Another exciting week of USFFL Football is in the books. After five weeks of play we are starting to see some teams pull away from the competition in their division, whereas other divisions are all knotted up at the top. The AFC boasts the only two remaining undefeated teams: Denis Ljung’s Patriots are 5-0 and leading the East by 2.5 games, while Jon Shoemaker’s Ravens are 3 games up in the North. Pete Quaglierini has the Titans up by a game in the South, and David Kukafka’s Broncos are tied with Tim Ervin’s Chiefs in the West. Turning to the NFC, Harlan McLain’s Cobwoys and Bruce Mogg’s Eagles are tied at 4-1 in the East. Mike Martin’s Bears have a 1 game lead in the North. Anthony Tangorra’s Falcons are tied with Mike Niemczura’s Buccaneers in the South, and finally, Dennis Crowley and his Seahawks sit a game up in the crowded NFC West.
We also had a number of close games and last second wins in week 5. Jon Shoemaker held on to his unblemished record by holding off a late surge by Pete Shibley’s Steelers 16-14. Tom Veltry’s Browns got into the W column by holding off the previously undefeated Rich Peer’s 49’ers voracious last minute comeback. In an exciting end to the game, the 49’ers recovered an onside kick and drove into field goal range with 0:01 left on the clock. SF’s kicker had an 80% chance of making the tying field goal but missed wide left to end the game. Tim Hay’s Cardinals came from behind to defeat Jeff Wendlandt’s Bengals, but you can read about that in our Game of the Week.
Game of the Week
A great game that went down to the wire. The Bengals and Joe Mixon completely dominated the first half, holding the ball for over twenty minutes and holding the Cardinals to negative rushing yards. Trailing 13-0 at the half, The Cards received the second half kickoff determined to run the ball. Mixing in the running of Kenyan Drake and David Johnson, Kyler Murray led the Cards to the end-zone making the score 13-7. After a three and out, the Bengals punted but got the ball right back on a muff from Pharaoh Cooper. On the first play from about midfield, Dalton made his only mistake and found the hands of a Cardinal defender instead of his intended receiver. Murray quickly led the Cards down the field but the Bengal defense held inside their ten. The field goal cut the Bengal lead to 13-10. Dalton immediately went to work, slicing and dicing the Cardinal defense on a drive culminating in a Bengal touchdown. Trailing 20-10, Murray again led the Cards down the field but once again the drive stalled inside the ten and they had to settle for a field goal which cut the Bengal lead to 20-13. Unable to get anywhere, the Bengals were forced to punt about midway through the fourth quarter, setting up a dramatic finish. Murray showed his grit by leading the Cards on one final drive. Using up most of the clock, the Cardinals again found themselves inside the ten. This time they wouldn’t be denied as Murray tossed a scoring pass with less than a minute to go. On the road and not looking forward to an overtime coin flip, the Cards went for two and got it with 45 seconds on the clock, giving them a 21-20 lead. The Bengals had one last shot to get in to field goal range but their drive stalled at midfield, allowing the Cardinals to escape with a 21-20 victory.
Philip Rivers completed 32 of 50 for 464 yards and 4 touchdowns in an exciting game versus the Broncos. Patrick Mahomes continued his total dominance over the rest of the league passing for 5 TDs in win over the Colts.
Mike Williams pulled in 8 receptions for 250 yards and 3 TDs. Jared Cook matched him almost step for step with 8 receptions for 188 yards and 3 TD’s of his own.
Chris Carson was unstoppable, scoring 3 rushing TD’s and racking up over 212 yards against the porous Rams rushing defense. Christian McCaffrey carried for 174 yards. Nick Chubb, Philip Lindsey, David Montgomery, Raheem Mostert, Devonta Freeman, and Mark Ingram each carried for over 100 yards.
Odds and Ends
Denver’s kicker Brandon McManus scored 14 points in Denver’s win, and 10 different players had one interception for the week.