The Steelers and the Jaguars matched up in the early game of Week 3, and early on, neither team wanted to win. We had a total of 6 interceptions in this game where 1 was returned for a TD on a mesmerizing return by Said Samater, earning himself the defensive player of the week. The Jaguars actually had a 2-TD lead late in the game with a great chance to put this one to bed, but the Jaguars really didn’t want to win this game. Said Samater threw a late interception on his back-foot off a designed trick play. If the trick was to find new ways not to win games, Bravo!
The calming influence on the Steelers was Khaleel Kassam. Even after the Steelers were coming up empty handed, and had turnovers, Khaleel came into the huddle and asked his team to rely on their defense to come up with the big plays. Khaleel was instrumental knocking away passes, and coming down with 2 receiving TDs. Ahsan Raza had a monster game defensively, with 2 INTs, the second of which gave the Steelers a chance to tie (which they eventually did). Ammar Dayani had 13 receptions (MFL Season-high), but he promised us 4 TDs this game; so we’d consider this game a dud.
Prediction Alert – The Steelers face the Colts in their next matchup. They were missing Mujtaba Abidi, who is a huge cog for their team. With a full squad, we expect the Steelers to give Colts a good run for their money, but ultimately falling short with a final score of 42-28.
The Lions and the Patriots game was a reunion of sorts. Kumail Meghani & Asghar Molu meeting their teammates of the previous season in Ali Jessa & Mikael Ratansi. But it was a rookie who stole the show. Noman Laasi had his coming out party, starting the game with a long-TD to open the scoring on the very first snap of the game. He would go on to add 2 interceptions, and the game-capping TD against Ammar Jessa. The Lions may actually feel unlucky in this game as the score doesn’t reflect how close this game was. The Lions either had the lead, or were tied for most of the game, and had held the Patriots to 7 pts at half. In fact, after the opening drive, the Patriots were held scoreless for the next 24 minutes of game time. What the Lions couldn’t do, is capitalize on those opportunities. Noor Zia had 3 interceptions in the game, and was largely ineffective; holding onto the ball a second too late in most cases. Ali Jessa wasn’t there at the start of the game, but was otherwise the best player on the Lions. Playing man defense on Asghar, but also moving the chains on offense. 3 games into the season, Ammar has 13 receptions and 2 TDs (after a career-high 23 TDs last season); the Lions have been using his gravitational pull to move the defense, but at this point, they may have to force feed Ammar.
We talked about the possible decline of Kumail last week, and he reminded us that his decline may have been greatly exaggerated. The Patriots were playing with two reserves as they were missing their regulars, and the second half; the Patriots played like we expected them to play like all season. Ho hum, Asghar had another 8 receptions and 2 TDs – what else is new? Jawad Yusufali tied his career-high with 5 receptions, his second consecutive week with 5 receptions, and he also added his first MFL TD.
Prediction Alert – The Patriots will face the winless Jaguars. The Jaguars are coming off their second straight tie, and will be looking to finally get in the win column. And we feel like this won’t be the week. The Patriots figured something out in the second half, and had their offense buzzing, and that will be too much to handle for the Jaguars with a final score of 35-21.
We’d like to welcome Taqi Baig after his year-long hiatus, and he went back to doing Taqi-bhai things, like grabbing 9 flags to lead all defenders. The Colts did target his side a fair bit and were met with quick flags. Early on, the Colts struggled to get the ball rolling, and Ali Haroon had a subpar game by his standards with 3 interceptions. However, when the offense wasn’t rolling, the defense held strong early on limiting the Chargers attack. Khizer Jamal paced the Colts with 6 flag grabs who were missing their captain Muhammad Ali. Hisham Ali was the star offensively with 9 receptions and 2 TDs, and Kazim ‘Baby Rook’ Raza made a couple of electrifying plays to put this game on ice.
When it came to the Chargers, it was more of the same. Hani Mamdani mainly featured Shoaib Mamdani and Danial Ali (both with 7 receptions), but with very little production outside of that offensively. One thing that the Chargers can hang their hat on is their defense. They forced three interceptions, and having Shoaib, Danial and Hani puts them in a great position to be aggressive up front. We should mention that the Chargers were missing Mohamed Railey, and he’s another playmaker on the defensive side of the ball. The Chargers aren’t very far away from joining the elites this year, and we have seen Shoaib-led teams turn it up in the second half of the season. But it will take a giant step forward on offense, for them to do it.
Prediction Alert – The Chargers will face the Lions in Week 4. Sometimes there are winners, and sometimes there are losers… this week, there will be tiers. We’ve had a tie 2 weeks in a row, this week will make it 3 weeks in a row with a final score of 28-28.