With the 3rd week of the Slovenian Flag Football League behind us we take a look at how the league stands in anticipation for the Playoffs. Week 3 was played out on June 9th in Kočevje in beautiful sunshine weather. The teams knew they were entering the second half of the competition where every game can change the final standings. With all the league games almost completed we now have answers to some questions that were still lingering. We also noticed one team’s climb up the ladder which we predicted back in week 1.
1. Novo Mesto OMP KNIGHTS
Novo Mesto managed to get all 3 wins again against teams which didn’t pose a threat to them. Wild Hogs showed the most resistance out of them but they had to admit defeat in the end. Dukes came to the tournament without their starting quarterback and finished their game without scoring a single touchdown while the Knights managed to score 10 times. The same thing was destined for Werewolves, the only difference was that they managed to score once.
Tadej Travnikar (QB) scored a record-breaking 100 points in these three games. With his performance, he helped Davorin Štravs and Denis Pugelj finish in the top 5 players of week 3. Denis started very slow this year due to defences plotting against him and putting their best players to cover him since he was the best receiver of the league last year. Knights are in the prime spot to take first place in standings and are favourites to take the title at the end.
2. Ljubljana KILLERBEES
KillerBees had to show they deserve the second spot on the standings by beating the trailing Wild Hogs on their own patch. Their defence played phenomenally and managed to snag 4 picks. It’s mind blowing how the team from Ljubljana only managed to win by 6 points in the end. Their offense just couldn’t reach the end zone and went 4 and out almost every second drive. They showed better against Werewolves and Alp Devils and managed to take home all three wins.
Their best player was Gregor Hertl who caught 5 touchdowns and picked opposing quarterbacks 4 times. He also returned one pick for a touchdown. Gašper Bajt was still the second best quarterback of the week but his game was way off his first two weeks performance. We can safely say the defence carried this team in week 3 mostly because of all the new players contributing in some way.
3. Kočevje LAZAR WILD HOGS
Wild Hogs were under the most pressure since they played their home tournament trying to prove they belong in 2nd place in the standings. Unfortunately, it didn’t go their way as they lost both games to the teams above. Next week they’ll play 4 games and theoretically, they can still secure 2nd spot but would need to win all their games and beat the KillerBees by more than 6 points.
Their best player was again Luka Uvodić (QB) who found his favourite target in Klemen Lavrič as the inside receiver. Sandi Čoragić was injured and had to be replaced by Tim Potisk who managed to get 3 sacks as backup blitzer. The older brother Andraž Lavrič gathered the most tackles.
4. Kranj ALP DEVILS
As we predicted Alp Devils are getting better with each game. They won against both Gladiators and Dukes and jumped to 4th place in the standings. They will also play 4 games next week in Ljubljana and can threaten 3rd placed Kočevje if things go their way. Both teams will give their best to climb another spot but Devils have more momentum going their way. Everything will be pretty clear after the first game when they play Wild Hogs.
Defensive players again carried the team, young Rok Filipovič got 6 sacks as a blitzer and Aljaž Zelnik again showed his playmaking skills intercepting 4 passes and returning one for the score while also totalling 20 tackles. Alp Devils can still rock the standings a bit with their last four games playing like they do currently.
5. Ajdovščina GLADIATORS
Gladiators started the competition ok landing on 4th place but steadily declined with each game mostly because of lack of players. Their win against Dukes in week 2 was pivotal and keeps them in a race for 4th place which is currently held by Alp Devils. Next week they play both Alp Devils and Dukes. They’re capable of beating both if they bring enough players.
In week 3 they brought reinforcements in their receiver Jure Andlovec who caught the most touchdowns for the team. We again saw a good game in the defence from Rok Silič and Matjaž Šuštaršič.
6. Karlovac DUKES
As already mentioned the Dukes travelled to Kočevje without their first quarterback. Luckily they only played two games which both ended with a loss. You really can’t be competitive without your starting quarterback in this league. For now, they have a game less and the same amount of wins as Werewolves so they’re technically ahead … for now.
They will also play 4 games next week in Ljubljana and they could win two of them. Their first game against Werewolves will be crucial if they want to go to the playoffs tournament. Werewolves also managed to win by only 6 points when they played Dukes in week 2 so a lot of things are still open for both teams.
7. Slovenska Bistrica WEREWOLVES
Last-placed team from last year is in the same position all over again. Currently, they have the lowest chance to advance to the playoffs. The Werewolves have 1 win like the Dukes but also one loss more. In Kočevje, they showed little resistance and lost all three games. They fought a good fight against Gladiators being close all the way to the end.
Next week they play against Dukes, Wild Hogs, and Alp Devils. First game against Dukes is their most important one since they can still secure the last spot to the playoffs with a win and a bit of luck. We think they could also surprise Alp Devils but it’s highly unlikely since all teams are going to fight for better position at the end. It will be interesting to see which team will manage to grab the last spot to the playoffs when all is said and done.
There are still some unanswered questions before week 4. Will KillerBees manage to hold on to their 2nd spot which brings them first-round bye in the playoffs? Can Alp Devils threaten 3rd place and avoid Knights in semi-finals? Which team will be watching playoffs from the stands?