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Devils Destined to Win, Detroit Finally Adds Second Championship
The Detroit Devils were not supposed to win it all this year. They finished the season as the league's lowest scoring team. Their QB went down with a broken leg on the eve of the finals. They opened up the season in last place for the biased EJ power rankings. Despite all that, the Devils somehow found a way to make the finals and win. Detroit defeated Atlanta 112-89 in Fantasy Bowl XX to end the league's second longest championship drought. The Devils were last champions 17 years ago in 1999. The stars didn't align until 12:12pm (48 minutes before kickoff) when Atlanta decided to sub Jimmy Graham in for Kyle Rudolph. The decision proved to be lethal for the Jesters. Rudolph would have finished the day with 32 points, but instead Jimmy Grahasm contributed 6 points to the team. It was a 26 point dropoff which would have made up the 23 point deficit. Yes, Atlanta would be the champions for a 4th time had they not made that last hour move. We have seen this before when the 2011 Chicago Trim decided to bench Calvin Johnson for an unnamed individual minutes before kickoff. It also would have given Atlanta Coach of the Year honors had the outcome been in their favor. You could make a strong case that Atlanta lost the championship, but Detroit was the only playoff team to break 100 points in all 3 post season games. It was truly a team effort as 6 of their 8 players scored in double digits. The Devils took control for good after Mark Ingram posted 33 points in the 4 o'clock games. You might as well say they won it during garbage time. Ingram picked up two rushing bonuses, a receiving bonus and a TD on the Saints' final two drives when they were down as many as 19 points with 5 minutes to go. That's 21 points before adding up the yardage. Because of his late game heroics, Ingram was named the Fantasy Bowl MVP. Detroit finishes the season with the best record at 11-6. They are the second champion ever to finish the season with a negative plus/minus with the 2012 Anchorage Ice Knights as the other team. Atlanta becomes the second team to lose consecutive finals joining the 2011-2012 Chicago Trim.
The Bronze Bowl had North Dakota defeat Sterling Heights by 14 points, 91-77. The outcome was not decided until late on Sunday during the Packers-Lions game. The Nimrods completed the comeback when Nelson and Tate both got receiving bonuses in the 4th quarter. The Hooligans MVP, Ezekiel Elliott, watched from the sideline and was a healthy scratch. North Dakota's win was their second this post season and third ever in their 4 years. And for the fifth straight year, Sterling Heights failed to win more than 1 post season game. The Aussie Bowl had Tampa Bay narrowly beat San Diego by 4 points in the lowest scoring game of the week. After scoring 168 points the previous week, the Blizzard failed to even get half that total but still came away with a win. The Blizzard's win means they closed out the season by winning 8 of their last 9 games. The Surge were in jeopardy of making the all-time lowest scores list with 32 points until Stafford added 37 more. The #1 seed stumbled to close the season, losing 2 of their last past 3 games, for 4 of their last 5 seasons. The Overrated Bowl pitted two teams that entered the contest on long losing streaks. Los Angeles had a L4 and Denver had a L5. The game lived up to expectations as the Bombers were declared the winners 85-73. This game would of been a complete snore fest if it hadn't been for the defenses. Both defenses combined for 40 points which lead all position matchups. LA took a zero from both of their receivers. The Bombers won their 5th bowl game in six tries. On the losing end, the Diamonds have now lost 4th straight bowl games. The Jabroni Bowl was a shootout between San Francisco and Chicago. Both teams combined for 393 points which is the 3rd highest scoring bowl game just 4 points shy of the record. The quarterbacks and running backs also combined for 211 points which is more than every bowl game this year except for the Toilet Bowl. San Francisco won the game to pad their bowl record versus Chicago at 3-0. The Triumph also became the first loser of the Jabroni Bowl to score more than 100 points with a whopping 130 point effort. They closed the post season as the best playoff team with a 406 point post season. The Toilet Bowl saw Fort Wayne win a record 4th Toilet Bowl over Anchorage. The Pistons ended their season with their highest point total of 165 points, which led all teams in scoring for the week. They also finished the season as the highest scoring team. So, the highest scoring team in the league won the Toilet Bowl and the lowest scoring team in the league won the Fantasy Bowl. To add to the parity of this season and league, the Ice Knights went from first to worst. Even as the loser of the Toilet Bowl, they outscored all playoff teams except for the champion. All non-playoff teams averaged 141 points while playoff teams averaged 83 points. Everyone finished the season within 2.5 games of the 0.500 mark, where last place finished 5 games behind first place in the standings.