We came with a Monday night defensive score of having the first ever 3 game OT fixture round in ALFF history and it really was a League of two halves… with 3 games as close as it can be… with the other three HUGE blow-outs. The conclusion of it all saw the pool of undefeated sides drop from four to three with the Scunthorpe Steelers, Kincorth Killers and Broch Bobcats all putting up 40pts plus on their way to going 3-0. The first named took control of the Bon Accord Division race with a runaway triumph over the still win-free Wellington Rising as the 2 Minute Drillers were edged out in the first OT game 19-18 but it’s still neck and neck in the Granite grouping between the Special K and fledgling Bobcats. It was coach Taylor’s side that turned a possible 24-24 tie with the JL8 into a 30-24 success thanks to the aforementioned MNF defensive score and that result effectively split the GDiv in two, with the defending champions and the winless Arnhall Dolphins in the “wrong” half off the table. Over in the Pittodrie Division the CalX came within a narrowly lost 23-22 OT decision at the hands of new leaders the Laurel Lions of making it Division wide parity … but it’s coach Hamilton’s combo who gained the edge by becoming the only PDiv side above .500. The Westburn Blades 47-15 blow out of the luckless Garthdee Gryphons put the rest of the League on notice that coach Bothwell Jnr’s side are in for the long haul. Scoring bounced back from the traditional Week 2 dip with one major feature thus far the remarkable pace of RB totals with the ball carriers currently outscoring the QB position through Week 3. The transaction wire was humming last week with a huge 22 player movements which shows a healthy level of interest at this stage and although this week does not look so frenetic there are more in the offing this time round. The assorted ALFF pundits are firmly off the fence at this point with the Steelers & Killers joint early season favorites, with the Blades as the money men’s dark horses. Next week sees the final games in the early season phase and although restricted to just two sides the NFL bye weeks commence… so make sure you check that out. 18 games down 67 to go… ranked from 1 to 12… it could still be YOU !!
Steel Strong As Rising Fall
RB Aaron Jones stretches to score for the Steelers.
The fortunes of the Steelers and Rising could not be much further apart after two weeks. Scunthorpe have enjoyed some consistent and healthy scoring against the league’s weakest opponents, resulting in an easy 2-0 record, while the Rising have had the healthy scoring (actually 3 points MORE than the Steelers going into this one) but been edged out in both games to tough teams go 0-2. Would this be the week where the Dazzler breaks his duck against his divisional opponent?! Short answer: No. Long answer:… well, that’s what this is all about, isn’t it?! Coach Meek was content with no changes to his side – and why the hell not? Wellington made a few shifties with Ebron making his way back into the line-up, and Washington’s breakout receiver, Terry McLaurin, made his ALFF debut. Josh Lambo put up 8 points on TNF to a rather muted response from the sidelines, as Welly knew this game was going to need a lot of points. And it was aaaaall fireworks from the get-go on Sunday. Aaron Jones pounded the rock to the sound of two rushing TDs (that’s 12 in his last 14 NFL games), Julio Jones picked up an all-too-rare redzone TD catch and Pat Mahomes torched the Ravens with 3 scores from 18, 83 and 14 yards to all-but destroy any antipodean hopes for that elusive first W. In response, Kirk Cousins continued his underwhelming start to the season with a lone 34 yard TD toss to Adam Theilen and Christian McCaffery got back on track after a disappointing week 2 with a blistering 76-yard scamper to at least give the fans a little something to celebrate. When Greg “The Leg” put up 10(2) in Sunday Night Football, the game was absolutely out of reach for the remaining debutant, McLaurin, who – to his credit - did manage to snag a score in garbage time of this one. With the final score of 46-22, the Meekster can comfortably occupy the top spot in the Bon Accord Division, but has the undefeated Broch Bobcats, who will be high off their last-gasp MNF win, to contend with in week 4. Meanwhile, the trouble at Tawa Towers continues for Coach Butter as Wellington Rising fall to 0-3 at the hands of another clinical Scunthorpe Steelers performance. The league’s newest franchise has had a hard go of it so far, having fallen victim to the scheduling gods (the Greek Goddesses “Horae” according to Wikipedia *pushes spectacles up to bridge of ones’ nose*) on the first two weeks and being pitched against one of the biggest “up-side” teams in the league this time around. I feel that at this time it would be poignant to remind Darren of his side’s name – “Rising”. Much like the Phoenix, his side may appear to be in ashes at this stage, but all is not lost. This team still has a very high ceiling and all it takes is one small ember to set this side alight. They will be hoping they can burn brightly against the JL8 next week. *News just in: Saquon Barkley out 4-8 weeks for the Rising*: Ok, NOW they’re f*$ked!
Auld Timers Disease Makes Another Apperance
(aka People in Glass Kupp's !)
Keenan Allen scores for the Braves on this toe tapping 7 yard grab.
Not being in any position to cast aspersions given my own particular suffering from Snowbirdease I must at least mention this phenomena as it’s now reaching epidemic proportions; I suspect contact with patient zero at the draft has led to widespread contagion within the ALFF and almost everywhere should you peruse the body politic worldwide! Any road up week 3 meant it was time yet again for the longest running bun fight in the history of the ALFF, namely the official Snowbird Bowl between The Diesel and Da Commish. This matchup is for ye olde bragging rights – to some even more important than being champions – at least until the next encounter! The use of the term olde was just used to make the Snowbirds involved feel at home using language from the time of their respective births, in fact rumour has it that one of these coaches still lives in the times of yore but that kind of idle, insulting insinuation will get no coverage in this report. No siree! The team lines were, if nothing else, a somewhat cracked mirror held up to the personalities of the head coaches involved. The Diesel went pat with the same team that did so well in last week’s resounding humping, not a change made. I suspect that when those team lines hit the metaphorical mat there was a fair amount of Roger Mooreing on exhibition. Any cheap barb suggesting that the old boy simply forgot it was Sunday and that he really should do something but bugger it, he can’t remember what that something was, is beneath your scribe. Perhaps Da Commish hadn’t noticed this piece of brinkmanship as he was having his very own auld timers moment and this was a moment that he won’t long forget. He brought in Peyton Barber at RB2 for the injured Damien Williams and then that Snowbird magic kicked in with his other change at WR. This explanation for this Snowbirdease is as follows, with Drew Brees getting injured last week Da Commish felt that Michael Thomas’s production would be down and consequently he picked up DeMarcus Robinson during the transactions phase of last week to replace him. Seems like a plan you would contend but this is where the auld timers disease is sneaky, in the final analysis the plan got side-tracked and in came Mark Andrews instead. WTF? (Not my language but you can guess whose it is quite easily by reading on). With the team lines declared the stage was set for this anticipated battle of the vets. The QB battle was tight but went the way of Da Commish when Carson Wentz had a 6 point two TD outing whilst counterpart Baker “I woke up feeling a dick – wanker” Mayfield and his bloated, misplaced confidence had a humbling single TD night giving the Drillers an early 6 – 3 advantage. The running back battle was, to use a recently coined term Dolphinesque. Yes, the Drillers Todd Gurley and Peyton Barber and the Apaches duo of Chris Carson and Le’veon Bell were left where neither Mr Armstrong nor Mr Osman could offer any help, yes they were pointless! Neither defence were to require the intervention of those doing the scoring so the kicking battle would surely make all the difference in this encounter. Time for a Lee Corso moment, “not so fast”, the Drillers Jake Elliot garnered just 6 points from his outing whilst Goat Jowls managed to replicate this feat with his own humble contribution. With the score standing at 12 – 09 in favour of the Drillers and with the scorers getting restless the decisive battle would be played out by the leagues prima-donnas, enter the wide boys. The Apaches triplets only failure was Brandin Cooks but teammates Julian Edelman and Keenan Allen managed 3 & 6 points respectively giving the Apaches a final tally of 18 points. Trailing by just 6 points the Drillers Amari Copper tied things up with a TD double but Calvin Ridley had no such joy and left as he came with a goose egg. Drum roll please – okay just imagine one as I’m not going to imbed a sound effect – we now come to the crucial selection of Mark Andrews, would it be inspiration or would that be egg on the commissioners face? If I tell you that the non-selected Michael Thomas and the pick-up to replace him for this week DeMarcus Robinson would both have brought home the bacon for Da Commish – as indeed would almost any other WR on his roster - would you care to guess what Mr Andrews did? Yes, that’s right he failed to score which meant we had a surprising tie on our hands. Out came the infamous slide rule of Da Commish to settle this encounter, and I can tell you he had some trepidation when forced into this measure as the Diesel has an astonishing 8 – 2 record when the result is determined in this fashion. Did I say 8 – 2? Make that 9 – 2 now. This second victory for Diesel in the last 7 of these fixtures means that both ball clubs sit at 2 – 1 for the season and the RSS is now 22 – 18 for the Drillers.
Ha Ha It's The Bobcats !!
DB Ha Ha Clinton-Dix takes this INT to the house to win it all for the Bobcats.
Autumn. The season of mists and mellow fruitfulness. That is Aberdeen ok, especially the mist part. It is also the season when the Baseball head for the play off’s and the World Series, whilst the NFL is just starting to get into it’s stride. The same goes for the ALFF. Week 3 saw the Broch Bobcats go head to head with the, incumbent, Champions as the JL8 came calling. The Bobcats had a great start and were looking to make it 3 in a row, and on that note decided to make no changes to week 2’s line up. The JL8 were already in doom mode, and found themselves yet to get a point from their wide men. So in came, newly acquired back Carlos Hyde, for Singletary due to injury and Metcalfe, Hilton and Witten got the nod as wide men. Will Lutz kept is kicking berth although coach Crackshot expressed some worries. He also had concerns as to which special teams to pick but opted for the Bronc’s D. The JL8 were first on the board with 6 points from Thursday night action as Henry went in from the one, to get things started. He finished with figures of 17 for 44 yards. Action then moved to Sunday and by the end of hostilities, it found both sides tied at 24 each. Philip Lindsay got the Cats on the board with a brace of 1 yard scores as he finished with 21 for 81 yards. Carlos Hyde levelled thing up with a3 yard run and his first points for the Doomsters. T Y Hilton then opened the wide recievers account with a 4 yard catch. The Bobcats wide men posted a collection of goose eggs. Matt Ryan tried to get things moving as he connected on passes from 13, 2 and 10 yards with final figures of 29 for 34 and 304 yards with 1 interception. LaMar Jackson replied with a 9 yard scoring run as he went 22 of 43 for 267 yards but also had 3 sacks and 2 failed 2 point conversion attempts. That just might have proved crucial. The kickers cancelled each other out with both of them restricted to PAT duties and finding the distance of 3 occasions. All square but it could have been different. The winning play came in Monday Night action as the Bobcats Chi-town D ran in a 37 yard pick six, to take a hold of the game and it was scored by Ha Ha Clinton Dix. And that, as they say, was that. The Broch move to 3-0 and a week 4 meeting with the Steelers. They stay tied with the Killers at the Granite division splits in two, and Coach Rudi will bee looking for much more, down the line. The JL8 drop to 1 and 2, and the glory days of last season must seem miles away. Their wide men finally get points on the board, but they could do with a lot more. Week 3 will see them meet the Rising, and they will be hoping to get back to winning ways.
Special K Are Serial Winners
Killers wide-out Mike Evans turns up field to score TD number 3.
A huge early warning klaxon was heard sounding out from Portlethen last weekend as the Kincorth Killers mover to 3-0 after crushing the hapless Dolphins 45-12, a result that saw Junior Geach move to 3-0 and move into pole position in the uber competitive Granite Division. As Jim White used to say to Gerry McNee (the Voice Of A Football) on Scotsport all those years ago, "food for thought, Gerry". The last time they did that - the Killers, not White & McNee- was two years ago, and they went on to win the Stephen Wood Trophy. Now if that ain't big enough bananas the Killers are now the top scorers in the entire league, averaging 38 freaking points per game. Thirty Eight. Another statistic that may be worth considering: their closest team in the scoring stakes is Adamski's Steelers who trail by only four points, but two of Adamski's players -Mahomes and Zuerlein- account for over 62% of their total points, whilst Andrew's scorers are more evenly spread. Is this relevant? Time will tell the wiser. Anyway, Junior showed a wee bit of a Midas touch when the three players who, for whatever reasons, sat out last weeks squeaker of a 30-29 victory over JL8 made scoring returns. Dak P had a three touchdown game against the OTHER Dolphins, one rushing, two passing, Joe Mixom snared a three yard catch and DJ Moore (what radio station is he on? I can't find him anywhere!) caught one from 52 yards out. That would have been enough, but there was more to come...... Dalvin Cook (injured? Not he!) had a 100+ yard, one TD game versus the still useless and now Brownless Raiders, Mikey Evans had a three TD outing against the Giants (jings they were lucky... what the feck were the Bucs thinking off with these last two plays????? I've never rated Arians as highly as some others seem to do), and Harrison Butker sprinkled the wee sparkly coloured edibles over the icing on the cake with a trio of extra points and two field goals. Anyway, on the other side of the ball, Coach Sutherland and his Fish moves to 0-3, not good, but I have to say.... Cam Newton... what were you thinking of, Ian? A rookie error choosing a quarterback who had a well documented injury. Would it have mattered? Not really, as only Larry Fitz scored for the skill players and with Matt Prater's scoring matching that of Greg Zuerlein, the final score was Kincorth Killers 45 @ 12 Arnhall Dolphins, So what now for Madfish? 0-3 is a hole, especially in the Granite Division but not an unsurmountable one, but he has the Pittodrie Division pace setters the Laurel Lions up next, THEN The Drillers, the Umpire needs to win one of these games at least, or he could find himself given out. (Howzat?) The Killers march on and have CalX up next.... if Andrew scores over 30 points, it's gonna be tough for Marty, but I think that the Posse have potentially a big score in their locker, but will it be big enough if Junior hits his average score? Probably not. A final word on Wellington Old Boots.... the Gods are conspiring against Coach Darren, they must be.... if they had faced any other Bon Accord team last week, they would have that elusive first *W* against their name. But they didn't, and they don't. What they do have is an average of 30 points per game, and a big fat 0 in the *W* column. An old Scottish saying.... if it wisnae for bad luck, I widnae have any luck at all. Till next week , ciao.
Lockett Let Lions Breath More Easily
Tyler Lockett scores a vital 43 yard TD for the Lions.
Fantasy margins are often wafer thin and that was very much the case here as the Laurel Lions avoided a four way 1-2 tie in the Pittodrie Division with a squeaky 23-22 OT win over the luckless Caledonia Express. The Posse looked to be on course to leave the Den with a much needed win with their Rams trifecta needing only 7pts in the NBC phase to overturn a 16-22 deficit , but QB Jared Goff’s TD double added to a Malcolm Brown goose egg and a defensive nada could only force the second OT period of the Week in a hard fought contest. Tyler Lockett’s 11 catches for 154 yards proved to be the only individual scoring yardage performance on either side (although Mecole Hardman fell just 3 yards short on 2-97 for the CalX), securing coach Hamilton a pivotal Division win. Confidence was not high in the Laurel camp going into their second Divisional fixture with injuries starting to bite. With Mack and McCoy game time decisions Jamesie opted to go with Frank Gore at RB2 (his 100th ALFF RS start) , Geronimo Allison replaced the injured D-Jax at WR, with the Packers D getting a first nod ahead of the incumbent Eagles. Marty had injuries of his own to work through with Jared Goff filling Drew Brees huge fantasy shoes at QB, while normal “must” wide-out Juju Smith-Schuster was stood down (Cheeseburger injury) in favour of recalled rookie Mecole Hardman. Newly acquired Marquise Goodwin was listed at WR3. Most of the scoring not already described came in the opening Sunday stanza. Vegas’ assumption Aaron Rodgers & Justin Tucker would provide the foundation of a predicted 3pt Lions victory proved well wide of the mark. Rodgers continued in relatively subdued 2019 form with just the single 20 yard TD strike while the usually prolific Tucker was held back by a rash of (unsuccessful) 2pts attempts. One solitary PAT from 4 TD’s and a 39 Yard FG spawned a lowly 4pts that could have been fatal to coach Hamilton’s hopes of breaking the .500 mark but his running game just about picked up the slack. Scores for Sony Michel (5 yards) and greybeard Frank Gore (1 yard) bolstered the Laurel total to 19pts with Tyler Lockett’s 48 yard TD grab in the late Sunday phase taking them to a “final” total of 22. Marty had earlier gleaned 16pts from WR pairing Phillip Dorsett (25 yard grab) and Mecole Hardman (stunning 83 yard counter), all topped and tailed by kicker Brett Maher’s 28 Yd FG and 4 XP’s but a goose egg for MICBA ( missing in child birth action !) RB James White would look significant indeed in the final analysis. As we have seen the Cove based side’s Rams trio could only force OT… a period decided by Tyler Lockett’s huge 11 catch effort. The Lions step out to 2-1 and take a one game lead in a Div race that many are predicting as a straight battle with the Westburn Blades … and note coach Hamilton’s lone PDiv pennant came with the League title itself back in 2016. James has to have concerns about the low key nature of top pick Aaron Rodger’s contribution thus far, but the Packers determination to establish the run may pay dividends down the track. Look for Justin Tucker to resume normal service as the Ravens return to type (as they are not in a Chiefs shoot out). The Posse slump to 0-3 for the 1st time since 2014 but there were some shoots of improvement here with their first 20 plus game total of the campaign. Back to back games against current unbeaten GDiv opposition means it won’t get any easier for the CalX any time soon. Jamesie now leads the RSS 6-3.
Birds Plucked As Blades Make Their Mark
RB Mark Ingram beats the last defender to score on a 19 yard run.
The Westburn Blades broke their 2019 duck and proved their W/L record was something of a misnomer as the elder NZ based outfit romped to a Week 3 best 47-15 demolition of the overwhelmed Garthdee Gryphons. Struggling at 0-2 on the back of two tight losses coach Stuie would have been forgiven for seeing this Divisional contest against an improving Gryphons side, as something of a banana skin… but Youngblood’s charges were imperious as they hit top gear and left the Baylerville faithful gawping in the RGUView Stadium stands. Mark Ingram’s TD treble in the opening Sunday action was the catalyst of the Blades initial 2019 success but the former Heisman winner was ably supported by a plethora of team-mates (that no longer featured the soap opera that was Antonio Brown) . QB Deshaun Watson stayed vertical long enough to rattle up a very useful 12pts that included two medium range counters and a 53 yard “bomb” (busted coverage actually!) but it was perhaps WR Evan Engram 75 yard romp down the Raymond James sideline ( go big boy !!) that arguably was the pick of the bunch. RB foil David Johnson chipped in with a 3 yard scoring reception in Glendale where newly acquired K Zane Gonzalez rounded out a pleasing Blades debut with 8pts that boosted his side’s final tally to a League season’s best 47pts. Pickings on the other side of the score-sheet were a bit more hen molar in nature. WR Adam Thielen got the Birds off to a promising start with a 9pt effort that featured a rare 1 yard run from the highly productive wide-out but it was pretty much a goose egg gallery after that for the Bayler on Sunday, with only Jimmy G at QB bothering the scorers with a single 5 yard TD toss. By the time Dustin Hopkins strutted his stuff on MNF, the game was over and his lowly 3pt offering was very much a low key footnote. The Blades improve to 1-2 and are now attracting heavy action in Vegas just one game back of the Laurel Lions.. but in truth have the feel of a 2-1 or possibly 3-0 outfit. If Coach Bothwell Jnr can just coax a little more consistent production from a patchy WR corps, a run at a 1st PDiv title since 2015 is very much on the cards. The Crimson One was left to lick his wounds and in truth probably is content he did not “burn” a lot of points needlessly in a game he wasn’t going to win. At 1-2 the Gryphons don’t have that same feel good factor in evidence at the Knife Drawer but there is without question some talent on this Garthdee roster… so things can still come good for coach Garioch with a Week 4 clash with the Apaches a pivotal one for both outfits. Stuie’s 4th straight win in the fixture cut’s Donny’s lead in the RSS to 16-15.
Sleeper of the Week
I could bore you with my own self inflicted selection faux pas regarding my wide-outs but thankfully coach Cruickshank came to my rescue. The defending champion HH ( head honcho) has not quite settled on his primary Defence yet… and flipped flopped again from the NY Jets to Denver. Denver of course went Eurovision… while the benched Jets unit scored not once.. but twice in a 6pt loss. Ronnie’s net -12pts earns him and his Jet’s D the Week 3 SOW. (Special mention to the Blades Daniel Jones who would have scored 22(3)pts… (net -10pts)).
Player of the Week
He was the 10th available RB taken in the draft but already the Blades Mark Ingram is looking like the workhorse the Ravens thought he could be. The first RB rushing TD treble of the year, with scores from 2, 19 and 1 yard amounted to 18pts for the former Saint… and wins Mark the Week 3 Player Of the Week honor.
Play of the Week
Not too many bonus points around this week… but in general those that were… were eye catching. With no big play a game changer in its own right … I have to skip over the 2nd 8 pointer of the campaign and go for the 12 pointer on offer .. Scunthorpe Steelers QB Patrick Mahomes 83 yard hook up with Caledonia Express rookie Mecole Hardman