NFC WILD CARD ROUND: BB Bombers - 21 at Rural Hall - 27. Rural Hall takes a 17-7 first half lead on the back of 3 BB turnovers but the Bombers come storming back in the second half behind Peyton Hillis (25c - 136 yds rushing) and nearly pull off the comeback. As usual the RH D has problems holding onto a lead.... (Thanks Kurt).
AFC WILD CARD ROUND: Albany - 10 at Tampa Bay - 17. Scoring opportunities by both teams kept this a nail biter throughout the game. Albany took the opening drive all the way down the field in convincing fashion only to be intercepted in the end zone. Later, Tampa driving deep into Albany territory, stalled out and went for it on fourth down unsuccessfully. The heart breaker for Albany was with 5:11 remaining in the game, down 10-17, and the ball on their own 2 yard line, marched all the way down to Tampa’s 8 yard line with 1:34 still on the clock, but ran out of downs. Tampa dodged a bullet for the victory. (Thanks Robert).
NFC DIVISIONAL ROUND: Lenox Hill - 3 at Buffalo - 27. Coach Baker displayed no ill effects of his recent medical woes as his Bills thrashed the Hitmen 27-3. Baker's team was clearly inspired to play well for their coach as Freeman, Charles, Britt, and Bailey all did their part to dominate Lenox Hill. Coach Brisman could only wonder what his squad was doing in the playoffs in the first place. (Thanks Andrew).
Rural Hall - 27 at San Pedro - 24 (OT). Amazing come from behind victory for Rural Hall! They tied the game with seconds to go, won toss in OT, and marched down the field for the game winner. The Rural Hall defense had no answer for Arian Foster and, with few exceptions, never even tried to stop him for fear of Peyton Manning's audible abilities. Both teams combined for over 800 yards in offense and were perfect on TDs in red zone. (Thanks Ray and Kurt).
AFC DIVISIONAL ROUND: Frostburg - 30 at Fog City - 10. On a windy day at Pac Bell Park, both teams struggled to find some consistency on offense. After the Sea Dogs tied the score at 10 with just under six minutes to play in the third quarter, a couple of big plays helped Frostburg to score on it's next two possessions and from there they were able to hang on.
Tampa Bay - 10 at New Jersey - 34. The Black Sheep had to deal with a banged up secondary and Matt Schaub took full advantage throwing for 370 yards and 4 TD's in just 3 quarters. After the Jawbreakers jumped to a 10-0 lead, Tampa tied the game after scoring a TD and then recovering an onside kick that resulted in a field goal with 2:10 left in the first half. Schaub then marched the Jawbreakers down the field in 7 plays, hitting Steve Smith on a 6 yard pass. It was all Jersey in the second half as they scored 24 unanswered points while the defense locked down on Rivers & Co., only allowing 88 2nd half yards to the Black Sheep. (Thanks Scott).
NFC CHAMPIONSHIP: Rural Hall - 21 at Buffalo - 35. The Bills got some big breaks in the opening quarter, scoring on their opening drive, recovering a fumble on the ensuing kickoff, and then getting a 98 yard kick return from Nate Washington to jump to an early 21-7 lead. Rural Hall battled back to tie the score at 21 with five and a half minutes to play in the 3rd, but Buffalo used an effective combination of Jamaal Charles on the ground and Josh Freeman dinking and dunking through the air to close it out from there.
AFC CHAMPIONSHIP: Frostburg - 12 at New Jersey - 27. Coach Gould was in shock when on their first offensive play of the game their very durable (10 Dur) star RB Matt Forte runs 8 yards but is injured and out for the remainder of the game!!!! On Frostburg's second series Kyle Orton goes on a 10 play drive but had to settle for a 29 yard Olindo Mare FG. Two key things here that Frostburg did not realize at the time. 1) this would be a constant theme. 2) this would be the closest they get to the NJ endzone. Although Matt Schaub had been playing at an all pro level this year, today was not the case. After getting the ball back, Matt Schaub throws his first of 3 int's. After picking up only 2 yards on 3 plays Frostburg has to settle for 52 yard fg to go up 6-0. Coach Gould knows he is in trouble so he decides to put Cassius Vaughn in as the kick returner, who delivers with a 58 yard kick return. Six plays later Tim Hightower runs 7 yards to give NJ a 7-6 lead. Frostburg responded with a 10 play drive but once again settled for a Mare FG to take a 9-7 lead. Vaughn follows with another big return to set up great field position, setting up a Matt Byant 31 yard FG. Another Frostburg 10 play drive results in a 38 yard Mare FG to make the halftime score 12-10 Retrievers. New Jersey got the ball to start the 2nd half.....but once again Matt Schaub throws an Int. However, Frostburg is not able to take advantage as Julius Jones fumbles the ball back to NJ a couple plays later. New Jersey would drive all the way down to the Frostburg 6 yard line. On 2nd and 4 from the 6 Matt Schaub has a wide open Steve Smith in the end zone but some how DE Corey Redding breaks on the pass and picks it off. After several punts NJ would get the ball back on their own 25 with 14:19 left in the game. Coach Gould decides to go hurry up and is able to produce a 14 play drive that brings up 4th and goal from the 1. NJ is going for it!!!! Coach Krautner is running down the line yelling "Time Out, Time Out" as he sees his defensive alignment is all messed up. Time out is granted. Couch Gould decides to go for the FG instead and Matt Bryant delivers, giving NJ the lead back, 13-12. NJ causes a 3 and out resulting in a Frostburg punt but Andre Caldwell is called for a penalty. NJ makes Frostburg rekick...Golden Tate under the ball, he jukes left, he jukes right...he sees a seam...he is gone!!!! 70 yard punt return for a TD...NJ is up 20-12 with only 8:17 left in the game. NJ causes another 3 and out and gets the ball back with 6:18 left. They pick up a couple first downs and move into FG territory (88%), however, after a couple penalties they are stuck in a 4th and 19 and decide to punt the ball versus attempting a 55 yard FG. Frostburg has the ball on his own 17 yard line with 2:06 and 1 time out remaining. Orton rapidly moves the ball down to the NJ 46 with 1:01 left on the clock. Then the NJ defense shows why they are ranked #1. After getting a 4 yard sack on 1st down, Sean Jones steps in front of a Kyle Orton pass on 2nd down and returns it 60 yards for the game clinching TD with only 0:35 left. The fans in New Jersey are going nuts celebrating a 4th straight UFE Championship game, while hoping Matt Forte can recover for his injury and Matt Schaub can recover from his worst QB rating of 36.1. (Thanks Scott).
NFC TEAMS (category ranking in parenthesis)
|San Pedro||Buffalo|| Lenox Hill|| Rural Hall|| BB Bombers|
|Record|| 14 - 2|| 13 - 3|| 10 - 6||13 - 3|| 10 - 6|
| Record v. Playoff Teams|| 5 - 2|| 3 - 2|| 0 - 4|| 5 - 1|| 2 - 4|
| Points Scored|| 25.5 (5)|| 28.1 (3)|| 20.3 (12)|| 28.3 (2)|| 23.9 (6)|
| Points Allowed||11.3 (2)|| 17.7 (9)|| 15.4 (6)|| 13.4 (4)|| 16.4 (8)|
| Yards Gained|| 330.6 (7)|| 354.3 (4)|| 287.5 (18)|| 302.0 (13)|| 354.6 (3)|
| Yards Allowed|| 264.0 (3)|| 288.4 (8)|| 300.8 (11)|| 272.5 (5)|| 293.0 (10)|
| Turnover Ratio|| + 14|| + 5|| + 14|| + 17|| + 20|
|Penalties|| 79 (6)|| 75 (2)|| 106 (20)|| 85 (7)|| 122 (24)|
WILD CARD PREVIEW: BB Bombers at Rural Hall 10th AD. Line: Rural Hall by 6. Rural Hall won at home back in week 7 by a 17-10 score, but a couple fumbles in the BB red zone kept the score closer than it could have been.
DIVISIONAL ROUND PREVIEWS: Lenox Hill Hitmen at Buffalo Bills. With a backfield of Charles and McCoy, the Bills pounded the rock more than any other team in the UFE in 2011, finishing with the 2nd most yards per game on the ground (trailing Jersey by a scant 0.4 yards per game). But the run game is what the Lenox D likes to feast on the most. Led by All Pro DT Kyle Williams, the Hitmen allowed just under 87 rush yards per game, 2nd best in the NFC. Bills' QB Josh Freeman put up solid numbers this year but the jury is out on whether he can carry the offense if the running game falters. On the other side of the ball, the Hitmen will need to get better production from their quarterback. Long time Lenox vet Shaun Hill has gotten the majority of the snaps this year despite a 74.4 QB rating. Look for backups Matt Stafford and Alex Smith to be ready to go if called upon. Line: Buffalo by 5.
Rural Hall 10th AD at San Pedro Beach Bums. On paper, this looks to be the most competitive game of the week. But back when these teams met in week 6, also in San Pedro, the 10th AD won convincingly. The Rural Hall defense held Arian Foster to 47 yards rushing and Peyton Manning to 137 yards passing. San Pedro was limited to only 41 plays on offense. Line: San Pedro by 3.
NFC CHAMPIONSHIP PREVIEW: Rural Hall 10th AD at Buffalo Bills. It is fitting that the conference title should come down to this matchup. These teams met 2 times in the regular season had a neck-and-neck race for the Central Division title all season long. In week 1 Buffalo lost 26-14 in Rural Hall. However, they returned the favor in week 10 winning 29-28 on a 3 yard TD pass with 0:18 left in the game. Line: Bills by 2.
| New Jersey|| Fog City||Frostburg|| Tampa Bay||Albany|
|Record|| 15 - 1|| 14 - 2|| 11 - 5|| 10 - 6|| 10 - 6|
| Record v. Playoff Teams|| 3 - 1|| 3 - 1|| 2 - 4|| 2 - 4|| 2 - 4|
| Points Scored|| 34.9 (1)|| 26.8 (4)|| 23.4 (7)|| 22.6 (9)|| 22.2 (10)|
| Points Allowed|| 8.6 (1)|| 11.9 (3)|| 13.6 (5)|| 18.1 (10)|| 19.3 (11)|
| Yards Gained|| 403.4 (1)|| 362.1 (2)|| 336.6 (6)|| 329.9 (8)|| 320.4 (10)|
| Yards Allowed|| 199.8 (1)|| 251.8 (2)||281.9 (7)|| 281.7 (6)|| 326.5 (15)|
| Turnover Ratio|| - 1|| + 4|| + 7|| - 5|| - 5|
|Penalties|| 66 (1)|| 95 (16)|| 96 (18)|| 86 (9)|| 89 (11)|
WILD CARD PREVIEW: Albany Wolfpack at Tampa Bay Black Sheep. Line: Tampa Bay by 3. These two teams squared off just three weeks ago in Tampa with the Black Sheep winning 34-26. This is the first postseason game in franchise history for Albany.
DIVISIONAL ROUND PLAYOFF PREVIEWS: Tampa Bay Black Sheep at New Jersey Jawbreakers. The numbers that the New Jersey defense put up this season are mind blowing. You name it and they are at the top of the rankings. But Tampa has a potent passing attack, averaging 247 yards a game through the air (2nd best in the league). The key might be whether their run game (3.8 yards per carry) can be productive enough so that Philip Rivers doesn't have to beat Revis, Asomugha & Co. all by himself. Line: Jawbreakers by 11.
Frostburg Retrievers at Fog City Sea Dogs. In both the 2008 and 2009 seasons, Frostburg was AFC East Division champion with an 11-5 record. Both years they were unceremoniously dumped from the playoffs in the divisional round by the squad from Fog City. After that second beating, the powers that be in Frostburg decided a new strategy was needed if they were to advance further. So that off season restricted free agents Dallas Clark, Wes Welker, and Vincent Jackson were allowed to sign elsewhere. The first round compensation draft picks that Frostburg received brought three current rookie starters aboard: Joe Haden and Earl Thomas on D and Bryan Bulaga on the O-line. The result? Another 11-5 season and a ticket to a divisional playoff game in Fog City. The more things change ...? Line: Sea Dogs by 5.
AFC CHAMPIONSHIP PREVIEW: Frostburg Retrievers at New Jersey Jawbreakers. These teams faced off in Frostburg back in week 6 with New Jersey winning handily, 30-14. Without its starting QB and both starting guards, Frostburg managed just 4 first downs and 162 yards of offense that day against the stifling Jawbreaker D. This time they are healthy and riding a wave of 5 consecutive victories, all against .500 or better teams. Line: Jawbreakers by 8.
|Rushing|| Arian Foster (San Pedro) - 1505 yds (5.0 avg); Matt Forte (New Jersey) - 19 TD's|| rushing leaderboard|
|Passing||Matt Schaub (New Jersey) - 112.1passer rating; Matt Ryan (Fog City) - 4157 yards and 35 TD's|| passing leaderboard|
|Receiving|| Larry Fitzgerald (Spokane) - 109 receptions, 1432 yds; Andre Johnson (New Jersey) - 13 TD's|| receiving leaderboard|
|Scoring|| Matt Bryant (New Jersey) - 156 points; Matt Forte (New Jersey) - 22 TD's|| scoring leaderboard|
|Points Scored|| New Jersey Jawbreakers - 558 (34.9 pts/g)|
| Total Yards|| New Jersey Jawbreakers - 403.4 yds/g|
| Rushing Yards|| New Jersey Jawbreakers - 186.6 yds/g|
| Passing Yards|| Fog City Sea Dogs - 248.1 yds/g|
| Fewest Turnovers|| Buffalo, San Pedro, Rural Hall - 15|
| Fewest Penalties|| New Jersey Jawbreakers - 66|
|Fewest Sacks Allowed|| San Pedro Beach Bums - 12|
| Fewest Points Allowed|| New Jersey Jawbreakers - 8.6 pts/g|
|Fewest Yards Allowed|| New Jersey Jawbreakers - 199.8 yds/g|
| Rushing Defense|| New Jersey Jawbreakers - 72.1 yds/g|
| Passing Defense|| New Jersey Jawbreakers - 127.7 yds/g|
| Most Takeaways|| BB Bombers - 36|
| Most Interceptions|| San Pedro Beach Bums - 20|
| Most Sacks|| San Pedro Beach Bums - 45|