Welcome to the FFL Blog with its “no intro policy”. This is an intro? D’oh! Let’s go to work instead of trying to be funny..
Gent Gators 41 – Puurs Titans 0
This was the Gators’ first game of the season and what a game it was. I think it would be fair to say that the Gators made the Titans look pretty ordinary for most of this game, actually there was only really one exception – Titans WR Philippe Raman making a ridiculous one handed falling over catch in double coverage that they might as well already make the #1 play of the year, it was that good (anyone get it on video, I guess not)
But like I said, that was really the only offensive highlight for the Titans, who struggled their way to just 62 yards and tossed more passes to the Gators (6) than to their own team (4), S Jolie with two picks.
As for the Gators, they were led by QB Killens (19-27, 192 yds, 2td, 5 rush, 40 yds) and the rest of the FFL had better get ready for RB Philippe (averaging 6 yards per touch, and oh-by-the-way hammered a 46-yard field goal to end the first half). League leading tackler and intercepter (I don’t think that’s a word but y’all know what I mean) LB K Meersmans was everywhere, and thank the Football Gods that he was, or this game would have been over early. Gent dominate.
Killens was very efficient at the QB position, WR Vermassen taking advantage with 2 touchdowns, and WR Lezy had 4 catches for 56 yards and made an interception too.
The Gators outgained the Titans 353-62 in total and 161-9 on the ground.
Brussels Bulls 21 – Leuven Lions 6
If you look up the verb ‘to grind’, you’ll find a reference to the Bulls first drive against the Lions. 15 plays, rushes of 7, 3, -1 (plus a facemask penalty), 5, 5, 4, 4, 3, 3, 3, 3, 5, 1, 4 and 6, ending in an inevitable touchdown by QB Torrini (6-9, 40 yards, 6 rushes, 24 yards, 1 td). The Bulls number one ranked offensive hogs plowed the way for 243 yards on the ground, 154 of them to RB Acheson.
On the other side, Lions QB Baete (5-8, 52 yards, 8 rushes, 53 yards) proved to be a slippery little customer, keeping drives alive with his speed, and when he found RN T’Jonck for a controversial touchdown early in the last quarter (the Lions receiver caught the ball and fumbled it but was ruled to have crossed the goal line first), the Lions were down only 14-6.
But the Bulls went back to doing what they do best, RB De Caluwe scoring his second of the game, this time from 25 yards away as the Bulls put the game out of reach.
The Bulls outgained the Lions 283-139, and went a pretty impressive 4-5 on fourth downs.
Antwerp Diamonds 31 – Limburg Shotguns 0
The Shotguns deserved more out of this game, especially in the second half, they were able to put some long drives together but just couldn’t score, RB Jans doing the bulk of the damage with 182 yards on the ground. The Diamonds defense were kept very busy with LB Pierre (9 tackles) doing a lot of the work.
Seems that the receivers all had a touch of butterfingers with several prime scoring chances being grassed, especially by the Limburgers. The Diamonds secondary were able to come up big again with 4 interceptions, 2 by S Van Der Aa.
Again it was iron man Borra leading the way, throwing for 67 yards and 1 touchdown, to go along with 8 tackles and 1 sack on the other side of the football. RB Smet rushed for 91 yards at over 9 per carry too.
The Diamonds outgained the Shotguns 253-196, taking advantage of several short fields to put up points.
Quote of the week
“We have a competition in our team to see who can get in your blog and the stats the most!”, Gators head coach Hannes Roman. Congratulations Coach, you’re winning!
C’mon man of the week
Everyone who knows me knows that I love making fun of the officials. I like to boo them as they step onto the field – with all due respect, of course! So when they lose track of the line of scrimmage after a really long Bulls pass play which gets called back because of an illegal man downfield, who do they call? Yep, yours truly had to tell them where the line of scrimmage was. There’s something gratifying about the ref having to take an official time out to send his back judge jumping over the fence to ask what was up. But what really makes me wonder is – what would they have done if I wasn’t there? Officials – C’mon man!
Stat of the week
Limburg’s RB Jans had a rather imposing 42 rushing attempts against the Diamonds. He pounded out an FFL season high 182 yards as well. The NFL record for most attempts in a game is 45, by Jamie Morris (who?), but that game went to overtime.
The ‘insert your brand name here’ FFL Player of the week
Lions FS Owusu Sakyi-Gyinae has been voted as the player of the week for his outstanding performance against the Bulls. He had 13 tackles and 1 sack, and also found the time to make 1 catch for 13 yards.
Now that all teams have played at least one game, the computer is joining in the rankings fun, and what a difference it has made! Now the coaches have 1/3 of the overall rankings, the media 1/3 and the computer 1/3, just like the BCS rankings.
1 – Brussels Bulls 0.857
2 – West Flanders Tribes 0.764
3 – Gent Gators 0.670
4 – Brussels Black Angels 0.462
5 – Antwerp Diamonds 0.316
A little explanation – the computer likes Gent. A lot. It does take into account margin of victory, and so far the Gators own as far as that goes.
March 18, Gent
12:00 – #1 Brussels Bulls v #4 Brussels Black Angels
15:00 – #3 Gent Gators v #5 Antwerp Diamonds
March 18, Leuven
12:00 – Limburg Shotguns v #2 West Flanders Tribes
15:00 – Leuven Lions v Puurs Titans
What to watch for
Looks like we’re in for a lot of fun in Gent, as four of the top five teams face off, starting with a rematch of the Donut Bowl. I’m not exactly sure what to make of the Angels so far, they look like a team still trying to figure out what they want to be. On the other hand, the Bulls have everything under control, and don’t extend themselves unless they’re absolutely required to. I have to believe that the Bulls have a lot more than what they showed on Sunday.
Prediction – Bulls 27 – Angels 14
On to the main event – Gators against Diamonds, both teams undefeated. What will be a concern for the Diamonds is the fact that they’re giving up over 170 yards on the ground per game heading into this one. Dual-threat RB Philippe is one dangerous customer and the Diamonds linebackers are going to have a busy day. The Diamonds pass defense, however, is clearly number one in the league, which provides an interesting matchup against the Gators number one passing offense.
Gent were very coherent (nice description, Ike) and should be able to impose themselves upon the Diamonds defense. But the Diamonds have playmakers of their own, and the Gators would be wise to keep their eyes open and not just assume that they’ve got it covered.
Prediction – Gators 31, Diamonds 19
Over in Leuven it’s the Tribes against the Shotguns. I do believe that if the Tribes win this game, that would be 50 straight victories in Belgian competition. The Tribes D will want to shore up against the run, and a return of LB Vanmarcke is just what they need.
I don’t really see the Shotguns defense being able to trouble the Tribes much, but I also don’t see the Tribes scoring in bunches with all their injuries.
Prediction – Tribes 34, Shotguns 0
The final game of the week should be an interesting one as the Lions host the Titans. Puurs are looking for something to hang their season on, meanwhile Leuven have looked pretty solid but have been unable to come away with a win yet.
I don’t really like the Titans’ chances, to be fair. LB K Meersmans can’t be everywhere (he’s making a damn good show of it though), and with their injuries all over the place they look a bit lost at sea. The Lions are improving every week, even though they’re going to miss DT Janssens’ hard work in the middle.
League leading all-purpose yard gainer WR Vermeir is always a threat in the return game, so the Lions will want to make a better show of it than against the Bulls.
Prediction – Lions 28, Titans 13
I don’t want to end on a sad note, but is it just me or are there a lot more serious injuries than before? Last week we had Erwin Janssens (Leuven), Junior Janzen (Diamonds) and Yann Callaert (Titans) all go down with serious injuries (not sure if there were others, I may hope not). It could just be that I hear more about it now. In any case, I hope that everybody’s bad run of luck is over. Until next time