by Backseat Coach
Last week’s record: 14-1 (93%)
Record for 2017: 58-11 (84%)
Boston Renegades (D1) @ D.C. Divas (D1) — D.C. may be adjusting to personnel changes, but they still have playmakers on offense and their defense remains intact. I do not believe the narrowness of their recent victory over the Sharks is a true indicator of the Divas’ relative strength as a team. But I do believe that the Renegades are the stronger team. But when it comes to two of the sport’s best teams squaring off, it comes down to who executes better on the field.
Philadelphia Phantomz (D2) @ Baltimore Nighthawks (D2) — I am quite excited about this one. Philadelphia may be 0-2 against DC and Boston, but this will be their first match against a D2 squad. This is also the first divisional game for Baltimore (1-1). And this could be a playoff matchup down the road. It is a statement game for both teams.
New York Sharks (D2) @ Keystone Assault (D3) — Last week, New York (1-2) were outright thumped by Montreal. The resounding victory indicates to me that in the New York’s previous game, D.C. lifted their foot off the pedal in the second half after quickly jumping to a 21-point lead. A classy move considering it was the Sharks Hall of Fame Game, one may surmise, but it artificially inflates the Sharks’ rating and affects other teams’ ratings upward and downward. New York is not a strong contender for the D2 title, but they should make themselves look good against Keystone (1-1).
Prediction: New York
Maine Mayhem (D3) @ Montreal Blitz (D2) — Congrats to the Blitz (1-0) who finally defeated their nemesis, the New York Sharks, last week. The Mayhem (1-0) are also off to a strong start, but the Blitz will win this one handly. Maine teams haven’t even scored against Montreal in the last three years, maybe more. Maybe they will post a better showing in this one. I would like to see this become a true rivalry some day.
New England Nightmare (D3) @ NY Knockout (D3) — With two losses against divisional competition, the Knockout (0-2) look to be at the bottom of the pile in the Northeast Region. We still don’t know much about the Nightmare (0-1) at this point, except that the USWFL runner-up did not look impressive in their only game thus far, a 32-0 loss to Maine. In this one, I give New England the benefit of the doubt.
Prediction: New England
Richmond Black Widows (D3) @ Carolina Phoenix (D2) — The Carolina Phoenix (2-0) have been gobbling up D3 competition with ease, defeating the Lady Gators and the Smash 60-0 and 42-0 respectively. The same fate awaits the Black Widows (2-1).
Pittsburgh Passion (D1) @ Detroit Dark Angels (D2) — Pittsburgh is rolling with three consecutive wins to open the season, and last year beat Detroit (1-1) convincingly twice.
Columbus Comets (D2) @ Cleveland Fusion (D1) — This is one of the longest running rivalries between founding teams of the WFA; the rivalry reaches even further back to the WFA’s predecessor, the National Women’s Football Association. Columbus opened 9-2 all time until Cleveland dominated play the last few years collecting six straight victories; Columbus’s last win was in 2012. This year, the Comets (1-1) look to be an improved team after an impressive effort against the mighty Pittsburgh Passion in Week One. Then again, the Fusion (1-1) also kept within two scores when they met Pittsburgh last week. The math and trends say Cleveland, but I think this has upset written all over it.
Chicago Force (D1) @ Indy Crash (D2) — Unfortunately, the Crash have announced they will be unable to meet roster demands following a hard fought game against West Michigan in Week 2. Sadly, they also announced that star player Lea Kaszas is out for the season due to injury. We wish Lea a strong and speedy recovery, and hope to see the Crash back in action next week.
West Michigan Mayhem (D2) @ Toledo Reign (D3) — Given the proximity and longevity of these teams, there have been surprisingly few matchups between the Reign (1-1) and the Mayhem (2-1). Only six games over 14 years of existence together, despite a drive of less than three hours. It’s been five years since the teams last met. But the Mayhem has won them all.
Prediction: West Michigan
Derby City Dynamite (D3) @ Cincinnati Sizzle (D3) — Cleveland and Columbus may own Ohio’s rivalry at other resident teams’ expense, but I like to call the Cincinnati Sizzle’s rivalry with the Derby City Dynamite the “Hundred Mile Rivalry,” as Louisville, Ky., and Cincinnati are separated by a mere 100 miles of Interstate 71. Derby City owns the all-time series 4-1, but until a blowout in the last meeting between these teams (74-0, DCD), the average margin of victory between the two squads was less that 6 points! I’m looking forward to watching this rivalry reignite. The Sizzle looks strong going into this one.
South Carolina Smash (D3) @ Atlanta Phoenix (D1) — This will be the second week in a row the Smash (1-2) gets torched by a Phoenix. Last week it was Carolina with a 42-0 victory, this week it will be Atlanta (2-0).
Music City Mizfits (D3) @ Tennessee Train (D3) — Is the Volunteer Cup up for grabs in this one, too? Doesn’t matter. Mizfits (2-1) own it.
Prediction: Music City
Miami Fury (D2) @ Jacksonville Dixie Blues (D2) — These teams first met on May 21, 2005 in an IWFL matchup; Jacksonville won 64-12. But somewhat surprisingly, they have only played a total of eight games in the decade since, with Miami winning only 3. The Blues (0-2) also won the most recent meeting in 2015, but this year, Miami’s (0-1) strong showing against Tampa Bay has them poised to be a winner.
North Florida Pumas (D3) @ Tampa Bay Inferno (D2) — I’d say it couldn’t get much worse for the Pumas (0-2) after getting squashed by Orlando 46-0 last week, but I can’t because North Florida now faces the Tampa Bay Inferno (3-0). And then Atlanta, and then TB again, and then Miami. So the Pumas are pretty much toast. But they won’t end their inaugural season without a win: they will collect a forfeit against the Central Florida Shine in Week 10.
Prediction: Tampa Bay
Minnesota Machine (D3) @ Madison Blaze (D2) — This will be the second week in a row the Machine (0-3) gets torched by a Blaze. Last week it was Mile High with a 65-0 victory, this week it will be Madison (0-2).
St. Louis Slam (D2) @ Kansas City Titans (D1) — With every meeting, this young rivalry deepens. Since St. Louis got over an 0-for-6 hump against K.C. with a 58-55 quarterfinals victory in 2013, the record between the two teams stands even at 2-2. Now the Slam (2-0) are defending their D2 title and the Titans (2-0) are trying to stake their claim with a talented rookie quarterback with seemingly limitless potential. The Titans have yet to lose at home to St. Louis, but I think the Slam breaks that streak.
Prediction: St. Louis
Houston Power (D3) @ Austin Outlaws (D3) — In an historically even matchup, Houston is 6-7 all-time against Austin, and there is no discernable trend to who wins or loses, it is just that close. Which is great for anybody who is turning out to watch the game. The Power (1-2) dominated the Acadiana Zydeco last week 36-0, whereas the Outlaws (1-1) just squeaked the Zydeco by 4 points two weeks ago. I’m going by the numbers.
Dallas Elite (D1) @ Arlington Impact (D1) — Arlington has gone 2-0 against weaker competitors, but there is no reason to think they will defeat the Elite (2-0).
Arkansas Wildcats (D3) @ Huntsville Tigers (D3) — This will be the first ever meeting of these teams. Huntsville (1-1) posted a 30-point win over the Tennessee Train, to follow a season-opening shutout at the hands of Music City. Arkansas (1-1) looks stronger by virtue of keeping the D1 Arlington Impact within two scores in Week 2.
Tacoma Trauma (D2) @ Seattle Majestics (D1) — I can envision the outcome of this game reflecting Seattle’s late trend of close, relatively low-scoring affairs, and I can also envision the Majestics (2-0) opening up their offense and putting up 42 points. What I can’t envision is Tacoma (1-1) winning this one.
Everett Reign (D2) @ S. Oregon Lady Renegades (D3) — The Everett Reign is a tough squad that looks improved from last season though their 0-2 record doesn’t show it. S. Oregon (0-2) was beaten mercilessly by Portland last week who wanted to make a statement after taking a loss against archrival Seattle. This game is the opportunity for Everett and S. Oregon to claim the next spot up in the pecking order. I think the Lady Gades take this one at home.
Prediction: S. Oregon
Utah Blitz (D3) @ Rocky Mountain Thunder Katz (D3) — This will be the first ever meeting of these teams. This might be a very close game. Some are probably still stunned that Utah (1-1) were upset by La Muerte, but I think the Blitz gets back on track against against the Katz (1-1).
Santa Fe Dukes (D3) @ Mile High Blaze (D2) — Mile High (3-0) are rolling and the Dukes (0-1) will not stop them.
Prediction: Mile High
Sin City Trojans (D2) @ San Diego Surge (D1) — The Trojans (1-1) are in an unenviable position of having no other D2 teams in the vicinity, so their schedule consists of either bruising matchups with California’s Big Three (San Diego, Central Cal, Los Angeles) or easy matchups against the nearest D3 teams. This week, they get the Surge (2-0). The Surge have won every contest with Sin City and their predecessor, the Las Vegas Showgirlz.
Prediction: San Diego
Los Angeles Warriors (D1) @ Central Cal War Angels (D1) — After falling just one point short of an upset of San Diego in Week 1, the Warriors (1-1) have another chance to assert their readiness to contend for the American Conference title. Meanwhile, Central Cal (2-0) looks to stay on top despite the Los Angeles rising not the mention the return of San Diego from hiatus. The War Angels are 7-3 all-time against L.A.
Prediction: Central Cal
Inland Empire Ravens (D3) @ Ventura Wolfpack (D3) — Thoughts will be with Wolfpack #93 Diamond Smith who was seriously injured in an auto accident earlier this week. The team has dedicated their game against the Ravens to her recovery, and proceeds from game will help pay for Diamond’s expenses. 5:30pm at Santa Clara High School in Oxnard, Calif.; please be there if you can. If you can’t be there, please support the GoFundMe campaign set up to assist Diamond and her family.
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