Will the Fujitsu Frontiers add another championship ring to collection?

When the Fujitsu Frontiers take the field Monday, December 16 at the Tokyo Dome against the Panasonic Impulse in X Bowl XXXIII, they will be looking to win their fourth straight title and add another ring to their impressive collection.

Winners of four of the last five Japanese titles, the Frontiers would be aiming for their fifth in a row were it not for the Impulse who won the championship in 2015, beating Fujitsu in the process.

Only one team has ever four-peated in the history of the X Bowl, and that was the Obic Seagulls, who won the Japanese championship every year from 2010 to 2013.

The Frontiers enter the game as favorites but without the services of starting quarterback Michael Birdsong, they will be in tough. Birdsong suffered a season-ending injury late in the year and did not play in the 31-13 playoff win over the Elecom Kobe Finies.

Still, with his backup, Tsubasa Takagi behind center, the Frontiers remain a formidable opponent. Statistically, Takagi is the most efficient quarterback in the league. He has the best completion percentage, 70%, of all quarterbacks, throwing for 649 yards in a backup role in six games, and has the highest overall QB rating. He is a veteran and has been here before.

Samergy Grant has replaced X League 2018 MVP Trashaun Nixon as the league’s top rusher.  Nixon, who was a record-setting, one-man wrecking crew, underwent season-ending surgery after going down with a knee injury during the Pearl Bowl spring tournament. Grant led the league in rushing in the six games he played averaging just under 100 yards per game.

Fujitsu defensive back Al Rilwan Adeyemi has been here before and has anchored a defense that has captured four titles. This season, the defense allowed an average of 12 points a game, including the semifinal game.  If the offense, led by Takagi, can come anywhere close to their average of 46 points a game, the Frontiers could well be picking out another ring.

Photo courtesy of Al Rilwan Adeyemi

 

AFI
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