ELF: Lucky Number (Week) 13 Previews & Predictions

I did it! I finally did it! That’s right, this guy finally predicted every game correctly here in the ELF. That means it has only happened twice this season: once in the CFL and once here. As we trek into the spooky, and lucky, week 13, I look to duplicate the same success I had last week this week.

Fehervar Enthroners(3-7) v. Vienna Vikings(10-0)

I know sometimes these previews can get pretty redundant and that happens primarily late in the season as these teams have separated themselves from each other. After a nice victory last week over the repackaged Prague Lions, the Enthroners have to travel into Viking Territory and take on one of the best teams in the league: the defending champions, the Vienna Vikings. The Enthroners have had a rough season without much success, but the 3 victories they have put together is something positive and something they can build upon for next season. The Vikings have another Championship appearance in mind, and they’ll do whatever they can to remain amongst the undefeateds. There’s only two teams left, as Rhein has continued to maintain pace with the Vikings. Fehervar is looking to spoil the party.

Prediction: Unfortunately, it won’t be close. Vienna 45-10

Stuttgart Surge(8-2) v. Raiders Tirol(7-3)

Oh man, oh man. On paper, there isn’t a bigger matchup this weekend than Stuttgart traveling to Innesbruk to take on the Raiders. Since changing starting QBs and losing WR Jarvis McClam, the Raiders offense has been anything but explosive. In the first game, they didn’t score their first touchdown until the fourth quarter and last week they only mustered 7 points. Granted, those 7 points came against the Vikings. The saving grace for the Raiders this season is that their defense is amongst the top in the league and easily, one of the best. The Surge, meanwhile, held off a tough Barcelona team, who tried to make it a game late last week. The importance of this matchup lines beyond the playoff picture. While the playoffs are definitely one of the major storylines in this game, the bigger storyline is the fact that the Central Conference Championship is also on the line. The Surge hold a one game lead over the Raiders, and to say this game is huge, would still be an understatement.

Prediction: Raiders offense continues to be lethargic, defense shines. Stuttgart 19-9

Munich Ravens(5-5) v. Milano Seamen(2-8)

If you watch the Summer Showcase, I mentioned on last night’s episode that the Ravens secondary is the most improved in the league. From week one until now, they have continued to steadily improve, and it has allowed to keep the Ravens in the playoff hunt. A big win last week over Hamburg, and Munich is now within striking distance of making the playoffs a reality. They still have a lot of work to do. This week they take on the struggling Milano Seamen. Milano got dogwalked last week and the defense is amongst one of the worst in the league this season. The Seamen have had a steady offense all year, but the defense has let them down. They’ll look to ruin the Munich’s opportunity to stay in the hunt and there’s a good chance they could do it. In week 7, they hung with the Munich offense until late in the game, if the defense can produce some stops, Munich could be surprised.

Prediction: Munich avoids the trap, offensive game. Munich 42-33

Leipzig Kings v. Berlin Thunder was cancelled.

Barcelona Dragons(2-8) v. Paris Musketeers(4-6)

After a hot start to the season, the Dragons fizzled fast after the injury to QB Connor Miller. While the Dragons stumbled through his absence, his return hasn’t been the spark that they had home, either. Miller hasn’t had time to produce and while the offensive line was once one of the best, it’s suffered as of late, and the offense has sputtered. The expectations for Paris were high. They signed, arguably, the top free agent quarterback and top free agent wide receiver this season. While the Edwards/Sweet combination has produced this season, the team has fallen short of expectations and left them on the outside looking in for the playoffs. The best storyline for this game is the Miller v. Edwards narrative as Miller replaced Edwards in Barcelona and Edwards, indirectly, replaced Miller in Paris – as mentioned on the Summer Showcase interview with Miller. This will be a game I’ll watch closely, and I hope there’s a lot of intense moments and the game comes down to the closing seconds.

Prediction: Game of the week, I hope. Paris survives late. Paris 31-29

Prague Lions(1-9) v. Cologne Centurions(3-7)

Not exactly the most exciting game on the slate this weekend, the Centurions defense has been one of those defenses that loves showing up occasionally. While Prague’s season has been marred in controversy and dismal play, they’ve managed to find a way to finish the season and hopefully regroup next season. While neither team has anything to play for in terms of the playoffs, pride is on the line in this game for every player involved. It just won’t be pretty this week. The Lions are looking to salvage some kind of victory here late in the season to show that they can win as they try to establish themselves in Europe’s top league. While Cologne has simply just been mediocre all season. The offense has never really been explosive and as I said before, the defense has failed to remain consistent throughout multiple weeks and games.

Prediction: Poor Prague. Cologne’s defense shows up. Cologne 23-7

Rhein Fire(10-0) v. Helvetic Guards(3-7)

I don’t know how long this preview will be. Unfortunately, it’s one of the biggest mismatches on the schedule in competition with the Vienna/Fehervar game. The Fire are, well, on fire. Jadrain Clark is probably one more legendary game away from wrapping up the MVP, if he hasn’t already. The Fire are the most complete and balanced team in the league, in my opinion, and that hasn’t changed since week one. Helvetic had a nice little stretch of games, but the Guards have an uphill battle here and I’m not sure their defense, or new QB Sky Noble, has enough in the tank to keep pace with Rhein. There really isn’t much more to say in this one.

Prediction: Jadrain Clark wraps up any last doubters for MVP. Rhein 52-18

Frankfurt Galaxy(9-1) v. Hamburg Sea Devils(4-6)

At the beginning of the season, Hamburg was playing like a playoff team. They were in games against tough opponents and even looked like they were about to get into a perfect playoff position with a midseason victory over Wroclaw. Unfortunately, the inconsistent play and results has led Hamburg into being eliminated and they’re in the middle of the pack. The Sea Devils will look to end the Galaxy’s bid at surprising Rhein in their bid to take the division from Rhein. Frankfurt is doing everything they can to remain in the Western Conference championship hunt. They survived a midseason injury to starting QB Jakeb Sullivan and the momentum hasn’t stopped for them. They did sign QB Christian Strong as an emergency QB in case of an injury to Sullivan, so Frankfurt is prepared for anything – and that doesn’t mean good things for Hamburg.

Prediction: Frankfurt stays one game back. Frankfurt 33-23

I have about 25% confidence in games this week. There are only a couple games that I feel good about, but as a collective, it’s not exactly the most confident. It’s highly unlikely that I go undefeated this week.

~Michael Washington

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