When the Raiders and the Giants faced each other last time, it was a tightly-contested game, and the Raiders eked out a 28-21 victory in the dying minutes of the game. This game would be quite different.
On the second play of the game, QB Kumail Meghani was hurt on a lateral play, and continued the game on one leg. The result was a putrid performance with the Raiders QB only completing 14/32 passes, and numerous missed assignments on defense. The Raiders as a team weren’t much better as the second offensive play for the Giants was a short slant for Hussein Champsi, who scored a TD due to 4 missed flag-grabs (see video in the Highlights section of the website). Imran Ebrahim had a monster game last week, and continued that momentum into this week and scored a league-high 4 TD this week. He was also the primary reason why Ammar Dayani had only 1 catch. Taleb Zaidi had another efficient game with 8 TDs and 0 interceptions. For the Raiders, the lone bright spot was Muhammad Ali who is now 3rd in the league in receptions with 45 catches.
In the last 3 weeks, the Giants have switched to man-defense, and they are the only team in the league to deploy a man-defense consistently. The results have been encouraging as the Giants have outscored their opponents 119-63 in their last 3 games. The Raiders now have a 2 game winless streak which could have been 3, if the Steelers decided to end the game in a tie rather than going for 2.
The Cardinals game was a miracle on Sunday; they had all 8 players present for the game. That is a rarity for an Omar-led team. The Bengals were missing Asghar Molu for a second consecutive week, and his leadership, and veteran presence is invaluable to the Bengals. The game was tightly contested, so much so that we saw Said Samater show some emotion after a TD.Said Samater has had a rough go in recent weeks, much of it can be attributed to his finger injury. However, he had his best overall game since the injury, and consistently put his team in good position to score. One of the players who took advantage of this was Nadeem Kassam. “Nads” had a 3-TD game this week, and is on a tear the last 3 games (15 Rec, 7 TDs) – he has quietly been one of the best receivers in the league this season. On the other side, another week and another highlight for Danial Ali (*yawn*). However, he decided to do more than his usual 1-2 Rec. w/ 1 Td. – he had 5 receptions with 3 TDs this week. Another player who chipped in was Ali Raza Rizvi, he had 4 receptions with 1 TD. Talking about highlights, the star play of the game was made by Asad Mewawala. On the Cardinals’ first drive in the second half, Asad baited the Cardinals QB into a poor throw, and set his team into great field positioning where they would eventually score. The game would end in an eventual tie as neither team was able to pull away; and would respond quickly to a TD by their opponent.
The Bengals are now winless in their last two, and for the Cardinals, this puts a stop to their 5 game slide. The Bengals will take on a struggling Raiders team, hoping to play better in their next matchup. The Cardinals will face the first place Steelers and will hope to have a full squad for a second consecutive week.
On paper, this game looked like a lopsided match, especially when you consider the Steelers were missing their beloved “LVP,” putting themselves in a stronger position to win. But that’s why we don’t play the games on paper. We mentioned last week that it would surprise no one if the Patriots were suddenly a championship caliber team, and they showed us all the reasons why they can be just that. The Patriots are the best team in the league in spreading the ball around, and we mentioned that Ali Merali was building a strong rapport with Ali Haroon. This week,Ali Merali had minimal impact on the game offensively, but it didn’t matter. Fayaz Ladha had 3 TDs that tied him with the team lead. Farhan Ratansi had 6 receptions with 2 TDs (two fantastic catches – see highlights on our YouTube page). Hussein Modjtehedi also chipped in with 4 receptions and 1 TD. This game was decided early with an onslaught by the Patriots, and the only question would be if they could preserve the shutout.
While the Steelers were down 28-0, Muzammil Rizvi was heard on the sidelines saying “these guys really think we’re going to lose this game?” The answer to that question was a resounding yes as the Patriots won the game 49-14 – the final score may be too generous for the Steelers. Perhaps, Steelers’ LVP is really their MVP, as he keeps the team together. The Steelers can do a better job of spreading the ball around as they had 3 players with no receptions in this one. The Steelers will face the Cardinals in their next matchup, while the Patriots will face the suddenly dangerous Giants.