Women’s Football Alliance Game Previews: Playoffs Round 2

The Cleveland Fusion stretch out on the field before their Round 1 game against the Mayhem; tomorrow they will face the Chicago Force in Round 2. Image © Cleveland Fusion, used with permission.
The Cleveland Fusion stretch out on the field before their Round 1 game against the Mayhem; tomorrow they will face the Chicago Force. Image © Cleveland Fusion, used with permission.
The Cleveland Fusion stretch out before their game against the Mayhem; tomorrow they will face the Chicago Force.
(Image © Cleveland Fusion, used with permission.)

The second round of the Womens Football Alliance (WFA) playoffs are the conference quarterfinals. There are 16 teams remaining; eight have at least one league championship title.

Click any of the matchups to expand the preview for that game:

[toggle title=”Columbus Comets (5-4) vs DC Divas (5-3)”]

June 22, 2013, 6 p.m. ET, Prince George’s Sports Complex, Landover, Md.
In-game updates: @divasfootball @columbuscomets
Current line: Divas (home) are favored by 26
Massey prediction: Comets 21 – Divas 49

As Division 2 champions, the DC Divas earned a bye in the first round of the playoffs; DC edged rival Pittsburgh for the division title with a narrow point-differential advantage. The wildcard Columbus Comets advanced to Round 2 by defeating the New York Sharks 22-20.

There will be very little unfamiliarity in this matchup of Division 2 foes; this will be the fifth meeting between the two squads over the past two years with the Divas winning all four previous contests. Over the course of those four regular season games, however, the Divas’ margin of victory has grown smaller and smaller. Look for that trend to continue if Columbus can avoid costly turnovers, but expect DC’s rushing attack to eventually outpace the Comets.

Backseat Coach picks: DC Divas

[/toggle] [toggle title=”Cleveland Fusion (9-0) vs Chicago Force (8-0)”]

June 22, 2013, 7 p.m. ET, Lazier Field, Evanston, Ill.
Audio stream: http://www.chicagoforcefootball.com/live.asp
In-game updates: @forcegameday @clevelandfusion
Current line: Force (home) are favored by 35
Massey prediction: Fusion 16 – Force 60

As Division 4 champions, the Chicago Force earned a bye in the first round of the playoffs. The Division 3 champion Cleveland Fusion advanced to this American Conference quarterfinal by smashing division rival West Michigan Mayhem 35-6 in the first round of the playoffs.

Clevelands much heralded defense will be put to the test when they face the defending National Conference champion Chicago Force. Chicago averages a league-best 61.9 points per game on offense, while the Fusion averages a league-best 2.2 points per game on defense. Though both teams were founded over 10 years ago, they met for the first time only last year in the regular season — Chicago prevailed 48-0.

Backseat Coach picks: Chicago Force

[/toggle] [toggle title=”Pittsburgh Passion (7-2) vs Boston Militia (8-0)”]

June 22, 2013, 6 p.m. ET, Dilboy Stadium, Somerville, Mass.
Video stream: http://www.livestream.com/bostonmilitia
In-game updates: @pghpassionfb @bostonmilitia @JanetTVfootball
Current line: Militia (home) are favored by 26.5
Massey prediction: Passion 26 – Militia 50

As Division 1 champions, the Boston Militia earned a bye in the first round of the playoffs. The Pittsburgh Passion advanced to this National Conference quarterfinal by decimating wildcard entry Cincinnati Sizzle in the first round of the playoffs by a score of 63-0.

This contest between the No. 1 ranked Boston Militia and No. 8 ranked Pittsburgh Passion makes for the highest combined ranking of any two teams facing each other in the conference quarterfinals. Boston defeated the Passion at Highmark Stadium earlier this year 42-28, and lead the very short series of head-to-head meetings 2-1. Playing on the road, Pittsburgh faces an uphill battle to even the series and move past Boston in the playoffs; the Passion have not won a postseason game away from home since winning the 2007 NWFA championship in Nashville.

Backseat Coach picks: Boston Militia

[/toggle] [toggle title=”Utah Jynx (7-2) vs Central Cal War Angels (9-0)”]

June 22, 2013, 10 p.m. ET, Groppetti Community Stadium, Visalia, Calif.
Video stream: http://ow.ly/me4z9
Current line: War Angels (home) are favored by 23.5
Massey prediction: Jynx 25 – War Angels 49

In the first round of the playoffs, the Division 11 champion Utah Jynx notched a big 36-26 upset over the previously undefeated Division 10 champion Seattle Majestics, who had stunned the Jynx for their first loss of the season way back in Week 1. The Central Cal War Angels’ stifling defense shut out the visiting Portland Shockwave, 34-0.

Last year, Central Cal defeated Utah in the opening round of the playoffs, but the stakes are even higher this year with a trip to the American Conference semifinals on the line. Expect the powerful Jynx offense to pull out all the stops to disrupt an Angels defense that held all its American Conference opponents to one score or fewer.

Backseat Coach picks: Central Cal War Angels

[/toggle] [toggle title=”Austin Outlaws (7-2) vs Dallas Diamonds (8-0)”]

June 22, 2013, 8 p.m. ET, Pennington Field, Bedford, Texas
In-game updates: Austin Outlaws Facebook Page, Dallas Diamonds Facebook Page
Current line: Diamonds (home) are favored by 35
Massey prediction: Outlaws 8 – Diamonds 52

As Division 9 champions, the Dallas Diamonds earned a bye in the first round of the playoffs. Their division foes, the Austin Outlaws, advanced to this American Conference quarterfinal by thrashing the Little Rock Wildcats 35-0.

Austin is enjoying its first winning season since the Diamonds joined them in the WFA in 2011. Prior to that, the Outlaws had compiled seven consecutive winning seasons. The Diamonds boast four championship rings from other leagues, and a total of nine division titles in its 11-year history.

This will be the third meeting of these division rivals this year. Dallas thoroughly dominated the Outlaws in two previous meetings this year, going 2-0 by a combined score of 104-0. The Diamonds have never lost to the Outlaws in its history, going 6-0 by a combined score of 330-28. Look for the Diamonds to continue its winning tradition.

Backseat Coach picks: Dallas Diamonds

[/toggle] [toggle title=”Sacramento Sirens (6-3) vs San Diego Surge (8-1)”]

June 22, 2013, 8:30 p.m. ET, Santana High School, Santee, Calif.
In-game updates: San Diego Surge Facebook Page, @msmsl2u
Current line: Surge (home) are favored by 17
Massey prediction: Sirens 22 – Surge 41

Qualifying for an historic eleventh playoffs, the Sacramento Sirens advanced to the second round of the playoffs by defeating the Pacific Warriors 25-6. The San Diego Surge, Division 13 champions and 2012 WFA champions, reached this American Conference quarterfinal by obliterating the Las Vegas Showgirlz 78-14.

This matchup is one of teams in transition. After ten seasons in the IWFL establishing itself as one of women’s tackle football’s most successful franchises, the Sacramento Sirens are the new kids in the WFA this year. They are only 2-3 against WFA opponents, but one of those wins was against San Diego.

The “new look” Surge has shed roster size significantly from last year, and are without veteran QB Melissa Gallegos. Despite having several multi-talented players such as Knengi Martin, Melissa Strother, and 2012 WFA Championship MVP Cassey Brick, San Diego is averaging 10 fewer points per game on offense and allowing 7 points more per game on defense compared to their championship season.

Backseat Coach picks: San Diego Surge

[/toggle] [toggle title=”Miami Fury (9-0) vs Atlanta Phoenix (9-0)”]

June 22, 2013, 7 p.m. ET, North Springs Stadium, Sandy Springs, Ga.
Current line: Phoenix (home) are favored by 1
Massey prediction: Fury 16 – Phoenix 21

In the first round of the playoffs, the Miami Fury was the beneficiary of a forfeit by a depleted Savannah Sabers team, though it may have cost them home-field advantage as they now travel to face the Atlanta Phoenix. The Phoenix defeated the Tampa Bay Inferno in a close contest 24-19 to advance to this National Conference quarterfinal.

After an uneven performance last week, the Atlanta Phoenix hope to consistently quiet the upstart Miami Fury who remain undefeated in a worst-to-first regular season. A stingy Miami defense has been flying under the radar all season, but they’ll need to operate out of stealth mode to defeat Atlanta who are averaging 49.6 points per game on offense.

Backseat Coach picks: Miami Fury

[/toggle] [toggle title=”St. Louis Slam (6-3) vs Kansas City Titans (6-1)”]

June 22, 2013, 8 p.m. ET, Shawnee Mission District Stadium, Overland Park, Kan.
In-game updates: @mamarcus17
Current line: Titans (home) are favored by 17.5
Massey prediction: Slam 20 – Titans 36

As Division 8 champions, the Kansas City Titans earned a bye in the first round of the playoffs. The St. Louis Slam, who were originally slated to play the Lone Star Mustangs, instead faced the Acadiana Zydeco when the Mustangs could not fulfill their wildcard bid. The substitution resulted in the most lopsided contest of the first playoff round, with the Slam prevailing by a score of 72-0.

When you include past iterations of the Titans organization, these division foes and state rivals have played so many times — this will be the ninth meeting in 3 years — we pretty much know what to expect: a hard-fought game from St. Louis and a victory for Kansas City.

Backseat Coach picks: Kansas City Titans

[/toggle]

Last Week’s Results

Pittsburgh Passion 63, Cincinnati Sizzle 0
Columbus Comets 22, New York Sharks 20
Cleveland Fusion 35, West Michigan Mayhem 6
Atlanta Phoenix 24, Tampa Bay Inferno 19
St. Louis Slam 72, Acadiana Zydeco 0
Austin Outlaws 35, Little Rock Wildcats 0
Utah Jynx 36, Seattle Majestics 26
Central Cal War Angels 34, Portland Shockwave 0
San Diego Surge 78, Las Vegas Showgirlz 14
Sacramento Sirens 25, Pacific Warriors 6
The Miami Fury advanced by forfeit.

Backseat Coach’s win-loss record in playoffs: 9-1

Massey Predictions and Zermelo Ratings by John Spatz, EZ Football Rankings.
Point spreads by Steve Mark, courtesy of New York Sharks.

2 Comment

  1. Chris says:

    The San Diego Surge play at my high school’s rival!? Dang. Go Phoenix and go Surge!

  2. […] Alert![/highlight4] have you read Backseat Coach’s Round 2 Game Previews yet? No? What the hell’s the matter with […]

Leave a Reply