We will be taking individual photos for the 2019 season before each game, so please remember to bring your best look to MFL. If you’d like on how to do your hair, please contact Muzammil Rizvi, affectionately known as Shiny Face.
Just a rule clarification for this season, QB kneels are allowed to run out the clock.
You’re not catching anything today – Taha Ali (directed towards Abuzar Abbas)
This was one of those instances where the game actually lives up to the hype. Both teams heading into this game felt like they should have had a better result in Week 1. The Seahawks were coming into this game hoping for a better result after losing Imran Ebrahim for the season last week. Their defense hadn’t allowed a point until that injury, and they were out to prove that they’re a top-notch defensive team. On the other side, the Raiders played an emotional game against the Patriots the previous week which ended in a tie. We mentioned the Raiders speed last week, and it was on display early and often on this one.
Early on, it was the Ammar Dayani show. As he had a long TD, an INT and a pass defensed early on in the game. We also have a feeling he’s vying for MFL to introduce extra point and field goals so he can show off his kicking prowess with his new TD-celebration. And while early on it was Ammar Dayani, later on it was Shoaib Mamdani who beat Ammar deep twice for long-TDs, one of them a tightly contested catch. While the Raiders won this game at the buzzer, the play of the game came slightly earlier when Mohammad Railey caught a one-handed INT in the endzone, and took it the distance with no one in 15 yards of him.
The Raiders played a mix of man & zone, and one of the game within the game was the matchup between Taha Ali and Abuzar Abbas. Early on, Taha told Abuzar “you’re not catching anything today,” and in the end, Abuzar Abbas only had 1 reception. The Raiders have played excellent defense, and can line-up man on any team. The Seahawks have had trouble moving the ball down the field consistently. It’s a learning curve for the new QB Mujtaba Abidi, and after two weeks, he has a 4:3 TD-to-INT ratio. It’ll be interesting to see how much patience Shoaib Mamdani will exercise before he decides to make a change. The Seahawks have also played well defensively, but without a consistent offensive attack, they’re second from the bottom. Seahawks will face the undefeated Lions next week, while the Raiders face the winless Panthers.
The Ravens played the last ten seconds of their game against the Seahawks, and Muhammad Ali got an interception on the first and only throw of that game (yes Mumlee, we recorded the stat for you). Much jubilation was had… but alas, a double header was in store for the Ravens (if you can really call it that). The Ravens were facing an undermanned Lions team missing Asim Mirza, Bilal Sabowala and Omar Khamissa. The Lions didn’t get the memo, as the Lions came out roaring on the first drive with Asghar Molu doing much of the heavy lifting coming fresh off the Player of the Week from Week 1. Asghar seems to be aging like fine halal wine; as he keeps on getting better, and has fit right in with the Lions this year. The Lions took an early 2-TD lead, and were in control of the game in the first half.
The Ravens started the game off playing a mix of zone and man, but eventually had to put Ammar Jessa on Asghar Molu, and safety over the top. The Ravens should have been better defensively, as they were not consistently rushing the QB, and 6 players should be able to guard 4 offensive players. The Ravens also ran into a little bit of bad luck as a couple of drops in the end-zone really changed the complexion of this game in the first half. QB Hisham Ali had an efficient game going 21/27. For the Ravens to be successful, the deep ball seems like a must for their game, and Ali Merali had a few opportunities this game getting behind the defense. Muhammad Abbas Amarshi also turned in a solid outing with 2 TD receptions.
It was hard to narrow down a play of the game as a lot of players made some great catches in this game. Offensive Player of the Week Miakel Ratansi had a great TD catch on 4th down at the back of the end-zone while falling down on a one-footed throw by QB Kumail Meghani. Ali Merali had a long TD late in the second half where his head bounced off the turf, yet he held onto the ball. But the play of the game (and possibly the season so far), was made by Ali Jessa. A ball that looked like it was thrown away by QB Kumail Meghani was caught by Ali Jessa while tip-toeing the sideline.
Everybody eats! – Farhan Ratansi
The final game of the week featured the Patriots and the Panthers. The Patriots lost Shaneali Kara for the season, and we hope for a speedy recovery for him, he was replaced by Roman Ahmed. The newcomer didn’t waste much time introducing himself to the league. He went absolutely beserk in his first week with 4 TDs. It’s silly to discuss Rookie of the Year this early in the season, but he’s our way too early season pick for ROY. The Patriots were unhappy campers with a tie game last week, especially since they had an opportunity on their last drive to win the game. Well, they took out their frustration on the Panthers in a complete manner. Captain Farhan Ratansi coined “everybody eats,” and they were all well-fed by QB Khizer Jamal. The Patriots took an early lead in the game, and never looked back. The aforementioned Khizer Jamal was brilliant in this one, earning himself Defensive Player of the Week in limited playing time on defense. He had a very good case for Offensive Player of the Week. The Patriots lived off big chunk plays, mostly via Farhan Ratansi & Mujahid Hemani in the middle of the field. The Patriots seem to have playmakers all over the field. Khalil Najarali has been a defensive stalwart, and was heard saying “trust me, I can catch” after he caught his first TD of the season. Another playmaker is Mehdi Nasser, who had an interception on the very first play of his MFL career (and a long TD on a later drive). The Patriots will be a tough team to face each week without a true weakness, and they’re a confident bunch asking “who can really hang with us?” They were already looking forward to their game against the Lions in Week 4, the Ravens may have something to say about that in Week 3.
The Panthers had a second consecutive week where their defense let them down. It’s a surprising development from a team many expected to be very good defensively with reigning MVP Alla Al-Salem, reigning DPOY Danial Ali and Muzammil Rizvi playing safety – this should be a stand-out defensive team. We still expect them to get better as the season goes on, and the players get to know each other’s tendencies on defense. QB Taleb Zaidi had 3 INTs in this one, but we cannot put the blame on him as his players were dropping balls on early downs to set up difficult 3rd and 4th down scenarios. We counted at least 3 drops by captain Ahmed Al-Waili; that’s something we expect to change. The Panthers also need more dynamic playmaking from someone beyond Alla Al-Salem and Danial Ali; currently it’s a two man team. Speaking of dynamic playmaking, the play of the game was by Alla Al-Salem who made a gravity defying one handed grab on a ball thrown behind him, and with one juke, he was in the end zone. It was his second one-handed grab of the game. The Panthers get a difficult matchup against the Raiders in Week 3; we’d like to see a little more fight with this team otherwise some changes may be coming on the horizon for the Panthers.