PFSL S2 Week 3 Preview: Dallas Isotopes @ Baltimore Bandits
In a battle for a winning record, the Dallas Isotopes (1-1) head into Baltimore to take on the Bandits (1-1) in the middle game of week 3, on Thanksgiving Eve.
These are two teams sitting on an even playing field. They both have the potential to be great, but only one can leave tonight with the win (screw ties, ties suck). We're going to take a look at both clubs and both sides of the ball to decide which team has the edge.
The Isotopes are led by quarterback Zeus Nike, hasn't quite played as well as Dallas fans would have hoped. On the year, Nike has over 500 yards passing, with 2 touchdowns, a pick and a fumble - not the performance the Isotopes need right now.
Running back Daymeon Grey has played well however, averaging over 5.3 yards per carry. If he can manage to get into the end zone some more, we could see the rise of a true workhorse for this offense.
Wide receiver Jack Brown has been KILLING it all season. He has 29 receptions for 354 yards and a score... in TWO games! Does that remind you of anybody from season 1...? Jokes aside, it'll be incredibly important for the Bandits to slow down Brown in this game. He also has a couple of solid complimentary receivers in Sim Franco Jr., Action Jackson and tight end Ivan Fisher.
Defensively, Greg Gaines has been a tackling machine, making 15 tackles in two games. The duo of himself and Zay Manning is a very good safety tandem that opposing quarterbacks need to keep an eye out for.
Middle linebacker William Thompson is a strong force in the center of this defense. He can make the big hit when it's needed, and is always in pursuit of the ball carrier. Last week wasn't his best (just one tackle), but we all know he's looking to turn that around this week.
Dakota Wolf and Shelby Woolsey Jr. make a decent cornerback team, but the Isotopes felt they needed to add a third to the team, which is why they just signed former MMA fighter Jack Brody to the team, with hopes of putting fear into the opposing offense.
On the Bandits offense, former 300 pound running back King Crustacean leads his men into battle. After a skittish showing against the Bronx Baboons (50% completion with some very poor throws), the big man improved his accuracy tremendously, completing 24/29 (82%) for 401 yards against the Empire last week. He hopes to keep his momentum going at home against Dallas.
A man who looks to become a major part of this offense is running back Keymari Coates. While his yards per carry last week were terrible (2.7 average), it's the workload you need to focus on. Not only is he getting a large amount of carries (16 on a per game average), Crustacean always seems to get him a couple of catches as well. With how well Coates has played, it's only a matter of time before he takes one of these dump off passes for a huge gain.
The Bandits have a very solid trio of receivers, including Ty White (6 catches, 64 yards), Bunchanan Simons (6 catches, 138 yards and a touchdown) and of course Royce Anderson (7 catches 201 yards and a score). This isn't including tight end Andrew Grinnell (6 catches 49 yards). This has to be one of the most diverse and varied offenses in the PFSL. If King Crustacean can stay consistent, the Bandits have a dangerous offense indeed.
Defensively, Baltimore struggled a bit to make up for the loss of elite cornerback Jordan "Juice" Andrews. The Bandits did sign cornerback Damilola Dosumu (after a short stint with the Baboons) to team with solid corner (and team captain) Cole Hewitt and Cameron Perry. The latter two allowed multiple receivers to gain over 80 yards last week, so this is something that must be addressed.
The pair of safeties, Tristan Edwards and Jacob McCall are all over the field. These guys are capable of making game changing plays when it situation arises (such as McCall's forced fumble in week 1).
I really like this linebacking group, which features middle linebacker Brent Harrison along with Jaden Carner and (my favorite) Quesean Cooper on the outsides. These guys know how to ball, plain and simple. Week 1, Jaden Carner intercepted Jax Jones. Week 2, Quesean Cooper nabbed the game sealing pick off of Tyson Cooper. To keep the trend going, I'd expect this to be the week that Brent Harrison gets an interception of his own.
Two Players To Watch
Isotopes Wr Jack Brown
Like I said earlier, Jack Brown has been on a warpath in these first two games. Thus far nobody can stop him. If Brown continues this trend against the Bandits, we very well could see another blowout victory.
Bandits Rb Keymari Coates
Coates is a major focal point of the Bandits gameplan. If the running back can get going early and often, that's less time for Zeus Nike and Jack Brown to keep their connection going. The Bandits will go where Keymari Coates takes them.
Who wins this game?
Despite being on the road, I think the Nike-Brown connection will continue. If Juice were locking it down defensively, I just might have the Bandits winning. However, I don't quite view Cole Hewitt as that elite, shutdown cornerback... YET. He has so much potential but I personally doubt that it will be enough to stop Jack Brown.
League Based Projected Outcome:
Isotopes 25, Bandits 22
Isotopes 30, Bandits 20
- Isotopes Rb Dameon Grey:
"The Isotopes are out to prove that they belong in this league and that the players of the Istopes are hungry. We will see this through to the end one lose just means we work harder. Just watch out league you doubters will be left doubting yourselves"
- Isotopes Qb Zeus Nike:
We are expecting a good game and are out to prove to others that we are the real deal.
- Bandits Qb King Crustacean
"I hear we are playing the Topes. They're a good team. They're going to challenge me for sure to play well"
- Bandits Wr Royce Anderson
"Mob city is the best”
- Bandits Wr Ty White
"Today not about who the best is it's about winning the game!"