Jett Zero, Ray Bentley
Banner Image by Andy Hamilton

Congratulations to the community, who squeaked out a victory against the shamans and prognosticators in the Zero Guarantees column by a single game. A hearty pat on the back to you all! However, as the Florida-Mexico game was too close to call in the community pick’em, it was counted as a tie – and we don’t condone ties in the Simulation Football League. Congratulations, then to Zero Guarantees, for another perfect season and an excellent win be default (the two sweetest words in the English language) over the Community WhoYaGot! Now, onto business: FOUR WILDCARD TEAMS ENTER. TWO LEAVE. See the previous statement about ties, because it’s the SFL, and it’s the postseason, baby. We’ve got the game picks you’re craving too, so let’s hop in before they get too cold.

#9 St. Louis Gladiators 24
#8 Chicago Wildcats 28

Saturday, April 11 | 1:00pm EST [FTF]

Welcome to the Season 14 playoffs! For any Simulation Football League fan, this Wildcard match-up certainly feels familiar. The Chicago Wildcats are once again hosting a team in the Wildcard round of the playoffs that they were previously bested by earlier in the season; this time, it's the St. Louis Gladiators, who enter the playoffs for the first time in team history with a 6-6 record. One of those 6 wins was, again, in the Windy City, so we have an idea of what to expect in this game, but I'd like to temper that expectation with the fact that the 36-30 win was also back in Week 7. In the remaining five weeks, both teams have been making a strong case for why they belong in the postseason, but only one will be able to move onto the next round. Gerald Smith and Jonny Pichler have been able to create something in the Gateway City that they'll be able to build off of in seasons to come, but we here at Zero Guarantees feel like this one swings back towards homefield advantage. With the chip on their shoulder from last time (and last postseason!), and not to mention having back-to-back OPTW awards with their wide receiver Liam Hammer, the Wildcats move on to the Quarterfinal round by 4 points. Rack em.
#10 Mexico City Aztecs 23
#7 Queen City Corsairs 26

Saturday, April 11 | 3:00pm EST [FTF]

The 2nd Wild Card game on the docket this Saturday features two storied SFL franchises that are no strangers to playing in (and winning) in the post-season. With a combined 5 SFL championships between them, only a match-up between QCC and the Florida Storm would feature a showdown with a grander championship pedigree. The Corsairs have won it all in Seasons 1, 3, 6 and 8 while the Aztecs stole the defending champ’s crown in Season 9. However, Season 9 IS when either of these teams last saw a title, and both franchises are eager to get back to the big game. Queen City currently boasts the league’s 2nd ranked defense while Mexico City fields the #4 offense, so it will be interesting to see how this dynamic plays out on the field. Remember, the Corsairs hosted the Aztecs back in Week 7, defeating them handily 29-19; a score that doesn’t accurately depict how out of control of the game Mexico City really was. A lot has changed since Week 7, but really only for Queen City, as they dropped two games heading into the home stretch. I predict a closer game this time around, but ultimately with the same result. The Aztecs are just allowing too many points to be scored on their defense (28 PPG) while the QCC defense has held steady, allowing only 17 PPG during the regular season. If the Aztec’s secondary can somehow blanket MVP-hopeful WR Stephen Hacker and force the Corsairs to lean more on their ineffective rushing attack, Matt Wilson and Co. may be able to do just enough to pull out the unlikely win here on the road in Western NY.

Season 14 Zero Guarantees Record: 71-49
Season 14 WhoYaGot Record: 72-47-1