One of the season’s biggest upsets happened on August 6 as the Chicago Blitz beat the former No.1 ranked Seattle Thunder 34-38. But was it really an upset?
While Seattle has true star-power at several key positions, namely Quarterback and Running Back, the Thunder lacks any depth on its roster, has had very suspect secondary play, and was out-coached defensively in their earlier match-up vs Chicago.
Despite Seattle’s offense scoring a league-leading 112pts (82 coming vs Denver Rush), its defense ranks second to last place which could spell trouble vs. an attacking Chicago offense that can beat you with a physical run game. Seattle will lean on its experienced QB1 KK Matheny who was voted as the ‘most trusted QB1 in the Playoffs’ by a Twitter Fan Poll, Matheny has yet to throw an interception in 2022. In addition to Matheny, Seattle’s offense features a pick-your-poison-type attack with running backs Janetera Gleaves, Dominique Malloy, and wide receiver Kiarra Williams.
On the defensive side of the ball, Seattle has had its challenges, although Janetra Gleaves has had a very solid season as the third-leading tackler in the X League.
Chicago seems to be peaking at just the right time on both sides of the ball. Perhaps the biggest surprise for Chicago has been the play of its offense, coming into the Playoffs this unit ranked No.1 racking up 547 yards of total offense with most of it coming on the ground. In fact, quarterback Stephanie Raymond and running back Javell Thompson are the No.2 and No.3 ranked leading rushers in the league, respectively. When the Blitz offense does look to throw the ball, Raymond has been very efficient throwing for 7 touchdowns vs 1 interception and her favorite target has been Tamika Robinson who comes into the Playoffs as the No.2 ranked receiver in the X League (behind Kassandra Bills of Austin).
Defensively Chicago is led by middle linebacker Krista Kampa 2nd in the X League in tackles. The secondary is chaired by LaBrenthia Murdock who seems to have a nose for the ball.
With both franchises having had a very strong inaugural season, one of their storylines will continue onto Austin, Texas for X Cup 2022 while the other will experience a devastating end to their season on Saturday night.
What: X League, Playoffs Saturday
Date: Saturday, August 27
Where: accesso ShoWare Center
Time: 6pm ET
Betting Line: Chicago -5.5pts 62 Over/Under
Score Prediction: Chicago 32 Seattle 26
Watch: LIVE on FANPASS