SUPER 16 – Week 14 is Wild Card Weekend in the Super 16 and all four teams playing this weekend return from last seasons playoffs. Things promise to get a little chippy as both games feature rematches of regular season games, including a pair of division rivals who’ve already faced each other twice. Most league watchers would have put their money on both Wild Cards coming out of the West Division this year, particularly early in the season when 3 of the 4 western clubs were all ranked in the AF Top 10, but 1 Eye Til I Die and SF’s BowMen both seemed to lose steam at the midway point and each lost their season finale to finish 7-6-0, allowing two other teams to slide in on total points. After losing Super Bowl V, the Who Dat Saints have had a quiet, 7-6-0 season, not being featured in a single GOW, but still managed to pile on enough points, even in their 6 losses to slide ahead and take the #6 seed, making a rematch of last year’s championship a possibility. Steel Curtain was just a 3 win team in Week 10 when they finally dropped the hammer and begin scoring like a machine, producing 4 wins, two record setting outings, and enough points to finish the regular season as the league #2 in total scoring. They’ll face the North and East Division Champions who have each been perennial powerhouse teams in the Super 16, while the Arizona Firebirds and Birds of Prey enjoy a Week 14 bye.
The Dawg Pound (8-5-0) returns to the post season for the second consecutive season as the North Division Champion, having won that honor and will take on The Who Dats in a rematch of their Week 11 shootout. The Dawgs got the win in that meeting, making a Monday Night comeback to beat the Who Dats 253-212, but the Saints’performance was the highest scoring loss of the season up to that point. Both were playoff teams from last year, and both went 1-1 in the post season, but were on opposite legs of the bracket and have never met in the post season. This will be just the third all-time meeting of these two franchises and the Who Dats have yet to find a victory against the Dawgs, but they posted scores of 257 and 212 points in their two playoff games last season, while the Dawgs are averaging 205 points per game over the last 4 weeks, so we may have another shootout in this one. The Who Dats came in 4th in total scoring this season and the Dawgs were 7th, and the oddsmakers are naming the league’s New Orleans franchise as overwhelming favorites. Already underway, the Who Dat Saints lead 82-10 after fielding their hometeam starters on Monday night.
For at least the next couple of days, the Northern Fins (8-5-0) can still refer to themselves as the Defending Champions, but in order to be able to do so after this week, they’ll have to get through a Steel Curtain team that’s been breaking scoreboards. Barely repeating as East Division Champions, had the Fins not been able to pull out a win in their closer, Steel Curtain would have won the East on points, scoring an unbelievable 946 points over the last 4 weeks for a 236 point per game average. That number includes a league record 308 points in Week 11 making them the first team in the league to break the 300 barrier. The Fins, however, have topped 200 points in each of their last two outings and may be entering a hot streak of their own. They have had Steel Curtain’s number this year, beating them in Week 6 and then again in Week 8 to even the all-time series between the two of them at 2 games apiece. The Killer Bees were one and done in last year’s playoffs, while the Fins went on to win it all, but in this one, the win could go either way; Vegas has Steel Curtain installed as the underdogs but are giving the Fins just a field goal advantag. With multiple players scheduled to play on Monday, this could be a burner.