AMARILLO –– Picked to finish second by RateMyLeague.com, the Vandals were a contender all season. But they had to defeat fifth-seeded The Xtreme, the top-seeded Nightmares, and second-seeded Team Tadlock to claim their first championship.
2019 was Lutonsky's third in the OIL. He went 9-4 his first season before suffering through a 4-9 season in 2018. But he drafted well in 2019, made the right moves in-season, and got hot at the right time. His semifinal upset of the Nightmares was one for the ages, as the Nightmares' 2019 season ranked sixth in OIL history (out of over 300 individual seasons). Congratulations to Tonk. His jersey will be ordered soon.
Tadlock seemed poised to be the one celebrating his first championship. He went 10-3 in the regular season, and, after the Vandals upset the number-one Nightmares, Team Tadlock was the clear favorite going into the Patriot Bowl. Alas, it was not meant to be. It wasn't a disaster for Tadlock, as he scored enough points to have won the AFC's Thunder Bowl. But he ran into a buzz saw in the PFC's Patriot Bowl, and can't be faulted for the Vandals' 194 points. Congratulations on a good season and best of luck next year, Tadlock.
CYRIL — Almost 111 days after the RateMyLeague.com crew ridiculed his drafting ability, Dirty Dogs manager Scott Buehre is the last man standing in the PFC. The Dogs defeated the upstart Xtreme 165.45-120.05 Monday night to claim their second championship in three seasons.
In hindsight, Buehre's draft was not that bad, aside from a horrible TE group and taking a defense too early. And he should get credit for drafting RB James Conner in the 15th round, keeping him away from the Le'Veon Bell owner. No, where Buehre's team faltered wasn't the result of draft whiffs; it was injury, as a whopping seven Dirty Dogs ended up on IR (including starting QB Andy Dalton, acquired in trade after Jimmy Garoppolo's season-ending injury, who ended up on IR himself shortly thereafter).
But what the RateMyLeague.com crew failed to account for is Buehre's in-season management. His 26 transactions were by no means the most in the league. But the effectiveness of those moves reiterated that what's important is making the right moves. Moments after clinching the championship, Buehre had a message for those that doubted him.
When reached for comment Tuesday, the Andy Goldstein of RateMyLeague.com had this to say:
The Dirty Dogs were carried by recent waiver-wire acquisitions QB Russell Wilson, RB Jaylen Samuels, TE C.J. Uzomah, and WR DaeSean Hamilton, who combined for 83.55 points. Samuels was filling in for season-long starting RB James Conner, who missed the entire playoff run due to injury. Most impressively, Buehre's optimal lineup was less than one point more than his Week 16 total, displaying Buehre's superior lineup management.
The Dogs went into Monday Night Football leading 149.45-119.05, but Buehre was not counting his chickens just yet.
"The game was neck and neck until the Sunday night game when I got a little lead," he said. "I felt pretty good going into Monday’s game but the week seven 32 points by Denver’s defense was lurking in the back of my mind."
But the Denver D/ST was nowhere to be found, and Buehre won his second championship in three tries as a result.
Xtreme manager Jason Bellar wasn't bitter and each manager made sure to congratulate each other on great seasons.
The victory lifted the Dogs to a franchise-best 12-3 record in 2018 and a 39-19 record overall. Buehre now leads the all-time series with Bellar, 3-2. With two championships in three seasons, the Dogs will have to be considered serious contenders going into 2019.
But Buehre wasn't the only manager proving RateMyLeague.com wrong this week. Xtreme manager Jason Bellar was roasted by the RML crew, having their draft ranked last in the PFC. And, whereas Buehre was forced to make two dozen moves to account for injuries, Bellar completed only eight transactions all season, with only two (TE Ian Thomas and WR Kenny Stills) post-draft acquisitions starting the Patriot Bowl. Yes, that indicates the Xtreme were extremely lucky when it comes to injuries, but it also shows that their draft picks were exceeding expectations.
Bellar was incredibly consistent (and incredibly mediocre) through his first four seasons, going 7-6 in each regular season from 2015-2017. But the Xtreme went 9-4 in 2018 before winning two playoff games to reach the Patriot Bowl. Unfortunately, when it mattered most, Bellar was let down by his top-three WRs (who combined for 3.60 points) and his special teams, as his K and D/ST combined for nine points. Regardless, even if all of those players met their projections, the Xtreme weren't catching the red-hot Dirty Dogs.
The loss dropped Bellar to 11-5 on the season and 32-25 overall. The Xtreme are now 2-3 all-time against the Dirty Dogs.
The defending champion Redlegs start 2017 atop the AFC standings once again, while the NFC champion Dirty Hippies failed to break triple-digits in their 2017 debut. The PFC champion Dirty Dogs, however, managed to start their title defense with a victory.
The injuries of David Johnson and Allen Robinson have reverberated across the league. Their owners already face adversity in the young season.
Only 12 teams remain in contention in the OIL playoffs after Nye, Roe, Cliburn, Jessen, Baldwin, and Cordes were knocked out in round one. Half of the semifinals field had a bye last week, so this is their first test since Rivalry Week. Good luck, guys. As always, game-by-game analysis after the jump.
By Team Tadlock Manager Derrick Tadlock
After last week’s action in the PFC, the Great Plains Drifters remain in first place despite a week 10 loss. The Boomtown Brawlers move up to number two in the standings dropping Team Tadlock and the SECFOR Sixers to third and fourth, respectively.
By Team Tadlock Manager Derrick Tadlock
There was more shuffling atop the rankings of the PFC after week 7 action. Team Tadlock moved back in to first place while the Great Plains Drifters dropped to third. The SECFOR Sixers moved to second after their victory. Injuries and byes could have an impact on some of the outcomes this week.
Game of the Week: