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Playoff Picture: Francois gets his Second Chance as a Title Favorite with the Apes

Written by: Kevin Kardasz (@kevinn_up on Twitter)

The Bored Ape Football Club has emerged as a ridiculous powerhouse this season. Through expert drafting, analysis, play calling, and fan engagement, the Apes have put together one of the most thorough campaigns as a fan base that we’ve seen in the FCF’s short history. The Stars last season are the easy parallel to draw, but this time there’s a very key difference. It wasn’t owner led, it was fan led nearly from top to bottom. 

Jakobi Baker #24 avoids the defense for a big play (Getty Images)

The Apes have a few landmark achievements on their ballot this season, besides the league leading 5-2 record to close the season out on the top of the standings in not only the NFTeam division but the league as a whole. The Apes revolutionized the interactions between fans/owners and players, by publicly incentivizing in-game achievements by paying out in the BAYC (Bored Ape Yacht Club) currency $APE. Whether by touchdown, tackle, interception, fumble recovery, big play, or flashy celebration, Ape players were taken care of by a community fund powered by not just owners but fans of the team as well. 

On the way to their 5-2 record, it looked like at one point that they could have gone undefeated. This feat becomes more achievable if franchise QB and first overall pick of the entire season, Deondre Francois, didn’t go down with a foot injury in the middle of week 6 and was subsequently rested going into week 7. Through the first 5 weeks, the Apes went undefeated, and more impressively went 2-0 against the most explosive offense in the league, the Knights of Degen.

Deondre Francois fires a pass from the pocket (Getty Images)

They’ve spent this season playing meticulous football, they run far more than they pass, they use the RPO extremely well, and let their guys make plays in environments they are comfortable playing in. They have a dominant backfield of Jakobi Baker and Darren Woods, and that isn’t even including Francois’s ridiculous running talent. Francois, while he hasn’t been passing a ton every game, has a presence that requires constant defensive attention regardless of what he’s doing. It’s a truly complete team.

Keys for the Apes advancing to the Championship

  • I struggle to sit here and tell the most outwardly coordinated team in the FCF what they should be looking for, but I urge the Apes to stick to their guns. Your potent play calling has become the backbone of a winning machine and with the return of Francois, that won’t change easily.
  • Kevin Felder was released this week, which leaves a pretty large hole in the Apes receiving depth for the playoffs. Thankfully, Maurice Thomas has been a big time contributor this season. Look for him to make plays downfield to stretch the defense from being able to hone in on the run game.
  • Let the Heavy Hitters open up your playbook, the meticulous play calling can be expanded a bit when your backup is Cecil Cherry, Qwantez Stiggers, and Mike Lee. The combined secondary power of Lee and Stiggers and the run contain ability of Cherry will provide a potent and tiring attack against a pretty dangerous 8oki offense.

As stated above, it’s hard to stand here and tell one of the most coordinated fan bases in the FCF what they should do. Stick to your guns, let the great team that’s been molded over these last 7 weeks make the plays needed to win. Apes together strong, the road to a possible title is open.

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