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It's finally a DI club playoff of eight teams, with all eight having proven themselves in league play and/or playoffs to get here.
Here are our picks for how the playoffs will go:
Dallas Reds v Los Angeles
Dallas had to play in, but played well enough to win the Red River - it was extremely close. Los Angeles had arguably a weaker league to win, but still had to defeat a difficult San Diego Old Aztecs team to progress.
Overall we like the Reds, with their X factor of Kelly Kolberg helping bust the line.
New Orleans v Sacramento Lions
This will be an intriguing matchup because Sacramento has a lot of firepower. Their outside backs can score from all over the place, but the New Orleans players pride themselves on their defense, and rightfully so, as they gave up only 11 points a game. This isn't exactly their back yard, but New Orleans has been making the road trip to Texas all season, while it's new territory for Sacramento.
Will it be a case of one team having a relatively easier run in their league, and thus not prepared for the level of play in the quarterfinals? Maybe. Sacramento is not as playoff experienced as New Orleans, so we think NOLA will go through.
Schuylkill River v Metropolis
A team that came from almost-nowhere to win their region against a team that basically had this all sewn up months ago. Schuylkill River shocked all as they came from the #4 seed to win the Mid-Atlantic playoffs. Led by a strong back row and a lot of tenacity they will be hard-pressed to beat a Metropolis team that is very strong up front and with plenty of savvy out wide.
Metropolis can take a brain vacation, and if they do the Exiles will hurt them. But they won't.
Life v NYAC
This is might have been the matchup many thought would have been the final. Instead, because of the way the brackets fall, it's a quarterfinal. Life Metropolis, NYAC basically had this spot confirmed months ago. They are an excellent team, potentially one of the best in the country. Life is, should be, better. Life is deeper, physically stronger, and has long-range scoring ability. Having said that, NYAC has battled in the face of such odds many times and won.
This is a pick 'em, then, but we'll probably have to pick Life.
So that sets up Sunday's semis:
Dallas v New Orleans
Metropolis v Life
We like New Orleans and Life ... but then again, it could be NYAC all the way ...