For Season 10, and the foreseeable future, the SFL Beat Writers are fully committed to providing weekly columns full of interesting dialogue and useful tips. In addition to weekly game recaps, some of us wanted to have our own columns to fill readers’ heads with more of our ‘spiel’. Myself (Sir Shady) and good colleague, Mahmoud Ajlouni, wanted to get in on the action, so we are going to bring you a weekly article based around what stood out to us from the previous week and what to look out for in the games to come. I’m covering the Eastern Conference and half of the Central, Mahmoud is focusing on the rest of the Central and the Western conference.

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Mexico City Aztecs
  • We learned in Week 1 that linebackers Jack Brown and Landin Mack will be huge for Mexico City’s rush defense. The pair contributed 21 tackles overall and managed to hold superstar runningback Ash Odom to 3.8 yards per carry.
  • In Week 2, it’ll be interesting to see whether the Aztecs continue to lean on the production of Ray Bentley. Will Matt Willson be brave enough to loosen his arm against the Skyhawks?
Queen City Corsairs
  • Despite the win, the defensive line produced no sacks vs. Mexico City. This will be an issue against better passing attacks who will look to expoit the non-contract cornerbacks.
  •  Ash Odom played well when it mattered in Week 1, but look for him to break out into a monster game very soon. It could come this week against Dallas.
Tallahassee Pride
  • Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see the Pride defeat Carolina convincingly, although looking at the stats, Duke Wilson had an all-time great outing. The man had 241 yards and 3 touchdowns off 6 catches. That’s an immortal performance.
  • Again, looking at the boxscore, Tallahassee suffered slightly against the run, although they were facing off against up and comer, AJ Francis. Francis is a good back, but not the best the Pride will face this season. They need to stiffen up that front seven.
Atlanta Swarm
  • BDG Hollewood looked like a man possessed against London. The rusher looked plain dangerous in the open field, even running over a referee on the way to one long touchdown. One things for certain, no referee is safe in Hollewood.
  • In Week 2, Atlanta travels to Tallahassee in one of the toughest games on their schedule. They won’t be able to rely on BDG Hollewood forever, so Demar Woods is going to have to pull his finger out. Look for Woods to attempt more passes in Week 2.
Carolina Skyhawks
  • The Skyhawks lost badly at home in Week 1 and a big reason for that was the lack of pressure gained in the backfield. Carolina had 1 sack and 2 tackles for a loss. That’s just not enough to stop the high-powered offenses of the East.
  • Can Mark Biddix bounce back in Week 2? For Carolina’s sake, I certainly hope so. Biddix threw 3 interceptions and zero touchdowns against the Pride, a ratio that is not one for winning games. Biddix needs to show resilience to turn this around against the Aztecs.
London Knights
  • Whether it was a lack of experience or just plain, old bad luck I don’t know, but the Knights seemed intent on shooting themselves in the foot during the loss to Atlanta. Every time they had a good drive rolling, a mistake would be made to kill any points. That’s not a winning way to play in this league.
  • Against Vancouver, the Knights need to get their run game going. Spencer Mair was a bit of a non-factor in Week 1 and he will want to hit Week 2 with full guns blazing.

CENTRAL CONFERENCE

Chicago Wildcats
  • As a neutral viewer, Chicago probably should have won this game. They should definitely have put more points on the board, but turnovers killed any chance of that. ET King needs to summon some play of past seasons and cut down on the turnovers.
  • Another veteran who should be making more of an impact is Shann Varner. Varner won’t have two bad games in a row, so Tulsa had better be ready to shut him down, properly.
St. Louis Gladiators
  • If I could find one word to describe the Gladiators’ offensive performance against the Wildcats, it would be unspectacular. It was efficient, it got the job done away from home, but St. Louis will need Ethan Alexander to take more chances to stay in a contest with higher scoring opposition.
  • The Gladiators will have to score points against their Week 2 foes, the Indianapolis Red Devils. They have a high-powered offense and St. Louis will want to try and keep pace.
Tulsa Desperados
  • Damn, that Tulsa secondary looks tasty. Interceptions all day and a glut of important pass defelections showed that they aren’t to be messed with. Go deep on Tulsa at your peril. They are quickly joining, and leading, the ‘best secondary in the SFL’ conversation.
  • You heard it here first, before anyone else. Dion Hawkins could be in line for MVP in Season 10. No more, no less…just that.
Sioux Falls Sparrows
  • Sioux Falls’ defense stepped up big time and allowed only 12 points.
  • They host the Renegades who are coming of a big loss to Tulsa. Sioux Falls needs a similar performance to walk out with a win.
Indianapolis Red Devils
  • Their offense was lights out and with their solid defensive performance, they held it down and pulled out a win.
  • If their team has a repeat performance again next week they will no doubt pick up another impressive win.
Oklahoma City Renegades
  • They struggled horribly on offense and hardly put up any points. Their defense was not able to stop the Desperados from moving the ball.
  • Their offense needs to produce next week if they want to win. They have to gain momentum to have the defense out there at its hardest.

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Alaska Storm
  • They had a huge game against the Legion and will look to continue that against a struggling Houston team.
  • Houston struggled against Sioux Falls and Alaska should be able to capitalize. Need to work on the passing game.
Houston Hyenas
  • They struggled on offense against Sioux Falls and may struggle against Alaska’s much more powerful defense.
  • They need to get the passing game more involved and produce points otherwise they’ll fall behind fairly quick.
Vancouver Legion 
  • The defense struggled big time especially in defending the pass, allowing over 500 passing yards.
  • The defense needs to step up and show up when they head overseas to London and take on the Knights
San Antonio Vaqueros
  • Riding a 3 game win streak into this season from last year, they looked to continue that momentum and just did exactly that winning against Dallas
  • Next week they host the Sharks and need to step up on both sides of the ball to stop a talented Sharks team.
San Francisco Sharks
  • They really struggled to do anything against the Red Devils, especially stopping them on offense.
  • They need to be able to have their defense make big stops and let the offense work without the burden of having to score points quickly.
Dallas Ruffnecks
  • A new look offense failed to do anything against San Antonio and looked like the same struggling Dallas team from last year.
  • The offense must be able to light up the scoreboard to help the defense do their job efficiently without worrying that they need critical stops.

Week 1 proved to be an awesome start to the season, throwing out a nice mix of games and some surprising results. Week 2 is gonna be even better…we guarantee it.