Italian Football League heading into midseason with playoff spots already in contention

The Italian Football League (IFL) ended with a bang just before the midpoint bye week when the Ancona Dolphins went toe-to-toe with the Guelfi in Florence. And now as we enter the second half of the season, the race is on to snatch those all important playoff spots away from rivals.

Milano Rhinos (3–0) @ Legnano Frogs (1–2)

The Frogs are coming off their first win of the season against Mastini. Despite a close scoreline, the Frogs and their ever elusive quarterback Eystin Selum dominated for much of the contest.

The Rhinos on the other hand narrowly escaped Lazio with the win prior to the bye week. After losing star quarterback Joey Baughman to injury, the team has not looked the same. The core of the team remains strong, but they’re missing their X factor and their contest against the Rhinos may end up being closer than anticipated.

Verona Mastini (0–3) @ Ancona Dolphins (2–1)

The Dolphins went toe-to-toe with reigning champions Guelfi Firenze two weeks ago in what may end up being the most exciting game of the regular season. The final scoreline is not what they would have wanted, but they are quietly confident that they are only marginally behind the Italian powerhouse. 

It is hard to imagine this game not being a blowout with a Mastini squad that is struggling as much as they did a year ago.

Stainless Steel Warriors (0–3) @ Varese Skorpions (1–2)

Neither the Skorpions or Warriors’ standings are reflective of how strong they are as a team. They have not shown anything that makes you think they will challenge for the Italian Bowl this year, but both currently sit middle of the pack in offensive and defensive output.

Warriors quarterback Derek Green has played outstandingly so far. It just so happens that his last two opponents have been the 2021 and 2022 Italian champions. With a much more manageable opponent ahead of him this week, he will likely secure the team’s first victory.

Firenze Guelfi (4–0) @ Lazio Ducks (1–2)

The Ducks are currently sporting (arguably) the best quarterback in the league. Austin Albericci has been borderline unstoppable. In three games he has thrown for 790 yards, eight touchdowns and zero interceptions. He has also proved a menace with his legs rushing for a further 200 yards and two touchdowns. It has just been unfortunate for the Ducks that their defense ranks almost dead last.

This combination may prove exciting for fans this coming weekend against the score-happy Guelfi who will certainly put up monstrous numbers themselves. But the game will likely tip heavily in the favor of Guelfi come the fourth quarter. 

Daniel Mackenzie is a Press Association graduate who works in journalism and communications in the third sector. Daniel began playing football for the London Warriors and Team Great Britain and has since played across Europe.