Prague Lions(0-4) v. Leipzig Kings(2-3)
Honestly, until the ELF speaks on this sitation, I’m not sure what to say here. I only included this game in the article because the game is still listed on the official schedule. Several Kings players quit or openly announced they quit on social media after last game and we still haven’t received official word about the status of the Kings. Prague will be switching QBs this week after releasing starter Shazzon Mumphrey and signing former Nevada Wolfpack QB Nate Cox. Whether Cox starts or not is another story, but I’m honestly not sure if this game is even played.
Prediction: Doubt the game is played. Prague 28-7, if played.
Frankfurt Galaxy(3-1) v. Milano Seamen(1-3)
Frankfurt is coming into the game this week after a slow start to last week. The defense gave up 22 points to a struggling Cologne offense, but luckily their own offense got cooking behind Cluley and put up 33. Milano has struggled defensively in games, primarily down the homestretch of games, and after getting bounced by Raiders Tirol last week, they look to correct a lot of those mistakes. Despite last week’s poor offensive showing, the Seamen have actually been a really solid offensive team when QB Luke Zahradka is completing more than 58% of his passes. The Seamen need to find a way to contorl the time of possession to limit the amount of times Cluley, and that potentially high octane offense of Frankfurt. are granted.
Prediction: Zahradka has a solid game; Galaxy put it away in the third. Frankfurt 34-23
Barcelona Dragons(2-2) v. Helvetic Guards(0-5)
For the third time this year, the Guards are going to start over at quarterback. Two weeks after Jordan Barlow was banned from the ELF, the Guards finally bring someone in to take over the reigns. QB Sky Noble is now tapped with the important task to try and turn the 2023 season around for the Guards. Head coach Norm Chow hasn’t found the recipe for success this season and moving onto your fourth QB in 6 weeks isn’t going to make it easier. The Dragons, meanwhile, have had an inconsistent start to the year; at one point, the offensive line looked like the best in the ELF and Connor Miller was off to one of the best starts in the league. Since then, the Dragons have fallen back to Earth and they look to use the Guards as a stepping block to get back on track.
Prediction: Guards falter another week; Dragons back on track. Barcelona 42-6
Fehervar Enthroners(0-5) v. Berlin Thunder(3-2)
After two weeks of running with National QB Mate Hegedus, the Enthroners officially signed QB Kevin Doyle, Jr. The Enthroners who haven’t had much success this year blocking for their quarterbacks, will roll into Berlin this week, who is coming off a defeat of the Kings. While the Enthroners start their third QB in six weeks, the Thunder’s new QB Slade Jarman, looked like he never missed a step last week. Jarman had a good week and looked like he has been with Berlin since the start of camp. The Thunder’s defense is going to look to feast on Fehervar’s offensive line, which has been one of the worst in the league, especially in pass protection. It could be a rough 2023 debut for Doyle.
Prediction: Rough season continues for Fehervar; Thunder D dominates. Berlin 37-13
Panthers Wroclaw(4-1) v. Hamburg Sea Devils(2-3)
A week one rematch, the Panthers roll into Hamburg with one of the top offensive duos in the league. QB Matthew Vitale and WR Tony Tate took Hamburg and the league by storm in week one and haven’t looked back since. The Sea Devils once looked like a possible playoff contender, but after a week 5 loss to the Paris Musketeers, Hamburg is starting to look more like “the best of the rest” then a legitimate playoff contender. In week one, the Sea Devils defense got torched through the air and they were unable to get pressure on Vitale. If they want to avoid having the same result as the opening week, they’ll need to find a way to disguise their defense better and become more effective with the blitz. As for the Panthers, RB Dawid Brzozowski has become the league leader in rushing and adds an element to the offense that they didn’t have in week one. Somehow, this Panthers offense just continues to improve.
Prediction: Close game like week one, but Panthers extend late. Panthers 33-21
Munich Ravens(2-2) v. Rhein Fire(5-0)
After the week five disappointment for the Ravens, they’re rewarded with a trip to Rhein to try and knock of the most impressive team in the league, at this point. QB Jadrain Clark is the early front runner for MVP and the Fire have weapons at every level on offense and one of the most underrated defenses in the league. The Ravens offense had been one of the best in the league until last week’s stumble against an impressive Stuttgart defense. While QB Chad Jeffries and WR Markell Castle have started to become part of this “Power 3 Duos” in the league, they’re defense continues to be a glaring hole on the team; the secondary has been exposed all season with missed assignments and blown coverages. If they want a shot to win a shootout with the Fire, they’ll need buckle down on third down and get off the field, but that’s always easier said than done.
Prediction: Munich’s offense gets rolling again, defense lets them down. Rhein 43-24
Paris Musketeers(2-3) v. Stuttgart Surge(4-0)
After avoiding the prototypical “trap game” last week against Munich, the Surge get a chance to defend their home turf this week against the Musketeers. Paris was able to complete their “trap game” victory over Hamburg last week, and the offensive line is slowly, but steadily, improving every week. They’ll need it against arguably the best defensive team in the league. The Surge have held their last two opponents under ten points and the offense, with newly minted QB Jan Weinreich, didn’t miss a step last week. Could this possible be the second straight “trap game” for the Surge? I know the Musketeers look to continue to build off their steady OL improvement, but the task might be too tall for them this week.
Prediction: Hard to pick against Stuttgart, the defense is legit. Stuttgart 28-17
Vienna Vikings(4-0) v. Raiders Tirol(4-1)
The game of the week on paper, the defending ELF Champions travel to take on the Raiders Tirol, who look like they could be in contention this year for the title. The Raiders stumbled two against ago against the mighty Surge defense, only scoring 3 points, but last week they bounced back against the expansion Seamen. It’s exactly what they needed for a confidence boost coming into the week against Vienna. While Vienna avoided an upset against Berlin in week two, they haven’t taken mercy on any opponent since then. They have outscored their opponents 157-47 since week two, a staggering and eye popping number. While the level of competition wasn’t on par as it will be with the Raiders Tirol, it’s an incredibly impressive number and the league needs to be on their toes because the Vikings are playing as if it’s the ELF Championship every week.
Prediction: Raiders make it a game, lose a tough one. Vienna 34-30
After starting my first two prediction columns 7-1, I went 4-4 two weeks ago. This past week I ended up with a respectable 6-2, while I still hunt that elusive 8-0 prediction record. Will week 6 be the week that I finally achieve that goal? That remains to be seen, but until then, enjoy another week of ELF action and I’ll see you back next week for the Predictions column.
Don’t forget to tune into The Summer Showcase, on Thursday nights at 8:30pm EST where I talk about the ELF week and season, mixed with a little CFL.
~Michael Washington(Record 24-8)
Tune Into “The Summer Showcase” as we discuss the European League of Football, and The CFL. We delve into the latest news, recent transactions, and latest injuries.