(6-4) FRANKFURT GALAXY @ (6-4) RHEIN FIRE
Final Score: Frankfurt 21 – 23 Rhein
Wow! Talk about a tight game with it all on the line! The Fire had to win this game not to be eliminated from the wildcard spot and Frankfurt needed the win for their playoff hopes to stay within their own destiny.
The packed Rhine stadium wouldn’t have been disappointed, despite the slow start. They came out of the half with multiple big throws down the field. The fourth quarter started with the Fire up 20-15 in the red zone losing possession to miscommunication during the snap. Although this didn’t prove lethal to their win, I’m sure they’d have preferred to put the game away then.
In the dying minutes of the game and 5 points in arrears, the Galaxy channelled that title-winning mentality to drive down the field for a concise touchdown. Now 1 point ahead and with only 24 seconds left the Galaxy saw the light and went for two, attempting to leave the Fire with no choice but to score a touchdown to win the game. Unfortunately, this was unsuccessful which must have left some nervous faces on their side line. With the final possession of the game and their playoff hopes on the line, step in Rhine Fire QB Jadrian Clark to get the fire within field goal distance. Within a blink it was all over, Hanßen nailed a 43-yard field goal for the win.
1-9) ISTANBUL RAMS @ (9-1) VIENNA VIKINGS
Final Score: Istanbul 22 – 37 Vienna
As expected, the Rams might have been out of playoff contention but they weren’t done with the season. This added with the Vikings coming off their first loss of the season last week against the galaxy, which made for a perfect rams upsetting storm. However, disappointingly, the rams were scoreless in the first half despite getting close twice.
At this point, I can imagine most would have turned over to a more interesting Fire – Galaxy matchup. But this wasn’t over yet. They started the half with a 95 yards touchdown to boot and the general theme of the Rams was to feed it to their star receiver, Terryon Robinson. Which I bet they wished they had done before. Unfortunately despite this second-half surge they still came up short with the final score being 27-37.
No Vienna are certainly in the playoffs and all the way through the season they’ve looked unstoppable, until these last two weeks. Their recent run of bad form coming out of the bye week must be worrying some Vienna fans and quite rightly so, they have the Dragons and Raiders in the last two games of the season who are formidable opponents (also both almost certainly in the playoffs). They are two games to keep your eyes on..
(2-8) COLOGNE CENTURIONS @ (7-3) RAIDERS TIROL
Final Score: Cologne 20-45 Tirol
Thanks to the merciless defeat in Barcelona last week, it’s sad to say that the Centurions had no possible route into the playoffs. However, the Raiders are still leading the hunt teams and have half an eye for dethroning the Vikings atop the Northern Conference.
As expected the Raiders stomped all over the Cologne team, scoring three touchdowns in the first quarter without response. This domination was a theme throughout, although it did waver slightly as in the whole second half they couldn’t find the endzone more than once. This was an impressive showing of the German teams coaches as they came out of the interval scoring a comparatively massive 20 points. This game commenced 20-45 which looked like a stunning Triol victory but the second half would have left a bitter taste in their mouths.
Looking towards the offseason and echoing what was written before – man this Raiders team is looking scary! There can’t be another top-five team with a game against Triol who feels comfortable. Talking specifically about the offseason, Triol are now a whole game clear of all the other teams in the hunt and are two games behind Vienna. With their two games being against Barcelona (8-2 and a very close game last time they played) and Triol themselves. So not only are they looking a lock for the wild card spot, but also have a chance to win the division!
(8-2) BARCELONA DRAGONS @ STUTTGART SURGE (0-10)
Final Score: Barcelona 62-6 Suttgart
WOW. Talk about a blowout. This game was likely to be a particularly ugly affair but there were doubts as always about the Dragons’ consistency. I think those woes were blown away fairly quickly..
In the first half, it was a tale of Edwards and Sweets connection, and Vandevens’ poor decision-making skills. To put this in statistics, 8/10 possessions Barcelona had ended in a touchdown. Whereas 6/10 possessions ended with a turnover (granted, one was on downs). So this left the Dragons 56-0 up at the half. I was watching this game and was kinda disappointed to see them bring the backup out so early in the second half.. Edwards connected with Torrededia on the first drive of the half answer slowly but surely found less and less starters leaving the rest of the second half a scoreless affair (bar a late TD from Stuttgart.
Looking at the Dragons’ playoff potential, this week they won the division. This is particularly impressive when you think they had only 2 wins at this point in the season last year. Their last two opponents in the regular season may as well be their opponents in the playoffs, Hamburg and Vienna who both have a record of 9-1 and are also the other two division leaders are a formidable pairing to up against.
(9-1) HAMBURG SEA DEVILS @ BERLIN THUNDER (6-4)
Final Score: Hamburg 39 – 17 Berlin
Both teams yearned for this win, Hamburg wanted that sweet division title clinch and Berlin needed to stay level with Triol in the hunt for the playoffs hunt. With Hamburg only losing to the hot Dragons in week two they were coming in as the favourite.
Berlin are blessed with the superb DE Kyle Kitchens who week in week out is leading the defensive stats sheet in dominating fashion. Kitchens didn’t disappoint this week showing both his pass-rushing and run-stop ability against the best back in the league, Glen Toonga, who could only muster 84 yards. Sadly for the Thunder, their offence were not able to join them in this convincing performance. At the start of the fourth quarter, they managed only 6 points against a defence which isn’t exactly renowned for their lockdown performances. On the flip side, Hamburg did manage to find their defence some breathing room ending the game with 39 points in what has to be a performance which passes most expectations.
This Hamburg team has shown this week that it’s not just a ground-and-pound side, Berlin pretty much took that away from them but they still managed to post nearly 40 points. Which begs the question – how far can they go in the playoffs?