SHAWNEE –– Four years after Championship Week heartbreak, the Rebel Alliance have claimed their first AFC title. Roe began his season with arguably the AFC's best draft class (ranked third by RateMyLeague.com) and then added breakout star TE Darren Waller in free agency. That was enough to win nine regular-season games and achieve the second-highest OPR OIL-wide. But the Rebels finished one game behind Steel Reign, dropping them to the AFC's second seed. However, given the opportunity to prove who the better team was on the field, the Rebels beat Steel Reign in the Thunder Bowl to claim their first championship.
Roe survived below-par games from QB Russell Wilson, WRs Tyreek Hill and Anthony Miller, and TE Darren Waller in large part due to Fitzgerald's team underperforming even worse.
Despite the loss, it was a great year for Fitzgerald. His Steel Reign squad won 10 regular-season games while he spent the season in Prague, Czech Republic. So, who's the real winner here?
MARLOW — We have a new champion in the AFC, and his name is Stephen Brosh. His Vultures clawed their way to a 170.80-140.55 Thunder Bowl victory over the heartbroken Doughboys, who have now lost three-consecutive championship games.
The Vultures were paced once again by QB Patrick Mahomes, the 10th-round pick who was the catalyst for Brosh's squad all season. But, while Mahomes's 36.95 points led the team, the unsung hero of the game was RB Elijah McGuire, who signed with the team December 19th after RB Isaiah Crowell was lost to IR. McGuire's 23.50 points were second-most on the team, although no one disappointed with the lowest-scoring position player still putting up 9.20 points (WR Robert Foster, playing in relief of WR Josh Gordon, who left the team during Championship Week to focus on his mental health). No other position player scored in the single-digits.
The win moved the Vultures to 12-4 on the year and 41-30 overall. The championship is Brosh's first, a fact that isn't lost on him.
"Finally! I've been waiting to win a championship ever since I started playing fantasy football. Everything just came together when it needed to," he said. "But I do hate that Green had to lose [the championship game] for the third year in a row."
For Doughboys manager Nick Green, the loss was devastating. He overcame four draft picks going on IR, his top draft pick (Le'Veon Bell) holding out the entire season, and a difficult schedule to put up the fourth-most points and an 8-5 record. Sneaking into the playoffs with the sixth seed, the Doughboys scratched and clawed their way to their third-consecutive championship game after losing the previous two to the Redlegs.
But it was not meant to be. First, RB James Conner, who admirably filled in for Bell all season, missed the entire playoffs due to injury. Then QB Tom Brady disappointed. Many view Brady as Football Jesus. But, today, when Green only saw one set of footprints in the sand, it was then that Brady abandoned him, putting up a paltry 8.30 points when Green needed him most. Finally, Green was prescient enough to sign RB C.J. Anderson when it was clear Todd Gurley may not play. But he was not prescient enough to start C.J. Anderson, leaving his 23.20 points on the bench while starting RB Josh Adams posted a 0.10 line.
The Doughboys still had a chance, despite Brady and Adams, thanks to their WR corps, who scored a combined 78.35 points, and their special teams, as K Mason Crosby and D/ST New England posted a combined 23 points. But only 10.40 points from TE Travis Kelce (8.50 points below his season average) and 6.90 points from RB fill-in Kalen Ballage doomed the comeback attempt.
When reached for comment, Green was brief. "I hate losing," he said. "I broke my coffee table."
The loss dropped the Doughboys to 10-6 for 2018 and 47-29 overall. They will enter 2019 as contenders once again.
We're finally here. 42 teams have been whittled down to six. Those six are: Zerger; Green; Cobb; Trovillo; Buehre; and Brake. Game-by-game analysis after the jump.
KENT, WASHINGTON — War Pony held on to beat the Rebel Alliance Monday night to win its second straight Thunder Bowl. The back-to-back championship are an OIL record. Congratulations to Jimmy Venable for retaining the Killman Memorial Trophy for one more season.
Click team logo to view its roster at Yahoo!
Steel Reign pulled out a 12-point victory against my beloved Sawtooths after Sawtooths QB Andy Dalton broke his thumb, scoring a mere 0.95 points. As a result, it was a close game and ultimately went down to the MNF Game between the Giants and Dolphins. The Rebel Alliance ran through Lynn's Brewmasters and put up a week-high 196.45 points. Great job and congratulations to those who advanced to the next round.
More analysis after the jump.
War Pony has defeated Hillier FF in the 2014 Thunder Bowl. That makes Jimmy Venable the AFC's first champion and make him eligible for a championship jersey. His uniforms:
What his championship jersey will look like:
Venable will have his name engraved into the Killman Memorial Trophy, and AFC Commissioner Nick Reed will ensure the trophy is shipped to Venable ASAP. Next, Venable will play the winner of the NFC's OIL Bowl. Whoever wins week 17's Liberty Bowl will have his name engraved on the Tenequer Memorial Trophy. Congratulations to Venable for winning the Killman and earning a championship jersey. His number 14 (for 2014) jersey is being ordered soon, and photos of it will be posted as soon as it arrives.
Jimmy Venable needs no introduction. 26 of the 28 members of the OIL were on the SECFOR mission that started this league. The 27th was in the 158 as well. The only manager who doesn't personally know Venable is Christopher Trovillo, whose Dirty Hippies won the NFC's OIL Bowl (Trovillo was an active-duty soldier).
He lost Danny Woodhead for the season right out of the gate and later lost Ryan Mathews for a large chunk of the season. But he chose late-round gems in Antonio Gates, Doug Baldwin, Steve Smith, Sr., and Brandon LaFell. And Peyton Manning did his part, too
Because this was the first season of the AFC, league relationships haven't matured to the point of strong trade relations. Even though these men all served together for a year in Iraq, a lot of them haven't been in touch in a while. As a result, Venable didn't finalize any trades this season, so there aren't any to analyze.