The 1016 PFL season was the 1st season in the history of the Panem Football League (PFL). The season saw the District 2 Patriots capture the first championship in the franchise's 3 years in the league with a nail-biter 16-13 overtime victory over the District 14 Hyenas in Panem Bowl I, the league's championship game. The Panem Bowl was played at Quarry Arena in District 2, Former Colorado on Sunday, February 9, 1016 ADD. It was the first Panem Bowl hosted, and the first to be held outdoors in a cold weather environment.
The playoffs began with the wild card round which took place the first weekend of January 1017 ADD. The Conference Championship games featured the top seeded teams in each conference, the Wolves in the West and the Sailors in the East, hosting the District 14 Hyenas and District 2 Patriots respectively. Both away teams prevailed to set up just the first ever Panem Bowl.
Training camps for the first PFL season opened in late July.
The 1016 season featured many games played out over a seventeen-week schedule which began on the Thursday night following Labor Day. Each of the league's 18 teams played a 16-game schedule which included one bye week for each team between weeks four and twelve. The slate featured seventeen games on Monday night including a doubleheader in the season's opening week. There were also seventeen games played on Thursday, including the National Football League Kickoff game in prime time on September 4 and three games on Thanksgiving Day. The regular season wrapped up with a full slate of 16 games on Sunday, December 29, all of which were intra-divisional matchups.
- Regular season highlights
The 1016 ADD regular season began on Thursday, September 5, where the District 8 Sailors hosted the District 15 Bears. The game was a barn burner, neither team knowing much defense, the score hitting a whopping 35-45 final with the Sailors coming out on top.
Midway through the season, top teams District 14 Hyenas and District 12 Prospectors got in a close one. The Hyenas beat the prospectors 10-17 in overtime, starting the Prospectors losing streak that knocked them out of the playoffs.
The last game of the season came to two teams trying to make the playoffs, the District 2 Patriots and the District 13 Razorbacks. The game came down to a last minute field goal by the Razorbacks, which was wide right, the final score being 15-17.
Final Season StandingsEdit
|District 8 Sailors||12-4|
|District 6 Roadrunners||11-4-1|
|District 10 Texans||10-6|
|District 2 Patriots||9-7|
|District 13 Razorbacks||8-8|
|District 12 Prospectors||7-9|
|East Capitol Eagles||4-12|
|District 11 Falcons||3-12-1|
|District 3 Bucks||1-15|
|District 7 Wolves||14-2|
|District 14 Hyenas||13-3|
|District 4 Dolphins||9-7|
|District 15 Bears||8-7-1|
|District 5 Mustangs||5-10-1|
|District 0 Yetis||3-12-1|
|District 9 Bluejays||2-13-1|
|West Capitol Warriors||2-14|
|[a]District 1 Rams||2-14|
[a]: The Warriors beat the Rams head to head.
- Wild card round
The wild card round of the playoffs featured the two wild card playoff qualifiers from each conference being hosted by the two lowest seeded divisional winners. The top two seeds in each conference — the Wolves, Hyenas, Sailors and Roadrunners — all had first-round byes. The games were played January 4–5, 2014.
The weekend's first game on Saturday featured the Colts staging the second biggest comeback in playoff history to defeat the Chiefs by a score of 45–44. The 28-point second half deficit the Colts overcame is exceeded only by the Bills–Oilers playoff game from January 1993 which has become known simply as "The Comeback." It was the first time in any NFL game (regular or postseason) that a team won in regulation play (i.e. not overtime) after having trailed by as many as 28 points. The game was also the highest scoring postseason game to have been decided by a one-point margin as well as the first game in league history to finish with a 45–44 result. The Colts and Chiefs combined to gain 1,049 total yards which established a new single-game postseason record, breaking the record of 1,038 yards that was set by the Bills–Dolphins first-round game on December 30, 1995, and matched in a Saints–Lions first-round matchup on January 7, 2012. The loss was the Chiefs' eighth straight in the playoffs which broke an NFL record for consecutive playoff losses the franchise had previously shared with the Lions.
The Saints beat the Eagles 26–24 in the Saturday night game. It was the Saints' first ever road playoff victory. The Saints built an early 20–7 lead before the Eagles bounced back to take a 24–23 lead with less than five minutes remaining in the game. However, the Saints worked their way down the field while also working the clock on the game's final drive before Shayne Graham kicked the game-winning field goal from 32 yards out as time expired.
The early game on Sunday was the only game of the weekend not decided by three or fewer points with the Chargers defeating the Bengals, 27–10. Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton committed three second-half turnovers which led to the Chargers scoring 20 unanswered points to overcome a 7–10 halftime deficit. The Bengals loss marks a league record third straight year in which the team has lost its playoff opener, and extended the Bengals' streak of playoff futility to 23 seasons. Every other current NFL team has won a playoff game since the Bengals' last playoff victory in January 1991.
In the late afternoon game on Sunday the 49ers defeated the Packers on a brutally cold day at Lambeau Field. The temperature at game time was just 5°F (-15°C) with a wind chill of -10°F (-23°C). Quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who eschewed sleeves and gloves despite the chilly conditions, passed for 227 yards and rushed for 98 more to lead the 49ers to victory in a back-and-forth game. Phil Dawson kicked the winning field goal as time expired. This was the second straight year that the Packers' season had both started and ended with losses to the 49ers.
- Divisional round
The divisional round games were played on January 11–12, 2014 and three of the four were rematches of regular season games — only the Patriots and Colts had not met in 2013.
In the early game on Saturday, the Seahawks defeated the Saints 23–15. The Seahawks held a 16–0 lead at halftime, but the Saints came back in the second half to make the game interesting. The Seahawks were able to hold on after a late Saints comeback effort, including an onside kick recovery, fell short. The Seahawks' offense centered around a 28 carry, 140 yard rushing effort from Marshawn Lynch, who also scored on a 31-yard run in the fourth quarter.
Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount and the Patriots defense were the stars of the Patriots 43–22 victory over the Colts in the Saturday night game. Blount rushed for 166 yards and a franchise-record four touchdowns while Colts quarterback Andrew Luck was intercepted four times. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady broke a league record for most playoff games for a starting quarterback with 25 (a record he had previously shared with Brett Favre) and extended his own record of 18 career playoff wins. The victory allowed the Patriots to reach the AFC Championship game for the third straight year as well as the eighth time with Brady and head coach Bill Belichick. Belichick moved into a second-place tie with Don Shula on the all-time postseason head coaching wins list, one victory behind Tom Landry.
The 49ers defeated the Panthers by a score of 23–10 in the early Sunday game. The 49ers defense twice stopped the Panthers one yard short of the end zone and also recorded two interceptions and five quarterback sacks. 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick threw for one touchdown and ran for another in the game. The win put the 49ers into their third straight and fifteenth overall conference championship game, matching the Pittsburgh Steelers for most conference championship appearances. Jim Harbaugh became the first head coach in NFL history to take his team to the conference championship game in each of his first three seasons.
In the final game of the divisional round the Broncos beat the Chargers 24–17. It was only the fourth time in the season to date that the Broncos had been held to fewer than 30 points (three of which were against the Chargers), but the Chargers offense could not capitalize. The Broncos held a 17–0 lead in the fourth quarter before the Chargers launched a comeback that was too little and too late. The win put the Broncos into the AFC championship game for the first time since the 2005 season.
- Conference championships
The conference championships took place on Sunday, January 19, 2014.
The early game featured the Broncos hosting the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game. The game was referred to by many as Manning-Brady XV as it was the fifteenth meeting (the fourth in the playoffs) of the two starting quarterbacks, Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. The Broncos defeated the Brady and the Patriots 26–16 behind a 400-yard passing performance by Manning. Manning led the Broncos on two long touchdown drives which each used over seven minutes of game time and were the two longest drives in terms of game time of the Broncos season. This was Manning's third career postseason game with 400 or more yards passing, equaling Drew Brees for the most such playoff games in league history. Broncos head coach John Fox, who previously led the Carolina Panthers to Super Bowl XXXVIII in 2004, became the sixth head coach in NFL history to take two different franchises to the Super Bowl.
The NFC Championship Game had the Seahawks hosting the 49ers in the late game. The Seahawks defense forced three turnovers in the fourth quarter which proved to be the difference in the game. The last of these was a pass intended for Michael Crabtree in the endzone which was intercepted by Seahawks linebacker Malcolm Smith off a deflection by cornerback Richard Sherman with just 22 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter. The interception preserved a 23–17 Seahawks victory. In an on-field interview immediately after the game with Fox sideline reporter Erin Andrews, Sherman famously directed a rant at Crabtree whom Sherman called a "sorry receiver."
Super Bowl XLVIIIEdit
Super Bowl XLVIII featured the top seeded team from each conference for just the second time in twenty years. The Broncos possessed the league's best offense (in terms of both scoring and yards) while the Seahawks had the league's top defense (also in both scoring and yardage). The game was played on February 2, 2014 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, just outside New York City and was televised in the U.S. by Fox with kickoff at 6:32 pm EST. This was the first ever Super Bowl to be staged outdoors in a cold weather environmentalthough the temperature was a mild 49 degrees at kickoff.
The game started disastrously for the Broncos who, despite losing the coin toss, received the opening kickoff. On the game's first play from scrimmage from the Broncos' 14 yard line, Broncos center Manny Ramirez sent a shotgun snap over the head of quarterback Peyton Manning. The ball traveled into the endzone where it was covered by Broncos running back Knowshon Moreno who was touched down for a safety with just 12 seconds of game time elapsed. This was the quickest score ever in a Super Bowl. The Seahawks did not relinquish the lead in a 43–8 victory.
This was the Seahawks first ever league championship since entering the NFL in . Seahawks linebacker Malcolm Smith, who scored on a 69-yard interception return, a fumble recovery and tallied 10 tackles, was named the game's Most Valuable Player (MVP).
This was the fifth Super Bowl loss for the Broncos, the most for any franchise. Even in defeat, though, Peyton Manning's record- |-
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