At the conclusion of this weekend’s slate of games, we will be over halfway through the second BFL season. While some things have been certain (the Winos continuing to count as a bye week), there have been some surprises. With the bottom team four games back out of first place, it’s still all to play for. There is only one meeting of teams with a .500 or better record, but there are two other grudge matches that take place this weekend. With that, let’s get the Dope’s opinion on things.
Week 7 NFL Bye Week Teams: Carolina, Dallas
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Waterton Winos (1-5) @ Dallas Sucks (5-1)
It’s weird to say that Dallas Sucks bounced back from a disappointing week 5 victory last week, but their performance was extremely underwhelming and they were extremely fortunate that their opposition was more inept than they were. So last weekend’s performance would have delighted fans as the GM picked up the Hyundai Player of the Week honours. Brandin Cooks’s second 100+ yard performance this season added to Matt Jones’s 135 rushing yards and Andrew Luck’s 252 passing yards was more than enough to carry the team over the line. A terrific performance from Morgan Burnett (10 total tackles, two pass deflections and an interception) capped off a great weekend for the Sucks GM. The team can afford to take things easy this week, given their opponents and try and pile on as many points as possible to help them in a tiebreaker.
The Dope’s Prediction: Who do you think?
Maesteg SheepSkins (1-5) @ Cleveland Clowns (3-3)
It’s two weeks in a row that the SheepSkins have impressed in defeat. Fans must be wondering what the team has to do to get their second win (besides play the Rage once more). Rob Gronkowski looked like the The Usual Suspect again, scoring a career high 162 yards as well as a touchdown. For the first time this season, Gronk is not listed in the team’s injury report at this stage, delighting fans and raising expectations given last week’s performance when he was still not completely 100%. Julio Jones’s performance against the Rage is unlikely to be repeated any time soon, but his 139 receiving yards, and an endzone visit, continues to demonstrate that the SheepSkins should be feared.
The defending champions were underwhelming last week, with the offense not firing on all cylinders. But two cylinders were definitely working – Matthew Stafford and Terrelle Pryor combined for just over 50 points and did just enough for the Clowns to improve to .500. Le’Veon Bell’s failure to visit the endzone stretches into another week, but he is expected to carry a big offensive load this week – is this the weekend that he ends the touchdown drought? The Clowns will certainly hope so. On the defensive side of the ball, expect a good game from Lorenzo Alexander. Alexander had only nine career sacks prior to this season, but is already up to eight this season and the One Man Gang remains in sole possession of first place on the Sack leader board.
The Dope’s Prediction: Gronk and Julio combine to get the SheepSkins their long awaited second victory.
Maryland Cookies (3-3) @ The Super Touchdowners (3-3)
The Cookies crumbled in game 6, with the Rage running rampant to finally get a long awaited W over their friendly rivals. Big Ben Roethlisberger, whilst possessing the super human healing powers only seen by John Cena, will definitely miss this weekend’s game with a torn meniscus. So going from Big Ben to Aaron Rodgers seems like a slam dunk? Well, Rodgers has been massively disappointing this season – given his status as one of the league’s elite QBs, his numbers leave a little bit to be desired. Given previous form, he should get around 240 yards and 2 TDs this weekend, which is a good performance – but given the struggles he has faced recently, questions doubting him will continue if this funk continues. At least one thing is certain – Captain Consistency, Paul Posluszny, will have a stellar game on defense and could lead a potential defensive masterclass this weekend.
Given their disappointing start, the Super Touchdowners have certainly made up for it – capping it off by ending the undefeated streak of Dezzy Does Dallas that went back to week 13 of 2015. While Tom Brady remains in full on “FU” mode against the league, he was not the offensive star last weekend. That would be Shady McCoy. His second 100+ rushing yard game in a row (this time 140 yards for 3 TDs) hammered home TST’s dominance. At press time, McCoy is listed as questionable and it will worry TST’s GM that the league’s #2 rusher was not in practice on Thursday. Antonio Brown’s production is not expected to be up to his usual levels as a result of an unfavourable matchup against him.
The Dope’s Prediction: Cookies take this W. With McCoy likely to not be at 100% and Antonio Brown’s expectations dropped, TST will find it difficult to win.
Shotgun Shenanigans (2-4) @ Dezzy Does Dallas (5-1)
(Shenanigans lead overall series, 2-1)
The Shannys enter this grudge match against the Dezzys off a good bye week. Their starting line-up looks largely injury free and in the mood to begin the turnaround that the team began at roughly this time last year. After getting paid in the off season, you could forgive Von Miller if he just coasted on his previous success – but Miller looks like the front runner for Defensive Player of the Year. His last two performances have shown him to be back to his near best and he could run away with the DPOY if things continue. Tyrann Mathieu had his best game in many weeks last week as well, and the Shannys will hope that the momentum will continue for this game.
The Dezzys’s defeat did shock The Dope, who went against the Vegas prediction of the TST win last week. But by the GM’s own admission, his offense last week was “terrible”. Outside of Cam Newton, who continued to do Cam Newton-like things, the Dezzy’s offense was putrid. Reshad Jones, who had been doing a solid job on defense, is done for the season with a torn rotator cuff. However, like the Shannys, the Dezzys are largely injury free at press time, but the loss of Cam Newton this weekend, who is on a bye, sees Kirk Cousins step into the void The timing is good, as the matchup is favourable for Cousins this weekend.
The Dope’s Prediction: The bye week for Cam Newton comes at a bad time for the Dezzys, as the Shannys take the bragging rights.
The Game of the Week is presented by Advance Auto Parts, the official automotive replacement parts supplier of the BFL. Service is our best part…
Orlando Rage (4-2) @ Team Jones (3-3)
As the only meeting this weekend of two teams with records of .500 or better, this was determined to be the game of the week by our sponsors.
The Rage were put through the motions last weekend. With Odell Beckham Jr. taken off the field for a hip pointer, things looked disastrous. Then the real OBJ, who looked like he had been MIA all season, finally returned to the game. 222 receiving yards. 2 touchdowns. A new wife. Living the American Dream. As if that wasn’t enough for the Rage faithful, Big Daddy Drew Brees continue to work his incredible magic. His second 400+ passing yard game of the season (465 yards for 4 TDs), meant it was over for the Cookies very early on. The late waiver wire pickup of Rodney McLeod was inspired – his 13 total tackles was the largest single defensive contribution to the Rage last weekend. But, things appear to be returning back to normal. The Dope heard news as these predictions were being made that Eddie Lacy is heading to IR due to his ankle worries, and OBJ did not practice on Thursday as a result of his hip injury. OBJ’s status will be better known by Friday, but the Rage GM might have to work some magic to get them into some good shape for the weekend given this news.
Drafting David Johnson with their first pick is certainly paying dividends for Team Jones at this point. Despite the team losing last week – Johnson produced back-to-back 100+ rushing yard games in the last two weeks – last week producing 111 yards for 3 touchdowns. The highly rated sophomore has already bettered his TD total from his rookie season (8) and is one of the few sure things at RB1 in the league. Team Jones’s GM admitted that the WR performance last week was not up to scratch, so they will be delighted to welcome back Stefon Diggs from his bye week. Another sophomore, Benardrick McKinney, has been splendid on defense, and his 60 total tackles this season place him third in the league at the moment.
The Dope’s Prediction: Team Jones to win. Given the injury issues regarding Lacy (or a potential replacement) and OBJ, the Rage’s offense will struggle to match last weekend’s performance.
The Dope’s Week 6 Predictions: 2-3
The Dope’s Overall Predictions: 16-14
From the Commish’s Desk…
* In the Pick’em challenge – the field is spreading out somewhat. Matthew remains in the lead with 58, whilst Dai is 3 points behind. Simon, who by his own admission missed a week or two, is now dangerously close to catching up to the pack.
* With both Nathan and Rhys picking the Steelers last weekend, their defeat means the Eliminator Challenge is now anyone’s game!
* Hope the lads heading off to the Cabbage Patch this weekend enjoy the Giants-Rams game. Very interested to see how an American football game at Twickenham comes across on TV, let alone in person. Seeing the photos of those yellow goalposts on Twitter were very disorientating – like when Bridgend Town moved into the Brewery Field for a while and there were football goals on the field.
Best of luck to everyone this weekend. Except Mike. May every video he watch have incorrectly synced audio.