We talked about a trend of 9am games being blowouts, and why would Week 10 be any different? While we commend Ali Merali for being out there for his team and trying to contribute, it was clear that he should not have been out there on the field. He was forced into QB duties, and while he showed great upper body strength on a lot of his throws, he was unable to get much zip on his deep throws getting picked a 5 times. Danial Ali had himself a game contributing everywhere going 3/3 with 1TD, 3 receptions, 7 flag grabs and a pick-6; earning himself a co-DPOW honours. Ahsan Raza also enjoyed himself another strong game with 6 receptions and 2 TDs. It seems any time the Bengals are in the redzone, they highlight Ahsan in the back of the end zone and take advantage of his height. Shoaib Mamdani also added a pair of TDs to continue leading the league in TDs – he’s been the MFL TD leader since Week 1. On the Patriots, Mujahid Hemani continues to be a leader on defense, leading his team in flag grabs for a second consecutive week. Hussein Mojtehedi also had a strong week with a receiving TD, and also a rushing TD where he looked like he was shot out of a cannon. We’d also like to shout-out Fayaz Ladha, who asked if there was a “worst player of the week award? – ‘cause he deserves it” – we got you, fam! The Bengals move into 2nd place with the win and the Patriots are now tied with the Giants in 4th place (ahead by 1 in pt. differential).
This will be Hisham Ali’s last game of the season as he heads for surgery, and we wish him all the best in his recovery. He will be replaced by Taha Ali, and the Bengals will have 5 games to adjust to a new player, and a new quarterback for the remainder of the season.
Through 5 weeks, this matchup would have been one of those games that would be easy to overlook as the Steelers were steamrolling teams, and the Giants were being steamrolled by every team in the league. Four weeks later, the Giants are the hottest team in the league, and to do that, all they had to do was deploy man defense. Offensively, it can sometimes be a struggle for the Giants, and it mainly has to do with drops. However, they’ve simplified their plays, and their offense looks vastly improved from the start of the season. Taleb Zaidi is doing a better job of spreading the ball, and the key to Giants offense has been the lack of turnovers in recent games (Taleb is still leading the league in interceptions thrown). Kumail Ali has become a defensive weapon at attacking the QBs and getting timely flag grabs behind the line of scrimmage. Imran Ebrahim has played shutdown defense on the other team’s #1 receiver week in and week out. Rizwan has also been a defensive stalwart for his team tied with the team lead in interceptions at 5 INTs.
The game itself was a back and forth affair, with neither team putting much distance between each other. Allawi & AJ had strong games for the Steelers, and continue to be consistent on a weekly basis. The Steelers were 5-0 to start the season, and have sputtered to a 2-3 record in their last 5 games. The focus for the Steelers has to be squarely on the shoulders on Salim Ladha as he’s on pace to set a career high in interceptions thrown. With that said, the Steelers have not lost 2 in a row this season, and have blown out teams after a loss. On top of that, the Steelers face a Raiders team that they feel like they should have beat last time around, and will be looking for revenge.
The Raiders and the Cardinals did a little role reversal this week, where the Raiders had only 5 players on the field, and an injured QB. Whereas the Cardinals had 6 players, and Said looking more like himself this game. Due to injuries in the last couple of weeks, Kumail Meghani was only able to QB in the red zone, and while he looked good in short distance, it simply won’t be good enough to beat any team in the league at full strength. Bilal Mamdani took over QB-duties for the Raiders, and he was good in the short to intermediate range, he had too many turnovers (5 INTs) to overcome this game. Raiders’ bright spot was once again Taqi Baig (10 receptions w/ 1 TD) who has to be the favourite for the ROY.
The Cardinals played a complete game, something to legitimize their early season success. The Kassam brothers (Nadeem and Khaleel) both led the charge offensively and defensively for the Cardinals. Each had 3 receptions, 2 TDs and a pick-6. Said Samater could have been strong in terms of efficiency, but he did more than enough in the game going 15/27 with 6 TDs & 2 INTs-caught. Another difference in the game was flag-grabs. The Cardinals had 20 flag grabs whereas the Raiders only had 8. The Cardinals are expected to have 6+ players once again, and will face a Patriots team still on the mend.