There are five weeks left of the BFL regular season and the playoff race is coming down to the wire. And what an incredible slate of games we have this weekend – a potential preview of the Plunger Bowl, as well as every other match having immediate ramifications for the road to the Bridgend Shiva Bowl. The Dope, deferring his schedule again this week – as a result of worshipping the President-Elect Donald J. Trump (who knows a thing or two about ruining football leagues), is back to make some big calls regarding the big games this week.
Week 10 NFL Bye Week Teams: Buffalo, Detroit, Indianapolis, Oakland
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Maesteg SheepSkins (3-5) @ Waterton Winos (1-8)
(Winos lead season series, 1-0)
What few fans the Winos have left will be hoping for a repeat of the previous meeting between these two teams in week 2 – the only victory the Winos have had since starting 5-1 in 2015. The little effort they have made has helped stave off the threat of relocation, but given the patience of the BFL brass is wearing thin. The Winos are guaranteed to miss the playoffs for the second year in succession and a loss here will seal their fate as the lowest seeded team in the playoffs once more.
The SheepSkins continued the form of when they win, they win big, last weekend, picking up their third Hyundai Player of the Week award for their emphatic victory. The SheepSkins offense clicked in a big way, with stellar performances from Eli Manning, Mark Ingram, Melvin Gordon and of course, Julio Jones. Another defensive master-class from Landon Collins put them over the top.
The Dope’s Prediction: Expect the SheepSkins to enter week 11 at 4-5.
Dezzy Does Dallas (5-4) @ The Super Touchdowners (4-5)
(Touchdowners lead season series, 1-0)
The second meeting of these two teams this season comes with a contrast for one team in particular. The Dezzys were in the midst of their unbeaten start to the season, when the Touchdowners came to town and put them to the sword. This game started the Dezzys consecutive defeats run and a loss here will mean that they have lost as many games in a row this season as they won to kick it off.
The Dezzys GM has tried to ring the changes with his offense over the past few weeks, but no matter what combination that seems to be in the line-ups, the Dezzys have underwhelmed considering their hot start. Superman appears to have found kryptonite, as Cam Newton is nowhere near his 2015 MVP form. The lack of experienced RB1 in the team has also hurt the Dezzys in recent weeks, and their D has been practically anonymous.
The Touchdowners boast of going undefeated the rest of the season lasted exactly one week despite a strong performance from Matt Ryan, who unlike his opposition counterpart, is looking like an MVP candidate. Antonio Brown showed signs of looking back to his best and Golden Tate had another strong outing. The Touchdowners have a solid defensive core and The Dope believes this could give them the edge this week.
The Dope’s Prediction: The Dezzys downfall is almost complete, with the Touchdowners sweeping the regular season series.
Shotgun Shenanigans (4-5) @ Cleveland Clowns (5-4)
(Clowns lead overall series, 4-0)
The Clowns’s streak of facing teams where they have yet to face defeat continues in this Original Six matchup.
The Shannys upset victory over Dallas Sucks has put them back in the hunt for the final two playoff places. Latavius Murray’s terrific performance was added to great days for Russell Wilson and Michael Thomas. K.J. Wright took the defensive spoils with another double-digit tackle performance – his third of the season.
The defending champions’s grasp on their crown hasn’t totally slipped. Marcus Mariota was the star of the show, whilst Jordy Nelson and Matt Forte helped out as well. The Dope isn’t confident of the team’s chances this week however.
The Dope’s Prediction: Shannys get the W to get both teams at 5-5 going into week 11.
Team Jones (5-4) @ Dallas Sucks (6-3)
David Johnson’s absence did hurt the offensive production of Team Jones last week, but it was irrelevant as the team still ended up with the W. Both of Jones’s top running backs return to the line-up this weekend with Jeremy Hill also returning from his bye week. The Dope is predicting the bulk of Team Jones’s points this weekend to come from their defence – in particular Kwon Alexander and Joey Bosa.
Despite the return of some of the team’s offensive stars from bye weeks, it was Khalil Mack who was the best performer for Dallas Sucks last week. The loss of Derrick Henry, who was injured prior to his game last weekend, hurt the team as his production might have put Dallas Sucks in further contention. Jameis Winston is set to get the start at QB as one of the oldest rivalries in the league, one that predates the BFL, resumes for the first time in many years.
The Dope’s Prediction: A stronger looking D on Team Jones’s part leads them to victory.
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…
Maryland Cookies (5-4) @ Orlando Rage (7-2)
(Rage lead season series, 1-0)
(Cookies lead overall series, 3-2)
It was a case of feast or famine for the Cookies last week – Aaron Rodgers, Ezekiel Elliott and Jason Witten did the job, but Jeremy Maclin, Terrance West and Amari Cooper did not. Matt Bryant outscored every defensive player on the Cookies last weekend due to his fantastic kicking game, which is a relief that if he is needed in the clutch, the Cookies will not be in trouble.
The Rage come out of their bye week victory over the Winos in splendid form and without an injury worry up and down the team’s line-up. Usually this means that there’s a big injury just around the corner and the Rage will be hoping that they have enough depth to cover any potential injuries in weeks to come.
The Dope’s Prediction: The Cookies continue to lead the overall series and snap the Rage’s winning streak.
The Dope’s Week 9 Predictions: 3-2
The Dope’s Overall Predictions: 25-20
From the Commish’s Desk…
* In the Pick’em challenge – we have a brand new leader! Dai now leads the way by 1 point from joint runners-up, Matthew and Pete.
* In the Eliminator Challenge – Rhys and Pete had correct picks in week 9 and 10, so are still neck and neck.
An abbreviated Dope Sheet I know, but just haven’t had the time to sit down and get a good one written this week. Hopefully make up for it in weeks to come.