CFA 2036 Week-6 GOTW: Dublin at Atlanta Dec 19, 2021 4:49:21 GMT
Post by Rumrunner on Dec 19, 2021 4:49:21 GMT
The Continental Football Association’s “Game of the Week” branding is spot on for Week-6.
We have two undefeated teams vying for the early season moniker of “top-dog” in the United Conference. The Dublin Marauders (5-0) and the Atlanta Flames (5-0) will be battling it out for the home-field advantage and first-round bye(s) status on the United side.
The Marauders have enjoyed a great start to the 2036 campaign after being left out of post-season party last year. The United Kingdom division competition does not look to be as formidable as in past seasons, so Head Coach Bobby Quintero and his Celtic warriors have a solid chance to take the division crown.
Atlanta has been on “fire” under the guidance of head man, HC Sam Newsome. The Flames want to build on last years success and blaze a trail through the playoffs and hopefully raise the trophy in Continental Bowl XXVI.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: DUBLIN
QB – Michael Bohn is having a very good start to the season, not eye-popping numbers, but an effective 11/2 TD-to-INT ratio.
RB – Kirk Sanders is a beast. Defenders have a difficult time wrapping up this 6’0” 235 lbs. back when he not running over them, through them, or by them. Sanders is averaging 4.9-ypc this season to go along with his 5-TDs and second ranked 458-yards on the ground.
WRs – Thomas Estes (25/398/4), Willie Vaughn (23/344/3), Bryan Coons (22/292/2), and Edgar Miller (22/161/2) supply a well rounded group of receivers that are all capable of producing.
DE – Charles Gay is an overachiever who utilizes his brains, brawn, elusiveness, and speed to out-match most offensive tackles; 6th in sacks (6).
CBs – Donnie Acevedo and Bruce Griffin are aggressive and account for a lion's share of the tackling, as well as passes defended; the defense ranks first in the CFA in overall pass defense.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: ATLANTA
QB – Ben English has not been asked to overextend himself, but rather to play within himself and manage the game. He has an A+ rating in this regard by throwing 10-TDs and only 2-INTs, one in each of the last two games. He has also posted a prestigious 117-PR.
RB – Mike Keane is the bell-cow in the backfield, ranking 7th in rushing yards with 341. As a team, the Flames average 4.5-ypc, however they have a worrisome case of fumble-itis.
LB – Romeo Loomis is having an All-Pro year. He ranks 8th in tackles (40) and is tied for first in interceptions (3) His partner in pyrotechnics on defense is LB Richard Davies, who leads the team with 5-TFL to go along with his 27-TCKs.
DEs – Robert Valles and Bennie Brewer bring pressure from the edges, both recording four-sacks apiece.
KEYS TO A DUBLIN VICTORY:
The starting offensive line has yet to surrender a sack on the season. A key factor is to keep Bohn upright and lean on their third-ranked rushing offense to keep Atlanta’s offense sidelined.
Dublin ranks in the top-six in the major statistical categories on defense If the offense can eat clock and avoid miscues, they can take this victory home.
KEYS TO AN ATLANTA VICTORY:
The Flames lead the league in rushing, but of the flip side of that coin they are last in passing. To win they need to avoid being one-dimensional and let English open the passing game up to keep Dublin from keying in on the run game.
Defensively, Atlanta needs to pressure Dublin’s Bohn to hurry his throws and flush him out of the pocket and his comfort zone.
The dichotomy between these two teams is that Dublin prefers the passing game, whereas Atlanta leans more towards the ground game.
Do not let the gaudy stats mislead you, Dublin has yet to be tested. The Marauder’s opponents cumulative record is 8-17 (.320). However, Atlanta’s opponents’ record is not any more impressive at 10-15 (.400).
Dublin ranks in the top ten in most statistical categories, most notably first in the league in scoring offense. The oddity is that they are more prone to throw the ball rather than run the ball with Sanders. The Marauders rank 3rd in rushing in the league, but just 18th in passing.
This will be an early season test of who is a real contender, and who may be only a pretender.
I love a good run game, which makes it a tough decision between the CFA’s #1 rushing offense in Atlanta, and a good ole throwback punishing back like Kirk Sanders of the Marauders.
Atlanta is tied for second in the CFA with 7-FFs and is one of the least penalized teams in the league with 17 for 136-yards.
it is tough to go against the home team here, but I must take the more balanced Dublin squad in a close one at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Dublin – 30
Atlanta - 28
LINE: ATL -1.5
- James Laucher – OSN contributing journalist