• 0

The 2019 Bombers vs The 2011 ‘Swaggerville’ Bombers

In 2011, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers had a chance to write a legendary chapter in their team’s history. The franchise was one win away from ending a twenty year title drought.

They were led by the fun to watch ‘Swaggerville’ defence, who led them to a 7-1 record in the first half of the season. That nickname got a large amount of attention. The Mayor, Odell Willis, and CEO (and former Mayor) Jovon Johnson guided the Bombers to a first place finish and held Hamilton to three points in the East Final.

But it wasn’t meant to be. Winnipeg lost to the B.C. Lions in the Grey Cup (and lost both games to the Riders. Almost just as bad) which was followed by four straight playoff misses. Fast forward to 2019, and the Bombers are starting to get some of that Swaggerville look back. Does this year’s squad have any similarities to that 2011 team? It may be a little too early, but let’s take a look:
2019: Matt Nichols.
2011: Buck Pierce.
Two quarterbacks with an injury past, but two quarterbacks that are also tough as nails. Both would stand in the pocket and take a shot if it meant completing the big pass.

Buck was great when he was healthy, and he’s proving his knowledge of the game as a coach right now. The guys seemed to really like playing him. He was always kind of on the fringe of those top three or four quarterbacks in the league, a lot like Matt Nichols.
Running backs 
2019: Andrew Harris.
2011: Fred Reid and Chris Garrett.
Not a lot of similarities with the backs on this team. Harris carries the load on this team, while in 2011 the team went with a one-two punch due to injuries.
2019: Darvin Adams, Nic Demski, Chris Matthews, Lucky Whitehead, Drew Wolitarsky.
2011: Terrence Edwards, Greg Carr, Corey Watson, Clarence Denmark, Kito Poblah.
If Whitehead keeps playing as he did in Week 2, he could have a very similar season to Clarence Denmark’s season in 2011. Watson was a young Canadian receiver making strides that year; Demski isn’t quite as young as him… but close enough.

Both teams possess a solid, reliable number one receivers (Adams now and Edwards previously) and both teams had a sneaky X-factor (Wolitarsky now and Carr previously). Not a lot of super close similarities, but definitely a few.
Offensive line
2019: Stanley Bryant Jr., Geoff Gray, Michael Couture, Cody Speller, Jermarcus Hardrick.
2011: Andre Douglas, Brendon LaBatte, Obby Khan, Steve Morley, Glenn January.
Other than at centre (2011 had a veteran centre in Obby Kahn), The offesnive lines are pretty similar. Both have a first round, high-profile Canadian guard (Gray now andLaBatte previously). Both have veteran tackles, and both are very athletic groups.
Defensive Line
2019: Willie Jefferson, Jackson Jeffcoat, Craig Roh, Jake Thomas, Drake Nevis.
2011: Odell Willis, Doug Brown, Jason Vega, Bryant Turner, Kenny Mainor.
Willis and Jefferson are both the kind of defensive ends that can wreck a game. At the time, Willis was considered one of the CFL’s best young rushers. His start to that 2011 season was ridiculous.

Jefferson has a little bit of a different body type but has the same impact as Odell. Thomas and Roh aren’t quite on the same level as Doug Brown, but Vega and Jeffcoat are both young, promising Internationals.

The 2011 defensive line was the heart of that Swaggerville team. The secondary started their nickname a few years before, but the defensive line was the dominant unit that made it popular. The 2019 version definitely has the potential to do the same
2019: Adam Bighill, Kyrie Wilson, Anthony Gaitor, Jesse Briggs.
2011: Joe Lobendahn, Marcellus Bowman, Clint Kent, Henoc Muamba, Pierre-Luc Labbe.
Not many similarities here, so let’s just move on
2019: Winston Rose, Marcus Sayles, Brandon Alexander, Chandler Fenner, Jeff Hecht.
2011: Jovon Johnson, Jonathan Hefney, Alex Suber, Bandon Stewart, Ian Logan.
Johnson started Swaggerville before 2011. He was the creator, and he led that very talented group. Number two was a vacuum out there, having eight interceptions on the year being as shut down as it gets that season.

This 2019 team doesn’t have a true star corner like him. They both have a veteran Canadian safety, but that might be it. It’s too early to tell though. Maybe Sayles turns into a Hefney type of player.

Again, the Bombers are only 3-0 and it’s probably silly to look ahead already. But Winnipeg hasn’t started a season as the clear cut number one in the west in since that 2011 season. Bomber fans love to dream is this is finally their season. That dream hasn’t been this strong in a long time.

Main image credit: Embed from Getty Imageswindow.gie=window.gie||function(c){(gie.q=gie.q||[]).push(c)};gie(function(){gie.widgets.load({id:’jO0QUzLoQ1NK8me7ZiLhuw’,sig:’YipmMptbQ_Ntstdz2hgendNwPMwYseEZHbdUv_YNT6o=’,w:’594px’,h:’438px’,items:’134649986′,caption: true ,tld:’ca’,is360: false })});The post The 2019 Bombers vs The 2011 ‘Swaggerville’ Bombers appeared first on Last Word on Sports.

  • 0

CFL Week 4 Power Rankings

With Week 4 officially in the books, it’s time to update my CFL power rankings. Week 4 brought its own uniqueness to the CFL season with a little bit of everything. From a controversial rouge for the win to a dominating victory for the defending champs, the week was once again filled with intrigue.

This week will see quite a bit of movement in the power rankings from last week. So without further ado, here are the CFL Week 4 power rankings;
CFL Power Rankings After Week 3
1) Winnipeg Blue Bombers (3-0)
     Last Week Ranking: 1
Is anyone going to beat the Bombers? This team has looked unbeatable in the early stages of the season. With a convincing 29-14 victory over the previously undefeated Ottawa Redblacks, the Bombers are getting it done in all phases of the game.
2) Edmonton Eskimos (2-1)
     Last Week Ranking: 3
Typically, I don’t like moving a team up or down on their bye week. However, thanks to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats underwhelming performance in Montreal last week, this move had to happen. This isn’t to say the Eskimos don’t deserve the number two spot, because they most certainly do based on their play so far this season.
3) Hamilton Tiger-Cats (3-1)
    Last Week Ranking: 2
After crushing the Montreal Alouettes 41-10 in Week 3, there was no way the Tiger-Cats would lose to the Alouettes in Week 4 right? Right? Wrong. While the Alouettes played their best game of the season, the Tiger-Cats certainly played their worst. Not only did thy fall 39-26 in the game, but even worse, they also fell one spot in these power rankings.
4) Calgary Stampeders (2-1)
     Last Week Ranking: 6
With a massive off-season overhaul and multiple key injuries, the Stampeders have no business being a good team. Yet here we are. Again. A blowout win over the Saskatchewan Roughriders in Regina’s Mosaic Stadium vaults the Stamps a couple of spots on this list.
5) Ottawa Redblacks (2-1)
     Last Week Ranking: 4
The Ottawa Redblacks are much better than most people thought they would be at this point of the season. A tough 29-14 loss last week against the Blue Bombers knocks the Redblacks down one spot in this weeks power rankings. However, the Redblacks still appear to be a team to be reckoned with in 2019.
6) Montreal Alouettes (1-2)
    Last Week Ranking: 8
As mentioned, the Alouettes played their best game of this young season in last week’s victory. The Als have had their share of difficulties this year but have actually looked pretty good in two of their three games this season. Could they push Ottawa for second in the CFL East? They just might.
7) Saskatchewan Roughriders (1-3)
     Last Week Ranking: 5
The Saskatchewan Roughriders take a two-spot tumble in this week’s rankings thanks to a 37-10 thrashing at the hands of the Calgary Stampeders. The Roughriders head into their bye week with a lot of questions that need to be answered. Inconsistency has been the theme so far this season, can the Riders rebound and fix their issues? They desperately need to, or this season could be lost quite quickly.
8) BC Lions (1-3)
     Last Week Ranking: 7
I know, I know. The Lions dropped a spot on this week’s rankings despite winning their first game of the season. The Lions defeated the Argonauts 18-17 in a “thriller” at BMO Field in Toronto. Despite their first victory of the season, the Lions still have much work to do. However, with a veteran group and an excellent coaching staff, one could see this Lions team turning their season around soon.
9) Toronto Argonauts (0-3)
     Last Week Ranking: 9
The Argonauts are firmly planted in last place in the CFL and on this list. The good news is the Argos weren’t blown out again this week but this team just looks disconnected. With the Winnipeg Blue Bombers up next on the schedule, it would be a safe bet to see this team at the bottom of the list next week as well.
The Last Word
As promised, there was a lot of movement this week on the power rankings. However, based on the results of the games in Week 4, the movements seem justified.

CFL Week 5 has many intriguing match-ups on the docket and we could see a lot of movement once again in the standings. Not to mention on this list as well.

As always, would love to hear your thoughts on these rankings and feel free to tell me yours. Enjoy Week 5.

Main image credit:
Embed from Getty Imageswindow.gie=window.gie||function(c){(gie.q=gie.q||[]).push(c)};gie(function(){gie.widgets.load({id:’JT2Nem9BTHVBvw3guSgtTA’,sig:’SpOTVQgovGXDQdE7W4e7ZP6WtUekLHuYju6pFGu9sHM=’,w:’594px’,h:’446px’,items:’1160818861′,caption: true ,tld:’ca’,is360: false })});The post CFL Week 4 Power Rankings appeared first on Last Word on Sports.

  • 0

Jon Rahm’s rise to The Open Championship

At just 24-years old, Jon Rahm has already amassed a notable career including eight professional victories. The always captivating Spaniard is already putting in a well rounded 2019 season and is surging up the world ranks just in time for the 2019 Open Championship in less than two weeks at Northern Ireland’s Royal Portrush Golf Club.

Rahm broke into the PGA Tour in his first professional event at the Quicken Loans National in 2016. He finished tied for 3rd that week but held at least a share of the lead in two rounds of his inaugural pro tournament. A two-time Ben Hogan award winner at Arizona State, the Sun Devil alumni rose to first in the World Amateur Golf Rankings in 2015.

In his last outing before turning pro, Rahm finished as the top amateur in the 2016 U.S. Open with a tied-23rd finish. With a proven pedigree already at such a young age, it seems not a question of if, but rather when Rahm will capture the elusive first major championship. With momentum on his side, Royal Portrush may be the perfect time and place to prove he can claim victory on one of the most historic stages in golf.
Major history
Since he truly found his form in 2018 it’s been all or nothing for the Spaniard in major championships. In his last seven major starts, he has finished top-10 on four occasions while missing the cut the other three. Most recently he finished tied for 3rd at the U.S. Open.

In addition to his top-three finish at Pebble Beach, Rahm once again placed inside the top-10 at The Masters for the second straight year. Sandwiched between the first and third majors this year the 24-year old found himself on the outside looking in this past May at Bethpage Black. After an even-par 70 in round one, Jon Rahm stumbled on Friday at the PGA Championship with a 5-over second round of 75 to miss the cut by just one stroke.

Unfortunately for Rahm his best finish at The Open was a tie for 44th in 2017 followed up by a missed cut just last year. But with the momentum of a career season and a big win this past week in Ireland, he will look to rewrite his own recent Open history a come out on top of the leaderboard among the top players in the entire world.
A career year for Jon Rahm
In 14 events thus far this year Rahm has placed top-10 in nine tournaments. Including a four-stroke victory at the Hero World Challenge victory December, the 8th ranked player in the world has already accumulated three professional victories around the globe in the past eight months. Building on his early momentum, and posting a final tournament score of 26-under par Rahm won the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, along with playing partner Ryan Palmer, in April by a commanding three strokes.

Despite a less than stellar history at The Open Championship, location may be on his side this year. In 2017 Rahm picked up his first international win at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open. Not only did he claim victory that year at Portstewart Golf Club, but he also set both the aggregate (264) and to par (-24) record for the Irish Open.

Two years later Rahm matched his low aggregate total while picking up his second Irish Open victory, this time at Lahinch Golf Club. A young man that isn’t afraid to wear his emotions on his sleeve is tailor-made to captivate audiences around the world.

Love him or hate him he’s a must-watch and likely one of the favorites when he tees off in less than two weeks time. Just over 400km away from his most recent victory lies the host course of this year’s Open Championship, Royal Portrush. With Rahm’s success, both past and present, in Northern Ireland, this could be his best chance to finally raise the Claret Jug.

Embed from Getty Imageswindow.gie=window.gie||function(c){(gie.q=gie.q||[]).push(c)};gie(function(){gie.widgets.load({id:’5pFB_vygSihsMigK1J0aog’,sig:’iRvVAp4Wy3W_u787pChHhJwuPu0TTpHQIGzh_RGKv2I=’,w:’594px’,h:’396px’,items:’1160600767′,caption: true ,tld:’com’,is360: false })});

 The post Jon Rahm’s rise to The Open Championship appeared first on Last Word on Sports.

  • 0

The Odds of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Leaving Arsenal This Summer

Arsenal and Gabon striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been in the transfer headlines quite a lot recently. Normally he is making headlines for scoring goals, but this time he is being linked with a move away from his current club.
What are the Odds of Aubameyang Leaving Arsenal?
The Player’s Situation
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is coming off of an excellent first full season in the Premier League. He jointly won the Golden Boot, along with Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah, by netting 22 goals.

His fine form held in the Europa League, where he helped Arsenal to the final by finding the back of the net on eight occasions. Just why would such a player want to leave his current club? 

Firstly, his form must be considered. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has proven that he is one of the best strikers in the world by replicating his free-scoring Borussia Dortmund days. Such a player would not only want but likely feel he deserves, to play in the Champions League.

Secondly, the club must be considered. While Arsenal are in no real danger of falling out of a top-six place in the Premier League, they have begun to look a club on the wane. Many of the issues left over by Arsene Wenger have yet to be solved, they are on a relatively tight budget and have suffered some really poor results throughout this past season.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, or any top player, would want to play on the biggest stage, even if they love the club for which they play. Eden Hazard’s decision to go to Real Madrid is one such example. While the Belgian likely has no hard feelings toward Chelsea, he couldn’t resist the temptation of such a big club any longer.

Aubameyang certainly seems to love Arsenal, but could he be tempted? 
What Are the Odds?
There are relatively few clubs who could lure the striker from north London. Due to their spending spree this summer, Real Madrid are one possible destination with SkyBet giving 20/1 odds for the Galacticos to sign Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

However, they are only the bookies’ third-favourites to sign the striker. Skybet are also offering 6/1 odds that any Chinese club will sign Aubameyang. Gooners will not like the name of the odds-maker’s favourites, though.

Because they wish to offload striker Romelu Lukaku, Manchester United are the favourites to sign Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang with Skybet offering 13/8 odds for the transfer to happen. If you do fancy a wager, however, be prudent as Arsenal may not wish to sell. One could consider a no deposit offer, for example a free bet no deposit offer on thebookiesoffers.co.uk, while deciding on which of these odds to place their bets. For those interested in placing a bet on a match this summer, Bet365 is offering 1.5/1 odds of Nigeria beating Cameroon in the African Cup of Nations round of 16. Meanwhile, William Hill is currently offering 2.8/1 odds of hosts Egypt winning the tournament on their home soil.
The Club’s Situation
The reason being that Arsenal are not motivated sellers. Raul Sanllehi has expressed his desire to decide on the future of a player when they have two years on their contract, as Aubameyang does.

While this may sound like a transfer is possible, the club will be wary of losing their most valuable asset. Aubameyang’s goals would be very difficult to replace, especially for a club whose third-highest scorer in the league (Henrikh Mkhitaryan) only found the back of the net on six occasions.

Perhaps Arsenal will opt for keeping the player, even if they cannot extend his contract. Beyond the production problems a transfer would pose, there are also the financial problems.

Replacing a 20 goal per season striker would cost a great sum of money, something the club simply does not have and would, therefore, have to reinvest the transfer fee from Aubameyang back into the market. 

The other alternative would be to buy a few strikers and hope that all of them together would replace the goals the club would lose. Either would be an expensive proposition.

Don’t forget that this is also a squad that needs work in other areas. Adding to the needs in a summer where funds are limited would necessitate leaving other areas unattended until a subsequent transfer window.

Simply put, Arsenal will do almost anything to keep Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at the club for one more summer at least.The post The Odds of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Leaving Arsenal This Summer appeared first on Last Word on Sports.

  • 0

Week 4 CFL Fantasy Picks: Draftkings and TSN

We saw a nice bounce-back for the CFL Fantasy Picks column in Week 3. Let’s see if we can keep the momentum going as we head into Week 4! Let’s get into it. 
C.J. Fajardo 
Draftkings = $8.700/$50,000
TSN = $7,793/$40,000
Somehow C.J. Fajardo is not priced up with the elite quarterbacks by now. After back to back outings of 34+ fantasy points, he is still under $9,000 on Draftkings and under $8,000 on TSN. Fajardo has been setting the world on fire ever since he took over for the injured Zach Collaros in Week 1.

So far this season he has a touchdown to interception ratio of 4:0, a quarterback rating of 122.8 and has a rushing touchdown in each of the Roughriders’ three games. Fajardo looks like a slam dunk play this week as Saskatchewan welcomes the Stampeders onto their home turf.  
John White IV 
Draftkings = $6,300/$50,000
TSN = $5,800/$40,000 
This may seem like point chasing after White IV’s breakout last week, but it appears he has tightened his grip on the running back duties for the Lions. John White IV stuffed the stat sheet in week three against the Stampeders, rushing 14 times for 64 yards and a touchdown, and added 9 catches for 87 yards and a touchdown.

We really hadn’t seen much of White IV in previous weeks as BC had been having to play catchup forcing them to abandon the run game. Even though they lost to the Stampeders, BC controlled much of the game which led to a large dose of White IV. When they visit Toronto this week, I expect a similar workload for White IV as the Argonauts look to be one of the weaker teams in the league this season. As I mentioned earlier, White IV’s workload has steadily increased with each week of play. 
Mossis Madu Jr. 
Draftkings = $5,300/$50,000
TSN = $6,600/$40,000 
If you look even further down the running back list this week, you will see Redblacks’ ball carrier Mossis Madu Jr. Madu has been doing the heavy lifting for Ottawa and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. His price may be too cheap for the volume he receives. He does have a tough matchup against Winnipeg, but he doesn’t have to do much to pay off his salary this week. 
Brandon Banks 
Draftkings = $10,000/$50,000
TSN = $14,000/$40,000
As long as the Tiger-Cats’ receiving core is banged up, it is hard to fade Brandon Banks. This may seem like a “well, duh” play as far as CFL fantasy picks go but the price tag may have some people scared to trust Banks this week. Although Luke Tasker is on track to be back this week, Bralon Addison will be watching from the sideline.

This leaves a target hole in the Tiger-Cats’ passing attack leaving a few extra looks to go Banks’ way. He has not been held under 20 fantasy points yet this season and has gone for 30+ in each of the last two games. Expect more of the same as Banks and the Tiger-Cats get to go up against a weak Montreal team for the second straight week. 
With the chalky Banks recommendation above, I’ll add a quick tournament thought. The Toronto Argonauts will be without starting quarterback James Franklin for a little while, leaving McLeod Bethel-Thompson at the helm. With that in mind, I expect all of the Argonauts receivers to carry minuscule ownership this week.

The Argonauts will presumably find themselves behind during the game which should lead to some increased volume for their pass catchers. If I was going for upside I would lean Derel Walker, and if I was looking to play it safe, Llevi Noel looks to have solidified a solid role at a super cheap price. 
Hamilton Tiger-Cats
Draftkings = $5,400/$50,000
TSN = $4,471/$40,000
The Tiger-Cats look to be the play on defence this week as they will have another soft matchup against the Alouettes. They have posted double-digit fantasy points in each of their three games. They have racked up sacks, interceptions and defensive touchdowns while holding each of their opponents to under 20 total points so far this season. 

That’s going to do it for this week’s positional breakdown. Let’s keep the ball rolling as we kick-off our CFL Fantasy Picks for Week 4!

Main image credit:
Embed from Getty Imageswindow.gie=window.gie||function(c){(gie.q=gie.q||[]).push(c)};gie(function(){gie.widgets.load({id:’aqUzJNFURc51kFqmvQ_L1g’,sig:’3IG0H0uLH1h563ra7U0aEuR6Gg9FRkHPT308mNK633A=’,w:’594px’,h:’396px’,items:’1151354149′,caption: true ,tld:’ca’,is360: false })});The post Week 4 CFL Fantasy Picks: Draftkings and TSN appeared first on Last Word on Sports.

  • 0

CFL Week 3 Power Rankings

It is time once again for the CFL power rankings, Week 3 edition. Let’s take this opportunity to reflect on the past week and take a look at how each team stacks up moving forward.

Week 3 of the CFL season did not disappoint. From a premier match-up to an improbable comeback, to summer storms, this week had everything. As is per usual in the CFL, the entertainment was off the charts. But how does each team rank heading into Week 4? Glad you asked, let’s take a look.
CFL Power Rankings After Week 3
1) Winnipeg Blue Bombers (3-0)
     Last Week Ranking: 1

In what was labelled as the premier match-up in Week 3, the Blue Bombers were able to hold off Sean Whyte and the Eskimos. Although the Bombers didn’t play their best game of the season, it was enough to knock off the second place Eskimos. Therefore, the Bombers remain number one on this list.
2) Hamilton Tiger-Cats (3-0)
  Last Week Ranking: 3

In the last two weeks, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats have outscored their opponents 105-24. Yes, they have played arguably the CFL’s two worst teams, but impressive scores nonetheless. The Tiger-Cats look to be in mid-season form already and deserve to be second on this list.
3) Edmonton Eskimos (2-1)
Last Week Ranking: 2

After starting the season at 2-0, the Eskimos seemed to have met their match in Week 3. The Winnipeg Blue Bombers held Trevor Harris and the Eskimos to exactly zero offensive touchdowns. Harris had thrown for six touchdowns in two games prior to this one, but couldn’t find the end zone in this contest. The Eskimos found themselves on the wrong end of a 28-21 decision and have dropped one spot in this week’s rankings.
4) Ottawa Redblacks (2-0)
Last Week Ranking: 4

The Redblacks hang in at the number four spot thanks to their Week 3 bye.
5) Saskatchewan Roughriders (1-2)
Last Week Ranking: 7

The Saskatchewan Roughriders have moved up two spots in this week’s rankings. This ranking is largely based on the play of back-up quarterback Cody Fajardo as well as the rebound game for the Riders defence. The Riders amassed over 500 yards total offence against the Argonauts, while the defence held them to just seven points in a 32-7 victory.
6) Calgary Stampeders (1-1)
Last Week Ranking: 5

The Stampeders are a difficult team to get a read on. Yes, they are 1-1 but have not looked great in either of their games. A late fourth-quarter victory in Week 3 while impressive, left a lot more questions than answers. Many key injuries combined with what seems to be some holes in the line-up, it is difficult to know what Calgary truly is. We should learn a lot from them in Week 4 when they play their first road game of the year in Regina.
7) BC Lions  (0-3)
Last Week Ranking: 7

The BC Lions gave up a substantial late fourth-quarter lead to the Calgary Stampeders in Week 3. The Lions played fairly well for most of the game and should have walked out of Calgary with a win. But they didn’t, and now have an 0-3 record to start the season. The Lions need to find consistency in their play in order to turn their season around.
8) Montreal Alouettes (0-2)
Last Week Ranking: 8

The Montreal Alouettes franchise seems to be in disarray both on and of the field. A strong effort in week one had cause for optimism in Montreal, but a 41-10 loss after their bye week left a lot to be desired. The Alouettes need to find their way, and quickly.
9) Toronto Argonauts (0-2)
Last Week Ranking: 9

The ranking here might be a little high considering what we have seen from the Argos so far in 2019. Outscored in their two games by a combined total of 96-21, the Argonauts look absolutely terrible in all aspects of their game.
The Last Word
While we are only three weeks into the season, some of the story-lines playing out will be interesting to follow. How long will the Bombers hold the number one spot? Are the Tiger-Cats for real? Will the Roughriders continue to ride their hot quarterback?

There are a lot of questions left to be answered in the early going. Looking forward to it all playing out.

Main image credit:
Embed from Getty Imageswindow.gie=window.gie||function(c){(gie.q=gie.q||[]).push(c)};gie(function(){gie.widgets.load({id:’2DTddJLkT3drd4IifvlEYQ’,sig:’s1lnte9osa18WAC99n0G13E-rTuVeD4Bs00E2AwygjQ=’,w:’594px’,h:’383px’,items:’1152687558′,caption: true ,tld:’ca’,is360: false })});The post CFL Week 3 Power Rankings appeared first on Last Word on Sports.

  • 0

Brown Jr., Rodgers, Hilliard named 2019 LWOS IFL Honorable Mentions

As part of the 2019 LWOS Indoor Football League Awards, we gave out an overall MVP as well as our players of the year on each side of the ball on top of special teams.

We wanted to recognize a trio of players that had outstanding seasons, but didn’t earn name awards.

So, this season, we’re announcing Sioux Falls’ Lorenzo Brown Jr., San Diego’s Marques Rodgers, and Quad City’s E.J. Hilliard as honorable mentions to the Player of the Year Awards
Brown Jr., Rodgers, Hilliard named 2019 LWOS IFL Honorable Mentions

LWOS IFL Honorable Mention: Lorenzo Brown Jr., QB – Sioux Falls Storm

Lorenzo Brown Jr. was a no-brainer for this award after his play in big games this season.

Despite losing twice to Arizona, Brown Jr. led his Sioux Falls team to not one, but two come from behind wins over the Iowa Barnstormers. 

The most recent came in the United Conference championship game, where Brown Jr.’s play and leadership helped the Storm advance to its 10th straight United Bowl championship game.


LWOS IFL Honorable Mention: Marques Rodgers, WR – San Diego Strike Force 

The wideout known as “hoodie” made our honorable mention list as well, putting up some of the most extraordinary numbers of the group.

Rodgers not only had a strong season receiving, but also tallied the most return yards overall by anyone in the league.

His 2,229 all-purpose yards is a mark that nobody could touch this season.


LWOS IFL Honorable Mention: E.J. Hilliard, QB – Quad City Steamwheelers

Our final honorable mention goes to Quad City quarterback E.J. Hilliard.

Hilliard led the IFL in passing yards per game, almost averaging 200 per contest, and was a pair of touchdowns away from tying for the league lead.


He was essential to Quad City’s first year in the IFL and almost helped them to a berth in the IFL Playoffs.

Click below for a full list of all of the IFL Awards:

Coach of the Year: Corey Roberson
Most Valuable Player: Ryan Balentine
Players of the Year: Daquan Neal, Allen Chapman, & Eric Thomas
LWOS IFL Honorable Mentions: Lorenzo Brown Jr., Marques Rodgers, & E.J. Hilliard
LWOS First and Second All-IFL TeamsThe post Brown Jr., Rodgers, Hilliard named 2019 LWOS IFL Honorable Mentions appeared first on Last Word on Sports.

  • 0

Neal, Chapman, Thomas named 2019 LWOS IFL Players of the Year

As part of the 2019 LWOS Indoor Football League Awards, we gave out an overall MVP as well as our players of the year on each side of the ball on top of special teams.

This season, Iowa’s Daquan Neal, Arizona’s Allen Chapman, and Nebraska’s Eric Thomas were each honored.
Neal, Chapman, Thomas named 2019 LWOS IFL Players of the Year

LWOS IFL Offensive Player of the Year: Daquan Neal, QB – Iowa Barnstormers

Daquan Neal secured our Offensive Player of the Year spot with his superb play in his rookie season with the Iowa Barnstormers.



Neal led Iowa to a 12-3 record while leading the IFL in passing touchdowns (59) and finishing second in the league in rushing scores (24).

If it hadn’t been for an injury that he suffered with just under 11 minutes to play in the United Conference championship game, Neal might have led the Barnstormers to a second straight United Bowl.


LWOS IFL Defensive Player of the Year: Allen Chapman, DB – Arizona Rattlers

Allen Chapman earned his spot as our Defensive Player of the Year as the top, lock-down defensive back in lead.

With six interceptions, Chapman tied two others at the top of the charts for the most in the IFL this season. On top of it, he added 41 solo tackles and a plethora of pass break-ups.

Chapman also helped lead the Rattlers to their first undefeated season in franchise history, as well as their second United Bowl in three seasons – coming up on July 13.


LWOS IFL Special Teams Player of the Year: Eric Thomas, KR – Nebraska Danger

Earning the Special Teams Player of the Year award was Eric Thomas, despite not being the only kick returner that the Danger have used in a majority of games this season.

Despite not getting a ton of returns, Thomas led the IFL in yards per return, running 21.4 yards during each chance.

Thomas was the only player in the league to earn three returns for touchdowns and helped Nebraska to get back to the IFL semi-finals as well as a winning record.

Click below for a full list of all of the LWOS IFL Awards:

Coach of the Year: Corey Roberson
Most Valuable Player: Ryan Balentine
Players of the Year: Daquan Neal, Allen Chapman, & Eric Thomas
Honorable Mentions: Lorenzo Brown Jr., Marques Rodgers, & E.J. Hilliard
LWOS First and Second All-IFL TeamsThe post Neal, Chapman, Thomas named 2019 LWOS IFL Players of the Year appeared first on Last Word on Sports.

  • 0

Green Bay’s Corey Roberson named LWOS IFL Coach of the Year

With the Indoor Football League’s (IFL) semifinal playoff games wrapped up and in the books, it’s time again for Last Word On Sports annual awards announcement.
Our department is proud to be celebrating our third annual selection announcement for the IFL.
We kept it simple for this week and put out our All-IFL teams on Tuesday before releasing our Individual Awards such as MVP, Coach of the Year, etc. this morning.
As always, thanks for following along to our coverage this season.

Green Bay’s Corey Roberson named LWOS IFL Coach of the Year
This season in the IFL, a certain head coach led his team to a 15-0, undefeated season and never failed to score more than 50 points in each game his squad played in.

Another led his squad to its 10th straight championship game in the league.

We could even throw in a third that helped his team to the league semifinals for a third season in a row – a first in the franchise’s history.

However, accross the board, nothing was more impressive than the turnaround job that Corey Roberson has done for the Green Bay Blizzard.

Before Roberson was permanently named head coach of the team last August, the Blizzard had not been to the Indoor Football League playoffs since the 2012 season. It was the longest drought among any active team coming into the 2019 season.

The Blizzard started off the year losing two of their first three games, including a 41-3 wallop against Iowa.

That’s when Roberson and co. kicked it into high gear.

Green Bay finished the season with an 8-3 record in their final 11 games, winning their final three to streak into the playoffs and nearly take down Nebraska.

In fact, if it hadn’t been for a fluke fumble, it would have been the Blizzard traveling to Arizona in the semifinal round of the playoffs.

That’s a spot that has been largely filled by Nebraska over the past few seasons.

No matter if Green Bay can keep this going – and they certainly can – in the future, 2019 was the year of Corey Roberson and the Blizzard, and it was spectacular to finally see it.

Click below for a full list of all of the LWOS IFL Awards:

Coach of the Year: Corey Roberson
Most Valuable Player: Ryan Balentine
Players of the Year: Daquan Neal, Allen Chapman, & Eric Thomas
Honorable Mentions: Lorenzo Brown Jr., Marques Rodgers, & E.J. Hilliard
LWOS First and Second All-IFL TeamsThe post Green Bay’s Corey Roberson named LWOS IFL Coach of the Year appeared first on Last Word on Sports.

  • 0

Ryan Balentine named 2019 LWOS IFL MVP

Ryan Balentine ended his 2018 Indoor Football League season with a three-touchdown game in the United Bowl, winning the MVP for the championship game.

He picked up right where he left off in 2019.
Ryan Balentine named 2019 LWOS IFL MVP
With the departure of fellow veteran wideout Brady Roland and a new quarterback in Daquan Neal for this season, the pressure was heating up for Balentine to step up.

Coach Dixie Wooten chose to roll with a young squad for the 2019 campaign, meaning the few players returning from last season’s roster would be vastly important to Iowa’s success this year.

Balentine did more than come through.

The former Southern Mississippi star averaged two touchdowns per game, this year. Including his all-purpose scores, Balentine ended the year with 30 trips to the end zone.

Not only was his 28 receiving touchdowns the best mark in the IFL, Balentine also recorded a league high 1,084 yards through receptions, beating the next highest wideout by 159 yards.

His 89 receptions were more than anyone else in the league had by 19.

Balentine’s play helped the Barnstormers advance to the league semifinals for the third straight season – a first in the franchise’s history that dates back to 1995.

Iowa finished the season with a 12-3 record, and were an injury to Neal away from heading to a second-straight championship game.

The No. 1 dominated play no matter where he went whether it was Sioux Falls, Green Bay, or in Des Moines – a place he has called home longer than any other in his long career in the IFL.

All of this helped us select Balentine as our 2019 Last Word On Sports IFL Most Valuable Player as well as an All-IFL First Team selection at wide receiver.

LWOS announced its 2019 All-IFL teams yesterday and has also announced its 2019 Players of the Year as well as honorable mentions.

Coach of the Year: Corey Roberson
Most Valuable Player: Ryan Balentine
Players of the Year: Daquan Neal, Allen Chapman, & Eric Thomas
Honorable Mentions: Lorenzo Brown Jr., Marques Rodgers, & E.J. Hilliard
LWOS First and Second All-IFL TeamsThe post Ryan Balentine named 2019 LWOS IFL MVP appeared first on Last Word on Sports.