Well, that was quite something. In one of the tightest leagues in a long time, lots of us could’ve gone through to the playoffs in week 13. Although as we saw in the preview, there was a lot of relying on the results of other matchups to get there. Now here we are on the other side and we know the playoff teams are the Storm, Pirates, Roadrunners, Seagulls, Meltdown, Rapscallions, Barbarians and Hellfire. Well done to those GMs who made it and commiserations to those now trying to avoid the Stuart.
Just in case you missed it, at the end of the regular season, here are the standings:
And here are the playoff quarter-final fixtures:
If you need to know why some teams missed out, you can check the tiebreak rules in my preview here. Or ask Luke. Anyway, here’s the bit where I embarrass myself with the results of my predictions.
Storm v Longbows
Coach Preece had a slow start to the season, waiting for week 5 for his first win. But he made good use of his waiver wire priority and put together a five-week winning streak between games 7 – 11, and only narrowly lost last week.
Coach Carr has had some excellent wins this season but has lacked the consistency to put together a long string of Ws, despite having Brees, Shady, and Julio in his starting line up.
The last matchup of these two teams resulted in the biggest margin of victory of the season and, while the margin might not be so wide, I don’t see the result being any different this week. Storm win.
Turns out I was right here. Whoop. This matchup was miles closer than predictions. With Brees throwing 3 INTs and no touchdowns, and the WRs underperforming, it was left to Vontaze Burfict to keep the Storm in the game with his 40.25 points.
The ‘bows entire defence scored only 30.5 points and Caz just didn’t have enough in the tank to catch the Storm this time.
Murder V Footsoldiers
I don’t think many of us expected the commish to be 5-7 at this point, least of all TK himself. After getting off to a flyer in week one against the Storm, and pinning his hopes on Brady’s come back, he’s struggled to put a run together and finds himself 3rd in the South division and 13th overall.
Olly’s footsoldiers are one of the many 6-6 teams fighting for a playoff spot, but with five losses on the trot, confidence in their general may be ebbing away. Lead quarterback Mariota is on a bye week in this crucial matchup, making life tricky in rivalry week.
Murder to go 6-7 with a win over the squaddies.
2-0 for my predictions. Despite Brady only scoring 14, the Murder won through with solid games from Hilton, Ware, Hauschka and Olivier Vernon. On the other hand, the Foot Soldiers failed to put up big numbers with Davante Adams only scoring 1.50 from 17 yards on 1 reception.
Pirates V Gulls
With Rocky on 7-5 and TC on 6-6, this is one of the games that could end in a tie so it’s all to play for for the Pirates. Antonio Brown is hitting his stride but Big Ben has been sporadic at best. TC doesn’t have the big points scorer like Brown in there but steady Stafford and Mel Gordon et al may be consistent enough to see the tiebreak rules come in to play in North. Rocky is probably too reliant on other results to reach the championship this time.
Gulls to win in a closer game than Yahoo predicts, predictably.
3-0. Although I did say it’d be closer than Yahoo predicts and I was wrong. Whoops. The Pirates had Big Ben, Antonio Brown, and Freeman putting up big scores for their O-line but Stafford has hit form for the Gulls and the rest of TC’s offence did enough to get the W. Plus they had 93 points on the bench. Could the Brighton franchise get back-to-back rings?
Bombers v Whippets
On 4-8, the Bombers, who my other half still thinks are from Brighton and have the most inappropriate name ever, have had a bad season and will have their eyes on getting an early draft pick in 2017. The Dogs had a brilliant start to the season heading out to 6-1 but the Cousins-led team have fallen away in the second half of the regular-season. This will be a tight matchup and the Whippets will be watching a lot of other results as well as their own game.
Cam Newton, Zeke Elliot, and Ginn will see the Bombers through to victory.
Bugger. 3-1. I did say Cam would see the Bombers through. And he would’ve done. Steve played Kaep who managed a point. Hey-ho. The Whippets’ highest scoring player was Cousins on 15 pts but I think they’ll do enough to avoid the Stuart in the Loserbowl.
Taxis v Hellfire
Al takes on Fray. Godgers takes on DangeRuss. Jordy takes on the Jaytrain. On paper, this should be a fairly close game, despite Yahoo’s prediction. And it’s yet another of the potential 7-6 tie games. Neither team has put together a run of Ws of late so this one could be interesting.
The Roadrunners of Reigate (bookable on 01737 76 00 76 with very reasonable rates to the airport) will ride their luck for one more week to a win, but the only ring they’ll get is on the phone.
3-2. My slide to prediction mediocrity begins. The Roadrunners had 91.5 points on their bench, but their WRs on the field scored a combined 8 points and Al’s luck flickered a bit although he’s still made it to the play-offs due to rules. Fray had Jordy put up 21 points, Malc Butler scored 16.25, and Calais Campbell scored 14.75, but the rest of the Hellfire were more slightly damp embers as they under-performed. Still enough for the W.
Meltdown v Icebears
Despite a loss last week, Dav’s meltdown have had a strong season, and particularly have a 4-0 divisional record. Meanwhile, the Force has not been strong with Luke and some bad benches have left him sitting at 1-4 in his division and 5-7 overall.
Tyrod Tailored and Mark Ingram aren’t going to be enough to be enough to get Luke over the top against the Gronk and Amari Cooper. Dav wins and is a strong contender for a ring this year. Something something, Dav melts Luke’s ice. I dunno, whatever.
For shit’s sake. 3-3. With the exception of Jordan Howard and Carlos Dunlap, the Meltdown generally underperformed but had already done enough to make it into the Championship earlier in the season. Luke had Golden Tate, Khalil Mack, and Lavonte David put up big scores to get a W and help himself with a slightly better seeding in the Loserbowl. Something, something, icebear market. I dunno, whatever.
Reds v Barbars
Rusty has had an outstanding season with a 9-3 coming into this week. David Johnson has scored some serious points and Phil Rivers has been consistently up there throughout the season. If Johnson stays injury-free, then the Barbarians could pillage and plunder their way to the Championship. Meanwhile, Max has had Winston under centre and Forte racking up points at RB. Kiko and Rodney McLeod have done well though they may not have managed to fill JJ Watt’s defensive boots.
My head says Rusty adds another W to the tally, but I stand with my comrade and call a misjudged win for the Reds.
My head was right. I’m calling that a W. Fuck loyalty. 4-3. David Johnson put up 32.5 points to ensure the Barbars get their W column into double figures. Max was right to play Winston over Dak and Lev Bell and Sea Bass kept the Reds score respectable. At number one seed, Rusty has to be a favourite for this year’s championship.
Rapscallions v Spartans
At 3-9, the Spartans have had a pretty terrible season so far. It’s almost as if Mike has had other things on his mind, distracting him. Can’t imagine what. Bortles isn’t quite up there and Carlos Hyde hasn’t really lived up to expectation. On the D, Telvin Smith, Suh and Joey Bosa have all put up good scores but inconsistently. His opponent, Pete, has been caught attempting to cheat far less often than usual, but when you’ve got Mike Evans and Odell bringing home the big scores, maybe you don’t need to.
I can’t really see this going anywhere other than to the ‘scallions. Obviously, as a fellow Raiders fan, I’m delighted. Pete Wins.
5-3. Predictive victory is mine. Both teams under-performed but Pete bribed enough zebras to get a W and make it to the big show. The Spartans best player was Zachary Orr which sums up the Rutlish franchise’s season. Carson Palmer scored 24 points for Redhill and Eric Weddle made it to 15.25. Pete will be hoping a poor week from Mike Evans and Jonathan Stewart is an aberration and not a trend.
Bad Bench of the Week
With 93 points on the bench, this one goes to the Seagulls.
Blowout of the Week
Foot Soldiers win this but it was only 48.25 pts in it, so we’ve seen far bigger this season.
Goat of the Week
Despite the Foot Soldiers having the lowest score of the week, I’m giving this to the Spartans.
Lion of the Week
I was going to give this to the highest scoring team and then I realised I would be awarding myself the award, and that feels a bit odd despite my brilliance. So I’m giving it to the Barbarians instead for a 10-3 run.