Top 5 great players on “bad” teams in the European League of Football

As the European League of Football heads into the final stretch of the season with the playoffs looming, let’s take a look at players who have stood out on teams that not only have been eliminated from post season play but have performed poorly, in other words the “bad teams”.

The term “bad team” admittedly sounds derogatory, but I only use it to emphasize the performance of certain players. This article is about giving attention to the players who have been playing extremely well, despite issues that have occurred in their respective teams. The restriction for this one is simple, a negative record on the season. This gives us plenty of room to work with. Let’s get straight into it.

Dajon Owens – Cologne Centurions

Cologne DB Dajon Owens #1 forcing a fumble Photo: Marc Junge

21 Total Tackles – 1 Interception – 3 Forced Fumbles – 6 Pass Breakups

Owens recently started to receive “best in the league” comparisons. Firstly, ELF’s own Dominik Krauss praised Owens as a player who was performing well and not receiving enough love. It then became more than the front seven of Cologne that saw the light of the ELF media. Cologne’s defense has seen success but Owens’ aggressiveness on routes, effective use of his hands and ability to go after the ball have quietly made him one of the best DBs in the league. Unfortunately, he’s arguably had the toughest string of games for a DB, having to live in a division with the Fire, Galaxy, Sea Devils and Musketeers’ receiving corps.

Silas Nacita – Helvetic Guards

Photo: Lars Lauz

483 Rushing Yards – 2 Rushing Touchdowns – 468 Receiving Yard – 3 Receiving Touchdowns

Silas is cut from the same cloth as only one other running back in the league, , he and Tomiwa Oyewo are the only players that have been critical to their team’s offense in both the run and the pass attacks. It’s hard to see where the production would come from if Nacita was removed from the equation. In fact, he accounts for 52% of the team’s offensive output. The Guards have had success over the latter half of the year and it’s good to see his work paying dividends. It could be argued that he has the single biggest impact on his team in the league.

Jebrai Regan – Fehervar Enthroners

Enthroners DE Jebrai Regan #50 Photo: Kustas Petra

36 Total Tackles – 7 Sacks – 13 Tackles for Loss – 4 Breakups – 1 Blocked Kick – 4 Forced Fumbles

Regan has quietly put up a Defensive Player of the Year type season but has seen no mention because of the rather awful Enthroners debut season. The top 7 in sacks, 1st league-wide in forced fumbles and Top 5 for tackles for loss show an impact in the run and pass defenses. He has only played in 8 games this season thus far, which adds a layer to this production. It’s an injustice that he hasn’t been mentioned alongside the other elite defenders in the league. Unfortunately for Regan, the rest of the team hasn’t been able to rise to his level.

James Brooks – Prague Lions

Prague DE James Brooks #34 Photo: Jan Bednář

36 Total Tackles – 6.5 Sacks – 11.5 Tackles for Loss – 1 Breakup – 4 Forced Fumbles

Brooks is in an incredibly similar situation to Regan. In juxtaposition to the Enthroners, the Prague Lions do have some defensive pieces that head coach Dan Disch has been able to utilise. His standout game against the Berlin Thunder saw him get 4 sacks on one of the better offensive lines in the league. However, this hasn’t been an outlier of a game. He has at least 3 tackles and a TFL in seven of his eight games. This speaks to his consistent output on the defensive line. The Prague defenseandström’s  as a whole has been hit-and-miss this season with a solid start and a gradual decline, but Brooks has been a reliable player all season.

Theodor Landström – Barcelona Dragons

Barcelona WR Theo Landstrom #14 Photo: @ericribe_fotografia

716 Receiving Yards – 7 Touchdowns – 51.65% Catch Rate

Theodor Landström had an explosive start to the season and was one of the leading receivers in that period. Unfortunately, the Dragons have experienced injuries and inconsistency at the QB position, as well as the departure of Johnston who was also a leader receiver. This led to a decline in Landström’s production over the second half of the year. However, he is still in the Top 10 for yards in the league and 3rd among the European players. His three games over 100 yards are a testament to his potential, his deep threat ability with his catch radius and stride length allows him to be a difficult match-up for many corners in the ELF this season.

In summary…

It is a shame that these players have performed so well but haven’t been able to reach the playoffs or compete with the very best rosters in the league. However, if they choose to move on from their next season, they have premium evidence of their ability to play in this league. Some may even use it as an experience to go to different leagues around the world. Only time will tell as the season comes to an end and players can start their next chapter. Until next time.