Play Guessing Strategies and Using the Hash Mak

6 Jun

I’ve been taking a break from Tecmo in order to think up off some new ideals to improve my tecmo game. I always feel there is a way to get better. A new idea that can make a new advance. Recently I’ve been rethinking old patterns of play and incorporating new patterns of play. Although most of these articles have been on basic need to know concepts I would like to have some advance theory on here.
The other thing I would like to mention is I write in bursts. So I might take a month or two off here and there then do several articles in a burst. Typically if several big tourneys are up coming I will be more focused on the game and that is when it will be good to check this out.

We’ll start this with the hash mark in tecmo. Like in a real football game the ball is spotted based on the closest hash to the side of the field you are tackled on. Since there is an extreme advantage to outside the tackle runs, sideline passes and getting out of bounds most plays are ran from top or bottom hash. There are a few situations where the hash mark can make a difference in play calling.

We’ll start with field goals. There is more margin for error at the top hash than any other kicking location. It also makes it easier to aim kicks as the aiming point is just below the hash mark. You should be able to kick from all locations but you’ll find it a little more accurate from the top hash.

The second most important hash mark feature occurs on the r and s pass in play 2. The most common, easiest and efficient hot route in tecmo is on this play. Its a jj to the top wr. Its far easier to complete this pass at the top hash than the bottom hash. In fact qb’s with higher ps than 56 have difficulty lining it up at all no matter there pc. Meaning that on defense if you want to guess the second pass and not be in position to stop the easy hot route than wait till the opposition is on the bottom hash mark. On offense if you suspect that that play will be guessed than calling it from the bottom hash can lead to an int instead of a jj catch.

Naturally if the qb has really low ps or a really good wr they will not need to worry about this. Also if you have too high ps its hard to complete this anyways. Yet several qb’s do fall in this pattern. Ken O’Brien, Boomer and some of the 44 ps qb’s depending on who the top wr is.

Finally the hash mark can be used on various running plays depending on what type of space you want on the run. Mainly sweep plays. It all depends on if you want more space or less space. The advantage to more space is you have more move to maneuver but so does the defense. The advantages of less space is blockers are more likely to hit other blockers and free up down the field blocking. Recently I’ve been running a lot of the offset I sweep in play one and when you run it from the bottom hash the pulling line man hits the tight end and frees up the tight end to block down the field. It also means you don’t have to run as far horizontal before turning vertical.

Here is a list of a few more plays where the hash mark can dictate your play calls.

1. R and S pass one. On the bottom hash the tight end straightens out far earlier than from the top hash as he is running a sideline fade route. This means you can throw to him on the run from the bottom hash. Do it from the top hash and it goes out of bounds. This is typically open and with higher ps a deadly easy 10-20 yard completion.

2. Shotgun redgun slant play four. On a guess you can lead the wr in motion out of bounds for an easy out. The goal on this is to throw incomplete losing no yards and not risking an int as most hot routes do have some int risk.

3. Pro form up the middle run play 2. Is slightly more effective from the bottom hash if you do not have a heavy hitter at tight end pop corning the LB1. (This gives you a hole to run through) Often up the middle runs get too much DB traffic in the hole. Meaning you must run it like its a pitch. Often the containing drones will stop early leaving a gap to run through. That gaps is going to be bigger from the bottom hash than the top hash.

4. R and S run 1. Less space for the defender to use. Also it is more likely the blockers will hit more than just the lb1 if it is ran from the top hash than bottom hash. Less time spent running horizontal before breaking down the field.

5. Any run near the goal line. Space is your friend as it means the human defender has to cover more ground while you run on an angle. Meaning you can just run on a line and get the end zone just for using the hash mark to your advantage.

Now to go into a few play guessing strategies. As the hash mark discussion shows us you can gain some insight on what plays could be an advantage based upon where the ball is positioned at. Or the situation of the game. Here I will go into some common patterns you can take advantage of.

1. Failed run play. If you stop a running play without guessing the run play or guessing another run play the odds are pretty good that play could be run again. This is an ego pattern all of us have in thinking that holding a run play from its expected results is a fluke. Plus if you stopped it once surely you will not feel a need to guess it again. Due to these two factors and the fact the next time the defense tends to fail a person will repeat the run play depending on down and distance. If it is r and sweep you stopped the odds go up even more it will be called again. My tip off for this is if a person calls the play right away without any hesitation.

2. The play not called. This is typically a secondary run play or pass play that is not being called much or an ordinary pass play. At the same time you have not been guessing that play. Later in the game in the third or fourth quarter on either a key 3rd/4th down, red zone or the first play of a drive this play will be called. The thinking is that it is in reserve and you will forget about it in the back of your mind. Giving the other player one safe play from being guessed when they need it the most.

3. Red zone run guesses. The percentage of the defense in the red zone picking run goes up in the red zone. This is due to less space to be beat down the field. Making it safer to guess a run as you can’t throw a 50 yard bomb from the defenders 9 yard line.

4. First play of the game. Is often a play that is not one of the primary threats in the oppositions playbook. If you notice a risk in the set up. Like a slower back with a run 2 while the faster back has the key run plays in the offset book. A nice time for the offense to make sure this plan will work is on play 1. A lot of this depends on the mind set of the player. A passive person is more likely to call a safe play to start a drive (ex play 2 pro form run up the middle). An aggressive person is more likely to call an aggressive play (ex r and s sweep R). The last pattern is sometimes people fall into the habit of starting each drive with the same play.

5. Don’t make up his mind for him. If someone is debating punting or going for it you should not guess your play before they do. A lot of people feel that if you guess first they come to a decision on what you called and it helps them go for it. (Also in online play there is always the chance they could be cheating. Its sad but I played a certain guy or two and if he guessed too many key plays I would make sure he called plays first. Even if they had not been cheating this wait often enough gets them off your pattern.) The go ahead and call a play. Always let the offense pick a play first on 4th down unless of course your goading them into going for it.

6. Know the situation. If its fourth and long odds are its a pass and you should consider a lb or dl to maximize coverage. Yet on third and long a lot of sweeps are called as the defense is expecting a pass. Never forget most tecmo games are 4 down games. Rarely will you get a punt and should never expect someone to punt. Its more likely for a run to be guessed on either 1st down or 2nd down with no gain on first down. In short yardage running with the qb is more effective than a running play so do not lean run just cause the opponent needs 2-4 yards. Keep in mind what plays are harder to defend and what he likes to run. Every little bit of insight you can use can lead to one more guessed play.

7. Add your insight. There are a few other patterns I’ve noticed. Some defenders will guess the same play all the time as part of a strategy. Others will guess the play that just got guessed thinking it will not be picked twice in a row. What have you noticed in your games?

3 Responses to “Play Guessing Strategies and Using the Hash Mak”

  1. Lou Raguse June 9, 2013 at 6:30 am #

    Mort I believe the best strategy in guessing plays is using Jedi mind tricks

    • mort1237 June 9, 2013 at 11:56 am #

      Just don’t get tempted by the dark side…

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