ELF: Week 4 Preview & Predictions

Unfortunately, for week three, none of the games were entirely close for the ELF. Despite that, there were some good performances and some really good play by several individuals and teams. For me, my predictions were equal with my week 3 predictions; I went 7-1, losing only the Berlin/Panthers game. This week, I try for that elusive perfect record, yet again.

Fehervar Enthroners(0-3) v. Panthers Wroclaw(2-1)

Fehervar just released American-import QB Jerod Evans this week and they never announced another signing at QB. That means we’ll see the 2023 debut of national player QB Mate Hegedus. The Panthers are coming off their first loss of the season, losing to Berlin in a game that wasn’t overly competitive. QB Matthew Vitale continues to have great chemistry with WR Tony Tate and the offense rolled last week with over 200 yards rushing. Coming into the week, the Panthers have the third best rushing attack in the league, while Fehervar struggles having the third worst rush defense. The season hasn’t gone as planned for the Enthroners. Jerod Evans, before his release, was the second most sacked QB in the league. Unfortunately for the Enthroners, if they don’t correct their defensive issues and O-line issues fast, it doesn’t matter who starts under center for them, it’s going to be a long season regardless.

Prediction: Long season continues for Enthroners, don’t expect a close game. Wroclaw 38-13

Leipzig Kings(2-1) v. Vienna Vikings(2-0)

The Vikings came out in week three and dropped 69 points on the expansion Prague Lions. While that’s something that’s unlikely to happen every week, the Vikings have already started to look like the same caliber team as the 2022 Championship team. In week three, the Kings beat up on the lowly Enthroners, who have been the punching bag of the ELF so far this season. The Kings will need their offense to provide the same performance they did last against in order to keep this close. Unfortunately for them, the Vikings aren’t the Enthroners. The Vikings just need to continue to cross their T’s and dot their I’s to achieve another win this week.

Prediction: Vikings avoid the trap game; Kings struggle on offense. Vienna 33-16

Paris Musketeers(1-2) v. Frankfurt Galaxy(1-1)

The Galaxy return to action this week after receiving a bye week in week three. They were greeted early in the week with QB Jakeb Sullivan being put on IR; they signed QB Steve Clueley to replace him. It’s tough for any team to go through any kind of quarterback change, and unfortunately, I’m not sure Frankfurt is immune to that. The visiting Paris Musketeers have issues of their own. The offensive line played much better in week three, but their defense was a huge letdown. Granted, the benefit of doubt goes their way because they played the strongest team in the league in the Rhein Fire. If Paris wants to win their second game of the season, they’ll need to find a way to protect QB Zach Edwards, who, after the releases of Jerod Evans and Dylan Jacob, is once again the most sacked QB in the league.

Prediction: Low scoring game early, with some offensive fireworks late. Paris 27-24

Munich Ravens(1-1) v. Barcelona Dragons(2-1)

The first two weeks of the season, the Barcelona Dragons looked like they might have the best offensive line in the league. QB Conor Miller hadn’t been sacked and was looking like an MVP caliber player. But as everyone knows, things change really fast in the world of football and the Dragons felt that last week. They struggled against a Raiders Tirol team that is looking the part of a championship caliber team and the Dragons were knocked down a few notches. After an impressive week one, despite losing, the Munich Ravens smacked Helvetic in the mouth, opening that game up and pulling away at the end of the first half. Both these teams are averaging astronomical numbers in the passing game: the Dragons with 334 per game and Munich a whooping 408 per game. Look for fireworks in this game in what could be the highest scoring game of the week. Look for a potential upset here.

Prediction: Defense? What’s defense? It’s all about the offenses, baby! Barcelona 45-40

Helvetic Guards(0-3) v. Milano Seamen(0-2)

The biggest question surrounding this game is can the Guards keep up with the Milano offense? Because without their offense, the Guards could get blown out early in this game and the Seamen could run away to their first W in the franchise’s ELF history. The Guards defense has been dreadful. Milano’s offense through two games this season has been a shining point, averaging almost 30 points a game. The defense isn’t as good as their offense, which is evident by the 81 points given up through two games. if the Guards offense was better, we would be asking the question about Milano’s offense and not Helvetic. Helvetic had a QB change heading into week three with Collin Hill going on IR. We’ll see how this offense looks with Jordan Barlow back under center and a full week of practice under his belt.

Prediction: Milano struggles early, Barlow improves but the defense lets them down. Milano 31-20

Raiders Tirol(3-0) v. Stuttgart Surge(2-0)

The game of the week, easily. The Raiders look to keep this impressive offense hitting on all cylinders, while the Surge look to keep the hype train rolling for them. This matchup is a extremely important game in the Central Conference early in the season. Both teams in week three opened up a lead and never looked back making sure that both their games weren’t competitive. QB Christian Strong and WR Jarvis McClam returned to dominance and that is a combo we’ll be talking about a lot this year. This game is going to come down to whether or not the Surge can protect QB Reilly Hennessey long enough to make plays and whether this offense can keep up with the Raiders.

Prediction: Fireworks. Could be the game of the year to date. Raiders 34-33

Berlin Thunder(2-1) v. Hamburg Sea Devils(1-2)

Berlin has looked like one of the best teams in the league all year. Despite a week two hiccup against the Vikings, in a game that the Thunder could have won, they have been one of the best overall teams in the league. As for the Sea Devils, they have had one of the toughest first four weeks, as far as scheduling goes, in the league. Their opponents’ record through the four weeks are a combined 8-4, with their only win coming against the Cologne Centurions in week three. They opened the season against the Panthers and then played the Rhein Fire in week two, a game they kept close. They might be the best one win team in the league. The Sea Devils need to find a way to slow down QB Donovan Isom and the Thunder offense if they want a chance to win.

Prediction: Hamburg keeps it close, but falls short; Isom continues to impress. Berlin 28-24

Rhein Fire(3-0) v. Cologne Centurions(1-2)

After the loss last week to Hamburg, Cologne released starting QB Dylan Jacob. Jacob has been the most sacked QB in the league and Cologne decided to move on. This week, they signed QB Judd Erickson, who recently was in the CFL’s BC Lions camp. As I mentioned before, teams undergoing QB changes during the season have a tendency to struggle in their first game as the new quarterback gets acclimated to the offense. I expect that to be the case here for Cologne. Unfortunately for Cologne, they draw the toughest team in the league this week, the Rhein Fire. Jadrain Clark is my early MVP candidate and the Fire just look like the most complete team in the league. It’s going to be an uphill battle for Cologne while they work their offensive issues.

Prediction: Might be the biggest blowout of the week. Rhein 42-10

This week is a bit tougher to predict with some of these games. Possible trap games and upsets loom after week three had a lack of competitive games and week four could turn the league upside down. While, I don’t expect an astronomical upsets, I do imagine that there’s an even a lower chance of me hitting that elusive 8-0 mark with my predictions. Until next week, enjoy week four of the ELF!

~Michael Washington

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