japan 4 2

japan 4 2

Graphic: Igor Lazarevic

By Aidan Wohl

Round four of Japan’s XLeague is here. The undefeated Fujitsu Frontiers lead the Group A division while the Panasonic Impulse and IBM Big Blue both also without a loss, share the lead in the Group B division.

Here is a preview for the six round four matchups.

October 22

Fujitsu Frontiers (3-0) vs Elecom Kobe Finies (2-1-0)

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Fujitsu is aiming to continue a perfect season and win its 6th X Bowl in 7 years. They will go up against Kobe this week. Fujitsu’s offense has been nothing short of dominant, averaging 52 points per game as well as a defense that has been lights out, only allowing four touchdowns in its first three games. Kobe will give them a harder fight, averaging 20.6 points per game and only allowing 10 points per game. Both teams are coming off dominant wins and Kobe will look to hand powerhouse Fujitsu its first loss of the season on the road and get redemption after losing last season to Fujitsu 19-11 as the away team. The Kobe Finies are 2-3 in its last five away games. Fujitsu is 5-0 in its last five home games. 2019 X1 Super MVP and

X Bowl MVP RB/WR Samajie Grant will be a player for the Finies to keep an eye on come Friday.

October 22: Tanai Deers (1-2) vs Sagamihara Rise (1-2)

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The Deers and the Rise have both had slow starts to the season, fighting to get to .500 on the season. The Deers have held its own in its first season X1 super after being in the X1 area a season prior. The Rise will go up against an opponent who they have not played before. The Deers picked up its first X1 Super win last week 28-26 against Mitsubishi, giving them more confidence and momentum against The Rise, who are coming off of a heartbreaking 27-24 loss to IBM Big Blue.

All Mitsubishi Lions (0-3) vs Panasonic Impulse (3-0)

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This contest is poised to be a trap game for 2021 X1 bowl runner up Impulse who are perfect on the season, playing against the winless Lions. The Lions record can be deceiving as they have been competent and fared well against every team they have played against including last week’s two point loss to the Deers and put up 35 points against the undefeated IBM Big Blue 49-35.

October 23

Asahi Beer Silver Star (1-2) vs IBM Big Blue (3-0)

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The Silver Star look to recover after a 68-0 shutout loss against the Impulse as they prepare for the undefeated IBM Big Blue. The Big Blue defense has been shaky this season, allowing 23 points a match, giving the Silver Star more of an opportunity offensively, averaging 15 points a game. The Silver Star are also playing in the X1 Super for the first time this season and will also pose a mysterious threat to teams that havent played them in the past going forward.

Obic Seagulls (2-1) vs Asahi Soft Drink Challengers (1-2)

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The Obic Seagulls are eyeing to remain undefeated, preparing for the Challengers, who are starting off the season underwhelmed yet not as polished as this is its first year in the X1 Super. The two teams have not played before but what we can evaluate is their individual performances in their respective wins against the Tokyo Gas Creators where the Seagulls won by a touchdown whereas the Challengers won by two points. The Seagulls should have the edge based off its experience and momentum headed into the halfway mark of the season.

Tokyo Gas Creators (0-3) vs Fukuoka Suns (0-3)

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Two of the worst and winless teams will face off this week in hopes of picking up their first win at the halfway point of the season. Both teams have won a combined one game in their last eight matches and will prepare in order to get back on track. The Gas Creators were on the brink of victory last week after leading 3-0 in the first half and eventually falling short to the Obic Seagulls by a touchdown. Fukuoka also should have more confidence going into this week as they were the team to put up the most points (23) against the juggernaut undefeated Fujitsu Frontiers.



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