ThunderSim 2008: NFC Wild Card Edition

Back by popular demand, the TMS Super Simulator 2000 is ready to bring you uncanny predictions for the NFL playoffs. Everything has been retooled and ready to go as this year's version, which I have dubbed ThunderSim 2008, will take us through the outcomes of all the postseason gridiron action.

For those that aren't familiar with the simulator, you can check out last year's results here. Prior to the conference championships, the simulator was picking games with fairly good accuracy. The scariest sim was the San Diego-New England game that even got the exact score correct.

So let's get this thing crack-a-latin', in all it's 8-bit glory.

WASHINGTON AT SEATTLE
Spread: Seahawks -3.5 points

Washington is riding on pure emotion still after the untimely demise of 8-bit Sean Taylor. While he's no longer on the roster, out of respect I put him on the Tecmo AFC Pro Bowl roster.

FIRST QUARTER: Nate Burleson is hurt on the opening kickoff. I didn't have enough time to add 8-bit Suzy Kolber so we have no way of knowing the extent of Nate's injury. But from the looks of it, I'd say it's his leg.

The Seahawks gain minimal ground on the opening drive and after a failed attempt to convert on 3rd and 22 are forced to punt. Antwaan Randle El is injured on the return. Just imagine that picture of Burleson except change the name and uniform. Like Nate, it appears to be his leg. In fact they all seem like leg injuries on Tecmo. Must be the poor turf.

Starting deep in their own territory, Washington suffers a safety when Todd Collins is sacked in the endzone by Kevin Bentley. 2-0, Seahawks.

Seattle loses the ball on the next drive as Maurice Morris fumbles. LaRon Landry recovers. Washington takes advantage of the excellent field position and scores on a TD pass from Collins to Santana Moss. 7-2, Redskins.

SECOND QUARTER: As the second quarter begins, Maurice Morris redeems himself a bit on a screen pass that he ends up taking 23 yards to the Washington 25 yard line. This eventually leads to a 15 yard TD pass to Bobby Engram. 9-7, Seahawks.

The Redskins get things cooking yet again as Todd Collins connects with James Thrash, taking them down to Seattle's 22. However the loud 8-bit Seattle crowd seems to have Collins a bit rattled as he throws two straight incompletions before getting sacked by Kevin Bentley on 3rd and 10. Shaun Suisham attempts a 50 yard field goal that goes wide right.

Seattle goes 3 and out on their next drive and punt the ball for a touchback. The Skins continue to go the wrong direction as Collins is sacked for the 4th time today, this time by Patrick Kerney. A few runs by Clinton Portis nets them some positive yards but they inevitably punt as the clock runs out. At halftime, Seattle leads 9-7.

THIRD QUARTER: The Skins get off on the right foot to start the second half as Collins connects to Chris Cooley for a first down. The very next play Clinton Portis explodes for a 60 yard TD run. 14-9, Redskins.

With the crowd a bit deflated Seattle begins to drive in hopes of regaining momentum when Maurice Morris fumbles for the second time today. The air has completely rushed out of 8-bit Qwest Field at this point.

A series of 3 and outs from both sides occur as the quarter expires.

FOURTH QUARTER: With the ball on their own 39, Washington begins pounding the ball on the ground with Portis. After two big gains, Washington scores again on a 13 yard pass to Portis. 21-9, Redskins.

As the Seahawks struggle to come back they keep inexplicably giving the ball to butterfingers Morris. This time he holds on to the ball and gets Seattle into Redskin territory on a nice reception and run. Hasselbeck completes a few more passes and from the 1 yard line, they push it in for the score thanks to Morris. 21-16, Seahawks.

With time winding down, Seattle attempts the onside kick but fails. Washington however gets nowhere on 3 stalled out runs and Shaun Suisham fails to make a 55 yard field goal that goes wide left.

With time for one last play. Hasselbeck heaves it downfield to Engram who catches it, breaks a tackle and runs free before getting tackled on the 20. Game over, Redskins win.

Gameball goes to Clinton Portis who rushed for over 100 yards and scored two key touchdowns in the second half.

My thoughts? Overall not bad. Seattle hardly used Alexander at all, preferring Maurice Morris instead who came up with a pair of costly turnovers.

ThunderSim's pick: Redskins +3.5









NEW YORK GIANTS AT TAMPA BAY
Spread: Even Pick

Apparently they're both going with the throwbacks today. It's Eli and the Giants against Tampa Bay, led by whats-his-face and that one guy, you know, he was on that thing once?

Ugh, there are no winners with this game.

FIRST QUARTER: Very little offense, a handful of punts, and Garcia gets murdered by the Giants defensive line. The only score comes from a safety by Osi Umenyiora.


SECOND QUARTER: More of the same. Lackluster offense, punts, Ike Hilliard fumbles twice and loses the ball both times. The only score comes from a 46 yard field goal by Lawrence Tynes. The halftime score is Mets 5, Devil Rays 0.

THIRD QUARTER: Eli comes out firing to start the second half and throws it right to a Bucs defender. Even in the 8-bit realm, Eli's mild retardation gets the best of him.

As expected Garcia gets murdered some more. Apparently he didn't buy his line dinner last night. Tampa punts and the Giants begin to slowly move the ball down field on a series of runs from Brandon Jacobs and Reuben Droughns. The drive eventually stalls out at the 50 so New York on fourth down as expected goes for... the field goal? Wait, huh?

I shit you not they trotted Lawrence Tynes out there with a 5-0 lead to kick a 67 yard field goal. Take a look for yourself. Obviously he misses it, but get this, it's because it went wide right. The motherf'er actually had the distance to make it. Put that in your pipe Tom Dempsey!

Regardless, that had to be the bonehead play of the game, which was enough for me to want to fire 8-bit Tom Coughlin as well as the pixelated scowl on his face.

Of course all this nonsense leads to Tampa Bay immediately running the ball down for a TD thanks to a big run by Michael Bennett. 7-5, Buccaneers.

FOURTH QUARTER: Playing behind for the first time, the G-men waste no time and put together an impressive drive, thanks in part to the legs of Brandon Jacobs, who scores a touchdown. 12-7 Giants.

After an inordinate amount of ass-slapping, Jeff Garcia rallies his troops, and immediately throws a pick to Kevin Dockery. Way to go! Eli then connects to Plaxico Burress for a 40 yard touchdown, on a goddamn flea flicker of all things. That play never worked. 19-7, Giants.

Tampa Bay tries one last feeble attempt to score but fails to convert on a 4th down. Giants take over and run the clock out. Ballgame.



The stats speak for themselves. This game was absolutely atrocious at best. Eli Manning throwing for only 76 yards would be even more sad if not for Jeff Garcia's measly 25 yards.

Game ball. Uh, I guess Kevin Dockery for his 4th quarter interception that pretty much killed the Buccaneers' hopes of a win.

ThunderSim's Pick: Giants



Stay tuned as I bring you the AFC games tomorrow.

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