SUPER 16 – The climax of 15 weeks of competition in the Super 16 has arrived as Super Bowl V is set to kick off between the 2016 playoff #1 and #2 seeds, as the Who Dat Saints (9-4-0 (1-0)) take on the Northern Fins (9-4-0 (1-0)) to determine the champion of the league’s fifth season. Both teams enjoyed a first round bye, before easily outperforming their opponents in the semi-finals to compete in the league’s 5th championship match.
A long way from the bag-heads of the 2013-15 Karma and a Kicker Saints, the Who Dats are a first year franchise in the S16, and opened their inaugural season with a statement win 205-189 over league powerhouse 1 Eye Til I Die. In Week 3 they beat South Division rival and winningest team in the league, Birds of Prey 231-218 in a win that turned the Birds into the Tweety’s for 2016 – a loss BoP never recovered from, finishing an uncharacteristic 4-9-0. The Who Dats lost to The Dawg Pound in Week 2, and to the Super Chargers in week 4 – both eventual playoff teams – but after the Week 4 loss, went on a 6 game win streak, remaining in control of the South Division. The Tweety’s beat the Who Dats in the season finale rematch to reclaim their BoP logo, but the Saints franchise had already claimed the division title by that point, becoming the first team ever to take it from the Birds. Their 9-4-0 record was also good enough for them to secure the #1 seed, a spot that had been captured by Birds of Prey in the three prior seasons.
The Who Dats are actually the third Saints franchise in S16 history, but the first to gain such success, putting the league on notice that there’s a new powerhouse in the South Division. The same story played out in the East Division, where the retirement of Ice Cold Bruschis left the door open for a new team to emerge dominant after the old Patriots franchise had won the division title in each of the past two seasons. Amazingly enough, 3 East Division teams went to the post season. The expansion Steel Curtain, who replaced the Bruschis, secured the #6 seeded Wild Card spot after beating 1 Eye in the Week 13 Immaculate Stat Correction game, but lost a close one to North Division Champions, The Dawg Pound who maintained a spot as the League #1 through much of the season. The 3rd eastern team, Eagle has landed, proved just how scrappy Eagles can be, when they finished 8-5-0 for 3rd overall and the #5 playoff seed when in Week 12, it looked like they didn’t stand a chance. After losing to the Northern Fins in Weeks 10 and 12, The Eagle finally beat their division rival in a ‘bonus’ third match-up, and that, combined with all the right teams winning and losing, gave them the Wild Card slot. Their, the Eagle absolutely demolished the West Division Champion, Los Angeles Super Chargers, in the Wild Card Game before moving on to face the #1 seeded Saints.
In the semi-final round, the Who Dats turned the table on the Eagle, steamrolling them by nearly a hundred point margin, 257-162. In the other semi-final match-up, The Dawg Pound’s season ended, losing a game that was initially close, 185-219 against the #2 seed and East Division Champion Northern Fins. Its the first Super Bowl appearance for the Fins, and their first Division Title, emerging as the strongest team in what was the toughest division in the league in 2016. Their 9-4-0 finish was the best ever for the Fins who have a lifetime record of 28-24-0 in the league – 19-20-0 before this season, having played the last three years in the shadow of the Bruschis. One of those 9 wins this season was a Week 11 Game of the Week, in which the Fins – #3 in the league at the time, defeated the #1 Saints, 193-164 in the game that broke the Saints franchise’s mid season win streak, and the latest Vegas line has them installed as 29 point favorites in Super Bowl V. The action gets started Thursday night, and will be concluded in time for Santa’s midnight ride as neither team has players scheduled for the Monday night game. Associated Fantasy would like to wish both teams and coaches the best of luck.