Gut-wrenching Loss Ends Pinstripe Bowl’s Hopes for Playoffs

Pinstripe Bowl suffered their worse loss of the regular season, all but ending their chance at securing a berth in the playoffs and defending their 2020 championship. 

There have been worse losses on the schedule, including a 154.38-92.74 blowout to Chod’s Team in Week 3; however, this 2.20 point loss was worse on so many levels. Pleasantly Plump ended the Bowl’s four-game winning streak, costing the team a chance to earn enough wins to make the jump from ninth to fourth and claim a playoff spot. In the end, this come-from-behind victory for Plump hurt more than anything since the Bowl had finally found a winning formula and was on the cusp of reaching their goal, defending their championship. 

The graph highlights the several lead changes this week 14 matchup featured and shows how close this matchup turned out to be. The two teams opened up with players on Thursday night, with the Bowl clinging to a 2.20 lead 17.50-15.30. Plump then rebounded and took an early lead on Sunday morning before finishing with 67.02 points. 

The Bowl regained the lead on Sunday night, ending the day with 81.50 points and a collective 99.00-82.32 lead heading into the final day. On Monday, Plump scored 47.50 points while the Bowl mustered up on 28.62 to finish the week with 127.62 points, just 2.20 behind Plump, who won thanks to 129.82 points. 

George Kittle (San Francisco) followed up his stellar performance in week 13 with another great week in 14. He led the team with 34.10 points, the only player who managed to punch in more than 20 points. 

Only three of the nine starters failed to score double-digit totals, which gave the Bowl plenty of opportunities to find points for the win. On the flip side, five players could not reach their projections despite all the extra points on the board, meaning the matchup was lost in those trenches. 

The New England Patriots were on their bye week, leaving the bench with only two players available, the Buffalo Bills defense and Samaje Perine (Cincinnati). Collectively they scored 8.30 points and came up 2.08 short of their projections. Neither player would have impacted the matchup if they were starters.

Pinstripe Bowl scored 127.62 points, the second-highest total for a week that did not secure a victory in week 14. Three of the five winners scored more than 160 points, while only one team failed to score 100. 

In a shocking turn of events, KerryMy Johnson upset Nukle Busters, costing the Busters their spot at the top of the standings. Garoppolypse Now also lost, dropping them down another rung which opened up a chance for WATCH WHAT U SAQUON to leapfrog everyone and claim first overall with just one week left. 

Kittle earned his second straight best player award by being the only player to score more than 20 points this week. The tight end from the Bay area became just the third Bowl player to win more than one award during the 2021 campaign. 

Meanwhile, Kareem Hunt (Cleveland) returned from injury and was inserted into the starting lineup. He underperformed with just 3.80 points, earning the honor of being the team’s worse starter. As mentioned earlier, Perine was the best bench player with 7.30 points, while Josh Allen (Buffalo) became just the second player this season to win the league-wide award for being the best player. 

As the Bowl entered their week 14 matchup with a slight chance to make the playoffs, team management decided to act in free agency and shore up their roster for the upcoming battle. 

The first two moves featured some running backs. J.D. McKissic (Washington) has filled in admirably for several weeks, but an injury has put him on the shelf for the rest of the season, so he was sent to the waiver wire. The next move featured Boston Scott (Philadelphia) sent away in favor of an up-and-coming back from Tennessee D’Onta Foreman. 

Then for the third straight week, management pulled the trigger on a deal for a new kicker, swapping out Michael Badgley (Indianapolis) for Brandon McManus (Denver). Then with one roster spot available, the team signed Perine as insurance for the bench. 

Weekly Move Total: 3/4 

Season Move Total: 16/50

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