I ran three games, Saints versus Colts. In the first, I let the computer play against itself. Second, I played as the Colts against the computer Saints. Last, I played as the Saints against the computer-controlled Colts. All three games were played with the default rosters and each team's default playbook.
Game 1: Com vs. Com
The Saints win the toss, but are quickly forced to punt. The Colts wind the quarter down with a strong rushing game, scoring a TD with a QB-sneak.
The Saints are again forced to punt, but the Colts later fumble. The Saints take advantage by immediately throwing a 45-yard TD pass. The Colts again screw up by throwing an interception, followed by a big 40-yard pass by the Saints, who then knock in a FG as the half expires.
The Colts come out gunning, throwing a 60-yard pass, followed immediately by a 20-yard TD pass. The Saints answer with their own 60-yard TD pass. The Colts return to their turnovers with a fumble, and the Saints take advantage with a 25-yard flea-flicker TD pass.
(note that both rushing totals are quite close to reality)
Game 2: Man vs. Com
I win the toss and as always, I elect to kickoff. The Saints are held and punt. I then fumble on the their 20 yard line. The Saints sting me on this by throwing a 60-yard pass, then score on a 30-yard run. I take possession and run down the quarter with a long drive, scoring with an 11-yard run.
The Saints bust me with a 50-yard TD run, but I answer with an 80-yard TD pass. I then make a big sack, forcing the Saints to punt. The half ends as I throw a huge 80-yard TD.
I have a disastrous fumble, which the Saints grab and run 35-yards for a TD. I respond by running a few and score a rushing TD. They drive, but I interrupt their flea-flicker to force a fumble, but they pick it up and punt.
(note the Colts accurate rushing total and completion %)
Game 3: Com vs. Man
My Saints win the toss, I elect to kickoff. The Colts run consecutive 40+ rushes, scoring a quick TD. I respond with a few runs and a 50-yard TD pass. The Colts are then forced to punt.
I put in a 30-yard TD rush, and then hold the Colts to another punt. I throw a big interception, but the Colts then fail to capitalize and miss their FG attempt. I take advantage with a big 60-yard TD pass as the half expires.
I open up with a fumble, but pick it up and run 80 more yards for a TD. The Colts respond angrily by walking all over me and toss in a TD.
Tecmo Super Bowl seems to think it doesn't look too good for the Colts. Of course, in TSB the Colts are one of the two worst teams in the entire game, but the Saints aren't much better, only three or four slots above the bottom of the list. If I combine the scores from all three of my simulation games, I get the Colts with 70, and the Saints with 108. That's a rough analog to a 9-point spread (in a game where the winning team scores less than 30 points), in favor of the Saints.
Scoring the Predictions
Watching the game tonight, I'll keep track of a few things to see which simulation game scores best as a comparison to the real deal.
- Toss-win coupled with a matching decision is worth five points.
- Correct quarter predicted punts are worth five points.
- A single quarter team score that matches is also worth five points.
- Predicted TDs or FGs in the appropriate quarter will count for ten points.
- If a predicted TD is scored in the manner predicted (either rush or pass), it will get twenty points.
- If a predicted 50-yard+ TD is matched by an equally big play, it will count for thirty points.
- Predicted turnovers in the correct quarter will count for twenty points.
- A correct total score for a team at the end of a quarter will count for twenty points.
- If both teams have the predicted total score at the end of a quarter, it will count for thirty points.
- Special or unusual matches, such as fumbles returned for a TD or flea-flicker TDs, will count for thirty points, unless they take place in the correct quarter, in which case they count for forty points.
- A game that correctly predicts the winner is worth ten points, twenty points if the score is right, and forty points if both scores match.
Prediction Matching Tabulation
First, I'd like to note that part of my inspiration for this was the Super Bowl 44 prediction that Knobbe.org's Tecmo Repository came up with in their simulation(s), using the original Tecmo Super Bowl but with updated rosters and stats. They too correctly predicted the winner, but one of my games is a much closer match (see below).
Game 3 totals: my game as the Saints matched up with a Colts TD in the first quarter, a Colts punt in the second quarter, a Saints TD in the third quarter, a Colts TD in the third quarter, a Saints passing TD in the fourth quarter, and a Saints victory. That totals up as 65 points.
Game 2 totals: my game as the Colts matched up with a Saints punt in the first quarter, a Colts TD in the first quarter, a Colts rushing TD in the third, a 7-point third quarter total for the Colts, and a Saints passing TD in the final quarter. That adds up to an ever-so-slightly more accurate 70 points.
Game 1 totals: the Com vs. Com game turned out to be the most accurate prediction. I matched with the Saints toss win, their first quarter punt, a Colts TD in the first, a Saints FG in the second quarter, a Saints passing TD in the third, a Colts TD in the third, a 7-point third quarter total for the Saints, the Colts threw an interception in the fourth quarter, a Colts 0-point fourth quarter match, a Saints TD in the fourth, a Saints victory, and lastly an impressive match on the Saints final 31-point total score. This all adds up to 120 points on my rubric.
My friend Doug told me that most of the betting sites had the game at between 4 and 6 points in the Colts favor, while my averaged prediction favored the Saints by 9, so Tecmo Super Bowl definitely did a better job with pre-game projection. Specifically, the computer vs. computer game was surprisingly accurate, with multiple hits in every quarter but the second, including the Saints victory score of 31 points.
This was a really fun way for me to enjoy the game this year, and the folks at the watching party I attended actually got a kick out of it, as well. I hope you enjoyed reading it.