Benny on the field.


Benny on the field.

Photo by: Tony Aviles

Tony Aviles

Bracketology: Benny Wins in a Landslide Victory

Team Ruff and Team Fluff favorites went nose to nose in the final round. But in a landslide victory, Benny took home the title of Most Pup-ular! See his path to victory and highlights from the Pupularity Playoffs.

See all the pups in action during PUPPY BOWL XVIII on Sunday, February 13 at 2p ET on discovery+ and Animal Planet.

January 28, 2022

(Updated February 11, 2022)

The competition has been fierce and full of close matchups to add to the drama. Here's the rundown of all the action leading up to the final four matchups.

Round 1

Team Fluff

Team Fluff’s Nugget and Irwin were neck and neck all week in Round 1 of the Pupularity Playoffs. It was impossible to call until the end, but Irwin won this close game, 50.4% to 49.6%.

Baxter from Team Fluff took the lead on day one. Many thought he was going to win, but Baxter was no match for the fans that flooded in to push Kirby to victory!

Benny has dominated the playoffs, earning more than double Wasabi’s votes. A clear fan favorite, but can he keep this up in the next round?

Birch came out of the gates strong, but there was a lot of turnover in round 2 projections. Birch's game wasn't strong enough to beat Dinozzo who won 58% to 42% in the end.

Team Ruff

Surf and Maisie went head to head in the closest match we’ve ever seen! These hounds gave it their all, and their fans showed their support day after day. In the end, it came down to just ONE vote, pushing Surf to victory. This is a reminder that every vote truly counts!

Moby was a fierce competitor for Odell Barkham. Did he stand a chance? In the end, he was no match for Odell Barkham’s fans who showed up for him every day, consistently outvoting Moby.

Pongo dominated the polls for the first half of the playoffs, but Hoku’s growing fan base pushed her into the lead for a win of 50.6% to 49.4%.

Ted D. Bear took the lead from day one and never lost it, beating out Ridley with a final score of 54% to 46%.

Team Fluff's Irwin, Kirby, Benny, and Dinozzo moved on to Round 2. And Team Ruff's Surf, Odell Barkham, Hoku, and Ted D. Bear made it to the next round. How did they fare?

Round 2

Team Fluff

Irwin and Kirby went head to head in round 2 of the Pupularity Playoffs. It was a close match but this chihuahua/pit bull terrier mix was no match for the Houston Texans’ service pup in training. Kirby won 55% to 45%.

As Captain of Team Fluff, Dinozzo would’ve been a solid bet to bring home the bacon, but he was no match for Benny’s poodle charm. Dinozzo lost 38% to 62%.

Team Ruff

It was a ruff match between Surf and Odell Barkham. Surf took the lead on days one and two, but slow and steady wins the race. Odell Barkham’s steady fan base voted for him day after day, pushing him into the lead 50.3% to 49.7%.

It was a good week for Ted D. Bear. He came out of the gates strong for round 2, with his fans beating out Hoku’s days one through five. Hoku’s fan pushed through the last two days of the competition, but it wasn’t enough to beat this little Goldendoodle. Ted D. Bear won 51% to 49%.

Kirby, Benny, Odell Barkham, and Ted D. Bear moved on to Round 3 of the Pupularity Playoffs!

Round 3

Team Fluff

Kirby and Benny went paw to paw as the final two from their team. In a landslide victory, Benny scored double Kirby’s votes every day of the competition. Could he keep this momentum all the way through the semi-finals?

Team Ruff

Team Ruff’s Ted D. Bear took the lead over Odell Barkham, earning more votes days 1-6, but Odell Barkham’s fans made one final push on the last day. Was it enough to push Odell Barkham to victory? … Nope! Ted D. Bear won 53% to 47%, securing his place in the finals.

The competition is HOT and it all came down to these final two pups, Benny and Ted D. Bear.

Round 4

Team Fluff vs. Team Ruff

This is it. The moment the fans have been waiting for. In the final showdown of the playoffs, Team Fluff and Team Ruff favorites Benny and Ted D. Bear went head to head. In the ultimate competition between blue and orange, the fans voted day and night. Bringing home almost double the votes of his cuddly competitor, Team Fluff's Benny coasted to victory, winning the title of Puppy Bowl XVIII's "Most Pup-ular."

Congratulations to Benny, the Pupularity Playoffs champion!


Benny, Team Fluff


Photo by: Dogist


Available now, collect the immortal NFT for Benny, the winner of Puppy Bowl XVIII’s Pupularity Playoffs. Only one of these NFTs will ever exist! With this NFT, you can also appear as a virtual fan in next year’s Puppy Bowl!

Plus, a portion of the proceeds from all the sales will benefit Orange Twins Rescue, an animal rescue organization founded by brothers Scott and Brian Nicholson, and singer Ariana Grande.

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