) or #82 Smith Page 2/Shotgun Trey Left 50 Y/A Out Target: #82 Smith or #80 Brady Page /Weak I Pro 124 Z Post Target: #80 Brady JETS NFL 2K2 Rankings: Offense: B Defense: C Overall: C Chief Rank: OVERALL: C Offense: C QB: C RB: B WR/TE: D Defense: C HOT PLAYS: Page / Target: Page / Target: Page / Target: LIONS NFL 2K2 Rankings: Offense: D Defense: B Overall: C Chief Rank: OVERALL: D Offense: C QB: D RB: C WR/TE: C Defense: D HOT PLAYS: Page / Target: Page / Target: Page / Target: PACKERS NFL 2K2 Rankings: Offense: A Defense: C Overall: B Chief Rank: OVERALL: C Offense: A QB: A RB: B WR/TE: A Defense: C HOT PLAYS: Page 2/Triple 50 Overload Target: #84 Schroeder Page 3/Shotgun Trey 50 Over Flood Target: #86 Freeman Page /Split Spread 50 Strong Flood Target: #86 Freeman PANTHERS NFL 2K2 Rankings: Offense: D Defense: E Overall: E Chief Rank: OVERALL: E Offense: E QB: E RB: D WR/TE: C Defense: E HOT PLAYS: Page / Target: Page / Target: Page / Target: PATRIOTS NFL 2K2 Rankings: Offense: E Defense: C Overall: D Chief Rank: OVERALL: D Offense: D QB: C RB: C WR/TE: D Defense: C HOT PLAYS: Page 1/Quads Right 50 Strong Flood Target: #80 Brown(deep) or #87 Emanuel Page 4/Patriots Trey Left 50 Strong Flood Target: #80 Brown or #81 Johnson Page /Split Spread Z-IN 50 Pewter Flood Target: #80 Brown RAIDERS NFL 2K2 Rankings: Offense: A Defense: A Overall: A Chief Rank: OVERALL: A Offense: A QB: A RB: A WR/TE: A Defense: B HOT PLAYS: Page 2/Ace Trips 50 Z Cross #81 Brown (will catch it deep) OR #80 Rice Page 5/Quads 152 Z Under #81 Brown (deep right, lob over LB) RAMS NFL 2K2 Rankings: Offense: A Defense: C Overall: A Chief Rank: OVERALL: A Offense: A QB: A RB: B WR/TE: A Defense: B HOT PLAYS: Page 1/Quads Left 50 Stop/Corner Target: #88 Holt or #80 Bruce Page 4/Bunch Left 50 A Cross Target: #80 Bruce Page 2/Quads 152 X/Z Out Target: #80(deep) or #87 Proehl RAVENS NFL 2K2 Rankings: Offense: B Defense: A Overall: A Chief Rank: OVERALL: A Offense: B QB: B RB: C WR/TE: B Defense: A HOT PLAYS: Page / Target: Page / Target: Page / Target: REDSKINS NFL 2K2 Rankings: Offense: D Defense: E Overall: D Chief Rank: OVERALL: C Offense: C QB: C RB: A WR/TE: C Defense: D HOT PLAYS: Page / Target: Page / Target: Page / Target: SAINTS NFL 2K2 Rankings: Offense: A Defense: B Overall: B Chief Rank: OVERALL: A Offense: A QB: A RB: A WR/TE: A Defense: A HOT PLAYS: Page 1/Double 50 T Option #87 Horn (deep) or #34 Williams underneath Page 4/Shotgun Quads Right 50 Stop/Corner #88 Jackson SEAHAWKS NFL 2K2 Rankings: Offense: D Defense: B Overall: D Chief Rank: OVERALL: D Offense: C QB: D RB: C WR/TE: D Defense: C HOT PLAYS: Page / Target: Page / Target: Page / Target: STEELERS NFL 2K2 Rankings: Offense: E Defense: C Overall: D Chief Rank: OVERALL: C Offense: C QB: B RB: C WR/TE: C Defense: C HOT PLAYS: Page / Target: Page / Target: Page / Target: TITANS NFL 2K2 Rankings: Offense: B Defense: A Overall: A Chief Rank: OVERALL: A Offense: A QB: B RB: A WR/TE: A Defense: A HOT PLAYS: Page 2/Weak I Twins 122 Strong Flood #85 Dyson (deep), #81 Sanders (7 or 8 yrds), #89 Whycheck (deep middle) Page 2/Ace Trips 50 Power Flood #89 Whycheck, #81 Sanders VIKINGS NFL 2K2 Rankings: Offense: A Defense: D Overall: B Chief Rank: OVERALL: B Offense: A QB: A RB: C WR/TE: A Defense: C HOT PLAYS: Page 2/Split Twins 50 X Out Target: #84 Moss Page 6/Shotgun Trey 50 A Corner Target: #80 Carter Page 3/Ace Trips H Screen Strong Target: #84 Moss WHERE DID THE GRADES COME FROM? The NFL 2K2 ranking are misleading in that it uses a 100 point scale but the lowest ranking of the 31 real football team is a 71. To come up with the grade scale, I placed all the teams in order of the scores for each categories form greatest to least. Then I separated the team as evenly as possible into each letter group. If 2 or more teams had the same ranking, they all were placed in the same group which cause some unbalanced group (8 teams have a B OVERALL with only 4 E's). The only difference between some grades are only one point. If your think a certain team should be a single grade higher, more than likely they probably are. NFL 2K2 RANKINGS OFFENSE A Rams 98 Colts 96 Raiders 94 Vikings 91 49ers 88 Broncos 88 Jaguars 88 Packers 88 Saints 88 B Eagles 87 Titans 87 Buccaneers 86 Jets 86 Ravens 86 C Giants 84 Bills 83 Chiefs 83 Bengals 82 Bears 80 Chargers 80 D Lions 79 Redskins 79 Cardinals 78 Panthers 78 Cowboys 77 Dolphins 77 Seahawks 77 E Browns 76 Steelers 75 Patriots 74 Falcons 73 DEFENSE A Ravens 100 Buccaneers 96 Dolphins 94 Giants 92 Titans 92 Raiders 89 B Eagles 88 Saints 87 Chargers 86 Jaguars 85 Lions 85 Seahawks 85 C Packers 84 Steelers 84 Bills 83 Jets 83 Rams 83 Broncos 82 Chiefs 82 Patriots 82 D 49ers 80 Bears 79 Colts 78 Falcons 78 Vikings 78 Browns 78 E Redskins 77 Cowboys 76 Cardinals 73 Bengals 72 Panthers 71 OVERALL A Ravens 93 Raiders 92 Buccaneers 91 Rams 90 Titans 90 Giants 88 B Colts 87 Eagles 87 Jaguars 87 Saints 87 Packers 86 Broncos 85 Dolphins 85 Vikings 85 C 49ers 84 Jets 84 Chargers 83 Bills 82 Chargers 83 Chiefs 82 Lions 82 D Seahawks 81 Steelers 80 Bears 79 Patriots 78 Redskins 78 Bengals 77 Browns 77 E Cardinals 76 Cowboys 76 Falcons 75 Panthers 75