This walkthrough was originally written for Madden NFL 2002
on the GBC, but the walkthrough is still applicable to the PC version of the game.
__ __ __ ___ ___ ____ ___ __
/ \ / \ / \ | _ \ | _ \ | __| | \ | |
/ /\ \/ /\ \ / /\ \ | | \ \ | | \ \ | |__ | \ | |
| | | | | | | |__| | | | | | | | | | | | | |\ \ | |
| | | | | | | __ | | | | | | | | | | __| | | \ \ | |
| | | | | | | | | | | |_/ / | |_/ / | |__ | | \ \| |
|_| |__| |_| |_| |_| |____/ |____/ |____| |__| \____|
___ ____ ____ ___
/ _ \ / \ / \ / _ \
/_/ \ \ | /\ | | /\ | /_/ \ \
/ / | | | | | | | | / /
/ / | | | | | | | | / /
/ / | | | | | | | | / /
/ /___ | \/ | | \/ | / /___
|______| \____/ \____/ |______|
Table of Contents
[MODES] Modes of Play
[SUBST] Suggested Substitutions
[OFFPB] Offensive Playbook
[DEFPB] Defensive Playbook
[NOTES] FAQs and General Tips
[REALL] Comparing with Reality
[VERSN] Version History
[CONTC] Contact Information
Navigation tip: Press Ctrl and F to bring down a search bar. Then type in the
name of the section you're looking for - such as [OFFPB] for the Offensive
As difficult as it may be to believe, this is my eleventh guide for a Madden
game, and my 54th guide total. That's enough for me to be in the Top 25 in the
world at FAQ-writing. I guess bragging about your accomplishments is a lame way
to begin a guide, but it's not easy to come up with a riveting beginning to a
Game Boy Color football game. Also, producing another football guide makes my
collection of games for which I've written walkthroughs seem marginally more
"macho" (about half of the people who e-mail me about my guides nowadays are
As for the review: It's a nice idea, but football with two action buttons just
doesn't work that well, even if the game is affixed with the Madden name. There
aren't actual player names (although the numbers are accurate), and the
graphics and sounds are so-so. Another annoyance is that long passes are easier
to complete than short ones. Still, if you're feeling nostalgic or want
something to ease the post-Super Bowl withdrawal symptoms, you might get a kick
out of this game. I wonder if anyone noticed that I've used the same review in
my past two guides.
Modes of Play [MODES]
Here you can play an exhibition game using the teams of your choice. You can
select the weather and quarter length, too.
This starts a new season. Imagine that! After every week, you'll receive a
password you can use to retrieve your progress the next time you play.
Here you can start a new playoff series. This also uses a password system to
save your progress.
Use this option to play against a friend or enemy. It's not much good if you
don't have two Game Boys, two Game Paks, a Game Link cable, and someone to play
If you have a season or playoffs in progress, you can resume them with this
option (assuming you wrote down the password).
Change game length or turn off background music and sound effects.
Go here and give Brett Bibby, Surya Ismail, Vince Brooks, Edwin Caparez, and
Kathy Frazier their due respect.
Control pad any direction - Move player
START - Pause game
Start the power bar - A
Stop the power bar - A (when the bar is near the top for full power)
Aim kick left/right - Control pad left/right
Call an audible - SELECT
Line up for an onside kick (after calling an audible) - A or B
Control the kick receiver - Control pad any direction
---Before the snap---
Set a man in motion - Control pad Left or Right
Snap the ball - A
View receiving options - B
Select player to control - B
---Audibles (either offense or defense)---
Call an audible - SELECT
Select an audible play (after calling an audible) - A or B
---After the snap---
Break tackle/burst of speed - A
Dive/QB slide - B
Control player closest to the ball - A
Dive/Power Tackle - B
Jump and raise hands - B
Move the quarterback - Control Pad any direction
Throw to A/B receiver - A or B
Control receiver closest to the ball - A
Jump and raise hands - B
Start power bar/snap the ball - A
Aim the kick - Control pad left/right
Kick the ball - A
Move play selection highlight - Control pad up/down
Select formation/play - A
Back up - B
Switch between upper and lower menus
Move highlight up/down - Control Pad up/down
Cycle through choices - Control Pad left/right
Select highlighted option - A
Return to previous screen - B
Suggested Substitutions [SUBST]
Note that I assume a 4-3 defense for all teams except Pittsburgh. I base these
recommendations on player ratings in the game, not the lineups used during the
actual 2001 NFL season.
Arizona Cardinals: HB #22 and #23 are tied for best halfback. WR #83 should be
your second receiver. DE #95 should be the DLE. ILB #50 is recommended at MLB.
Note that Pat Tillman (SS #40) isn't included.
Atlanta Falcons: HB #32 is the best halfback. WR depth chart: 81, 84, 80, 82,
19, 18. TE #85 should actually be the third-string TE. Use T #68 at LT. DE #91
is the recommended pick at DRE. Use ILB #58 at MLB and OLB #52 at LLB. Start
LCB #33 at LCB.
Baltimore Ravens: Use HB #31 or HB #33 at HB; their abilities are equal. FB #32
should start at FB. The WR depth chart should be 87, 84, 83, 89, 85, 80. G #72
should be the RG, and C #62 is the recommended center. Install OLB #55 at RLB.
RCB #21 is recommended at left corner. FS #26 should be the FS.
Buffalo Bills: QB #11 is the best overall QB. HB #35 should be the starting HB.
WR depth chart: 80, 81, 86, 89, 82, 83. TEs #85 and #87 are equally good at top
TE. Use T #79 at LT, G #71 at LG, and C #60 at C. DE #73 is a slight upgrade at
DLE. Use ILB #56 at RLB. RCB #26 should be the RCB. Use SS #20 at FS.
Carolina Panthers: QB #9 is the most balanced signal-caller. Start HB #21 at HB
and FB #45 at FB. The suggested WR depth chart is 87, 81, 83, 82, 14, 80. The
TE depth chart goes like 85, 84, 86. Use T #66 at RT. DT #94 should be the DRT.
Use ILB #57 at LLB. LCB #33 is good at RCB. FS #46 should be the SS.
Chicago Bears: QB #8 is probably the best bet overall. Use FB #2 at FB except
when using the Goal Line package. WR depth chart: 88, 81, 86, 87, 19, 83. TE
#85 should be the backup TE. Use G #79 at LG. Play OLB #52 at RLB. LCB #26
should be the LCB. Start FS #22 and SS #43 at the safety spots.
Cincinnati Bengals: The WR depth chart is 80, 86, 81, 84, 87, 16. TE #83 is the
best TE. Use T #72 at RT, G #71 at RG, and C #74 at center. DT #93 should be
the DRT, and DE #55 is recommended at DRE. The starting linebackers should
include OLB #58 at LLB and ILB #56 at MLB. RCB #21 is recommended at RCB. Use
FS #34 at FS.
Cleveland Browns: Start QB #2 at QB. HB #23 is the best overall HB, but it's
best to use HB #30 in Run 'n' Shoot and Shotgun. The WR depth chart is 85, 89,
84, 88, 86, 87. TE #83 should be the starter. Play T #71 at LT and G #72 at RG.
DE #90 is the best DRE. Use ILB #58 at MLB and OLB #55 at RLB. LCB #24 should
be the RCB. FS #43 should be the FS.
Dallas Cowboys: QB #3 is the best QB. Start HB #23 at halfback. The WR depth
chart is 84, 81, 82, 16, 87, 83. TE #89 should actually be the third-string.
Start DT #94 at DRT and DE #98 at DLE. RCB #41 should start at RCB. FS #24 is
good at FS.
Denver Broncos: QB #14 should be the QB. HB #38 should be the Goal Line HB. WR
depth chart: 80, 87, 83, 85, 11, 84. TE depth chart: 89, 88, 82. Definitely use
DT #75 as the DRT. DE #95 should be the DRE. Play OLBs #51 and #53 at the OLB
spots. RCB #24 should be the RCB. Use FS #26 at FS.
Detroit Lions: HB #34 should be the HB. WR depth chart: 87, 84, 82, 83, 80, 17.
TE #85 should be the backup TE. Use T #70 at RT and C #79 at C. DT #98 is the
recommended DRT. ILB #57 should play MLB. LCB #32 is recommended at RCB.
Green Bay Packers: Use QB #4 as the starter (of course). Demote WR #80 to last
on the depth chart. Use T #62 at RT and G #72 at RG. DE #91 should be the
starting DRE. ILB #57 is a bit better than the default starting RLB. Use RCB
#34 at RCB.
Indianapolis Colts: The WR depth chart is 88, 89, 85, 80, 84, 86. TE #82 should
be the starter. Play T #65 at LT, G #73 at RG, and C #62 at C. Use DT #96 at
DRT and DE #91 at DLE. Use ILB #94 at MLB and OLBs #57 and #52 at the outside
linebacker positions. Play SS #37 at SS.
Jacksonville Jaguars: The WR depth chart should be 82, 87, 86, 84, 81, 85. Use
G #69 at RG and C #66 at center. Use ILB #56 at MLB and ILB #58 at LLB. Play
LCB #25 at LCB.
Kansas City Chiefs: QB #10 is probably the best overall, unless you scramble a
lot. Use HB #34 in the Run 'n' Shoot and Shotgun formations. WR depth chart:
81, 84 (WR6), 84 (WR5), 85, 82, 80. TE #89 should be the backup. Use T #79 at
RT and C #54 at C. Play DE #95 at DLE. Start ILB #51 at LLB. LCB #39 should be
the left corner.
Miami Dolphins: Both quarterbacks are similar; pick QB #6 if you prefer a
running quarterback. Insert HB #26 as HB in the Goal Line formation. FB #44
should start. The optimal WR depth chart consists of 81, 86, 89, 87, 82, 85.
TE #90 should be the backup TE. Use T #63 at LT and C #60 at C. DE #91 should
be the DLE. Play ILB #54 at MLB and OLB #57 at RLB. LCB #29 should be the LCB.
FS #31 is the recommended FS.
Minnesota Vikings: QB #11 should be the starting QB. FB #33 is a bit better at
FB. WR depth chart: 84, 80, 89, 82, 88, 86. TE #87 or #91 should start. Use T
#76 at LT, G #77 at LG, and C #78 at C. DE #97 is suggested at DLE. Use ILB #52
at LLB. LCB #20 is the recommended RCB. Use SS #27 at FS.
New England Patriots: HB #33 should start at HB, and FB #44 at FB. WR #81
should be demoted to fourth receiver. Use T #72 at RT and G #78 at RG. DT #60
should be the DRT, and DE #55 should be the DRE. ILB #59 should be the LLB. Use
LCB #31 at the RCB position.
New Orleans Saints: Start QB #2 at QB. WR depth chart: 87, 82, 83, 88, 16, 17.
C #69 should be the center. Use DT #99 at DLT. Use OLB #54 at RLB. FS #21
should start at FS.
New York Giants: QB #5 should be the QB. Use HB #27 in Goal Line. Start FB #35
at FB. The best WR depth chart is 88, 81, 84, 85, 86, 82. Use G #67 at RG. DT
#97 should be the DRT. LCB #31 should be the LCB. Use FS #23 at FS.
New York Jets: Use HB #29 at HB and FB #20 at FB. WR depth chart: 80, 81, 89,
86, 87, 83. C #68 should be the center. Use DT #72 at either DT spot. OLB #57
should be the LLB. LCB #42 should be the LCB.
Oakland Raiders: QB #12 should be the QB. FB #32 is probably the better FB,
especially in Goal Line. WR depth chart: 81, 80, 84, 86, 85, 82. TE #88 should
be the starter. Use T #76 at RT, G #65 at LG, and C #63 at C. ILB #54, ILB #59,
and OLB #56 should be the starting linebackers. Use RCB #24 at LCB. Use FS #33
Philadelphia Eagles: Use HB #22 at HB. The WR depth chart should be 87, 17, 85,
16, 82, 19. TE #84 should be the backup TE. DT #90 should be the DRT. DE #91
might be a marginally better choice at DLE in Goal Line and 4-3. OLBs #51 and
#53 should man the OLB spots. Use LCB #31 at LCB. FS #20 should be the SS.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Use HB #33 as the HB in Run 'n' Shoot and Shotgun. FB #45
should be the full-time starting fullback. WR depth chart: 81, 86, 83, 82, 80,
89. TE #87 should be the starting TE. Start T #61 at LT and C #64 at C. DE #95
is a bit better at DRE. Use OLB #55 at ROLB. LCB #30 should be the LCB. FS #47
should be the FS.
San Diego Chargers: Start QB #7 at QB. Insert HB #35 at HB in Goal Line. FB #9
is best overall, but keep FB #44 for Goal Line. WR depth chart: 80, 81, 83, 82,
19, 87. TE #88 should be the starter. Use T #74 at RT, G #70 at RG, C #67 at C.
Use DT #97 at DLT, and at DRT in Nickel and Dime. ILB #55 should definitely be
the MLB. RCB #21 is the recommended LCB. SS #37 should be the SS.
San Francisco 49ers: HBs #22 and #23 are tied for best HB. DE #95 should be the
DLE. Play ILB #50 at MLB, and OLB #54 at RLB.
St. Louis Rams: HB #28 and FB #25 should be the starting running backs. WR
depth chart: 80, 88, 87, 83, 81, 82. C #60 should be the center. Use DT #90 at
DRT and DE #98 at DLE. Use OLB #54 at LLB. RCB #21 should be the RCB. SS #20 is
the recommended FS.
Seattle Seahawks: HB #32 should be the HB. HB depth chart: 82, 88, 18, 83, 19,
17. TE #89 should be the third-string TE. Use T #63 at RT and G #75 at LG. DT
#97 should be the DLT, and DE #91 should be the DLE. The starting linebackers
ought to be OLB #51, ILB #99, and OLB #94. RCB #27 should be the RCB.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: HB #28 should start at HB. WR depth chart: 19, 81, 85,
88, 86, 87. TE #84 should be the TE. T #64 should be the LT, and G #76 should
be the LG. Use DT #99 at DLT and DE #78 at DLE. ILB #59 should be the MLB.
Start LCB #20 at LCB.
Tennessee Titans: QB #9 should be the starter. HB #27 should be the HB and FB
#29 should be the FB. The WR depth chart is 87, 84, 85, 81, 17, 18. TEs #89 or
#90 should start. Start T #74 at LT, G #71 at LG, and C #60 at C. DT #91 should
be the DRT, and DE #94 should be the DLE. Start OLB #53 at LLB. LCB #21 should
be the LCB. SS #23 should be the FS.
Washington Redskins: Use FB #30 at FB. WR depth chart: 82, 84, 85, 86, 81, 13.
TE #80 should be the starter. Use T #58 at LT, G #60 at RG, and C #52 at C. DE
#99 should be the DLE. ILB #55 should be the MLB. Use FS #27 at FS.
All Madden: WR #87 should be demoted to third receiver. Start T #74 at LT, G
#72 at LG, and C #64 at C. DE #51 should be the DLE. Use OLB #56 at LLB and ILB
#53 at MLB. LCB #21 should be the LCB.
There are two substitutions you should also make. On some teams, you might want
to change the Nickel formation's fifth defensive back. Also, make sure that
your wide receiver in the Goal Line formation is the receiver who has the best
"Hands" rating; speed isn't much of a factor on the goal line.
Offensive Playbook [OFFPB]
A few notes: I always assume that each play is NOT flipped, but the mirror
feature (press SELECT on the play selection screen) is good to use from time to
time, particularly on certain plays or against a human opponent. When I use
terms like "B receiver" and "A receiver," I'm referring to the buttons that
correspond to the receivers on the non-flipped version of the play. Since
you're playing an old football video game, I'm assuming you have some grasp of
football theory, rules, and terminology; you know what a tight end or shotgun
formation is. That said, I'm still going to explain certain terms for the less
football-savvy. Remember that results may vary depending on offense, defense,
down, hashmarks, and other factors. I've tried to test each play against a
variety of defenses and with the plays both regular and mirrored, but there's
still a chance I may have misjudged a few plays. This game uses the same
playbook as the Super NES version of Madden '95, so you won't see things like
five-receiver sets, seven-DB "quarter" defenses, zone blitzes, or the "Philly"
or "Wildcat" formations. For those of you who are counting, there are 86 plays
on offense and 69 plays in the defensive playbook. While many of these plays
(or plays that are very similar) appear in the playbooks of today's Madden
games, I don't recommend trying to use this guide with any games other than the
Game Boy Color version of Madden 2002.
Far/Near (18 plays)
This formation is best for running, although it contains several passing plays.
The only difference between the "Far" and "Near" formations is whether or not
your halfback is on the same side of the formation as the tight end.
---HB Toss Sweep---
This is a sweep right play. You can often get a big gain, but if the
linebackers stop you in the backfield, you're looking at a loss of five. The
flipped version of the play tends to work more like an off tackle, reducing
both risk and reward.
In a counter play, the running back steps in one direction to fake out the
defense before going in the opposite direction. You can often get five yards
with this, especially if you have a back who can break a tackle or two. Running
straight up the hashmark proves most effective.
This play demonstrates the difficulty of running inside, even if you have a
good offensive line. You can't often gain more than a yard or two on this play,
although fortunately, you're also very unlikely to lose yardage. If you flip
the play, you can earn a few more yards, but watch out for a blitzing left
All of your targets are on the strong side of the line. The halfback (A) will
be running in real traffic, so your best target is the split end (B) on the
---FB Option Dive---
This is basically a plain old fullback dive. If the middle linebacker blitzes
outside, you can gain some real yardage. Otherwise, you're looking at a safe
way to earn two meters (72 inches, 6 feet, 2 yards, etc.).
On this play, all of your options are on the strong side of the field. The
halfback (B) runs a deep curl, while the tight end (A) and flanker cross. If
the defense is blitzing the linebackers, this works very well, especially when
throwing to the halfback.
If your quarterback is a good scrambler, this is a good play to use. If the
LOLB sits back in coverage, you might want to run. Otherwise, look for the
halfback (B) near the sideline, or go for the home run with the flanker (A).
The quarterback takes a while to drop back, so you could use this play as a
quarterback draw. The best option is usually the split end (B) on the short in
pattern, but the flanker (A) on the corner route is a viable alternative.
The split end (B) fakes a slant and runs a corner route, while the fullback
(A), who will be available in the flat, is a great option against the RLB
If your split end (B) is fast, he might just get open downfield for a
touchdown! If he's covered, try the tight end (A) on the in pattern.
Both receiving options are on the strong side of the line, and both are moving
toward the sidelines. This play can work against a deep zone, but it's not
great for first down.
A fairly effective running play. The fullback normally runs off tackle, with
the halfback as the lead blocker. If the strong-side linebacker isn't blitzing
and your fullback is speedy, try running to the sideline as if this were a
sweep; you'll probably gain 50 yards. Otherwise, run the play as you normally
HB Toss is almost as great as it is in Madden '96. Once your back takes the
pitch, zoom right and turn when you reach the sideline. You get the ball deep
in the backfield, so you should have a good view of the defenders in front of
you. Unless you get stopped in the backfield, which is rare, you'll be happy
with the outcome of this play. A good choice as run audible.
Your primary option for this screen pass is, of course, the fullback (A). A
fast fullback can sometimes zip down the sideline and score a touchdown, but
it's also possible to lose several yards. You can also try the split end (B) on
The split end (B), flanker (A), and tight end all run short hook patterns. You
can throw the ball as soon as you get the snap, but I prefer to give the
receivers time to get downfield.
An interesting play. Your flanker (A) stands still and receives the pass.
Meanwhile, the right tackle and halfback pull to block for the receiver. This
play can lose a couple of yards, but if you let the blockers block for you, you
can gain big. Don't forget about the tight end (B) on the post, who can make a
big play if he's not covered.
On this play, the halfback takes the pitch and must run all the way to the
sideline before turning. There's obviously a risk here, but a fast back can
"take it to the house."
In this play, the quarterback spikes the ball to stop the clock. It's best used
in two-minute drill situations when stopping the clock is worth losing a down.
In this game, though, it's usually quickest just to run a play. The Stop Clock
play appears in every formation.
Pro Form (18)
The Pro Form formation, also known as Split Backs or other names, is very
similar to Far/Near. It's good for both running and passing, and it's probably
the formation I use most frequently. The Pro Form has the largest play
selection of any set in the game (except Far/Near, which is really two
formations in one).
As with other rollouts, you want the quarterback to leave the pocket before you
take control of him. You should have plenty of time for someone to get open,
since both backs are blocking. The split end (B) on the post often draws double
coverage, but if he's open, throw to him! Your tight end (A) is a safer option
and can get pretty good results.
If you throw to the B receiver running the slant pattern, it's best to release
the ball quickly. The tight end (A) runs an out pattern that usually crosses
with the flanker.
This should be one of the rare plays that really gives your fullback a chance
to shine, but if you don't veer left immediately after taking the handoff,
you'll run into the quarterback and crash to a halt. If you have a fullback who
runs effectively and an offensive line that blocks for the run well, you can
easily gain 10 yards with this up-the-middle handoff to the fullback. If the
middle linebacker blitzes, though, you're looking at a big loss.
Both wide outs run short post patterns in this passing play. This is one of
my favorites, so I suggest using it as one of your three audibles.
The halfback runs between the right tackle and tight end. What more can you
say? This is a good general-purpose run that should gain about five yards
without much risk. A good choice as your run audible.
Both wide receivers run hook patterns. Depending on when you release the ball,
this can be a short, safe pass or a long bomb.
If your fullback runs well, this is an OK play, and a skilled player can often
net 10 yards. Stay left initially, though, or you may end up colliding with
your own linemen.
Here's a good passing play. You'll have a choice of two streaking receivers
to choose from - and one should be wide open.
The success of this play rests on the blocking abilities of your right guard,
tight end, and flanker. Dash near the sideline, and if your men make their
blocks, you'll be gone! If they don't block well (or if the LLB blitzes), you
can easily lose five yards. You can also use this play as an off-tackle if you
want to reduce risk (and also minimize reward).
Basically a fullback dive, this play will succeed with good blocking and an
effective rushing-oriented fullback. It takes a little while to develop, so I'd
use something else on fourth and inches.
This is another good play to use when you want to go deep on first down. The
split end (B) runs a deep post, and the flanker (A) fakes a slant and runs
downfield. This play is less successful against deep zones.
This play resembles other plays with "circle" in their names, although on this
one, you must get rid of the ball quickly. The halfback (B) is in too much
traffic to be useful, while the flanker (A) on the out is a very good option.
The key on this play is to avoid the outside linebacker and cornerback. After
that, you'll hit pay dirt and gain at least 15 yards! While not without risk,
this play is worth trying. The mirrored form of the play is generally less
effective than the conventional diagram.
Another fullback dive, but this one is a little different. The fullback takes a
pitch as he's moving forward, so there's practically no chance of a loss.
Unfortunately, you're unlikely to gain more than a couple of yards. Good for
short yardage situations.
In an end around, the quarterback hands off to a wide receiver who's coming
around the bend. Not surprisingly, this play is very risky but can net a big
gain. When you take the snap, watch how the blocking sets up and decide whether
you should run off left tackle or right tackle. If your opponents' defensive
line is better than your O-line, the answer is probably right tackle. Sending
the flanker in motion before the snap makes the play a little safer. End
arounds are also beneficial for keeping human players on their toes.
This play's name is pretty self-explanatory; every receiving option runs toward
the middle of the field.
---Hook N Ladder---
This pass can produce big plays, especially against certain zone defenses. The
streaking tight end (A) will be your primary target if he has reasonable speed.
The other option, the halfback (B) near the sideline, is also effective. If you
throw to the halfback, be careful to stay in bounds (especially if the play
started on the right-hand hashmark) if you're interested in gaining more than
ten yards or so.
As with the Stop Clock play found in other formations, the quarterback spikes
the ball to stop the clock. It's best used in two-minute drill situations when
stopping the clock is worth the cost of losing a down.
Single Back (9)
I don't like this form of the Single Back formation and rarely use it. The
problem is that your only running back lines up very close to the quarterback,
so the back can't get much momentum on running plays, and there's no fullback
to tie up defenders. And while this formation is OK for passing, I usually
prefer more wide outs and/or a shotgun snap on obvious passing situations.
This sweep right can easily lose a lot of yardage, but if your back is quick
enough, you can turn the corner and make a big play. Watch out for cornerbacks,
especially against Dime defenses. It's also possible to follow the left guard,
using this play as an off-tackle instead of a sweep.
This is basically a flipped version of HB Toss.
On this play, the quarterback rolls out of the pocket, so don't take control of
him until he's out of the pocket. The split end (B) on the deep post is your
primary option, as the flanker (A) often runs into too much trouble to be
As with other counter plays, the back fakes a step in the opposite direction
before running the intended route. It's easy to run into the quarterback, and
you'll seldom gain more than three or four yards. It's not my favorite play.
This play is designed as a quick screen pass to the flanker (A). You can gain a
lot of yardage with a quick receiver. You might also consider going deep to the
split end (B).
The back (B), who runs a circle pattern, is the main target, while the
flanker (A), who crosses with the tight end, provides more of the deep-ball threat.
See what I mean about the lack of momentum? This is a low-risk, low-reward play
that can sometimes gain five yards. There's not much to say about this meat-
and-potatoes play, although it helps if your back can break tackles.
Where's Reggie Wayne when you need him? This is a very effective Peyton
Manning-style play - fake a handoff, then throw deep to one of the two
Streaking receivers. It's a great way to hurl a bomb when your opponent isn't
Use this play to stop the clock in a two-minute drill.
"I" Form (9)
The I-Form has the fullback lined up between the quarterback and halfback,
creating an "I" shape.
On Quick Slant, the tight end (A) on the post is fairly effective, while the
halfback (B) in the flat will face too much pressure, especially if the ROLB
Both backs stay in to block, so you have a lot of time to throw to one of the
receivers (B and A) running deep outs. This play is exciting, fun, and quite
This counter play could fool the defense into thinking the fullback
has the ball. But be careful; it takes a while to develop, so it's possible for
a defender to sneak through the hole created by the pulling left guard.
This play is exactly what it says it is - a fullback dive. 1-5 yards is a
frequent outcome, but at least you won't lose any yardage. This works well
against stacked lines. If the line isn't stacked, you may prefer running off
The linemen take a step backward here, which may fool the defense into thinking
this is actually a pass. This isn't the best running play out there, but it's a
reliable way to earn 5-10 yards, and possibly more against a passive defense.
Both wide receivers run short curls. You'll be best off releasing the ball
right before the receivers turn. This is a great antidote to deep zones, but
it's good any time.
Student Body Left. The halfback takes the pitch, trailing behind the fullback
and left guard. Let the blockers do the grunt work and you should have a big
gain. One of the best running plays, and a good choice as run audible.
---TE Out & Up---
The split end (B) runs a nice in route that usually avoids most of the interior
congestion. The flanker (A) on the post will frequently draw double coverage,
making him a risky bet.
I really shouldn't have to tell you this again, but the Stop Clock play spikes
the ball so the clock will stop.
The Run-Shoot formation is named after the Run 'n' Shoot offensive system, as
this was the formation Run 'n' Shoot teams usually employed. It's similar to
Single Back, except that it has four wide receivers and one running back
instead of two receivers, two tight ends, and a back. Effective use of the Run
& Shoot formation demands a deep crop of effective wide receivers, as well as
an offensive line that pass blocks well. Flipping these plays won't usually
affect much. Because the field is "spread out," you may find it easier for the
quarterback to scramble, especially up the middle. Don't forget to use the slot
receivers, who often remain uncovered or covered by a linebacker or safety
(especially against a standard 4-3).
---In & Out---
Your streaking left-hand slot receiver (B) is the best bet if he's open;
otherwise, look for the A receiver on the out. Or if you're feeling nervy, try
sneaking up the middle with your quarterback and sliding - a fun way to grab 5-
A play action pass seems a little weird in this formation, but this play is
reasonably good nonetheless. If the B receivers isn't open deep, try
dumping the ball off to the A receiver.
Counter Left is a good general running play for Run & Shoot fans that can
usually gain at least three yards. The line will develop a massive hole, which
may or may not be advantageous.
The B receiver crosses with the slot man on a post, and the halfback (A) serves
as a safety net in the left flat.
A good running play, although riskier than some. Normally you'll run off-
tackle, although I prefer to use this play as a sweep if the blocking holds up.
Be warned, however: If the defense rushes aggressively, you may lose yardage in
the way that makes 320-pound men make ridiculous dances.
The B and A receivers will hook after about ten yards, providing safe, sane
Options that can get sizable gains.
A pretty ordinary passing play. The B receiver on the out and up can be an
interception risk, whereas the A receiver is generally safer.
In a wide receiver screen pass, the line pulls to the right to block for the A
receiver, the intended recipient of the pass. This may have trouble against
some Nickel defenses, but a fast receiver can make a very big play. If you just
want to be different, you have the option of throwing to the halfback (B) in
This rarely-used play stops the clock in a high-pressure situation.
The shotgun formation is good for passing because of its "shotgun" snap - the
quarterback gets the ball several yards behind the yard of scrimmage instead of
from right under center. It isn't great for running, though. The Madden 2002
version of the shotgun formation has three receivers, one tight end, and one
running back. This is one receiver less than Single Back and one more than Run
& Shoot. A good pass-blocking line helps.
All your receivers head deep. This is best used in desperate situations where
a quick touchdown is needed, although you could try it when you want to shock
the opponents or take advantage of a slow secondary.
As you may be able to construe from the name of the play, both the second tight
end (B) and flanker (A) run short post patterns.
Outside running isn't easy in the Shotgun formation, but good blocking will
reward you with a substantial gain. This is a high-risk play that can easily
gain 25 yards or lose five. Call an audible in the unlikely event your opponent
has eight men in the box.
---HB Draw Trap---
This can earn a surprising amount of yardage if the defense is expecting a
pass. Try to hit the hole between the pulling right guard and the left tackle,
and you should gain about seven yards. A bold player can try using this play as
a sweep right, but that's risky against a Nickel or Dime.
You've got to love plays with cute names like this. Normally you roll out to
the right and throw to one of the receivers (probably the slot receiver) on
post patterns, but you might prefer to take off running if you have an agile
Your two options here are the exterior receivers (B and A), who can make some
pretty big plays. This play is best if you need quick yardage, especially in a
Both receiving options run hooks in this play. Your best option is the tight
end (A). The halfback (B) slips through the line and may be wide open if there
aren't linebackers around.
---HB Shovel Pass---
This play is designed to be a shovel pass to your running back (B). It's a lot
of effort for a shot at gaining five yards. If your opponent is in a 4-3 (or
you see an open receiver), you can throw deep to the flanker (A) on the post.
Unless you're just curious, don't bother with this play.
Our old friend Stop Clock also makes an appearance in the Shotgun formation,
where it's probably most likely to be used.
Goal Line (9)
This formation is full of plays that are useful only in short-yardage
situations, especially near the goal line. There are two backs, two tight ends,
and a receiver - ideally the one with the best "hands" rating. Reversing Goal
Line plays will have little effect.
---HB Lead Left---
This is a halfback dive. If you need 1-2 yards, HB Lead Left is a good play to
use. However, it will occasionally fail spectacularly.
This fullback off-tackle is a good choice if you only need a yard or two. It's
not particularly glamorous, though.
---HB Lead Right---
Just like HB Lead Left, although slightly safer and more effective.
There aren't many passing plays in the Goal Line formation, but this is one of
them. The tight end (A) heads inside, while the halfback (B) sneaks up the
middle and then outside. Both will be in serious traffic. You could also roll
out to the right and run for the score.
---HB Cut Left---
Another short-yardage play - the ol' halfback up the middle.
---HB Cut Right---
The goal of this counter play is to avoid the congestion in the middle by
running off right tackle. Although nothing is guaranteed inside the five, this
play works very effectively, especially when you need two or three yards.
The Quarterback Sneak is a pretty low-risk play, but don't expect to gain much
more than a yard or two. But it's very good at getting that one yard! This play
succeeds about 95% of the time against the Miser and Tough Guy variants of the
Goal Line defense but consistently fails against the 53. You might even call an
audible if three men are blocking your center.
The quarterback fakes a handoff on this play. If the halfback (B) in the flat
is well covered, aim for the tight end (A). This is probably the better of the
two Goal Line passing plays.
It's unlikely that you'll use this clock-stopping play from the Goal Line
---Fake Punt 1---
As you know, fake punts are risky. This is the pass form of the fake punt. The
A man is safest, while the gunner (B) is better for longer gains. This play can
be quite effective against human players, if just for the shock value alone.
---Fake Punt 2---
Another fake punt, but this is a run. In this version, one of your blockers
takes the snap and plows through the line. It's hard to gain more than three or
four yards with this, but it's certainly worth a try on fourth and two if the
situation is right. It can usually gain at least two yards. Fake punts are
usually most effective against human players.
When it's fourth down and too far to kick, you will usually want to punt. And
this is the play to select when you wish to do so.
Field Goal (2)
This is a standard passing fake field goal. It's risky, so use it carefully.
Your best bet is the B option, and remember that the kicking meter won't
appear. As with fake punts, fake field goals work best against human opponents.
This play lets you kick a field goal. What a surprise! This is also the play to
select when you want to kick an extra point after a touchdown. Don't try to
kick a field goal unless you're inside the opposition 30 or so, though.
Defensive Playbook [DEFPB]
I'm not going to be as verbose on the defensive plays. Instead, I'm just going
to give a few details about each play; you can tell a lot just from the names
The 4-3 defense is the defensive set used by most teams in most situations. It
uses four linemen, three linebackers, two cornerbacks, and two safeties.
All of your linemen rush toward the left side of the defensive line. The idea
is to block the left tackle and allow the blitzing RLB to come around for a
sack. It'll take some time for this to happen, though, especially if you don't
have a fast linebacker. I recommend that you control the RLB if you want a
sack. The receivers and tight end will be matched up in single coverage.
Both outside linebackers blitz, while the linemen rush toward the middle of the
line. This play is good at stopping the inside run but is weaker against
sweeps and passes to the flats.
The same as Cheat Left, only to the right. Consider taking control of the LLB.
Even if you don't get the quarterback, you might be able to tip his pass.
This is a fairly well-balanced defense that contains the pass yet still stops
the rushing game. It may have difficulty with a Run & Shoot offense or passes
to the flats.
This man-to-man defense puts a little pressure on the quarterback by blitzing
an outside linebacker. Running the ball will sometimes be easier, although
sweep rights will typically fail.
Another basic 4-3 set, but this has the right end and right tackle on a stunt.
---Flex 2 Deep---
This is the normal version of the Flex form of the 4-3, which has two lineman
slightly further from the line of scrimmage than normal. In the 2-Deep system,
both safeties play deep.
A Flex blitz, with one linebacker blitzing.
This play is just like Flex Bomber, except two linebackers are rushing the
quarterback. It could have trouble with certain off-tackle plays.
---Flex 3 Deep---
A deep zone.
This is a very good way to contain the outside rushing game, although you'll
have to look out for streaking receivers.
Similar to Flex Stallion, except the safeties patrol the inside part of the
field instead of the outside.
The Grizzly set places all four defensive linemen very close to one another.
This version is designed to defend the pass.
This is the most balanced form of the Grizzly scheme.
Grizzly Attack is designed to put pressure on the quarterback, with the outside
linebackers blitzing and two linemen on a stunt.
---Dbl. Talon Zone---
No, it's not named after Malon's dad from Zelda games. The unconventional
Double Talon set is good at stopping outside rushes like Far/Near HB Toss. This
form of Double Talon is a zone defense where the linebackers cover the middle
part of the field and the safeties cover the sidelines.
---Dbl. Talon MZ2---
Another variation of the Double Talon system. The RCB focuses on "jamming" the
---Double Talon Stk---
The outside linebacker blitzes in Double Talon Strike.
The Cowboy system is designed to avoid creating gaps in the defense. This is a
Cowboy HB is a standard man-to-man defense that focuses on stopping the
opposing halfback (not the fullback).
Cowboy SE double-covers the split end with a safety - a good way to stop a
The 3-4 is similar to the 4-3 in many aspects, but there are differences. The
3-4 has three linemen and four linebackers, whereas the 4-3 uses four linemen
and three linebackers. The primary advantage of a 3-4 is it allows teams to put
more pressure on the quarterback in unpredictable ways. The disadvantage is it
requires specialized personnel, such as a massive nose tackle. In real life,
the 3-4 had nearly died out by 2001; Pittsburgh was the only team to use it. A
real team may have some difficulty regularly switching between a 3-4 and a 4-3,
but you can do it as much as you want in a video game. Don't overlook the more
unconventional forms of the 3-4, like Outlaw and Viper.
---Wide Zone 1---
This play is designed to clog up the short zones. Good against two-tight end
sets and passes to the flats.
No one blitzes here. With all the linebackers in coverage, it's going to be
tough to find someone open, especially in the short zones.
The DLE and NT stunt, and the LOLB blitzes.
Medium Zone will shut down a pass of 10-15 yards, but a pass to the flat may
Another good versatile 3-4 scheme. The defensive line rush toward the left side
of the offensive line, and the safeties cover the sidelines.
The LILB blitzes down the middle, with the rest of the linebackers ready to
stop the outside run. The strong safety stays in the box to help contain the
run even further.
Bandit is a strange 3-4 scheme that basically looks like a 4-3 with the DLE
replaced with a second LLB. The receivers will draw tight coverage, but a long
ball to a tight end could go for a big gain.
The LOLB is on a delayed blitz - too delayed to put pressure on the quarterback
if you don't control the LOLB yourself. The cornerbacks stay in to protect the
flats, but this leaves a serious weakness in the deep zones, with the safeties
single-covering the receivers and leaving a massive hole down the middle. Use
this at your own risk.
Three of the four linebackers blitz - a favorite amongst wavers of the Terrible
Three men drop deep, while the rest of the zones are covered by the
linebackers. This is a decent zone system.
Bandit Contain reliably extinguishes inside runs, especially those run off
guard. However, one receiver will usually be wide open.
Both receivers should be double-covered, and the outside run and flats will
also be well-protected. This play is weak against both passes and runs up the
Outlaw Weak is a zone defense with a standard 3-4 alignment.
---Outlaw Key HB---
The ROLB blitzes, helping to stop outside runs like sweep lefts. The focus is
on stopping the halfback, as opposed to the fullback.
Six men rush here. However, beware of the long ball if no one gets to the
Viper is a weird 3-4 system where the linebackers are arranged in a diamond
shape. It'll be hard to throw to the outside against Viper Weak.
---Viper Key HB---
This form of the Viper is better at stopping the run, especially the halfback
run up the middle.
Two linebackers blitz in this variation of the Viper.
The Nickel defense is best used in passing situations, as there are five
defensive backs instead of four.
Woof! Both linebackers are blitzing, so this is a good way to put pressure on
the quarterback without forsaking the deep zones.
One of your linebackers will blitz. Every receiver should be in tight man
coverage, hence its name.
This double-teams the flanker. A good way to shut down a particularly dangerous
Identical to Double FL, except this puts the split end in double coverage.
Everyone goes deep, so use this only when your opponents are in a two-minute
drill and are trying to gain yards quickly. It's best against a "Hail Mary" or
The Pirate set is a special form of the Nickel where the linebackers line up
near the center and tight end. This is a fairly deep zone.
The Pirate Double play double-covers both receivers.
Both linebackers blitz here, creating a six-man rush.
The replacement for Full Zone (the only change from the Madden '95 playbook),
this blitzes two linebackers and the middle defensive back. Of course, all of
the receivers will be up against single coverage.
The Dime formation is even more pass-oriented than the Nickel, with six
defensive backs and just one linebacker. Since it's weak against most running
plays, especially the inside run, the Dime should generally be reserved for
One of the cornerbacks blitzes the quarterback here, while the rest of the
secondary is able to fill the hole.
The lone linebacker blitzes.
The second cornerback and linebacker blitz, with the other five defensive backs
providing the other assignments.
The cornerbacks and linebacker protect against the short pass, while your
safeties drop back to provide a last line of defense.
The classic prevent defense. All of your defensive backs head deep to prevent
the big play. Because of its passive nature, you definitely don't want to use
it except when necessary.
This deep zone stops the outside pass but may be vulnerable against passes in
the flat. Good in a two-minute drill.
One of your safeties will be blitzing, but unless you take manual control of
him, you won't come near the quarterback. Good against draw plays.
This play double-teams the opposing flanker.
This play double-teams the receiver lined up at the split end position.
Goal Line (9)
The Goal Line formation counters the offensive version of the Goal Line. This
should only be used near the goal line or possibly in certain obvious short-
This is a general-purpose goal line defense.
---Miser Key FB---
This play is designed to stop the fullback.
Very similar to Miser Left.
---Tough Guy Outs---
The Tough Guy set is somewhat stronger against the pass - especially this play.
Interestingly, this is known as Tough Man Outs in Madden '96.
---Tough Guy HB---
Similar to Tough Guy Outs, with the defense keying the halfback and protecting
against passes in the flat.
---Tough Guy Blitz---
Seven men rush, while the cornerbacks guard against the fade.
The 53 variation of the Goal Line formation is excellent against the inside
rushing game, especially quarterback sneaks, but it is weak against outside
Not much different from 53 Seahawk.
This is an aggressive blitz.
Special Teams (3)
These plays are designed to defend against punts and field goals.
Here your personnel will be blocking for your return man in an attempt to get a
Here your team goes all out trying to block the punt, but you won't be able to
get a return.
Use this if you know your opponent will be kicking a field goal.
FAQs and General Tips [NOTES]
Q: What plays are the best audibles?
A: Here are the audible selections I use most frequently.
[A] A run (Far/Near HB Toss, I-Form HB Sweep)
[B] A versatile passing play (Pro Form Quick Posts, Single Back PA Streak, Run
& Shoot Hooks)
[A] A balanced defense (4-3 Cheat Left, 3-4 Man/Zone 1)
[B] A play that covers the pass (Nickel Pirate Zone, Dime Center Blitz) or a
blitz (4-3 Flex Panther, 3-4 Bandit Blitz)
Make sure to change your offensive audibles if you're using a hurry-up offense,
or your defensive audibles if the opponents are in a hurry-up. Against a human
player, you should change your audibles periodically to keep opponents on their
toes. In case you didn't know, you can change audibles from the "Set Audibles"
option on the Pre-Game or pause screen. Most importantly, select plays that
work well for you as audibles.
Q: How do I use a hurry-up offense?
A: I don't think you can in this game. If I'm wrong, though, feel free to write
in and tell me.
Q: How do I kick an onside kick?
A: As in real life, onside kicks are very difficult to execute properly. First
press SELECT to call a kickoff audible, and then press A or B to change your
team's alignment. Press A to kick the ball, and then keep your fingers crossed.
It takes a lot of practice to do this right, and even still the odds are not in
the kicking team's favor.
Q: Where's the Kneel Down play?
A: There isn't one. If you need to run out the clock without risking a fumble,
try something like QB Sneak from the Goal Line formation. Another option is to
select a passing play and dive backwards right after you take the snap.
Q: Is there fatigue in this game?
A: No. No matter how fast a player runs, no player ever gets fatigued. Players
could first tire in the console version of Madden '97.
Q: What's the best way to put pressure on the opposing quarterback?
A: Select the middle linebacker or free safety. Charge past the center and
squash the quarterback! Even better, start running toward the line of scrimmage
before the snap to get a running start. Better still...
Q: Where is the line of scrimmage?
A: According to this game's nearsighted referee, it's at the feet of the
offensive linemen, not the ball. With a little practice, you can line up a
safety or other fast player in the "neutral zone" and squash the quarterback,
deflect the pass, or stop the runner for a loss. This works especially well
from the Punt Rush formation when you know the defense will punt.
Q: Why is the computer controlling my quarterback?
A: If you don't press any buttons after the snap, the computer takes over. The
same goes on defense. You can usually generate better results than the
Q: How do I call a timeout?
A: Pause the game and select "Call Timeout," assuming you have one or more
timeouts remaining. As you probably know, timeouts stop the game clock, so
they're useful in a two-minute drill or when you're about to get a delay of
game penalty. You can see how many timeouts you have left by checking the left
side of the play selection screen.
Q: What penalties appear in this game?
A: Basically, you can get a delay of game penalty if you take too long to call
your play on offense, and on defense you can get called for offsides by moving
past the line of scrimmage before the snap. A few other penalties are rare,
like illegal procedure (kicking the ball out of bounds on a kickoff).
Q: What should I choose when I win the toss?
A: It doesn't matter, although it's more fun to receive first. If you're
deciding the goal to defend, you might want to have a tailwind on the kickoff.
But it doesn't matter at all.
Q: Why don't you include a player ratings section?
A: I include that section in most of my Madden guides, but in this game a
harder-to-quantify bar graph system is used. I could've used the team ratings
from the Nintendo 64 version of Madden 2002, but the portable and console
versions of the game use different ratings.
Q: What other tips and notes do you have?
* This is common sense, but if you have a good running back and a weak passing
game (like the Falcons), run the ball a lot. Likewise, if you pass well but
can't run (like the Cardinals), you'll want to keep the ball in the air.
* If you call an audible by mistake, just press SELECT to cancel the audible.
* The formation and play initially highlighted on the play selection screen is
"Madden's Choice." If you're too lazy or indecisive to call your own plays,
just keep pressing B and you'll get a reasonable play for your situation.
* Run straight if you want to keep going fast; zig-zags slow you down.
* You might enjoy slamming into opposing players after the whistle blows. You
won't even get called for unnecessary roughness for doing so.
* Unlike the console Madden games, it's very tough for defensive linemen to
deflect passes. This makes the passing game much more effective.
* Check out all of the features on the pause screen, like Instant Replay, Team
Profiles, and Drive Summary.
Comparing with Reality [REALL]
This is a brief summary of the 2001 NFL season. More in-depth information can
be found at NFL.com, Wikipedia.org, and assorted other Internet and print
The defining moment of the 2001 NFL season was Patriots quarterback Drew
Bledsoe getting injured in the second game of the season. He was replaced with
an obscure second-year player, a sixth-round draft pick who didn't even start
in college. His name was Tom Brady. We all know how he turned out. He led New
England to a 20-17 victory over the St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI, which
concluded with a memorable game-winning field goal at the last second from Adam
Vinatieri. The Rams were heavily favored to win the Super Bowl, with the core
of their Super Bowl XXXIV championship team intact but with a much-improved
The most improved team in 2001 was the Chicago Bears, who cruised to a 13-3
record thanks to a hard-nosed defense. The Philadelphia Eagles were also much
better as Donovan McNabb had one of his best seasons. This was also the first
of many losses in the NFC championship game for Philadelphia. We also saw a New
England-Pittsburgh AFC Championship - a familiar occurrence - and the infamous
Tuck Rule game in the divisional playoffs between New England and Oakland.
The 2001 NFL Draft produced many star players, like LaDainian Tomlinson,
Michael Vick, Reggie Wayne, Chad Johnson, and Steve Hutchinson.
Even though it was owned by the WWF (now WWE), not the NFL, no season summary
is complete without at least a passing reference to the XFL (which stood for
XFL), a spring football league that failed miserably. The season began in
February 2001 with low TV ratings, which grew worse as the season progressed.
Many gimmicks were used, like abolishing coin tosses to decide who gets the
ball first, using players' nicknames on the back of jerseys, putting a cussing
ex-wrestler (and then-Minnesota governor) in the broadcast booth, and having
cheerleaders wear very racy outfits. However, a small number of XFLers, namely
Rod 'He Hate Me' Smart and Tommy Maddox, went on to have moderately successful
careers in the NFL.
Frankly, I have no recollection of any game played during the 2001 NFL regular
season, except for the Jaguars-Browns game where the Browns fans littered the
field with beer bottles and almost started a riot.
Version History [VERSN]
I know the truth. You read the Version History first. Don't be ashamed.
Everyone else does too.
Date | Version | Size |
2-24-09 | 0.3 | 58KB | Began guide. Did half of Suggested Substitutions.
2-25-09 | 1.0 | 63KB | Completed Suggested Substitutions. Finished guide.
(c) 2009 Vinny Hamilton. All rights reserved.
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Contact Information [CONTC]
If you have any questions or comments about this guide, send an e-mail to
VHamilton002@gmail.com. Remember that not all e-mails will be read. Please
follow these rules:
Do include "Madden 2002" in the subject line.
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Do ask any questions you have about Madden NFL 2002 gameplay. I will answer
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Do tell me about any errors or omissions you find in this guide.
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