Written by Stefaun Forge
Thoughts from the Forge: Edition 4
Welcome to Random Thoughts. Week 9 edition. This column is simply some of my thoughts and opinions as relates to the SFLm. It is in no way designed or intended to offend or disparage any player or team. The content will change every week based on how the season progresses. Please enjoy it.
Editor’s Note: This article was intended to be produced prior to Week 9. We thought it would be good to publish so we can all see how well Stefaun predicted how Week 9 would go, so we can congratulate him or laugh at him!
It’s week 9 and this week I have decided to do something different. Inspired by the SFLm Playoff Picture graphic posted in SFLm Gen Chat last week I am going to take a quick look at each SFLm team’s final game this Friday June 11 Week 9 is the final gateway to the SFLm playoffs. (Ottawa, Birmingham, Lexington and Memphis are already eliminated so they are not individually written up in this article.)
Let’s start at the top: (order is based on current SFLm Standings)
- Albuquerque Atoms (7-0)
Coming off a narrow win over Memphis the Atoms have a chance close out a perfect regular season at home vs Salt Lake. They will likely be favored vs Salt Lake. The Rustlers though will be a stiff test and are fully capable of beating them. The Atoms will go as far as Stud RB Doug Brown and their stout defense (18.71 ppg) will take them. Which, by the way, could be to an undefeated 10-0 championship season
Projected Record (7-1)
- Salt Lake City (5-2)
Led by a defense giving up a paltry, league leading 15.29 ppg, with an offense putting up 24 ppg the Rustlers are well positioned to end the Atoms run. They also have the advantage of a week 8 bye prior to their gargantuan matchup against the Atoms in week 9. The crazy and cruel thing for the Rustlers is they are in the weird position where they could be the 2 seed with a win OR possibly completely miss the playoffs with a loss.
@ Albuquerque (7-0) this should be an instant classic. The Atoms will have home field but the Rustlers will have their own stout D AND an extra week to plan and prepare which could be key.
Projected Record (6-2)
- Tacoma (5-3) is the biggest wildcard of them all. They are on a 3 game win streak and have the look of a team that no one wants to face in the playoffs. They have an advantage of their BYE week this week which will allow them an extra week’s preparation for their potenial first playoff opponents. Their offense, which has struggled this season (18.38 ppg), has put up 84 points over the last 3 games 28 ppg which is a good sign this time of the season. Their defense is solid allowing 20.25 ppg on the season but only 17 ppg during their 3 game win streak. A win at San Jose in their final game has clinched them a playoff berth as either the 2 or 3 seed
- Madison (4-3) Coming off a tough loss at Tacoma in the first ever “WAR IN THE WOODS” (AWESOME name by the way!), the Lynx rebounded in a big way with a win against Lexington. The Lynx Offense has plenty of firepower averaging 23.71 ppg. The Lynx Defense is a bit of an unknown and a concern. They give up an average of 21.29 ppg and have held only San Jose and Birmingham under 27 points. Even so they are in prime position to claim a playoff spot. They face Ottawa in their season finale which could be tricky.
@ Ottawa (1-5) has had almost every game decided by 1 score and has shown they can play with almost anyone. A tough final matchup with playoffs on the line for Madison.
Projected Record (5-3)
- San Jose (4-3) coming off a 24-14 loss to Tacoma the Flight is still in position to make the playoffs BUT their lack of offensive output (16.00 ppg) is worrisome heading into the final game and potentially the playoffs. Their strong Defense (16.86 ppg) has been top flight all season BUT has slipped a little as the season has gone on yielding an average of 19 ppg over their last 4 games after starting season with a 3 game stretch where they were only giving up 14 ppg. Meanwhile the offensive production has dipped to 15.25 ppg after starting season with a 3 game stretch where they were averaging 17 ppg. The Flight will be severely tested if these trends. They close out their season on the road against Lexington who despite their recent struggles can still be explosive and dangerous.
@ Lexington (2-5) the Miners appear to be in full collapse at this point after a 2-1 start. Still, desperate teams can be the most dangerous.
Projected Record (4-4)
PROJECTED PLAYOFF FIELD
- Albuquerque (7-1)
- Salt Lake (6-2)
- Tacoma (5-3)
- Madison (5-3)
We can wait to welcome you back for my next thoughts, likely to be espoused afterthe playoffs are complete.