Here we go, it's time for the money rounds!
While it was certainly possible to win some cash before this point, there was no guaranteed money...until now. Even if you lose this week, you're still going to win $30. But that's the goal of exactly no one -- every player is looking for the win that will send them to the Conference Championship and a minimum prize of $75.
So now that the Wild Card players have all been left by the wayside, it's time for the eight division winners to start knocking each other off. Here's what we have in store this week (and my apologies for the truncated previews -- we're getting to this exceptionally late):
AFC #1 Seed Mary L vs. AFC #4 Seed Mean Machine:
After two full seasons in the league together, this is the first time these two are meeting head-to-head.
AFC #2 Seed Cutler's Revenge vs. AFC #3 Seed Vlad M:
Since this is Cutler's Revenge's rookie season, no great surprise that these two have never met head-to-head either.
NFC #1 Seed Evil Squad of Evil vs. NFC #4 Seed Ignats:
It would take quite a bit of research to see if this one for the record books, but at a surface glance, this looks like it might be the biggest case of one player owning the other that we have in the league. These two have met five times previously, and Evil Squad Of Evil has walked away the winner each and every time. This would be a perfect time for Ignats to turn that record around.
NFC #2 Seed Boardwalkers vs. NFC #3 Seed Turf Toe:
We have case of player ownage here in this matchup as well. Three times Boardwalkers and Turf Toe have gone at it, and it's been Turf Toe who came out on top all three times, including a Week 6 matchup earlier this season.
Ok, it's a shorter preview than we're all used to, but it'll have to do for now. Your Divisional Round pick submission is ready for your picks, so get 'em on in!
All right, the picks are in and we have a wide spread of possible results here. Two matches will be decided by a game winner, one by one game's total score and another that...well, we'll just have to see what happens.
Our only two-difference match sees Evil Squad Of Evil picking Atlanta and New Orleans, which means Ignats would advance if both Philly and Minnesota get a win. If they split those two, then the Saints/Vikings total score will be the first tiebreaker with a dividing line of 46, where Ignats wants the under and ESOE needs the over. If it's exactly 46, then we move back to the Jaguars/Steelers total score, where the players rooting interests remain the same -- Ignats looking for a total of 39 or under, and while ESOE roots for the total to press to 40 or above.
Both the Cutler's Revenge/Vlad M and Mary L/Mean Machine matches each have a clean, game-winner dividing line. If the Vikings win, then Mary L and Cutler's Revege both advance; while if the Saints take this one, then Vlad M and Mean Machine see action next week.
Finally, we have what will be the first game settled this week. Boardwalkers and Turf Toe picked all four games the same, but they also picked an identical score total for NO/MIN! That means their match will be done when the Steelers/Jaguars game passes the 41-point mark (giving Boardwalkers the win) or goes final with 40 or under (which is what Turf Toe is rooting for).
So that's that -- no matches will be settled by the Saturday games, so check back on Sunday afternoon to see how things shake out. Good luck everyone!
Jaguars/Steelers: Turf Toe needed 40 or under. Boardwalkers needed 41 or better. And both teams individually put up more points than either player thought they would put up combined! So in the end, it was very clearly Boardwalkers getting the win with one of the most over "overs" that we've ever seen.
No, really. Wow.
If you didn't watch this one, go and pull up a game recap on YouTube. It's ok, go on, we'll wait.
Was that a fricking game or what? An absolutely amazing finish with the Vikings picking up a crazy win, sending Ignats into next week's NFC Championship Match where he will meet Boardwalkers, and Mary L and Cutler's Revenge into the AFC Championship Match. Huge congratulations to these four who are just a win a way from stepping into the spotlight of NFL 1-On-1 Pool Super Bowl XIV!
So unfortunately, that leaves Vlad M, Mean Machine, Evil Squad Of Evil, and Turf Toe falling by the wayside. But hey, they each get 30 bucks for making it to this point, plus any bonus cash they picked up along the way. Each of them won their division, so the very worst they could do is take the $25 for that accomplishment, add in today's $30, and finish out their season with a $5 profit that they can spend on a shot of their choice to drown their sorrows. But we've got some Player of the Week awards and such in the mix as well, so each of these players acquitted themselves very well this season.
All right the Divisionals are over, we're on to the Conference Championships! Next week's pick submission page is available for our final four, so if you want to get them in early, go for it. Have a terrific week everyone!