Tecmo Super Bowl Teams, Explained: Teams #23-#28

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

23. Phoenix Cardinals: On paper, the Cardinals really aren’t quite as bad as all that. They have good talent at the skill positions. Johnny Johnson is a quality starting RB, and the starting WRs are good enough to justify the fact that there’s three of them. Granted, neither TE here is worth writing home about, but when you already have three viable targets and good running, that’s not even a big deal. The only thing the Cardinals are missing is…a QB. Timm Rosenbach and Tom Tupa are each horrendous in their own way, and their combined lack of viability drags the entire team down several notches. Keep an eye on the condition of each, and ride the hot hand. They say that if you have two QBs, you don’t have any QBs. Since you very definitely don’t have any QBs, there’s no point trying to hide it. Like much of the offense, the defense is surprisingly talented, and that talent is somewhat well-distributed between each level. That said, SS Tim McDonald is the clear choice of who to use.

24. New York Jets: Before researching this project, I had it in my head that the Jets weren’t really all that bad; I have fond memories of playing as them, and had them penciled in around #21 or so. Once I had conducted said research, however, it was clear that I was giving the Jets entirely too much respect. The bulk of their woes are on offense, particularly in the running game. Neither Blair Thomas nor Freeman McNeil is likely to make plays with any regularity, as they’re both just too dang slow. The passing game is a noted step up, with a competent QB in Ken O’Brien, a pretty dang good WR in Al Toon (and perfectly acceptable WR2 Rob Moore), and even TE Mark Boyer is good at catching. There’s absolutely no depth to be had, though; any injury to any of those three is a huge problem, especially when the run cannot help you. The defense is a step up, however. Both ILB Dennis Byrd and FS Erik McMillan are good at their jobs and worth using. Byrd is the better of the two at his position, but I would still give the edge to McMillan; the CBs on this team are below average, so you’ll need the extra help in coverage.

25. Cleveland Browns: Alas, poor Cleveland. In 1991, the Browns were just a couple of years removed from their close-but-no-cigar late 80’s run, which to this day serves as the team’s last period of relevance. But they put up a dismal 3-13 record in 1990, and many key players on defense had skipped out of town by this point, so the Browns don’t even get much residual respect. That said, it’s possible to make them work with a ball-control oriented, clock-munching offense. As with the Saints, you’ll want to keep both Kevin Mack and Eric Metcalf as your starting RBs, but do flip their positions. QB Browns is the best version of a weak but accurate QB, and even though TE Ozzie Newsome doesn’t look like much, they can be an effective combination. The starting WRs can catch, but they’re both slower than dirt, which severely hampers their ability to make big plays (that and QB Browns’ aforementioned weak arm). The defense is mostly terrible; ILB Mike Johnson is very good as a run defender, but he’s slow and can’t cover. He’s still the best of the lot by leagues. The rest is the sort of despair only the Factory of Sadness can produce.

26. Seattle Seahawks: While not nearly as horrific as the final two teams on this list, the Seahawks’ roster suffers mightily from a near-complete lack of star power. No one on either side of the ball stands out, making it extremely difficult to determine what kind of offense to use. QB Dave Krieg is a poor man’s QB Browns. Yes, his Pass Control rating is good, but with Passing Speed that abysmal it hardly matters. The best receiver on the team is RB1 John L. Williams, who is unthinkably slow for a backup, let alone a starter. The WRs are slightly faster than the Browns’ duo, but neither is actually fast, and they’re also slightly worse at catching the ball in the first place. The TE group is the worst in the entire game, as almost every other team in the league has better backups than both of these poor schmucks. If you can figure out how to score points with this team, you’re an actual wizard. The defense is just as bad, and frankly, I have no idea who to recommend using. I will therefore default to FS Eugene Robinson, who can’t tackle but is decent in coverage.

27. Indianapolis Colts: I had no kind words for the Seahawks whatsoever, but believe it or don’t, there’s still one final, soul-crushing drop-off in overall team quality. This is it. We’ve reached the absolute nadir of Tecmo Super Bowl teams. The Colts and Patriots are widely acknowledged as the two worst teams in the game. Both are so bad that the question of which one is truly the worst is basically meaningless, and can only be answered arbitrarily. The Colts have actually kind of good WRs, meaning you could almost convince yourself this offense is viable if you’re drunk. But both QBs are utter garbage, so good luck getting anybody the ball. There’s no run game to speak of, either, although here I should mention that Eric Dickerson is missing for unknown reasons. He was kind of over the hill by this point, though, and I can only imagine his stats would reflect that. Man, you know a team is bad when the only player to talk about is a guy who isn’t even on said team. The defense is the very, very worst in the game by several orders of magnitude. There is no one here worth using, so just use DE Jon Hand and save yourself the mental energy required to switch players before the snap.

28. New England Patriots: But let’s face it, no matter how awful the Colts may be, you can sort of think of ways they might be able to score points on offense. The Patriots afford no such luxuries. Even though WR Irving Fryar and TE Marv Cook are legitimately good at their positions, there’s simply no redeeming either QB. For real, I’d rather be stuck with the Bears QBs. The RBs could be worse in theory (and I suppose in practice, since the Seahawks’ RB crew is even less talented), but they aren’t anywhere near good enough to make any sort of difference. And that’s a real shame, because with even a modicum of offensive competence this defense could make this team almost usable, if only in the Jets and Browns sense of the word. CB Ronnie Lippett is good and both tackling and coverage, and heck, the rest of the secondary is competent. But you can’t win if you can’t score, and you sure as shit can’t score with these guys. Or maybe you can; here I must confess I’ve never even attempted to play as the Patriots, even as a self-imposed stunt. While this may impact my credibility to some, it really shouldn’t – I avoid the Patriots because I have self respect, and I must insist that you do likewise.

That’s it. That’s all the teams in Tecmo Super Bowl. I miss the days when the Packers were terrible, and we all miss the days when the Patriots were a joke; it’s but one of the least significant reasons why Tecmo Super Bowl remains the greatest sports video game ever made. Best of luck to you on your TSB journey, and remember, if you know any Browns fans, be nice to them. Theirs is a hard lot.

4 thoughts on “Tecmo Super Bowl Teams, Explained: Teams #23-#28

  1. I did play through a whole season as the Patriots several times and won the Super Bowl a time or two, but it was definitely tough. It is what I do when I want to be challenged as much as possible and not just easily mow down opponents. So I will keep the self-respect with those SB rings with the Pats. 🙂


  2. Won the SB with the Colts last night. It was tough! Held opponents to 3-7 points in all three playoff games, that was key since offense was tough to come by. Had to finish Super Bowl off with Trudeau at QB for last three quested due to injury!

    Went to OT with SF and won after they fumbled and Albert Bentley powered the ball into the end zone one three straight one yard runs 🙂


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