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The Pagel Bites Challenge

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QB Browns, as a result of a freak boating accident just before the 1991 season started (ok fine, he was drunk... what, haven't you read The Book of Tecmo?), blew out all the muscles and ligaments in his throwing arm...... and is OUT for the season!  Rookie Head Coach Bill Bellichick, only recently hired out of the Giants organization, has no choice but to turn the reins of the offense over to 31yo journeyman backup-QB Mike Pagel.  Browns fans everywhere are devastated at the news... having made deep playoff runs for several years in the late '80's, the Browns are coming off a 3-13 season..... and beginning to feel their existential ship slowly sinking to the bottom of the existential sea.


Is the Browns championship window truly closing for good?  Or can Eric Metcalf and Kevin Mack form the thunder and lightning attack the Browns desperately need to keep this ship afloat?  Will Mike Pagel rise up to finally guide Cleveland to glory, win a big game like QB Browns never did and avenge the ghosts of playoff losses past?  Will WRs Webster Slaughter and Reggie "Foghorn" Langhorne step up their games and get on the same page as Bagel Bites?  Will an aging Ozzie Newsome at the age of 34 be able to fend off young upstart TE John Talley?  Outside of LB Mike Johnson, the Browns defense is riddled with question marks....... who will step up in this raGGedy ass crew to force the critical stops the Browns will need if they truly want to make a championship run?



  • Mike Pagel is the starting QB... but if he gets hurt, QB Browns comes in but because of his arm injury he cannot throw any passes, just running plays and wildcat qb scrambles allowed
  • no punts or field goals (Bill Belichick rules)



Manyo's Pagel Bites Challenge to kick off later tonite........ live stream link posted at that time, with results posted periodically either here or on twitter (@gomanyo360).

Edited by manyo360

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Jesus Christ Many,.......your back injury is gettin' you a lotta PT.  I'm still on the first challenge......You might come outta this injury better than ever...some kinda unstoppable, unbreakable tecmo machine that even a slipped disk can't stop.............Hey, what doesn't kill you only makes you that much better in Tecmobowl!!!!!!!!

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~~Pagel Bites Challenge -- Mid-Season Review~~

RECORD: 8-0, 1st place AFC Central


ALL OF CLEVELAND IS ELECTRIC with the play of the Browns so far here in 1991, watching their team throw down a mighty gauntlet upon the rest of the AFC, coming in hot at the midway mark on a sizzling 8-0 train.  What had been anticipated as a toilet bowl season at first has internally combusted now within the hearts and minds of the Dawg Pound and ignited instead into dreams of a magical Super Bowl run, a dream rabidly inspired by the maverick stylings of new head coach Bill Belichick, AKA Billy B, who has somehow found a way to weave together a TEAM out of a roster overloaded with so-called mediocre players, an assorted collection of parts whose final sum nobody thought before the season could ever add up to 8 wins in total, let alone that many in the first 8 games.  The riding feeling within the Dawg Pound right now is a bright admixture of joy, mystery and an overall highness of life... alongside the GHOSTS, of course... and a shady sort-of-awareness of those ghosts... and a vague hope and unease that this Browns team---led by journeyman QB Mike Pagel---will FINALLY be the one to overshadow those ghosts, once and for all.


Mid-Season Review: Offense -- GRADE: C

RANKS (thru W9): Overall #16 (2,222yds), Passing #16 (1,379yds), Rushing #12 (843yds)

POINTS SCORED: 247 (30.9 pts/g)

As a result of the devastating injury to QB Browns, Coach Billy B came into the season with a "by-the-book" strategy of pounding the rock inside with bruising fullbacks Kevin Mack and Leroy Hoard, then lighting up the perimeter with outside runs to the speedy Eric Metcalf.  But as they say, a general's plans are only good until the bullets start to fly, and so it was for the Browns as their very first play from scrimmage resulted in Eric Metcalf breaking every goddamned bone in his body..... and after his limp form was dragged off the field and received gently by the buxom nurses at Tecmo Hospital, it would be three more weeks until he returned to action.... and then, in his first game back, down goes Metcalf AGAIN with an injury, so some more time for him eating hospital food and playing scrabble with the nurses, etc..... but it's a long season man, and after such a rough start, Eric Metcalf has recently returned to lead the Browns rushing parade, rattling off 110 big yds on the Steel Curtain in W9, and right now he and CLE are feeling GOOD about that fact and his chances to become the Browns much-needed play21ker down the stretch (gods willing).  After Metcalf's first injury, Kevin Mack carried the load for 133 yds to finish Week 1, but Week 2 he tripped over a sprinkler head and cracked his cranium, putting him out of action for a few weeks himself.  Amidst all these injuries to the top backs, Leroy Hoard and Brent Fullwood tried to keep the ground game churning, receiving plenty of carries but without producing much more than an occasional first down and generally good ball control skills.  Looking ahead, If Metcalf doesn't pan out over these last 8 games, one of these RBs is going to have to step up if the Browns have any hope of scoring enough points to win a playoff game vs. the AFC powers that be.


Unless, that is, head coach Billy B begins putting more faith in a burgeoning Browns passing game, which has mostly alternated between sparks and fizzles, but more to the sparky side of late.  Reviews of QB Mike Pagel, however, are almost universally positive: he is currently #4 in the NFL with a 161.2 passer rating, tossing 13 TDs against 2 INTs on 90 pass attempts..... some analysts believe his numbers would be even better, however, if not for SEVERAL drops from Browns RBs and WRs this season.  The WRs in particular have been sort of a hot mess.... well, except for Brian Brennan, who has emerged from obscurity to lay a strangle claim on the starting WR2 spot since early in the season, and has easily been the Browns leading receiver so far with a gritty 13/522/6..... Foghorn Langhorne started the season out BAD, but has been running better of late, mostly at WR1, pulling in 6/229/3..... whereas preseason ace WR Webster Slaughter, a Pro Bowler in 1989, has not received the targets he feels he deserves and expressed those feelings in what we shall refer to here as "inappropriate" ways, and thusly relegated to bench monkey status he caught a mere 4/92/1 in the first half, BUT---he has been playing his way back out of the doghouse of late, and been exhibiting a better team-first attitude, and thanks to a a few nice punt returns last game the door remains open for this young and talented receiver to put his unique stamp on this season rest of way (gods willing).  At TE, John Talley (brother of Darryl) has received most of the first half playing time, taking over for the aging Ozzie Newsome early on... BUT, Talley is starting to show some wear and tear himself in what is largely a blocking role in this offense, and a freshened Ozzie has been starting to take more snaps from him, sooooo................ WE'LL SEE!!!


Mid-Season Review: Defense -- GRADE: A-

RANKS (thru W9): Overall #1 (997yds), Passing #1 (512yds), Rushing #1 (485yds)

POINTS ALLOWED: 55 (6.9 pts/g)

The greatest source of joy so far for the Dawg Pound this season, without a doubt, has come from witnessing this savage cast of characters come together to play great team defense, stomping and suffocating their opponents out with a great joy of battle singing in their hearts.  A lot of questions were asked about this squad in the preseason, and to be honest a lot of questions still remain to be answered in the back-end.... but the front 7 has simply been dominant.  DL Robert Banks almost single-handedly shutdown the Jets in a W5 shutout, garnering a few drone sacks, including a fumble he forced and returned for a TD, as well as a safety on NYJ QB Ken O'Brien.  But the strength of this defense is in its heart, fielding one of the most underrated LB crews in all of Tecmo, all of them MANable if the situation warrants.  At LB1, Tony Blaylock has collected 9 sacks, and with his 38int played some great pass defense as well.  LB3 Mike Johnson, perhaps the most talented LB and defender on this team, has struggled at times this season, but has persevered thru the BAD to cash in on 9 sacks, and put several big pancake tackles on the opposition as well.  LB4 Clay Matthews has also played a critical role in stopping several teams that like to run to the top.  But the surprise star of the season so far has been LB2 David Grayson, who immediately jumped into EXC condition after the first game and continued to show upper-level skills for several games thereafter, checking in with 6 sacks, 1 INT, and a handful of passes defended.  In the secondary, Frank Minnifield and Felix Wright each picked off a pair of passes in the first few games of the season, but since then have been quiet, very quiet...... but one of them will need to step up down the stretch here if the Browns want to slay a pass-happy giant in the AFC playoffs and realize their dream of getting to and winning: Da Supah Bowl....... WE'LL SEE!!!







Beware all ye who travel beyond this point, into the 2nd half of a tecmo season....... for here there be Juice, and here there be Monsters..... and here there be Monsters that feed upon Juice, that sweet nectar of the gods, and grow monstrous in their various attributes, ready and waiting for any false tecmo warrior they might catch slippin, so... watch ya step bwa!

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I started my own Pagel Bites challenge thanks to @manYo720 err @madmanyo360 's inspiration. As he described, Bill Belichek was the Browns coach from 91 - 95. He also had a Defensive Coordinator through those years that ya might have heard of. A legacy kid whose dad used to coach the Patriots, the Bills and the Broncos. Yep, Nick Saban was the Browns' defensive coordinator. The head coach of the current Super Bowl Champs (at least for another couple of weeks, perhaps more) as well as the head coach of the current College Football Champions, both on the same coaching staff. The 1991 season is a treasure trove of trivia. Anyway. I'm through 13 games and I played it a slightly bit different (unknowingly) by not running with RBs at all (Sorry to the Mack Attack).  No lurching and no resets of course.



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