Multiple first-round games came down to the MNF wire, and I'm hoping for similar drama this week. One thing is for sure: there will be no back-to-back champions in any conference. 2017 AFC Champion Zerger's Redlegs lost, as did 2017 NFC Champion Cliburn's Arrogant Americans. 2017 PFC champion Brake and Boomtown Brawlers just missed the playoffs.
The six-seed Doughboys trounced the Warm Bodies, as Nye was betrayed by Jordan Reed and Jared Goff (despite a whopping 31 points from Ezekiel Elliott). Meanwhile the Redlegs underachieved at every position except for QB, where rookie Lamar Jackson did more than his part. The Vultures moved on with big games from Patrick Mahomes and Julio Jones.
If Green's Doughboys win this week, they'll be heading to the Thunder Bowl for the third time, although they've yet to secure a championship. If Melvin Gordon plays for War Pony, I think it'll be enough to push Venable's team over the top. But, if not, this is the epitome of a toss-up.
Whoever wins this matchup will be heading to the Thunder Bowl for the first time in franchise history. I predict that team will be the Vultures. The teams are evenly-matched, but the Cocks may have to replace their top two WRs, as Odell Beckham, Jr. and Tyreek Hill are both questionable. I think Brosh will squeak by as a result.
The defending champion Arrogant Americans were knocked out in the first round by the Whackers (or, more specifically, Amari Cooper). Meanwhile, SoonerJack outlasted the Roughnecks to move on to the semifinals, where each matchup features franchises that have won championships already.
Bruesch and Pyle were with us in Iraq 12 years ago and each has been in the OIL at least 12 seasons. Lucky Enuf won the very first OIL Bowl in 2006, and the two longtime OILers famously tied in the 2008 OIL Bowl. Between the two, they account for five championships.
In keeping with tradition, Pyle has lost a key starter in the playoffs, as QB Carson Wentz is likely out this week. But his team is solid all the way around, and I predict he'll beat Bruesch to reach the OIL Bowl for the first time since that infamous 2008 season.
The Dogs of War claimed the two-seed after Cobb navigated them to their first 10-win regular season. Meanwhile, the Whackers looked poised to clinch the one-seed until a three-game losing streak late in the season knocked him down to number three. But this is still the same team that started 8-1. Their late-season QB injuries and tough strength of schedule should overshadow that. The Dogs of War started out 0-2 before winning 10 out of their next 11, so this is a great matchup.
Had Cobb not secured a first-round bye, he would have benefited from 47 points from Derrick Henry. But we all know the deal with Henry. You get one great game and then two duds. This week will be a dud, and Cobb needs a huge week from somebody to win this matchup. Morgan's team is superior at every position except QB and TE, and I predict they'll make it to the OIL Bowl for the first time since 2007.
A heartbreaking defeat for the Blue Falcons ended their season last week. It all came down to getting nine points from WR David Moore on Monday night, but he dropped a zero on Baldwin instead. I feel like the betrayal stung more than usual because Moore played at East Central University in Oklahoma. This is one of Baldwin's home-state boys, and he screwed him (well, Russell Wilson and the stellar Minnesota defense maybe had something to do with it as well).
In the other matchup, Bellar is thanking his lucky stars after advancing to the semifinals despite only scoring 116 points (26 points below the league average of 142.95). If ever there was a time to beat the Xtreme, it was this week. But the Orangebloods were killed by Jared Goff's four-interception game and now McKay is sitting at home wondering what could have been.
Bellar was Xtremely luck last week, barely squeaking by the Orangebloods despite scoring fewer than 117 points, and their reward is a date with the top-ranked FDC Chiefs, who have already beaten the Xtreme by over 90 points in their first meeting. The Chiefs average a whopping 35 more points per game than the Xtreme, and they're favored here by 43 points.
I think Bellar's luck runs out here, as Pennington's team is rock solid and set a record for most points in a season this year. If Bellar pulls off the upset (and anything is possible in fantasy football), it will be one of the most memorable playoff games in OIL history.
I'm very conflicted by the Drifters. On one hand, their manager, Doc Gray, was present at the draft cabin for the fourth-consecutive year. But, on the other hand, he auto-drafted by choice. And now he's in the semifinals? Life isn't fair. But Buehre's Dirty Dogs are set up to put an end to this bizarre Cinderella story. Let's hope so.