Original Thoughts: So Very Bad.
Starting off with the easiest ones. The Monarchs are the worst team in the league and they just can’t get better. But I’m gonna focus on the positives. They haven’t given up a lot of sacks. That’s pretty much all I can say. Schoder had a rough year and Donovon Rhodes didn’t show up like many thought he would. This is a young team that has a lot of room to grow but you have to be disappointed with how they look right now.
15. Tigers Original Thoughts: No Stars, Need more Talent to Compete. I feel bad pooping on this team but they just aren’t very good. Their defense is pretty awful and I could see them taking Drew Brewer if he falls to them. Their offense is solid but not really good enough to win games against the best opponents. Vaderveled isn’t the franchise QB and they just need to do a total rebuild while the rest of the division ages. They could be good under the right coaching.
14. Diablos Original Thoughts: Still Recovering from the “Super Team” The Diablos are in a really weird spot. They are one of the most talented offenses in the NFC but it is full of older guys that won’t be there much longer. And their defense isn’t good and is holding them back from competing right now. Aaron Pritchett may only have a year or two left so it will be up to the coach what to do with that situation. They didn’t do anything this year that makes me think they shouldn’t be rebuilding as I said at the beginning of the year.
Original Thoughts: Built for a run, I’m not convinced.
The Elks started out pretty rough but they have turned it around. They are being led by rushing and defense especially with the break out of Tyrone Johnson and the return of Darius Martin from whatever bucket of rust he was in at the beginning of the year. The Elks are better than I thought they would be and have a chance at the playoffs but they needed a week division to still be in the running. They haven’t been super but I will give them credit for bouncing back and staying competitive.
12. Condors Original Thoughts: Big Time Talent, Not much depth. I’ll be honest, I expected this team to be in the running for the playoffs this year. I saw the star power at the top and I thought it would overcome some of the holes the team has. But trading away Ronnie Nickens took out any hope of the Condors being back in the hunt. They had a rough early-season schedule which put them in a hole they couldn’t dig out of. They had one of the worst defenses in the league and will have to start improving it this offseason but I could see them taking any position in the draft because of their shaky roster.
11. Shamrocks Original Thought: Boom or Bust. A Late season loss to the Marshalls and an injury to Lester Gadsen was the end for the Shams this year. I said that the would-be a boom or bust team and they really weren’t either one. They won the games we expected them to and lost to better teams. They were solid but I don’t think that anyone expected them to be competitive in the playoffs without some divine intervention. The Shams aren’t really that bad, but there are a lot of teams that just have more talent right now. It is yet to be seen what they decide to do with Tom Wilson because many see him as a manager, not a winner. They still have some work to do to become competitive at the highest level.
10. Desperadoes Original Thought: New Look, All In The Desperadoes were able to bring in two of the top offensive players on the market with decent success. They are on the outside of the playoff race which does make this a fail but it’s not because of those moves. Chase Mason does have the tendency to throw picks but other than that it has been a good season. Trevon Hall Is one of the best players right now and can score at will at any time. The Problem with building this offense is that the defense has left in the dust. They are the worst against the pass and towards the bottom in yards. This is a shame because Mason doesn’t have much time left and they wasted what might be his last prime year. They may have a chance to win next year but this was the year.
9. Crusaders Original Thought: Gotta prove yourself now In my original assessment of the Cru I said that they were really talented but they should have won more games the last couple of seasons. That’s never been more apparent than this year. A team that is in the playoffs because of the division they are in, they have a lot of hype around them but i don’t think that most people believe they will win their playoff game. Ben Wakefiled is the only reason they are here right now. Their defense is barely survivable and the running game is also worse than it should be. I’m not sure what would have to happen to make this team great because they should be really good. I am not saying that they are the worst but I think number nine fits them well esspecally compared to the teams better than them.
8. Lancers Original Thought: NFC South Favorite
It has been a very good year for OKC so far. I was correct in giving them the upper hand on their division opponents. They are a solid offense and they can score at will. Both of their RBs are over 5.0 yard average on the ground which is insane. A bit under the radar is their biggest strength which is stopping the run. They don’t get scored on very much but I’m concerned that when they come up against big offenses, esspecally high powered passing offenses, they could be in trouble. This is pretty low considering where they are in the rankings but there is a bias there and will someday get over it. Maybe a deep playoff run will give me some love for them. Maybe not. Regardless this is a great team that people should be scared of.
7. Marshalls Original Thoughts: I don’t like them Looking back this was an interesting one. I was trying to find reasons not to like this team and I said things that didn’t make sense. I said the window was closing and they do have some older pieces but they do have a lot of young pieces as well. Tyler Agromonte has been very solid and he still has a bunch of years left in his prime. Sean Acosta is a young star, doing amazing things that a 20 year old can’t possibly do. They are a lot like the Lancers with a bend don’t break defense and can stop the run. And just like the Lancers, you need to attack the secondary to beat them and they will have the same issue come playoff time. I would take the Lancers over them right now but it will be interesting to see what happens.
6. Steamers Original Thought: Talented but need time Who saw this coming. I mean some people thought that they saw it coming but I know that nobody thought it would be this soon. The Steamers are a killer team. And it will look even better now that El Camion is back in the building. The emergence of Romeo Jackson has helped and the running game hasn’t been awful, but Kerrigan will make it so much better. The Defense isn’t the best right now but they are obviously talented and as I noted before, are very young and have lots of time to grow. I think this is a great spot for them to be.
5. Barons Original Thoughts: Offseason Champs The Barons have had an underwhelming season but it’s not all their fault. Joe Johnson was injured for most of the year which helped out opposing defenses a lot. They are still the top scoring offense in the NFC and they are forced to be since the defense is lacking. I mentioned in the original blurb that I wasn’t impressed with the Barons D and it was proven correct on that. The Uncertainty around the QB Position couldn’t have helped morale. I’m sure with another year of retooling and a clean bill of health, the Barons can be where I (and many others) thought they would be.
4. Gunners Original Thoughts: Offense is Killer Well, It’s about time I got a stinker. The Gunners season has been disappointing to put it lightly. Jabre is once again dragging this team and at this point in his career, he can’t keep doing it alone. They had a talented pick up in Ronnie Nickens which did help but he hasn’t been as impactful as he was expected to be. As Talented as he is, Jabre shouldn’t be this team's leading rusher. I said their front 7 would come back to bite them and it has, seeing that they are one of the worst rushing defenses we have ever seen. It’s like Moses is parting the Grey Sea every week. It is imperative that the Gunners get some talent or they will have wasted their shot at the title.
3. Snowhawks Original Thoughts: They will bounce back from Draft-Gate Whoops. The hits keep coming with this spot. After losing all their best players for a few weeks, the Snow Boyz just haven’t been able to bounce back. But you can’t even just blame that because they had a pretty good route to the playoffs if they had been able to put together some wins. Truth be told, this might be a great thing for the Snowhawks because they will have reasons to make moves to rebuild this team that was aging a bit in key areas. A soft rebuild is probably best, It’s just a shame that it had to happen this way.
Original Thoughts: Championship or Bust I know that having my team at the top isn’t a surprise and it isn’t a surprise that they are there right now. Sure they will probably be a playoff team but seriously, when you are in a division with the Devil’s clone, there is only so much you can do. (Seriously though, great job Mark.) The Explorers sit near the top in every category and almost all their many Free Agency moves have paid off. Even after an injury to CJ Robinson, they haven’t been held back very much. And they also have the 2nd best defense in the NFC. It’s just crazy that this team is gonna play on wildcard weekend and may even end up being the six seed. Whatever happens, this is the best Explorers team to date and I would be very scared of them.
1. Thunderbirds Original Thoughts:The Rich got Richer There was almost no doubt that the T-Birds would be on top of the NFC. With the Talent of this team and how they have been in the past it shouldn’t surprise anyone. This is like a better version of what the Red Dragons are trying to do and they have LC3 who can beat you with his arm when ever called upon. They are the most dominant defense and if you can’t stop the run they will bowl right over you. I can only imagine what an intersquad scrimmage must look like for this team. They can play against themselves perfectly. Isaiah Ingram might be on Rushmore for how good he continues to be. This is the team to go through and it might take a miracle to knock them down.
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