Play Analyzing: Running Basics, weak run plays and the LB4 lurch

21 Jun

Analyzing the plays in Tecmo super bowl is another important aspect along with team evaluations.  This will give you a better ideal about each play.  Why plays are strong and why others are weak.  This way you will have an ideal of what to do with and against each play.  However, this guide isn’t any good unless you practice the techniques shown and mention.  I will add video whenever possible but ideally you should learn each of these techniques yourself.

I will begin with a few running basics.  Excluding reverses (and the fake reverse run play) the runs can be classified into four categories based upon there blocking.  Outside runs with several blockers are classified as sweeps.  Plays where two linemen attack a defender are classified as stunts.  Plays where the back runs through a hole created without a stunt will be called standard runs.  These plays are typically up the middle runs but can be off tackle and outside runs.  Plays with a lead blocker will be called leads.

These categories give a basic description of what to expect on each run.  On a sweep and a lead play you can expect blockers to go down the field and block the second level.  On standard runs and stunts most of the blocking occurs at the line of scrimmage and the drones typically are all engaged by the time the running back has the ball.

Most of these articles will be done in sets at least for the medium strength runs.  Often the same play occurs twice or similar plays are present.  The best run plays will each have its own article.  ISo without further ado I will break down some of the worst running plays in Tecmo.

WR Reverse L


The only reverse I can get to consistant positive yards.  The trick is to turn around after the hand off and run forward.  You also need to have all the other motion plays but a fast wr might get 5 yards once or twice.  Since there is one tourney not allowing playbook changes as of this date it is important to note this.

WR Reverse R


Reverse Pitch R


Due to the delayed pitch you can grapple the WR getting the reverse and cause a fumble.

Pitch L Fake


Standard run with play fake.

These four plays all have the same major flaw.  A reverse is meant to take the defense by surprise due to the speed of the game.  In fact this is why most play actions and play fakes do not work.  It takes way to long to set up and is a giveaway.  In the case of the reverses the blocking going back is horrible as often the defense gets major penetration.  The other weakness is the recipient of the reverse stands still on the sideline waiting for the reverse instead of coming to the ball.  In the case of the fake reverse run the play fake takes way to long and can easily be broken up by diving into the rb during the fake.  The only one of these plays I have had limited success with is WR reverse L but I would never run it outside of a tourney that disallows playbook changes.

WTE offtackle R


Standard run ran off tackle.

Formation 2 te

Strengths: none

Weakness: The hand of is delayed which enables any LB4 to run in and dive during the hand off and tackle the running back.  The blocker assigned to LB4 will not follow lb 4.  This technique also stops the flea flicker ran in the same formation.  Also the two te formation appears only twice in tecmo adding another weakness as the second it is called the defense knows its this or the flea flicker.

Shotgun C draw


Standard run with draw.

Formation: Shotgun

Strengths: A fast runner or a good tapper might be able to make something happen on this play once or twice while running a shotgun pass.

Weaknesses: If it is recognized at the snap and blitzed by a LB then the defender will tackle the rb every time right after getting the pitch.  A great middle LB in good or excellent might even be able to force a fumble though it is extremely rare.  If the blocking isn’t good then by the time you get to the line of scrimmage the human and several drones might be waiting for you at the line of scrimmage.

T Fake Sweep R and LB4 Lurch


Standard run with play fake.

Formation: Pro Form

Strengths: A fast running back might make it work if the defense is not expecting it.  If Pro t dive has a fast back then this play could be ran for big yards once or twice.  The problem is pro t dive isn’t the greatest play an neither is the play action pass that goes with these two plays.

Weaknesses: Like all play fakes it takes too long to set up.  By the time you get the hand off the defense will be able to tell it is not pro t dive or the play-action.  (play-actions are given away rather quickly since the wr’s go on routes instead of blocking.)  The pitch adds a second or two more to the play which enables the human defender to jump to the rb by the time you reach the line of scrimmage.  Typically the blocking isn’t great either.

Sometimes the LB 4 can hit the rb causing a fumble when the ball is pitched.

It also is impossible to use against a great LB 4 as it is weak to the LB4 lurch.  The LB4 lurch is performed by running diagonally towards the qb and tapping B to dive.  Typically the LB makes an incredible dive that tackles anything in the middle of the field.  Note the LB 4 lurch is perfectly legal in all tourneys an online play and very efficient if the LB is good enough. These guys pull it off every time.  Greene Rams, Fletcher Den, Bennett Bills, Childress Hou, Haley SF)  Also depending on good conditioning Banks NYG, Joyner PHI and Chris Martin KC if in excellent.  Typically in online league players will move a good lb here to shut down plays weak to LB4 and force game play into the R and S playbooks.    Plays weak to the LB4 lurch besides this are Pro T Dive, T Power Dive, FB Power Dive, Play Action, T Play Action D, Play Action Z in.

T Offtackle R


Lead Run play

formation: pro form

Strengths: If not for a big flaw this would be an awesome play.  The lead blocker almost always does a chop block.  It opens up a  nice whole to run for at least 5 yards.  More if you can get the chop block to take out the human.  It can work well when teamed with the pro t sweep as your first run along with several pro form passes.  Its best use is to make someone use a weaker LB instead of a better DB on passes.  Bo Jackson and Sanders can even pull it off despite the big flaw.

Weakness: The big flaw is the same as WTE offtackle.  The hand off is delayed and LB 4 can easily run into the whole and tackle the rb.  Unless you have 69 or 75 ms there is no way to avoid the dive tackle.

Shotgun Draw


Standard run with slight delay.

formation: shotgun

Strengths: Shotgun draw should be called shotgun pitch as it is a direct snap with only a momentary delay before the human has control of the rb.  It is effective with the use of shotgun passes, faster running backs and good blocking.  Had it been a run 4 it would be a very good play.

Weaknesses:  The biggest problem is this play is that run 3 is the most important run plays are run threes.  The four to five plays ahead of it are too important to give up for shotgun draw.  The weakness of the draw is that even with the slight delay it is too long a delay for anything more than a once or twice surprise.  The wr’s give it away by blocking and by the time the line of scrimmage is reached good drones will be ready to help the human defender.

In conclusion.  Bad running plays are typically bad because they take too long to set up.  The longer it takes a play to set up the more time the defense has to defend it.  In an ideal playbook a run should be callable for 3 yards plus at anytime barring 3rd/4th and long.  A play being kept in reserve to fool the defense or to get better pass coverage weakens the other running plays.  Since those plays are more likely to be guessed as it is obvious you will only call the weak play once or twice in a game.

Here is an example of some other weak runs and how to stop them.


4 Responses to “Play Analyzing: Running Basics, weak run plays and the LB4 lurch”

  1. groomsy November 7, 2013 at 2:39 pm #

    I really enjoyed this post. A friend of mine recently purchased TSB NES on eBay and I dusted my NES off and brought it into the office. We play at least one game a day, usually during lunch. I knew the plays mattered, but I couldn’t put my finger on why they mattered so much. Obviously if you have a ton of Play Action passes, you leave yourself quite vulnerable to a sack, but other then that, I hadn’t analyzed it that much.

    Anyway, I just wanted to say “Thank you” and I’d like to see more.

    P.S. The matchup breakdown has made our games much more competitive. It’s interesting to see what matchups are good matchups, despite them seeming to be lopsided

    • mort1237 December 18, 2013 at 3:01 pm #

      Hey sorry it took so long to get back to you. I had some real life issues that took a while to take care off. Now that I have more free time and new ideals I plan to write several more articles over the next five months.


  1. Follow up: Buffalo Champ Qualifiers | tecmo101 - January 21, 2014

    […] Use the LB 4 Lurch against the up the middle and play action up the middle.  Those are the formation shift plays.  […]

  2. Last minute Madison Prep. | tecmo101 - March 2, 2014

    […]… […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: