ZODIAC lead all with 9 catches, but overall, the Hitmen bottled-up the Mustangs All-Star trio (JONES- 3-46-0 / T- 7-95-0) and AZ's 45 yd td catch in the 4th was the Stangs lone big play.
Hitmen pressure was applied all day forcing 3 turnovers as SIKWITIT had 2 sacks ... and it was only a matter of time before the frustration would set in on the Mustang offense.
Turns out the grass wasn't the only "fluffy" thing out there (Mustang defense too) as the Hitmen shredded them for over 750 total yards and connected  on 87% of their pass attempts ... Game MVP ICON was 22 of 25 for 501 yards and 6 td's ... he also rushed for 84 yards, caught a 35 yd td pass and picked off an interception that was pitched-back to SLASH for a score ... PAPI also contributed to the damage completing 4 of 5 for 103 yards and 3 td's plus adding an 8 yd td catch in the "Josh-promised" Hitmen blow-out over Mustangs.
CYA grabbed 144 yards worth ... SIXSENSE 139 and a pick ... FRANKLIN had 112 and 2 scores ... CHINO had 3 td's on 3 receptions .. PRODIGY scored 1 ... as did TANK
MUSTANG OFFENSE:  Just like the Hitmen defense is a major reason why they're here, the Mustangs offense earned them their invite ... Broadway 's 133.3 passer rating this season was the 2nd best of his career ...  his 60 td passes marked the 3rd time in his career he's lead the league in touchdown throws ... and his 5,406 passing  yards was the 5th time in the last 6 seasons he's lead the league in that category ... he also threw a league-high 19 picks ... but that's the Mustangs offensive-philosophy ... gamble here and there ... part of that "shoot-out" mentality they use ... interceptions are considered "collateral damage" of sorts ... while trying to get the ball to their weapons of mass-destruction ...T just might be as good as he says he is ;) ... he's accomplished something no other receiver in this league has ever done - and we've had a lot of real good receivers here - he became the the first player to lead the league in both yards and touchdowns in two separate seasons ... and he's done it  back-to-back ... with Jones (76 career td's in 7 seasons) and Zodiac (back-to-back 1000 yd seasons), the Mustangs give TMH a run for their money as to who owns the best trio at wide receiver ... JYD had his best season (36-606-8) ... somehow he doesn't get the (all-star) recognition ... maybe because of those other 3 guys or probably because he's a "tweener" - half WR/half TE ..., but he's a big target with soft hands and speed who defenses can ill afford to lose track of ... Alstott is the top of the line stud who'll takes on anyone in the pit and his 19.7 yard per catch average lead all TE's this season ... and the job he's done with this franchise after last seasons fall-out, returning it to where they are now ... he get's my nod as GM of the year ...
MUSTANG DEFENSE: Ya gotta love the season Saltine put together ... thrust into a new position after the Superbowl trade, with only 1 sack the season before, he proved to be up to the task and responded with the record 16 sacks ... and technically doing so in only 8 games (missed one game and that week 2 wash-out thing) ... his lunch-pail work-style approach seems to be what ignites this defense ... the team relies on more of a system thing, working well as a whole unit then individual stars ... Cosme doesn't collect a lot of sacks (1) and aint gonna lead the league in picks, but he does a solid job at LB stuffing whatever comes his way and was once again recognized by all-star voters for his play ... new kid Dash gave the defense more speed and his reaction to the ball is pure quickness ... also showed he can do things for the offense as well, coming up with a few 80 yard-plus plays ... another rookie who made an impact and added some quickness to the defense is AZ (a.k.a Andy) ... the Mustangs defense will always be thought of 2nd compared to what they do on offense, but the play of these guys are the difference from last season (6-4) to this season (8-2) ... they make plays when needed and it comes from all over ... one week it'll be Hernandez (a.k.a. Bonus) intercepting two 2nd half passes to close the door on his former team in the championship game ... one week it's Jimmy (who had a career-best 3 int's) making the clutch pick to seal the win over the Hitmen in week 5 ... or Trek making 2 picks in a game against the Outlaws to help in that win ...  no one player had more than 3 picks ... in fact, the team was minus-5 on the turn-over ratio part ... but they made the plays when the play had to be made ... and now they're here ... sff:)
HITMEN OFFENSE: Only the first time in his career that Icon failed to lead the league in passing efficiency ... the 127.4 passer-rating this season was his lowest  ... as was his 65% completion percentage...  and although usually very careful with the ball, he tossed a career-high 11 picks ... but he still has the cannon and his running ability (4X 1000 yard rusher) is what separates him from other quarterbacks ...  and bottom-line, nobody's won more games ... or titles ...  Cya, the all-time leader in total yards and receptions surpassed the 10,000 yard mark this season and is not showing any signs of slowing down as he posted a 21.1yard-per-catch average, the 3rd highest of his 10 season career ... Papi's versatility as a receiver (34-551-6), defender (5 int's) and passer (3 td's)  made him the Hitmens most valuable new addition ... possibly the most valuable new addition of any team this season ... Chino suffered from the sophomore jinx that has now plagued every non-quarterback winner of the Rookie of the Year honor ... for whatever reason, no (non-qb) winner of that award has been able to duplicate or better the success they had their rookie year ... his #'s dropped from 31 receptions/17 td's to 12 receptions/2 td's ... but his 22.6 average did lead the team and his 3 int's against TMH in the championship were huge ... Josh does a solid job at TE keeping the pass rush off Icon and does an even better job of letting opposing teams know what he thinks of them :) ... only had a 5.5 yard per-catch average but is a target near the end zone as his 3 scores would prove ... the match-up with Saltine should be interesting ...
HITMEN DEFENSE: The Hitmen have always had a knack for finding new talent ... 4 times now in their 12 season history, they've brought in the Rookie of the Year winner ... most by any franchise ... this years winner SikWitIt lead the NFC in sacks with 9 ... and teamed up with 2-time all-star LB and single-game holder of the sack record Tank, they bring the heat as well as any unit in the league ... Prodigy is another new addition to the team and provided big plays at corner, none bigger than the 2 interceptions he returned for score's in the win over TMH during the regular season ... the defense in solidified by the savvy - veteran experience of Sixsense and Slash ... maybe it was the injuries that limited Franklin this season ... his numbers dropped on both sides of the ball with a career low 13.9 yard per-catch average with just 1 td and only 1 interception ... but when they line him and Icon up back there ... you're seeing the #1 and #3 all-time interceptors with over 100 career picks between them both, 25 of which they took to the house for scores ... in all, this unit was the top defense in terms of points allowed ...  they tied the Mustangs for #1 with 20 total-team sacks ... and they were #2 in total-team interceptions with 25 picks (Amboys were #1 with 27)  ... giving them a season-best plus-14 turn-over ratio ... and the major reason why they are playing Sunday ...
Top-rated passer completed 75% of his throws with 42 for td's ... also rushed for 498 and 4 td's - had 449 receiving yards with 6 td catches and snagged 6 interceptions and another td.
After several seasons at linebacker he moved into the pass rusher position and responded with 16 sacks courtesy of a hard hustle lunch-pail style approach ...
Made his third straight All-Star team after grabbing 11 sacks this season giving him 33 in his first 3 seasons in the league.
Picked up a team leading 9 sacks in his first season of play ... paired with Tank (who had 5 sacks) the Champs had a deadly combination of quickness and power pressuring the quarterback
More like a "comeback player award" ... lead the Outlaws  to a 6-4 record throwing 32 td's and rushing for 574 yards while also adding 3 sacks/ 3 int's when forced to play on dee
Instrumental in keeping the NWO franchise alive this season ... unselfish teammate who showed true sportsmanship with the dedication to his team and the league
The 3-time league MVP now has 3 Superbowl MVP awards as well ...22 of 25 for 501 yards and 6 td's - rushed for 84 yards, caught a 35 yd td pass and had 1 int ...
3 time All-Star receiver lead the Titans with 51 receptions and became only the 6th player to amass over 5,000 career receiving yards.
SFF welcomes ....