No intro the week guys... soz !!
Drillers Ram Raiders = Home Sweet Dome
Drillers KR Pharoh Cooper goes 103 yds for this special teams TD.
As many league members will know Da Commish was in the Big Easy this past weekend to watch some of his charges in action, what you may not know is that these jaunts don’t always end with our leader in the best of humours; would this past weekend be an exception? Team wise the Drillers welcomed back home grown stars QB Drew Brees and WR Michael Thomas after their bye week break and Greg Zeurlein took the kicking duties from the byeing Dan Bailey – there were strong suggestions that this change was happening - bye week or not! His opponent is to quote the head man himself “in a funk” and needs to get back to winning ways, to this end Coach Grizzly brought back Marshawn Lynch at RB2, Terrell Pryor returned from his bye week at WR, Grizzly Tavecchio made his debut at kicker in place of Louis Walsh (who has lacked that X factor) and the Raiders D made a return. It’s at this point in proceedings that I’ve come to understand the difficulty that sports journalists have when reporting on a contest that, well, frankly wasn’t one! How to create suspense? I actually considered putting some hidden words in my report and would ask you dear reader to find them. I dismissed the idea of cheap gimmicks and decided that I would be as honest and blunt as I could be. Taking this course of action may hurt (Coach Grizzly) but evasion would be more offensive. To this end let me say this was a guid ald fashioned humping! The TNF action had the Commish out of his seat cheering the rafters off as personal favourite LaGarrette Bl(o)unt smoked past the defence for a 2 point conversion to give the Drillers a 2 point advantage, for those of a nervous disposition let me assure you that this was as close as it was ever going to be; to Coach Grizzly I would suggest a Readers Digest or the labels on the items in your fridge, heck anything with the written word on it would be more appealing than reading any more of this report. Under the watchful eye of Da Commish, QB Drew “Nemesis” Brees had a 2 TD night, though alas neither of these passes found their way into the hands of M Thomas. The Drillers running attack however were finished for the night and neither Todd Gurley nor the previously mentioned Blount could add to their 2 point contribution. (Is it just me or are scores from the backfield well down so far this year?). The remaining Drillers WR’s were a different kettle of fish – no that is not me poking in a Dolphins reference; Devonte Adams and forgotten man (well I hadn’t forgotten him as I tried to pick the blighter up the other week) Will Fuller had a TD apiece to put the Drillers ahead by a score of 14 zip! The observant among you will have noticed that there has been little mention of the Scunthorpe Steelers squad at this juncture. That’s because they got off to a terrible start and frankly didn’t recover. Early doors, starting QB Jameis Winston went down with an injury – no timescale as yet how long he may be out – and this seemed to put a severe damper on the rest of the squad; just like in the real world losing your starting QB in fantasy land is near impossible to recover from. Steelers running backs Marshawn Lynch & Kareem Hunt failed to find the end zone and when WR’s Kelvin Benjamin, Amari Cooper and Terrelle Pryor replicated this feat a 14 point deficit was already way beyond the steel men’s scope! Enter the Special Teams. In what appears to your scribe to be an unusual scenario each fantasy side had the kicker and D from the same NFL teams; the Drillers were represented by the Rams and the Steelers by the Raiders. This is where the headline comes in and the sound of that door slamming is the sound of the Grizzly one departing! Debutant G Tavecchio kicked 4 points for the Steelers but the Raiders D made no contribution leaving the Scunny Boys with a measly 4 point total! You know what happens now don’t you? Once the Commish has you down he doesn’t give you a sound kicking, no, he invites friends and family to do the job for him! To this end kicker G Zeurlein had an 11 point night (2 bonus points) AND the Rams D had a 2 score 12 point night! Yikes a 37 – 04 shellacking! The Drillers improve to 4 – 2, one game back from the Apaches and lead the RSS 6 – 3 on the back of a 3 win streak against the Steelers. Down Scunthorpe way? I’ve been there, got the T-shirt etc. There’s nowt you can do except draw a veil over it and move on to the next game. You are in great company at 2 – 4. Well I would say that wouldn’t I?!
Fish Are Meat & Tater's For Killers
Wideout Golden Tate scampers 45 yards for a big Kincorth score.
It didn't quite live up to the Week 6 Game of the Week billing but with points in short supply it was still a huge win for coach McGeachy Jnr as his Kincorth Killers carved out a scrappy 19-11 win over the Arnhall Dolphins to assume outright ownership of the Granite Div title race. To be fair coach Sutherland's outfit were sorely missing resting starters Russell Wilson and Ezekiel Elliott ... but that mattered little to the younger Geacher gang who took a massive step toward post season contention and a potential bye week. The Killers stuttered a little out of the gate on Thursday night with a goose egg from Alshon Jeffrey but with K Matt Bryant back after his enforced lay-off confidence was high in the Kincorth camp. As things turned out, back up Alex Smith was able to go point for point against opponent Tom Brady as the respective passers cancelled each other out but Matt Bryant's long FG in fairly moderate 7pts by his standard was still enough to give him the edge in top three kicker scrap with 2017 surprise package Chandler Catanzaro. Outside of the that it was all about Andrew's 4WR corp. Golden Tate faked out an aggressive Saints D to record a (painful to watch... well for me it was !) 45 yard counter in the Dome before Mike Evans ended a mini drought with a late Sunday 37 yarder in the Desert. With no-one able to respond on the Dolphins score-sheet , this one was done and dusted. The Killers improve to 5-1 ...and move on to another huge game... a massive all 5-1 Geacher Bowl. Little Plum's boys have a knack of simply getting the job done this year... and have reached that point where results are more important than the perceived level of performance. The Fins drop to 4-2 but still have a two game cushion on the other half of the lopside GDiv standings... and with the Dans losing Aaron Rodgers its difficult to see how Mad Fish could drop out of the top two now. Andrew' s 4th straight win in the series gives him a 12-9 lead in the RSS.
Young Blades Rip Lions
That man Fournette scores an eight pointer for the 2nd straight game for the Blades.
Doesn't matter how experienced or otherwise a coach you are, we've all done it. You go for Danny Dunderheid with your second pick of the draft and he doesn't perform. "Next week, surely" you think.... "bound to come good." But patience is not an inexhaustable reservoir so you drop the scoreless Danny Dunderheid and take a chance on an unproven rookie, then.. well you know what happens next. Danny Dunderheid , or DeMarco Murray as he is better known around these here parts, rumbled in for his first TD of the year whilst his replacement, Marlon Mack ran for 18 yards on two carries.. What else could possibly go wrong? Erm, ask Laurel Coach Hamilton, and he'll tell you. Subbing Andan Viniatieri for Ryan Succop that was another judgement call that went long.... sure Vini scored well with a healthy 12 points, including a 53 yard field goal, but Succop sent for six more points with five field goals. Would it have made a single joteth of difference to the final outcome? Nope, but 12 points lost is still 12 points lost. Eli Manning (blowing cold, cold, HOT, cold) could only manage a single TD throw in his tough match up against a sturdy Bronc's D and DeSean Jackson rounded of the scoring for the Lions with a four yard grab. 18 points. Never gonna be enough. Now Coach Bothwell Jnr seems to have struck a wee bit of a seam of gold with his aquisition of rookies Leonard Fournette (#2 pick, high risk, high reward) and DeShaun Watson (surely a contender for this years Stevie Bothwell Jammie Bastard Terrell Davis#22 Trophy..... can't complain...I won it two years ago with David Johnson #12.) Anyroads, that duo combined for a total of 18 points..... the Texan QB throwing for 3 TDs in a 103.3 QBR. Fournette ran for his now customary over 50 yard TD, this time from 75 yards. One word of cautioin for Coach MilkBoy.... Watson will face much tougher Ds down the road than Cleveland's. Michael Crabtree -he's been good this year hasn't he- snared a 23 yarder, Evan Engram took in one from the three (negating Manning's TD pass in the process) and Matt Prater completed the scoring with 1/2 FG and 5 points after. Final score 32-18 to the Blades. The Pittodrie Division is bubbling away nicely now, and the Blades are sitting joint top with CalX at 4-2, one game ahead of the Gryphons whilst the Bowl Champs, the Lions bring up the rear on 2-4, but I think that all four teams have a legitimate shot at winning the Division. Listen up. The Lions have a streak of winnable games coming up in the next two weeks (teams against are a combined 2-10) and they really have to take care of their business and get back to parity at 4-4, whilst the Blades face a combined 6-6, the Byrds are up against 5-7, the CalX will do well to come away from a 9-3 unscathed. I can see after week 8 all four teams sitting on 4-4 season record, maybe the Blades on a 5-3 before we hit the home straight. Cooking doesn't get much tougher than this!
Player of the Week
Caledonia Express RB Mark Ingram for his 2 TD , 12 pt effort.
Play of the Week
Deevale Desperados RB Derek Henry's unbelievable last gasp 72 yard TD run
New Rebs Heading For A Non Dairy Diet
Talisman passer Ben Roethlisberger scored twice for the Braves.
You know the phrase “must win game”? Well that’s now been adopted as the official mantra for the Wrecking Rebels. Will success follow? Not if ye olde Geacher has anything to say about it. The curmudgeonly one has the play offs in his sights and will bend over for no one – well a price might be negotiated but that’s his business. Despite the disparity in their respective records both sides were in need of the win; the Apaches to keep their play-off destiny in their own hands and the Rebs to get their season started before it’s too late! There was also the added frisson of revenge in the air; guess who ended the Apaches ambitions in last season’s play-offs? Anyone that didn’t answer the Rebs should probably apply to the SFA for the Scotland job – they are eminently qualified! To the team selections then and first up the charging Apaches; with “2 jags” on his bye week Geronimo brought back the Cheeseburger at QB and Julio Jones returned at WR from his week off. (Da Commish in his notes about this fixture has a reference to a “man in white suit backfield – at my advanced years senility kicks in and I don’t get the reference – answers on a postcard – yes that’s how old I am!). The Rebs made some interesting changes to their line-up, I used the word interesting but could in all honesty have used painful. Now before the defensive hackles spring up this is not a criticism just an observation that happens to be a truism. Principles are great but sometimes the rewards only arrive after great suffering. What am I talking about? Oh you mean about this article not general principle? Well, the Rebs have a selection policy of not selecting players that are involved in TNF; bearing in mind the fatigue of the players and the very low standard of the fare on show in TNF this policy has some merit….until it bites you…and this I’m afraid was one of those weeks.* The Rebs brought Matt Ryan back at QB after his bye, C.J.Anderson replaced TNF victim Christian McCaffrey at RB and the Gronk came in at WR after missing out last week due to the non TNF player policy. (Theoretically he replaced Zack Ertz who was on TNF duty). The early action saw the Rebs put points on the board with a single TD from QB Matt Ryan to give them a rare, for this season, lead of 3 – 0. The Apaches running attack made an immediate response with Doug (don’t call him it!) Martin netting an 8 point haul. The Rebs just had to counter this and quickly, enter Melvin Gordon and C.J.Anderson; the latter failed to make any impression but the former had a 9 point night to have the Rebs ahead by 12 – 08. Good news for the toiling Rebs and better was to come in the shape of the floundering Apaches WR corps; Julio Jones and Brandon Cooks were held scoreless whilst the Rebs very own Michelin Man Rob Gronkowski had a 6 point outing. (Sadly teammates K Allen & J Rudolph didn’t add to this lead). An 18 – 08 lead for the Rebs had the media scrambling, was a shock on the cards? Were the Rebs at long last getting their season started? The kicking battle was inconclusive; the Apaches S. “Goat Jowls” Gostkowski had a 6 point night and his direct opponent K Fairbairn grabbed 5 points for the Rebs. Having run out of ammo the Rebs had to sit back and hope that their 23 -14 lead would get them that elusive win. When L’aveon Bell scored a rushing TD to put the Apaches within 3 points the sound of tightening sphincters from the Rosemount area was deafening and a few minutes later even though I had no prior knowledge of what a burst sphincter sounded like I recognised the sound – a bit like Concorde passing over head twice in rapid succession – as the Cheeseburger threw into double coverage, had the ball tipped and saw it fall into the hands of his teammate who then ran to the end zone for a 6 point score. Just what was needed to thwart the unlucky Rebs! With T.Y Hilton still to come in the MNF the Apaches were sufficiently embarrassed by the Cheeseburger score that they made no effort to pad their total and ran out 26 – 23 victors. Going into this game the RSS record was tied at 2 – 2 but now the Apaches lead 3 – 2 and have a 5 – 1 record for the season. The Rebs drop to 0 – 5 and now have the fast track to the first pick in next year’s draft as this seasons challenge officially has a fork in it! Rumour has it that there is no cheese in the fridge chez Rebs and that there will be none for the foreseeable future! *Had the Rebs ignored their TNF policy and stuck with McCaffrey & Ertz they would have accrued an extra 9 points and that elusive victory would’ve been attained. When luck deserts you stoicism is all that’s left!
Derrick Dash Deals Dans A Last Gasp Win
RB Derek Henry romps 72 yards for the winning score.
The ALFF Gods have not smiled on either the Dan in Chief or newbie coach Matthew Inkster this year... and that streak continued here in perverse way as the Deevale Desperados snatched a stunning 30-29 victory with the last play of the week... a 72 yard TD run that simply never should have happened. With just over a minute left in the Colts @ Tennessee Monday night match-up in Music City the Titans had effectively won the game and were running the clock out..... but with a lineman missing a shoe... called a time-out. This forced them to run one more contested play.... which Dans RB Derek Henry took 72 yard to the house to turn a 22-29 setback into a breathtaking steal. While clearly the Cove Bay camp were devastated by the nature of the loss , the mood down the hill in Deevale was little less morose as the news of a season ending injury to no 1 pick overall Aaron Rodgers was confirmed. Earlier coach Inkster had approached this potential Elimination Bowl boldly, pushing newly acquired Jerick McKinnon right in as his lone back while TE duo David Njoku & Hunter Henry were reinstated at WR. Back-up K Boswell subbed for the byeing Steven Hauschka. Coach Cruickshank buoyed by his Wk 5 win over the Gryphons had no choice in his two line-up changes.... naming vet Antonio Gates as injured (and cut) OBJ's replacement, while former starter Mason Crosby returned at least for one week as Randy Bullock enjoyed his week off. The outcome of this one looked to be set in stone in Minnesota as the Pirates not only escaped proceedings 09-04 to the good thanks to a 27 yard TD reception and a 3 yard rushing score from new boy McKinnon ... but the Dans were limited to just four from their vital Rodgers & Crosby duo. Rodgers left the field with a collar bone fracture without scoring .... and it seemed the Deevale season had reached a defining downhill moment. While the drama played out in the Twin Cities down in the Superdome the Desperados did fire back a little with a TD double from their Detroit defence/special teams to outscore Cove Bay QB Matt Stafford and his TD treble while a suddenly invigorated DeAndre Hopkins edged Ronnie's side 19-18 in front. But with Boswell and Brown to come Blackbeard was not unduly phased and while his kicker again did little to inspire confidence with a lowly 5pt contribution, a late 51 yard TD grab by AB loomed to have ended this tie as contest. An 11 yard counter from old boy Larry Fitzgerald seemed little more than window dressing..... until as we have seen Derek Henry delivered his own Music City Miracle. The Dans improve to 2-4.... but it's all about what happens now post Rodgers. Back-up Carson Wentz has been scoring... so all is not lost... but a tough season for Deevale certainly has not got easier. The Pirates slump to 1-5 in the toughest of circumstances but at least coach Inkster has seen his side raise the points totals. That said, his side are now 2 games off wildcard pace and facing an uphill struggle to make his first ALFF campaign an extended one.
Posse Making Their Mark
Mark Ingram scores the first of his two short TD's for the Posse.
Garioch Bowl XL (roman numerals for “40” – not two X’s short of their waistlines) was to be billed as a potential slobberknocker, with two of the league’s most high-powered offences facing off. A far cry from last season’s cellar dwelling showings, both ball clubs are really setting the tone this season. Coach Marty brought back Mark Ingram and Austin Hooper after their bye-week layoff, while Donnie welcomed back his Skins contingent and Devonta Freeman as well as newcomer Daniel Fells in at the last wideout spot.The match-up got off to a fast start with Jake Elliot’s 10 points (50, 48, 2PATS) were counteracted by Cam Newton’s 1 yard pass and 16 yard run combined with 11 points from Graham Gano (39, 20, 46, 2PATs) gave Marty a 20-10 lead. Come Sunday, Donnie hauled 12 points out of his ‘skins – all of which came via Kirk Cousins on the virtue of two short TD passes and a 7 yard run. Much was expected of Freeman at home against Miami, but despite being effective when the ball was in his hands, he only had 11 touches and no scores. The Xpress’ running game was more fruitful, with Mark Ingram finally flashing the scoring potential that made him a 5th overall pick with an off-tackle score from a yard out and a determined run up the gut from a yard out. The newly acquired TE, Daniel Fells, clawed back 3 points for the Griffters, but when Marty’s Houston D ran in a pick-6 from 82 yards and caused a safety it was (effectively) goodnight Vienna. 40 points put up by Coach Marty’s side on this, the 40th Garioch Bowl, and I make that 4 wins on the trot in the RSS for the Cove side. However, the Gryphons still hold the lead in the series at 23-17. Donald might feel a touch hard done by with his current 3-3 record, given the high-scoring, but these things usually have a way of evening out through the course of the campaign. As soon as the dust had settled, The Flying Garioch Brothers put this all behind them then stayed true to their assigned moniker as they departed for the Windy City (the joke you are thinking of has already been made), so we wish them well on their travels. Bring me back something nice, plz.
Sleeper of the Week
The coaches McConnachie for their ongoing Thursday antics. Two week in week out starters (McCaffrey and Ertz) went unselected on Thursday. Their combined missing 9pts (net -9pts) cost the New Rebs big time in a pivotal 23-26 loss to the Apaches.