Football Running Pro Style
Now that youre starting to pass like a pro what about youre running game? The biggest mistakes any player makes when playing any football game is just handing off the ball for every running play. Its not only predictable, but you can do better with variations. Try and run more option plays, or pitch the ball off instead of the stale hand off play. As the games get more complex, the more options become available to you as the quarterback.
This style of running will make you totally unpredictable. Everyone is expecting a run, so why not make it harder to cover? Your running back is great for short distances and the occasional long yardage play. Big deal, so how about an option to your best tight end? If he has great hands then he will get more yards. Several players never use the tight end for running plays and this is a shame. Youre on a pro level now so use every weapon you have available to you.
Okay, you now have the right idea and have practiced but may find yourself only getting 5-6 yards per play. How do you stretch that to 10-15 yards or more? You need to use the lanes and know how to read them to see what opens up. A lane is a free space where you have a blocker or two to protect you as you bolt up the field. Fancy moves work but the more fancy the move, the more chance of a fumble. In other words, keep it simple first. There are times for fancy jukes and fake-outs, but for now just use the whole team as a weapon for running. Hey, I told you it was for Pro players and welcome to the Pros, rookie!
Using the Rest of the Players as Weapons?
Yes, your blockers are the best chance to have a wide open lane to the end zone or long yardage. This may be the hardest part of learning the offensive sets and plays. You will notice that while you can switch control after throwing the ball, the other players are still around and have their jobs. While football games are not at the stage where you can control more then one player at a time, you still can use them like they are controllable.
Here's a quick example: If you fake out or make a move, you may open a small lane and gain a few yards. If you allow a player to make a block for you, it opens a bigger amount of space for you to then make your move and find that open lane. It is complicated but thats as simple as I can make it. With practice in an exhibition mode, over time you will soon be able to create running plays when there seems to be no possible way. The field looks tied up but wait for that blocker to create that small bump for you and wham its downtown; just you and the ball. I am not saying you will get a touchdown on every running play, but I can promise your average yards will increase by 25-35 percent after a few games.
Football Defense Pro Style
Football Video Games 101 touched on defense but just a small bit. Hopefully you have tried using different players for blitzing by changing the highlighted player. If not go back and get used to doing this. Personally, I hardly ever get out of the 4-4 defensive sets and you may read this and say are you crazy. While the debate is still out on this, I can say that I have never had more than 21 points scored against me online or offline. I also have gone a whole season giving up less than 9 points per game and that included the playoff games. I dont say this to brag, but I say it to prove a point; the 4-4 set can be changed or disguised so easily it makes it the perfect defense for any offense.
Red dog or the full out blitz plays work great, but there are a few formations that will surprise you that work well. Lets say it is 1st and 10 on the 45 yard line on the opposing team's side. Most players would use either a blitz or coverage formation here. A good choice but what about a punt return or a goal line formation? It may sound crazy but with a little tweaking and a few adjustment in the formation, the crazy looking defensive set will actually freeze either the CPU or a human player.
This can and will backfire at times, so you need to adjust the set quickly. Move or highlight the line in a quick fashion to look like a regular formation. If you cannot do this fast enough, use the fastest defensive player and set him right between the center and the player to the right or the left. A few steps back allows him to get a running start. Right as the snap has started, bum rush the quarterback. Chances are even if you miss the sack, the coverage team will collapse on the offense leaving them scratching their heads. See you can adjust without ever leaving a great defensive set, but this also depends on the team you are using and learning which sets work best takes time.
Football Video Games 201 continued on next page...