Here we are!
The playoff push for IFL/MFL is starting, College teams are playing soon and the NFL is just over a week away.
Across the leagues, last week's bad aura was washed away by some very good, clean play and as Supa would've said, many mammas were a-proud Sunday afternoon.
Good job, boys, all of you.
We saw a Shamrock-shocker, A Mustang prideful surge, A Patriot?Cards Defensive stand off, and A Wildcat howling loud from Brazil.
This gets more interesting as the quest for rings gets shorter, and tougher...
To the Games!
Shamrock @ Cutters
The Cutters vented some frustrations and traveled/played well last week and now get to come back home to battle the Shamrock, who also had a veeery long road trip last week, for various reasons.
The Rock fell behind early by 21 and never recovered, although did play very well defensively in the second half against the Generals.
They can nill afford to fall behind that quick again against a slug-it-out team in an even further road trip.
They face, undoudbtedly the best running team in the IFL and one of the tougher defenses against the run.
If they aren’t missing any starters, they would have a shot, but I don’t feel the long road trip will do them any favors.
It will be biz as usual for the Cutters, as their 'backs will look to blaze their way to big yardage, leaving the Shamrock, temporarily at least, southbound and down.
Generals @ Mustangs
The Generals surprised all with a relatively sound victory over the tough Shamrock, but again, if you missed the 1st 10 minutes of the game, when you got back from the concessions stand, they were already up 3 scores.
The Mustangs did not at all sleep on the Crush, ( as someone predicted ) and went in as if to prove something, holding off Classic City and putting the game out of reach early, then keeping it there.
Their defense was very good early on. They gave up a couple garbage scores late, but overall, they were indeed impressive.
The Generals, now facing home field advantage through-out the playoffs, will go into this game as if it is a playoff game.
Vets of the team remember that this was the last stop before a championship two years ago, and any team who has played there knows that the Mustangs fans are the leagues best and loudest.
Still without Mike W, they have been able to do it as a team and a very good D.
The G-Men will have to accomplish this final regular season feat, and the more than likely, the last time they will be on the road this year.
This would normally be a lock, but the Mustangs at home are one of the best.
But as of now, I think the G-Man have too many weapons for almost anyone.
Panthers @ Wolfpack
The Panthers, as we always say, play well, hard and for 4 quarters and are an all-round well respected squad and have felt the bumps and bruises of a 1st year team. Now, they are going into the Wolfpack’s den to face the beast; the best first year team we have seen in years. True, the Wolfpack are no TRUE ‘rookie team’ but technically they are, and have the chemistry of a seasoned champ.
While most teams that are good play down to their competition, the Wolfpack play their own game, which is why they are indeed the seed no one wants to face, and all hope get knocked off before they reach them.
This is a tune up game for them that will get them looking to see who they will face in the playoffs.
It’s a long ride back for the Panthers, and I wish I had a better forecast for them.
Crush @ Raiders
The Crush did play well last week in the loss, and are getting better each game, but were just too overwhelmed by a very spirited Mustang team. (yes, some blamed me for giving the ‘Stangs the extra incentive, but trust me, they did it all themselves)
They travel long and east to face the Raiders at home, who are also improving, but not as the Crush’s pace.
The Raiders will look to get the ground game going, as will the Crush, but the difference here between two very vastly improved ( over last season, giving way to ex wrangler players here ) is that the Raiders are at home, and play well even when they have lost there.
My guess is they will pull it out and give hopes to give some fireworks before they hit the road in the early round of the playoffs, and try to use the fire to fuel themselves.
Patriots @ Blitz
The Pats are used to doing it on D, and did so against the Cards in a close, tough, hard fought and earned win. I like this team because they are doing whatever it takes to get it done, and this was all I expected.
They were a bit more fiery that I had seen before, and never let any events of the game get to them in a very clean game, save Patriot “Doc” being injured. We pray for his speedy recovery as well as one of the Cardinal players ( we didn’t get a number).
The Blitz played EXTREMELY well as they always do and were within a single score of the Bearcats for most of the game.
The defense was literally flying around the field again and the looked like the Raber boys of recent-old, save a couple fourth quarter scores by the Bearcats, who are the league best finishers.
That game showed the Blitz they can go toe to toe with anyone, anywhere, and again, they will be at home.
If I didn’t know Wayne and the Pats well enough, I would surely pick the Blitz, but I think they will be better prepared for such a thing.
The Blitz scare the Pats, but the Pats get a W.
Pirates @ Cardinals
The Pirates just really never got going last week, but in their defense, it was against a tough Wildcats squad. (More on them later) Although some healing for players have begun, mistakes still plague the team at the wrong time, not to mention untimely flags.
Still with success primarily based on speed, they will have to start using it and keep it simple when facing the larger opponents to have a change to extend their season in 2009.
They come in to face a very different Cardinal team than the last time they saw the birds.
Very nearly did they pull off the win at the Patriots last week, and if you saw the team before and during the game, they had a look that showed they felt they had every right to win that game and were a play away from doing so, more than once.
They have a confidence now and with a healthy O-Line with a vet or two, they are still a front runner for the ‘ship.
Like the Wildcats’ situation was last week, this game is one they not only need to win, but need to handle business emphatically and start fast.
The swashbucklers won’t make it easy, but the Birds will get one at home.
Wildcats @ Force
A large game is this as it looms big for each team’s standings and seeding.
Wildcat pride was appearing again last week with good fan support also as they took care of the Pirates in a very spirited event last week.
The defense is actually getting stronger and it appears the strength is gang tackling. More than once did we see 3-4 Wildcats around the ball, ground or air and this made it tough for opposing backs to get free, even when they broke a tackle.
And as we have been scoring, this is now the #1 defense in points allowed.
This swarming effect will be taken on the road to the Force, where they are another one that plays well at home. This team relays ona short to Midrange passing game with a long bomb or two when you aren’t ready ( and sometimes, even when you are).
The have speed but have more singular style tackling at times, but in most cases, the tackling is sound.
Incidentally, this is the #2 offence in points scored in the MFL as far.
Anyone see a “something’s gotta give” here?
The Phrase “defense wins championships” was always overused to me, but I’ll use it here and say this one goes to the Wildcats, although they should be ready for an extremely fired up Force team, that will give them all they can handle.
Fortunately, the boys from Brazil can handle it.
Well, that's it for this important week of football.
Mad props to Supa for getting an A+ smiley face sticker on the prediction report card for last week ( 100 pct!! )
No easy task since he also does MANY games in the area as well as IFL/MFL.
Hope this week see's all of us kick it up a notch, in practice, weight rooms and of course, game day where it all pays off.
I'm gonna go wax the car one last time before leaves start to fall 'n hit it and then watch the recent episode of "true blood".
Yes, I'm showing my morbid, inquisitive side now.
P.S. In an argument, never tell a vampire "bite me"
Ya gotta love this game!
good post but so you know, generals already have home field through locked up, win or loose
Thanks Vince for the prayers for my injury last week. I swear to God it was broken but the xrays were negative. A severe sprain that I should be able to play in our game after Labor Day. It is killing me to not play this weekend against the Blitz!! I love playing them. I will have to revert to my role as Team Doc and Special Forces Coach I guess. Thanks for the thoughts!!