Week 4 Rundown: Unlikely heroes

by Cameron Irvine

Each week, the SFL will run through the biggest headlines of the week, touching on every result and every preview in the process. Let's go >>>>>>>>

  • Alamo City has the largest roster in the league and its not surprise they're 2-0. They've beaten Minnesota and Vancouver, two teams that haven't lost to anyone else. They've held those two teams to just 38 total points. Houston was quiet in the off-season, flying under the radar but picking up quality signings in the process: Goldie Morrison, Tybeerious Bovine, Denzel Maverick and Brady Clarke. Picked up combine standout Vernan Brothers and HB Josh Slapp among others in the draft. They're 2-0, four different skill players have over 140 yards of offense and they welcome the Artillery (Sunday 6:30 pm ET). If Alamo City wins, no one would be surprised. If Houston wins, well that's a surprising storyline.
  • Charleston at Queen City. Why bother you may have asked in the off-season. There's seemingly endless reasons to watch this game (Saturday, 1:15 pm ET): John Lakeman, CHS QB, is playing his former team and already has more wins as a Predator than he had all of last season in Queen City. Speaking of which, the Corsairs losing streak now stands at 15 games dating back to Season 19. But QCC QB Trellis Blanton, a defect from the old Seattle era (at least that's what they thought) leads the league in passing yards per game - 347.0 YPG. Lakeman is right behind him - 334.5 YPG. Charleston beat D.C. on the road, nearly beat Jacksonville on the road and is playing its third straight road game, looking pretty good. Will Charleston start the year 2-1 on the road, or will the Corsairs stop the streak?
  • Oh, about that playing your former team. How do you think Colin Hart feels about leaving Sioux Falls for Minnesota? Two playoff appearances in his first two seasons and leads the league in rushing yards per game, rushing touchdowns and total touchdowns. Minnesota appears to be the kings of a weakened Central - for now. The Sparrows may have gotten past rebuilding Denver, but how could they possibly handle Minnesota at Northwoods Stadium (Saturday, 1:00 pm ET) where the Legend have outscored opponents 117-31 in two games?
  • Jonny Pichler has the lowest completion % of any QB this season (minimum 50 passes) - 46.2%. He and the Mavericks visit the Fury secondary who has held Sully Richardson and Vancouver's QB room to a combined 20/48 passing (41.6%). If San Diego can't figure out how to get Pichler more efficient (Sunday, 9:15 pm ET) this game could get ugly and San Diego will be sent spiraling to 1-3.
  • Phoenix Jones is out in Mexico City. Ray Bentley has left the game with an injury on three different occasions in two games. The Aztecs are 0-3. Vancouver's coming off an ugly win over Vegas 19-10 on Monday night, but they're not exactly blowing anybody away so far - just one receiver (Chris Curtis) is top 100 in any receiving stat league-wide. This international clash (Sunday, 9:00 pm ET) will feel more like desperation to prove more than it will be what it usually is: a fight for home field in the playoffs.
  • Baltimore is off to a 1-2 start, surviving Louisiana with some smart play-calling down the stretch. But the team is still struggling defensively. Maybe it's overpowered running backs? Through three games, Baltimore's two backs have 595 yards on 96 carries. Baltimore's opponents have 592 yards on 106 carries - nearly identical figures. Maybe it's a lack of sacks in the new era? Through the first 24 games of the season, there were 56 sacks on quarterbacks - 2.33 per game. In Season 20, quarterbacks on average took 2.22 sacks per game - so sacks are actually slightly up compared to last season. The difference is that Baltimore specifically had 42 sacks last season, or 3.5 a game. In the first three games of Baltimore's season, the Vultures have had only 2 sacks, or 0.67 a game. Baltimore invested 2.8 million into 5 defensive lineman this offseason, or an average of $565K. Compare that to Florida ($929K), Fort Worth ($935K) or Minnesota ($913K) - some of the top teams to start the season. Maybe Canton was built for this? The 2-1 Classics have wins against Motor City and Louisiana, lost to Jacksonville - three teams that missed the playoffs last season. The four-time defending champs? Now that's a different story. Time to make a statement (Sunday, 6:45 pm ET). 
  • What's on tap Saturday night: D.C.'s dual threat Seay-Stellar faces Louisiana's tandem Sammons-Grant Jr. (6:30 pm ET), Jacob Bouvette and the Fleet battle his old team - the Nightwings (6:45 pm ET), we'll see if Indy an find some balance and if Arizona can bounce back (9:00 pm ET) and exciting Seattle heads to LA to face the Lycans (9:15 pm ET) who get to open up the Lycanthrope Lair for real this week.

You're all caught up. We'll leave you with some standout players no one is talking about and should be:

  • Mexico City's Dexter Jackson leads all linebackers in tackles this season with 27. He's second in the league in tackles for loss (8). He's tied for second among linebackers in sacks (2.0). But Florida's Ryan Tobin has 9 TFL, 2.5 sacks and an interception. These two have been fantastic.
  • Motor City's Johan Sutherland and Atlanta's Kyle Finnamore have the highest yards per return (minimum 5 returns) without a touchdown this season, 43 and 39 yards per return, respectively. Finnamore also leads the Swarm in receiving yards with 270 - 4th best in the SFL. Atlanta may be 0-3, but Finnamore is a legit threat in multiple areas.
  • 13 teams have star punters. Seattle's Lilac Butte has punted just twice in three games. Twice. Seattle under Ty Ptak has scored on 24 drives: 15 touchdowns, 4 field goals with 3 turnovers, 2 punts. Keep lookin pretty Butte.