WILD CARD WEEKEND PREVIEW

Woohoo, it's the postseason!

After the longest 1-On-1 Pool season ever, it's time to begin our biggest playoffs ever. The NFL started their expanded postseason schedule last year, but since we didn't have a pool then, this is the first time we're doing it at this level, and the first time there are 14 players vying for the prize!

One of the biggest changes from previous seasons is that the number of players that earn a bye has been cut in half. Rather than four players getting to kick back and relax this week, it's now only the #1 seed in each conference. And amazingly enough, that's a pair of rookie players, as it was newcomers Black And Blues Brothers and Delta Dawgs that earned their way to the top of their respective heaps. Now they get to sit back and watch to see who earns the right to compete against them in next week's Divisional Round.

So for this week we have twelve players facing off in six matches. Let's take a closer look at each one and see how they break down:



AFC #2 Seed Brenda's Bulldogs vs. AFC #7 Seed StuB:
The postseason gets under way with a repeat performance that is starting to become a pattern. Two seasons ago saw these two face off in the Wild Card round where StuB was able to get the victory, sending Brenda's Bulldogs home early. Four seasons ago, it was the opposite -- they had their first postseason meeting which saw Brenda's Bulldogs knocking StuB out of contention. Now they meet for a third time in the playoffs, and we'll just have to see if Brenda's Bulldogs can bounce back from the Week 15 loss that StuB handed her. Both players have definitely had postseason success -- Brenda is the 1-On-1 Super Bowl VI runner-up, while StuB was the champion of 1-On-1 Super Bowl IX champion -- so there's every chance the winner of this one is going to keep on rolling.

AFC #3 Seed Why Not Zoidberg? vs. AFC #6 Seed Louisville Islands:
target This is Louisville Islands third year in the league, and her third postseason appearance. Two seasons ago she made it to the Super Bowl, while last season she made it to Conference Championships -- not a bad rookie and sophomore performance. Why Not Zoidberg? joined the league in 2010, and while it took him a few years to make the playoffs, once he did he went on a tear. He made it every year from 2013-2016, including two Super Bowl appearances, but has spent the past four seasons trying to make this return trip. This pair met up the previous two seasons, with each picking up one victory, so this rubber match will be for much higher stakes.

AFC #4 Seed Vlad M vs. AFC #5 Seed JPP's Missing Fingers:
JPP's Missing Fingers joined the league in 2011 (as Chocolate Mudbuttons), which was the same season that Vlad M took it all the way to a victory in 1-On-1 Super Bowl VIII. Since that time, they've had seven regular season meetings, with Vlad M being the dominant player coming out with a victory in five of them. Coincidentally, these two met in this exact spot last postseason, with Vlad M once again moving on to the Divisional round. However, JPP's Missing Fingers definitely can't be counted out here. He's consistently had a high season pick total than Vlad M, and when we're dealing with a smaller picking pool like we do in the playoffs, getting just one right over your opponent becomes much more important.

NFC #2 Seed Turf Toe vs. NFC #7 Seed Rabid Ferrets:
Turf Toe joined the season in 2010 and rumbled his way right to the title of 1-On-1 Super Bowl VI Champion. That was his pinnacle, having won just three other playoff matches in the past nine seasons since then. However, each of those was against a higher-ranked opponent, which is definitely not the case here. Rabid Ferrets juuuust squeaked into the postseason despite back-to-back losses to finish the season, and an overall sub-.500 record. Still, there's a legacy of two 1-On-1 Super Bowls here, and the fact that he's beaten Turf Toe in four of their seven matches. Either way, it should be an interesting contest.

NFC #3 Seed Beep Bops vs. NFC #6 Seed Pigskin Palookas:
Sometimes when we look over the historical stats for these writeups, we come across a surprise or two. That was definitely the case here when we learned that even though this is his seventh season in the league, Beep Bops has only made one playoff appearance. That was in 2016 where we won in the Wild Card round before being eliminated in the Divisionals. Still, this was far and away his best season ever, and his Player Of The Year award gets extra punctuation when you think back to last season when he finished a league-low 2-14. Now he's looking to keep his rebound season going by getting past Pigskin Palookas -- something that, as it turns out, has not been historically difficult to do. In another surprise stat we didn't see coming, Pigskin Palookas has made it to the postseason five times in his 15 seasons, but has yet to ever win a playoff match. Will that change this time around? These two are dead-even head-to-head in their four previous meetings, so we're just going to have to let this one play out and see.

NFC #4 Seed Fighting Sporks vs. NFC #5 Seed Alabama Slammers:
Let's not be coy about it -- when the 1-On-1 Pool Hall Of Fame gets built, Fighting Sporks is the first inductee. The only three-time champion, the most postseason wins, and it would be much easier to count the seasons he didn't make the playoffs than the ones he did. He's been on a roughly "win a title every other season" streak since 2013, and this year he's due. For his part, Alabama Slammers doesn't have quite the same resume -- he made the playoffs in his rookie season of 2013, and then last season, both being one-and-done appearances. Can he get his first postseason victory and derail the Sporks Train? It seems if anyone can do it, it might be Alabama Slammers -- these two have had four regular season meetings (including Week 7 this year), and Fighting Sporks hasn't managed a single victory in their series.



All right, time to get your Wild Card Weekend picks submitted -- the deadline is 12:00 Saturday afternoon, which isn't all that long before the first game, so please don't be late with your picks. Remember that we're doing things a little different this year -- you're going to be picking all the games, submitting a first tiebreaker of a score total for the Cardinals/Rams game, and then a second tiebreaker of your prediction for the total offensive yardage for that game. Also, take a look at your seeding above -- if you're the higher seeded player, you'll pick an even number for the yardage total; if you're the lower-seeded player, then you pick an odd number (and if you have no idea where to begin with that, then the average game in the past few seasons was a little under 700 yards -- no telling what this one will be though).



The picks are in, and every match has a chance to be decided by picks rather than score/yards.

The Bucs/Eagles and Chiefs/Steelers games are both unanimous pick, but the other four will all have an impact, with a couple of them being the only dfference in a match. Take a look at the updated pick chart below, and check back tonight to see who punches their ticket to the next round today. Good luck everyone!



WILD CARD WEEKEND RESULTS

LV @ CIN: The Raiders came close to forcing overtime, but the Bengals held them off and ended their ridiculously long playoff win drought. That's a win for everyone except Louisville Islands, who now need a win tonight by New England in order to avoid being the first player eliminated from this year's postseason.



NE @ BUF: The Bills utterly trounced the Patriots, sending Why Not Zoidberg? into the Divisional round! It also spells trouble for both Fighting Sporks and Rabid Ferrets, who are now both a match down and need a low-scoing Arizona win on MNF in order to recover.

The Brenda's Bulldogs/StuB match will be decided by the SF/DAL game, but I'll be bartending until late Sunday, so we'll get that update posted after all the games (and if you're in the area, feel free to come by the Columbus Club to enjoy a beverage and watch the games!).



PHI @ TB and SF @ DAL: Nothing relevant here from the first game (expect we all get to point and laugh at Philly Phailures), but the second one was huge. While we all got to point and laugh at what happens when Dallas takes on a team that actually knows how to play football, Brenda's Bulldogs likely didn't find much humor in it. That one ended her season, sending StuB to a meeting against Black And Blues Brothers next week.

Nothing on the line with the Steelers/Chiefs game, so check back tomorrow night after MNF to see how the four remaining matches finish up.

NOTE: If the chart below isn't updated through SF/DAL, then refresh your browser or click this link to see the updated chart.



ARI @ LAR: This one might not technically be over while we're writing this, but this one was over long before we started writing this. The Cardinals are in an insurmountable hole in the 4th quarter, so we're just going to go ahead and congratulate JPP's Missing Fingers, Turf Toe, Beep Bops, and Alabama Slammers for making their way into the Divisional round!



So now we can look ahead and see what we've got in store for next week. Facing off in the Divisional Championship round will be:

Black And Blues Brothers vs. StuB
Why Not Zoidberg? vs. JPP's Missing Fingers
Delta Dawgs vs. Alabama Slammers
Turf Toe vs. Beep Bops

Congratulations to everyone that's made it this far! You can get an early jump on getting your picks submitted if you like. Check back in the next day or two for the Divisional preview. Have a great week everyone!



Brenda's Bulldogs StuB Why Not Zoidberg? Louisville Islands Vlad M JPP's Missing Fingers Turf Toe Rabid Ferrets Beep Bops Pigskin Palookas Fighting Sporks Alabama Slammers



DIVISIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP WEEKEND PREVIEW

The chaff has fallen before the wheat, and it's time to get cooking -- welcome to the 2021 Divisonal Championships!

We're in a bit of a time crunch, so we're going to get right to the previews for this week's all-important matches. Let's see what we have in store:



AFC #1 Seed Black And Blues Brothers vs. AFC #7 Seed StuB:
This will be Black And Blues Brothers' first bout of postseason action -- of course, as a rookie with a first-round bye, that's about the best setup one can ask for. StuB had a fantastic 2012 season, taking home the title that year, but has been 1-4 in playoff matches otherwise. Does that matter? Perhaps not...the whole concept of the pool is to get as many picks right as possible, but the smaller sample size in postseason action means every pick is more important. So when we consider that StuB went ten picks better than Black And Blues Brothers this season, things might be weighted in his favor. These two split their season series, so this tiebreaker will determine who gets to move on to the big(ger) money rounds.

AFC #3 Seed Why Not Zoidberg? vs. AFC #5 Seed JPP's Missing Fingers:
When JPP's Missing Fingers got a win over Vlad M last week, it was certainly cause for him to celebrate -- after all, woohoo, playoff win. What we didn't realize until this week was how personally groundbreaking that was for him. After ten seasons in the league and four postseason appearances, that was his first playoff win! Now that he's gotten himself off the playoff schneid, can JPP's Missing Fingers keep the ball rolling? Not if Why Not Zoidberg? has anything to say about it. How much does of a say does he have? Well, he's spoken pretty convincingly all three times these two have met head-to-head. Can he get the most important win to date between these two? Well, that's like a funeral with a glass coffin...remains to be seen*!

NFC #1 Seed Delta Dawgs vs. NFC #5 Seed Alabama Slammers:
Our other top-seeded rookie is getting ready for his playoff debut here, and...there's next to nothing to say about this matchup. Delta Dawgs had a stellar debut, but is untested in postseason action. Alabama Slammers got his first playoff win last week, but these two have never met head-to-head. Not much of a difference in their pick totals, so this one is close to impossibile to predict. May the better player win!

NFC #2 Seed Turf Toe vs. NFC #3 Seed Beep Bops:
High-quality matchup here, no question about it! The top-two players that had to fight through last week in order to get here going head-to-head? Almost seems unfair -- like this should be a Conference Championship match. But, that's exactly where one of these two will be heading. But which one? Beep Bops put up bigger number of picks this season, but Turf Toe's was definitely respectable as well. After four straight head-to-head losses to Turf Toe, Beep Bops finally got his first win in their series in Week 1 this year. It's certainly fitting that these two started the year against one another, and that same matchup will be the end of the road for one of them.

*(I'm so sorry. Apparently I'm letting bad jokes carry me through my playoff loss.)



And that's that! Picks are due with a hard deadline of noon on Saturday, but I'm hoping everyone has them in by Friday night so we can get thing posted early. Either way, head over to get your picks submitted. We've got four incredibly good games in store this weekend, and I have to say -- I'm not happy about being eliminated last weekend, but I'm not crushed that I don't have the weight of these picks looming over me. Good luck to everyone this week -- you're gonna need it!



Your picks are in, and we have a lot of drama on tap this weekend! Let's take a look at who needs what:

Why Not Zoidberg? and JPP's Missing Fingers have only one difference, so their match will be decided on Sunday night with Why Not Zoidberg? riding with the Bills and JPP's Missing Fingers laying it all on the line with the Chiefs.

Delta Dawgs and Alabama Slammers have a really interesting one brewing -- they have two differences, so if the Titans and Chiefs win, then Delta Dawgs gets the win; but if it's the Bengals and Bills, then it will be all Alabama Slammers. However, if there is a split in those wins, then we go to total score. OH BUT WAIT...these two players both picked an identical total of 55, so we'll then be going to total offensive yardage for the Chiefs/Bills game! If that's the case, then our dividing line will be 716.5 yards, with Delta Dawgs needing more than that number and Alabama Slammers needing the defenses to keep it under.

And that leaves us with the final two matches -- Black And Blues Brothers vs. StuB and Turf Toe vs. Beep Bops -- both with three differences (all our players this week like the Packers over the Niners...a smart move, considering Jimmy Garoppolo has never won a game where it was lower than 46 degrees out and he'll be playing in six degree weather). All four players need to take two out of three, so we won't know who is moving on until Sunday, where one match will be settled from the result of each game.



Ok, that's it for this weekend's preview. A win here leaves you just one victory away from a spot in 1-On-1 Super Bowl XVII -- good luck everyone!



DIVISIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP WEEKEND RESULTS

CIN @ TEN & SF @ GB: Today, the road team eliminated a hugely favored #1 Seed via a last-second field goal...twice!

No 1-On-1 matches have been settled as of yet, but three players have a one-pick lead going into a decisive Sunday. Check back tomorrow to see who moves on to the Conference Championship!



LAR @ TB: Our first Divisional weekend winner is in the books as StuB has ended Black And Blues Brothers' magnificent rookie season and will be moving on to face off against the winner of the Why Not Zoidberg?/JPP's Missing Fingers match next week.



BUF @ KC: A weekend of absolutely insane finishes ends with...an absolutely insane finish! When the smoke cleared, Kansas City made it to their fourth-consecutive Conference Championship, and brought JPP's Missing Fingers, Delta Dawgs and Beep Bops along with them!



So with this one closed out, we now know our final four -- next week's Conference Championship matches will be StuB vs. JPP's Missing Fingers for the AFC championship, and Delta Dawgs vs. Beep Bops for the NFC crown. Congratulations players -- you hung on and survived what was likely the most difficult-to-pick Divisional weekend we've every seen!

This was definitely an upset-heavy week. 11 out of a possible 32 correct picks is the lowest pick total we've ever had on a Conference Championship weekend. We've also never had a winning score of 1-0 this week of the season either. Crazy results, both on the field and in the pool. (Side note: Following up on what I said above about being ok that I didn't have to pick this weekend. For the record, my Rabid Ferrets picks would have been 0-4. Womp womp.)

Congrats to everyone that made it this far -- one more win and you've earned your spot in 1-On-1 Super Bowl XVII! Our final four can get a jump on getting their picks submitted here. Have a great week all!



NOTE: If the chart below isn't updated, then refresh your browser or click this link to see the most recent chart.

Black And Blues Brothers StuB Why Not Zoidberg? JPP's Missing Fingers Delta Dawgs Alabama Slammers Turf Toe Beep Bops



CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP SUNDAY PREVIEW

One more to go before the big dance. If you want to be able to take your shot in 1-On-1 Super Bowl XVII, then all that you have to do is get past that one player left in your way. Welcome to the 2021 Conference Championships!

28 players have fallen by the wayside, leaving us with our final four. For three of these players, it's their first time making it to this point in the season. For one of them -- StuB -- it's the first time in 10 years, since he won it all in 2012. For all of them, it's definitely been a great season up to this point, and now it's time to see if they can make it to that final step. Here's what we have in store this week:



AFC #5 Seed JPP's Missing Fingers vs. AFC #7 Seed StuB:
These two have just accomplished a first for this pool -- in the 16 previous seasons, we've never had a Conference Championship match between two Wild Card players. That means for just the third time in pool history, a Wild Card player will be making it to the Super bowl (joining Fighting Sporks who won it all in 2015, and Charlie Murphy who lost SB III in 2006). They've never met in the playoffs before, but in the ten seasons these two have been in the league together, they've faced off four times in the regular season. JPP's Missing Fingers took the early lead winning their first two contests, while StuB has bounced back and come out ahead the most recent two times. We didn't know it at that first meeting in 2011, but these two have been playing a decade-long best-of-five match with a trip to the 1-On-1 Super Bowl on the line.

NFC #1 Seed Delta Dawgs vs. NFC #3 Seed Beep Bops:
Well this certainly a fitting NFC title match -- the top player in the Power Rankings vs. the Player Of The Year! Beep Bops had the top spot for quite awhile, but a stumble down the stretch allowed Delta Dawgs to take over in the final week. It's a very rare thing to see a rookie make it to the 1-On-1 Super Bowl -- The Garoppolo Islands did it in 2018, and we had our all-rookie Super Bowl of Brenda's Bulldogs vs. Turf Toe in 2009. Now Delta Dawgs is looking to take it where rookies rarely manage to get. This is uncharted territory for Beep Bops as well -- he made it as far as the Divisionals in 2016, but this will be his first Conference title match. These two never met head-to-head this season, so as it turns out, their first matchup against one another will be for a trip to the Super Bowl!



All right, all over but for the shouting. We need these four players to have their picks submitted by noon on Saturday. Here's hoping these two games are half as good as the amazing action we saw last week. Good luck everyone!



The picks are in, and it's just the way we like it -- one match will be settled by each game.

Our first player making it to the Super Bowl will be determined by the straight-up winner of the CIN/KC game. All four players went the same way on both matches, with one exception: JPP's Missing Fingers went party-line and will move on if the Chiefs make it to another Super Bowl, while StuB was seemingly the only one who remembered how underdogs played last week and will be relying on the Bengals.

Our second match sees Delta Dawgs and Beep Bops with a definitive dividing line that will be settled via game #2 tiebreakers. Delta Dawgs will be hoping that strong San Fran defense comes to play and keeps the score under 49, while Beep Bops will be cheering on every deep shot taken by Stafford and is looking for the score to cross into the 50's or higher.

All right, that's that for this all-important week's preview. We'll be out all of game day tomorrow (assuming this blizzard has passed and the roads are reopened), so check back Sunday night for all your official results. Good luck players!



CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP SUNDAY RESULTS

CIN @ KC: Stop me if you've heard this one before...a scrappy underdog team kicks a field goal to win in overtime over a heavily favored opponent. This is definitely becoming a trend in the NFL the last couple of weeks, and this time that kick was one that sends StuB to the 1-On-1 Super Bowl!



SF @ LAR: Breaking news from the 2022 NFL Draft...all teams use their first round pick on a kicker! Makes sense to me, since these guys seem to be the ones to decide all the games lately! But the real stars of this game were the defenses, which massed together and kept that score total way down, well under the 49 points needed to send Delta Dawgs into the 1-On-1 Super Bowl in his rookie season!



So, were these pretty much the best two weeks of playoff football you've ever seen or what? Six games, all of them nailbiters right to the end. Now we know it'll be the Rams and the Bengals in the Super Bowl, and picking that game will be StuB and Delta Dawgs in the 1-On-1 Super Bowl! Really great job by both players -- kudos to StuB for making the gutsy pick that he needed to make (he'd have lost on point total had he gone straight-favorites like everyone else), and nice job by Delta Dawgs for respecting the defenses and not going with a "Stafford puts up monster numbers" score pick.

And that'll do it for this penultimate week of the playoffs. We'll be back in two weeks to see who gets to wear the crown and collect that top prize! And speaking of, I'll admit to being very remiss in collecting entry fees for the season. I'll make sure to block out some time in the next couple of days to calculate who owes what and who is owed what, and I'll send out emails to everyone breaking down your individual status.

Have a great two weeks, everyone!



NOTE: If the chart below isn't updated, then refresh your browser or click this link to see the most recent chart.

JPP's Missing Fingers StuB Delta Dawgs Beep Bops




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