We're not even 24 hours past the conclusion of yesterday's NFL playoff games and we already have the first video game prediction for Super Bowl 50 — and it's from Tecmo Super Bowl.
Put together by the disciples of TecmoBowl.org, who have a nearly monastic dedication to the science of this NES classic almost 25 years after its launch, the simulation uses the Tecmo Super Bowl 2016 mod that launched back in September. It features fully updated and rated rosters and all 32 teams in their proper divisions. (There were 28 in 1991, when Tecmo Super Bowl originally released.)
In the simulation, the Panthers get the scoring started in the first quarter when Ted Ginn sneaks behind the Broncos' secondary and hauls in a 70-yard bomb from Cam Newton.
In the second quarter, a 42-yard catch and run by running back C.J. Anderson gets the Broncos in scoring position. But Anderson then fumbles at the four-yard line to end the drive and send the Broncos into halftime empty-handed, trailing 7-0.
In a surprise change, halftime performers Coldplay are replaced at the last minute by The Mighty Bombjack Show. Whatever memories we have of Left Shark are wiped away by this horrid performance.
In the third quarter, Denver has scoring drives snuffed out by an interception (by safety Kurt Coleman) and a field goal attempt that clangs off the right post. Denver pulls within 10-7 late in the fourth quarter on big runs by Johnson and Ronnie Hillman, but Newton marches the Panthers right back, icing the game on a 20-yard sweep by Jonathan Stewart.
Here are your final game stats:
Neither quarterback turns in a particularly dynamic performance, foreshadowing what should in reality be a very tough defensive contest. A 100-yard rushing game in the compressed time of Tecmo Super Bowl is a pretty stout performance, so look for Denver to find some success by that route.
Ultimately, Tecmo Super Bowl is calling for the Broncos to shoot themselves in the foot at every critical moment. The Panthers opened as 3.5 to 4.5 point favorites depending on the sports book, with 44 to 45.5 points set as the over/under. Picking the spread with this kind of a game is not advisable, but if Tecmo Super Bowl is any guide, take the under.