So FFL Gameday moves to Berendrecht this weekend, where the Diamonds host the Titans, but first the Tribes face the Gators – both teams looking for their first win of the season.
Weather prediction for Sunday
Cloudy and 2°C
Gent Gators (0-1-1) vs Izegem Tribes (0-2-0)
Last 5 years : Tribes 5, Gators 0
Last game : May 6, 2012 in Ostend. Tribes 41, Gators 13
This should be an interesting game. Gent are known for their passing game, and they have the top two players in the league as far as receptions goes this season, TE Dufour and WR Lezy (both with 7), and although the Tribes showed better pass defense against the Bulls, they were carved up by Leuven only a few weeks before that. And not to forget that the Tribes will be two players short in the heart of their defense, making it easier for the Gators offensive line. The Gators rank last in yards per rush and in third down conversions, these are areas that they’ll have to improve on – getting blocks on LBs Vanmarcke and Jamin are key there.
As for the Tribes offense, rookie QB Huysman is doing a solid job, and the offensive line are playing well, Ts Vanhauwere and Mullebroeck securing the edges, but it’s the interior of the line who will have to deal with DT Depreitere who was rather destructive against Leuven. Watch out for DE Sautois too, having a sneaky good season.
RB Atwood is a force for Izegem, and they also have some playmakers in the secondary if they can get their hands on the ball.
As in any close game, look for special teams to make a difference. Both teams have dangerous returners, and one big change in field position could set either team up for a win.
Prediction : With the Tribes softer up the middle it should allow the Gators to run a little, but they are a passing team first. They dropped a lot of balls against Leuven, and if that continues, the Tribes will win.
Computer says : A tie
I say : Tribes by 6, 26-20
Antwerp Diamonds (0-2-0) vs Puurs Titans (1-0-0)
Last 5 years : Diamonds 3, Titans 3
Last game : March 4, 2012 in Anderlecht. Diamonds 14, Titans 8
So the Titans haven’t played for a month. And yet, if you look at the stats, you’ll find that they still have #1 and #4 in sacks, as well as #2 and #6 in tackles for loss. This may be stating the obvious, but if you don’t find a way to deal with LBs K Meersmans and Lagae, they will ruin you. Oh, and their other linebackers are pretty good too.
The Diamonds are fortunate that they’ve got probably the best running back in the league in small spaces, RB Smet, who seems to find room where there isn’t any. And in TE Verhelst they have a very tough to cover threat downfield against a virtually untested Titans secondary.
The Titans four-headed monster (Lagae, Meersmans, Steenbeke and Steenackers) at running back will somehow have to be slowed down by the Diamonds. LB Borra leads the league in tackles for loss, and will need to make a few more to put the Titans in third and long situations, putting the pressure on Puurs to prove that they can throw the ball too.
Computer says : Titans by 24
I say : Titans by 17, 23-6
FFL Fantasy Challenge
So this week it was my turn to pick first. Klaas is leading 2-1 so far, so I really need to have a win this weekend.
QB Borra (ANT – 5)
RB Barbour (IZE – 7)
WR Lezy (GNT – 3)
DEF K Meersmans (PUU – 1)
QB Killens (GNT – 8)
RB Atwood (IZE – 6)
TE Verhelst (ANT – 4)
DEF Lagae (PUU – 2)
Well, those are the teams so far, anyway. On Gameday, we’re allowed to make one substitution should a player not be playing.
So it looks like being a good day’s football. If Puurs are able to beat Antwerp it’ll put them in a great position as far as making the playoffs go, given the results of last week. If Antwerp win though, then the whole thing is blown wide open. Until next time