Italy: Showdown in Milan as Seamen square off against Firenze Guelfi, Vipers-Dolphins battle to keep pace

This weekend the second place Firenze Guelfi will travel to Milan to face the first place and undefeated Seamen in what looks like a preview to the Italian Bowl 2022 as the Italian Football League reaches the 1oth round of the season.

Firenze Guelfi 5-1 @ Milano Seamen 6-0

The Firenze Guelfi have come a long way from their week 1 loss to the Parma Panthers. Since then, the team has been joined by returning head coach Art Briles and gone on a rampage through the IFL, outscoring and out rushing anyone who opposed them.

This three-headed rushing attack, clearly the work of mastermind Briles, consists of quarterback Andrea Fimiani, Jared Gerbino and Ahmaad Tanner. Surprisingly, the most impressive of the three is the lone Italian and the quarterback, Fimiani, who has in recent weeks shown his skill as a passer as opposed to just a runner.

On the opposing side of the field are the Seamen. Milano has been picture perfect since week 1. While quarterback Luke Zahradka’s completion rate has hovered at around 60%, his yards and touchdowns have dwarfed that of any other passer in the league, with the next man down throwing half as many touchdown passes.

As impressive as the Seamen’s offense has been, their defense has been even better. Over six games they have let in an astounding 34 points (the second best defense hasallowed 108). This is a clear indicator of the dominance that the Seamen have displayed this year.

With Guelfi averaging 439 yards of offense a game, this will undoubtedly be where the game is won and lost. The Guelfi defense has not shown the same fervor as their offense thus far, but if they are able to force just one or two turnovers, they stand a great chance of beating the seemingly unbeatable Milano squad.

Ancona Dolphins 3-3 @ Modena Vipers 3-2

The Modena Vipers were one of the league’s hottest teams before last weekend, dispatching all would-be challengers with relative ease on their way to three straight victories. However, last weekend they were dismantled by the Seamen, dealing a serious blow to the team’s confidence.

The Ancona Dolphins have had a similar trajectory to the Vipers, winning the tight games early in the season but falling to the likes of Guelfi and the Seamen.

Despite these mid-season setbacks, both teams have shown that they can compete with the best of them and are now in prime position to make a run for the playoffs at the backend of the season.

The Vipers predominantly second-division roster has already taken leaps in the top division this year, showing some plucky play when the game is on the line. If they hope to contend in the playoffs however, they will need to bring some consistency to the table.

Milano Rhinos 1-5 @ Warriors Bologna 1-5

The final game of week 10 will see two teams fighting to stay in the top league when the Milano Rhinos travel to Bologna to take on the Warriors.

The Warriors started the season in decent shape, looking far stronger than they had in recent years. Import quarterback Gabriel Cousineau and running back Shakif Seymour have been able to keep the scoreboard ticking over and keep the Warriors in games.

But the absence of Cousineau in recent weeks has left Seymour at wildcat, stunting any semblance of offensive output.

The Rhinos, on the other hand, have been wildly inconsistent all year on both sides of the ball. Depending on what Rhinos team shows up, this could be a landslide victory or a touchdown less affair.

Daniel Mackenzie is a Press Association graduate who has worked in B2B journalism and comms in the third sector; with experience in both education and human rights. He played for the London Warriors for 15 years as well as Team Great Britain .