Well, hello Gents! Week one in the NFL has passed us and MAN what a week it was! If you are a fan of the Raiders, Bears, Bengals or Bills, I know a guy who does cheap repair work on wall holes and coffee tables.
If you a fan of Notre dame..well…..that’s YOUR fault anyway! ( Oh C’mon, you’re used to it by now!!)
The ILF saw the Mustangs and Wolfpack move on, not necessarily with ease, to round two and both take it on the road, the Patriots want redemption – in more ways than one, The Pirates do the unthinkable, and something we will reveal to all later has got me and the crew here all Tanked up!
But that – we will let you in on later..so if your not too busy…let’s get to the games!
IFL PLAYOFF – ROUND TWO
WOLFPACK (5-3) @ GENERALS (8-0)
The Wolfpack held off the very determined Shamrock team and prevailed at home in front of a pretty good crowd.
The Defense did play well, despite a late surge from the Rock, but as said before, they play usually above what they need to get the win. Not to be forgotten was the performance of the Shamrock, who never gave up and came into the game knowing they could win and played so. It showed that they indeed were well and above last season and will be back next year even better.
The Generals have the odd honor of having three straight weeks off with two weekends of non play. This can do a couple things to a team, one is bad, the other aint. But knowing JT, he wont let the bad one get to his team.
The Key is a good Wolpack Defense slowing down the run and not allowing big plays. If Shrock and his boys can get after Hibblein, it will be key to a great upset.
Last game, the option play hurt the Generals and the Wolfpack were able to move the ball at times.
They KEY Matchup will be The G-Men’s WR Joe Zeunik vs Wolfpack DB Dustin Petrie.
These are two undoubtedly the best in the league at their spots and Hibblein will need to take care when throwing #21’s way.
The G–Men must score early and put the game out of come-back reach as fast as possible. Because if they don’t, and the Pack hang around…it will mean that the game may be decided by the Pack's Clawson (the older one, Brian - as the brothers square off with kicking duties) which aides the 'Pack, as we also will see the two best kickers in the league this game.
The Pack are strong, but the G Men are at home. Although I do see them getting a pretty good scare, I also see them getting the W and moving on…a little sore afterwards though.
The Generals advance to the Championship game
IFL PLAYOFF – ROUND TWO
MUSTANGS (5-3) @ CUTTERS (7-1)
Rumor has it that the Mustangs have a lil something special prepared for this game, but we do not have confirmation, so due to the reporting ethics that I only allow from Vinny Central, if I do not KNOW it, will not swear by it, I will not report it.
However, it will make a difference in how we called this game.
The Stangs did hold off an extremely determined Crush team, who gave them he** last week but pulled out a win. The Crush actually led at halftime, as the Crush D truly got after, and contained them. But by the 4th qtr, the Stangs began to pour it on - on D AND offense, and outscored the Crush 31-6 in the second half. Also to be mentioned along with the stick to it, game plan that the Mustangs did not panic from, was the hard-nose play of the Crush, who showed w-they were, and WILL BE a team to be considered in the upcoming year.
The Cutters also have had a lull in play like the Generals, not due to themselves and are ready to ball.
This game, as we know, is a rematch of last years championship game where the Stangs I am sure, still feel they let slip away.
The Cutters are aware, but still remain as they are. Smash-mouth, rugged team with enough finesse to beat you either way.
The Stangs will simply need to do this, stop the run. Completely. No questions, to have a chance.
If they do this, they actually stand a good shot at getting the W, but then also have to contend with the constantly pressuring Cutter defense, primarily the pass rush.
The Key matchup here is the Cutter RB’s Bobby and Israel VS the entire Mustang LB core.
The Cutter Backs will need to pound and pound away, while Zach Hile (in the secondary) and emotional leader Mustang LB Kyle Wilbert will need to hit back as well.
This game, if all goes we think, may be indeed much closer than many think, and if the Stangs pull it out, there is really no upset. But without knowing all the details, and going with what we got, the Cutters find themselves back in the 'ship again, defending the rings they wear.
The Cutters advance to the Championship game
Wolverines (0-9) @ Pirates (4-5)
Someone pinch me, because I am still looking at the Pirate score from last week and not sure if I am awake.
They did the unthinkable, and went into no-mans land and walked out with a win in a fairly dominating performance last weekend against the heavily favored Patriots.
You can almost hear Dane saying to his young team “See what will happen if we do this the right way?”
I had said previously this team can beat anyone if they don’t turn the ball over and play within themselves..well last week that’s exactly what happened.
Armed with new confidence and two straight wins (ROAD wins, mind you), they take the field against the Wolverines, who have had some better numbers (confirmed) recently and found a little better spirit of play also.
Not sure what Bill did to get this, but it was good to see.
What’s NOT good is comin’ into the Cove to play a team that is on a high that not even the old Whitney could get on the street, and looking to the playoffs.
Again, many would think trap game, but that is usually kept for teams that are at the top of the standings. This Pirate team is on the way up, and too excited to think that far ahead.
Force (5-4) @ Blitz (3-6)
The Force are a bit upset of the no–show they experienced last week, primarily because they were unprepared for it. They wanted a change to rematch the Loss they had in Ft. Wayne, and the forfeit was a hollow win. But now, with new Biz at hand, the have to go into the Blitz’s back yard and tangle with them.
The Blitz Defense has really started to come around and getting notoriety for being the fearsome bunch they once were, and apparently, are again.
Look for the Force to try to get it going in the air, if they can keep the QB off his back and then, get past the Blitz db’s.
The Blitz will use their ground game, which had been effective all season in every game we’ve seen.
The Force is one of the few teams that can really play well when they want to, along with the Blitz who seemed to have turned it up a notch recently.
At home, their defense is even more ramped than normal, and they will get after the Force as often as possible. In the end, the Force will head back home sore, and one added in the loss column.
Cardinals (4-5)@ Wildcats (6-3)
Not sure what really happened last week with the Cards game, but it is to know that they are still together. When this team has all the gears oiled, they run smoothly, but when they don’t…well…they don’t.
They had a great game last time around against the Wildcats, but that was at home. Their O has struggled recently with an absence of an air attach, which leaves them to mainly run. Although effective, one dimensional will not be an asset in the upcoming playoffs.
In the come to the Jungle to face the Wildcats. The W-Cats held their own for a good while before falling to the Bearcats last week, but in all, they did not look bad as the lopsided score indicated.
To know that I have said this before, if you attend a Wildcat game, you see that this is still one of the most complete teams of the MFL, but they live on defense and opponents usually die on it.
The W-Cats need to get themselves geared up for the playoff run, as they will need every game to charge up for stiffer competition now.
They will release some frustrations here, but need to be careful..and enigma like the boys from Ft Wayne can be just that..and if caught sleeping, this Cards team can inflict damage on anyone.
Fortunately, the Brazilian boys are now wide awake.
Bearcats (9-0) @ Patriots (6-3)
Big’un here, boys! Sure enough, I will have a front row seat for this game and may even do a lil tailgate before hand with the crew, so if you see us, we'll save a brew for ya, but you better not blame the after play on us OR the beer!
Now, the game itself has many facets. First, the Pats; coming off the most stunning loss since probably going back 3 years takes the field against the Bearcats.
Nothing needs to be said for them as the Patriots face what some consider a must win for morale alone as they head into the playoffs. A team once invincible at home, had a degree of humanism thrown in last week. Quite honestly, they were outplayed and outhustled. Again, something that NEVER happens to them. (Never say never, Vince!)
The Offense never really got going and the run game, although they had a few runs, they were unable to get scores when they needed. Quite honestly, they did not look like themselves.
In come them mean ol’ Bearcats, who will be on the road for the last time, after their win last win at the Jungle game them the right to give a free pass to anyone wanting the Championship to come the river to get it.
The W-Cats gave them a good game, but in the second half, they did what they do, put it away and looked extremely efficient offensively and shut down the late threats and allowed but one TD in that half.
Their defense, particularly the LB core is very smart, and what I like is the reads they make. Several times, they were right where the W-Cats were wanting to run. And the pass rush was there, despite the size and tenacity of the Wildcat O-line.
Not to mention, with HFA locked up, they easily could sit some starting players, but don’t expect Coach Rucker to do it, nor that the team wants to. They want a perfect season and will play for the win. No exceptions.
These soldiers are marching, but –
they will face the heaviest barrage through the air they have seen since the last match with this same team, on the road. The Patriots are one of the best air teams in the MFL and they will need to, and will readjust the attack to hit the B-Cats with everything they have.
But my take is that the Bearcats’ ground to air missiles will be just fine, even in a game that means nothing to them in standings. That armored Tank rolls on….
Well, that’s it for now. We want to thank all the players and fans who have written all the cool emails and stuff we got over the last too weeks. It makes what we do allot more fun. It also helps to show proof to my wife that I am actually in my den late night doing something - and truly working when I am gone on weekends, and NOT thinking about that waitress that served us at the Denny’s in Chicago last year. (Gees, misplace where you put a tip ONE time and your branded for life!)
We also want to thank Supa and ISPF for al their work, as without men like them, boys like me can’t do what I try to do.
As usual, get out there and play like it’s the last time you will, because for some, it is. How do you want to remember it?
Ya Gotta love this game!