A momentous Week 8 schedule saw the Scunthorpe Steelers and Broch Bobcats book the first two confirmed play-off berths and allied to losses for both their main Divisional rivals each now look well set for their respective Divisional title and any likely resulting double bye weeks. The Brocher’s win was at the expense of the Laurel Lions as the Granite Div & PDiv leaders went head to head and things could hardly have gone any better for coach Taylor as the Steelers took care of their main rivals the Kincorth Killers to hand him a three game lead in the grouping. An upset big scoring win by the Garthdee Gryphons over the 2 Minute Drillers pushed the door wide open to coach Meek’s path to retaining the BA Div pennant but if the two runaway Div leaders have provided some clarity it’s just the opposite elsewhere as a hungry pack of five sides are now locked on 4-4. A nerve tingling Westburn Blades OT triumph over the JL8 saw coach Kiwi get to the .500 mark where he joined the aforementioned losing Lions & Killers , while pivotal successes for the Apaches over the Express and the Arnhall Dolphins over the Wellington Rising allowed Geronimo and coach Compost to join the throng. This coming together has allowed the Garthdee Gryphons to re-enter the PDiv pennant scramble just one game back at 3-5 .. and the defending champion JL8 although currently outside the wildcard berths are just one game off the pace. Coach Butter’s punch in the face intro to the ALFF did not let up much as his side slipped to 2-6 and the Rising can probably afford only more slip to keep their diminishing hope alive… but a mind blowing ALFF Points Title is still very much on the cards. Almost out of hope is coach Marty as the Posse slump to 1-7 …. so in effect the play-offs start here for the traditional Draft hosts. Points scoring was again on the high side with the 351pt aggregate the 2nd highest of the campaign and a 4000pt season total is all but assured. RB totals in particular are still punchy with the possibility that they will outstrip the QB position for the first time since 2009. QB injuries continue to be a major feature… but the return of Brees, and probably Mahomes is a welcome sign with maybe Ryan and Newton to follow in Week 10. The Week 9 programme is the last of the mid season set of fixtures and takes us back to intra Division games where tie breaks can be season changing. With things so tight around the 4-4 mark I have taken the precaution of locating the famed Commissioners slide rule in preparation for a hugely entertaining run in. Check out the annual event that is the game report form special correspondent Peter King below !! 48 games down 37 to go… all 12 team still in the mix (just). Keep the faith !! Enjoy .
Steelers Still Aaron It Out
Aaron Jones hauls in the pass before heading to the EZ for the winning score.
There was no Mahomes .. No Kamara and a sub par Greg Zuerlien but the net effect was negligible as the Scunthorpe Steelers secured their play-off party ticket with a come from behind 31-27 win over the shocked Kincorth Killers. With the game poised on a knife edge 22-21 in the defending Bon Accord champs favour, it seemed to all that the Special K were on track for a season defining win with K Harrison Butker charged with outpacing direct opponent RB Aaron Jones in the final NBC phase of a highly anticipated showdown. After the latter had caused a few ripples by extending the Scunny lead to 4pts on a 4 yard TD grab the kicker duly did what was required of him by connecting on 2 XP’s and a 28 Yd FG to put the Killers 26-25 in front . With just 9 minutes to go Butker added one more PAT as the seconds ticked down on a Geacher success story but in a dramatic twist, Aaron Rodgers pulled in a 67 yard TD toss to turn the game on it’s head and seal a massive victory for the 2018 Runners-Up. Preceding events had gone something like this. Andrew pulled in Tom Brady as the not too shabby back-up for resting Dak Prescott while welcoming back WR pairing OBJ & Mike Evans. The Texans D subbed for the byeing Ravens unit. Across the LOS coach Meek made only one change… but truly had everything crossed, in sending out Jameis Winston to replace the injured Patrick Mahomes. Dalvin Cook got the juices flowing with a 4 yard Thursday night scamper that got the Granite Div challengers off to a promising start and when Mike Evans did a virtual blanketing job on direct opponent Winston by grabbing both his early Sunday TD tosses (the wide-out only “missed out” on half of a 2pt attempt Jameis threw) confidence was high in Porty that the Double K could exit the Furnace with a victory. RB Joe Mixon has yet to get a rushing score this term but his 3rd short receiving counter boosted the Kinkers numbers to 15pts , setting them up (they hoped) for some late Brady action. The Steelers response other than from Winston came through Latavius Murray who produced a second straight top drawer effort with an 8 yard TD run capped with a 15 yard scoring grab but when Admaski went to the kicking well , Greg Zuerlein was a little short of stellar, his 6pts at Wembley coming courtesy of a 23 Yd FG and 3 Xp’s. Ahead by only 22-15 and with their opponents QB & K to come the Steelmen had to figure the game was a bogey… but as we have seen there is many a slip between cup and lip. Tom Brady could only manage a middling 6pts on a TD brace in the Foxboro drizzle and with the Pats shutting down KK team-mate OBJ, the stage was set for the already described final spectacle. Adamski’s 7-1 start is the best in his 7th season in the League and allied to the Drillers upset loss to the Gryphons puts the Steelmen in total control of both the Bon Accord Div destiny with its highly likely double bye week tag. With Mahomes down to return in the next week or so, the biggest worry facing coach Meek will be how to handle the return of Kamara with regard to a possible timeshare with Latavius Murray ( poor Adam… eh !). The Killers did not suffer the common post big score fade out but just lost out on the day to a side that look to be the 2019 team of destiny. Worryingly for coach McGeachy Jnr the Arnhall Dolphins unlikely resurrection gathered a little more momentum, the 2nd placed side staying above their 4-4 rivals purely down to that head to head win in Week 3. With two mainstay players (Cook & Butker) yet to sit out their bye week the Killers face a tense run in. Adam leads the RSS 5-2.
Arnhall Rising As Wellington Wilt
Arnhall WR Emmanuel Sanders grabs a 4 yard TD.
Hello, fit likey
quines, Peter King here again, aided this year by Chris Simms with my
yearly take on all things ALFF, and as you can see that my good, good
great friend Rickaby James has given me some words of the local dialect
as I know some of you struggle with English. Actually after reading your
match reports, I think you all do. How are things in Scotlandshire the
noo? Has Hadrian finished that wall yet? Anyway I've been given the
Wilmington Raising versus the Stuarthall Endorphins game, so here goes.
Coach Duranduran brought back Chris McCaffrey after his bye week. Well
you would, wouldn't you. Eric Ebron returned to the third receiver slot,
but quite bizzarely the antopedun...erm intopdium erm antipodium erm
team from New Zealand dropped the #1 rated NE D for the Panther's D, who
actually nailed a safety. Kirk Cousins came up with a big fat zero, but
RBs Saquon Berkley caught one TD and McCaffrey ran in a two point
conversion from his own forty yard TD run, and Josh Lambofield had three
extra points and the same amount of field goals for a 12 points indidual
total. Now Coach Sutherlandbrothersandquiver has been on a recent
revival and was looking to make it three victories on the bounce, and
brought back Montgomery Clift, Frankie Howard and Colonel Sanders. David
Carr (much underated in my opinion) threw for three TDs, from the 65,
the 8 and the 46, Montgomery ran in from the four yard line, Sanders
snared a finger lickin' TD from the four and over in Ford Field, Matt
Prater had a ruckle of points. Final score from the Beechmint Chewing
Gum Stadium, Washington Raisins 24 @ 30 Arnold Clark Van Hirers. Three
on the bounce now for The Umpire, and they join a raggle taggle of teams
at 4-4. Next up however for Ian is the Scunnie Steelers, and that's just
not creecket. As for him from the land down under, they really really
need to beat the Drillers next week. No really, they do.
Tevin Coleman stretches out to score for the Gryphons.
Greetings from the Antipodes, fellow sports fans! Coach Bothwell here. Firstly, I’d like to take a moment to thank those of you who were able to pop down and see me during my all-too-brief trip back to the homeland the other week. It was truly fantastic to catch up with you and you made my partner, Megan, feel most welcome. Now that those pleasantries are out of the way, let’s talk about the Gryphons humbling of the Drillers thanks to a forced change at the running back spot for the Donster. Da Commish A.K.A. “The Grandude” (still trying to make that one stick for a bit longer) made a few changes to his line-up with McManus in at kicker for, Joey Slye – who was likely to face strong winds down Frisco-way. Carson Wentz retained his position as starter, but there are rumblings that he was on swigin’ on a sasparilla in the Last Chance Saloon with Jacoby Brissett waiting in the wings. For Garthdee, James Conner returned from a bye to face the Pee-Wee football side who are masquerading as an NFL franchise in Miami and Tevin Coleman was forced to come in for Kerryon Johnson – who is now on IR. Things were kept pretty tight early on. Todd Gurley’s TD run was offset by a double TD reception showing from Kenny Golladay. McManus’ 7 point effort was outdone by Eddie Piniero but Michael Thomas’ 9 yard score tied things up again. Wentz put up a pretty lame single TD effort to heap further pressure on himself… and then up stepped the Phonz’ 49ers contingent of Garroppollo and Coleman. Given the 49ers have been operating with a huge running back committee and the Panthers’ D being solid on paper, you’d be forgiven for not expecting much of this duo. Jimmy G was steady with 2 short TD flicks for 6, but the day truly belonged to Coleman who hit every hole and shredded Carolina with runs from 19, 48 and 1 as well as a 10 yard reception to the tune of 21 devastating points. Tyrell Williams’ 46 yard score would soon be cancelled out by Travis Kelce’s wide-open 29-yarder to all-but close out the contest with the score at 46-29 in favour of Coach Donnie. With James Connor still to come, the Gryphons were just waiting to tie the bow on a huge victory which puts them just one game back from the Blades and Lions in the Pittodrie division. With a 23 yard score, he would see that the Bayler’s side would top out at 52 points – the third highest score of the season and Donny’s best since annihilating his brother in the ’09 Garioch Bowl 54-30. Jimbeaux drops his second straight game and can only watch as the Scunthorpe Steelers drive out to a two-game lead in the Bon Accord division. Every offensive player scored for the Drillers, but when you come up against a player who is as red-hot as Tevin Coleman was today, you just cannot match-up to an individual performance on that scale. It doesn’t look like it is going to get any easier either as week 9 brings a trip to the high-scoring - and absolutely luckless – Wellington Rising. The Crimson one will be looking to keep pace with the division leaders with a victory in this season’s 2 nd Garioch Bowl. Da Commish’s lead in the RSS is cut to 19-10.
Apaches Spell Trouble For Auld Coves
QB Gardner Minshew score 9pts for the Braves in a big win.
Week 8 and your humble reporter drew the fixture lacking a team with a winning record and neither team has a chance of having one whichever way this result would go. To the teams and the changes for this pivotal fixture then and first up the mercurial Apache’s (3 – 4) ; Coach Diesel was hoping to get his side back to parity and this was looking like a good opportunity to accomplish this ambition. To this end Kicker Dan Bailey returned and the Seattle D replaced the Chargers; the final change to the Apache’s line-up was at WR3 where, despite major injury concerns, Keenan Allen started. The seemingly doomed Cal X (1 – 6) are still looking for the right balance in their line-up and accordingly made wholesale changes whilst chasing that elusive win. In what was perceived as a tactical switch, the Cal X brought back Jared Goff for Kyler Murray at QB, Nick Chubb returned at RB1 after his bye week and despite being a doubtful participant Chase Edmunds made an appearance at RB2. Then came the WR changes, in came Juju Smith-Schuster and Philip Dorsett the former was up against the Miami Dumplings in the real world so that made sense and the latter is a cheat which just goes to show how desperate Coach Marty was for that win. If you hope that this missive will contain any tension vis-à-vis the result the outcome from the TNF should allay any fears on that score. The lone participant on TNF was the Apache’s kicker Dan Bailey and this selection turned out to be inspired or dead jammy depending on your view point – having heard Diesel expound on his mega-high expectations for Mitchell Trubisky this season I know which camp I’m in – in any event the desperate one had a 15 point outing that included 2 bonus points to get his side off to a start from which they never really looked back. The QB battle was as entertaining as it was surprising, the Cal X trigger man Jared Goff had a 9 point night which included 1 bomb for a bonus 3 points however the Apache’s QB Gardner Mingechew equalled that performance then topped it with an extra score for a 12 point night. At least the Cal X have had some output from their RB’s so far this season however the footballing Gods were against them this week and their wrath took the shape of the cheats D being up against Nick Chubb and injury forced Chase Edmunds from the game early doors (Scott Booth syndrome apparently); we all know what that means – goose eggs all round. I can feel the readers from the Cove area leaving in droves already! The response from the Apache’s RB duo of La’Veon Bell and Chris Carson was predictable and decisive with the latter earning a rushing TD for his side whilst the former can be seen on anti-social media wittering about a trade after yet another pointless appearance. With the score standing at 33 – 09 in favour of the Apache’s things were looking so bleak for the Cove outfit that the locals were turning to the news to see what was going on with Boris and Brexit instead of supporting their team to the (bitter) end. When neither defence troubled the scorers it was left to Cal X hot foot Mason Crosby to bring his side back into contention but his 7 points was never really going to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat though it did close the score to 33 – 16 with the WR contest still to come. This battle would be the closest of the night which spelt doom for the Cove Chiels as they were in need of a big turnaround if that win was to be secured. The Apache’s lost WR Brandin Cooks to concussion early in proceedings and as expected Keenan Allen was little more than a spectator due to his own pre-existing injury which left ace cheat Julian Edelman as last man standing; whisper it but he’s the one cheat I will admit grudging admiration for and he responded to the crisis with a 2 TD 6 point night to give the Apache’s a final total of 39 points. The Cal X now knew that 23 points were required from their WR’s just to tie this game and to be blunt Coach Marty and everyone else knew that this simply wasn’t happening. Of the 3 WR’s selected only cheat Philip Dorset failed to find the end zone, Mecole Hardiman had a lone score and despite the inferior opposition on MNF the Juju man could only equal that feat giving the Cal X a final Daryl Tally of 22 points. The Apache’s snapped a 3 game losing streak and achieved parity at 4 – 4 and though they now have the stumbling Drillers in their sights their next 3 fixtures are against the Steelers, Blades and Killers so no handouts there! The Cal X drop to 1 – 7 and Coach Marty is already on the verge of preparing for next season; his side will probably have to win out from hereon in if they are to sneak a wild card slot but with a team ranked 12th on points scoring the chances are unlike either Garioch brother – slim! The Geacher’s 5th straight win in RS games between these sides gives him a RSS of 15 – 09.
Rude Boys Conquer Lions Den.
Kicker Jason Myers boots a 42 FG for the Bobcats.
As you age it appears there’s little in the world that’s new, everything is, by accident or design, familiar and the shocking has lost definition amid the blur of the commonplace. Then along comes week 8 of the ALFF fantasy season and up pops a report for teams that, as far as I can tell, have not previously competed against one another in this illustrious competition. Recent additions to the ALFF the Buchan Bobcats and head Coach Rudi Taylor have got off to an impressive start to this campaign and come into this fixture standing at 6 – 1 boasting a very consistent and productive line-up. So consistent that there was but the 1 change to the team lines from last week and that was forced by an injury to QB Matt Ryan, his replacement was the much maligned former Dolphin Ryan Tannehill. ……(Those of you chuckling at this change would do well to remember that the NFL media had it in for this player before he was even drafted and despite his stats not reflecting the attendant criticism he received the media’s narrative has never changed, well why would it? Ever heard any news outlet admit they got it wrong? Oh and one final point on this subject – bitter me? – his Coach was QB whisperer Adam Gase. How’s that relationship working out for blue chip QB draftee Sam Darnold? No sixth sense required for that answer and yet the media keep telling us that Gase is an offensive guru and to change that narrative would be counter-productive for the numpties, sorry experts we keep hearing from)! And breath!........... Opponents, the Laurel Lions are a different kettle of haddock, and were in need of a win with their record standing at 3 – 4 and so changes to their line-up were inevitable. The recent form of the resurgent Green Bay Packers seemed to be a major influence on Coach H as QB Aaron “the flopper” Rodgers returned at QB & Geronimo “Mose” Allison came in at WR in place of Josh Allen and Zack Ertz respectively. The kicking duties were transferred from Justin Tucker (bye) to Austin Siebert and the in a tactical move the Green Bay Packers D replaced the Eagles D. As someone who is actually allergic to cheese I must admit that the Lions boasted a lot of the latter in their line-up. The TNF action was a very close contest between these sides simply because neither side had a runner in this fixture; the only sides in the entire league that were not represented by any entrant. The QB battle should have been a complete no-contest right? On paper Tannehill versus Rodgers would not be the names on any ones lips in a QB competition and not surprisingly Rodgers came out a winner with 12 points, however Tannehill matched his 3 TD outing with the minor difference that one of the formers TD’s was over 50 yards and garnered the 3 extra bonus points. The RB battle was a groundless affair with neither side managing a rushing score; the Lions duo of Leonard Fournette and Sony Michel managed a pair of goose eggs whilst the Bobcats duo of Philip Lindsay and Austin Ekeler replicated this feat but for the latter who did snag a receiving TD to draw the Bobcats level at 12 apiece. The WR battle would surely put the cat amongst the Lions so to speak but when the Lions trio of Tyler Lockett, Mohammed Sanu – once a fan favourite now dismissed as a cheat – and Geronimo Allison came up short on the scoring front Coach H must’ve seen the writing on the wall and it said “tragedy”! The Bobcats trio would surely do better, and their trio of De’Andre Hopkins, Golden Tate and Lyle syrup and Austin Hooper did at least manage 1 visit to the end zone by the latter which secured an invaluable 3 point lead. The battle of the defences was a bit Shakespearian “It is a tail full of sound and fury signifying nothing” and that’s exactly what was scored between them, nothing. This meant my own particular Bette noir was going to decide this fixture, the clash of the kickers. Up first was the Lions Austin Siebert – I thought they’d stopped producing this model in the late 60’s – who drove home a less than game winning effort of 7 points to give his side a 4 point lead and an outside chance of victory. That chance was gone however when the rude boys Jason Myers had an 11 point night which sealed a 26 – 19 victory for the Bobcats. This was the (7 – 1) Bobcats 3rd win on the bounce which guarantees a play-off berth at the 1st time of asking and with the their rivals the Killers losing they are now 3 games clear in the Granite Division and are odds on for the divisional crown and a double bye week. The up and down Lions(4 – 4) just can’t string 2 wins together at this vital stage of the season and have been caught (again) by the (Jammy) Blades who won in OT and are now only 1 game ahead of the fast improving and dangerous Gryphons. The Bobcats own the RSS 1 – 0.
Blades Beat Down The Champs Over Time
Evan Engram grabs a vital 2 yard score for the Blades.
A battle of two ballclub’s locked on 3-4 should have been a big clue the JL8’s trip to the Knife Drawer would be close ….. and this really was as tight as two Yorkshireman who had all the generosity kicked out of them, as coach Kiwi’s side first forced the tie into OT, then won the whole thing 27-26 as we went to the third stage of the extra period tie break process, having scored less bonus points than their rivals. On any given week this season it’s been hard to predict which version of the Blades would turn up , the all firing eight that four times posted mid 30’s or higher… or the scrubs who managed just 12pts on two inauspicious occasions. Based on a double blank on Thursday it looked as if the latter may be in play … although Stefon Diggs high yardage nul point would be revisited later in the process. Adrian Peterson’s fat doughnut as a bye week replacement for Mark Ingram looked significant … but not in a good way. A quick look of the defending champions line-up on Sunday was not for the faint hearted with Mono Man at QB in place of the resting Lamar Jackson (both teams were weakened by the Raven bye) , Carlos Hyde back in at RB 2 and Cooper Kupp presumably restored at WR as Tyreek Hill had an ex Miami Dolphins back-up throwing him the ball but as things turned out coach C’s tinkerings largely paid off. Almost all the scoring here came in the early Sunday action. On the JL8 side of the ledger Sam Darnold actually fared better than his HC had feared with a pair of TD tosses ( and 2pt conversion) to the same Jets TE…. and that upbeat theme continued with a much maligned WR unit enjoying their best outing of the season with (often forgotten) DK Metcalf scoring twice before Cooper Kupp hauled in his 65 yarder at Wembley . It was at the Dome that Doomster’s came a little undone. Wil Lutz opened proceedings by pushing a 47yarder wide left and although he would be perfect after that with a 26 yard FG and 4 XP’s… a strange sequence of events at the end of the 1st half that saw a TD ( with presumably an XP) called off for a dodgy holding call in short FG range. The 10 sec run off cost Lutz the FG opportunity… and anyone of those points would loom large in the final outcome. As it happened the kickers’ were going head to head in the Dome and Zane Gonzalez’ 11pts looked very like the total Lutz probably should have had as the Cardinal won his spurs with a 50 yarder the highlight of a triple FG effort. At the same venue a no show from RB David Johnson looked as if it might be fatal to the Westburn cause but a 2 yard grab from WR Evan Engram mashed together with a late D J Chark 8 yard counter got the home side to with 9pts at 17-26. The game now revolved around events at NRG Stadium where Carlos Hyde went mano a mano against League leading QB DeSean Watson . It took the passer most of the game to get in stride but TD tosses of 12 , 4 and 9 yards with nothing in reply from Hyde saw the scores level at 26-26 and we had our 4th OT period of the season thus far. Cooper Kupp’s 7-220 yards was cancelled out by Stefon Diggs aforementioned 7-143 yards way back on Thursday night and with both sides scoring 5 TD’s apiece the deadlock was still not broken. One last calculation before going to full on all offensive players yardage is to “strip” away bonus points and with only 2 on the Youngblood side of the equation (against 3 for Ronnie) the Blades got the decision 27-26. Coach Bothwell Jnr improves to 4-4 and joins the Laurel Lions at the top of the “no after you” Pittodrie Div. With a general tightening up across the League (as the Killers & Drillers lost) the prospect of a PDiv wildcard outfit is now back on the table, so if no-one grasp’s the Pittodrie pennant by the horns there is still the prospect of a 2nd prize in the much maligned grouping. As an FYI Stuie is now an impressive 7-3 in OT action a record only bettered by the Argyll Apaches. Insider rumours persist of Blades inspired trade wheeling and dealing as the Wellington based combo look to kick on. The defending champions drop to 3-5 and currently sit outside the play-off berths. This loss may loom large in the rear view mirror if the JL8 are not taking part come December. Lamar Jackson returns next week and he really needs to hit his early season form if the Doomster’s are to get anything out of two vital upcoming clashes v the Killers & Lions.
Sleeper of the Week
QB Kirk Cousins is something of a Marmite figure in the League….. ( put me down as a fan in fantasy terms !) …. and clearly he has the confidence of Wellington rising HC Darren Butter. This week however had the rookie owner gone with back-up Matt Stafford ( that’s Marmite plus in my book !) then he would have netted all 9 of the back-up’s points and carded a 31-30 win over the Arnhall Dolphins that would have opened up a clean road to the play-offs for a late finishing Rising. Instead it was 24-30 loss and the Week SOW for coach Butter & Matt Stafford.
Player of the Week
Birds RB Tevin Coleman has been around for a while … but never had a day like he did this time round before. His 21pt total which broke the back of a spirited Drillers performance was the 2nd best RB output of the campaign and combined with a James Connor score on Monday night almost doubled the Gryphons rushing output for the year. Coleman’s tally was made up of TD runs of 19, 48 and 1 yard with a 10 yard TD grab to round out a Play of the Week clinching performance.
Play of the Week
With just over 8 minutes left of the Week 8 program , the Kincorth Killers & 2 Minute Drillers were still in control of their own respective destinies effectively one game back of their main Div rivals… but Laurel Lions QB Aaron Rodgers 67 yard scoring hook-up with Scunthorpe Steelers changed all that in a heartbeat. A Play of the Week that will loom large come Week 13.