Fargo Sodbusters

Owner: Ushikawa

No FOF9 un 2020
Ushikawa
Fri Jun 12 05:33 AM

http://www.solecismic.com/frontierblog/

Yeah, it's kind of strange getting use to the idea after waiting for soo long.

That said - the merged with OOTB was - for my enjoyment - a high risk low reward kinda deal.

What saddens me is Jims blog about the future and the possibility of him leaving FOF - and TCY.

by Ternvig at Fri Jun 12, 2020 05:37 AM

Sounds about right. Jim didn't get his way and Markus didn't give him much resources/time.

What I have come to find out about Jim after following his games for all these years is, it's either his way or the highway. He's a very Black and white guy, no gray area, it also sounds like he's impossible to work with too. (Referring to his time at EA and now OOTP) But I do feel bad for Jim as it appears they hung him out to dry after years of development time.

It's too bad the partnership ended with Markus, we were all really looking forward to what the merger would have looked like, oh well maybe we can get TCY2 finally.

Side note, I wonder if this has anything to do with OOTP joining EA and EA's bad past with Jim?

by JJ Smitty at Fri Jun 12, 2020 07:01 AM

Yea I feel like besides the beating up in OOTP across the forums it is very likely Jim sees this as his baby and would not compromise.

Personally I feel like just doing some tweaks to FOF8 could be a new game, am gonna compile a list and send over to you Josh sometime soon.

by Ushikawa at Fri Jun 12, 2020 07:39 AM

Yeah Ush, that sounds like a good idea. Lets make a list and send it off to Jim, maybe we can inspire him to keep it going. I would love to see a TCY2 or FOF9 made from Jim with his Below Average UI and killer sim engine, hell maybe we can see if he would want to start a kickstarter or something.

by JJ Smitty at Fri Jun 12, 2020 10:08 AM



Fargo 2058 Outlook
Ushikawa
Tue May 19 07:03 AM

A dissapointing 2057 led to an 8-8 finish. There were injuries and some poor adaptingto the new patch but mostly a huge regression past the mean in generating TOs. The O was still #1 in both YPC and YPA (until resting starters in week 17).

Up against the cap had significant turnover at most position groups but solid planning has them well positioned to repeat performances from teh past few seasons for better or worse:

In the backfield the headliner was moving future HoFer Fulton but we ended up drafting what looks like coudl be the next HoF RB in Holzer who even will be able to contribute in the passing game in a way Fulton never could. In general expect to see the RBs catch more passes this year with 2nd year scatback Borders continuing to expand on his role from last season.

It will be interesting to see if the runnign game can continue its dominance with some downrades on the OL. HoF C Keith retired and while FA pickup Cooley is certianly a starter, those are big shoes to fill. LT Horner who previously was 90+ in run blocking also saw age catch up to him and might not be the force we was ocne on the left edge. That said the Gs are still top notch and Holzer has plenty of gas in the tank and looks to b a perfect prospect in the GM's eyes.

2nd year WR Fence looks to play a big role this year as a WR2 and give Fargo a complete player at that spot. There are interesting tertiary options as well though we hope not to use them much. WR Crabtree remains a 1A talent but with 2 concussions it is a delicate matter, Fargo gambled giving him a max bonus contract all the same. TE Schulz remains on the roster but wants to get paid, he will likely have to suck it up this year before being shipped off this next offseason.

For the 2nd consecutive year Fargo will switch up their defensive front. Their run D was atrocious in the 43U as they were starting DE Walsh with his 0 run defense. Out is both the scheme and player along with overpaid vet Bays. However they did pick up 2 solid starters at DE and EDGE man Alexander will likely play mostly at DE with hopes that getting a bit wider will push him into elite pass rusher production. The 3 stalwarts at DT remain but with little depth behind them, don't be surprised to see Fargo add a young DT to plan for the future and as insurance. Both off-ball LBs are still studly and we hope to continue to dominate the 2nd level.

Fargo drafted 2 new boundary CBs, the 2nd rounder Zimmerman was supposed to bust out on the scene during the postdraft process but turns out to pretty much be a solid player but nothing special due to replace CB Gruttaduria at LCB. So no real net changes here but they do plan on being more versatile in their alignments using there 3 Ss each with different skill sets as Watkins used to the be the alpha of the group but has regressed a bit to be more of a FS type.

All in all their season will largely depend on if the coaching staff can get accustomed to the new patch in time. It would be great to see their defensive TOs recover and seems plausible but if they can't clean up their own play on O then they certainly will have a ceiling themselves.

It is worth noting that in their many draft day moves they picked up an additional 1st from Miami so in what promises to be a very competitive division the stakes will be quite high season long.

good read

by Vitostallion at Thu May 21, 2020 05:52 PM



2057 Divisional Round Betting Preview
Ushikawa
Mon Apr 06 07:45 AM

Detroit (-1) at Boston

A fair line but we will likely side with the home team as we see things quite close with lots of strength versus strength.

When Detorit has the ball you wll see they are solid but quite unremarkable. Sure, they have a Z in Von Wyss that gets his 5 YAC/catch but he is not a 1A receiver in any other regard and the secondary options are quite mediocre.

They run a ZY scheme like many teams in the league and manage to put up points by being efficient as they are top 5 in both opposing PD% and PR% and are top 10 in avoiding TOs. They overuse the short game a bit and do well in the intermediate range but likely can't trust their skill players to get open at that level against playoff competition. The running game is bottom third by most meaningful metrics as well.

If they had a good track record on 3rd or in the RZ then maybe I could be convinced but Boston is stacked in the front 7, their only real weakness talent-wise would be hitting them deep but the stats show them as top 5 in deep pass defense. They do a good job of balancing out their backend by using their stud CB at RCB opposite their stud SS and it will be interesting if they stick with this or in general how they handle Von Wyss i.e. using doubles or whatnot. (Key #1)

Anyways, I struggle to see Detroit getting to 24 points in this one and let's not forget that Boston is actually number 1 by a long shot at forcing TOs (Key #2) so it wouldn't surprise me for them to pull away from a tight game leveraging those opportunities- in any case avoiding turnovers will not be enough against a Boston team that put up more than 100 points in their last 3 games.

I believe the season long stats for Boston can be misleading. Young QB Klingbiel has settled in the latter half of this season going over 100 QBR in 5 of his last 7 games. Detroit may wish to see what happened in thsoe other 2 games as wella s what they were doing during thehir numerous shutdown D performances.

The only hesitation I have is that Boston is a clone of the Detroit offense and how well Detorit matches up with what they do.

Assuming Boston activates WR Torres, they should run their standard ZX offense even with Detroit having a pair of very good cover men outside. While they are a bit mediocre at T the pass blocking numbers seem just fine, but this may be their weakness as Detroit is tops in generating a rush and we may see that play out on 3rd downs as Boston can't run the ball and struggle mightily on 3rd downs. (Key #3)

We won't cheat and say the game will come down to TOs but it will, both teams are wehre they are because of excellent ball protection and ballhawking Ds.

If either team could run the ball I would give them the edge or if either QB was TO-prone but that doesn't seem to be the case so I am gonna say that whichever coaching staff can design a new GP will win. We see that Detroit doesn't want to be throwing it at S Manning with their typical ZY target split and that Boston will likely struggle with Detroit's outside corners and pass rush.

While Detroit put up some great games on D this year I think Boston is a different team than their record shows after going 7-1 in the back half and 9-3 since their bye and favor them to win outright by 6 points. 17-23.

Thanks Ush! Here's what I've got for 2 of the games this week-- last one should be up later. Pretty exciting games last week, no real blowouts other than the TEX game... but this week's when the reindeer games end.

Boise City at Las Vegas (-5) - BCI had a pretty straight forward plan to victory last week-- put the ball in QB Wesley Doser's hands and let him make plays. The offensive player of the week ended up 27-40-276 yards, a 103.8 QBR, and 3 total scores (1 rushing TD, 2 passing TDs). TEX's pass rush was more or less ineffective against BCI's pass protection, but LVS will be a different monster entirely.

The league's top pass rushing unit is looking to outmatch C Arturo Copeland's front 5 and the outlook is grim. BCI may be forced to bring run out 2-TE sets with TE Victor Philips as an additional blocker. Routes will probably need to be shortened and a greater emphasis should be placed on RB Justics Phillips to pick up yardage. LVS has struggled defensively against the run, but the overwhelming talent could be too much anyway.

BCI's own defensive unit has been statistically very good against the rush, but as I mentioned last week, they aren't really able to stop the elite rushers. RB Gilbert Narcisse was able to pick up whatever he wanted in their previous game and rookie RB Alonzo Gmerek is now healthy after missing several weeks. While he hasn't been as good as the veteran in his limited playtime, LVS clearly thinks Gmerek is special and a future centerpiece for the Rounders. Even if BCI can stop Narcisse, Gmerek is a younger, stronger, and speedier back and they'll need to plan for both.

BCI's offensive line needs to hold off one of the best front 4 players in the game to have a chance- turnovers were the big story in their meeting earlier this season and most of those were caused by the pass rush pressure. I expect DE Johnstone and Anagnostis to stifle QB Doser and win comfortably, 30-20 LVS.

Tennessee at Omaha (-8) - TEN did well last week, outscoring SHR 22-6 in the 4th quarter and completing the comeback down 9-20 at the half. The talent level on the team is extremely high and it looks like they're back in form, but they can't afford another slow start against a team like OMA.

The frontrunner in the CFL MVP race, QB Leonardo Harrison, has had an absolute banger of a season. They've been in touching distance of passing records and even did break the single season receiving touchdowns record as WR Marcus Dole caught his 28th of the season against BAL in a game where he caught 4. This team is incredible, but not invincible, and the three losses against IWC, DUR, and ALA may provide the blueprints TEN needs to engineer a victory. Even BAL was able to draw even against OMA in one of their matches.

IWC and ALA were able to force OMA to commit turnovers. BAL was able to jump passing lanes and probably should've come away with more interceptions. TEN doesn't have IWC's talent in the secondary and they aren't ballhawks like ALA's unit. BAL leads the league in passes defensed, driven by ILB Silas Nixon in coverage. This may be something that TEN MLB Henry Plourde will need to emulate. SHR and DUR were able to keep pace with OMA, which probably isn't something anyone can count on going forward, but TEN's offensive talent could power this strategy.

So the keys for TEN here are timely stops generated by Plourde and bunches of scores courtesy of QB Porto, WR Picton, and RB Zhang. It's not out of the realm of possibility-- TE Todd Duran is still recovering from a broken thumb and OMA doesn't have a secondary TE receiving threat. The TEN defensive coordinator's task of shutting down this offense should be that much easier. WR Vincent Stone will look to play a bigger part in the passing attack, but the talent level drops after that.

I would prefer a meeting against TEN in the conference finals (should DET win against BOS), but Harrison and Dole won't be stopped by TEN and I see them coming away with a close victory in a high scoring affair against the Militia. 34-30 OMA.

Denver at Alaska (-4) - This is the game I'm actually most interested in seeing. The Dynomite defense did their job against LAS and kept the game close so a few offensive plays from QB Bernard Brandon was enough to take the W. DEN's defense will clash with another high powered offense in ALA, but this one is far less conservative than the one the Outlaws field.

QB Jimmy Marischen is having a bit of a down year, but the consistent top 5 passer still captains the 4th most prolific offense in the CFL, and he does it with his arm and his legs. At 34 years old, he's been picking up big yardage on the ground with 721 yards on 103 carries. This wrinkle can make opposing linebackers hesitate just enough that lanes for RB Don Washington and routes across the middle for the ALA wideouts open up. Most teams haven't been able to deal with it, but in Denver Week 7, the Dynomite held ALA to a respectable 271 net offensive yards.

This game will be won at the line of scrimmage as DEN's defensive front needs to power through a Kodiak pass protection that ranks in the upper echelon in sacks allowed. Marischen can't be allowed to sit back and pick apart the somewhat susceptible DEN secondary. WRs Jennings, Farley, and Grauer will always get open with enough time and DEN's safeties will be stressed to the limit. If the game is close into the fourth quarter, I can see DEN stealing one on the road against an ALA team that has lost some head scratchers in the regular season against HON, ORE, and BCI. Defense wins championships, DEN 20-17.

by zenzog at Mon Apr 06, 2020 08:48 AM

I love these write ups.

I don't know that we have the ponies to keep up with Omaha and you are right, if we get behind early, I don't see us clawing our way back into the game. My prediction:

Omaha 31
Tennessee 16

Too many FG's......

by Aamalin at Mon Apr 06, 2020 11:23 AM

Damn Zendog.... Nice prognostication skills for our game.

by Aamalin at Tue Apr 07, 2020 08:05 AM