The playoffs are here and, in the first round, comes what could turn out to be one of the best matchups of the entire season. The CVCA Royals have earned homefield advantage and will face one of their biggest challenges of the year in the Salem Quakers. The Quakers are projected to win the game 30-28 but nobody truly knows what's in store for Sunday's game. The playoffs are the best time of the year but also come with a great deal of drama as many powerhouses will even see their seasons cut short. Each week, it's do or die and, after this week is complete, half of the current playoff teams will be eliminated. The Quakers rank 40th in the division while the Royals rank 45th. A new game on the schedule for both teams, it should shape out as an unpredictable affair. Strategically, this might lead to complications that could throw off the gameplan of either team.
Looking to build upon their 3-game winning streak, Salem comes into the week at 8-2. After their 46-27 win against the West Branch Warriors, they are confident in their ability to finish strong. The Quakers offense will look to continue to improve as they've scored an average of 40 points per game over their last 3 games, up from their season average of 28.4, which ranks 43rd in Division 4. On the opposite side of the ball, they rank 36th in the division, allowing 19.8 points per game.
Coming off of a 27-7 loss against the Manchester Panthers, CVCA, hopes to build some momentum and rebound strongly with a win. Particularly in recent weeks, the Royals offense has struggled to put points on the board. In their last 4 games, they've put up an average of 21.25 points per game. Throughout the course of the season, they've averaged 25.6, which ranks 51st in Division 4. On defense, they rank 30th in the division, giving up 18.2 points per game.
Prediction: Salem to win (57.01% chance of victory)