AFL: 2023 Austrian Football League Playoff Preview

The playoffs in Austria have arrived as four teams have battled through a rigorous regular season and given themselves a chance to be Austrian Bowl champions on July 29.

Vienna Vikings @ Prague Black Panthers – Saturday July 15, 15:00 CET

The first matchup of the playoff weekend takes place Saturday at 15 CET in Prague, as the top-seeded Prague Black Panthers (10-0) put their undefeated record on the line against the fourth-seeded Vienna Vikings (7-3).

Prague, while undefeated, has been in several nail-biting games, so far this season, including a one-point win over the Vikings in their last meeting. The physical Prague team does have the second-best scoring offense led by quarterback Tyler Jargin and the league’s third-best scoring defense. The Black Panther’s defense will look to continue the success it had against the Vikings so far this season.

The Vikings go into this game with backup quarterback Christopher Leder behind center, as they are coming off of a loss to the Danube Dragons in the final game of the regular season. Expect the Vikings to get running back Devontae Jordan involved early and often as this could be a short game filled with running plays.

Graz Giants @ Danube Dragons – Sunday July 16, at 16:00 CET

The league’s other highly anticipated semi-final puts the third-seeded Graz Giants (8-2) up against the second seeded Danube Dragons (8-2). Head coach Fred Armstrong and the Dragons hope to get back to the Austrian Bowl later in July for a chance to defend their title. Look for Dragons quarterback Alexander Thury and the league’s top scoring defense to play well against a well coached Graz Giants team.

Graz fell to Danube 24-6 in early June and will certainly look to avenge their loss and put themselves back in the championship game for the first time since 2016. Expect head coach Michael Mattingly and quarterback Wyatt Smith to have several new wrinkles ready as they hope to upset the Dragons in Vienna.

Alex is a former NCAA and semi-pro American football player who is now located in London, where he works in digital marketing. His goal in writing for AFI is to stay involved with the game that has given him so much. Alex enjoys covering leagues and