SUPER 16 – When most of the Week 9 action is done for the day, this week’s Game of the Week in the Super 16 will be just getting started, and it should be one hell of a match lined up for Football Night in the Association. The league’s Raider franchise, the AF#18 1 Eye Til I Die (6-2-0) take their pillage and plunder on the road to face the defending League Champion Northern Fins (5-3-0), representing the Dolphins, in a special Sunday Night Football SimulPlay edition of the S16 marquee game. Coach Mac’s 1 Eyes are ranked #1, the best in the league, but North Division leader Dawg Pound hit them square in the nose last week with a 210-179 upset loss, they’ll be trying to shake off this weekend to remain in the top spot. The Fins are the East Division leader and ranked #4 in the league coming off a strong showing in a divisional win last week against Steel Curtain. The pair have faced each other twice before and split the games, with 1 Eye getting a win in Week 2, 2015, while the Fins stole a win from them the last time they met, Week 7, 2016, taking a 183.50-183.00 victory.
This game shapes up nicely as a tale of an ascending challenger who’s been hot all season, facing off with the sitting king who’s not ready yet to step down. Already set to be an exciting match-up between two serious Super Bowl VI contenders, it’s made even better by it’s SimulPlay status, with these franchises facing off at the same time as their parent organizations take the field under the lights in primetime Sunday night. Vegas has the spread on this one set at just 3 points, with the defending champs installed as hometeam underdogs, so it should be a fun one to watch as Week 9 winds down.
There are two other, big-time match-ups on the schedule for Week 9, both of them rematches of earlier games decided by the slimest of margins. Right on 1 Eye’s heels in the West Division race, AF#11 SF’s Bowmen (5-3-0) will host AF#7 Arizona Firebirds (6-2-0) in another exciting SimulPlay for the second half of the pair’s 2 annual meetings. Arizona took the win the last time they met by just a 2 point margin, 210-208, have won 3 of their 4 games since that meeting and are currently leading the Super 16 in total scoring. The BowMen have had a rollercoaster ride since that game, first beating top ranked 1 Eye and Birds of Prey teams to propel themselves to the #1 spot on the AF Top 25, but then losing their last two, including one to 1 Eye and another to a bottom ranked Eagle has landed and dropping from #1 in the league to #3 in the division. In this bloody West Division, this game shapes up as a must win for both of these teams. 1 Eye Til I Die has a 3-1 division record right now, while BowMen are 3-2 and the Firebirds are 2-2 so the outcome of this game leaves no margin for error.
Down South, the AF#12 Birds of Prey (6-2-0) have a 2 game lead on their rival Who Dat Saints (4-4-0), and more importantly, they have a head to head victory thanks to a 213-211 Week 7 shootout. for the league’s Saints franchise to have a shot at reclaiming the South Division title this year, they need to get a win in this rematch, splitting the head to head and narrowing the Birds’ lead. They also need the win to stay ahead of a surging WTF HOUSTON (4-4-0) who have won 3 in a row and get a great match on paper against the #15 Indy-structibles (2-6-0). Should the Who Dats not be able to overtake the Birds, they’ll be competing with Houston for a Wild Card.
The Dawg Pound (5-3-0) has an excellent opportunity this week to tighten their hold on the North Division, facing the last in league BEARMINATORS (1-7-0). With a 2-1 division record, the Cleveland Dawgs have a single game advantage over the Motor City Kitties (4-4-0), but must still play them twice before the regular season is out and want a standings lead going into those match-ups to cushion a possible loss. Those Detroit Cats are taking on the East’s second place squad, Geno’s Jaw Breakers (4-4-0) as they both attempt to get themselves above .500 to get back into the division lead.
2017 Playoff Preview:
With 5 weeks left to go in the Super 16 regular season, no team has yet clinched a playoff spot, but here’s how things are shaping up for now. First tiebreaker for standings ties is total points, followed by head to head.
- 1 Eye Till I Die 6-2-0 (have #1 seed/first round bye as of right now)
- Birds of Prey 6-2-0 (have #2 seed/first round bye as of right now)
- Dawg Pound 5-3-0 (#3 seed)
- Northern Fins 5-3-0 (#4 seed)
Wild Card Race:
- Arizona Firebirds 6-2-0 (has points advantage over BowMen)
- SF’s BowMen 5-3-0
- Who Dat Saints 4-4-0 (has points advantage over all 4-4 teams)
- WTF HOUSTON 4-4-0
- Geno’s Jaw Breakers 4-4-0
- Motor City Kitties 4-4-0