Wroclaw Panthers host undefeated Vienna Vikings in Eastern Conference matchup

The Wroclaw Panthers look to pull off a major upset and secure a victory in their playoff race as they host the unbeaten Vienna Vikings on Sunday.

The Panthers enter the matchup with a record of 6-3 and would make the playoffs as a wild card team if the season ended today.  They are battling several teams for one of three wild card spots, with their most notable foe being their division rivals in the Berlin Thunder, who are neck and neck with them in the Eastern Conference.  As such, a win on Sunday for the Panthers would be huge for their playoff hopes.  Unfortunately for them, they are facing an undefeated squad in the Vikings, so earning a victory will be a significant, but not impossible, challenge.

Vienna is already basically locked into a playoff spot, and more than likely will earn a first round bye as one of the top two seeds in the league.  As the defending league champions, they know what it takes to win, and will surely be looking to enter the postseason playing their best football.  That starts with this matchup against a solid opponent that gave them perhaps their toughest test all season.

Back on July 15th, the Panthers looked primed to hand the Vikings their first loss of the season, as they took a 21-10 lead into halftime on the road.  However, the Vikings’ defense pitched a shutout in the second half, and the offense recorded two touchdowns to give Vienna a 24-21 victory.  A Panthers win in that game would have been a massive upset and would have shown the league that Wroclaw is the real deal, but the team let victory slip through their fingers in the second half.  Now, they will get their opportunity for revenge at home.

Furthermore, this week will be the return of quarterback Matthew Vitale, who has not played since July 9th as he has been sidelined with an injury.  Before he got hurt, Vitale had proven to be one of the best quarterbacks in the league, as he threw for 1,403 yards and 17 touchdowns in six games before the injury.  In particular, his connection with fellow American Tony Tate was arguably the best out of any quarterback-receiver combination in the league.  If he had not been injured when the Panthers played the Vikings last time, perhaps Wroclaw would have been able to secure the victory.

With the playoffs on the horizon, this is a game with big implications for both teams, especially the Panthers in their wild card race.  Can they surprise everybody and take down the undefeated Vikings?

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.