SUPER 16 – In 2015, the fourth season of the Super 16, the league lost the St Claire Lions, the Bucking Froncos, and A Thug’s Life, but still retained 7 charter members of the original 12 team league. In the off-season, RG3PO relocated their franchise from the Redskins to the Jets and became Geno’s Jaw Breakers. In the West, Extreme Pain Ram Parts bailed on St Louis a season ahead of their NFL franchise, relocating to the vacated Lions franchise to become the Motor City Kitties. The move left the Arizona Firebirds as the only returning team in the West Division; new franchises went out to the Raiders – 1 Eye Til I Die, the 49ers – SF’s BowMen, and the Chargers – Los Angeles Super Chargers
The season kicked off with the 4th annual draft, expansion newcomer 1 Eye Til I Die picking first overall. The Raider Squad selected Adrian Peterson, followed by Geno’s Jaw Breakers – the relocated RG3PO franchise – number two overall pick, Adrian Peterson. The Who Dat Nation was on the clock, and, with the third overall pick…they selected….a kicker? Coach Mel showed up late to the draft, and when she found that Dan Carpenter had been autodrafted for her, she cursed us all, vowing to beat us all this season with karma and a kicker! The Who Dats went on to finish 7-6, one game back from the playoffs.
In Week 1, The Birds of Prey didn’t waste any time reminding the league that they were still the team to beat, putting on a show in a MNF SimulPlay game, dominating a promising Eagle Has Landed team and capturing the high score of the week. Their 226-155 victory over The Eagle has Landed in the Week 1 Game of the Week put the rest of the S-16 on notice that after coming up just short of a 3-peat last season, they were out for that 3rd ring in 2015. The victory meant they started off, once again, in control of the South Division.
The first look at the league’s three new teams was two parts intimidating, one part embarssing. In one of the season’s first SimulPlay matches, the LA Super Chargers put up 221 points in their league debut against the Motor City Kitties in their Detroit opener, while SF’s BowMen embarassed their cross bay rival 1 Eye Til I Die in a 213-97 point rout – it was one of only 3 losses 1 Eye would suffer all season and one of only two occasions that they scored less than 175 points.
The Week 2 Game of the Week featured the expansion Los Angeles Super Chargers, coming off a 225 point Week 1, facing an Ice Cold Bruschi team that was also 1-0, with a 198 point Week 1 performance. It wasn’t even close. The Bruschis obliterated the previous league record for single game points in their trouncing of the Super Chargers 294 – 152. The record-breaking 294 point total surpassed the previous #1 of 246.50 set by the Extreme Pain Rams in Week 13 of last season.
Meanwhile, in the South Division in Week 2, two active win-streaks collided as the H-Town Foster Kids and their 5 game win streak faced off against the Birds of Prey who were riding an 8 game regular season win streak. The match was incredibly close, but with the 174 – 167 win, the Birds extended their streak to 9 games, which brought them into a 3-way tie for all time win streaks ( with the Bruschis from 2012, and with themselves from 2013-14).
Going into Week 4, The Dawg Pound controlled the North Division. They were 2-1, having just lost a close one in Week 3 to the league #5 1 Eye Til I Die, but were still ranked 6th overall in the league. In the Week 4 Game of the Week they would face the league #7 Los Angeles Super Chargers who were in a dead heat with Arizona and 1 Eye for the West Division lead. Preparing for this Game of the Week, League Offices brought us this gem of a stat: going into this match, The Dawg Pound was 5-3 vs teams with a horse mascot.
The hapless brown’s franchise would emerge, as it turned out, 5-4 vs teams with horse mascots as the Super Charged expansion squad shocked the Dawgs 205-156. The win dropped Arizona to 3rd place in the West, as Los Angeles climbed into second and 1 Eye Til I Die took over 1st when they defeated the BEARMINATORS. The defending champions from Chicago, at this point in the season had lost each of their first 4 games to post the worst start in franchise history.
In other Week 4 action, The Birds of Prey continued their record setting regular season win-streak in a tough division victory over H-Town 162-140. The win put the Birds at 4-0, firmly in control of the South with 11 straight regular season wins. In another big win – only 19 points shy of the week’s high score – the Ice Cold Bruschis continued on, undefeated and in first place in the league after beating division rival, The Eagle has landed who fell to a struggling 1-3.
The Week 5 Game of the Week featured former West Division rivals the (#3) Arizona Firebirds (3-1) and the (#7) Moter City Kitties (2-2). To commemorate the rivalry game – and sell more jerseys – both teams agreed to wear their throwback uniforms for the game. The teams had faced each other 4 times previously, and the series was split 2-2. Arizona took this one, 216-170, remaining in first place in the West with 1 Eye Til I Die right on their heels, also advancing to 4-1 after beating H-Town 177-160.
Birds of Prey and Ice Cold Bruschis both extended their win streaks, each advancing to 5-0 with wins against the Northern Fins and BIGDOGINTEX.
A show down in the west had to come, and the day of reckoning was in Week 6 as the Game of the Week. Both teams were 4-1, but with 1 Eye playing at BYE week strength, The Vegas line had the Firebirds installed as whopping 90 point favorites. As it turned out, though, the Firebirds barely escaped the black hole, and narrowly pulled off the victory, 199-181. Arizona advanced to 5-1 with the rest of the division still right behind them at 4-2.
The Birds of Prey survived their closest game of the season, squeaking by the rival Who Dats 178-173 extending their record win-streak to 13 games, while, the Ice Cold Bruschis had quietly done nothing but win all season, and did it again in Week 6, trampling the Indy-structibles 189-146. At this point in the season, the Bruschis were 6-0 and had outscored Birds of Prey by 100 points.
The Week 7 Game of the Week was all sunshine and doom as the #5 Super Chargers (4-2) faced the #6 1 Eyes (4-2) in a divisional SimulPlay match. With the West Division teams ranked 3, 4, 5, and 6 overall, the season was shaping up to be one in which practically every single snap in every West Division match-up was going to be important. This game would prove to be pivotal.
The Week 8 Game of the Week, featured the 7-0 Birds of Prey, in the midst of an unbelievable 14 game win-streak facing their toughest test of the season in the Los Angeles Super Chargers (4-2-1) who were ranked 5th overall and averaging 210 points a game over their last 4 games. Still, Vegas had Los Angeles installed as 59 point underdogs. In the end it was worse than that, as the Birds of Prey extended their regular season win streak to 15 straight with a trouncing of the Super Chargers 269-176. With the win, the Birds clinched their Division Championship earlier than any team’s ever done it, securing their 2015 post season ticket.
In the East, at this point, the Ice Cold Bruschis were quietly still the best team in the league, 8-0 after a convincing 254-192 SimulPlay win over division rival Northern ‘Fins, the Bruschis had outscored the Birds by about 75 points on the season, and could clinch their own Division Championship with a win the following week in a rematch with the ‘Fins. In the North, the strugling 2014 Defending Champion BEARMINATORS recorded their very first win of the season while the rest of the division stumbled. The Kitties still held the lead, but their record in Week 8 was a middling 4-4. Meanwhile out West, the 3 franchises not based out of Los Angeles all won, keeping the standings knotted up.
The Game of the Week for Week 9, was a rematch of the season opener, with the all-important West Division standings hanging in the balance as the expansion SF’s BowMen (6-2-0) took on the expansion 1 Eye Til I Die (5-2-1) for the second time. The two were ranked 4th and 5th overall in the league, but 2nd and 3rd in their division, trailing the Firebirds by 1 and 1.5 games, respectively. The oddsmakers had 1 Eye installed as a mere 10 point favorite, so it looked like it would be a close game. The way the early playoff picure was shaping up, both Wildcard slots could have come out of the West, and neither the 49er or Raider franchise could afford to lose this game. This was the two teams’ second all-time meeting, the BowMen having decimated 1 Eye in the Week 1 opener 213-97. The BowMen were 2-1 in Division, including that win over 1 Eye. A win this week would give them a tiebreaker over the silver and black in the playoff race. 1 Eye had won every non-division game they had played to this point in the season, but had not yet won a single division game, posting losses against the BowMen and Firebirds, and having to settle for the Week 7 tie with Los Angeles. A win this week, would propel them ahead of SF in the division race on the strength of that tie.
The Raider franchise prevailed – barely, dispatching rival BowMen 173-168 in what would prove to be a pivotal moment in the 2015 play off push. 1 Eye moved into second place in the West, a half a game behind the Firebirds and a half a game ahead of the BowMen by virtue of that tie on their record. The real story of Week 9, however were the killer fish of the Northern ‘Fins squad, who knocked off the league #1 and ended division rival Ice Cold Bruschis’ win streak at 8 in their 226-151 rout of the East leader. The Fin’s win also prevented the Bruschis from clinching the division title for one more week.
Birds of Prey extended their regular season win-streak to an unbelievable 16 straight with their 210- 165 dismantling of The Eagle has Landed, while in the North Division, Motor City easily handled rival Indy 186-154 to stay a game ahead of the Dawg Pound (4-5) for a tenuous hold on the division.
Going into Week 10, the playoff picture looked like this: Birds of Prey had won the South Division and clinched a playoff spot, and the Ice Cold Bruschis could clinch the East with one more win. In the North Division, Motor City and the Dawgs were slugging it out, the pair of them scheduled to play 7 division matches in total over the final four weeks, including a season finale against each other that could end up deciding the division. The West was still up for grabs, and could mathematically still be won by any of it’s four teams. The Wild Card race looked like it would likely come down to whoever the 2nd and 3rd place teams from the West turned out to be, but the Dawgs, Jaw Breakers, Fins, and Who Dats all still had a shot.
The Week 10 Game of the Week would be absolutely pivotal in shaping the playoff picture, specifically in how the West Division would shake out. The Arizona Firebirds came into the match fresh off of a stunning defeat at the hands of the Jawbreakers, while 1 Eye Til I Die was riding the high of the narrowest Week 9 win over cross-bay rival BowMen. A win for the Firebirds would put them in the catbird seat with a 3-0 division record setting them up nicely for their closing schedule vs LA, SF, and then LA again. But if 1 Eye could win the rematch, they’d move into the division lead by half a game.
The first match between these teams, in Week 6 was won by the Firebirds with only a 14 point margin of victory. The Vegas line on the rematch had the Firebirds favored once again, but this time by only 6, but it was 1 Eye that would come out on top, pulling off the upsetand advancing their record to It was never as close as the 187-174 final score would indicate, as 1 Eye Til I Die led the Firebirds throughout the match, and a MNF comeback was not to be had for Arizona. With the win, 1 Eye took over as the West Division leader, and moved into 3rd overall with their 7-2-1 record. Arizona dropped to 4th overall, a half game back from the Oakland franchise with a record of 7-3-0; SF’s BowMen right behind the Firebirds also with a 7-3-0 record of their own after effectively ending Los Angeles’ playoff hopes in a 175-145 win over the them. Arizona held the tiebreaker with SF, and the two were scheduled to meet again in Week 12.
In the East, the Ice Cold Bruschis rebounded from their Week 9 upset loss to dominate the Foster Kids, securing a 192-148 victory, and with it the East Division Championship. The Northern ‘Fins completely dominated the Eagle, posting a 221-162 win. It was the second consecutive 220+ point outing for the ‘Fins, and the 5th with a score topping 190. Now at 5-5-0, the Dolphin franchise was sitting two games back from the pack of likely Wild Card teams, to punch their ticket, the ‘Fins would need to win out, and hope for a meltdown by one of the western squads.
The SimulPlay match-up set as Week 10’s Game of the Week was essentially an early playoff bout. For either team, a loss would not be the end of the world, but a win would go a long way toward locking down their playoff future. The 7-2-1 Raider squad was fresh off a victory over the Firebirds that gave them control of the West Division with just a half game lead over both Arizona and San Francisco. They were on a 3 game winning streak with, mathematically, the softest finishing schedule of the 3 teams fighting for the Western crown. The Motor City Kitties were, at this point, ranked 6th overall in the league and had a 2 game advantage on their nearest division rival. They would secure the North Division Championship this week with a win AND a Dawg Pound loss.
In what proved to be a game that helped define the season, the Kitties unleashed all the horses, defeating 1 Eye 180-141 to secure their playoff spot and the Division Championship. The loss dropped 1 Eye back into second place in the West, by half a game with a 7-3-1 record, as Arizona advanced to 8-3-0 after defeating Los Angeles. San Francisco was screwed by Marshawn Lynch once more, as the BowMen dropped to 7-4-0 in their upset loss to The Eagle. The loss put the BowMen out of the division race, but they still controlled their own destiny for the Wild Card.
The biggest news of Week 11, though, was the roller coaster ride Birds of Prey‘s win streak took the league on. As the weekend’s games wound down, it became clear that the seemingly impossible had happened as the Birds of Prey fell to the Indy-structibles 174-178, ending a 17 game regular season win-streak. The Falcon franchise had not lost a game since Week 6 of 2014, and had beaten their division rivals 9 times in that same span. But then, miraculously, a Wednesday stat correction overturned the loss, giving the Birds a 1 point victory for what would have been an 18th straight win. It was a win that never made it to the record books as The Indy-structibles would not be denied their triumph. A Thursday stat correction reversed the outcome for a second time, and the score finaly settled at 177-175 Indy. The incredible win streak was over.
Week 12 brought us what could have been the game of the season, as old rivals clashed in the Thanksgiving Classic. Birds of Prey (10-1-0) and Ice Cold Bruschis (9-2-0) had been on a collision course since the season began, and finaly they would meet, ranked #1 and #2, with only 3 losses all season between the two of them. Would it be a rematch of Super Bowl I or a preview of Super Bowl IV? The two had played each other 5 times in league history up to this point, and the Birds led the series 3 games to 2…including their 15 point win in Super Bowl I
The match-up did not disappoint. A close, back and forth affair that wasn’t decided until the end. A last-ditch rally on Sunday Night Football (101.00 points, or 71% of their total score) wasn’t enough for the Ice Cold Bruschis, as the Birds of Prey got the 163.00 to 142.00 victory. The Birds were led by A.J. Green who scored two touchdowns and contributed 21.00 points to the cause, while Ice Cold Bruschis’ lead receiver, Demaryius Thomas disappointed, being targeted 13 times and only able to reel in one catch.
The win locked down the #1 seed – again – for Birds of Prey, while the rest of the playoff field, though becoming more clear, still needed seeding. The loss prevented the Bruschis from securing the other first round Bye, and they were now in a race for that slot with both Arizona and Motor City.
Week 13: Regular Season Finale
In the regular season finale there wasn’t quite as much drama as the final week normally brings the league. 5 of 6 playoff teams were set, with only seeding left to be determined. But for the BowMen and ‘Fins, it was the last chance to get into the post season. Playing for the last remaining Wild Card, BowMen were to play the BEARMINATORS and the Fins would get the Who Dats. Neither of their opponents had ever won in Week 13, but the Who Dat’s finaly did, although with not much help from their kicker, defeating the ‘Fins 213-197, playing spoiler for the Miami squad’s season, and sending the BowMen, who won in Week 13, 181-148, to the Wild Card Game.
The Arizona Firebirds 10-3-0 (5-1-0) posted a Week 13 win, sweeping the 2015 series with division foe Los Angeles to clinch the #2 seed and win their division for the second time in franchise history. They finished just a half a game ahead of 1 Eye Til I Die 9-3-1 (3-2-1) who’d been chasing them for the Western title all season. In the end, the Week 7 tie between 1 Eye and Los Angeles, made all the difference. With their Week 13 victory, 1 Eye would have to settle for the #5 seed as a playoff Wild Card spot.
Post Season – Wild Card Round
The results of the weekend would prove to be decisive. Behind a monster performance by Khalil Mack, 1 Eye Til I Die defeated the Motor City Kitties on the strength of Mack’s 5 sacks and 7 qb hits contributing to the posting a 49 point afternoon in 1 Eye’s 199 – 170 win. Despite disappointing 1 point performances by Charles Clay and Megatron, Motor City still managed to post a 78 – 49 point offensive advantage, but the Raiders franchise won with their defense. At the team defense position, the Raiders out-scored the Lions’ Defense 22-6, and with IDP’s, 1 Eye Til I Die turned in a 128 point defensive outing while Motor City only had 86. Besides Mack’s 49 points, 1 Eye Til I Die also got a 31 point day from LaVonte David, the two players combining for 80 of their 199 points (40%) If you add in the Raiders Defense’s 22 points, the three positions accounted for 51% of 1 Eye’s team total.
The Super 16 season had wound its way down to the 2015 Final Four, and it was a magnificent collection of fantasy juggernauts. Between the four of them, the semi-finalist teams had lost only 12 games all season, 9 if you remove the ones they lost to each other, and they collectively accounted for 16 playoff wins or byes over the League’s 4 seasons. All four were 2015 AF Pro Bowl nominees – the only league in the AF family to have a playoff bracket made up entirely of Pro Bowl nominees, and were ranked #1-4 in the league both by standings and total points.
Super Bowl IV
So the stage was set for Super Bowl IV to be a rematch of Super Bowl I as Birds of Prey and Ice Cold Bruschis both defeated their oponents in the semi finals to advance and face off with each other in the title game.
The first Super Bowl meeting between these two teams in 2012 – with the Bruschis playing as Brady’s Bunch – ended with Birds of Prey hoisting the first league championship after a 186-171 weekend of football, that was close the whole way. This season, the two had been first and second place through most of the year, and were separated by a season points total of just 6 and a half points. They had met just a few weeks before in Week 12 in a match where the Birds of Prey won by only 21 points. Birds of Prey led the pair’s all time series 4 games to 2.
For the victors, a few players had been heating up in the postseason, most notably Teddy Bridgewater and Short. During the playoffs, that duo has outperformed their season scoring averages by 57% and 46%, respectively. Conversely, Birds of Prey had a couple of players heading in the opposite direction. A.J. Green and Aaron Donald had both fallen well beneath their year-to-date averages during the postseason. Despite the loss, Ice Cold Bruschis had several players performing their best in the playoffs, including Jamie Collins and Michael Floyd. During the postseason, that combo averaged 23.67 and 13.67 points, respectively, topping their season-long marks by 84% and 57%. On the other hand, the losers had a player who was sputtering under the brightest lights. Averaging 12.75 points on the season, Chandler Jones mustered just 9.33 per game in the playoffs.
Wrapping up a thrilling 2015 season, for the third time in 4 seasons, Birds of Prey won the Super Bowl to take the Super 16 Championship. They remained undefeated on the year in two matchups against Ice Cold Bruschis (5-2 all-time) with the 190.00 to 156.00 Super Bowl win. Their overall record finished at 13-2 and an amazing 48-13 all-time, while Ice Cold Bruschis fell to 11-5 (37-23 all-time). The Birds also ranked first in the league with 199.62 points per game. After a bye in the first round of the playoffs, they beat the league’s top defense, 1 Eye Til I Die, 186.00 to 162.00, on their voyage to the championship. They had the league’s best average scoring margin this season, outpacing opponents by 39.37 points per game. A very special congratulations to Birds of Prey on a very well deserved Championship.
Now, we look ahead to 2016! Thank you to all the team owners who are the ones that make this league so special.