Commentary and picks by Backseat Coach. Photograph © Douglas Charland
Last week’s record: 19-5 (79%)
Record in 2017: 77-16 (83%)
Philadelphia Phantomz (D2#6) @ Pittsburgh Passion (D1) — Philadelphia can help their playoff prospects with a strong showing against Pittsburgh. The Phantomz need to remember that even if defeating Pittsburgh no longer seems like a possibility, scoring points against a top defense is meaningful in the Massey Rating system upon which the WFA Divisional Rankings are based.
New York Sharks (D2) @ Baltimore Nighthawks (D2) — Baltimore was smacked by Philadelphia last week 52-7. I don’t think New York is as good as Philly, but the outcome in this one may be similar. Though it doesn’t look like the Nighthawks will find a win against a D2 opponent this season, they will soar to a 4-4 record in the back half of the schedule.
Prediction: New York
Montreal Blitz (D2) @ Boston Renegades (D1) — Montreal is an excellent team who is a legitimate D2 playoff contender. Right now, the Blitz is ranked #1 overall by Massey and Massey even predicts a six-point win over Boston with 63% certainty. Don’t be fooled. That is just mathematical backwash from the ersatz outcome of the D.C.-N.Y. game in Week 2.
Maine Mayhem (D3) @ Connecticut Hawks (D3) — I am confident Maine will win this, but I think the Hawks will do credit to themselves by scoring a couple of touchdowns.
New England Nightmare (D3) @ Hampton Roads Lady Gators (D3) — Interesting matchup. I hate to say it but the NightMare just aren’t performing as well as I expected at the onset of the season. Since these teams face each other again in Week 9, this one will say a lot about how these teams seasons will look in the win-loss columns.
Prediction: Hampton Roads
Keystone Assault (D3) @ Richmond Black Widows (D3) — Richmond opted to stop play last week against the Carolina Phoenix. Once a certain number of players get hurt, the likelihood of other players getting hurt increases immensely, so they made the right decision. I don’t expect them to be back to full strength, but I believe they will have preserved their health enough to finish this one with a win.
Detroit Dark Angels (D2) @ Toledo Reign (D3) — This should be fun! The Dark Angels are 6-1 all time against Toledo, but last year, Detroit’s winning margins averaged only 7 points. For my purposes, they are neck-and-neck. Toledo has the momentum of a 28-6 victory over West Michigan behind them, and they play at home. I think Thee Reign take a close one.
Flint City Riveters (D3) @ Cincinnati Sizzle (D3) — The Riveters haven’t won a game yet this season, but they haven’t lost a game by more than two scores, even against D2 teams like Detroit and and West Michigan. That impresses me. But Cincinnati might be better than those teams.
Chicago Force (D1) @ DC Divas (D1) — A clear litmus test for the Chicago Force, not only to see where they stand against the reigning champs, but also against perennial rival Boston who narrowly defeated DC last week.
Indy Crash (D2) @ Columbus Comets (D2#5) — After Indy had to forfeit last week against Chicago because of injuries, Columbus is looking like the stronger of the two. Columbus really wants a solid victory, lest they lose ground in the playoff race to Philadelphia (D2#6) who has the opportunity of squaring off against highly ranked Pittsburgh.
Tennessee Train (D3) @ Huntsville Tigers (D3) — Huntsville has already derailed the Train this season 44-14 in Week 2.
Music City Mizfits (D3 #14) @ Derby City Dynamite (D3 #10) — It may only be Week 5, yet this game has playoff consequences. The Mizfits have looked pretty good so far, but if they want a shot at the playoffs, they need to boost their WFA National Division Ranking. Which means they need to take this game. On the other side, the Dynamite are emboldened by a comeback run against Cincinnati (D3#2) that was cut short. A lot can happen in 6 lost minutes. Derby City are out to prove they are contenders.
Prediction: Derby City
Jacksonville Dixie Blues (D2) @ Carolina Phoenix (D2) — Whether the Dixie Blues are having a strong season or not, they almost always find a way to play it tough against the top teams. But I expect Carolina to pull away in the end.
Miami Fury (D2) @ Daytona Waverunners (D3) — Just don’t know where the Waverunners are at, figuratively speaking. But Miami looks better so far.
North Florida Pumas (D2) @ Atlanta Phoenix (D1) — On social media, Atlanta keeps teasing at an impending record being made/broken at this game. It’s a good marketing strategy, because this is going to be an awful blowout. Now I have a reason to follow this one closely.
Kansas City Titans (D1) @ Minnesota Vixen (D1) — I’d love to watch this one. This is the first game of what should develop to be a long-time rivalry. Both teams are building around young quarterbacks. The Vixen are off to a great start under second year QB Kiersten Hansen and are poised to win their fourth straight. The Titans have a chance if they play a possession game and keep the chains moving with downhill runs and short passes.
Houston Power (D3) @ Dallas Elite (D1) — Dallas defeated Houston in Week 2 by a score of 58-0. This is not even about who will win. It is more about whether Houston (or any regular season opponent for that matter) will score at all against Dallas.
Arlington Impact (D1) @ Acadiana Zydeco (D3) — This will be only the third meeting between these teams. Even with the Zydeco at their strongest in 2016, Arlington won them both.
Arkansas Wildcats (D3#9) @ Austin Outlaws (D3#12) — These are the top two teams in the D3 Midwest Region; the winner of this game will likely have home field advantage in the playoffs. Arkansas has shown me that they are a pretty darn good team. But I am concerned with their roster size/injuries, as much as I am with other teams this week. They finished last week’s game with only 9 players. This can’t go on too long. On the other side, Austin is playing pretty well, too, with back-to-back wins.
Portland Shockwave (D1) @ Tacoma Trauma (D2) — When these teams met in Week 1, it ended Portland 54 – Tacoma 6.
Oregon Lady Renegades (D3) @ Seattle Majestics (D1) — I don’t think this one will be as close as their season opener (9-0 Seattle). The Majestics look to be getting stronger, and the Lady Gades totally stalled last week against the Everett Reign.
Mile High Blaze (D2) @ Utah Blitz (D3) — Prediction: Mile High
Utah Wildkats (D3) @ Santa Fe Dukes (D3) — Hard to pick the Wildkats because they are a new team this season, and have the smallest roster in the league. Plus it’s the Dukes’ home opener.
Prediction: Santa Fe
Central Cal War Angels (D1#7) @ San Diego Surge (D1#6) — After this game is played, there will still much to be decided in the Pacific Region playoff picture, but whoever does win this will have the upper hand as the season progresses. Besides the Boston Militia, the only team to defeat the Surge more than once is, you guessed it, the Central Cal War Angels. While the War Angels have also lost to San Diego 4 times, they are looking strong this season especially after a solid defeat of Los Angeles 28-19. I said earlier this season that it is very hard to pick against the Surge because they lose so infrequently. And they have never lost at home, EVER. Which makes this indeed very difficult. But I boldly predict that Central Cal will upset the Surge in their house in a very close game.
Prediction: Central Cal
Sin City Trojans (D2) @ Kern County Crusaders (D3) — In the Trojan’s feast-or-famine schedule, it is a feast week.
Prediction: Sin City
Rocky Mountain Thunderkatz (D3) @ La Muerta Las Cruces (D3) — Tough call. I expect a close game as both teams fought tooth against the Utah Blitz and both posted victories by a six-point margin. I will pick La Muerta in this one, since it is a home game, and particularly since it is their franchise home opener.
Prediction: La Muerta
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