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RFL Season 6: What We Know Through 6 Weeks

George McAfton has made us all Pioneers Sympathizers

I think it's fair to say there has never been a Quarterback quite like George McAfton. He is widely considered the worst starting QB in the league this year, if not of all time in the RFL. 11 Interceptions in 4 RFL games is horrible and has locked that the Pioneers will be looking for a replacement next year. But strangely, McAfton's terrible play does have some good to come with it. Every week, whether in the podcast or in the discord, People are talking about the Pioneers. Every week we come together to commiserate McAfton's latest performance and that he should be replaced by a journeyman 31 year old named TJ Gregg. The name TJ Gregg has been said more often than some of the leagues starting QBs and it's definitely not because of what he has to offer. Because of McAfton, people care about the Pioneers. We want to see them succeed. We want the best for the good players on that team who are getting precious time in their careers wasted because they have the worst QB in the game. There is no other team quite like this one in the RFL and I'm glad that even with all these losses, the Pioneers are sticking around in Salt Lake because lets be honest, as soon as they get that savior QB, We will all be cheering for this team. But for now we get to watch this dumpster fire of a career, continue barreling down into RFL infamy. Coaching Matters

If you can remember back to the offseason, I released a Ranking for all of the RFL teams. I try to do this every year to help get the young guys up to speed as far as where the league is and where these teams are looking to go. I usually look back and the end of the year at all my opinions and I will probably still do that but there was a major flaw in the system that I want to bring up now. I made the decision early on not to try to rank the coaching staffs as part of the article. I'm not as familiar with every coach and their abilities and I figured that I would only be hurting the system by trying to guess who is good and who is not. The thing is Coaching may be the most important part of the RFL game. Sure, having a good roster is great but having talent isn't everything. Admittedly it is still early in the season and it might be a bit of an overreaction but just looking at some of the teams at the bottom of the list, it is a testament to the new coaches and what they have done to get wins. I rated the Aviators as one of the bottom feeders in the ARC and week 6 not with standing, They have looked really impressive under new Head Coach Back. I put the Black Knights below them on the list and Cody Carter has them at the top offense right now and a solid record to go with it. The Monarchs were placed at the bottom of the NRC and under Coach Cam have made real strides and should be in the playoff conversation even after the whole fiasco from last year. These and others have gotten the most out of their teams and the teams that don't have coaches, even the ones with great rosters (CT, T-Birds) haven't looked the same as in years past. We have had the discussion whether offense or defense wins championships but I would argue that Great Coaching is the most important thing you can have if you have championship aspirations. Timothy Staton is actually good When the RFL came around, There was a lot of talk about all the dominate rookies in this class. Drew Brewer, Gino Gannon, Marquise Washington, and Ray Ray Franklin were talked about as future stars and I'm not here today to tell you otherwise. But Timothy Staton was largely overlooked as one of the elite prospects and he is really doing some great work in Mexico City. He has 6 sacks through 5 games and has looked great along side Dre Dawkins and has helped the Diablos to one of the top defenses in the league when they weren't close to that last year. And once again this could be an over reaction kinda like the Tyrone Johnson hype from last year, I really think that Staton will be in the DROY conversation come years end. And while there is still a long way to go, Drew hasn't recorded a sack yet so if Staton can stay on this trajectory who knows what could happen. Nothing in the RFL is Predictable

The RFL can be all over the place sometimes. You would think that a league that is run basically by computers would have more stability, but it really doesn't. Players like Preston Schroder and Cameron Horwood can be written off for the most part and comeback and have great years while guys like Tom Wilson can return after an MVP type season and have a very tough start to his campaign. A team like the Diablos can go from 5-7 in RFL games last year to a 3-0 start and in dominant fashion while the 9-3 Bulls can start 2-3 with one of their wins being against the Pioneers. Obviously there there are still many twists and turns to go and even the examples I have given now but be outdated in a few weeks time. But it just really shows how awesome the league is that it keeps so well to the dynamics of other leagues that aren't made up of pixel men. While it is a blessing and a curse sometimes, it will keep you engaged to every game, every week. As bad as McAfton is, all it would take is a few better decisions and the Pioneers would have had a chance to beat the Voyagers. The Lancers have had a up and down season so far but if Simon Tylski were to come in and lead them to the playoffs and makes a deep run, I'm sure we would all be surprised but we shouldn't be because that kind of thing happens all the time. Nothing is guaranteed in the RFL and that means anything is possible and nothing is truly predictable.

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