Luckily, everyone played out to what I picked last week, but don't get used to that. I've already been punched by my bro enough already.
It's gettin' close men. Fall, leaves, College ball, and even some NFL (yawn) preseason..but I'll take it!
Some teams are backed against some walls and some true Biggu'ns are tangling while some others are loving life at the top, while others are trying to get back to it.
Big week this week, for sure..
To the games....
Panthers (0-4) @ Crush (0-4)
The Panthers are coming off of what was their best outing of the year, sporting some good offense and a few plays on D to very nearly pull off an upset last week. The ability to reach the endzone was found and I think a few players may have found more effort in them than they had though to begin with.
Also impressive was the play of the O line which even though they had a few guys playing both ways all game, sustained a few good drives and protection.
The Crush had a lopsided loss by SCORE last week, but played with heart. And now that it’s has been 4 games, they have a DE ( 46) and a LB/DT ( #88) with great speed and toughness that have been terror’s in all games we’ve seen. In fact, they have a WR also, (#7) that when they timing get down with his QB, will easily see the end zone more than a few times this year.
This will be one of those games, and the Crush get their 1st win, and a great confidence booster for later in this year.
Raiders (1-3) @ Mustangs (2-2)
The Raiders did exactly what many expected and played well for a win last week. Running and passing were effective, but the defense came up with a few plays also that was the real difference. They looked as one unit and cheered one another on from the sidelines and were also very spirited. This is what we expected from them all season, and they delivered.
The Mustangs had some sideline issues after a hard loss at the hands of the Shamrock last week, and as many know, carried into this week.
Word was that some captains shut it down at practice and reminded everyone to get back focused on the goal – emphatically.
Good job to the captains.
As far as the teams play, defensively they are a bit stronger than we had thought, but offense struggled, as all have done against the Shamrock D, but did manage a couple of score nonetheless. Some flags did help, but flags don’t get you six points any way you slice it.
What will help them this week will be fact they are at home in one of the better venues in the IFL and they will get a good support rally from the fans.
They are at a critical point on whether they will head up or down for the rest of this season.
They are playing a Raider team with some momentum, but will have juuuust enough to get by them.
Wolfpack (1-3) @ Shamrock (4-0)
What do the scheduling God’s have against the Wolfpack? Granted, no one knew who was going to be where in the standings before opening day, but this schedule for them is like a new fighter getting scheduled Tyson, Ali, and Mancini in their primes in the 1st three bouts!
What I love is that they don’t seem to care WHO they are playing. The largest margin of loss they have is eight points. The thing is, I think they are sick of hearing what great games they’ve played and just want wins now. They took the league champs to the wire and held them out of the endzone the second half, stuffed the runs well and as usual, the pass is really a free airway on them. The D is for real.
This team has winning spray painted all over them; the record however, does not.
The Shamrock have truly lived up to their nick-name ‘ROCK’ and were terribly solid last game.
More sacks and smothering D made it very hard for the Mustangs to move the ball and unless someone kept stats, I am not sure if their d gave up more than 8 1st down all afternoon.
However, if they get caught looking at their crystal balls ( no snickering ) into the future into next week, this Wolfpack team will bite down hard and into some Shamrock bone.
But I think they will be smarter than that, and keep it real. They know what’s at stake.
Generals (4-0) @ Cutters (4-0)
Of Course, I will be in Bloomington for this, and I LOVE their facility! Word is that some General’s fans are heading down also to try to even they play field a bit, so I won’t be as easily spotted (Right, who’s looking for me anyway?)
The Generals are for real. They are doing what they need to be, stomping the lesser – middle teams, and winning if nothing else against the tougher ones.
Issue is, there’s only been one of the tougher ones as to date.
But that doesn’t mean anything if you talk to them. Their offense is still #1 in points and D #1 in points allowed, and even compared to other lesser/greater teams scores, they dwarf the margins.
The Cutters are still doing it primarily on D shutting down the opponents across the board, and on offense with running. With them is probably the best tandem-group of backs this league as seen in a long time. They don’t even seem to really game plan it, as they do it to every team they face; coming out - looking ANY D-line in the face and saying “We’re running right over you’re a** this play, you got a problem with that?”
It’s best not to answer that question.
But the Wolfpack didn’t back down last week, don’t expect the G-men to either.
Little known until now was the Generals’ ground game that plays well. Last year, that was ALL they had. This year they have it along WITH Hibbline and their wide outs, which is why they are so deadly.
But, remember when I said that later down the road-chemistry..blah-blah-blah?
Well, Bloomington is about 45 minutes down that road, and with The Cutters at home, hyped up, I think they can humble the Generals for the 1st time.
The G men have every tool they need to knock off the champs, but the one thing they DON’T have again, is the team chemistry. I go with the Champs, but they will have to work harder as they ever have to gain the W here.
Blitz (2-3) @ Cardinals (2-3)
The Blitz came up just a bit short last week but what was really surprising to me was how hard the played with the numbers they had. I was even more impressed with the recent resurgence of the Blitz offense! They starting to run well , backs are hitting holes and if the D gets back to where they started off with, I can only imagine what they would’ve done with 20-25 men in all.
Thery’re baaaaaaaaaaaaack! Yes, I’m talkin’ bout them dirty birds. Getting healthier each week, they post another close, but solid win against the always tough Wildcats.
The ground game was nice and a few passes were also key, but the Defense – which was the key to winning for them, has made a play or two when they have needed.
This will be a tune up, and the Blitz don’t seem to travel well, and even a fully loaded rostered Blitz team won’t do much to stop the Card’s now.
Force (3-2) @ Patriots (3-2)
The Force won against a very undermanned Blitz team, and put tit away early with turnovers. But as well as they played, they maybe could’ve found the ‘zone a bit more..but that is also credit to the Blitz played so hard all day long.
The Force are another team where you’re not sure which one will show, but winning under any circumstance will help raise morale, eyebrows, and level of play.
The Pats suffered a close loss in a GREAT game vs. the Bearcats. But let’s not forget the THIS Patriot team has something that few of the recent ones had.
No one need to tell them who they are or aren’t, and right now; that they have tasted defeat; rest assured - it’s a taste Wayne and his ball players don’t like well, and won’t allow it on their tongues long.
I feel for anyone coming into Adams County this weekend.
Unfortunately for the Force, it’s them.
Bearcats (5-0) @ Pirates (2-3)
Ok, we have GOT to find out what they are feeding the Bearcats before games! I was wondering if I was going to send down a scout and get back footage of one of them pulling a fish from the river and tear into it raw in pre game. For those of you who think I’m exaggerating, please attend a game.
Coming off such a big win, and knowing that now it is THEY who have earned the right to stand alone atop the MFL, it is easy to get on a high. But don’t sell them any crystal meth yet.
They aren’t buying.
Like many surging teams, the Bearcats mission lies at the end of the road, not long the way, and they have learned to take no one lightly, and no prisoners.
In they come to the Pirates’ cove…and in my opinion, the most dangerous place in the MFL for them right now. Why?
This is what the NFL says could be a ‘trap game’ right?
The Pirates are a very good team who actually match up well against the Bearcats. They have allot of team speed and quickness to battle the Bearcats size and strength and the only thing that ever seems to do them in is a lack discipline ( not attitude, but being out of position ) here or there.
Unfortunately, the “here or there” usually results in 6 points for the other team, or lack thereof for them)
If the B-Cats aren’t careful; this game could sneak in on them be a huge upset, but although I think the Pirates may even go up on them early, I see no reason to think it will stay that way.
Welcome to the Top, Bearcats. Now know you have that bull’s-eye.
-Unfortunately for the rest of the league, the Bearcats were that bull’s-eye with pride.
Wildcats (3-2) @ Wolverines (0-5)
Two of the last two weeks, the Wildcats have not been themselves. Last week they allowed the Cards to run on them …all over in fact; and find themselves in the uncomfortable position of 3-2. For allot of teams, this is a very acceptable. But for them, it is not.
They know they are better than this, and although the Bearcat game was not an indicator, the Card game had some eyebrows raised.
The Wolverines are always going to play hard no matter who they play and would love to add to the Wildcats streak of 2 losses to make it three, and they have the advantage of playing in their own back yard.
Had the W-Cats had the win last week, I would actually try to see if the letdown dog would be roaming their sidelines, but not as such.
This is exactly what the Wildcats need to see what they will need to fix in the weeks coming up when they set a course for the playoffs and get healthy as well.
Well thats it! This is gonna be a good one as Momma Nat is not calling for any wet weather that I know of. Play hard men, now is the time where EVERY play counts.
Remember, you can replay a down, but you have only one chance to make a play.
What are you ready to do?
Ya Gotta love this game!