The ELF Rundown: Trends Remain Strong In Week Five

The ELF Rundown: Trends Remain Strong In Week Five

We’re now five weeks into the ELF’s season, and the trends are beginning to set in soundly as teams develop their identities.

This weekend was a mixed bag in the European League of Football. We saw a healthy dose of competitive battles, with a few blowouts mixed in between. Let’s take a look at what happened in week five of the ELF.

Barcelona Dragons vs. Milano Seamen

The Milano Seamen, actually, might have a bit of offensive potential to finally build off of. They’ve been stuck in a rut all year, but QB Zach Bronkhorst looked solid in what was an impressive 27-18 win on the road over Barcelona.

Bronkhorst threw for 262 yards and two touchdowns, while adding 97 yards on the ground en route to what turned into a blowout in the second half. The Seamen have struggled to put together consistent drives offensively this season, but had 421 yards of offense against a reeling Dragons defense.

Barcelona’s glaring issues revolve around their offensive line play. Levi Lewis doesn’t have much time to throw, and the running backs have been nonexistent – which isn’t helping matters much.

Considering Milano gets to play the Enthroners and Mercenaries over the next three weeks, this team is in a legitimate position to win some more football games.

Helvetic Mercenaries vs. Tirol Raiders

The Helvetic Mercenaries simply cannot find a way to win in the ELF. Going up against a stout Tirol team, they held their own through most of the first three quarters, but the Raiders’ late run pushed them to what ended up being a 33-10 victory.

N’Kosi Perry is settling into his position in Tirol, as this Raiders bunch is now 4-1 on the season. He threw for 187 yards and a touchdown, while adding 38 yards and a score on the ground as well. While it took a bit for the Raiders to find their groove, they shut the door on the Mercenaries late, and ultimately showed why they’re a 4-1 team.

For Helvetic, this organization feels closer than one would think. Carlton Aiken Jr. is a talented quarterback, but is shouldering too much of the burden on game day. The Mercenaries’ running backs saw just a combined six carries this weekend, while Carlton had seven of his own. One has to wonder how this team would look if they were running the football more, instead of making Aiken throw it 42 times.

With an 0-4 record to begin this season, Helvetic desperately needs to find some answers sooner than later.

Munich Ravens vs. Stuttgart Surge

Similar to when these two teams faced off in week one, it was the Stuttgart Surge who got the best of the Munich Ravens once again. The Surge jumped out to a 24-3 lead, which ultimately was too much for Munich to overcome as Stuttgart earned themselves a 38-22 victory.

Reilly Hennessey is playing like an MVP candidate, continuing to lead this Stuttgart team from week to week with this veteran expertise. While he did throw his first interception of the entire season this weekend, Reilly had another efficient day with 257 passing yards and four touchdowns.

Additionally, this Surge team knows how to run the football. Whereas a team like the Mercenaries only ran the ball six times with their running backs, Stuttgart had 27 carries for their RB’s on the ground. Each saw solid production, which plays into the success that Hennessey is able to have through the air.

Munich is a team that certainly has potential, but doesn’t look capable of competing with the best teams in the ELF. Chad Jeffries had to do it all for this organization, throwing for 239 yards and a score while rushing for 54 yards and two touchdowns. He’s going to need more support if the Ravens want to put themselves back in the playoff conversation.

Prague Lions vs. Vienna Vikings

In a game that was never close at all, the Vienna Vikings continued to assert their dominance in the ELF with a 42-3 blowout over the winless Prague Lions. It was a one-sided affair throughout, as the Vikings poured it on offensively with 539 total yards. On the other side, Prague managed just 176 yards, as they were a putrid 1/12 on third downs.

Shelton Eppler had himself a day, who’s looked fantastic filling in for an injured Ben Holmes. Eppler threw for 413 yards and four touchdowns. Additionally, former Tampa Bay Vipers WR Reece Horn was absolutely tremendous, catching eight passes for a whopping 237 yards and three touchdowns. The ELF has proven to be an outstanding platform for Reece, as he’s seen a ton of success over the past couple of years.

The Prague Lions have some pieces, but they have zero chemistry and can’t produce consistently. QB Kare Lyles completed just 38% of his passes in this loss, as Vienna’s defense shut down every single drive in the final three quarters. For Prague, this season feels all but over at this point, with very little momentum in any positive direction.

Fehervar Enthroners vs. Wroclaw Panthers

After what’s been a rough few weeks for the Wroclaw Panthers, they were finally able to get back in the win column, decimating the Enthroners 44-12 on the road. This game was over before it really even started, as the Panthers held a 21-0 lead after the first quarter alone.

John Uribe had an efficient day throwing the football for Wroclaw. He completed 19 of his 26 pass attempts for 231 yards and three scores, as RB Dawid Brzozowski had 132 rushing yards and a touchdown on the ground as well.

While the numbers are relatively close offensively for both teams in this game, it was third down efficiency that hurt Fehervar greatly. They were just 5/19 this weekend, as Jack Mangel had to throw the ball 56 times in order for the Enthroners to score just 12 points.

It feels like the Panthers still have a lot to prove to the league. They finally broke their three game losing streak, but it came against one of the worst teams in the ELF. If Uribe can continue to build upon this performance moving forward against better defenses, Wroclaw may be able to “claw” their way back into postseason contention, but it will be a tough uphill battle.

Berlin Thunder vs. Rhein Fire

The final game of the weekend was the most entertaining of them all. The Berlin Thunder were in control for most of this outing, but once again, couldn’t find a way to close the door shut. This resulted in the Rhein Fire improving to 4-1 on the year, coming back to win 27-24 on the road in Berlin.

For Berlin, it’s been frustrating to watch this group let leads slip away late. They’re a better team than their record reflects, but haven’t had anyone step up as a “closer”. Jakeb Sullivan threw for just 137 yards on the day, as Berlin had a rather underwhelming 245 yards of offense. Credit to Rhein Fire’s defense for stepping up in the second half – as the Thunder led 21-7 at halftime.

Glen Toonga is making his case for ELF MVP, posting 133 rushing yards and three more touchdowns this weekend. He was pivotal in Rhein making the comeback that they did, converting on some massive plays in the second half.

While the Rhein Fire don’t look exactly like the dominant, immovable force we’ve seen in years past, they are one of the top teams in the ELF for a reason. They know how to win football games, and they know what it takes to get the job done, even with the odds stacked against them.

Final Thoughts

Things are beginning to take serious shape across the ELF in each conference. In the East, Berlin and Wroclaw are knotted up with 2-3 records, but it feels like Berlin is clearly the better team, who’s suffered a couple of unfortunate losses late. Stuttgart, Vienna, and Madrid remain as the three unbeaten franchises in the ELF through five weeks.

If you missed our ELF Recap from week four, you can check that out here.

For those wanting to keep up with all the games here in the states, you can acquire ELF Game Pass here.

What are your thoughts on week five action in the ELF? Which teams and players impressed you? Let us know down in the comments below, or join the conversation on Discord!