ELF: Five takeaways from week 8 with Rams topping the list

Below is a list of the biggest takeaways following the conclusion of week 8 in the European League of Football (ELF).

1. The Istanbul Rams aren’t done yet

The Istanbul Rams pulled off a league-defying victory against one of the league’s best teams on Saturday, the Barcelona Dragons.

The passages of play, in all three phases of the game, that they were able to pull together showed a competitive side that belongs.

But before we get too excited, we need to see what happens in next week’s game against the Hamburg Sea Devils; a team that beat them 70-0 just two weeks ago.

2. Omari Williams is one of the most complete defensive players in the league

Omari Williams has recorded 46 tackles, three interceptions (tied league leading), 643 kick-return yards (league leading) and two touchdowns. 

This along with his bone crunching hits has made him arguably the Fire’s best weapon on an already stacked defense.

3. Don’t give Jordan Bouah a free release

At the CFL Global Combine, Jordan Bouah ran a 4.64 40-yard dash. It’s hardly out of this world. But if you think for a second you can let him get off the line with a free release, without over-the-top help, he will likely burn you for six.

4. The Sea Devils drove over 60 yards once and still put up 40 points

Only once did the Sea Devils have a drive over 60 yards in their game against the Rhein Fire and they were still able to put up 40 points.

Time and time again their defense, and special teams play, put them in position to succeed. Hamburg are quickly becoming one the league’s favorites. It’s just a shame that they won’t meet the Vienna Vikings in the regular season. 

5. What ever happened to the SWARCO Raiders?

For as long as anyone can remember, the Swarco Raiders of Tirol have been a European football giant. With Sean Shelton at the helm, they constantly proved to be at the top of the rankings not only in Austria but throughout Europe. There was an aura of football excellence that seemed to envelop the team.

But since their entrance into the ELF, they have been anything but that. On Sunday, the Vienna Vikings, the team they beat in the Austrian Bowl only one year ago, handed them their third loss of the year and their second at the hands of the Vikings.

They rank in the top five for both offense and defense but continue to play wildly inconsistent football. They currently sit at 4-3 and would be in the playoffs if their season ended today. But if they want to progress past the first round, they need to find some rhythm and show they can compete with the best teams.

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.