Tecmo Super Bowl Teams, Explained: Teams #17-#22

I was originally planning to write and post this last week, however, after the murder of George Floyd at the hands of a white police officer, and the ensuing riots and demonstrations, and the countless ensuing incidents of police brutality against protesters, I simply could not bring myself to write a single damn word about this bullshit.

Black Lives Matter – if you take issue with this statement, leave, and don’t hit me up in the comments either because guess what, you’re a racist, and I don’t give a flying fuck what you or any other racist has to say.

I am a white man, and I have never once had to worry about the cops pulling me over just to beat me senseless, or worse, and for decades, I have been horrified to know this is not the case for Black people in this country. But just because I haven’t experienced police brutality firsthand doesn’t mean I can’t do anything about it. I am encouraging everyone to do something, too.

First, here is a list of some organizations to donate to:


Southern Poverty Law Center

NAACP Legal Defense Fund

Mass Defense Program

You are further encouraged to find a local bail fund to donate to, as well.

Second, contact your civic representative, whether they’re referred to as a councilperson/alderman/whatever. Demand that they work to defund the police, and make it clear that if they refuse, you will find someone who will.

Whatever you do, do something.

Part five of a six-part series. Part I Part II Part III Part IV

17. New Orleans Saints: The Saints are all about ball control. RBs Craig Heyward and Dalton Hilliard make an extremely effective “thunder-and-lightning” combination in the back field, and you would do well to call one of their numbers the majority of the time. I also like to swap their positions – Hilliard’s vastly superior speed makes him better at most Run 1 and Run 2 plays, and Heyward’s power is great for plowing up the middle as a change of pace. QB Steve Walsh isn’t completely terrible either, although the receiving corps is thin. WR Eric Martin is very good, but everyone else is subpar. On defense, the famous “Dome Patrol” linebackers of the era aren’t quite what they should be, but they’re still your best bet; use either OLB Pat Swilling or ILB Vaughan Johnson, depending on who’s in better condition. I would be remiss if I didn’t also mention Gil Fenerty, one of the game’s few legitimate return aces. Go for the return TD pretty much every time, you’ll need the points.

18. Dallas Cowboys: I know what you’re thinking. You’re wondering how a team that has Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, and Michael Irvin could possibly be this far down the list. While it’s true that these Cowboys already possess the core that would bring them three Lombardi trophies in four years (although Mo0se Johnston is somewhat curious by his absence, as I’m pretty sure he was on the team in 1990), it’s also true that they hadn’t done shit at the time this game was developed, and their stats reflect this reality. Smith and Irvin are both above average, if not the megastars they would soon become, although Smith also tends to get injured a lot, and Irvin is only the second best receiver on the team, behind TE Jay Novacek. While Aikman isn’t completely terrible, he (ironically) has accuracy issues. The defense is also less-than-stellar; the front seven has more names you’ll recognize, but none of them are any good here. I recommend using CB Issiac Holt, whose tackling ability makes him something of a lesser Rod Woodson.

19. San Diego Chargers: The Chargers are a surprisingly fun and sneaky talented team. QB B.J. Tolliver sucks, but at least he sucks in the “cannon armed, no accuracy” way. RB Marion Butts is fantastic, and one of the unsung heroes of TSB. He’s fast as all heck, and capable of doing real damage. WR Anthony Miller is also pretty damn good, and he should be your primary target just about very time you call a pass. Also, put in backup RB Ronnie Harmon in over Rod Bernstine, as his Receptions rating is superior for a back, and change out that dreadful toss/reverse play combo at Run 2/Run 3. On defense, you will no doubt be tempted to roll with the late, great Junior Seau, but alas, he was a rookie in 1990, and he just can’t cut the mustard. Once again, I will direct you to the secondary, where once again, I will present you with a CB who’s pretty good at tackling – Gill Byrd is lots and lots of fun. OLB Leslie O’Neal is worth a look in goal line situations, too.

20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Just like the Chargers, the Bucs are a much-maligned team that can do some real damage in the right hands. The Immortal Vinny Testaverde isn’t any great shakes at QB, but both starting WRs are pretty alright, and the RB tandem in the backfield is none too shabby either; note that both starting RBs can catch, as well. This isn’t enough to elevate the offense to the ranks of the Legitimately Good, mind you – I am merely pointing out that there are ways to turn these guys into playmakers, if you’re clever. For the third time in a row, the defense is all about the secondary, which is low-key one of the best in the game. CB Wayne Haddix is the game’s best, full stop, and is everything Darrell Green should be. TSB doesn’t have much in the way of shutdown corners, placing Haddix in rare territory. You will still have to find a way to stop the run, however, as Haddix can’t tackle too well, and the front seven is woeful.

21. Atlanta Falcons: Even though these next two teams made the cut for the second-to-last installment, make no mistake – we’re starting to scrape the bottom of the barrel. The next few teams on the list separate themselves from the Truly Dreadful just barely, and usually solely in virtue of having one or two stars, with little else to compliment them. Such is the case for WR Andre Rison, who is extremely good, and the other WRs have things going for them, too. But alas, QB Chris Miller sucks on toast, and he’ll struggle badly in most circumstances. RB Mike Rozier is also pretty good, but there’s not much depth behind him, so get out of bounds. The defense is one of those units where nobody is completely awful (except the LBs, who are atrocious), but nobody is that good, either. Even young Deion isn’t all that great, although he’s still probably the best player here.

22. Green Bay Packers: A quick comparison between the Packers and the Falcons shows just how hard it is to separate some of these lesser teams. Much like the Falcons, the Packers’ WRs are all at least solid, and Sterling Sharpe is a true megastar (and the only reason this team is this high). QB Don Majkowski is noodle-armed, but accurate, and therefore capable of not utterly wasting the receiving talent. Unlike the Falcons, though, this team cannot run for shit. While it’s true that passing is always more important than running, it’s also true that not being able to run at all can cause severe problems, especially when your QB kind of sucks. Good luck getting any consistent offensive production down the late-season stretch. The defense is mostly a gaping void. NT Bob Nelson is something of a legend in serious TSB circles, which I find somewhat baffling. That said, he’s just about the only guy here who stands out at all. 4

I’ll be back Thursday to close out the list with the worst of the worst. See ya then!

2 thoughts on “Tecmo Super Bowl Teams, Explained: Teams #17-#22

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