AFC Wild Card: Cuban Refugees (7-6) vs Apple Eaters (7-6)
The Apple Eaters ended the league's longest absence from the postseason as they emerged from last place in the AFC West to capture the Wild Card and their first playoff appearance in six years. This marks the second consecutive year that the team with the first pick in the YFFL draft has made the playoffs in the same year. Chris Davidson is quietly prying Mike's fingers loose from the stranglehold he's had on the league the last two months and speculation is that he will even earn some Owner of the Year votes by guiding both his teams to the playoffs despite having far less talent. The Eaters making the playoffs is the worst thing that could have happened to Mike as they are the only team that can realistically win the Super Bowl aside from the Buddies and Chickens.
The Cuban Refugees meanwhile have slumped of late and are just an enigma of their early season success. They won the games that mattered though including a thrilling Week 12 win over the Bear $#@& that ultimately got them into the playoffs. Aceto's resurgence in the YFFL began with a preseason trade for Grossman and Losman, followed by the drafting of Laurence Maroney and Maurice Jones-Drew. This marks the second consecutive year that the team with the second pick in the YFFL draft has made the playoffs in the same year. Aceto should earn a lot of Owner of the Year Runner-up votes but his struggles with the White Guys will prevent any Justin Morneau for MVP-like upset.
The Eaters Tony Romo, Brian Westbrook, Reggie Bush and Marvin Harrison are about as dangerous of a quartet that you can find in the league right now. Each player is capable of a 20-point game on any given week. Michael Jenkins has a measly 32 catches this year for only 365 yards but 6 of those catches have gone for TDs, the highest percentage of any WR in the league*. Reche Caldwell and Neil Rackers are great X-factors and exactly the kind of guys Mike Kinsman hopes he doesn't have to deal with next week.
As of press time, Aceto had not chosen a starting QB but whispers overheard around the league are that he may go with either J.P. Losman or Jason Campbell over the ineffective Rex Grossman. It gets worse for the 2006 YFFL Feel-Good Story of the Year Cuban Refugees who will likely be without Laurence Maroney, who could be out with a back. Many of the YFFL hardcores were looking forward to a much anticipated showdown between the first two-picks in this year's draft. The Refugees lineup is a total crap-shoot and Aceto will be tossing and turning over who to start. Look for Jones-Drew, Tatum Bell, Reggie Brown, Javon Walker, Todd Heap, Adam Vinatieri and Matt Jones to fill out the lineup card.
The Aftermath (Predicted):
The game could come down to the play of the QBs. Which Romo will show up? The one that dropped 34 points, single-handedly killing the Merry Men's dynasty and ruined Steve's Thanksgiving a few weeks ago or the one that put up a goose-egg against the Buddies just five days ago? Meanwhile, can the Refugees get ANYTHING out of whomever they start at QB?
It's hard to believe that these two Stupor Bowl teams from a year ago are now meeting in the playoffs, but yours truly predicted that the Eaters would represent the AFC in the Super Bowl back when I sent the YFFL a post card from their training camp.
Eaters 42 Refugees 30
*minimum 30 catches
NFC Wild Card: Big Boys (7-5-1) vs Mexican Humping Beans (8-5)
The Big Boys underachieved and the Dragons overachieved all season long but I never had any doubts that they'd be in this position after Week 13. The Dragons had a great 2-year run but it looks like they will be in rebuilding mode the next few years, especially with up to five guys possibly retiring at season's end. For now it's the Big Boys who will represent the YFFL forgotten division, the NFC East, in the playoffs. For as good as the Boys have been this year, you kind of get the feeling they are playing with the house's money at this point. They have gotten more than they could have ever dreamed of out of Rueben Droughns, Thomas Jones and Darrell Jackson's knee.
Points-wise, the Beans had their worst season since 2001 scoring a YFFL West worst 475 points and only topping 40-points 4 times all season. Luck was on my side especially the first five weeks of the season when I reeled off 5 wins before coasting on fumes the rest of the way. Injuries began to kick in and losses to Portis and Jordan were devastating. Some people questioned the signing of Justin Fargas and Chris Weinke but both will likely be playing this weekend. I practically liquidated all of my assets to make the playoffs for the first time in three years and I have no regrets.
The Boys rely on the deadly Manning to Shockey combination and then when you least expect it, Reggie Wayne and Darrell Jackson usually hit you for quick scores late in the game. Is there a more annoying player than Darrell Jackson? This guy's knee was supposed to fall off a year ago. The RBs in this Wild Card match-up are some of the worst we've seen in the playoffs in recent memory. Droughns! Fargas! It's the Boys and the Beans next on FOX!
The Beans feature a lineup that includes Chris Wienke, Travis Henry, Justin Fargas, Chris Baker, Stephn Gostkowski and Eddie Kennison. Ouch. How did this team win 8 games!?!? Unlike the Boys, the Beans don't have a single player who could realisticly score more than 10 points in one game. That could be a problem.
The Aftermath (Predicted):
This margin of victory for the Boys will come down to who Eli Manning throws TD passes to: Jeremy Shockey or Plaxico Burress. If he throws one to Burress than the game could be a single-digit contest. Wayne and Jackson should easily outscore Braylon Edwards and Eddie Kennison while the 4 RBs will likely cancel each other out. Weinke will either be the talk of the league next week or just another cut this off-season. With two wins this week, Chris Davidson could steal a few more Owner of the Year votes away from a fantasy stud-loaded Mike Kinsman.
Boys 46 Beans 22