Scoop's Season 5 Midseason Roundup
This fifth SML Europe season has flown by faster than a fifth of whiskey in my possession. We've already eclipsed the midway point of the season so its time for ol' Scoop to crawl out of his hole and reflect on what has transpired over the first eight games and give you all a glimpse of what will happen over the last eight.
Halfway through the season and there's only one team left undefeated. Guess who? Surprise, surprise its the two-time and defending Superbowl Champion Vikings. The Vikes have been tested this year winning a close game at home versus the Saints and mounting an improbable comeback overtime victory against the Bucs. But all in all the Norsemen are once again burning and pillaging their competition as they rank first in average points scored and points allowed. This is a team with no weaknesses and I'd bet all the whiskey in Iceland (you thought I was gonna say Scotland or Ireland? No way I'm betting the good stuff) that the Vikes will head into the playoffs at 16-0 this year.
On to some real surprises. The Browns, Colts and Giants are in the division lead or tied for it at the halfway point this season. The Browns and Colts have new coaches at the helm that have breathed new life into these old franchises.
Cleveland will have two important battles over the next 3 weeks versus their old team that up and left the city football-less for 3 years. We'll see what the Browns are truly made out of after their week 10 matchup versus the Baltimore Ravens.
The Colts, on the other hand, have already proven themselves by taking down the Ravens and the perennially underachieving Eagles in back to back weeks. They have a vital game versus the Titans this week though which may determine the AFC South champion. No matter the outcome, I predict a deep playoff run by these young Colts and their new Coach Soxy.
The Giants have travelled a much easier path to relevancy as they have yet to face a human opponent. They will finally be tested next week though as they travel down the Turnpike to Philly in the first of two crucial division matchups. Philly still has a tough schedule ahead of themselves however and with the division lead the Giants have built up New York could possibly still win the division even if they lose twice to the Birds.
Another surprise is the leading candidate for NFL comeback player of the year, Michael Vick. After being restrained to bench duty last year in Philly with the trade for the young star Peter Newcomer, Vick has led a resurgence this year in Oakland. It was questioned whether his $18million price tag would be worth it when the trade went down days before the draft but he's proven to be worth every cent as he is second in the SML in passing yards and has the Raiders in the thick of the AFC playoff hunt.
The Pats and Chiefs are in the lead for the AFC pole position both at 7-1. The Pats' newfound balance on offense behind the addition of HotRod Brooks has put them in this prime position however the Dolphins could prove to be spoilers down the stretch and make things difficult for New England. The Chiefs traded for a new QB this offseason but found out that the better player was already on their roster. After an unimpressive start by the lefty Evan Smith, Ricky Stanzi has taken over the reigns and behind the record pace of Jamaal “First Down” Charles has the Chiefs rolling. I predict the Chiefs will take the the number one seed into the playoffs due to the automatic first down that is Jamaal Charles, he's averaging a whopping 10.5 ypc., and a weak schedule down the stretch.
And a midway review wouldn't be complete without mentioning the upcoming blockbuster film “The Rise of the TE”!! At the halfway point 3 tightends are ranked among the top 5 receivers and 5 in the top 9. Whats the cause of this? Probably a cheap marketing ploy together with Warner Bros. in conjunction with the Dark Knight Rises film to fatten the SML Commish's wallet. But a closer look at the freak athletes that are putting up the freakish numbers shows that these aren't your grandpa's tightends (or my son's TE's). The 3 top performing TEs are all 6'5” with 90 Speed
The defenses just can't keep up anymore.
Now onto my midseason top performers per position:QB - Peter “The Future is Now” Newcomer
– leading the league in Passing yards per game while maintaining a QB Rating of 110.3 makes him the pick. Maybe a season too late after taking Vick's spot last year but he's finally showing why Philadelphia made the switch. RB – Jamaal “First Down” Charles
– 10.5 ypc, a 7-1 record and leading the league in rushing. Can you say MVP?WR – Jawaun “Go Deep” Sales
– All this guy does is go deep! Averaging 30 ypc and leading the league in yards 948 and receiving TDs 9TE – Stephen “Lovechild of the Flash and Hulkwoman” Cole
– He's huge! He's fast! He's leading the league in receptions with 55 and right on Sales' tail in receiving yards. DE – Ibraheim “The Sack Machine” Augustin
– 16 Sacks and tons of pressure from the outside despite the departures of Suh and Fairley in the middle in consecutive yearsDT – William “If this is Wrong I don't wanna be” Wright
– Seriously is this the right William? Not Kevin Williams? Well they're tied for sacks at 9 but Wright has been around the ball more often notching 20 solo tackles mostly in the backfield compared to Williams' 14. LB – Jonathan “Oh My” Goff
- Goff is doing it all in the middle of the Big Blue defense. 34 solos, 1 Sack, 3 INTs and 4 FFs is a big reason the G-Men are in the NFC East leadDB – Devante “The Vacuum” Morris
– ATTENTION Qbs!! Do not throw to his side. It will get sucked up. 7 INTs and a forced fumble is leaving Zona fans forgetting about Patrick uh whats his name?
So thats the Midseason Roundup. Hope you enjoyed it. I will return to my oceanside hammock and bottle of scotch. If you're lucky I'll wake up in time for the playoffs.