We went into Week 11 with four teams assured of play off football and one team gone... and after easily the most competitive round of fixtures so far this season not a helluva lot has changed !! In every one of our previous 25 seasons there has always been a week when the underperforming sides seem to get it together and make the whole race to the finish just that little bit tighter. This year it took until Week 11 until we saw it !! Five of our six games went down the wire on Monday night and we had a real exciting mish mash of hold on wins, mixed in with likely... and unlikely comebacks ! The only game to finish on Sunday, the Laurel Lions season prolonging comfortable 26-11 stroll over the Scunthorpe Steelers did provide the one concrete decision of the Week, the specific elimination of coach Adamski's outfit, but the other five results , with the slight exception of the Arnhall v Gryphons truly kept us all guessing. Coach Sutherland's victory over the Bayler was more or less nailed on prior to the Monday night showdown .. but there was the always the chance of a freak play or an injury to his starting QB ... meaning an Apaches loss would assure him of at worst the best wildcard berth at minimum , irrespective of his form over the closing two weeks. The Braves could not close the deal against the suddenly resurgent Pirates... so we got another decision of sorts ... if the Dolphins don't win the Granite Div pennant they will fill the single bye spot for the best non Division winner. The Cove Bay Pirates upset win over the Apaches kept coach Inkster interested and piled the pressure on the sides bidding for the final wildcard berth. Indeed the overall picture of Week 11 was that all 4 Granite Division sides won .. while the top three in each of the other groupings tasted defeat. The Week 11 game of the Week saw the Kincorth Killers snatch a dramatic Monday comeback success over the stalled Westburn Blades to stay on track (and on the Dolphins shoulder) for GDiv honors and a double bye week berth.. but the two 9-2 GDiv leaders have to still to play each other (while the BA Div leaders do not). Mad Fish has the tie breaks in bye week terms to guard against dropping to 9-4... coach McGeachy Jnr does not. The Deevale Desperados cleared a big hurdle to their knock-out participation by surprising an off color 2 Minute Drillers and holding a tie break over all three sides around then in the wildcard battle have placed themselves in a position of strength. Over in the Pittodrie Div .. things just got tighter. As we have seen the Lions were the only one of the four to get a big W this week.. with the Caledonia Express' jaw dropping 35-36 comeback loss to the already eliminated Wrecking Rebels a real shocker. Both Marty and coach Kiwi are tantalizingly close to booking a place at the post season party... but while the winner of their much anticipated Week 12 clash will be able to relax.. the loser might yet end up in a Week 13 wildcard feeding frenzy. One little aside this week ( which was the 2nd highest of the season) was the effect the GDiv's clean sweep had on the overall wins. Remarkably this one round of fixture paint a picture of the "middle" grouping being easily the winningest of 2017. You cant argue with math.. but I believe the real story has been more about a rare "splitting" of the sides with only the Pittodrie Div seeing serous competition outside the top two. Anyhoo.... Week 12 is already upon us in the shape of Thanksgiving... and the finishing line (not to mention the fat lady ) then comes up to slap us in the face. Individual titles , just as the bigger picture are coming to the boil nicely, be sure to catch the updates in Titlel watch. So... Two weeks to go in the regular season... no Division titles handed out.. 4 sides assured of December action... and 6 outfits battling for the last 4 play-off places. Where is that sliderule.... ??
Fighting Lions See Off Steelers
Lions RB Ameer Abdullah is all alone as he scores on a 2 yard reception.
The Laurel Lions showed their claws a little as they kept their tenuous repeat title hopes alive with a comfortable 26-11 win over the cursed Scunthorpe Steelers. Coach Hamiltonís side have struggled to fire on all cylinders and post scores in the mid 20pt range all season long but this week put together an all round team effort to see off a Steelers outfit that canít get out of ďplace kicker hellĒ. Three weeks ago Adamski was on the cusp of a potential playoff springboard win over the Wrecking Rebels before kicker Blair Walsh fluffed his lines , missing all three FG attempts on course to damning goose egg. With Walsh sent (for ever) into the South London equivalent of the Black Hole, new starter Giorgio Tavecchio has failed to score in the subsequent two games... the second of which condemned his side to defeat in this must win match-up. Three straight games without a kicking point qualifies as a new unwanted ALFF record Ö and with just 46 points overall in their last 4 matches it is little wonder that the 2-9 Bon Accord outfit became the 2nd confirmed name on the play-off no-show list. The match synopsis is a pretty concise affair especially when it comes to Scunny. Trailing an opening 5pt Thursday from Lions K Ryan Succop ( coach Hís kicking woes fade in comparison with his opponents!) suggested coach Meek may be on course to get the win he so badly needed to snap a franchise worst 5 game losing streak. In practice however they never really threatened. QB DeShon Kizer , who had been decent in both previous starts, managed just the one 27 yard passing TD but was more than ably assisted by hot RB Alvin Kamara who capped his own amazing bobbled 18 yard TD catch by adding the full 2pt after. With Kareem Hunt now officially MIA all the Steelers could muster from the rest of a ragged squad was a solitary TD in Mexico City from WR Amari Cooper. The wide-outs score came so late in the day that team-mate Giorgio Tavecchio didnít even get the crumb of a consolation PAT. Consequently 11pts was the Granite Div strugglers total. The defending champs had a much more comfortable ride than coach Hamilton had expected after his meagre start from Succop. The Lions donít have a 12th ranked running game for no reason.. so scores from both RBís early Sunday was a welcome 2017 first for the Danestone based HC. Ok.. both Miller & Abdullah had to settle for receiving scores Ö but for a side with only two rushing TDís all season, Week 11 must have felt like an early Christmas ! QB Case Keenum was held in check for most of the game by the Rams stingy defence but he did come up trump with a 65 yard TD rainbow while veteran wideout DeSean Jackson added to the Laurel Rd feel good factor by grabbing his first score since Wk 6. Ahead 20-11 with his Eagles D going head to head against opposing last man Nelson Agholor in Jerryworld, the champion HC never looked to be in trouble and victory was sealed by a late 37 Yd fumble return for a TD by OLB Nigel Bradham. The Lions improve to 4-7 and although they canít have been thrilled to see the Dans upset the Drillers the defending campions can still make the play-offs with two closing wins and a little help from some others. Next weekís clash with the injury strapped Gryphons presents a great chance to leapfrog the reeling Baylerville outfit at a crucial juncture of the run in. The Steelers exit stage right without play-off participation for the first time since their rookie 2013 campaign. Ranking a lonely 12th on points, having scored in the sub 20pt mark no fewer than 7 times in 11 starts , Adamski can have few grumbles. To be fair the immediate post drafts analysis had tagged this year as a rebuilding one for the once rookie ball-club and in Hunt and Kamara , coach Meek may have the core of his running attack for the next three years. Prior to his injury retained QB Jameis Winston , many pundits hot tip to be a QB title chasing prospect , if anything regressed a little this term. First Rd selection Marshawn Lynch is a lock for the All ALFF Bust select and bar the inspired selection of Hunt with his 2nd pick was a bit of pointer to an early draft that was high on big names... but low on output. Amari Cooper, Brandon Marshall , Carlos Hyde , Terrelle Pryor and Rob Kelley were each taken in sequence after the 2nd round and with the first named accounting for ALL 12pts scored between those 5 picks , the Sowf London combo were uncharacteristically in major trouble. Throw in the subsequent Kicking woes and QB problems and you have the unfortunate picture of the Steelers worst ever season. With 2 game left its still undecided but given their points deficit (to the Wrecking Rebels) , its looking highly probable that Adamsi will pick first in 2018. Coach Hamilton leads the RSS 2-1.
Battling Braves Aren't A Patch On Steely Pirates
Antonio Brown scores one of his TD treble for the Pirates.
Coach Geacher in his alternate guise as "The Diesel" gave Coach Inkster some stick over the decision he made to pick Antonio Brown with the #2 pick in the draft.... "A rookie mistake by the rookie with his first ever ALFF draft", Then this beauty: "NEVER pick a wideout with your first pick, you choose instead his quarterback, as Roethlisberger will pick up the same points that Antonio Brown will, plus more for scores to other players." No one, not even Coach Geacher could deny Coach Inkster a "get it right up ye" moment as in this, the first meeting between the sides, Brown caught three TD's in a 144 yard performance whilst the Braves left Roethlisberger on the bench.... a sure fire SOW winner and a potential season-shifter for the Apaches. Those that the Gods destroy, they first make smug. The Pirates simply blew the Apaches away in a Thursday Night points fest as Chris Boswell nailed four field goals -one from the 50 yard line- and four extra points to make the score 27-zip going into the Sunday games, and tho' the Apaches have some form in recovering games from a lost position, most notably in coming back from 31-3 down in the Geacher Bowl a few years ago, this was asking an awful lot, especially when Bell, whom the Apaches managed to pick up with their #1 pick thanks to the Brown decision, went scoreless. Oh the irony! Matt Stafford padded the Pirates score with two third quarter scores in the Soldier Field and OJ Howard snared a six yarder to take the Pirates total to 37, a full 16 points above their hitherto season average. In the end however, the Apaches gave it a good shot, especially when you consider that both Martin and Prescott went scoreless.....Gostkowski bettered Boswell's contribution with a nineteen point haul including two field goals from outwith the fifty and both Mexico-playing Brandin Cooks and Adam Thielen hauling in long range TDs, from the 64 and the 65 respectively, and it went down to the wire on Monday night when Atlanta's Julio Jones was last man standing for the Apaches. He couldn't possibly do it, could he? Two touchdowns? Nope, he couldn't. Despite being targeted five times, the Falcon's wideout went scoreless. Final score Apaches 31-36 Pirates. Despite this victory, the Pirates are not going to the playoffs, but they will take great succour from the result and a chance to do a "Geacher Double" when they meet up with Little Plum's Killers next week. As for the Apaches? Well anyone here remember the old Billy Connolly song "The Orient Express?" The one that goes "No need to panic, no need to cry, I'm an undercover agent for the FBI?" ("My name is Fritz, they are no real tits, I'm with the CIA") Well that is the feeling down Kintyre way... if you can stick up 53 points over two games you are doing something right, regardless that both games brought defeat. Two winnable games coming up against teams with a combined four in the *W* column means that a bye week qualification is still well in the sight of the Geacher, even if the Divisional pennant seems be disappearing rapidly over the hill. Two weeks to go, all to play for! Ciao!
Lutz Boots Dolphins To Victory
Will Lutz boots FG number four for Arnhall.
Have you ever had that feeling that, no matter how bad things get, they can always get worse? Good old, healthy paranoia, or so I believe. Over the years the Haybaler and his crew have seen more than one season, crumble to dust and blow away in a light breeze. Plenty of other sides have as well. Thatís just the way things go. This weeks fixture proved a point. The Gryphons #1 RB Devonte Freeman was out, under the concussion protocol, so in came Darren McFadden., with the hope he would see some game time as Elliot was not an option. Travis Kelce came back in and Darren Fells was optioned as a late replacement for Randall Cobb (The old second guessing trick). Jake Eliot returned at kicker. Mad Fish went into this one on a high and also had some changes. Isaiah Crowell took one of the back field slots, and the Cajun Cannon... Will Lutz was optioned for kicking duties, with Cantanzaro on a bye. The Chiefs D was also recalled. This one went off in early, Sunday night action, and when the smoke had cleared, was all but done up in a nice, fish shaped ribbon. In the Dome, Ole Crimson was looking for figures from Cousins and Thompson. Kirk has put up some decent fantasy scores over the weeks and kept on going. He finished with 22 of 32 for 322 yards, was sacked twice but had 3 scoring passes. He found the end zone from 16, 40 and 7 yards, the first score to Thompson. 12 points on the board. Then it all went to hell in a hand basket. Thompson was injured and carted off , and the Skins blew a big lead, and then lost in OT. To cap all that the Arnhall Kicker then want on a scoring spree. Lutz connected on FGís from 52, 29, and 28 yards as well as 4 PATís, and all but won the game on his ownsome. Demaryius Thomas connected on a 17 yard catch, leaving Birds Kicker Eliot to try and retrieve the situation. The kicker has put up some great scores over the weeks but not this time. He had scored on a PAT, having been banged up on the opening kick off return. He then shanked a, woozy, FG attempt and that was the end of his night. That left the score at 19-13 heading for Monday night. The Dolphins had Russell Wilson to go and the Birds had Baldwin. Things did not look good, unless Baldwin scores on some outlandish plays, or Wilson went down in a heap. It was never going to happen. Wilson stretched the winning margin as he went 26 of 42 for 258 yards with 1 sack. He connected with his wide men from 4 and 29 (the second score to Baldwin) and had a 1 yard run and a share of a 2 point conversion. The win was snapped a 7 game losing streak for Mad Fish in the fixture. You have to go back to 2009 to find the last time the Fins came out on top in this fixture. The Gryphons drop to 5-6, and now have a squad down to the bare minimum. When it comes to kickers, we have become the Spinal Tap, of the ALFF. Okay none of them have explodedÖ.yet! The only good thing was that the 2 sides in front of us, divisionally, also managed to lose. So we ainít done yet. Two more wins should get us a wild card, and it starts with the Lions in week 12. We also need the Blades to beat the Posse, same week, and then fall to the Lions. Looks like, lucky White heather, rabbits feet and Voodoo doll time. The Dolphins, meanwhile can look forward to at least one week off in the play offs. That makes it 5 wins in a row and they are on a roll. There is no Zeke for the next few weeks but they have kept up the momentum and could get him back at the sharp end of the knock-out competition. They are neck and neck with the Killers, ands are due to meet them in week 13. They play the Danís in week 12, and are already assured of a bye week as they have a tie break over the only side that can catch them as a wildcard (the Apaches). Win the last 2 and Zeke will be back for any play-off game they have. Mad Fish have been getting the breaks of late, and who is not to say that his side has DESTINY, written all over it. The winning post is in sight, and this one may well go down to the wire. The next two weeks will tell. The Crimson Ones lead in the RSS has been cut to 10-9.
Player of the Week
In a bi-polar week of have and have nots at the kicking spot, one player stood out above the rest in terms of impact. Cove Bay Pirates K Chris Boswell wasn't top scorer of the week.. but he was pretty damn close with an 18pt effort that did much to shape the Bon Accord Division... and some of the potential bye week options at the top end of the play-off seeding. Not to mention just keeping the Cove based outfit alive for another week. For the record his 18(2)pt effort was made up of 4 FG's (41, 42, 50 and 26 yds) and an equal measure of PAT's. Boswell is the Week 11 Player of the Week.
Play of the Week
For a 12pter to get the nod in this category I normally require "both" parts of the play to make a difference for the winning side(s).. but the Kincorth Killers tight 32-28 win over the Blades was so pivotal , I could not overlook a "half" winner. Killers QB Tom Brady's thin air assisted (ban him I say.. ban him again !) 64 yard long ball to the Apaches Brandin Cooks is the Week 11 POW.
Sleeper of the Week
I had a couple of decent shouts myself here ( I strongly considered Rishard Matthews and back up K Harrison Butker in terms of actually playing both) but happily (for me) .. the Apaches loss on Monday night let me off the hook. Geronimo rightly predicted in his match report of his own game that missing 12pts on back-up QB Ben Roethlisberger would get him the SOW award... who am I to let a poor scribe down ?! The Cheese's 12pts (net -12pts) could have major post season ramifications.
Dans Delight As Nemesis Takes A Rare Night Off
Carson Wentz scored twice on Monday to get the Dans home v the Drillers.
Week 11 and events in the NFL are now personally at a new low which leaves my only avenue of respite vis-ŗ-vis gridiron - the fantasy world. Thatís not been great this year so imagine my pure, unadulterated joy at the prospect of facing my ALFF Nemesis in this weekís round of fixtures. The fixture gods really are taking the urine, especially as Iím having one of my worst (among many) years ever! What to do then? Buckle up and let the hits keep coming would appear to be the only option available. Whatís that I hear you say? Quit?! Never, Iíve already watched 50 odd of my favourite aquatic critters do that and Iím not for following their lead. To the teams then, and first up those pesky Drillers sitting pretty at 8 Ė 2. The history in this fixture would dictate that Da Commish would inevitably field my personal NemesisĖ no matter who had been starting at QB, nor would indeed his form alter this. (It could have been your divinity of choice starting previously and still this selection would be made). Enter Drew Brees at QB and for the very sound reason that our leader expected the Vikes to keep the Rams and Mr Goff in check. Dag nabbit Musky even I could see the sense in that, however the previous bracketed sentence stands. There is history thereÖand none of it good for the desperate ones! Da Commish also toyed with switching to a 4 WR set and (just to rub salt in) considered utilising former Dolphin Rishard Mathews as WR 4; instead the tried and tested 2 RB set was used and LaGarrette Blount was welcomed back from his bye week to complete the Drillers starting 8. The Danís welcomed back, through gritted teeth, Jay ďbigheidĒ Ajayi at RB2 (that may be a tad unfair but he does demonstrate the sort of arrogance associated with any English athlete who has had marginal success at any sport and ďEnglish wankerĒ may have caused some offence)! The only other change for the Danís came at QB where Carson Wentz came back from his bye and replaced the ineffectual Ricky ďwhatís happening, whatís happeningĒ Hundley. Funny that he wasnít selected and yet had a significant impact on the scoring but letís not intrude on personal misery. The 4 - 6 Danís had to keep everything crossed what with the season on the line and an opponent that normally has no sympathy and keeps the points coming. The first battle was that of the respective rushing attacks, though LaGarrette Smeghead didnít score his teammate Todd Gurley rumbled in for a 6 pointer to open proceedings. Over in Dan land a Dolphin (Drake) and former Dolphin (EW) were starting at RB and it should surprise no one that being named on the team sheet was their sole contribution. (Yes I live in hope or more likely denial)! The Sunday action featured 2 of the Drillers trio of WR but Michael Thomas and Devante Adams failed to add to their tally. (Ha ha Adams fell victim to the Hundley effect)! All 3 Danís WRís were on show and though Sammy Watkins was held in check as predicted by Da Commish, A.J Green and Deíandre Hopkins had a TD apiece to tie things up at 6 all. With Greg Zeurlein booting a single point and the Rams D netting a goose egg the Drillers had only a 4 point lead, cue Drew Brees! With his team really needing a performance out of the dodgy QB (sorry I fell victim of a Nick Saban quote!) Mr Brees opted to leave his Nemesis cape at home and for him a humble 6 points was all she wrote. I could speak volumes about this turn up but Iím still in shock! The Danís kicking game fell victim to the Hundley effect and never had a sniff of a P.A.T never mind a FG and so, and not for the first time this season) a goose egg appeared against the Danís kicker Mason Crosby. Things did pick up for the Danís when the Detroit defence entered the fray and netted a 6 pointer helping the desperate ones to within 1 point of the Drillers at 12 Ė 13. The late entrant on the Sunday night schedule was the Danís starting QB Carson Wentz and after a nervy and scoreless first half he found some form and netted a solid 8 points; 2 points were rather forced on the incumbent as an injury to their P.A. T. kicker meant that 2 point conversions were a must rather than an option. The Danís now had to wait, sitting on a 20 Ė 13, lead for the Drillerís last throw of the dice on MNF; Mo Sanu, and to add a little personal spice, it should be known that Mo has always been a personal favourite of the head Dan. The first half of MNF had the name Sanu mentioned far too often for the Danís liking and indeed he duly scored to narrow the lead to 4 points; however despite lining up as the QB in the wildcat on a couple of occasions the Falcons seldom turned to Mo in a turgid second half and the scoring was over. A squeaker for the Danís over their Nemesis and they find themselves at 5 Ė 6 needing probably 1 win from their remaining regular season fixtures if the play-offs are to beckon. The Drillers (8 Ė 3) missed the chance to clinch the divisional pennant and attendant double bye week but losses elsewhere still mean that 1 more win will do the trick. Da Commish still leads the RSS 16 Ė 9!!!! Itís not over till Andy Ritchie sings :o)
New Rebs Bolts From The Blue Strike Down Posse
LB Korey Toomer sparks the New Rebs comeback with this 59 yard pick six.
Coach Marty was denied a confirmed seat at the play-off table as the Wrecking Rebels finally displayed a bit of bite to complete a stunning 36-35 comeback win over the disbelieving Pittodrie Div leaders. The Big Macís needed just six points from metronomic passer Matt ď6ptsĒ Ryan in Seattle on Monday night to pull off an unlikely turnaround.. and 6pts is just what they got in the wee hours as the Rosemount based combo took on the role of spoilers in chief. So how did we get to this rather unlikely state of events in what had looked almost a formality for the top side in the tightest Division, pitted against the already eliminated Bon Accord cellar dwellers ?? Well the Posse looked to be in the driving seat from the off with QB Marcus Mariota opening up Thursday with a 7 yard TD run before adding six more on 75 yard TD pass .. leaving the ALFF Money men to install the original Cove based outfit as 3pt favorites. When the unchanged New Rebs strugglling kicking game, in the shape of Aldrick Rosas, came up with just 6pts ( 26 & 33 Yd FGís) in the opening Sunday stanza it was hard to see how they could compete with an Express side that had a significant head of steam. RB Latavius Murray was named ahead of Mike Gillislee as a foil to title chasing Mark Ingram in the Expressí No 2 ranked rushing attack... and the upright runner looked to have made a game breaking impact. A pair of short TD runs stacked up nicely alongside an impressive 36 yard scoring rumble from partner in crime Mark Ingram and leading 30-06 (and with kicker to come) coach Marty appeared home and dry despite a quiet night from his big play WRís. The New Rebs looked as if they had contributed to their own downfall (again) by naming Chris McCaffrey in their line up despite his bye week cycle... but no-one had factored in the Sean McDermott effect in Los Angeles. Last week the Posse had benefitted hugely from the Saints demolition of the Buffalo Bills... but as an unforseen consequence Bills HC McDermott had elected to make a change at QB... which came back to haunt the Posse seven days later. Just by chance the New Rebs one and only D is the L A Chargers.. which lined up , along with RB Melvin Gordon and WR Keenan Allen ( still not injure d alert !! ) against the aforementioned Bills, featuring untried rookie Nathan Peterman at QB. The youngsterís third pass of career was returned 59 yards by New Reb LB Korey Toomer for a pick six... setting the tone for a wild and dominating night for the Mac≤ Bolts. Before the dust had settled Melvin Gordon had scored on a 10 yard TD run, Keenan Allen bagged his 1st score(s) since Week 1 with a nice TD double and that Chargers Defence scored once again.. this time through their own M Ingram ... OLB Melvin... ( has any ALFF team ever had two Melvinís score in one game... ?? ) as he returned a fumble 39 yards to paydirt. To put that all in perspective the Wrecking Rebels were just two weeks away from becoming the first side in League history to have a unit score a negative number for the season (-6pts), as they had not seen a defensive score all year long. Timing is everything ! From seemingly nowhere the New Rebs total had mushroomed to 30pts..but the Posse would counter... would they not.. ?? Well counter the did.. but not as effectively as their head honcho would have liked. Kicker Brandon McManus , subbing for byeing Graham (Bat) Gano was held to just 5pts after having a 61 yard FG attempt blocked as time expired on Denverís first half outing in the Mile high leaving the game balanced precariously at 35-30. Somehow that massive 24pt lead has shrunk to just 5pts... with the New Rebs Matt Ryan the last man in action on Monday night. It took Matty Ice... ( Time out : Did you hear the demolition of the GeorgiaDome on Monday didnít go as planned... ?? The building didnít fully implode at first and when the demolition crew were quizzed they responded ďIsnít this the Falcons building ?? Donít they always supply their own second half collapse?? ď... BOOM BOOM.. got to love them Dirty Birds... yuck yuck yuck) . Anyway where were we... Matty Ice ... yes.. he scored a TD in each half in Seattle to steal the game for the Wrecking Rebels... and leave the Pittodrie Division wide open. The coaches McConnachieís best score of a turgid campaign (their first 30pt effort) hands them a 2nd win in 3 weeks and raises the possibility they will avoid the No 1 pick in the 2018 draft. More importantly on the other sideline the Express fall back to 6-5 and missed out on a great opportunity to steal a priceless lead in the tightest Division of the year... and still stand half a game from snapping up a play-off brief. Marty simply has to put this one down to having his kicking bye week at absolutely the wrong time... and a heavy dose of outside elements that the ALFF Gods conjured up on the day. On the upside, both Div title rivals, the Blades and the Gryphons also suffered Week 11 losses , thus leaving the founder owner as current Pittodrie Div leaders . A huge Week 12 showdown against the Blades now looms large. The coaches McConnachie lead the RSS 2-0.
Kickers Cool Keeps Killers On Course
Alshon Jeffrey pulls in a amazing 17 yard TD catch for the Killers.
The Kincorth Killers marched onward into uncharted territory as they mounted a thrilling Monday night comeback to overcome the combative Westburn Blades 32-28 in a scintillating top team showdown. Trailing 22-28 going into Seattle on Monday night, coach McGeachy Jnr had to endure a few heart stopping moments as the Blades Seattle kick return team kept the game on edge with a KO return average of over 40 yards on 5 returns (twice Tyler Lockett was denied by the Punters last ditch tackle) , before kicker Matt Bryant put the Granite Div leaders ahead with a 44 Yd FG (after 3 earlier PATís). The defending kicking champion tacked on another XP before making it 32-28 with a late 19 Yd FG to effectively end the contest . However with the Arnhall Dolphins also coming though events in the Pacific NW as winners, the final destination of the Granite Div pennant is still wide open. Looking to extend a 3 game winning streak and maintain their slender advantage over Granite Div rivals the Arnhall Dolphins , the Kincorth coaching crew welcomed back title chasing WR Alshon Jeffrey after his week off and as expected there was a place for Mike Evans after serving his one game suspension . The recently ineffective Dez Bryant was stepped down. Youngblood had his Raiders duo back in position along with K Justin Tucker after byeís , but it was a shuffle at WR that caught the pundits eyes. With the aforementioned Crabtree back , someone had to drop out... and to the surprise of many it was Jimmy Graham who failed to make the starting eight. Once the action got underway Stuie had more gameday angst centering around rookie RB Leonard Fournette, but the ball carrier did pass a late fitness to take the field at Cleveland. However 28 carries and 111 yards later Buga did not have a number where it mattered most . Evan Engram was unable to coax the scoreboard operators out of their loungers but the NZ based combo did get some useful numbers from the usually reliable Justin Tucker. A FG treble with a pair of XPís bolted on were just what Dr Bothwell ordered although Iím sure the southernmost HC was a little disappointed the big legged kicker not come up with a signature 50 yarder to pad his 11pt showing. WR Jarvis Landry completed the early Westburn story with a short 2 yard TD grab. Vegas had suggested the improving Killer running game may be able to hang with their opponents and although Joe Mixon was held scoreless for the first time in 3 weeks , Jordan Howard got the special K on track courtesy of a 12 yard TD run. With Mike Evans, Golden Tate and their Vikings defence also supplying goose omelette ingredients, the Granite Div leaders had to settle for a 06-14 deficit heading to a much anticipate QB head to head between Tom Brady & Derek Carr in Mexico City. In the event, experience totally outplayed youth with TB throwing no fewer than 3 TD tosses, including a 64 yarder , with Carr managing just a single 9 yard counter (with a successful 2pt attempt throw to team-mate Michael Crabtree added on) in response. It would have been game set and match to the Younger Geacher at this point if wasnít for the form of RB Shady McCoy. The NZ based combo had not had a score form their formerly No 1 ranked ground game since Week 8 but despite another nightmarish outing for Buffalo in general, McCoy came good for his ALFF side. A signature 27 yard rumble was followed up by a 12 yard TD reception . Ahead 28-18 Youngblood had only his Monday playing Seattle defence to come against his opponents top wideout Alshon Jeffrey plus kicker Matt Bryant. Jeffrey went unopposed in the NBC action in Jerryworld and after a slow start posted 4 vital points.. snaring a 17 yard TD pass not long after doing his half of a previous successful 2pt attempt grab. That left this hugely important head to head balanced on a scalpel edge with the Pittodrie Div side 28-22 in front. The pundits agreed any sort of score for Kiwiís Seattle unit would surely end the contest and finally get the PDiv ballclub over the post season line... but as we have seen... despite a couple of very close calls , it was Matt Bryant who came through a tumultuous Monday night at CenturyLink to get the win for the 3pt favorite Killers. Annoyingly for coach Andrew , despite improving to a franchise historic best 9-2 record , the Arnhall Dolphins refuse to lie down and and the two head off into Wk12 with the Division title still up for grabs. On the plus side , with all four leading teams in the other two groupings all losing, the Special K are now just one win (or Apaches loss) of at least a single bye week (as the best wildcard) even if they are unsuccessful in the pennant race. After 3 straight games on or around the 30pt mark these Killers are the real deal. Stuie drops to 6-5 on the back of a second straight loss with a Week 12 showdown against the Posse now taking on the mantle of Pittodrie Div Title decider...with the loser now potentially having to rely on the other results to avoid a Wk13 nerve tester. Although this one will go down in Kiwiland as a gut wrencher.. at least the Blades came out of a two weeks points slump and look competitive. Nervous times in Aotearoa... but I still expect the 2005 champions to be in the play-off mix. Young Geacher owns the RSS 9-2.