Post by Rumrunner on Dec 1, 2021 4:47:59 GMT
The Continental Football Association starts off the new season with a marquee matchup of two Kingdom Division rivals out of the CFA’s United Conference: the Rosslyn Templars (11-5) hosting the Dublin Marauders (10-5) in the first “CFA Game of the Week” for 2036.
The former Manchester Maulers franchise traded in their fearsome claws for forged steel as they relocated across the Irish sea to the coastal municipality of Dublin to be rebranded as the Marauders. The Marauders (Maulers) went 10-5 in 2035 but missed out on an invitation to the postseason; it should be noted that the Kingdom Division was the most competitive in the CFA in 2035. This franchise has only made one playoff appearance (a loss in 2027) in their history; including stints in Alaska, Sacramento, and Manchester.
Dublin GM Jess Davis and HC Bobby Quintero have been quite active in the FA market; the team did not have any draft picks in this year’s draft.
Rosslyn was a wildcard team last season and made it through the first two-rounds of the 2035 playoffs before going down in ignominious fashion to Kingdom Division champion Carlisle in the United Conference championship game; 52-15.
The Templars have won more games throughout their relocations and rebranding than any other CFA franchise except for San Francisco. The franchise is also tied to for second in playoff victories all-time with seventeen.
General manager Nick Fitzpatrick has had to deal with a cap issue version of musical chairs right up until the eve of the season opener. Head Coach Billy Brewster has more than a few players in the prime on both sides of the ball.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: DUBLIN
QB – Michael Bohn: 32-years – 6’4” 239 lbs. Got the starting nod in 2033 and has thrown for over 10k yards in that time frame. Bohn also completed 65% of his passes and enjoyed 75-TD-to-27-INT ratio. This is a large individual with nimble feet that can get out of trouble and cause his own mayhem.
RB – Kirk Sanders: 27-years – 6’0” 235 lbs. Sanders has finally been given a chance over the last couple years and is producing; over 3,200-ruyds, a 4.6-ypc, and 27-rutds. A workhorse with uncanny elusiveness for a man his size and with πgame breaking speed.
OTs – David Beckham and Aaron Paxton are stalwart bookend tackles only allowing 4-sacks combined last season. These two will be instrumental in keeping Bohn upright.
CB – Donald Acevedo: 28-years, 5’10” 202 lbs. When your CB is leading your team in tackles, you may have problems. Acevedo has averaged about 95-TCKs per year over the last three-years.
SSs – Lemuel Kelsey (30-years, 6’2” 218 lbs.) and Carl Pineda (28-years, 6’2” 230 lbs.) are big physical safeties that act as extra LBs to help shore up a less than adequate defensive front.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: ROSSLYN
QB – Norman Dancy:27-years, 6’2” 221 lbs. Dancy enjoyed a breakout season in 2035 passing for 4,422-yards, 38-TDs-to-9-INTs and PR of 105.1. A good group of receivers, however, the offensive line is suspect, it could be a high-flying affair or a nightmare.
WR – Ronald Keeler: 29-years, 6’4” 235 lbs. A perennial 1,000-yad receiver, and at his size he is quite a load. A decent supporting cast will make defenses gamble on how often they will double team Keeler. All are big and possess good speed and great hands.
DE – Jeremy Robbins: 30-years, 6’4” 276. Robbins has recorded at least 12-SCKs six-seasons in a row; lack of depth may play a role if the defense is on the field for extended periods of time.
LB – Ronnie Singleton: 29-years, 6’3” 248 lbs. A tackling machine with a motor. Has recorded 247-TCKs and 38-TFL over the last two season. May lineup at DE in some schemes. The LB corps will be called on to sure up a shallow DL.
CB – Timothy Vance: 28-years, 6’2” 207 lbs. A solid shut-down corner who also racked up 98-TCKs last season. Vance’s opposite, Stanly Bush provides the only other option with game experience and starts.
KEYS TO A DUBLIN VICTORY:
The Marauders need to stick with a balanced offense lead by a bruising ground game which in turn will complement the passing game utilizing play-action; chew up ground, eat clock and don’t turn the ball over. The running game is essential because the Marauders do not utilize their TE’s much and the wideouts are serviceable, but nothing spectacular. Overall, the starting offensive line is far above average in both pass protection and run blocking.
Defensively, the linebackers and strong safeties need to shut down the running game and force Rosslyn to put the ball in the air. The defensive front is lacking, so the second line and defensive backs will need to take some chances to force the Templar’s hand.
KEYS TO A ROSSLYN VICTORY:
Rosslyn only carries two running backs and a fullback on their roster going into week-one. The running attack will not frighten Dublin’s defensive coordinators, so the Templars will rely on the arm of QB Dancy and his formidable trio of wide receivers who are big, fast, and will catch anything thrown their way. This will make the Dublin defense have to gamble on what coverage they will implement and choose who to double-cover. If the offensive line can provide decent protection, the Templars could have a big day(?)
The Templar’s defense is solid, and if defensive coordinator Kurt Poe can get a motivated effort out of his players, Rosslyn can shut down the Marauder’s running game and force them into a one-dimensional offense tipping the scales in favor of the home team.
Both teams had great seasons last year and are primed for more of the same. Both have signal callers that are capable team leaders.
Dublin gets the nod in the run-game while Rosslyn has the advantage in the pass game.
My prediction is the Marauder secondary will create some timely game changing plays on defense and control the clock with a relentless ground game.
Dublin – 30
Rosslyn - 20
LINE: ROS -1.0
- Warren Pease – OSN contributing journalist
2036 GOTW - DUBROS Week-1.pdf (516.56 KB)