February 4, 2020
Week 3 of the Simulation Football League’s 16th season begins Saturday February 6 at 4:30 pm ET on the Eleven Sports Network and For the Fans’ Twitch channel. Check out the skinny on all the Week 3 action below.
Saturday February 6, 4:30 pm ET kickoff: Baltimore (2-0) @ Denver (2-0)
The last time these two teams met, it was a Season 15 Semifinal in the snow to remember, as Baltimore upset Denver 44-34 in Colorado. Denver hasn’t beaten Baltimore since February 3 of last year and on a one-year anniversary of sorts, maybe the Nightwings can even the series.
Denver has given up seven total points in their first two games, a garbage time touchdown in a 33-7 win over Sioux Falls. Both teams crushed Sioux Falls to start the season and have that in common. As a result, Baltimore has only given up 24 points in 12 games and only one offensive touchdown.
Baltimore’s Ivory Ervin is second in the league in receptions (24) and third in receiving yards (258) while tight end Lloyd Graham Jr. has three touchdowns already this season, second most in the SFL. Troy Loshaw has five interceptions in two games, tops in the league and Shark Tarkington’s nine field goals also leads all kickers. Denver’s Jarrod McChesney leads the league in rushing yards – 365 through the first two games, to go along with his league-leading four touchdowns.
Saturday February 6, 5:05 pm ET kickoff: Carolina (1-1) @ Florida (1-1)
In a combined 237 franchise games between the Skyhawks and Storm, this is their first meeting. It’s Florida’s second Atlantic Division game in as many weeks after defeating Jacksonville 17-10 last week. Carolina is also coming off a victory over a playoff team from Season 15 – the Lone Star Glory.
Carolina’s opponents are only converting 17% of their third downs so far this season – worst in the league, but good news for Carolina. Florida’s third down offense so far this season ranks 10th, at a 55% conversion rate. On the flip side, Florida’s third down defense is last in the league, giving up 73% of conversions.
Florida quarterback Ron Cockren has completed 72 passes this season, tops so far in the SFL while in the Storm’s pass-happy offense. Ryan Davidson has four pass deflections, which ranks third in the league. Carolina quarterback Xander Gold is heating up. After missing on just four passes last week, his three passing touchdowns is seventh-best amongst the 24 starting QBs.
Saturday February 6, 6:40 pm ET kickoff: St. Louis (2-0) @ Louisiana (0-2)
Louisiana quarterback Jonny Pichler once again faces the team that drafted him No. 1 overall on national television. The two franchises have split the all-time meetings 2-2 but the Gladiators have never won a game in Louisiana (0-1). and haven’t made a visit to the state since October 6, 2019. It will be St. Louis’ 100th game as a franchise.
Through two games this season, the Gladiators are allowing just 18.0 points per game. So far, it’s the fourth consecutive season St. Louis has lowered the points per game of their opponents. The defense ranks eighth in a variety of categories including pass defense and takeaways. Louisiana is converting third downs at a 63% clip, but has eight turnovers, second most in the SFL.
Through two games, Reggie Streeter has the second-most carries (53) so its not like they’re not feeding him, but his 3.3 yards per carry is 21st in the SFL. Chase Earl has been a bright spot for the Revs offense – seventh in receptions (20) and receiving yards (201). On the other side, Glads receiver Eagle Mondavi has 217 yards, fifth amongst pass-catchers.
Saturday February 6, 7:15 pm ET kickoff: Lone Star (1-1) @ Houston (0-2)
Two teams that struggled offensively last week try to get back on the horse in each team’s first Southern Division test of the young season. Houston did not lose to either Lone Star or Fort Worth last season. The two franchises have met 12 times over the years, including last season’s 41-19 romping for the Hyenas at home.
Lone Star’s run defense has been special, 48.0 yards per game allowed, second in the league, while Houston’s rushing offense ranks seventh, at 110 per game, despite Warren Murray getting injured during last week’s game. The Hyena scoring offense – at just 13.0 points per game – is 20th, the team’s lowest mark in the last three years.
Lone Star quarterback Ace Fenech is having no sophomore slump. His 80% completion percentage and just one interception top the league. Receiver Greg Soto has been a welcome addition to the offense, ranking fifth in receptions with 21 for 194 yards. Houston’s Zach Turner has been balling, with 7.0 tackles for loss – best in the league – a free agent acquisition in the off-season from London.
Saturday February 6, 9:00 pm ET kickoff: Las Vegas (2-0) @ Los Angeles (2-0)
Many Las Vegas defectors – including LA Co-Owner Tom Ramen – welcome their old team to California, a state the Fury are trying to own after defeating the league’s other California team – San Diego – last week. The winner gets to stay undefeated and claim bragging rights for months to come.
Los Angeles has looked unstoppable on offense, racking up an average of 413.0 yards per game – second in the SFL. Las Vegas’ pass game ranks fifth with rookie QB Collin Pierce under center, in place of the aforementioned Ramen. Neither team has given up a rushing touchdown two weeks in.
For Los Angeles, QB Sully Richardson’s five touchdowns ranks second, as does linebacker Buddy Blaze’s 26 tackles. Vegas receiver Mason Kirby continues to build on his deep-threat legacy, averaging 22 yards per reception, also ranking second. Pierce ranks in the top 10 of pass yards, touchdowns and quarterback rating.
Saturday February 6, 9:20 pm ET kickoff: Charleston (1-1) @ Sioux Falls (0-2)
These two teams met in Week 3 last season, when Sioux Falls was 2-0 and Charleston was the desperate one at 0-2 – the Predators won the game 38-31. My how the tables have turned, as it’s the Sparrows coming in desperate looking for a win and any kind of offensive production.
Sioux Falls has 10 total points in the first two games, none in the first three quarters of either loss. The Sparrows have averaged at least 27 points per game in the last four seasons. Charleston’s offense quietly ranks sixth in points and eighth in yards in their two-game split, which included a heartbreaking loss at the buzzer last week to Arizona.
Charleston receiver Buchanon Simons is the most explosive receiver in the league, averaging 22.2 yards per reception and also has three touchdowns on just 11 receptions. Linebacker Jack Brown leads the league in tackles, while Nick Fargo is not far behind him on the Sioux Falls side with 22 (4th most).
Sunday February 7, 2:00 pm ET kickoff: Atlanta (1-1) @ Queen City (1-1)
Queen City has dominated the series 8-2 and will host Atlanta for the fourth-straight meeting – the last time Atlanta hosted Queen City was Season 12. Atlanta Owner Mark Chisholm, who got his start – and won a Championship – in Buffalo, will try to get just his second win in ConPro Field with the Swarm.
Atlanta’s offense is smokin, second in points and rushing touchdowns, third in rushing yards per game and passing touchdowns. They’ll take on a Top 10 Corsairs defense that ranks 7th in pass defense, 5th in total defense and has only allowed one passing touchdowns in the first two weeks.
BDG Hollewood is second in yards per carry at a whopping 7.2, but is only 10th in the league in actual carries with 40. Atlanta trailed most of last week and they got away from him, but he’ll be needed against the stingy QCC pass defense. A.J. Caswell only has one passing touchdown this season as Jett Zero has gobbled up three (all in the red zone).
Sunday February 7, 2:35 pm ET kickoff: Tulsa (0-2) @ Fort Worth (1-1)
Coming off a 9-7 slugfest upset in Louisiana, Fort Worth will try to make it two in a row against a Desperado team they’ve never played. Tulsa is just wanting to clean up the mistakes offensively and plug the defensive holes that have led Tulsa to giving up the most points in the league through two weeks.
This is an ideal matchup for a struggling defense. Fort Worth’s offense is bottom five in points, yards and touchdowns, but at least they’ve managed the turnovers – just three through two games. Tulsa’s rookie quarterback has four passing touchdowns so far this season, facing a Toros defense that hasn’t given up a single score through the air in 2021.
Talk about throwing the rookie in the fire. Cue has 105 attempts this season, most in the league, but with those opportunities, he’s thrown nine picks – most in the league. A bright spot for Tulsa is Chris Andrews, who is third in the league with three sacks. Gabriel Manning is first in all kick return categories – again. Fort Worth’s Nacho Sicario already has four pass deflections, third in the SFL.
Sunday February 7, 4:10 pm ET kickoff: D.C. (0-2) @ Mexico City (1-1)
A rematch six years in the making, D.C. and Mexico City will square off in Mexico for the first time since the Dragons stole a Championship from the then-Santa Fe Gorillas in the final minute. The Aztecs will be wearing Gorillas throwbacks for the occasion. These teams look a lot different now – not a single player from that title game is on either roster.
D.C. has struggled in their expansion season, but have taken care of the ball – four turnovers in two games and have also limited teams to just 304 yards of offense on average – 7th best in the SFL. Mexico City has started both their games slow on offense, but have rebounded in the second half to tally a strong run game. Phoenix Jones and Ray Bentley are collectively averaging 110 per.
Mexico City receiver K.L. Barrett quietly leads the league in receiving yards through the first two weeks – a whopping 284 with a pair of touchdowns. Rookie cornerback Eric Gugger for the D.C. Dragons is in the top 20 in both tackles for loss (3) and pass deflections (3). Rookie linebacker Ronnie Watson leads the Aztecs defense in TFLs with five.
Sunday February 7, 4:45 pm ET kickoff: London (1-1) @ Arizona (1-1)
Home sweet home, Arizona. The Scorpions are playing their home opener in Week 3 for the first time since Season 12 and got a crucial last-second win last week. London fell to Mexico City and failed to score a touchdown but had no problems on the road in Week 1 against D.C. The Arizona franchise – in two meetings – has never beaten London.
Arizona has not allowed a rushing touchdown this season, but does give up the 15th-most yards on the ground. In fact Arizona, known for their defense, is 19th in the league in points allowed and total defense while the offense is scoring 27 points a clip, eighth best in the league. London’s got to get the ground game going – dead last in the league at just 23 yards an outing.
In an up-and-down start for the Knight offense, Angus MacLaine has been efficient, with the fifth-highest QBR. Chris Joseph, a late season pickup for the London defense, leads the league in tackles for loss with seven. In fact, London’s got 22 tackles for loss in two games as a team – quite impressive. Arizona’s Iverson Gamble has back-to-back pick 6’s. The record for a season is three.
Sunday February 7, 10:00 pm ET kickoff: Portland (1-1) @ Vancouver (2-0)
A key early Pacific Division battle pits Portland against Vancouver. We’ll find out how much the Fleet have improved, after taking a 31-10 drumming at the hands of the Legion last season at Canada Field. Portland got their first road franchise victory last week, can they achieve back-to-back wins away from home?
Vancouver’s offense is lethal: first in points, pass yards, total yards, passing touchdowns and third down conversions – an astounding 75% rate. Portland has turned the ball over just once in two games – fewest in the league and is holding opponents to 28 rush yards a game – also tops. Their +5 turnover differential will be key in this matchup.
Pepper is having an MVP season out of the gate, boasting a 118.7 QBR. The Legion have gotten long pick-6s from Ashley Rose Finch and Kyler Murray to boost the team’s scoring and nine total interceptions, including four from Finch. Defensive end Mike Coverson’s three sacks is third-best in the SFL. On the other side, Portland linebacker Mel Davis defends the middle well, leading the league in pass deflections with six.
Sunday February 7, 10:20 pm ET kickoff: Jacksonville (1-1) @ San Diego (0-2)
The expansion Mavericks hope this week will be the week to score the franchise’s first touchdown after sputtering to seven field goals – second most – in the early season. Jacksonville, in their 150th franchise game, is going for win 99 but has a long flight cross country to face a hungry Maverick team that has Jaylin Wells, who smoked the Kings in the quarterfinals while in Sioux Falls.
San Diego has to sure up the pass defense, giving up 305 yards a game. Fortunately for San Diego, the Kings have found more success on the ground – 153 yards per game which plays better into the strength of San Diego’s defense. Javier Vasquez didn’t throw his first interception of the season until Week 2’s second half and he’ll need more clean play here.
7.3 yards per carry for Jared Willis – that’s best in the league. Five of Christian Christiansen’s 17 incompletions have gone for interceptions, oddly enough, which suggests that trend is not likely to continue. San Diego’s defense has six sacks in the early stages of Season 16, but the Kings have a stunning zero. Vasquez has thrown the third most of any QB so far this year, so there’s opportunities for that struggling unit.