Vienna Vikings begin ELF title defense against the Berlin Thunder

Last year’s European League of Football champions, the Vienna Vikings, kick off their 2023 campaign as they travel to Berlin for a matchup with the Thunder.

The Vikings were one of only a few ELF teams that were idle last week in the opening weekend of the season.  Therefore, they have had to wait a little bit longer to start their season with the goal of another championship in mind.  Though we have not seen them play yet in 2023, we can expect them to be about as dominant as they were last season, as most of the players from last year’s team have returned.  The main change for this year is the addition of quarterback Chris Helbig, who was arguably the top passer in the German Football League last year with the Potsdam Royals.  If the Southern Utah University product can play at the same level as he did last year, the Vikings will be extremely hard to beat this season.

Last week, the Berlin Thunder had perhaps the most dominant performance of any team in the league, as they welcomed Hungary’s Fehervar Enthroners to the league with a 36-3 thrashing.  Berlin scored on their first drive of the season with a touchdown from talented wideout Aaron Jackson and added a devastating 85 yard fumble return touchdown from Ludvig Myren at the end of the first quarter.  The Thunder used a big third quarter to pull away from the expansion team for good and coast to an easy victory.  Berlin’s offense was not particularly impressive, as they only gained 149 total yards in the game, but that was partially a result of a lack of time of possession and the fact that they really did not need to do too much.  It was the defense that stole the show, as they limited the Enthroners to just 102 total yards and had two defensive touchdowns.  The MVP of the game was easily the two-time Defensive Player of the Year, Kyle Kitchens, who had four sacks and returned a fumble he forced for 27 yards and a touchdown.

Will the Vikings begin their title defense with a victory, or can the Thunder make an early-season statement at home?

A current student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Carter played football in high school and has been a lifelong avid football fan.