Atlanta Falcons

11 Jun

This is the start of 28 team reports of the teams from the original Tecmo Super Bowl. Each will include an overview of the roster, suggested lineups, suggested playbooks, advise for playing against the team and common match ups.

Atlanta Falcons
Overall team rank: 22
Fair match-ups: Phx, NYJ, NO, GB, CLE

Other match-ups:TB, Dal, Pitt.
Best player: Andre Rison

Biggest Strength: Passing.
Biggest Weakness: Lack of useable defensive players besides Sanders at DB1.

Atlanta Offense
At first glance Atlanta looks like a powerhouse team in the mid lower tier. They have a 44 pc qb, 63 ms/75 rec wr, 50 ms rb and another 50 ms wr. On defense Deion Sanders has 75ms/56 int. Yet they don’t rate better than Ari or the Jets due to the fact that Atlanta’s weaknesses are hidden by these strong player.
At QB Miller’s 44pc is countered by his 31 ps. Which means his ball hangs in the air longer giving defenders time to run to the ball. Often against a team with a good DB (PHX, NYJ, PITT, NO if you can use DB2) the advantage of Rison Collins is completely negated. Backup Millen has 38,38. I recommend starting Miller but to check conditioning in the hopes Millen gets to good or excellent.
At RB Atanta has nice depth to go along with 50 ms Rozier. Two 38 ms backups plus a fullback with 50 hp. This means you can run 2 back offenses and it has one crucial benefit. That is critical as Atlanta does not have a true tight end. If the tight end position is vital to your running plays (r and s sweep right, t power dive or offset i formation) recommend that Tracy Johnson start at tight end. Beware that the OL has a 38/44 hp combo on the left side which against some teams will make top side runs suspect to good DL’s.
Wr is the strongest point of Atlanta and Rison is a top three wr. Match him up with slow DB’s and risk throwing into coverage when one on one with slow DB’s as he has the potential to break away in the blank screen. His long JJ TD potential is also high with his 75 rec and the low ps off Miller/Millen.

Atlanta Defense
The best thing that can be said about the Atlanta Defense is Deion has the speed to make up for a trio of dirt slow DB’s surrounding him. The other three defenders all have 50 int which is very useful if they are not burnt down the field. Always have an eye out for a wr getting a step on top safety while you are controlling Deion.
DL Mike Gann has 50 ms if you can use a DL and Tuggle has 44 ms. The DL has some decent hp and there is nothing of note in the LB core besides Tuggle.

Suggested Lineups/Playbooks.
The nice thing about Atlanta is that you can use either a one back or two back approach against the teams in the fair matchup section. I recommend a two back offense if you end up in a Pitt/Jets vs Atlanta and the standard r and s one back approach against NO. Otherwise use whatever playbook and line up works the best for you.

ATLlineup1 ATLplaybook1



Side note on 2 rb playbook.  This is the first mention of this subject in the blog as I have been developing my own two back attack.  I prefer to use the play-action instead of the offset Flare E as the r and s pass is a better play.   Plus with Rison at RB2 he goes deep on this play.  Which with teams with a faster RB is an added bonus as you get to send a 63+ms guy on a deep route while he maintains his running plays.

This play-action is deadly despite its 3 wr’s.  It sends Rison deep and often the man covering the rb is blocked in an only legal in Tecmo move.  Its the only truly effective play-action and with the bottom wr curl it makes a nice short distance red zone play.

Likewise I keep a shotgun instead of a pro form pass as the play is harder to stop.

The faster rb at the offset plays as I find the sweep works for 5 plus yards no matter if the rb has 38 or eve 31 ms.  The pro form up the middle run is often just as effective alone as it is with a matching pass play.

Finally either Collins or Rison at KR/PR for the 44 rs and if they condition up sub that guy as the return man.  Atl OL5 has 31 ms which is good in the original set up.  Punt returns will suck so just get out-of-bounds.

Playing Vs Atl.

Atlanta is a team that gives you a lot of things to take advantage off in a match up.  Namely the defenses lack of quality players and Sanders at CB1.  Running teams can exploit this weakness as the human defender is typically Sanders almost every down.  This means any run play that puts pressure on Sanders can lead to a big play.  Meanwhile the lack of speed in the rest of the backfield can be exploited by wr speed.  Fortunately for ATL they rarely play against a team with a wr with more than 44 ms or a rb with more than 50 ms.

We’ll use the Jets for this example.


The plan of attack favors a one back approach as these plays hurt the DB1 defense.  Each run puts pressure on Sanders.  Even the qb sneak can be ran up and the CB will have a blocker chasing him.  Then this running pressure opens up the passes.  Toon at wr 1 will have an advantage on Scott Case which grows if his conditioning increases.  Most of the other teams on this level have similar builds.  Several 44/50 ms rb’s, 44 ms wr’s and 44 pc qb’s.  There should be plenty of running lanes for the QB and open wr’s on most plays.  There are several options for run 2 mainly t power dive but one back sweep r, off-tackle R or even r and s draw will bring blockers to Sanders.  This will enable you to mix in other passes in pro form, single back and play actions.

Here is a two back playbook I like to use against the top defensive back.

nyjvsatlbook2 nyjvsatlline2

Again I am going for pressure on Sanders with every play.  Each passing play sends the top wr on a deep route that gives him the potential to burn by the top safety.  Meanwhile 3 of the runs induce a blocker to follow Sanders.  The third run brings pressure on Sanders similar to the sweep.  This play is highly effective against DB1 as often two blockers follow Sanders.

I recommend this sweep over pitch L open as the pass plays are better in pro form.  X out and fly has a curve upwards that makes it hard to complete deep passes to wr 1 and leaves that slot open for better pass 4’s.  On deep passes straight routes get more results than those with curves.  Against DB1 or LB1 this sweep play is just as effective as pitch L open.  Teaming it with t power dive helps to hide its weaknesses against linebackers.

In conclusion Atlanta is a team with big weapons and big weaknesses.  If your confident in your game with NO, GB and cle then they can be a nice upset win.  In matchups against NYJ, Phx or higher always let the other guy be Atlanta. Atlanta helps prove this Tecmo axiom when choosing teams. Safties>cornerbacks. Not to mention the old expression of all your eggs in one basket.

4 Responses to “Atlanta Falcons”

  1. Lou Raguse June 12, 2013 at 3:52 pm #

    Mort these articles will be invaluable once you do more. Must be pretty time-consuming but wow, great job.

  2. Joseph June 14, 2013 at 5:42 pm #

    Great article!
    It’s very helpful to have listed a team’s strengths, weaknesses, playbook options, and match-up strengths & weaknesses.
    When a defense relies on a single player as ATL does, it’s very insightful to ‘gameplan’ for that individual. I anticipate hearing a similar strategy when TB is covered, as Haddix is the team’s chief threat at CB1.

    • mort1237 June 14, 2013 at 6:02 pm #

      that gives me an ideal mentioning tb. to do teams by type of teams. it will take a long time to write all 28 but if i go in a certain order i can cover similar teams and in only a few articles give a player an ideal of how to play different styled teams. So that way by the time i have about 10 done there is a pretty good feel for what is in the game while the other articles are in work.

  3. Greg Wondra March 3, 2017 at 6:01 am #

    Good stuff. Curious of how you would rate all the teams from a user standpoint – best to worst – in every area of the game

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