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Team performance in 2-player games: This is how we Tecmo!

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The cornerstone of my Tecmo Bowl experience is the 2 player seasons we run.  My friend has fairly equal skills, and each season is an 81 game journey to crown a champion.  We've played 6 seasons(with 1 short Tecmo Cup), and it begins by drafting the 12 teams.  I draft 4, he drafts 4, and 4 are "rovers" which we take turns controlling.  


We randomly place teams into 4 divisions, with 3 teams per division, and separate them into 2 conferences.  Random alignment makes each season unique, as it can create a very strong division, or conference.  Other times there's a good balance of power in the 2 conferences.  Overall it alters the landscape of each season, as the key games/match-ups change each year.  

Each team plays a 12 game schedule, with 6 as Player 1(home) and 6 as Player 2.  Each team has 4 games vs their division opponents, and overall 8 games vs their conference, and 4 vs teams from the other conference.  Each schedule is unique and has a varying degree of difficulty compared to other teams.  After 72 regular season games, we seed each conference for the playoffs, and the higher seeded team is Player 1.  Every game matters during the season, as we try to position the teams we control for the playoffs.


Over the years we have New York, San Francisco, and Chicago rated as the top 3 teams.  They've lived up to that by winning multiple championships, having numerous conference title game appearances, and many division titles.  Below is a season by season look at the conference championship games, and match-up in "The Tecmo Bowl".




Starting in season 2 , the 3 elite teams (NY/SF/Chi) have appeared in 7 of 12 spots in the championship game.  

On 2 occasions, all 3 elites randomly fell into the same conference, which occurred in season 3 & 5. 

Taking those seasons into consideration, the elite teams have filled 7 of 10 possible league championship game spots.  

Edited by Tecmo-Mad-Brad

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NY/SF/Chi are always the favorites to win a championship.  With occasional playoff upsets and parity created by our league's random alignments, the elites don't completely dominate in a manner which other teams can't at least compete for a championship.  That is key for continuing our level of interest in season play.  When the playoffs begin, no elite team is ever a sure bet to win the conference or championship, and with the right path and match-up in the playoffs, a mid-level team can make a run. 


In recent years, the elite teams have won 4 of the last 5 championships.  At least 1 elite team has played in 5 of the last 6 championships.

In the last 4 seasons, we had 2 elite teams face off in the championship twice.  For the most part they get there and win it, but not always.  


Here's a detailed breakdown of each team's success with Lombardi trophy and pennant denoting victory, and in the last column division titles.  

The red X denotes a loss in league championship game, and/or conference championship game.

Outcomes have been listed in chronological order.  New York for example lost their 1st championship game, but won in their 2nd appearance.




The numbers can be mis-leading at times.


For the mid-level teams, winning a division title can depend on who else is in their division.  Same with conference title game appearances. In years there's a far weaker conference, almost any team could make a run with the right playoff path and match-ups.  Miami for example got lucky with 2 of their division titles while posting only 5 and 6 wins.  Despite their poor record, the div title gave them a 2 seed in the playoffs.  Miami has posted "8 win" division title seasons as well, but they clearly have an inflated resume.   


Denver collected division titles back in season 2,3, and 4 while posting 9 and 10 win seasons, but unlike Miami wasn't able to capitalize on it.  Seattle has 2 trips to the Tecmo Bowl championship game, and both years, they didn't have to face an elite team.  They beat Cleveland both times in the conference title game.     


We rank New York as the #1 team.  They've won the most division titles (5), and it hasn't mattered who was in their division.  Their div. titles came by winning 9, 10, and 11 games in a season.  NY has shown that over the long haul they consistently win the most games of any team.  Their lack of offense has cost them in a a few playoff games, including a couple conference title games.  A few upsets have kept them from easily having the most impressive resume of any team in the game.  As it sits, NY, SF, and CHI all have similar resumes with each team holding an edge in a particular category.      

Edited by Tecmo-Mad-Brad

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How have non elite teams such as Seattle, Indy, and Miami had so much success???


In the first few seasons, there wasn't as much separation between the elites and the middle tier teams as there is now.  We were still honing our skills with all teams, especially those that eventually solidified their place as the elite teams.  This is most evident by Seattle (season 1) and Miami(season 2) winning their lone championships.   Note that Seattle lost their return in Tecmo Bowl 5, and Miami lost in Tecmo Bowl 3, and 6.  The level of difficulty for winning a championship has increased in recent years for those type of teams, but it's still a possibility with the right match-ups.  


In our rankings Indianapolis lands higher than Seattle and Miami.  Eric Dickerson coupled with a really good passing playbook helps Indy be considered more of a legit title contender than many teams, but it's still against some long odds.  Indy's championship in season 5 came in a more modern era, with the elite teams having fully forged their identities. Indy's championship is viewed as a greater accomplishment than when Seattle and Miami won theirs many years prior.    



Edited by Tecmo-Mad-Brad

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>  Chicago and New York: 

They've combined to reach 8 conference championship games but have never faced each other in that round.  

They won 5 of those 8 CCG's, but have only 2 championships to show for it.  

NY is 1-1 in league championship games, and Chicago is 1-2.

NY is 2-1 in playoffs vs Chicago. 


> Chicago and San Francisco:

They met in consecutive Conf title games, and also the next year in the divisional round.  San Fran is 2-1 vs Chicago in the playoffs.

San Francisco is the only team to win 2 championships, but SF has played in fewer conference title games than NY or Chicago. 


Chicago was the 1st team from to win a championship (since Seattle/season 1) without facing/beating an elite team (CHI/NY/SF) during the playoffs.  

Every other champion had to defeat an elite team during the playoffs.  The road to a championship is difficult.    


San Francisco is the only team to defeat 2 elite opponents in the playoffs.  They did so en route to winning Tecmo Bowl 4, beating Chicago in the divisional round, and NY for the championship.

Edited by Tecmo-Mad-Brad

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Championship game facts

  • In 6 seasons & 1 Tecmo Cup, 6 different teams have won a championship
  • 7 different teams have reached the Tecmo Bowl championship game
  • San Francisco is the only team to win 2 championships
  • Miami & Chicago have the most appearances (3).  San Francisco, New York, and Seattle have 2 
  • Miami & Chicago have the most championship game loses (2)  Both teams are 1-2  


NY, Chicago, and SF have won 4 of the 7 championships.  Seattle, Miami, and Indy as mid level teams each have a championship.  7 of the 12 teams have reached the championship game.  Seattle and LA are the only "non-elite" teams besides Miami to have a championship game loss. 


Conference Championship game facts

  • 9 teams have reached a conference title game
  • Chicago, New York, & Miami have the most conference title game appearances (4) 
  • Chicago & Miami have the most wins (3), & both have a record of 3-1


  • San Francisco, Seattle, and Indy have 3 appearances
  • San Francisco, New York, and Seattle each have 2 conference title game wins
  • New York is the only team to reach conference title game 4 consecutive times
  • San Francisco, & Miami reached a conference title game 3 consecutive times
  • Chicago, Indy, Seattle, and LA reached a conf title game twice in a row 


  • New York, Indianapolis, Cleveland, Denver, & LA each have 2 conference title game loses
  • New York is the only teams to lose consecutive conference championship games
  • Only Dallas, Minnesota, & Washington have failed to reach a conference title game  


Chicago and San Francisco faced each other in 2 consecutive conf title games.

New York and Indy faced each other in 2 consecutive conf title games.

Indy and Chicago each played in 3 Conf title games in 4 years,  

Both of Cleveland's CCG losses came against Seattle.     

Edited by Tecmo-Mad-Brad

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Season play facts

  • New York has won the most division titles (5)
  • Miami has the 2nd most division titles (4), & Denver & Chicago have 3
  • San Francisco & Indianapolis each have 2 division titles
  • Dallas. Cleveland, & Minnesota are the only teams to not win a division title

New York's recognition of being an elite team is displayed with 5 division titles!  In winning those titles, they posted 8,9,10, and 11 win seasons.  On 2 occasions, they even shared a division with San Francisco.  Miami has had luck on their side.  Two division titles had them only winning 5 and 6 games.  Denver has actually posted 9 win seasons in a couple of their division titles.


Cleveland, Dallas, and Minnesota share a division in season 7. 6 of the 12 teams have won 2 or more division titles.  Eventually every team seems to make it into the right division to win some games and make a run.  



Edited by Tecmo-Mad-Brad

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Playoff facts

  • Chicago has the most playoff wins with 11
  • Miami has 8 wins, followed by New York & San Francisco (7), & Cleveland (5)
  • New York has been a 1 seed 4 different times, which the most in the league
  • Chicago has been the 1 seed 3 times, for 2nd most in the league
  • Miami has been the 2 seed 4 different times, which is most in the league
  • Denver & San Francisco twice have been the 2 seed


Things get a little odd in the rock, paper, scissors side of the NY/SF/Chicago dynamic.  Chicago has been the most consistent playoff team in the league, but compared to NY/SF has the least impressive Championship resume of the 3.  6 of San Francisco's 7 wins came during their back to back title run in Tecmo Bowl 3 & 4.  Since then, they have been saddled with puzzling wildcard game defeats vs the likes of Washington and Denver.  New York has a couple demoralizing conference title game losses, which prevented them from winning 1 or 2 more championships along with having 3 or 4 more W's on the tally.  New York has paved the way through the regular season better than anyone else.  The lack of more playoff success and championships for New York certainly illustrates how every team will give you their best shot in the playoffs.            


Cleveland seems to win 1 playoff game a year, unfortunately its typically a wild card game, and they go no further.  They're never really a factor but have a better resume than half the others.  New York and Chicago have been the closest teams to having 1 more playoff win drastically re-write Tecmo Bowl history with their championship game losses.   


MIA  often being a 2 seed means they win their division, but are not the best team in the conference.  In some cases they had the 3rd best record in a weak conference, but the division title got them the 2 seed.  With that said, they have made the most of it.       

Edited by Tecmo-Mad-Brad

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Alignment for Season 7.  We played week 1 recently.  San Fran. Denver, Washington, LA, New York, and Minnesota all collected wins. 



Edited by Tecmo-Mad-Brad

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