Well it’s Thursday. Time for a quick look into the future as we talk about the two games being played this weekend. Also Klaas and I have made our first picks in the FFL Fantasy Football Challenge. The winner of the Challenge gets a beer at the Belgian Bowl, and recently I noticed that one of the sponsors of this year’s BB is the brewery that makes Kasteelbier! Lucky it’s only one beer, because I think after two I wouldn’t be in much of a state to take the stats any more!
Brussels Black Angels (0-0) vs Gent Gators (0-0)
Last 5 years : Black Angels 6, Gators 0
Last match : April 1, 2012 : Black Angels 25, Gators 0
The Gators have been shutout the last two games they’ve played against the Black Angels, as the Angels were just too big and too strong for Gent to deal with, so it’s up to the Gators to show that they’ve become smarter and faster.
As for Brussels, they’ve made a switch at the most valuable position, so let’s see how QB Kevin Noel goes (he did play some last year, went 13/31, 141 yards, 1 td, 2 int, 39.9 qbr), so he’s not totally inexperienced. But of course, he can rely on the Angels power running game, so he won’t have to make plays all by himself.
For Gent, it’ll come down to execution. No penalties, no turnovers, no lining up in the wrong spot or running the wrong routes.. They have some sort of chance but they’ll have to play the game of their lives.
Looking back at previous years, one has no choice but to take the Angels. The question is will their re-tooled team be as good as years past? Prediction : Angels 26, Gators 10
Izegem Tribes (0-0) vs Leuven Lions (0-1)
Last 5 years : Tribes 6, Lions 0
Last match : April 29, 2012 : Tribes 42, Lions 26
The biggest story in the offseason was the split of the West Flanders Tribes (and let me point out just before I get a whole lot of comments, that the Izegem Tribes are the continuation of the West Flanders Tribes, and so technically inherit their history). The Tribes still have some experienced players but have a lot of young ones too, and it’ll be up to the kids to step up and make a name for themselves.
We saw the Lions two weeks ago in a somewhat underwhelming performance against the Titans, so how are they going to respond to that? They will surely want to be more balanced, get their passing game going and just generally have the ball more in the hands of their playmaker, QB Baete.
I expect the Tribes to come out hitting hard in front of their home crowd, trying to use the energy to get a fast start. But even though the Lions lost this game last year, they scored 26 points and made the Tribes D look pretty silly on occasion, so they’ll have confidence that they can get something done too. It should be a great match actually, I’m expecting to see some good football.
Prediction : Although it’s hard to know exactly what to expect from Izegem, I think they might be able to get it done with youth and speed. But I also think the Lions will be able to make enough plays to make it an exciting finish. Tribes 27, Lions 20
Meanwhile, in Wallonia
Two games this weekend in the LFFAB :
Andenne Bears (1-1) v Liege Monarchs (1-1)
Brussels Tigers (1-0) v Luxembourg Steelers (0-3)
FFL Fantasy Football Challenge
So the deal is that Klaas and I will choose one QB, one RB/FB/HB, one WR/TE and one defensive player each week, add up their fantasy scores and see who is more clever. To make it more difficult we may only choose one player from each team. People have been asking about the scoring system, so here it is:
Pass yard = 0.04
Rush yard = 0.10
Receiving yard = 0.10
Point = 1
Passing touchdown = 4
Thrown interception = -2
Sack = 2
Interception = 2
Forced fumble = 2
Fumble recovery = 2
Tackle = 1
Defensive or special teams return yard = 0.05
Representing Team Klaas :
QB – Bart Killens (GNT)
RB – Seppe Delmeiren (LEU)
WR – Gaetan Lebek (BBA)
DEF – Wim Vanmarcke (IZE)
Representing Team Dale :
QB – Kevin Noel (BBA)
RB – Laurens Demeyere (IZE)
WR – Floris Van Hoof (LEU)
DEF – Guillaume Schuermans (GNT)
People will probably wonder why I didn’t take Kim Jolie for the Gators, and it’s a good question. I’m just allergic to taking offensive players against the Angels. I think Guillaume Schuermans will be right in the middle of all the action. But I like Klaas’ picks too, Wim Vanmarcke is the best tackler in the league – do yourself a favour and watch him play, then you’ll see why he’s been All-FFL the last two years.
Sunday weather report
Partly cloudy and 7°C
The weather looks pretty good and there’s a 0% chance of the games being cancelled, so let’s all head out to Izegem and see what these four teams bring to the table. For three of the teams, it’ll be their first game of the season, so they’ll all want to make a good start to the season. Who is going to impress us? Until Sunday