Historic playoffs in Germany: New Yorker Lions, Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns both undefeated

For the first time in the history of the two-division German Football League, the top teams in each division, North and South, have finished the season and enter the playoffs in Germany without a loss.

The Braunschweig New Yorker Lions and Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns ran the table in 2017, each notching perfect 14-0 seasons.

Since the inception of the German Football League in 1979 the only other time two teams finished with undefeated records was in 1987 when there were four divisions in the league. The Berlin Adler and Badener Grief each finished 10-0 in the 24 team league and ultimately met in the German Bowl with the Adler beating Badener 37-12.

This is the fifth year in a row that the Lions and Unicorns have topped their respective divisions and the third time sine 2011 that Schwäbisch Hall has gone undefeated in the regular season. The Lions were also unbeaten in 2014 when they went on to beat Schwäbisch Hall in the German Bowl.

What does this mean for the playoffs?

If you ask any coach, he will tell you …. absolutely nothing.

Once the playoffs start, anything can happen. Although both Braunschweig and Schwäbisch Hall  have to be considered favorites – at least to make it through the quarterfinal round – in a single round knockout game,  coaches are aware that the slightest change or injury can impact the outcome.

Nevertheless, Lions head coach Troy Tomlin, who is a veteran of these playoff football, and rookie head coach Jordan Neumann of the Unicorns, both know that they have to prepare their teams as if they were 0-0.

In the opening round of the playoffs, Braunschweig takes on the GFL South fourth place finisher, the Ingolstadt Dukes while the Unicorns will face the GFL North fourth place team, the Berlin Rebels.

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