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2022-23 Long Island EFL AFC WILD CARD GAME: Buffalo Bills (4-3) vs New England Patriots (5-2)


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330368209_longislandelectricfootballleague2020logo.jpg.cc1ae1d2cfc9f2ca1f6d8d01a129dd32.jpgBILLS.jpg.933e04aeab334975fd3bc6811ab57c3e.jpgBuffalo Bills (4-3) vs New England Patriots (5-2) PATS.jpg.4f039315f46d6fd9557e00e9128c7dc9.jpg

800px-American_Football_Conference_logo_old_svg.png.761bc5537ab28799a3fedcdb4edde00d.pngLONG ISLAND EFL AFC WILD CARD GAME 

                                                                JANUARY 9, 2023 at 5pm

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(LONG ISLAND ELECTRIC FOOTBALL LEAGUE. January 9, 2023). The LIEFL playoffs have been exactly what we expected, action packed games with our stars blowing off the FIREWORKS! It seems each season keeps getting more intense, more competitive, and a league with coaches, whose players keep raising the bar. Ideally a competitive league should have 8-15 coaches who are reliable if that’s even possible. For us it is a great few hours away from family and into the trenches of electric football which we are passionate about. Having a league with 32 coaches is our dream, but we will be retiring from our league by 2025.

LIEFL Coach Johnny Freeport-Chucker said, "Every coach who plays electric football is legendary, we just haven't heard of them or met all of them around the world! We have our own tournament, and the tournament is just as fierce as any tournament. We play for money because money sometimes brings out the best competition, but we only know how good the competition is when we watch videos or play the competition, that's the love for the game making your league what you want it to be." 

The Long Island EFL has a rich history, with a combined experience enough to talk about being experts in the greatest game ever invented for our generation. The important thing, however, is, we need to pass the tradition forward to the next generation and get them hooked. If you think you are the only one who is an expert in the game, you are not alone. It doesn't matter though, there are countless experts, and they are a dime-a-dozen in this hobby and that's the beauty of the hobby as hobbyists! The LIEFL is a league filled with savvy experts in everything from tweaking bases, to painting, to organizing highly competitive teams, by people who played organized sports who abide by strict league rules.

Billy O'C said, "This game was born in 1947 and I was about nine or ten when I started playing in 1972. This is the one tabletop game that people have been playing for more than 40 or fifty years, and to me that says something about a game, and the people dedicated to playing it. That's the thing about electric football, it's not rare that people have been competing for that long."

So far we saw the NFC West Division Champion San Francisco 49ers upset the NFC South Division Champion Atlanta Falcons 37-31 in overtime in NFC Wild Card Game #1. In the AFC the two-time consecutive AFC Champion Miami Dolphins just got by the Cleveland Browns 38-34 in the AFC Wild Card Game #1. Then we saw a great game in NFC Wild Card Game # 2 with the New York Giants beating division rival Washington Redskins 38-35, and in AFC Wild Card Game # 2 the Kansas City Chiefs were impressive. They brought an unstoppable offense and touch defense to defeat the Tennessee Titans 42-31!

 This AFC Wild Card Game is a highly anticipated one. Billy O'C's 2017 Super Bowl XII Champion Buffalo Bills (4-3) versus the 2016 AFC Champion New England Patriots. Both teams have an incredible history in the LIEFL. Buffalo Ranks #13 in the league with an overall record of (81-83) and New England ranks #24 with an all-time record of (69-84). That's 317 games played by these two teams. That is a lot of electric football.

When Coach Levi Vick joined our league in 2020, he successfully transformed the Dallas Cowboys into a competitive playoff team in one season. “We were astounded,” said LIEFL Commissioner Billy O’C. Dallas hadn’t made it to the LIEFL playoffs since 2000. The league caught up fast, Dallas didn’t qualify this season and they are a terrific, exciting team. O’C said, “Levi Vick is a great coach. He came into this league and proved that he can coach, pass, run, kick, and he has a very impressive system for the way he prepares a team. I love his style. He is a little like Coach Ed Viggs, quiet and talks with his game.”

So, today the story of the day is what Levi Vick and his New England Patriots. The Patriots have won five straight games. That is not an easy task in this league, so what did Vick do to get this team to where they are? Vick said, “I am only the new coach in the league, but winning is important to me, having won two titles in my old league. I can’t get enough of the game. I study players and coaches and take a little from all the coaches I’ve ever played, so I am like a mutt. These Patriots needed a lineman, a tackle, and a linebacker to be a solid team in the league because we are only allowed 11 of our best guys. I kept working at it from the first week to where we are now, and the magic is in the chemistry of the team. We are fast, tough, and we have a great player in Rob Gronkowski and if you are the opposition, you don’t want to go against this guy on the opposite side of the field.”

The Patriots have just begun their rebuild, but it seems every season now the league gets better and tougher with more competitive teams, it’s unbelievable really. So, if you are interested in making a league work, one of the most important factors is having reliable people who have the same mindset that goes beyond the competition. They must understand the tradition, the rules, and the league has to have guys that put the substance of the league and tradition first. 

We love to read about the innovation other leagues have.  The LIEFL cuts out all of the unnecessary time delays in our games to make the game a fast-moving vibrating board, peak performance and critical thinking, shorter time to set up, and we have a one-stop league. The offense has 40 seconds to set up in the LIEFL, we do not do countdowns EVER and we aren't waiting on the defense! We don't turn guys around to start chasing players after a reception by a receiver, which further delays the game. It is one stop to pass the ball-PERIOD! And the play resumes. A receiver is only allowed five yards distance between the line of scrimmage, and a tackle in the LIEFL doesn't happen when a ball carrier runs into the back of an opponent. It must be made by the front of the base of, or the side of the base by the defense tackling the ball carrier. Have you ever seen a player be tackled by a defense running backwards? Realism is our thing.

We don't have time to do countdown set-ups, we keep the play flow like the speed of the NFL in our minds. We strongly believe in the natural free-flowing continuity of the game and how it happens without our interference, and we actually put the football under a player’s arm and have officially painted uniforms for our 32 NFL teams. We don't do countdowns; we are serious business. That's our league.

We play for money, $1800 dollars to our Super Bowl winner, $1400 to the runner up! We are organized, we have dues, and there are non-wavering guidelines and rules, and professional standards by professional people in the league. We have awesome highly competitive coaches who are constantly making their 11-man roster work to be as competitive as they can, bending electric football’s concept of Who’s Who in electric football and what rules work best for the league. We don’t care about the National rules, they wouldn’t work in our league, too much time delays. Every coach is a legend. We care about who is the Top Dog in our league and that’s all that matters, the intensity, the time, the strategy under stress, the quick thinkers on their feet who can manage a ticking clock, a one-stop league that is as competitive as any other.

BILLS NARRATE THE STORY OF THE DAY AGAINST PATRIOTS!

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OJ Simpson and Jay Brown came up big in the Bills-Patriots AFC Wild Card Game with Simpson rushing for 191 yards with two touchdowns! 

KICKOFF!

PATRIOTS.png.a82039e09b13cadc7f907ba3a93fe1d6.pngThe opening kickoff was returned 52 yards by LIEFL All-Pro Rob Gronkowski who we have given much press to. The Buffalo's Bills defense was enormous in the first set of downs with nose tackle Marcell Dareus  making two big tackles on Lawrence Maroney. Maroney ran the ball twice and then Coach Levi Vick decided to air it out throwing a great pass to running back Kevin Faulk who gained 45-yards on the pass play, which brought the ball to the Buffalo 23 yard line. The Bills defense came to play, again stopping New England's running game, losing 10 yards. y1art.thumb.jpg.a4896ea6708d2aefa15629867a958640.jpgOn third down, Vick conneted with Randy Moss who ran the ball to the 19 yard line of Buffalo, short of the first down. The Patriots couldn't risk the chance of making a first down on forth down so they kicked the field goal from the 19-yard line to take the lead, 3-0! New England nearly used the entire first quarter to score, leaving 3:25 remaining in the quarter.

BILLSTD2.png.80c2e4a83c7da730b72771096c8fd1be.pngSecond year return Man for the Buffalo Bills Jay Brown only had three kick returns this season, but he did a lot of damage, returning the ball three times for 231 yards, with a 100-Yard touchdown to go with the numbers. Billy O'C's strategy is hard to figure out considering OJ Simpson returned the ball 16 times for 896 yards, and he had two 100-yard kick returns for touchdowns this season.

Brown returned the football 58 yards to get Buffalo started. The last time the Bills were in the playoff in 2017, they set major records and had major upsets! Before this game, Buffalo won 10 playoff games in the LIEFL, including a record setting Super Bowl XIII victory over the Detroit Lions 49-35. In that Super Bowl, OJ Simpson set a LIEFL record in a Super Bowl with 623 all-purpose yards with seven touchdowns, including two 100-yard touchdown returns (SEE THE FILM BELOW) as the AFC Wild Card team. Simpson had 205 yards rushing in the game and Buffalo owned a tough Detroit Lions who at the time were the defending Super Bowl XII Champion! It was an unbelievable season. This season the competition is much more gruff.

Two plays later OJ Simpson bullied his way into the end zone with a 33-yard touchdown run to give these mystical Buffalo Bills the lead 7-3 with the first quarter coming to a close.

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PATRIOTS.png.a82039e09b13cadc7f907ba3a93fe1d6.pngNew England needed to come up big on the next set of downs. They turned to their big man, star player Rob Gronkowski. Gronk returned the ball 32 yards to set up the Patriots offense. And, boy did Buffalo show up to play.  The Buffalo Bills defense stopped the New England run on second down after Kevin Faulk ran for 10 yards on the first run. After that, New England hit a roadblock running the football. On 3rd down, Randy Moss broke Free on a spectacular play by Coach Levi Vick. Moss broke the Buffalo coverage and exploded 73-yards into the end zone behind a room of loud cheers as the Patriots regained the lead 10-7, with 8:48 remaining in the half! What a play by Moss! 

BILLSTD2.png.80c2e4a83c7da730b72771096c8fd1be.pngThe Bills wasted no time. Jay Brown exploding for a 68 yard kick return to set up OJ Simpson and Buffalo's running game. Simpson ranked #12th in AFC rushing and #21 overall in the LIEFL this season. He carried the ball 48 times for 378 yards, with six touchdowns. Those are low numbers for OJ, but defenses around the league have gotten much better. On the very next play Simpson ran a 32 yard touchdown into the end zone to give Buffalo the lead 14-10, with 5:44 remaining in the half!y9art.thumb.jpg.d5cba5896b359974f115aa8658aa4f95.jpg

 PATRIOTS.png.a82039e09b13cadc7f907ba3a93fe1d6.pngThis was a very important set of downs for the Patriots but Billy O'C's Buffalo Bills figured out Rob Gronkowski. Gronk on the next kick return was stopped again at the 33 yard line. On their first run Lawrence Maroney ran for an 18-yard first down. Coach Vick decided to air it out again because of the success he had with Moss on the first play. This time Vick connected with Maroney on second down for a 68 yard touchdown strike with 1:17 remaining in the half and the Patriots retook the lead, 17-14! Buffalo used their first time out.

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Billy O'C mastered the clock in this next series. Buffalo's Ray Brown impressed with a 70-yard kick return, but on first down OJ Simpson was slowed up on just a five-yard gain with literally 12 seconds left in the half. O'C used a hurry up set, but New England stalled, forcing a 30 yard field goal by Buffalo and the set up to get off another play was instead too risky given the time, as Buffalo kicked the field goal to tie the game 17-17, going into the half!

What a strategic excellent half of electric football it has been!

To start the second half the Buffalo Bills have the football.

Ray Brown was finally stopped on the kick return to begin the third quarter at the 35 yard line. Brown was turned around by his own man. The Bills front line of Bruce Smith, Marcell Dareus, and Dee Hardison forged ahead with OJ Simpson running the ball in that "Billy O'C Box-set offense" eight times straight, with three of those runs being stopped by the Patriots. Simpson and the Bills drove all the way to the six yard line of New England and the two-minute warning sounded. New England's front three of John Hannah, Billy Yates, and Vince Wilfork showed up with some great defense in the second half, digging into the trenches with solid line play.

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The Patriots defense shut the Buffalo offensive running game down temporarily leaving the Bills with nowhere to run at the five yard line. Billy O'C instead hit a wide open Jay Brown in the end zone for the touchdown, to put the Buffalo Bills ahead of New England Patriots 24-17, as the third quarter came to its conclusion in this AFC Wild Card Game. Who would beat the clock?

PATRIOTS.png.a82039e09b13cadc7f907ba3a93fe1d6.pngOn the ensuing kickoff, Rob Gronkowski returned the ball just 41 yards for the offense of the Patriots. On the first run from scrimmage by Lawrence Maroney, Maroney met a wall of Buffalo Bills white jerseys stopping any forward progress for New England. They could not move the football.

On third down, Coach Vick decided to go up in the air again, but this time the Buffalo defense came up huge stopping the Patriots pass attempt on third down. The Patriots were at their own 38-yard line putting coach Vick in it very tough and pivotal predicament on 4th down with 9:05 remaining in the game with Buffalo ahead, 24-17. 

On 4th down the Patriots decided to gamble and go for the first down, but they were shut down by a determined Bills defense! There is 7:20 remaining in the game. The Patriots  turned the ball over to Buffalo from the 38-yard line as hope dwindled for this Cinderella New England Patriot team who won five straight games. Although they are still a work-in-progress for the Patriots, they met a tremendous (4-3) team in Buffalo. This is a major upset in the making because Buffalo is the #7 Seed and New England #2. Perhaps Buffalo was just a little too much for them being familiar with each others teams and play calling being their division rival, but trying to stop OJ Simpson and that incredibly tough Buffalo front line is a huge challenge in games of this magnitude.y11art.thumb.jpg.5588f18e5897bce47c92735e252beb63.jpg

BILLSTD2.png.80c2e4a83c7da730b72771096c8fd1be.pngBilly OC played a masterful game here with the two minute warning coming to a close as Buffalo pressed the clock using the time up against New England and Coach Levi Vick.  On the next possession Billy O'C continued to use up the time by feeding OJ Simpson the football, using the time up on the clock until it was 4th down. O'C then threw a strike to Andre Reed who exploded for a 45-yard touchdown pass to give Buffalo the a 31-17 advantage. The face of defeat was never shown by Coach Vick. He looked determined in his last drive. What a heartbreaker for the Patriots after winning five straight games, but this Buffalo Bills team is a very dangerous football team especially in the playoffs.

PATRIOTS.png.a82039e09b13cadc7f907ba3a93fe1d6.pngOn the kick return Randy Moss ran back a spectacular 92 yd run to set New England up at the eight yard line with time running out. On the next play, Vick threw a yard touchdown pass to Kevin Faulk to make the score 31-24, Buffalo!

BILLSTD2.png.80c2e4a83c7da730b72771096c8fd1be.pngBilly O'C called a timeout with just 10 seconds left in the game. Jay Brown returned a beautiful 64 yard kick return to end the game in stunning fashion with the Buffalo Bills (5-3) upsetting the New England Patriots (5-3), 31-24!

The Patriots may very well be a work in progress, but they put the AFC East on notice that they're back!

The story of the day was the Bill's defense who limited All-Pro Rob Gronkowski as the Patriots folded. Gronk had four kick returns for 158 yards, but Randy Moss shined bright with a 92 yard kick return and 91 yards in receiving, with a 73 yard touchdown totaling 183 all-purpose yards in the game! The one thing we know about the Bills is never count them out! OJ Simpson had 14 carries for 191 rushing yards with two touchdowns. Kick returner Jay Brown came up huge! He was super, with 295 kick return yards and a 5 yard touchdown catch, totaling 300 yards in the game! What a game! Coach Billy O'C said, "We played an excellent game and hats off to Levi Vick for some amazing work he did with these Patriots." Billy O'C still has two huge games ahead of him. Miami will play the #1 Seeded Los Angeles Chargers, and we will see these Buffalo Bills again.

Levi Vick's teams have now been eliminated. Vick, who finished the season at (13-16) said, "I feel the heartbreak in my first two seasons playing in the LIEFL, but I also realize that the level of competition is nowhere close to my old league where I dominated. I have faith in the Patriots and we will be back ready next season." 

The Buffalo Bills and Billy O'C (16-14), will now prepare for the Coach Matt Zoo-York's (16-13) Kansas City Chiefs, which will be a great game because you can't underestimate either of these teams! Kansas City will be the home team, using the NFL criteria for the playoffs it was determined that the two teams didn't play during the regular season head-to-head. Both teams were 1-2 in there respective divisions, so we had to go to best conference record. Buffalo was 2-2, and Kansas City was 4-3, giving the Chiefs the edge! Buffalo Bills (5-3) vs. Kansas City Chiefs (5-3)!

 

           330368209_longislandelectricfootballleague2020logo.jpg.cc1ae1d2cfc9f2ca1f6d8d01a129dd32.jpg          L O N G  I S L A N D  E F L  P L A Y O F F S  2022-23

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