Thursday, 6 June 2013

Offensive Game Planning: Mentality Against Stronger Opponents

by Luke Plastow

When planning for opponents there is no better substitute than game film.  Every coach I know breaks tape in a different way.  Some like to open up a spreadsheet and pretend to be a data analyst.  Others sit there with a cold beer and start memorizing numbers and plays. I tend to lean towards the data heavy side of the line.
Coach Plastow's reaction to when someone tells him he has to pass the ball.

AFL Week 9 Preview

The AFL has been off the radar for the past few weeks due to European play but now finds itself with only three more games until the postseason so it's time to get down to business!

Saturday 8th June

Raiffeisen Vikings @ Prague Black Panthers - 14:00 GMT

Just because the league has been on hiatus for the past few weeks doesn't mean that the status quo has changed. The Black Panthers face possibly the biggest test of all the teams after the break as they take on the leagues best team who should be firing on all cylinders the week before their matchup against the Berlin Adler.

Jesse Lewis in action against the Sollerod Gold Diggers.
© Kellner Holly Thomas/Gridiron Photography

The last time these two teams took the field in a AFL fixture the Vikings demolished the Rangers whilst the Black Panthers were put to the sword by the Giants and I expect this game to end the same way for both teams this Saturday. Simply put, the Vikings just have far too many weapons on offence for the Black Panthers to try and defend whilst the Vikings need only stop one man.

Some may point to the opening game of the season as a potential indicator of the fact that this could be a competitive game as the Black Panthers only lost by 31-14 in that fixture. However since then the two teams have been on complete opposite paths as the Vikings have swept all before them whilst the Black Panthers have only managed one win against the lowly Rangers leading me to believe that the scoreline with be more in favour of the Vikings this time around.

Can the Black Panther D get to grips with the Viking offence this time around?
© Kellner Holly Thomas/Gridiron Photography
I imagine that the score will escalate quickly in the Vikings favour before falling off a little in the second half as they slowly pull their starters in anticipation off a tough matchup against the Adler. Expect the carries to be shared out between Jesse Lewis and Islaam Amadu whilst Christopher Gross takes the odd pop downfield against a weak Black Panther pass defence.

Prediction: Vikings win in 44-7.

Sussex Thunder vs Bristol Aztecs Highlights

Highlights from last weekend's game between the 2-0 Sussex Thunder and the 2-2 Bristol Aztecs. 

GFL Predictions

Cologne Falcons at Dresden Monarchs
Cologne took a beating last week versus the Berlin Rebels and only managing to score once, whilst Dresden didn't even allow their opponents to score! Dresden are a very serious contender for the German title this year  look unstoppable this season, led by my favorite import at the moment Jeff Welsh is the more athletic Tom Brady of Europe.  At 33 years old Welsh is still getting it done in the toughest league in Europe. . Cologne are really slipping they’ve now got two progressively worse loses under their belt and are likely to gain another this week. Dresden

Whilst the Austrians have more fineness the Germans have more grit and experience. Jeff Welsh is the commander in chief of this league right now, Dresden have done well to pick up his brain and arm whilst his legs and speed are complimented with ex-Baltic Hurricane partner Trevar Deed. Cologne Falcons will be hard done by to score in this match up.
Dresden by 5 scores

Wiesbaden Phantoms at Schwaebisch Hall Unicorns
How the mighty have fallen 2 wins 2 loses for the Unicorns a very unpredictable start to the season for the 2 time national champions. I mean what am I supposed to do? Predict the most likely to be relegated teams to beat the most likely to be in the German Bowl team, give me a break. My faith in them is starting to run out, people are saying “They only lost by 1 point each time” but the teams they’re losing to shouldn’t be getting anywhere near them. It’s worrying times for Unicorn fans, lets not forget that the last two seasons Schwaebisch lost their first game of the season and both times went on to win the final, but now this is getting silly, first Franken now Marburg? 

Wiesbaden, are by no stretch of the imagination a German Bowl team, they just aren’t at that stage in their timeline yet, but how can I write them off so quickly against Schwaebisch Hall who seem to be faltering at the supposedly struggling teams in their division? I’m not a fan of Wiesbaden, but I would like to see them get more creative with their imports and offense. The traditional ‘buying an NCAA quarterback then running a spread offense with an NCAA receiver being the go to guy’ route just isn’t the way to go anymore. If Wiesbaden want to get serious in this league they need to rethink their strategy, build around what they have and go from there. However I doubt it will help them this week.
Unicorns by 3 scores

Berkshire Renegades vs London Warriors Match Report‏

By Oliver Raffle

Frank Mayo returning a kick during the game - Photo Courtesy of Holly Downes

The Berkshire Renegades held their second home game of the season against last season’s second ranked team, the London Warriors.  The Warriors were the first and only team to break the London Blitz’s impressive domestic winning streak and were hotly tipped to win the National Championship last season.

The Renegades opted to put their defence on the field to start the game and after a good coverage of the opening kick return, started just short of midfield.  The Warriors drove hard down the field with their first score coming as the running back bounced out and around the Renegades defense for a quick score.

Ally Reid took the ensuing kick off and returned the ball to the twenty yard line and the Renegades offense were on the field.  The Renegades opening drive started badly and the normally strong running attack was bursty but smothered by the Warriors defense.  All initial progress made was nullified by a penalty and despite quick feet and several changes in direction the Renegades were forced to punt the ball away.

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