Week Eight Power Rankings

1. Seattle Orcas (7-1) – No Change
Last Week: W – @ Carolina – 17-6

Isaiah Crowell wore Carolina down and kept their explosive offense off the field. Crowell had another big game with 217 yards. He didn’t score, Jorvorski Lane snaked the short-yardage touchdown, but his performance was huge and it’s how the Orcas will continue to win this year. Give the big man the ball.

2. Orlando Rockets (6-2) – No Change
Last Week: L – Columbus – 22-16

While the injury to Devonta Freeman hasn’t really hurt Orlando, the Rockets just couldn’t find ways to punch it into the endzone when in the redzone. Maybe Freeman’s physical running would have helped them get there. Instead, the Rockets had to settle for field goals and just couldn’t get enough to best the three Explorers scores.

3. Michigan Stags (6-2) – No Change
Last Week: W – @ Minnesota – 45-30

And Michigan put up 45 points by almost exclusively running the ball and special teams. They had 274 yards rushing, and passed the ball only 14 times and had only eight competitions. It worked. Thomas Rawls had two touchdowns and two scores. Dexter McCluster has been an incredible signing and had 91 yards and a touchdown on the ground while returning a kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown. He has 185 yards on kick returns.

4. New Orleans Nightmare (5-3) – No Change
Last Week: L – @ Pittsburgh – 46-33

New Orleans collapsed in the fourth quarter. There is no easy way to say it. The Forge scored 25 points in the fourth quarter of the game. That wasted a fantastic offensive performance by Nick Davila, who threw for 377 yards and four touchdowns.

5. Washington Wave (5-3) – No Change
Last Week: L – Birmingham – 29-18

Tyreek Hill went down and the Wave lost their spark on offense. Ryan Fitzpatrick did throw for nearly 300 yards, but couldn’t get in the endzone. Arian Foster did score twice, but trialed the led-footed Fitzpatrick in rushing yards with only 27 in the game. Hill would have usually been the guy getting jet-sweep carries and using his speed. He just wasn’t available. But he’ll be good moving forward as they look to rebound from their second straight loss.

6. Carolina Generals (5-3) – No Change
Last Week: L – Seattle – 17-6

Nobody has really been able to slow down Isaiah Crowell, so the Generals shouldn’t feel bad about it. Crowell was able to power through the Generals defense. That just wore them down and kept the Generals offense off the field. Erik Meyer was held to only 97 yards passing. The Generals need more from him but this was a very tough defense to move the ball against and the lack of chances didn’t make it any easier.

7. Pittsburgh Forge (5-3) – Up 1
Last Week: W – New Orleans – 46-33

What a great comeback by the Pittsburgh Forge to stay in playoff contention. The Forge scored 25 points in the final eight minutes of the game, including 17 points in the final four minutes. It was remarkable. Jon Jennings might be sneaking on MVP watch lists with another huge performance, throwing for 386 yards and two touchdowns.

8. Philadelphia Bulldogs (5-3) – Up 1
Last Week: W – New York – 31-10

Philadelphia never allowed New York to get going on offense in the game. Once the Bulldogs went ahead 17-3 in the first half, it was over. The Bulldogs effectively slowed down what can be a dangerous Marauders passing game. Jay Ajayi then heated up in the second half to and wore New York down and wore down the clock.

9. Columbus Explorers (5-3) – Up 2
Last Week: W – @ Orlando – 22-16

Columbus pulled off a pretty big upset, though considering this was a rematch of last year’s Eastern Conference championship game, maybe we shouldn’t be too surprised. It was once again the Terrelle Pryor show, which just shows how good he is. He did have a bit more help than usual in this one, however, as Theo Riddkc and Vick Ballard combined for 92 yards and a touchdowns on the ground.

10. San Antonio Marshalls (4-4) – Down 3
Last Week: L – Dallas – 35-32

Looking at their offensive numbers, San Antonio did everything they would have wanted to do against Dallas, but their defense just couldn’t slow the struggling six-shooters down. In particularly, the Six-Shooters were able to run the ball effectively and that took pressure off James Franklin. The Marshalls will have to be disappointed in their lack of a pass rush to challenge Franklin in this heated rivalry game.

11. Los Angeles Stars (5-3) – Up 1
Last Week: W – @ Phoenix – 29-23

Maybe it’s a sign of their running game improving, but probably not. We’ll have to see if they can repeat their 175 yard performance against Phoenix. If they can have that success then little will stop this Stars team. They had a very, very impressive fourth quarter comeback to force overtime and then never left the field with a long scoring drive.

12. Atlanta Firebirds (5-3) – Up 1
Last Week: W – @ Charleston – 37-17

Atlanta made a flurry of moves at the trade deadline and made the big gutsy decision to trade Allen Hurns, but it didn’t seem to hurt them. Newly acquired Malcolm Mitchell didn’t do much, but did catch a touchdown in his Firebirds debut. The big thing with this team is Matt Barkley is playing with great confidence now that he isn’t worrying about Aaron Murray. Barkley threw three touchdowns to beat Murray’s dragons.

13. Phoenix Scorpions (4-4) – Down 3
Last Week: L – @ Phoenix – 29-23 (OT)

Phoenix was the latest victim of the SFL Weekly cover. They won four straight games and looked like one of the hottest teams in the league but failed late in the game and allowed the Stars to comeback and then get a victory in overtime. A questionable deep throw late in the fourth quarter was picked off and their defense disappointingly couldn’t slow down what has been a pretty disappointing Stars running game.

14. Birmingham Predators (4-4) – Up 1
Last Week: W – @ Washington – 29-18

The Predators defense got a break when Tyreek Hill went down, but that isn’t their concern. Dak Prescott only threw one touchdowns but looked pretty good and had some huge help with Kenny Stills. That tandem looks like it will continue to be a very, very dangerous one for years to come in this year. Stills had 12 receptions for 165 yards and a score.

15. Nashville Renegades (4-4) – Up 1
Last Week: W – @ Louisville – 24-14

A heavy dose of Jordan Howard was the recipe for success against Louisville. The Cougars got up early, but in the second half the Renegades didn’t waver from their game plan and Howard gashed their defense. That helped AJ McCarron face easy matchups against the secondary and he threw three second half touchdowns to Jamison Crowder in the second half. Once they got up, Jeremiah Masoli had to force things and the Renegades picked him off three times. And they got this win without Allen Hurns suiting up. The team traded for him but forgot to get make him a uniform.

16. Charleston Dragons (3-5) – Down 2
Last Week: L – Atlanta – 37-17

Aaron Murray doesn’t have the weapons he had with Atlanta. Luke Tasker is a sure-handed receiver but just isn’t the explosive guy who will make Murray better than he is proving to be. The running game was better for Charleston but without the offensive help the defense just got tired in the second half and gave up second half touchdowns in their loss.

17. New York Marauders (2-6) – No Change
Last Week: L – @ Philadelphia – 31-10

Ryan Nassib got benched in the second half for an ineffective performance. Could it be a sign that is job is in jeopardy? Based on how poor Drew Willy did in relief it’s probably safe to say Nassib will keep on starting, but in a contract year this isn’t how he wants to be playing. At 2-6 and three games back from all of the other teams in the division, the Marauders won’t pack it in, but they’ll probably be experimenting a bit more during the second half of the season.

18. Omaha Express (3-5) – No Change
Last Week: W – Houston – 9-0

Omaha’s defensive line had another big game and got five sacks. Da’Quan Bowers had two of them in the game while Jack Gangwish had another two. Their offense really didn’t do much. This was more a victory by not being as bad as their opponent.

19. Dallas Six-Shooters (2-6) – Up 2
Last Week: W – @ San Antonio – 35-32

As James Franklin gets more settled in at quarterback for the Dallas Six-Shooters look for this team to stabilize. That’s what we saw in their heated rivalry game against the San Antonio Marshalls and it led to perhaps the biggest upset of the week. But these rivalry games are always toss ups no matter what teams records are. They had a nice collective rushing performance, with 176 yards fairly evenly split between Rex Burhead, Jalen Richard and Franklin.

20. Louisville Cougars (1-7) – No change
Last Week: L – Nashville – 24-14

While they got ahead, their inability to slow down Jordan Howard wore them out. They gave up three touchdowns to the Renegades in the second half and were shutout themselves. Karlos Williams was alright early in his debut but the Cougars abandoned the running game. Masoli threw three interceptions in the second half. Perhaps a bit more balance is needed with Williams now in the fold.

21. Houston Wranglers (2-6) – Down 2
Last Week: L – @ Omaha – 9-0

Ouch. After being held to only three points, the Wranglers were shutout for a second time this season. Since their 2-0 start the Wranglers have lost seven straight games and just have no offensive firepower. Since scoring 31 points in a loss to Carolina, the Wranglers have just 21 total points in five weeks. Against Omaha Connor Cook was sacked five times and the running game totaled only 57 yards. Their offensive line needs to improve significantly before this team can even try to get their offense started.

22. Minnesota Freeze (0-8) – No Change
Last Week: L – Michigan – 45-30

Under a new owners, even if temporary, the Freeze played some inspired football. But it still wasn’t enough against a top-flight opponent. Maybe their fortunes will be different against a team that isn’t as powerful as Michigan this year. They showed their talent. Josh McCown had nearly 400 yards passing and three touchdowns. Everybody was involved in the passing game. D’Anthony Thomas also was huge returning the ball, taking kickoffs back 262 yards, including one 94 yard touchdown.

Week Eight Awards

Offensive Player of the Week:
WR Jamison Crowder, Nashville Renegades
9 Rec, 169 Rec Yards (18.8 YPC), 3 Rec TDs

Defensive Player of the Week:
DE Carl Nassib, Philadelphia Bulldogs
6 Tackles, 1 Sack, 2 TFL

Special Teams Player of the Week:
RET D’Anthony Thomas, Minnesota Freeze
8 KR, 262 KR Yards (32.8 YPR), 1 94 Yard TD, 3 PR, 32 PR Yards (10.7 YPR)

Rookie of the Week:
RB DeAndre Washington, Atlanta Firebirds
13 Rushes, 84 Rush Yards (6.5 YPC)

Playoff Watch

Empire Conference
1. Orlando Rockets (6-2) vs. 4. Philadelphia Bulldogs* (5-3)
2. Pittsburgh Forge (5-3) vs. 5. New Orleans Nightmare (5-3)

*Wildcard Watch: Washington Wage (5-3), Birmingham Predators (4-4), San Antonio Marshalls (4-4)

Metropolitan Conference
1. Seattle Orcas (7-1) vs. 4. Atlanta Firebirds* (5-3)
2. Michigan Stags (6-2) vs. 3. Carolina Generals (5-3)

*Wildcard Watch: Los Angeles Stars (5-3), Columbus Explorers (5-3), Phoenix Scorpions (4-4), Nashville Renegades (4-4)

Yearly Awards Watch List

Barry Sanders Most Valuable Player
1. RB Isaiah Crowell (Seattle Orcas) – 1,531 Rush Yards (6.2 YPC), 13 Rush Tds, 13 Rec, 58 Rec Yards (4.5 YPC)
2. RB Jay Ajayi (Philadelphia Bulldogs) – 1,330 Rush Yards (5.5 YPC), 13 Rush Tds, 12 Rec, 59 Rec Yards (4.9 YPC), 1 Rec TD
3. QB Jon Jennings (Pittsburgh Forge) – 202/270 (74.8%), 2,842 Pass Yards, 22 Pass Tds, 7 INTs, 217 Rush Yards (6.8 YPC), 3 Rush Tds
4. WR/RB/RET Tyreek Hill (Washington Wave) – 40 Rec, 700 Rec Yards (17.5 YPC), 5 Rec Tds, 373 Rush Yards (6.7 YPC), 9 Rush Tds, 880 KR Yards (31.4 YPR), 2 KR Tds, 54 PR Yards (9.0 YPR)
5. QB Dak Prescott (Birmingham Predators) – 228/303 (75.2%), 2,596 Pass Yards, 19 Pass Tds, 2 INTs, 335 Rush Yards (5.1 YPC), 5 Rush TDs

Clint Dolezel Offensive Player of the Year
1. WR/RB/RET Tyreek Hill (Washington Wave) – 40 Rec, 700 Rec Yards (17.5 YPC), 5 Rec Tds, 373 Rush Yards (6.7 YPC), 9 Rush Tds
2. RB Isaiah Crowell (Seattle Orcas) – 1,531 Rush Yards (6.2 YPC), 13 Rush Tds, 13 Rec, 58 Rec Yards (4.5 YPC)
3. QB Jon Jennings (Pittsburgh Forge) – 202/270 (74.8%), 2,842 Pass Yards, 22 Pass Tds, 7 INTs, 217 Rush Yards (6.8 YPC), 3 Rush Tds
4. RB Jay Ajayi (Philadelphia Bulldogs) – 1,330 Rush Yards (5.5 YPC), 13 Rush Tds, 12 Rec, 59 Rec Yards (4.9 YPC), 1 Rec TD
5. QB Dak Prescott (Birmingham Predators) – 228/303 (75.2%), 2,596 Pass Yards, 19 Pass Tds, 2 INTs, 335 Rush Yards (5.1 YPC), 5 Rush TDs

Antonio Banks Defensive Player of the Year
1. FS Tayshaun Gipson (Seattle Orcas) – 26 Tackles, 8 PD, 1 INT
2. DT Watson Tautuiaki (Nashville Renegades) – 20 Tackles, 7 Sacks, 12 Hurries, 1 TFL, 1 FF
3. CB Charles Gaines (Michigan Stags) – 33 Tackles, 8 PD, 1 INT
4. DT Brent Urban (New Orleans Nightmare) – 23 Tackles, 7 Sacks, 10 Hurries, 2 TFL
5. DT Almond Sewell (Orlando Rockets) – 14 Tackles, 8 Sacks, 4 Hurries, 1 PD

LaDainian Tomlinson Offensive Rookie of the Year
1. WR/RB/RET Tyreek Hill (Washington Wave) – 40 Rec, 700 Rec Yards (17.5 YPC), 5 Rec Tds, 373 Rush Yards (6.7 YPC), 9 Rush Tds
2. QB Dak Prescott (Birmingham Predators) – 228/303 (75.2%), 2,596 Pass Yards, 19 Pass Tds, 2 INTs, 335 Rush Yards (5.1 YPC), 5 Rush Tds
3. RB Jordan Howard (Nashville Predators) – 1,077 Rush Yards (4.4 YPC), 5 Rush Tds, 20 Rec, 179 Rec Yards (9.0 YPC)
4. RB Devontae Booker (Pittsburgh Forge – 558 Rush Yards (3.0 YPC), 10 Rush Tds, 25 Rec, 282 Rec Yards (11.3 YPC), 2 Rec Tds
5. RB Jalen Ricard (Dallas Six-Shooters – 698 Rush Yards (6.5 YPC), 2 Rush Tds, 19 Rec, 99 Rec Yards (5.2 YPC), 2 Rush Tds[/b]

Kirk Morrison Defensive Rookie of the Year
1. DE Dean Lowry (Birmingham Predators) – 35 Tackles, 1 Sack, 8 Hurries, 10 TFL, 1 PD, 2 FF
2. FS Brian Poole (Los Angeles Stars) – 31 Tackles, 4 PD, 2 INTs
3. FS Deon Bush (New Orleans Nightmare) – 27 Tackles, 3 PD, 2 INTs
4. Kamu Grugier-Hill (Michigan Stags – 34 Tackles, 4 TFL, 1 FF
5. LB Tyler Matakevich (Houston Wranglers) – 31 Tackles, 3 TFL, 1 FF

Trindon Holliday Special Teams Player of the Year
1. RET Tyreek Hill (Washington Wave) – 880 KR Yards (31.4 YPR), 2 KR Tds, 54 PR Yards (9.0 YPR)
2. RET D’Anthony Thomas (Minnesota Freeze) – 805 KR Yards (27.4 YPR), 1 KR TD, 480 PR Yards (20.9 YPR), 3 PR Tds
3. RET Trindon Holliday (Atlanta Firebirds) – 626 KR Yards (26.1 YPR), 244 PR Yards (13.6 YPR), 2 PR Tds[/b]
4. RET Quentin Demps (Columbus Explorers) – 893 KR Yards (35.7 YPR), 1 KR TD
5. K Wil Lutz (Atlanta Firebirds) – 12-for-12 FG (100%), 5 40+ Yds, 3 50+ Yard, 58 Points

Steve Hutchinson Offensive Lineman of the Year
1. C Matt Paradis (Philadelphia Bulldogs) – 24 Pancakes, 2 Sacks Allowed, 1 Back Block
2. C Lyle Sendlein (Seattle Orcas) – 10 Pancakes, 0 Sacks Allowed, 0 Bad Blocks
3. OT Ryan Schraeder (Seattle Orcas) – 33 Pancakes, 2 Sacks Allowed, 4 Bad Blocks
4. OT Andrew Norwell (Columbus Explorers) – 20 Pancakes, 0 sacks Allowed, 3 Bad Blocks
5. C Richie Incognito (Dallas Six-Shooters) – 18 Pancakes, 1 Sack Allowed, 0 Bac Blocks

Jim Zorn Coach of the Year
1. Ralph Friedgen (Washington Wave) – 5-3 Record (0-16 in 2016)
2. Mike Singletary (Carolina Generals) – 5-3 Record (4-12 in 2016)
3. Dan Campbell (Pittsburgh Forge) – 5-3 Record (Expansion Team)
4. Jim Zorn (Seattle Orcas) – 7-1 (9-7 in 2016)
5. Mark Hudspeth (Los Angeles Stars) – 5-3 (7-9 in 2016)

Week Nine Preview

Philadelphia Bulldogs @ Charleston Dragons
Philadelphia is at the top of the Atlantic Division right not but while they have one of the best running backs in the league it’s actually been their pass defense leading the way, which ranks third in the league. That will be a problem for Charleston, which just doesn’t have any sort of explosiveness on offense. But then again, Aaron Murray is getting more settled with the Dragons and their run defense did slow down Isaiah Crowell. This could be an ideal upset pick, especially being a home game for the Dragons.
Pick: Charleston Dragons

Pittsburgh Forge @ Washington Wave
This is a clash of two of the best offenses in the league that are built in very, very different ways. Jon Jenning is having an MVP-type season with the Forge, leading a great passing game. The Wave have more proven NFL stars, but it is rookie Tyreek Hill who is doing just about anything possible on a football field to help the offense. But with equally gifted offenses this will come down to the defenses. Washington is much better in that area, and at home they’ll want to get back in the win column after back-to-back defeats.
Pick: Washington Wave.

Houston Wranglers @ Birmingham Predators
As miserable as Houston has been lately, it’s hard to see them getting off the snide without any big moves, which just haven’t been made. Birmingham’s offense, led by rookie phenom Dak Prescott, should have no problem outscoring the hapless Wranglers.
Pick: Birmingham Predators

Omaha Express @ Columbus Explorers
While Omaha is coming off a 9-0 shutout victory, it was far from impressive. Really, they were just the better bad team that day. Columbus hasn’t been anything special either this year, but Terrelle Pryor is by far the best player on the field in this game. That’s good enough for a home Explorers win.
Pick: Columbus Explorers

Carolina Generals @ Louisville Cougars
Louisville is a lot better than their record would suggest. Hey absolutely have their defensive problems, and their running game has really struggled, but Jeremiah Masoli has taken over and with Julian Edelman and Wes Welker has created the second-best passing offense in the league. Carolina should enter this game as the favorite, but considering how their offense has fizzled out (not ranked just 17th in the league), and considering their pass rush hasn’t proven that they could trouble Masoli, this might be an upset.
Pick: Louisville Cougars

Orlando Rockets @ New Orleans Nightmare
While Trevor Harris has done an admirable job, the Rockets still haven’t been any more than middling offensively. Luckily, they will have Devonta Freeman back, which will really help them be more physical. That is what they’ll need to against a tough New Orleans squad. The Nightmare were one of the hottest teams in the league before suffering a loss in a high-scoring game last week. Their defense collapsed in the fourth quarter and without true stopping power they might struggle to slow down the tough-running Freeman down the stretch of the game.
Pick: Orlando Rockets

Phoenix Scorpions @ Minnesota Freeze
Minnesota did a much, much better job last week under their new management, but they had a terrible draw against Michigan. They weren’t going to win that game. Phoenix will still be a tough matchup for them, but if they could put up 30 points against a Stags defense, they should be able to score a lot against a Phoenix defense that ranks near the very bottom of the league in all areas. Phoenix will be a tough one, but it’s purely been a revitalized passing game that has been carrying them. Even at this point in his career, it’s hard to believe many are better than Josh McCown, so the Freeze, at home, might get their first win of the year.
Pick: Minnesota Freeze

New York Marauders @ Dallas Six-Shooters
Man, how far these franchises’ have fallen. Well, maybe New York just had one good year in their championship season, but it’s really hard to see why their offense is doing so bad. On paper, it’s a very talented group, but nothing is working. They’re 20th in points scored, 21st in rushing offense and 16th in passing offense. Their defense, though, is among the very, very best in the league across the board. One thing that hasn’t ever left the Marauders since their championship year is their pass defense, which does rank No. 1 in the league. Against a team with an unsettled quarterback situation, the Marauders could be able to win a low-scoring game. Dallas is coming off a huge rivalry win over San Antonio, but rivalry game victories are hard to really view because there is so much emotion involved that truly equalizes the teams. Dallas could pull off a win at home, but until James Franklin proves himself at that level, we’ll have to pick the Marauders secondary.
Pick: New York Marauders

Nashville Renegades @ Los Angeles Stars
Football is a game won in the trenches and in this game, that matchups stands out. Nashville leads the league in sacks. Los Angeles is in the bottom third of the league in sacks allowed. Case Keenum is having a good season but if he can’t stay in the pocket or on his feet then the Stars just don’t seem to have another way to win the game. They won’t run the ball with the success they had last week against a the Renegades.
Pick: Nashville Renegades

San Antonio Marshalls @ Michigan Stags
We have San Antonio’s high-powered offense against Michigan’s talented secondary. But while talented, the Stags pass defense has struggled oddly enough. For some reason they only rank in the middle of the league. Last week, Josh McCown had a big week. Bo Levi Mitchell is better than the legend at this point in his career. This will be a big toss up but when it comes to a top-notch quarterback against a committee of running backs the smarter decision is to take the quarterback.
Pick: San Antonio Marshalls

Seattle Orcas @ Atlanta Firebirds
Seattle has been beaten, but have proven themselves as the best teams in the league. Still, a cross-country trip is tough. Atlanta has come on strong and their defense is surprisingly ranked second in the league in points allowed and they do have the sixth-ranked run defense. Isaiah Crowell won’t have a comfy matchup here. But it’s just hard to pick against Seattle any time they play right now.
Pick: Seattle Orcas

Trade deadline review

Atlanta moves Hurns for a major haul

Last year the Atlanta Firebirds were among the best in the league with a big three of Aaron Murray, Allen Hurns and Alfred Morris. None of those players are still on their roster anymore. Hurns was the last to go. He is a free agent at the end of the season and he is having a down year. The emergence of Cameron Meredith also made it a smart move in Atlanta’s eyes, but it’s just really hard to defend trading such a talented player.

However, Nashville gave the house for him. They traded a promising rookie Malcolm Mitchell (who was actually originally a territorial draft pick by the Firebirds), a first round pick, third round pick and fourth round pick, as well as pass rusher Lebron Daniel, for Hurns and defensive lineman Donte Paige-Moss.

But we’re wondering why Atlanta isn’t as good as they were last year. It’s because it’s a completely different team with a completely different dynamic, built a totally different way with different pieces.

Was the big move worth it for Nashville?

Allen Hurns is on the final year of his deal, and while he is having a down season, he still figures to want a big contract in the offseason. But Nashville will worry about that when the time comes for it. They are in win-now mode. Mitchell is a prospect. Hurns is a playmaker who can help them now. He’s explosive and automatically makes for the best receiving duo in the league next to Jamison Crowder.

But Nashville didn’t just swap Mitchell out for Hurns. They also traded Chris Matthews, and got rid of Niles Paul to help create some future cap room. The other notable move they made was trading Karlos Williams. The Williams move made sense, because it got them a draft pick back and he was clearly the backup behind the bulldozer Jordan Howard, who is having a fantastic rookie season. But the combination of losing Paul and Matthews to bring in Hurns didn’t made a ton of sense. Hurns is the best player of the bunch, but now the Renegades only have two true weapons in the passing game. They’re great options, but it’s a shallow group. Plus, Matthews was actually performing better than Hurns through the first half of the season.

We’ll find out more in Week 9 how this works out. Nashville, despite making a huge move, shockingly forgot to print Hurns a Jersey. They tried to get him on the field wearing a different player’s jersey, but it violated league uniform rules so he couldn’t play. That clearly goes down as the biggest managerial gaff of the season.

Atlanta very active at the deadline

Chris Dunn typically doesn’t trade too much at the deadline, but he wanted to make it a very active trade period this year. We’ve already gone over the Hurns trade, but he also made some very interesting moves to help his offensive line. Not even a trade, Atlanta signed Austin Pasztor, who can slide in at either tackle or guard. The former NFL starter could become an immediate starter for an offensive line that has been among the worst in the league. They also traded prospect John Theus and a third round pick for Orcas backup Cameron Bradfield. Bradfield isn’t an ordinary bacup, though. He’s a starting caliber player and should also provide some physicality to the Firebirds front.

Williams struggles in Cougars debut, but should stabilize their running game

Karlos Williams had a really terrible debut game for Louisville, but he came on the team and started only one two days notice. It was a hard job he faced. With a week to prepare and get comfortable, Williams should be much better. He’s a very talented player who once challenges for rookie of the year. He’s had his off the field issues, but he’s still a very talented prospect. He’s tough, and really ihe can’t be worse than what hey Cougars already had. Maybe the second round pick was a steep price to pay, but getting rid of CJ Spiller and that contract might be worth it anyway.

Houston adds a much-needed weapon

Connor Cook needed some help and a young quarterback’s best friend is always the tight end. Niles Paul wasn’t doing great in Nashville with so many other receivers as weapons, but he could be one of the most underrated additions of the trade deadline for Houston. Again, he struggled in his debut, but with a week to get adjusted, it could be better moving forward. Paul is a talented receiver who at least gives them a reliable option in the passing game.

Houston and LA’s strange trade

It’s not often you see a player-for-player swap with guys at the same position. That’s what happened in a move between Houston and LA, with two guys at the same positions. The Wranglers traded guard Cyril Richardson and strong safety Roberts Lester to LA for guard Duke Robinson and strong safety Craig Butler. It’s hard to know what to think of the move. Really, we have no analysis other than it was weird to see.

Chris Matthews moves again

Despite being one of the better wide receiver talented in the league over the years Chris Matthews has just never found a real home. He started in Seattle and was barely used. He was moved to New York, then to Philly, then to Nashville. Now he’s on his fifth team since going pro in 2012. Will Dallas finally be his long-term home? The surprising thing was how good Matthews was this year in Nashville. He might have a chip on his shoulder too considering that.

New York exploits cut rule, beefs up o-line

While Marauders owner Corey Johns was against a rule change that allowed owners to take an entire cap hit for a cut up until Week 8 of the season, he took advantage of the rule change but releasing DeAngelo Tyson from his four-year, $3.7 million contract for only $100K more than his cap his was this season. Tyson was once an All-SFL caliber defensive tackle but injuries have really derailed him. He sunk deep down the depth chart this season. He was being paid $700K this year, but the team took the $800K cap hit entire this season to release him.

With the open roster spot, the Marauders signed former NFL offensive tackle Cyrus Kouandjo. He was cut by the Bills after some legal troubles. Still, Kouandjio has taken over as the team’s starting left tackle as they shuffled their line in hopes of getting a better push up front.