1Conference Semifinals Recap
6. Boston Dragons – 17 @ 1. Birmingham Predators – 59
Birmingham’s incredible run just continued as they walloped the Boston Dragons. Birmingham led 21-3 after one quarter. Without strong weapons for a comeback, the game was over then for the Dragons. But Birmingham didn’t stop and took a 42-3 lead into the intermission and continued to roll to a 59-17 win. Dak Prescott threw five touchdown passes in the game. Alvin Kamara for a lot of revenge against a team that shipped him out of town.
Game MVP: RB Alvin Kamara – 11 Carries, 44 Yards (4.0 YPC), 1 Rush TD, 6 Rec, 82 Rec Yards (13.7 YPC), 2 Rec TDs
5. Pittsburgh Forge – 10 @ 2. New York Marauders – 41
After seeing how Pittsburgh destroyed Orlando this week, it was thought they could beat another strong opponent this week, but instead, they got dominated. New York did this despite completing only seven passes as well. Their ground attack accounted for 291 yards and four touchdowns, three coming from Devante Mays. Their secondary got a gigantic boost from Eric Reid’s return. Possible league-MVP Jon Jennings struggled with only 138 yards passing and two interceptions with no scores.
Game MVP: RB Devante Mays – 20 Carries, 87 Rush Yards (4.4 YPC), 3 Rush TDs
4. New Orleans Nightmare – 13 @ 1. San Diego Diablos – 6
New Orleans’ running game and defense powered them to another tough, hard-fought victory again. San Diego got a little dose of reality as they played their first good team of the year and only managed six points. Luke Falk was accurate, but only managed 101 yards passing and Alex Collins was held to only 2.8 yards per carry. New Orleans didn’t have the grand offensive day, but with a running game that grinded to 210 yards and that tough defense that never allowed San Diego to get into a rhythm, they got themselves back to a second-straight conference title game.
Game MVP: DE James Vaughters – 6 Tackles, 1 Sack
3. Nashville Renegades – 31 @ 2. Michigan Stags – 17
Michigan is always going to have to live with that they benched a successful quarterback Zach Collaros, who went 12-2 this season, for the always up-and-down Dominique Davis. Was there more upside with Davis? Probably, but he was very inconsistent in the game, wasn’t very accurate and made too many mistakes and killed the Stags. Nashville seems to have things going with some of the best offensive weapons in the league and a defensive line that might very well be the best in the league.
Game MVP: DE Tobi Antigha – 7 Tackles, 4 Sacks, 1 Hurry
Conference Finals Preview
2. New York Marauders @ 1. Birmingham Predators
Is this Birmingham’s game to lose? Absolutely. They have had New York figured out for a few years now too, but one thing to keep an eye on is the late commitment to running the Marauders have had. They shut down a high-scoring Forge offense by grinding down the field with their running game and that kept the Forge offense off the field. Birmingham can’t run wild on offense if they are on the sidelines.
Pick: Birmingham Predators
4. New Orleans Nightmare @ 3. Nashville Renegades
New Orleans is back in their second-straight conference championship game and want to get back to the Grand Finale to win it all this year. But before they can win it all they have to take on a very tough Nashville team that has hit their stride. New Orleans is running the ball well, but Nashville, with Jordan Howard and Tyreek Hill and their strong defense has a lot of different ways to win.
Pick: Nashville Renegades