The Lions & Seahawks are two teams heading in different directions. Last year’s captain Shoaib Mamdani has shown that standings in the regular season don’t mean much, and it’s all about the preparation leading up to the playoffs. However, the early season struggles have to start weighing on him as the Seahawks aren’t doing anything particularly well at the moment. The Lions welcomed Omar Khamissa for his season debut, and he didn’t disappoint giving us an early Play of the Game on a contested TD reception in the first half (he would add a second TD later on). Asghar Molu has started to emerge as Kumail Meghani’s go-to option; after 3 weeks he leads the league with 21 receptions and 8 TDs. With that said, the Lions are far form a one-man team on offense as Mikael Ratansi & Ali Jessa are 3rd and 4th respectively in receptions. The Lions are still a team that is not yet clicking on all cylinders as Asim Mirza has yet to get going, and that’s a scary thought for the league.
The Seahawks had a great performance by their captain Shoaib Mamdani, who had 2 INTs, and a receiving TD. The second INT gave his team a chance late in the game to tie, or possibly take the lead with a 2-pt conversion. Another player with a great offensive performance was Fayaz Ladha, who finally had his breakout performance of the season with 9 receptions and 1 TD. In positive news, Mujataba Abidi had a completion percentage of 70%,and used his wheels more this time around with a rushing TD. He also discovered the deep ball late in the game to bring his team back. Seahawks would fall in this one by a TD margin, and are now 0-3 on the season. Even with an 0-3record, a lot of the Seahawks issues are solvable. They were atrocious on their flag pulls, and consistently gave additional yards to the Lions. They also have to limit their turnovers, and that goes back to the QB; sometimes, a good defense is a good offense.
Flags All Day – Mujahid Hemani
We made a note last week of the Patriots already looking forward to their matchup against the Lions, and that proved to be the case. The Patriots were not prepared against the Ravens, and if there’s one guy you have to gameplan against, it’s Ammar Jessa. The Ravens came out firing early in the game by locking up the Patriots’ receivers, and shutting down a team that had just dropped 56 points the week before. You don’t have to look anything beyond the box score for the dismal performance by the Patriots as no receiver had more than 3 receptions, and Khizer Jamal went only 15/27 in the game. One player we’d like to highlight this week is Mujahid Hemani, as he seemed like the only person who showed heart, and is firmly putting himself in the conversation for the Defensive Player of the Year. He had 6 flag grabs, Farhan Ratansi had 6 flag grabs and Mehdi Nasser had 3… no one else had a flag grab on the Patriots. If the Patriots hope to challenge the Lions in the upcoming matchup, that number has to improve and they’ll need defensive contributions from everyone.
Hisham Ali continues a MVP-caliber season as he currently paces the league in completion % at 74%. The Ravens combine a unique combination of speed, IQ and height that makes them perhaps the most complete team in the league. Sarfaraaz Kara finally got some extended playing time and came away with the Defensive Player of the Week honours with his INT-TD to seal the game early in the second half. The Ravens’ offense works in all levels as Ali Merali runs the deep route, Hussein Champsi & Muhammad Ali play the second level, and at any moment, Ammar can turn a check down pass into a long-TD. The Ravens also have creative designs for their running plays with some misdirection, and reverses. At one point, the Ravens may have gotten a little too cute on their designs which turned into an INT for Muhammad Ali. We only bring this up because Muhammad Ali wanted his INT-stat counted from Week 1… we just wanted to make sure we counted this as well 😉
In the end, the Ammar factor was too much for the Patriots even though they had Mehdi Nasser shadowing him for the game. He had 5 receptions, and he turned that into 4 TDs. Make sure to keep checking back for week 3 highlights,the last of his TDs was truly ridiculous (Play of the Game/Week/Season?). In the future, we may just say “Ammar did stuff… check the highlights,” because at a certain point, even we’re speechless. We’re excited to watch next week’s matchup between the Ravens and the Raiders; we’re highlighting this one as our Game of the Week.
That’s what happens when I guard you, you can’t catch. – Taha Ali (directed at Danial Ali after a dropped catch)
Well, this is a score we didn’t expect. Muzammil Rizvi was confident in his team’s ability, and their new defensive gameplan for Week 3 against an undefeated Raiders team. This game was over before it began, as Said had 3 INTs on his first 4 throws of the game… not sure if we’ve ever had a statline like this to start a game. The Raiders played man, and played well defensively, but when you only score 1 TD late in the second half… you’re not going to win many games. The Raiders were without Ammar Dayani, however we feel there’s more talent than just Ammar and Taha on this team. This loss is on the shoulders of their QB who took responsibility of the loss, and now leads the league in interception thrown.
The Panthers played far from a perfect game, as we counted at least 5 long would-be TD passes missed by QB Taleb Zaidi (2 to Danial Ali, 2to Ahmed Al-Waili & 1 to Alla Al-Salem). But this wasn’t a game about offense for the Panthers; this was all about defense. Coming into the game, the Panthers were allowing 56 PPG! To put that into perspective, even after only allowing 7 pts, the Panthers still lead the league in Pts allowed by 2 TDs. Alla Al-Salem had another great week with 5 receptions and 3 TDs. The Play of the Game goes to Muzammil Rizvi who had a long TD reception, but it was the celebration that stole the show (Juju Smith-Schuster would be proud). Lastly, someone whose numbers don’t really show up on the boxscore but had a great game defensively was Farhan Jafri. He routinely pressured the QB, and didn’t allow many catches in his zone altogether. We’re still waiting for both Jafri brothers to have their annual blow-up games where they go for 3+ TDs with 10+receptions.