Here we go for your weekly review and preview of all things FFL.
Brussels Bulls 7, Brussels Black Angels 0
I’m just going to skip right to the interesting part, which was the last 30 seconds of the game. The Bulls make an interception but the play is called back for roughing the passer and the Angels breathe again. QB Noel (2-6, 45 yards) finds HB Loupeda in a seam, gets a block, jumps over Bulls S Brady (2 int) and trips over his own feet when the endzone was beckoning, but there’s still time for one more play. But QB Njufom’s pass falls incomplete (it was holding anyway) and the Bulls win. It was almost like the Bulls wanted to make it hard for themselves, after they’d taken a 7-0 lead on a catch from WR Leroy (3 rec, 57 yards, 1 td) who was aided by an Angels defensive player tripping over, but still, they all count. The Angels didn’t help themselves either with dropped passes and broken coverages, fortunately for them, Bulls QB Torrini’s arm (5-15, 71 yards, 1 td, 1 int) was just a little too strong on a couple of occassions. The right team won but they didn’t look great doing it. Still, a wise man once said “it’s better to win ugly than to lose pretty”.
As usual Angels LB Fiquet was busy with 9.5 tackles and playing offensive tackle too, and CB Wart had a big game with 7.5 tackles and a pick. The Bulls outgained the Angels 189-126 on the day.
Antwerp Diamonds 10, Gent Gators 7
I must admit I didn’t see this coming. The Gators looked slow on their grass field, perhaps they’re too used to turf now? Or more likely they just don’t have the game to deal with the heavy, tough Diamonds offensive and defensive hogs. RB Smet carved up the Gators on his way to 89 yards and the eventual game winning touchdown, and HB/WR/QB Vervaet rushed, threw and made diving catches all over the field. But this game came down to a goal line stand made by the Diamonds, a 4th down bootleg by QB Killens (12-23, 119 yds, 1 td, 2 int) stopped about 6 inches short of the endzone by CB Wauters (7 tackles). Even then, the Diamonds were pinned back on their own 1-yard line, but more good blocking and tough running wound down the clock, and once the Gators got the ball back, a QB Killens pass was picked off by CB De Groof and the game was over.
Again QB/LB Borra delivered a solid performance with 49 passing yards and 5.5 tackles, and TE/DE Verhelst had 3 catches for 35 yards, 2.5 tackles and 1 sack. On the other side, RB Philippe was held to just 24 rushing yards although he did manage a receiving touchdown, and S Jolie made 9.5 bone-jarring tackles. Antwerp outgained Gent 231-178.
West Flanders Tribes 64, Limburg Shotguns 12
The Tribes put up a score that I’ve never seen in the FFL, but they’re probably not entirely pleased with how they went about it, giving up far more yards and points than I’m sure their coach would like to see, WR Pauwels (2 catches, 79 yards, 1 td) in particular causing the champions no end of trouble, including a 55-yard touchdown.
A big game was had by Shotguns LB Verduyn (9.5 tackles), but the Shotguns couldn’t hold back the tide that is the Tribes offense when it’s functioning. QB Vermaut (15-26, 176 yards, 117.9 qbr) threw 4 touchdowns, 2 to WR Laleman (8 rec, 81 yds) and 2 to WR Degroote (55 rec yds, 29 rush yds), and even DE Dossche got himself a touchdown by taking a handoff 2 yards to the endzone, meanwhile returning LB Vanmarcke did it the hard way, intercepting a ball and sprinting 40 yards for 6 points.
Shotguns QB Eeman went just 3-12 but passed for 124 yards, and WR/LB Hermans had 45 receiving yards to go along with his 5.5 tackles. The Tribes outgained the Shotguns 286-157, but were able to take advantage of several short fields.
Leuven Lions 8, Puurs Titans 8
The Titans offense continues to struggle (just 3/10 on third down), their only touchdown coming on a very short field after a turnover, which put them up 6-2 after Leuven had scored a safety after a fumble out of the endzone.
Lions QB Baete (90 passing yards, 53 rushing yards, 1 td) proved to be just as hard to tackle as he had been in previous weeks and his touchdown looked to probably be the winner until a Lions punt was blocked and went out of the endzone for a Titans safety, leaving the score a rather unusual 8-8.
For the Lions, S/WR Sakyi-Gyinae had 47 receiving yards to go with 2 tackles and 1 interception. Leuven outgained the Titans by an even 100, 213-113.
Quote of the week
“No, my arm is broken” – Gators WR Thomas Lezy, sitting on the ground after being involved in a collision as an answer to a Diamond asking if he was ok. Poor guy, apparently he had a broken leg last year too…
C’mon man of the week
I’m going to preface this by saying that we all have a lot to thank this man for. One week before the season it looked like there were going to be no stats, but Diamonds coach John Jolie promised me he’d find someone to take the stats in a game that someone else was supposed to cover. However, you can’t get your team to do a pooch punt on third down around here and get away with it! Coach John – c’mon man!
Stat of the week
There were 116 points scored across the league on Sunday. The Tribes scored 55% of them.
The ‘Insert your brand here’ FFL Player of the week
Congratulations to Leuven’s Sam Vanbrabant, the FFL player of the week, thanks to his 3 interceptions against the Titans
I guess the voters weren’t impressed with the Bulls performance, and liked the Tribes big numbers, because we have a new number one!
1 – West Flanders Tribes (2-0) 0.858
2 – Brussels Bulls (2-0) 0.794
3 – Antwerp Diamonds (3-0) 0.531
4 – Gent Gators (1-1) 0.500
5 – Brussels Black Angels (1-2) 0.489
The Diamonds leap over the Angels and Gators to the number three spot for their highest ranking ever.
March 25, Berendrecht
12:00 – #4 Gent Gators v Limburg Shotguns
15:00 – #3 Antwerp Diamonds v Leuven Lions
March 25, Ostend
12:00 – #5 Brussels Black Angels v Puurs Titans
15:00 – #1 West Flanders Tribes v #2 Brussels Bulls
What to watch for
I’m looking to see a response from the Gators after what happened to them against the Diamonds. They should have figured out ways to get around their weaknesses and take it to the Shotguns. But they’ll be wise to be careful as Limburg proved that they can make big plays too. The Shotguns have been prone to throwing interceptions so look for a big day from Gators S Jolie.
Prediction : Gators 31, Shotguns 12
Computer says : Gators by 57 (!?)
A most interesting matchup follows as the Diamonds look to go to 4-0 as they face the Lions. They’ll want to contain Lions QB Baete as much as possible and let their big boys go to work, opening up room for RB Smet and HB Veravaet. I like the Diamonds to use their ball control offense to get the job done.
Prediction : Diamonds 14, Lions 7
Computer says : Diamonds by 8
Now we move on to Ostend and the Angels against the Titans. Tough for the Angels to practice with their sad lack of equipment, so how are they going to prepare for a Titans team who got a sniff of victory last week only to have the game end in a draw? More importantly, how are the Titans offensive line going to get anything done against the Angels front seven?
Prediction : Angels 20, Titans 6
Computer says : Angels by 7
And here, the big one. #1 v #2. A Belgian Bowl preview? Could well be. The Tribes have a whole string of injuries but they’ll look to continue their imposing winning streak against a Bulls team who seem to just do what they have to do in order to win and don’t extend themselves unncessarily (with almost disastrous consequences last weekend). The Bulls are going to want to find another gear if they want to hang with a team who found themselves the scoring touch on Sunday. I like this game to go right down to the wire, but I’m expecting some Tribes player to put their hand up and make a play right when it’s required. It’s tradition.
Prediction : Tribes 21, Bulls 17
Computer says : Tribes by 1
Well that’s just about all there is to say this week. Don’t forget to join up to ‘The FFL Blog Extra’ on facebook if you haven’t done so already for more of that good stuff. Also big thanks go to Klaasman for taking the stats in Leuven – don’t forget to check his work out, you can find his latest here : http://usasports.nl/se/articles/1898/ffl-recap-week-4. Until next time