Sweden set to wind up regular season

With the final weekend of play in the Swedish Superserien regular season coming up, and the playoff positions already determined, the two games are still important for momentum.

The defending champion Stockholm Mean Machines have looked impressive, winning all four of their games, but a loss in the final game to Carlstad, their finals opponents of the last two years, would not bode well. In the other matchup, the Örebro Black Knights need to maintain the pace they had last week against an Uppsala team that had their best showing of the year last week.

Saturday, September 26, Stockholm Mean Machines (5-0) @ Carlstad Crusaders (3-2)

This game supposed to be a battle for first place but the Black Knights spoiled the party by defeating Carlstad 20-13 last week. So the unbeaten Mean Machines will finish first with Carlstad in second.

The last time these two met was in the opening game of the season with Stockholm downing the Crusaders 18-12 in Stockholm. Since then, Stockholm has not lost a game or even been seriously threatened. QB Tim Morovick leads the league in passing yardage with 648 in the three games he has played. Pär Lindelöf (241),Ben von Jagow (238) and Edvin Almeida Taborda (229) are the three leading receivers in the league while RB Tim Göransson (233 yards) is the second leading rusher with Morovick right behind him in third with 197 yards.

The Stockholm defense has allowed only 55 points while the Crusaders have given up fewer points per game, 10. Mean Machines defender Leon Littfinski tops the league in tackles with his 22.5 averaging 7.5 a games. Behind him though is Carlstad’s Mattias Eriksson with 7.3 a game and teammate Christian Kuylenstierna who has 7.2.

Carlstad QB Danny Farley has thrown for 596 yards in the four games he has played with his key receiver being Jacob Bergwall who has averaged 53.5 yards a game. Carlstad boasts the leading rusher as Emil Knutsson has 257 yards in four games.

It is hard to predict the outcome of this game. With nothing on the line except for pride and also with the playoffs looming this might be a game where both coaches, Stockholm’s Fredrik Pilback and BD Kennedy from Carlstad, play their backups wherever possible. However, a loss of momentum going into the playoffs can have its consequences.

Saturday, September 26, Örebro Black Knights @Uppsala 86ers

Buoyed by the biggest upset of the season and decade, last week’s win over the Carlstad Crusaders, Orebro enters this game in Uppsala aiming to prove that it was no fluke. When the two teams faced each other a month ago, the Black Knights downed Uppsala 21-7

Since then both teams have had up and down seasons but last week both showed improvement and both played perhaps their best games of the year last week. Örebro’s 20-13 victory over the Crusaders was monumental and well deserved as the team played their best all round game of the season. QB Jake Sisson threw for 203 yards while Filip Wetterberg had a breakout game, catching seven passes for 102 yards and a score. Newly-arrived RB Mike Gentili racked up 86 yards rushing and 41 yards receiving in his Swedish debut. It was the defense that stole the show, keeping the league’s leading rusher, Emil Knutsson, to 39 yards on the ground and generally keeping the Crusaders offense bottled up.

Although Uppsala lost 34-14 to the Mean Machines last week, it was the best showing of the year for the offense in terms of consistency. With young Victor Ekberg starting and playing the entire game, there was a sense of cohesiveness. Ekberg threw for 182 yards and a touchdown and was calm in pressure situations. WR Mattias Gauthier caught a season-high 76 yards on three receptions while Oscar Nevermann had five for 39 yards and Joshua Akena four for 37. Akena is always dangerous as a receiver, running back and linebacker.

Uppsala can go into this game under no pressure as win or lose they will finish last and will face Stockholm in the first round of the playoffs. The Black Knights on the other hand, might be feeling a sense of urgency. A loss entering the playoffs against Carlstad might not give them the momentum they need to reach the final.

Watch all the action on AFI.tv.

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