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.