In my 8th annual Tecmo Super Bowl prediction, I'll be changing things up again. For the first five years, I picked the team I wanted to win the game, and I played a game of Tecmo Suer Bowl against the other team, which was controlled by the computer. Of course I always won, but when I picked the wrong team in 2014, we decided I should start allowing the computer to control both teams. (My prediction was wrong again in 2015.)
This year I had the computer controlling both teams again; however, the version of Tecmo Super Bowl that I now have on my phone includes modern teams and rosters. Technology! Unfortunately, my rosters were last updated for the 2014 season, so there are some differences. But we still got to see how Peyton Manning's Broncos performed against Cam Newton's Panthers... in an ancient video game.
Regardless of how we got there, the outcome of this year's Super Bowl is clear:
The Denver Broncos will defeat the Carolina Panthers.
Denver won the coin toss (there's your prop bet prediction), took the ball first, and started at its 45. Running back Montee Ball dominated from the beginning, as Manning mixed in passes to Wes Welker and Emmanuel Sanders. The drive stalled in the redzone though, after a third-down sack by Thomas Davis. The Broncos kicked a field goal to go up 3-0 and never trailed in the game.
The Panthers had nothing going in their first possession and quickly punted back to the Broncos. Luke Kuechly got a sack on the first play of the drive, but then Manning hit Sanders with a 20-yard pass and a first down to end the quarter.
Manning opened the quarter with passes to Ball and Demaryius Thomas, and then Montee carried the ball in (get it?) for the game's first touchdown. Denver led 10-0.
The Panthers struck right back. Newton scrambled for 30+ yards, completed a screen to Deangelo Williams, and then scored on another run to cut the score to 10-7.
Manning got the ball back and worked the two-minute drill like he does in real life, passing to Welker, handing off to Ball, and then throwing a 30-yard score to Ball on a screen. The Broncos led 17-7 at the half.
Newton opened the half by gaining some yards on the ground and completing a pass to Greg Olsen. But things stalled near mid-field when Terrance Knighton grabbed his second sack of the game (or the total amount of sacks he actually had in the entire 2014 season).
Still, kicker Graham Gano banged in a 62-yard field goal to cut Denver's lead to 17-10.
Carolina's defense put the team in great shape, forcing a punt after another sack by Davis. But Newton failed to complete a pass, and the Panthers punted it right back. Still, Carolina stopped Denver once again to force another punt at the start of the final quarter.
Newton quickly completed a big pass to Olsen for 22 yards and looked ready to drive down and tie the game. Unfortunately, he was sacked on the next play and fumbled the ball. Denver's Danny Trevathan picked it up and ran it back the Carolina 11, essentially securing the win for Denver.
Ball took four rushes to get it in but finally made it 24-10.
Cam Newton threw four straight incomplete passes on the next possession (and of course, as a New Orleans Saints fan, I'd love to see this actually happen on Sunday). Manning took over, completed a pass to Julius Thomas, and then handed off to Ball for yet another touchdown. Broncos went up 31-10 to end the scoring.
Newton completed another pass to Olsen at the end of the game, but it was too late. He ended the game with 30 percent of his passes completed, compared to Manning's 90 percent. Newton did look good when he ran, but he wasn't nearly as good as Ball, who scored four times.
Here's a look at the final Tecmo Sports News. See you next year!