Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Power Returns to Milwaukee

Short week this week, as the Power play Thursday night out in Milwaukee. Last year, we swept the woeful Mustangs and probably pissed them off good and proper. Contracts might be short in the AFL, but team memories are long.

This year, the Mustangs are no longer pushovers, however. Currently, they've scored 65 points in both of their games, and they haven't been against cream-puffs. Week one, they lost by just a touchdown to the Arena Bowl runner-up Rattlers, and last week they beat a strong Voodoo squad.

There is just so much wrong in that last paragraph that I have this running through my head.

Because of technical and scheduling issues, I have been unable to watch the 'Stangs this season, and that seems to be jinxing the situation since they're so strong. Also, since they've had a lot of turnover, it's hard to say much of anything about their players.

But, that doesn't matter.

None of their abilities make a lick of difference if we can't address the problems in our own house. We've got a lot of good going on, but we haven't fully come together as a squad yet. Yet. Stull is starting again, and that's a good thing. I think Hines might be the better QB, but we need consistency. I am not going to sit here and watch another season of QB Grab-bag. Stull needs to get confident and get steady. The team needs to learn to anticipate him and learn his style. I don't think I'm revealing any great secret to the game when I say that the QB is anchor of a successful team.

Next, holding onto the damn ball. I commented in my Philly review that it really sunk us last week. After the game, Keller and I were discussing the fact that when Rashard Mendenhall had this problem, Tomlin made him walk around with a football while everyone else tried to punch it out of his hands. He dropped it, he had to pay $100. Now, this doesn't work in the AFL, as 4 drops would mean they don't get paid this week - but the theory is still sound.

Well, wouldn't you know it, the Power agrees. According to the team page, they did exactly that. Everyone who fumbled had to walk around practice with a ball. That's fantastic. It means that they're taking it seriously.

On offense, it's really down to Stull. As long as his players hold onto the ball, it's just a matter of him getting it to them. Last week, after 4 days of practice, he lost his concentration and overthrew his players. Also, he threw it right to the opposing defense. Take turnovers and dropped passes out of the equation, and we're on good footing.

Defense just needs to do their thing. Week one, they were on it. Week two, they were outclassed. I'm sure they ran a lot of drills this week on how to deal with the Donovan Morgans of the league. Also, the one big name the Mustangs still have is Gino Guidugli. We played him last year and beat him. Although we weren't able to get at him personally, Dewalt and Lay were able to pick him off and break up plays. Knowing what he's capable of means that we can prepare for him.

Bottom line is that we can win, but it's not going to be easy. The team needs to have turned around a lot of bad habits and learned to play with each other. We do that, we can make it at least respectable.

The game streams online at Thursday at 8pm, and rebroadcasts Saturday at 7:30 on the CW.

Elsewhere in the league
  • Once again, the league decided to schedule a crapload of games at the same time, and this time upped the ante by putting them on a crappy night. First up on Thursday is the Talons and the Preds. Preds are having a rough start of it, but they're at home. I think they're due for a win.
  • Also Thursday, the Rattlers travel to Kansas City. Take the Ratts.
  • First up on Friday is the Sharks at Tampa Bay. It's going to be a close game, but I'm picking the Storm
  • The NFL game of the week is Sabercats at the Shock. Sabercats are returning to form and will probably take this one.
  • Saturday night should be a good one between the undefeated Rush and the Iowa Barnstormers. I know I'm biased, but I'm taking Chicago, but it's not going to be easy.
  • After a rough start in week one, the Utah Blaze has gone undefeated the last two weeks. As good as the Voodoo are looking (for them), they're looking for their first win and are on the road. Blaze favored.
  • Sunday night is a division game, and I'm sad to say, the Soul is probably going to advance to 3-0 over the Gladiators.

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