The penultimate round of regular season fixtures quite often take the “sting” out of the season finale by bolting down a section of the open issues….but Week 12, 2019 certainly did not fall into that category with a scintillating round of fixtures setting us up for a momentous Week 13 finale. The JL8’s 51-17 demolition of the Broch Bobcats not only kept the reigning champions wildcard hopes alive but also ensured the Granite Division Title will go down to a final game showdown between coach Taylor’s outfit and the ominously in form Kincorth Killers. Geacher The Younger’s bye week weakened outfit , already assured of play-off football, got an under performing lemon out of their system with no ill effects courtesy of a low key 19-10 success over the fading Arnhall Dolphins and they will be joined in the December drama by the 2 Minute Drillers who stepped their form up a little, to formally end the Argyll Apaches hopes and label Geacher the Eldest as our 2nd confirmed no-show at the post season bash. Remarkably the Commissioner’s crew are still an outside bet for the best wildcard slot if they can close with a win. The real drama however was reserved for the Pittodrie Division battle. Both games in the grouping with the lowest win numbers in 2019 went down to the wire in a nerve tingling Monday night pinnacle that saw the Westburn Blades snatch a dramatic 30-28 comeback win over the battling Garthdee Gryphons, while it needed a record breaking 5th extra period of the term to hand the Caledonia Express an outstanding 32-30 OT win over the dumbstruck Laurel Lions. The consequence of those two ultra tight contests was to extend the PDiv Title skirmish to a final week decision although coach Bothwell’s side did become the 5th ball-club to be added to the knock-out mix. Coach Hamilton’s charges are now in that very stressful position of finding one game could seem them finish anywhere from PDiv champions and seed No 4…right through to missing out all together in an admittedly unlikely 4 way 6-7 combo. Also staying in the hunt were the Wellington Rising, who upset the Scunthorpe Steelers ( who still pocketed the No 1 seed on the back of the Bobcats loss) , as they leapfrogged the Arnhall Dolphins on 5-8 into the last wildcard berth thanks to Week 8 tie break … but amazingly both of those combo’s need to be cautious of the Garthdee Gryphons who could still overhaul both on tie break if the results fall just right. Week 13 promises to be a real treat !! On the scoring side of things the JL8’s big total saw them close to within 6pts of the No 1 ranked Kincorth Killers in the ALFF Point Title … safe to say the “other ALFF Title” is destined for a Granite Division HC. At one stage it looked like we might have a 3rd straight low scoring week in the final round of NFL bye’s but a late rush of points took us up to a very healthy level with a 400p pt season all but a certainty. RB scoring is still just outstripping the QB’s….. but I’d put a little money on the passers just shading ahead in the finale… with both over 1000pts for a 2nd straight campaign. The wideouts should avoid setting a new points all time low but a 2nd aggregate season total short of 600pts is still a possibility. The individual races can be followed on Title Watch. Week 13 kicks-off with the Thanksgiving program (my favourite day of the year !) and its full on from that point on to Monday night when we will finally know how it all shakes down. 2 Division Titles still to be decided, 3 bye week berths unfilled and perm any 3 from 5 for the last play-off berths…. !!! It really doesn’t get much better than this !! ENJOY !!
Steelers Tempered By Rising Wellington
Rising RB Christian McCaffrey scores on a 4 yard TD reception.
“If I don’t get Driskel, my season is over” – Those were the words of Wellington Rising heid duffer, Darren Butter during last week’s player replacement process. Since he was about to go up against the ALFF’s highest seeded team and with Driskel about to go against the lowly Redskins, you could have been forgiven for believing him. As it turned out, Driskel’s presence would have mattered little during Kirk Cousins’ bye week, as they eeked out a 29-21 win over the Scunthorpe Steelers. Given the way that other results went over the weekend, this game mattered about as much as that little warning you get on a pack of cotton buds advising you not to put them in your ear, as they clinched the 1 st seed berth despite defeat. It was more of the same from the ALFF’s leading rusher. Christian McCaffery notched another 2 TD effort for 9 points as he continues to demonstrate quickness not seen since Stevie Bothwell’s round-avoidance disappearing act down at the Kittybrewster Bar. This performance would move the Rising leapfrogging Coach Adamski’s side into the #1 ranked RB unit slot, as Kamara and Jones came out of this week empty handed. Scunthorpe were meant to have missed the presence of Mahomes in this one, but Jameis “Human Caesium” Winston showed his best side with a 12(3) point showing, which – in truth – kept the Steelers from their second troublingly low points total in a row (5 in week 11). Davante Adams took a jet-sweep to the house and converted his half of a two-pointer for 4 points. Matt Gay missed no fewer than THREE extra points, leaving him with just 5 on the day. Allen Robinson got in on the act with a grab from Trubisky (honestly, imagine him with a better QB one of these days) and George Kittle took a midfield crosser to the house from 60 yards out to round out the tie at 29-21 in favour of the league’s newest outfit. So coach Butter churns out another win (I bet he’s never heard that one before) they improve to 5-7 and are still in the week 13 battle royale for that final wildcard spot. They will likely need to win their last came VS the Apaches and hope that tie breaks pan out. Technically, the points title is still a possibility (how is this team 5-7?!) but will need a big game next week. Nobody will want to face this team in the playoffs. Congratulations to Coach Adam on his top seeding, but the last few weeks results may seem a little troubling. Mahomes’ return will be most welcome. As this is likely to be my last report for the season, I just wanted to say what a pleasure it is to be involved in this league with you all. For better or for worse, the ALFF gives us a rather unique way to enjoy the NFL season. To those of you who are out already; enjoy week 13 and we’ll see you next year. To those of you in the playoffs; good luck… and GET OUTTA MY WAAAAAAY! Sincerely, Coach Kiwi (The First).
Drillers Oil Right On The Night
New boy Jonathon Williams scampers 13 yards for a Drillers TD.
Is it just me or does time move faster as we get older. It was not all that long ago that we gathered for the annual draft, yet now we are in the penultimate week of regular season action. Week 12 saw the Drillers take on the Apaches and when the dust had cleared, the Commish and his charges, had managed to clamber over the barbed wire, surrounding the play off zone, and at the same time had ended any hopes the Apaches had entertained of, post season action. Week 3 had seen Geronimo and his war party sneak a 19-18 win over a, poorly coached (the Commish’s own words…not mine) Drillers. The Apaches needed to make it a season sweep to stand any chance of being at the party. They were on 4-7 and a, shoogly peg, and went with changes. Mayfield was in for Rivers (bye): Carson was back after his week off and replaced Melvin Gordon and Robert Woods replacing Keenan Allen for the same reason. Rosas was in for Bailey on kicking duties. The Drillers went with, newly acquired, Jonathan Williams for Damian Williams (on a bye and also injured), and Ridley was recalled as WR 3 after a coaching foul up in week 10. This one also had some added spice as a result of an, earlier trade, with Brissett and Slye lining up for the Drillers against the coach who had drafted them. This one started (and more or less finished) with Thursday night action. Jacoby Brissett scored on a 5 yard rush and finished with 16 of 25 for 129 yards and 1 sack, whilst Jonathan Williams scored on a 13 yard run to put the Drillers 12 to the good. Come Sunday they added another 6 courtesy of their Buccs special teams, on a 6 yard fumble recovery ( the BOD outfit’s 1st D score this year !). The Apaches were in a hole and needed some sort of reply. Baker Mayfield went 24 of 34 for 327 yards with 2 interceptions and 4 sacks, but connected on scoring passes of 7, 35 and 5 yards to kick start his side….or so he hoped. It proved to be a false dawn as the zero’s began to pile up. Deebo Samuels caught a 42 yarder for their only outfield score. Rosas was held to a brace of PAT’s, and this one was toast. Michael Thomas scored with a 3 yard catch and Calvin Ridley caught a 21 yarder. Slye padded the score out with FG’s from 41 and 52 as well as a PAT, yet also managed to miss another brace of attempts. Monday night could have seen the score stretched even further but Todd Gurley was kept scoreless and this was done. The Apaches miss the play off party for the 2nd straight season and trail the RSS 18-29. They split the season for the 2nd year running, but losses elsewhere have come to haunt them. They finish against the Rising. The Drillers, who are old hands at this lark, head for the party and could even sneak a bye week if they beat the Steelers in week 13 and the Bobcats manage to lose. The, size challenged, mezzo soprano is ratcheting up through the gears and ready for her week 13 aria. Bring it on!! The Commish will add the Apaches season epitaph next week.
Champs Crush Clawless Cats
Derrick Henry stiff arms a defender on his way to a 74 yard TD for the JL8.
Ah well, for my Apaches, the war is over.... I had three quarterbacks at the back end of last season, so I waived Prescott and kept Mayfield and Trubisky. Stupid, stupid boy.... I didn't want to win the darn trophy anway (he lied). Anyroads, my game this week is the Granite Division clash between reigning Champs JL8 and the impressive new franchise, the Broch based Bobcats, and as per usual at this time of the season, both teams had to win but for different reasons. For Coach Crankshaft, a defeat would have meant a last day scutter around his nether regions (ooh Matron) knowing that perhaps a victory in the final round of games would not be enough, but you know what they say.... when the going gets tough etc. ... The Jellyates went to town on this one, with Lamaar Jackson displaying why he is in the forefront for the NFL MVP award...five touchdowns againt the Rams despite only being 15/20 for 169 yards... thats one TD for every 30 yards thrown, and only one TD thrown from outside the ten. It looks to me like that the Rams D Coach gambled on stopping LJ running with the ball.... well that worked! Titan's Derrick Henry who hithertoo has spent most of this season snoozing and scratching his substantial erse ( Commissioner's Note - go fact check that one Geronimo - might explain why you are going home early !) finally woke up from his slumber and obviously well rested after his bye week ran for two scores, including one from seventy four yards out, and S!H!A!Z!Z!A!M, Ronnie's total had climbed up to 29 points. Will Lutz scored four extra points plus two field goals including a game winner from thirty three yards out with three seconds left in the Superdome and Jarvis Landry caught two throws for scores in a day that saw him net 148 yards receiving. And if that wasn't enough, the Jets D -who knew they had one?- also got on the scoresheet when Brian Poole (without his Tremelos) returned an interception fidteen yards to paydirt. 51 points, and gamesabogey. What of the Bobcats? Well Rory was always goint to struggle to get near that, and with Ekeler out on a bye, they fielded their first four wideout spread of the season.... all three recalled receivers scored; DeAndre Rashaun Hopkins (named after his Ma's favourite scrabble hand) was recalled and did the biz with a pair of TDs, and the no longer mouldering John Brown and Golden Tate (named after his Ma's favourite brand of syrup) both had one receiving score each. The Seahawks Jason Myers (named after his Ma's favourite Dutch prolific multi-disciplinary artist ... check it out, I shit you not!) had one field goal and two extra points. Final score JL8 51@17 Buchan Bobcats. What does all that mean? Well for a start, Ronnie is not home and hosed yet despite this victory, this his first this year over a divisional opponent because he must beat Coach Umpire's 'Phins next week to be sure of making the playoffs, 'cos if he don't, then he will be stoney bottom of the Granite Division and may lose out because of the week eight H2H loss with Stuie's Blades. The Bobcats have now suffered three defeats on the trot and could either win the Granite Div and get the double bye week if they beat the Killers OR get the first wild card seed with a defeat OR fall to seed #5 if the Drillers win their game OR they could get taken outside and beaten to a pulp by the Flying Garioch Brothers wearing J Gordon Liddy masks and armed with rubber chickens. Only one of the aforementioned scenarios are unlikely.... I don't think he will beat the Junior, but as we well know, anything can happen. Folks, till next week, ciao.
Despite The Dry Land These Dolphins Are All At Sea !
OBJ pulls in only his 2nd TD this season for the Killers.
Week 12 arrives and the ALFF play-off berths are becoming rarer than international sportsmen & women with valid English passports! The good news is that unlike English cricket, football, rugby and just about any sport you can name our league has a closed door policy to cheaters; baring the obvious proviso that you were allowed to draft players from the New England cheats. To my mind it’s clear that cheating and the word England go unfairly well together; a symbiotic relationship if you will. By the same token the word Dolphins is a synonym for abject failure and though that’s blatantly obvious in the “real world” it’s a truism in the world of fantasy football too. Not convinced? Well read on then MacDuff. (For animal lovers of a nervous disposition I can reveal that no real Dolphins were hurt in this drivel whilst it was being committed to the digital world)! The teams involved in this fixture both needed a win but for oh so different reasons. The Arnhall Dolphins Coach Compost – there has been some derogatory name-calling regarding the venerable grey beard, “Pugwash” has been bandied about but please desist from this particular soubriquet as it was reserved years ago for a former colleague who is known to Coach Compost and myself and he is the embodiment of this nickname, rumour has it that he even trademarked it! – just returned from a Mediterranean cruise – well he is too well known to the local bobbies so abroad was his only option – had to have a win if his slender hopes of the post season bun fight were to become reality; the Killers are already in the play-offs & have a 1 week bye in hand but still have hopes of the divisional crown and a win in this game would set up a title tilt in the last week of the regular season where a win could double the length of that bye. The first point of order then is the all-important starting line-ups, and first up, the floundering (5 – 6) Arnhall Dolphins. Whilst he may not have regained his dry land legs just yet, he always walks like he’s on his sea legs anyway and he can’t even blame dodgy hips anymore, Coach Compost certainly had to think on his feet about potential changes to his side. TE Jimmy Graham returned after his bye week & TE Jack Doyle also found his name on the team sheet as did the Steelers D which was subbed in for the bye week affected Vikings. The surging (7 – 4) Kincorthish Killers had selection issues themselves due in part to the pesky bye week problem; RB Kareem Hunt saw duty and the thorny WR3 problem raised its head yet again so Marvin Jones replaced DJ Moore in what is becoming a fad. (D J Moore was left out last week and subsequently had an unclaimed 6 point outing but there’s no chance of that happening again this week is there? I could hear some muttering from the boondocks of Kincorth whilst I wrote that last piece and none of it was complimentary). The final piece of the Kincorth jigsaw was kicker Younghoe Koo replacing Harrison Buttkicker who was on a 1 week cruise of his own; yes I’ll make quips about the Kansas kickers name but I’d never mock a juvenile bovine prostitute – ever! To the action then and the Dolphins wanted to get off to a fast start if they were to prevent the Killers from achieving the season sweep and they turned to QB David Carr to get them off on the right foot; jings, crivens help my Robert but that didn’t go well, the triggerman was so bad he got yanked early in the 3rd quarter with a big old goose egg against his name. Derv may have been laughing at his opponent’s misfortune though not for very long as he watched the rain come down and kill his QB’s chances of making metaphorical hay; through the downpour it was still easy to see that Dak Prescott possessed an identical but rather wet, goose egg of his own. The RB battle could only improve the contest and if nothing else it should save the scorers from looking elsewhere for something to do. To this end the Dolphins paraded their big guns in RB’s Zeke Elliot and rookie Josh Jacobs, the former had a tough match up but the latter should’ve been on for a field day given his real world match up however the same downpour that killed Dak’s night did for Elliot and Jacobs ran aground when the real world Jets D proved insurmountable leaving the Arnhall side without any points. Surely the Killers RB’s would put some distance between themselves and their misfiring opponents and so it proved; though it was a very short distance at that. RB1 Joe Mixon joined the ranks of the goose egg holders whilst Kareem Hunt, up against the real world Dolphins and we know how that normally goes, did manage to trouble the scorers with a single TD run putting the Killers 6 – 0 ahead. The WR phase, it was hoped, would liven this contest up but once more it fell almost as flat as a politicians promise; the Killers did at least have 1 WR who was up against the real world Dolphins so it was no surprise when OBJ’s first TD since week 2 went on the board to give the Kincorthish outfit a match winning lead of 9 – 0. The surprise came when teammates Mike Evans and Marvin Jones failed to find the end zone but the displaced D J Moore had another unclaimed 6 point night; there has been some mockery regarding the treatment of this WR but I’m putting it down to kindness on the part of Derv who probably knew that his services were not required this week and didn’t want to be seen to be running up the score – there’s a pig just flown by my window! The Arnhall WR trio of Emmanuel Sanders, Jack Doyle and Jimmy Graham got caught up in the goose egg frenzy and managed to secure 1 apiece leaving Compost forlornly staring at a potential team goose egg! With neither D having any impact on proceeding Coach Compost had one last shot at avoiding said team goose egg and that came in the shape of the sturdy thighed kicker Matt Prater; old thunder thighs netted his usual 10 points and managed to give the Arnhall side a slender but shocking 10 – 09 lead and avoid the infamy of a scoreless night. Would this be enough for victory or would the slutty cow make him pay for his hubris? Cough up Compost, the slutty cow matched Praters performance and his 10 points was enough to give the (8 – 4) Killers an untidy 19 – 10 victory that keeps the divisional title within their compass and completes his first seasonal sweep since 2016. The 5 – 7 Dolphins probably need to beat the JL8 in their final regular season fixture if they are to make the post season though it’s just possible that a loss could see them through - but that result may require the Commissioners slide rule to make an appearance and that is never an encouraging sight. Posting your lowest score of the season at this juncture doesn’t bode well either but look on the bright side, whatever happens in the final game you’ll at least be hoovering up a delicious curry in Rishi’s while it does so! Andrew now leads the RSS 14-12.
Posse Tame Pride Over Time
WR Willie Snead scores a mahoosive 7 yard TD for the Posse.
Marty may have bounced out a little early in 2019 but the CalX stepped up to the plate big time in “spoiler mode” as they wrenched control of the Pittodrie Division pennant out of the hands of Laurel Lions with a pulsating, nerve tingling 32-30 OT win over the gobsmacked former Division leaders deep into Monday night. When coach Hamilton’s side pulled level at 24-24 on the back of Justin Tucker 3rd PAT of the MNF action at the LA Coliseum it looked as if the Lions were well on their way to an expected win over their already eliminated Div rivals but a 7 yard TD grab by Willie Snead in the dying seconds of the first half suddenly put a spanner in the works with the Pride back in deficit 25-27 (with the subsequent JT XP). Tucker edged his side back to within one point at 26-27 before Snead repeated his earlier stunt (he caught 2 passes for 14 yards all night… both 7 yard TD’ s) to restore the Posse lead to the 3pt margin it resembled at MNF kick-off … but a Hargaughesque decision to go for a 34 yard FG with a 36pt lead and only 6:36 left on the clock , saw the Danestone based outfit claw level at 30-30 and force OT….. the second time the two sides could not be separated in regulation this term ( an ALFF first ever). With news filtering through the Blades had pulled off a dramatic comeback over the hard scrapping Gryphons in the other vital PDiv fixture, Jamesie knew he had to come out on top in the extra period to not only maintain control of his destiny .. but to grab the play-off ticket on offer…… but it was not to be. Drew Brees’ 30-39-311 and Nick Chubb’s 21 carries for 106 yards went unchallenged by the Lions to hand the home side a memorable success and ruin the Laurel HC’s birthday celebrations ! Earlier the two coaches showed similar levels of commitment to the tie despite their differing fortunes. Marty, looking to avoid tie-ing a franchise worst 2-11 finish, replaced Wk 10 flop Jared Goff with Drew Brees , slotted in Malcolm Brown at RB2 in place of the injured Devonta Freeman and fatefully selected WR Willie Snead in byeing WR Mecole Hardman’s spot. The Cove CEo’s Rams D subbed for his resting KC unit. On the other side of the ball the title chasing coach Hamilton stuck with Josh Allen at QB after his 15pt heroics in week 11 last week but faced some enforced alterations due to injuries to Marlon Mack and Mo Sanu. With only 3 WR’s available (including a questionable Tyler Lockett), the WR line-up picked itself (Ertz, Lockett and Allison). Leonard Fournette filled the Mack vacated RB berth. The main early battle of this all PDiv clash was between the opposing QB’s with Drew Brees edging his younger opponent by 3 TD tosses to 2 and with Nick Chubb running in a 5 yard counter, the home sides total was swiftly up to 15pts. Zac Ertz 2 yard riposte for the Lions, his first scoring mark since Week 5, gave the early Sunday score-line a 15-12 CalX look, with all very much to play for. With Tucker v Malcolm Brown , Willie Snead and the Rams D the final Monday backdrop to this clash, Garioch the Younger’s combo knew they had to take some sort of lead into that phase to hold off the Leagues’ 2nd ranked kicker and it was their own specialist who played an active role in making that happen. Brett Maher has been very solid since taking over as starter in Week 9 and despite miserable kicking conditions in Foxboro, connected on 3 FG’s of 46 , 27, and 29 yards respectively. Whether the last one should have happened or not given the Cowboys game situation was not Marty’s concern… and Jason Garrett’s predictable caution would loom large in the final outcome. The Lions response in the late Sunday stanza was all about Leonard Fournette. The big back (and All Bust candidate) has frustrated his HC by racking up yards as opposed to TD’s, but this week he had his EZ sniffing head on. Two 1 yard plunges ( another first score since Week 5) bolstered the Pride total by 12pts and after a goose egg from Geronimo Allison in the NBC game, the tie was setup for the momentous MNF overture described above. The Lions drop to 6-6 and with the Blades winning the other PDiv thriller to slip a game ahead, are now chasing the NZ outfit for the title. Jamesie simply has to beat the Birds next week and hope the Posse can similarly ambush the Blades in their final RS outing but there is also a nightmare scenario where the Den dwellers lose, finish in a four way tie at 6-7 and face elimination. An interesting and tense week Week 13 ahead in Laurel Road ! The Express improve to 3-9 and could yet avoid the No 1 pick in the 2020 draft if they can close with another W and make up the current points deficit on their sibling rival Gryphons. If the 4 PDiv ball-clubs can serve up contest of this quality , we are in for an enthralling finale. A 4th successive season split gives coach Hamilton a 6-4 lead in the RSS.
Mark This One Down As A Blades Pennant Push
Blades wide-out A J Brown is off to the races on this 65 yard TD catch and run.
The much maligned Pittodrie Division saved some of it’s best for last as the Westburn Blades staged a dramatic Monday comeback to overcome the valiant Garthdee Gryphons 30-28 in a real rollercoaster ride. This game had a bit of everything, expect a defensive score, but ultimately ended with coach Bothwell the Younger confirmed as a post season participant and only half a game from a Pittodrie Division title they have simply refused to give up on his term. For the Bayler’s part, his sides spirited performance did not come with the cold blast of a season exit as the Birds hold on to a single set of Week 13 results that could see them play into December with a final 5-8 record. Youngblood, as is his custom prepared early for this showdown knowing any slip could be fatal to 2019 hopes. With the bye week biting hard the NZ based HC felt compelled to pick up RB Bo Scarborough on transactions ( I was soooo glad you did not go for Jonathon Williams !) and throw him straight into the fray in place of missing David Johnson while rookie A K Brown was pressed in ahead of resting Stefon Diggs. Untrusted Ka’imi Fairbairn (replaced as starter after Week 2) came in for byeing and often pivotal Zane Gonzalez. Donny selections were more impacted by fitness rather than the vagaries of the bye week schedule as James Conner was replaced by Dion Lewis and the Crimson One scraped around for three healthy wide-out’s. Vance McDonald and the impossibly wordy Marquez Valdez-Scantling (MVS)slotting in alongside Kenny Golloday in a unit virtually unrecognisable from the one that has topped the ALFF standings for a large part of the campaign. The game itself was something of rollercoaster ride for both coaches. The rollercoaster loops were very much in four distinct phases… Loop1 was Thursday night when Blades unopposed combatants Desean Watson and Kaimi Fairbairm amassed 14pts as an opening statement. Truth be told the QB’s 6pt portion of that from TD’s tosses of 35 and 30 yards respectively was probably a little shy of what coach Kiwi had hoped for (a rushing score would have got Stuie smiling) but sitting looking down buckled in to his car at 14-00 he was not too unhappy. Early Sunday brought Loop 2 as the game raced back towards the Gryphons. WR pairing Kenny Golloday & Vance McDonald were both hampered by playing downfield of 2nd sting passers (and came up double blank) but oft criticized K Dustin Hopkins found his best form of the season to bag 13pts courtesy of 4 FG’s and an extra point. The Jeff Driskel effect at Detroit had the knock-on consequence of assisting in a doughnut for Blades debutant Bo Scarboro leaving the teams very close together with the home side ahead 14-13 as the momentum rattled right back to Youngblood in a late Sunday Loop 3. With nothing on offer for lone Bird RB Dion Lewis, Westburn WR A J Brown stepped up big time, to put his first ever ALFF score in the books … a tasty 65 yard catch and gallop. With D J Chark picking up his half of a successful 2pt attempt at the same Music City venue the Blades were on top of the wave again 21-13… with the Birds big boys to come over Loop 4 in the NBC game at Levi Stadium. That action opened in this most dramatic of fashions. Stuie’s only recourse to the Bayler’s Niners combo of Jimmy G & Tevin Coleman plus Cheesehead MVS was his San Francisco defensive unit. On the fifth offensive play of the night an Aaron Rodgers fumble was eventually recovered by Blades DE Nick Bosa and advanced to the 2 yard line. Tevin Coleman scored a 2 yard TD for the Garthdee outfit on the very next to play… turning what could have been a game defining 27-13 lead for the NZ outfit into something a lot more Bayler friendly at 21-19. Jimmy G went on to throw TD tosses of 42 and 62 yards respectively in a dominant 49er effort and suddenly it was the Birds who were dreaming of survival 28-21 to the good. With one last Loop to travel the decision on who would have the smiley faces as the ride came to a halt rested squarely with last Blades standing , Raven duo Mark Ingram & Mark Andrews. The latter was largely a non- factor but a 1 yard TD rumble by Ingram (after Lamar Jackson was stopped just short on a weird broken play /fumble scramble) late in Q2 got coach Bothwell’s combo within one score of any variety at 28-27. On the first drive of Q3, the Blade runner capped a 10 play drive by snagging a 7 yard TD grab to clinch a sensational victory and send the Knife Drawer wild. The 2005 champions success ensured they will make their first post season appearance since 2017 but more importantly, as it became clear the Laurel Lions had lost in OT to the Posse, coach Kiwi’s boys take over as outright PDiv leaders at 7-6 and only need to win (or see the Lions lose) in Week 13 to bag their 1st Div pennant in four years. Friday morning in NZ will be lively… as the Thanksgiving fixtures could be crucial in determining who gets the single bye week prize. Remarkably, despite this loss the Gryphons are not officially dead and buried but they do have to win in Week 13 and hope the other results manufacture a favourable four way tie with the Rising, the Apaches and Arnhall Dolphins. Stu’s 2nd straight season sweep and 5th consecutive win the series cuts the Crimson One’s lead in a fixture he used to dominate to 16-15.
Sleeper of the Week
When it looked like we might be on for another low scoring weekend the Jaguars @ Titans game came along and gave us a big 41pts … but it could have been more… a lot more in fact !! Bobcats coach Taylor went with long standing (when fit) starter Matt Ryan at QB … ahead of sometime starter Ryan Tannehill. Matty Ice was hooked without scoring as the Falcons showed their big ambition for 2019 is now to beat the Saints twice…… while Tanney posted a jaw dropping 21(3)pts that would not have changed the result ( remarkably no single sleeper would have this week despite the two close games).. but clocks in as the biggest SOW this term.
Player of the Week
He wasn’t the highest scorer of the week but Blades RB Mark Ingram’s contribution was huge in terms of the bigger picture. The former Saint scored 9pts when his team needed eight to overcome the Gryphons…to guarantee play-off football … and set his side up as possible PDiv winners. With scores of 1 yard (a run) and 7 yards ( a reception) Mark Ingram is the Week 12 Player of the Week.
Play of the Week
I don’t know about you guys but sometimes it takes a special moment or play in a game that has no direct bearing on your ALFF or NFL team to remind you why we love this game. Derrick Henry’s stunning 74 yard TD run that was all power with a bit of finesse and awareness fell right into that category for me. I knew he was going to score the minute he hit top gear about 5 strides in…. LOVED IT.