Germany: Playoff All-Stars to watch this weekend

Yesterday, the German Football League announced its All-Star team voted on by the coaches and league commentators. This weekend most of the league’s best players will face off in the first round of the post-season. Keep your eye on some of these All-Stars as their teams will need them to show up in a big way in order to advance to the semi-finals.

Dresden quarterback KJ Carta-Samuels Photo: Nicol Marschalltop

Dresden Monarchs quarterback KJ Carta-Samuels led the German Football League in all major passing categories throwing for 3,340 yards and 46 touchdowns. In the Monarchs air raid offense, the former top high school recruit has excelled, orchestrating his unit to the tune of an impressive 44 points a game. This Saturday, however, the GFL’s passing leader might have to show off his mobility as he faces a fierce Allgäu Comets defense averaging a league-best 3.8 sacks a game. If the Monarchs signal-caller can keep himself upright, expect him and the talented core of Dresden receivers to put on a show in front of an always rocking crowd in H.-Steyer stadium.

Cologne’s Aaron Jackson stiff-arming a defender Photo: New Yorker Lions

Aaron Jackson’s big-play ability has been a constant for the Crocodiles all season. The 6’2″ receiver made some buzz in five games for the Crocodiles in 2019. This year, however, he’s impressed fans, coaches, and players alike making highlight catches every week. Jackson’s efforts have not gone unnoticed as he’s been named a GFL All-Star after putting up 1,215 yards and 14 touchdowns. The potent Crocodiles passing attack will need to put up a stellar performance as they visit a talented Saarland squad this Sunday with a semi-finals trip on the line. Expect one of the league’s best receivers to see plenty of targets against a well-coached Hurricanes defense.

Saarland linebacker Sasan Jelvani has been one of the keys to their historic season Photo: Demmer Fotografie

Saarbrucken’s homegrown linebacker Sasan Jelvani’s play is hard to miss. Statistically, Jelvani has stood out putting up a league-leading 28 tackles for a loss to go along with 11 sacks. Despite often being used as a pass rusher, Jelvani’s open-field tackling is among the best in Germany, making 78 tackles this season. The Hurricanes will need a big game from their veteran defender as he’ll aim to disrupt one of the best passing offenses in the league. If Jelvani and the Hurricanes defense can rattle Cologne quarterback Christain Strong, Saarland could make the historic leap from the second league to being one game away from this year’s German Bowl.

Monteze Latimore scoring one of his three pick-sixes Photo: Sara Phillip

The Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns will face off against a familiar foe this Saturday afternoon as they host the New Yorker Lions. These two teams have met in the German Bowl five out of the last six seasons, including most recently in 2019. One new face to this rivalry is GFL All-Star Monteze Latimore. Latimore signed with the Unicorns in 2019 before being ruled ineligible, then had his 2020 season canceled due to COVID-19. The saying “third time is the charm” rings true here as Latimore has finally become one of the leaders on Schwäbisch Hall’s defense this year. The 26-year old’s quickness and ball skills make him one of the league’s most exciting players to watch. Benefiting from a talented defense around him Latimore has snatched a league-leading seven interceptions in only nine games and even taken three back for scores. If the speedy cornerback can get his hands on an errant pass this weekend expect the Unicorns to be celebrating a win with their home fans.

Cowboys defensive end Dominik Siegel celebrates a sack Photo: Marco Wenzel

On Sunday afternoon the Munich Cowboys will visit the Potsdam Royals and the league’s top-ranked rushing attack, averaging over 220 yards a game on the ground. Needless to say, the Cowboys will need a big game out of the defensive line to slow down Potsdam’s dominant run game. Look no further than All-Star defensive end Dominik Siegel. After spending 2019 with the New Yorker Lions Seigel has starred in his return to Munich putting up nine sacks and 15 tackles for a loss. In a close game, look for Seigel to be the difference as he’s also used his length and basketball background to block two field goals this season.

This weekend’s playoffs will feature some excellent talent as most of the league’s All-Stars will be competing to be one step closer to the title game. Matchups include a variety of flavors from a 2019 German Bowl rematch all the way to the recently promoted Saarland Hurricanes taking on an experienced Cologne Crocodiles team. Fan’s are anticipating thrilling games all across the board as a wild GFL regular season shifts into post-season gear.

Click here to see the full list of GFL All-Stars

Make sure to catch all the playoff action on AFI.tv this weekend.

Alex is a former professional American football player who is now studying in London. His goal writing for AFI is to stay involved with the game that has given him so much. Alex enjoys covering leagues and players and sharing different football