by Jaunty Coving
Welcome one and all to week 2 and join me now as we go… around the grounds.
The NFL was rocked this week by scandal as it was revealed that Here Comes the Brees GM, Ban Saycher, has attempted to sneak over-priced rookie RB Tre Mason onto his taxi squad in violation of league rules. Sanctions from the league are pending but, in this reporter’s opinion, it is a true shame to see the sport we love brought so low.
Amongst this upheaval, Here Comes the Brees also cut RB Ray Rice, which nobody noticed because it wasn’t relevant or interesting in any way.
Arteveldestadion: Hogs @ Flahutes
The Tamworth Two arrived in the Arteveldestation on a high after a resounding week 1 victory, looking like one of the teams to beat in this year’s Owl. This was the inaugural game for the Flahutes in their new home, a state-of-the-art green arena made of recycled tofu and broken dreams, built at tremendous expense by the local community of Moomins.
The Flahutes had their problems in the first game, not least of which was the absence of GM Philip Malcolm. Malcolm gave a cursory press conference mid-week but, once again, it was Goodwill Childress, his Namibian adopted son, who was calling the plays at the weekend.
The Hogs started on the front foot with Adam Rodgers overcoming a very shaky start against the Jets to the biggest QB performance of the week, passing for 346 yards, 3 TDs and a 2 pointer, as well as scrambling for 28 yards. Toby Gerhart’s incredible 1.1 YPC managed not to keep the Hogs down too much and they logged a decent score on offence for the day, laying the groundwork for their defence, which had been dominant in week 1, to do the business.
For all Goodwill Childress’ bluster, the Flahutes seemed at one point to be going quietly into the night with one of the lowest offensive totals heading into Sunday night. Brandon Marshall added a sheen of respectability to proceedings with an unlikely 3 TD grabs and a strong showing from special teams kept the game close on the offensive side of the ball.
The Flahutes knew they needed something special on defence and were bolstered by the site of Gerald McCoy exiting for the Tamworth Two early on with a wrist injury. Inspired, they put up good numbers across the defence, led by Sen’Derrick Marks (10.5), DJ Swearinger (14.5) and Jerod Mayo (7). Any other week Childress could have been happy with Jason Hatcher’s 1.5 sacks but, considering the incredible 8 sacks given up by the Jacksonville O-line, he may feel this was an opportunity missed.
The injury to McCoy seemed to do nothing but fire up the Hogs D-line who still managed to score the most points on the week courtesy of 2 sacks for Jurell Casey and 2 sacks and a blocked punt TD for Chandler Jones. The game was all but won at this point and the rest of Mames Goodsard’s defence put it away comfortably with the likes of Larry Foote, Kam Chancellor, Luke Kuechly and Alterraun Verner looking refined.
Tamworth Two confirmed their status as front-runners for the Owl after week 1 with the top scoring defence of the week. With that side of the ball scoring so dominantly the offence just needs to keep ticking over as it is and more wins will come. The Flahutes, meanwhile, slip to 1-1 but there was no shame in defeat here as they were actually the 4th top scoring team on the week.
Tamworth Two 183 – 157 East Flanders Flahutes
Jurassic Park: Sadness @ Losers
One of the bigger surprises of week 1 was the performance of the DynaSore Losers defence, a group not fancied by many. After a home win last weekend, there came a good opportunity to go 2-0 thanks to another home game against week 1 strugglers the Dynasty of Sadness. Sadness’ GM, Geoffrey Manboob, reluctantly agreed to play a more conventional formation in week 2 and the fans were relieved to see him name a starting quarterback, although some were nonplussed as to why sketchy sicknote Jake Locker had been given the nod over Cam Newton.
Such fears appeared well-founded as Locker struggled to 234 yards, 1 TD and 2 interceptions whilst Cam Newton put in one of the best QB performances of the week from the sideline. The inconsistency epitomised by Locker seemed to pervade the whole offence as for every Dez Bryant (16.3 points) and Eric Decker (12.3) performance there was a Dwayne Allen (0) or Riley Cooper (0.8). The Sadness limped to 72 points on offence, the worst showing of the week.
David Slater could be seen chuckling with star QB Peter Manning on the sideline as the pair watched the Sadness offence but the smile was quickly wiped from his face as Knowshon Moreno exited the game injured after only 1 carry for 4 yards. With the rest of the Losers’ RB corps putting up only 6.8 points Peter had to step up and shoulder the burden. He duly obliged, delivering a suitably high calibre performance and, along with Jordy Nelson and Jimmy Graham, the high power Losers offence showed some of the form we expected preseason with a dominant score.
With a nearly 40 point lead on Mangboob from offence the Losers, to be frank, didn’t need much from their defence but a matchup against a shocking Jacksonville O-line cares not for circumstance and Ryan Kerrigan strolled to 4 sacks and a monumental 31 points (this single performance was more than one other team’s entire defence would produce for the week, more of that later). The rest of the Losers’ D shrugged their shoulders and went for ice cream, leaving Kerrigan to his work.
No-one would really have blamed the Sadness’ defence for going home early. Most of their fans did. They did a professional job, however, with the D-line in particular coming up trumps with plenty of tackles, a forced fumble and a sack between Calais Campbell and Jared Allen. An injury to Eric Berry that could keep him out for some time was the salt in the wound of defeat for Geoffrey Manboob who left the stadium staring daggers at Cam Newton.
The Losers have got off to a strong start, albeit against teams that have started slowly. It’s positively terrifying to consider what this team might do on offence when their RBs fire and with Josh Gordon still to come back. The Sadness improved their points total from last week but still found themselves the worst scoring team and it looks like a long season ahead. But who would have expected anything else?
Dynasty of Sadness 130 – 187 Dynasore Losers
Hudson Soft Play Arena: Firebirds @ Bombermen
Sometimes you just have one of those days. It must have felt very much like one of those days to Danjamin Hendith as he sat on the sideline with AJ Green receiving treatment in the locker room and watching Antonio Gates catch his third TD pass of the game against the supposedly unplayable Legion of Boom. Coming off the back of an unfortunate week 1 defeat to the Champions of the Sun the Bombermen must have felt confident of getting a win on the board against Neil Hawke’s so-far-underwhelming Firebirds. It was just one of those days.
The misery wasn’t restricted to AJ Green’s goose egg. After busting out for 43 points last week, Hendith could only watch as Brandin Cooks, Michael Floyd and Kelvin Benjamin sputtered to 11 points, leaving his receiving corps the worst of the week by some margin. Matt Ryan and the RBs struggled similarly, with the exception of Giovani Bernard, and suddenly the Bombermen looked more like the team of raw talent that we thought had been drafted.
The Seattle San Diego game aside though, the Firebirds weren’t looking much better. Big zeros from James Starks and Marques Colston plus underwhelming days from the Gronk and CJ2K left the game more open than one would have thought from the Bombermen’s lacklustre showing.
Both teams struggled similarly for consistency on defence too. Ndamukung Suh and Leodis McKelvin came up with big plays for the ‘Birds whilst Trent Cole, Clay Matthews and (for the 2nd week in a row) Kyle Williams did similarly for the Bombermen. With pathetic performances from Hawke’s LBs cancelled out by equal levels of Pap from Hendith’s DBs the result stayed the same. The Firebirds’ advantage from wily vet Antonio Gates was enough to win the day.
The Bombermen came crashing back down to Earth this week with a combination of bad luck and youthful inexperience exposing some gaps on the roster. This will likely be a team that yo-yos from week-to-week throughout the year, making them a risky, volatile opponent. The Firebirds, meanwhile, seem to be a solid, if unspectacular, outfit at this point. The strength of the roster is in Julio Jones and Demaryius Thomas and the defensive tackles who have, with Suh excepted, been quiet through 2 weeks. If the big names don’t start to produce the Firebirds could end up mired in obscurity this year.
DynaForOne Firebirds 150 – 140 Dynablaster Bombermen
Mahoney Memorial Stadium: Champions @ Rules
It was only week 2 of the season but already some media outlets had built this game up into a potential Owl preview as the two top scorers from week 1, and divisional rivals, went head-to-head at Mahoney Memorial Stadium. The hype was only exacerbated by fightin’ talk from both GMs prior to the match. In the end, however, the encounter was disappointingly one sided.
Champions’ GM The Dayman had been complaining prior to kick-off about injuries to his roster (though in truth, few of the team that started last week were injured). Nothing seemed particularly amiss at first as Jay Cutler put in the 2nd best QB performance of the week and the Champions’ RB corps put up the week’s highest total to boot. Unfortunately the Champions’ thin roster was quickly exposed as their receiving corps and special teams put up the 2nd worst combined score of the week to counterbalance this. Despite these problems the Dayman’s boys racked up a respectable 104 points on offence without leaving any big plays on the bench.
After a dominating week 1 performance, Jan Kelkowski must have felt confident that his team could outscore the Champions, even with their decent offensive showing. Although Colin Kaepernick misfired the same could not be said for the rest of the offence. DeMarco Murray and Arian Foster nearly outscored the 3-man Champions’ running attack on their own and the Rules’ receiving corps put up a punishing 74 points thanks to Delanie Walker (20) and Randall Cobb (18).
With the ball turned over to the defences, Rules had a healthy 38 point lead but couldn’t afford to be complacent against week 1’s top-scoring defensive unit. Kelkowski’s line was quiet, shuffling for only 6 points but Karlos Dansby and co. put in a strong showing at LB. Inspired by the play in front of them Darrelle Revis and Bernard Pollard combined for 13 tackles, a sack and an interception to give Kelkowski the 4th highest scoring defence to go with his top scoring offence.
The bar was set high for the Champions as they needed 104 points from the defence, exactly 1 point more than they’d scored the week before. With Cameron Wake and Robert Quinn ready to chow down on their opponents like Kobyashi steak though, anything was possible. Unfortunately, instead of the ferocious Champions’ pass rush, a group of Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie impersonators took to the field instead and, in that light, the 30 points scored by the Champions’ defence should be seen as a positive. Even if it was 1 fewer point than Ryan Kerrigan scored on his own.
Kelkowski’s DynaRules look like strong early favourites for the Owl as the only team to post consecutive 200 point performances. Their receiving corps is, frankly, terrifying. The only concern might be a reliance on a pair of brittle running backs but neither Arian Foster or DeMarco Murray are showing any signs of breaking down yet. The Champions, meanwhile, went from first to worst on defence though if Jay Cutler and their running backs can keep the production up, their pass rushers could propel them to the playoffs yet, even though there will be some prize turkey weeks like this.
Champions of the Sun 134 – 208 Kelkowski Don’t Play By No Dyna Rules
Nakatomi Plaza Stadium: Brees @ Hard
Two teams entered the blood-soaked arena in the basement of Nakatomi Plaza in downtown LA with violence on the mind. For Ban Saycher, the sight of his hero, Drew Brees, in opposing colours had left him in a murderous rage all week.. For Chris Braithwaite, the pain of leaving everything out on the field but still being trodden on by the DynaRules was raw and his team was pumped up, knowing a similar performance would likely result in the win.
The early news for the Breeses was bad as an injury to Doug Martin kept him out of the game. An early knock to RGIII also hurt them as his replacement, Kirk Cousins, seemed not to have much Chemistry with Brees’ WR Pierre Garcon, resulting in only 12 yards worth of production for the usual target machine. Dispirited by this, the rest of the Breeses’ offence limped to the half. Andrew Luck’s connection with his TEs, Zach Ertz and Martellus Bennett provided some good numbers but the RBs and WRs were a wasteland of morose sighs that left the Breeses second only the Dynmension of Sadness in poor offensive play.
Scenting blood, the home crowd of coke-fuelled corporate suits and sophisticated German terrorists roared their team on. An early injury to Jamaal Charles had the opposite effect on the Hards as Garcon’s had on the Breeses as the rest of the team rallied round to cover. Alfred Morris smashed the Jacksonville run defence for 85 yards and two scores while Sammy Watkins built on his week 1 promise for 117 yards and a TD. In total the Hards offence romped home with 105 points, the third best offensive score of the week.
At half-time Ban Saycher could be seen imploring and chastising his team in equal measure before a firm slap on the rump of each man sent his defence out to do their work. Clearly disgusted with their offensive counterparts, the Breeses’ D set about building a good score. Aaron Donald continued to show his promise as he came home with 17 points and Daryl Smith (15) and Tramon Williams (16) put in big contributions too. The rest of the defence was solid but not spectacular and at the end of it Here Comes the Brees were only up 38 with DynaHard’s entire defence yet to play.
Call it complacency, call it bad luck, call it what you will but the DynaHard defence fell at the final hurdle on the field. A sack for Von Miller and a fumble recovery by CJ Mosley were the only big plays on the team as the unit combined for only 34 points, leaving them agonizingly short of the win and dropping them to 0-2.
Chris Braithwaite can point to injuries to Charles and Ryan Matthews or to the decision to leave Bryan Anger on the bunch. A change in any of the 3 would have given DynaHard the win. They’re not a bad team though and should be able to recover to respectability from here. The injury to Charles and Greg Hardy’s move to the exempt list may put a kibosh on more ambitious aims for the season though. For the Breeses, they showed here that they can win in a tight spot and scrap for a result. It wasn’t pretty but it got the job done and they’ll need more results like that to build a good season off the back of this win.
Here Comes the Brees 143 – 139 Dyna Hard
|3||East Flanders Flahutes||1-1-0||L1||328||331||1-1-0|
|4||Here Comes the Brees||1-1-0||L1||299||304||0-1-0|
|5||The 4th Dynmension: Dynasty of Sadness||0-2-0||L2||257||374||0-2-0|
|1||Kelkowski Don’t Play By No DynaRules||2-0-0||W2||423||331||2-0-0|
|3||Champions of the Sun||1-1-0||L1||362||404||1-1-0|
Week 3 Games
- The game of the week takes place at Mahoney Memorial Stadium where someone will lose a perfect record as DynaRules take on the Tamworth Two.
- DynaHard, meanwhile, face a tough task to record their first win as they take the helicopter to Isla Nublar to face David Slater’s 2-0 Dynasore Losers.
- The bookies think MANGBOOB may have a chance for his first win at the Firebird Dome in what is predicted to be a very close game between the Sadness and the ‘Birds.
- Here Come The Brees come to Paddy’s Pub uncertain whether they will face the dominant Champions of week 1 or the timid laughing stock of week 2. Vegas thinks they have the edge though and who are we to argue with them.
- Danjamin Hendith will look to break the losing streak in their second home game of the season as they entertain the East Flanders Flahutes in a favourable matchup.