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Old 09-02-2020, 07:40 AM   #365
MIJB#19
Coordinator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Netherlands
General Manager Notes: 2 out of 3, sort of
Still undefeated, but not 100%.

We're two games further into the season than the previous time I wrote. Expect me to be irregular with writing for the next 20 or so days. Despite that I have some extra time on my hands, it doesn't mean it'll be in my system. I've got some time off from work, hope to recharge the battery. At the same time, my inspiration to write has somewhat taken a hit. Not because I don't care for this team, but I've more than before realized having a muse (or opposite of, I suppose) can do wonders for having a desire to escape the every day stuff to change gears.

That said, two games in the books, both on the road, both statistically even games, neither turned into a loss. A 13-13 tie at Outer Banks and a 30-13 victory at North Plainfield bring us to a 2-0-1 record, sitting second in the conference, behind the 3-0 Tucker Tigers, how familiar. To make things more interesting, we're on our usual way too early bye week and will play our next game, at home, against the Tigers. An early chance to claim head-to-head tie-breakers for both teams.

The tie didn't come easy as we needed a field goal in the dying second of the second quarter and a late fourth quarter field goal to tie the score. In overtime, Moe Sheldon threw his second pick of the season, then got bailed out by a missed field goal, but then we came time and progress short of doing anything about the 13-13 tied score.

The win at the Plague was established early on, as we scored on our first four drives, without giving any up. With a 23-0 lead, it was smooth sailing. Sheldon's third pick of the season and a missed field goal were way too little to hurt us. Linebacker Brandon Brady sealed the deal with a late pick six.

Standings:
1. Maassluis 2-0-1
2. Paris 2-1
3. Gothenburg 2-1
4. Bordeaux 1-2

Yeah, the division is looking traditionally strong, 0.5 and 1.5 wins behind the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic divisions.

There's this saying about things coming in three, no? We've given up 13 points in back-to-back-to-back games now, very unusual. The team ranks second in the league in least points allowed, despite that we outgain our opponents by just 10 yards per game. But, we all know football can't be measured that way, we took a big lead twice and saw the majority of yardage allowed in failed catch up attempts.

Moreover, I think our run defense has been pretty stellar, but one 47-yard touchdown run against Gothenburg completely wiped away the yards per carry figure that game. We're 6th in yards per pass attempt, 7th in pass rush percentage, I think those figures are much more accurate representation of what's going on.

Moe Sheldon's 3 interceptions in as many games has him on pace to do worse than last season's spectacular 4 picks over the entire season, including playoffs. Theo Bondy continues to be his main target, especially on third downs. Clarence Gore is struggling a bit, perhaps because of how he's now regarded as our top receiver by most opponents. George Stuckey has turned into a bit of a scoring machine with 4 touchdowns in 3 games and Branden Sandlin has become our yards per catch guy. Nothing really shocking, but sometimes don't play out as you'd expect them to, this season somehow they do?

Reggie Thongchanh is running wild, a bit more than before, with 5.6 yards per carry on a tiny sample size of 34 carries. Francisco Patter was underwhelming in the first two games and I replaced him with second year pro Trey Beyer. We'll think about this for the next game, but this may be more permanent and completely baffling after we re-signed Patter to an expensive three-year deal on opening day.

Another decision has been to deactivate Asher Ford, one of our elite special teamers, as my staff decided in the first two games he's no longer useful on special teams (what gives, staff!?). Probably a result of making our fullback Clay Brosseau active for special teams duties... (Hint: of you want your second best RB in special teams to play there, discourage your fullbacks). Side effect is having an active roster spot available for Rickey Lyle, so he can be mentored by Theodore Bondy.

Yeah, that too is football in the International House Of Football.

Not much to add to all of this for now. Week 5 the big test, at Tucker. But their journey continues at Augusta first. With some luck, we'll be the only undefeated team in the conference by then. Probably not in the league though as all four NAC divisions are lead by a 3-0 team. But should we really care about those before the IHOF Bowl, unless we actually play one of them in the interconference games? Exactly, not worth getting bothered by that. Believe in ourselves and take it a game at a time. 19-0 is no longer possible, but 18-0-1 wouldn't look bad either.
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* 2005 Golden Scribe winner for best FOF Dynasty about IHOF's Maassluis Merchantmen
* Former GM of GEFL's Houston Oilers and WOOF's Curacao Cocktail
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