And just like that, it’s all over again. Was it all a dream?
Nottingham Bandits (10-3) v Gateshead Spartans (7-6)
Winner faces Irish Flyers (10-3) in the North final
The Bandits have won 5 weeks in a row and have the capability to outscore absolutely anyone. They hit an all-time league record 201.6 points when facing the Chargers in week 10.
The Spartans scored fairly similarly to the Bandits throughout the season, but hit some bad luck in who they were facing on a weekly basis and ended up with 3 fewer wins and only just sneaked into the playoffs.
The North continues to assert its dominance over the South in the points game. The Bandits and Spartans have averaged 123 points per week this season, while their South finalist counterparts the Slashers and Packers have averaged 105.
The Wombats and Otters miss the playoffs for the first time in franchise history, and the Eagles are now the only team to have made the playoffs in all 3 seasons under the same owner.
Andover Sandslashers (7-6) v Chippenham Packers (6-7)
winner faces Coventry Eagles (12-1) in the South final
Week 14 will be a rematch of Week 13, as the Packers are coming off a 86.7-80.6 loss to their playoff rivals.
That was their second loss in as many weeks, although the situation will be slightly easier for Chippenham this coming week. Playoff virgins the Andover Sandslashers have hit some terrible injury luck at the wrong time. Their week 13 lineup featured Christian Kirk, Greg Olsen and AJ Green, all three of which suffered season-ending injuries. If the Slashers can overcome that, along with the earlier demises of Hunter Henry, Cooper Kupp, Jay Ajayi (the list goes on), then it will be quite a feat.
The Eagles await the winner of this matchup in what will be a historic third straight successive South title game for Coventry. Although the schedule is kind to those in the South, you can’t fault a 12-1 season in which they’ve only dipped below 100 points on the week once.
The fanbases of the Pythons and the Fireflies are still waiting for their first taste of playoff football.
2018 season records
See full historical records on the history page.
Most weekly points scored by one franchise: 201.6
(Nottingham Bandits v Hereford Chargers, W10)
Most weekly points scored by one individual starter: 41.2
(Christian McCaffrey, Gateshead Spartans, W12)
Fewest weekly points scored by one franchise: 48
(Hereford Chargers, W13)
Most consecutive matchups won: 7
(Coventry Eagles, W7-W13)
Most consecutive matchups lost: 10
(Hereford Chargers, W6-W13)
One eye on the rookie draft
Without any meaningful matchups left this season, the six failures can get a head-start separating their AJ Browns from their N’Keal Harrys. Only 172 days to go!
Draft order for the top 6:
1: Hereford Chargers
2: Flitwick Fireflies
3: Oxford Pythons
4: Oxford Seahawks
5: Wigan Wombats
6: Derby Otters
This is tough to believe, but all six of those picks are currently still with their original owners. The rest of the order will be determined by playoff results.