Ahh, early September! For me as well as most of you, this means one thing! That the season finale episode of True Blood is gonne be on! Blast it! Oh..and the NFL football season is beginning, actually tonight.
Raise your hand if you agree with me that you think NFL season should be 50 weeks long! Just rotate players. Talk about job security!
Anyway - The IFL playoffs have started and the MFL season is winding down to them.
Some good and IMPORTANT matches are ahead as the chase for rings in both leagues has really gotten to the good stuff. And SPEAKING of the good stuff, let's get to the games!
Panthers (0-7) @ Generals (7-0)
(IFL play-off, round 1)
After a weekend rest, the courageous Panthers will make the trip to Indy to face JT’s Generals, who as we know, finished undefeated in the regular season. The Panthers have gotten better, and show signs of competing, primarily with heart, but the talent level is also improving. They have learned to get a turnover or two in games, and at times, moved the ball offensively. They lack the big play however, which is exactly what they need against this General team.
Speaking of this Generals team, they are ready for this trip down championship lane, as they earned the right to do it in THEIR house all the rest of the way.
Look for them to get it going early and often with throwing the ball, and don’t expect them to give up any points. The Panthers will HAVE to slow them down before they get going, but my take is this won’t happen. As it was once said about myself when I played (or maybe it was Barry Sanders) You can’t stop the Generals, you can only hope to contain them.
The Generals advance to round two
Shamrock (4-3) @ Wolfpack (4-3)
(IFL play-off, round 1)
This is a very interesting game. It marked two very significant changes for each team. Since they last met, the Shamrock haven’t won, the Wolfpack haven’t lost. In fact, The Shamrock haven’t scored a single point in their last two road games.
The Rock D has been non existent, as well as the offense that led to the last two un-Rock-like games. This team KNOWS they are much better than the last two weeks have shown and would LOVE to go back in time to replay the 4th QTR of the Wolfpack game.
They get their chance Saturday.
The Wolfpack have arrived. Solid as the team name says, this is a fully loaded defensive squad but have been able to score quite well as of recent.
If the Shamrock can travel well in this much shorter trip, the have a chance, but the morale in camp has gone downhill and after the recent weeks, some of the younger players are letting it show.
The Wolfpack are in no way wanting to let this slip by, and while these are two of the most evenly matched teams playing, the victor goes to the rising Wolfpack in a heated, but well controlled game.
The Wolfpack advance to round two
Raiders (1-6) @ Cutters (6-1)
(IFL play-off, round 1)
The Raiders have done allot of rearranging this season and found a way to stay relatively competitive for the most part, despite the record. When running well, they can be a very good squad, but once you can shut down the running lanes, it forces them to the air. NOT the teams necessary strength. They have the talent, but lack to chemistry to go yard many times.
The Cutters will be at home where they are extremely tough for anyone, let alone a team traveling the distance the Raiders must come.
The defense will look to go lights out mode while the O will make no secret about what they will do. What is surprising is that the Cutters CAN throw the ball and at times, are just a shortened throw away from a big play.
They have played very solid recently, getting after the opposing QB and causing the turnover.
The Raiders will give all they have, but even that won't be enough to take down the Cutters at their house.
Crush (2-5) @ Mustangs (4-3)
(IFL play-off, round 1)
This will be a gooood game. We did research and found out the Crush were indeed missing a few players last time they tangled with the 'Stangs, and then went on a long road trip the next week to get a win from the Raiders.
They have a load of talent defensively and a very good WR/TB tandem that when working well, can easily move the ball through defenses. But timing is usually the achilles heal fr them and usually it is an underthrown ball costs them 6 points.
The Mustangs played one of their best games this year two weeks ago in a loss the the Generals. Take away the first half, they actually outscored the G-Men and played keep away from their offense, which no team has done this year.
A running QB will keep the Crush defense out of breath and off balance most of the game and adding the fan base the Mustangs always have, Mike will keep the place rockin’ and very tough for the Crush to get settled.
This is a bit of an underestimated Mustang team, but they aren’t worried. For this weekend, they can easily do their talking on the field and scoreboard.
The Mustangs will advance to round two.
Blitz (2-5) @ Wolverines (0-7)
The Blitz have been up and down this season looking great AND not so great at times. Still a defensively mannered squad, they dominate primarily with pass rush, gang tackling and ball control. Despite the scant record, they have played everyone tough this season. If you don’t believe it, ask their opponents. Any of them.
The Wolverines, as courageous as they are, will be at home and know its all or nothing now.
I feel Bill will get them to get into the endzone for the first time this year. This has nothing to do with the Blitz, it will be time for them to get it done.
However, even so, it will be merely a token score, but one that may start a trend of a few more. Just not enough to take Raber’s boys by surprise, even when the Blitz are on the road.
Cardinals (3-5) @ Force (4-4)
Great game here, as the rematch of the last game when the Cards held off the Force 28-20 in Ft. Wayne comes to their (Force) house. The Force are very, very tough at home, as they have lost only one game there this season and that was to the Wildcats.
The Cards found themselves on the wrong end of a shocking loss to the Pirates two weeks ago as a late turnover cost them the game. The defense was very strong, again getting a turnover at some key times, but the offense struggled and they were unable to put it away. This left them with an awful bad taste in their mouths heading into the holiday weekend, but hopefully, it was nothing a few char-bugers and beer couldn’t wash away.
The Force are strong as we mentioned at home, but the loss they suffered was just two weeks ago. ANOTHER team here that wants to wash that out of their system with a good game.
If the Cards can avoid the turnover they have a good chance and the Force will not find it easy to throw on this team. They WILL need to be able to for a win.
This is somewhat a playoff game for each team, as each of them they KNOW they will need to be able to handle a team of each others caliber in order to have a shot to take on the behemoths of the MFL for the crown.
Love the Cards, but going with the Force.
Bearcats (7-0) @ Wildcats (6-2)
I was hoping the game in Brazil could’ve been at 10 am so I could be there, but the rest of the staff will be there filming for me, so NO ONE tell me the final score before I get to watch it!
I have been waiting for this one for 4 weeks, but I can guarantee it is not nearly as much as the players have been. I wanted to add that not only does this game feature two GREAT teams, but also includes two very strong candidates for coach of the year as well, as both Head coaches received some extremely strong accolades from various players.
Well done, men.
As for the game, we saw a blow out last time down south, don’t expect that again.
The Wildcats have regrouped, and have been playing very well, most recently with an impressive win at the Force before the holiday weekend. They look very much like the Wildcat team that began tearing through the MFL like a hot chainsaw through cardboard and the defense has actually gotten BETTER each week.
In come them mean ‘ol Bearcats with sound fundamentally strong football all the way.
They also have gotten better, if that’s even possible as they have started to really open up the offense, showing they can do it in the air AND ground.
It’s not fair when a Sherman tank has ground missiles, AND can fly!
The only difference is that this is – from what we’ve seen – the ONLY defense that has a true shot AND ability to stop this team. Yes, stop, not just slow down.
Yet, the B-Cats have PROVEN that when faced with adversity, whether it be a road game
and holding off a surge from an opponent, or facing a tough team and having to play up a level, they are up to it and then some.
But there will be a slight change in the air as the Wildcats are in the “Jungle” of Brazil and can have a very spirited fan base when they need it. Did I mention this game could very well decide home field advantage throughout the MFL playoffs?
This was, to date, the toughest game to call this year, but in the end, I STILL cannot see the tank being stopped, as they will survive and win in their toughest test of the season.
Pirates (3-5) @ Patriots (5-2)
The Pirates got it done! I say that because I am almost sure this was THEIR reaction after they pulled out the win at the Cards two weeks ago.
They stayed in the game, and the defense played well enough to keep them in the game forcing turnovers ( including a HUGE one in the 4th Qtr) and winning it, making a much more pleasant trip back to Noblesville for them.
If the D stays in the plus column in takeaways/giveaways, make no mistake - they CAN beat anyone in the MFL. They have to just make sure they do, and get some help from the O every now and again. That last fact is what has them at 3-5 instead of 6-2.
Hoping to see “Doc” (one of our favorite players) of the Pats return, the Patriots will take the field at home to take care of some biz before playoffs start. It’s almost odd that Wayne’s boys are actually somewhat flying under the radar right now, but shhh, don’t tell them, they don’t want anyone to know.
Truth is, they don’t care. Their job is to go out, hit you and get the W. They aren’t concerned of you get their license plate number or not. That’s just how this team is and home is a great place for them as they are perfect there.
The Pirates are a bit under matched here, but truly stepped up last week in the stunner and will again try to use the defense to win it.
However, they are going up against probably the best all around passer in the MFL and a group of wide outs who make plays over and over again. It wont be an easy one, but the Pats keep winning, even if it seems to go somewhat undetected.
That's it for now. I step aside for Supa to get the the scoop on just about all things football, next.
A special thanks to all the players who took time to vote for the coach of the year candidates and express the reasons why. Seriously, all, and I mean all the responses were absolutely great and showed great loyalty to their coaches, teams and fellow players, as well as to the game of football itself.
One special one even came from a coach's son which my wife loved! ( yeah, ok, I loved it too, but if I admit I "love" something another guy writes, that don't make me gay, does it? I'm just sayin...)
Anyway, these are the games that count most. So play like each snap could be your last and play like the camera is on you...cause this week as well as the next few weeks, it just may be! (hint!)
Ya gotta love this game!