ELF: 5 takeaways after week 4

The European League of Football wound up its fourth weekend of play of the 2022 season and some clear trends have begun to emerge. Let’s take a look at five obvious signs that indicate which way developments are headed.

1. Hamburg Sea Devils’ defense might outscore their offense

Will their defense outscore their offense? Probably not. Will their defense win them more games than their offense does? Certainly.

Sixty-two points allowed, 974 yards, seven fumbles, 14 sacks and seven interceptions. These are the Hamburg defensive numbers after just four weeks. 

Teams in the league are currently averaging 35/40 points per game on offense. Hamburg are allowing just 15. The Sea Devils are the most dominant and frightening defense in the league. Quarterbacks should approach with caution.

2. Zach Edwards is clutch

Barcelona Dragons quarterback Zach Edwards finished last year with a disappointing 3-7 win-loss record. On top of that, the team lost the services of league-leading wideout Jean Constant to the Hamburg Sea Devils which made prospects look even bleaker.

Fast forward to week 4 of the 2022 season and Edwards and the Dragons are sitting at 4-0. Edwards has been the key to their success, and it’s not his 1,150 yards and 10 touchdowns that got them there but rather his ability to win. He has been willing to do whatever the team needs and take whatever the opponent is giving.

His confidence and dynamism will undoubtedly take the Dragons deep into the playoffs.

3. The Rams horror show continues

The unfortunate truth about the Rams is that they look like a team who don’t belong. Even the key signing of two Euro-vets, Darius Lewis and Andre Whyte, was not enough to prevent the 49-0 blowout loss to the Vienna Vikings.

Their Turkish players have played well in some areas, but their inability to cohesively perform in all three phases of the game has left them outscored 174-47 over the first four weeks – 38 of those points coming in week 1 against the Cologne Centurions.

4. Frankfurt is back

Week 1 – The Galaxy lose to one of the league’s best teams, the Rhein Fire.

Week 2 – Talisman quarterback Jakeb Sullivan sits out due to injury. Galaxy lose to the Vienna Vikings.

Week 3 – Sullivan returns and torches the Wroclaw Panthers for five touchdowns in a lopsided victory. 

Week4 – The Galaxy dismantle the Cologne Centurions potent offense and get their second victory to go 2-2.

Week 4.5 – The Galaxy sign former NFL receiver Reece Horn and fill their second American spot on offense.

The Frankfurt Galaxy are back.

5. Don’t punt the ball

Blocked punts seem to be becoming a theme in the ELF this year. This past weekend alone saw three of them. Some NFL teams block maybe one or two over 16 games, most block none.

Based on the number of teams and games played in ELF, the averages are off the chart. Teams should instead opt for the ethos of the Pulaski Academy High School Head Coaching legend, Kevin Kelly, the coach who never punts.

Kelly’s decision to exclusively go for it on every fourth down has led to nine Arkansas Activities Association state championships. His unique numbers-based coaching strategy even earned him the head coaching position at Presbyterian (DI, NCAA) in 2020. 

Kelly proceeded to go 2-9 in division one football. But hey, if you’re the Stuttgart Surge or Istanbul Rams, what do you have to lose? 

Daniel Mackenzie is a Press Association graduate who works in journalism and communications in the third sector. Daniel began playing football for the London Warriors and Team Great Britain and has since played across Europe.