Germany: Potsdam Royals continue their quest for perfection

The Potsdam Royals have been the talk of the 2022 German Football League season after rolling through the GFL North unopposed, racking up 10 straight wins with the highest scoring offense in the league.

Last week in the GFL quarterfinals, the Royals remained unbeaten after disposing of the GFL South’s fourth place team, the Straubing Spiders, beating them 66-25. Next week, the winners of the GFL North will take on their northern rivals, the Cologne Crocodiles in only the second ever semifinal for the Royals.

How did they get here?

Last season, the Royals finished second in the North, and made the playoffs for the first time. They defeated the Munich Cowboys in the quarterfinals and faced the Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns in the semifinals where they fell 28-18 in a hard fought contest. In response to the loss, they centered their offseason focus on signing potential game-changing players. Clearly offense was uppermost in their minds as they brought in quarterback Chris Helbig from Southern Utah University (NCAA Div. 1, FCS), and wide receivers Jared Wolfe from Villanova University (NCAA Div. 1, FCS), and Brandon Polk from James Madison University (NCAA Div. 1, FCS).

These players were picked with the hope that Potsdam would become a powerhouse as an offense, and that is exactly what happened. This was evident in their second game of the season on the road against a playoff team that season in the Berlin Adler, 51-17. The rest of their games would follow a similar trajectory. In most cases they embarrassed their opponents and only a couple of times were they remotely challenged en route to scoring an average of 51.4 points a game.

In the process, Helbig led the league in passing with 3,353 yards and 35 touchdowns while Wolfe was the second leading receiver with 88 catches for 1,403 yards and 15 touchdowns while Polk was third with 65 receptions for 1,223 yards and 13 scores.

Arguably their most meaningful victory came in their sixth game of the season, in what would ultimately decide the division. They decimated the Braunschweig New Yorker Lions on the road, 65-26. This was the same pattern for all four of their matchups against other North playoff teams, as they would win by double digit scores.

The quarterfinals were more of the same for the Royals as they obliterated an injury-depleted Straubing Spiders squad by a score of 66-25. It was tied for their second biggest offensive output for the season alongside their regular season finale against the now demoted Düsseldorf Panther. Their greatest offensive explosion came against the Berlin Rebels who they blew out 81-56 earlier in the season

When the Royals face the Cologne Crocodiles next week, they will be playing for a shot at advancing to their first ever German Bowl.

A recent graduate of Hofstra University in New York. He is currently a sports freelance journalist and podcaster