This season has been interesting to say the least, we have teams that are rebuilding from scratch, we have well established teams that are in serious contention for the championship, and we have teams that are still trying to figure out what their best way to win games is.

 For the first time in EFAF history, all teams have started their season with import coaches and/or players (7 coaches, 7 players signed). And for the first time in ENFL history, there’s no winless teams. Some teams performed a lot better than expected, others disappointed us, while others played up to their expectations.

How did your team do this year?

  1. Cairo Hellhounds (5-0) “The ultimate team”

There’s no doubt about it, the Hounds are the best team in the league right now, they have been putting up the best numbers offensively and defensively thanks in large to excellent coaching, key players acquisition from opposing teams, and a nice balance of young and veteran players. Their season may have looked like a cruise, but it hasn’t been without its difficulties.

The Hounds started off the season with two import coaches (Sean Brennum and John Wilderman) as well as import QB Brandon Ramon, however, 1 week into the season they had to let coach Wilderman go, moreover, many of their star players have been missing due to injuries. But none of that has slowed them down one bit.

The Hounds have had solid production from all of their positions in all three phases of the game, yet despite that, they were proven to be vulnerable in week 10 against the Wolves who gave them an intense game that could have gone either way. We’re looking for the Hounds to ride their momentum into the playoffs as they pursue a second title.

Cairo Hellhounds’ stat of the season:

 Brandon Ramon: 357 passing yards, 49% completion, 7 passing TDs, 1 INT.

Yassin Sherif: 347 passing yards, 67% completion, 7 passing TDs, 1 INT

If you’re a Hounds fan then

Your reasons to be optimistic:

  • A 12-game winning streak
  • Yassin Sherif

Your reasons to worry:

  • Players turnover
  • Bears (4-1) “Finally Risen”

The Bears got busy during the off-season; signing former Hellhounds HC John Burleson, and import running back Malcom Gasque, as well as acquiring 3 key players from the Tigers in Abullah Nasr, Mohamed Arabi and Ahmed Khaled. Star QB Mahmoud Aboshady is coming off a great season in 2018 and coach Shady Kadry is even more experienced now after coaching the Pharaohs back in November, all signs pointed to the Bears having a phenomenal season… until things didnt go as planned.

The season opener against the Hounds has shown how much work still needed to be done, and the Bears responded by making the necessary changes. For those who haven’t been following the ENFL for more than 1 year, the Bears are no strangers to things not going the way they wanted, this is a team that went from going winless for three straight years to winning the division with the team that hasn’t lost a game in the same 3 years, so we already know what they’re made of.

The Bears lost game 1 to the Hounds, but they managed to limit the Eagles to 0 points in an overtime classic, and despite a shaky performance against the Tigers and the Warriors, they still came out with wins and the East Division crown.

Coach Burleson is no longer here, and neither is Gasque but that didn’t slow down the Bears one bit.

Cairo Bears’ interesting stat of the season

 Mahmoud Aboshady led the league in passing yards (625) and passing attempts (154) and the Bears receivers led the league in dropped passes (18).

If you’re a Bears fan then

Your reasons to be optimistic:

  • The team’s constant state of improvement over the last 3 years
  • Solid coaching staff and leadership

Your reasons to worry:

  • Inconsistency at times and playing down to their opponent’s level
  • Eagles (3-2) “Not done yet”

To call this season a “disappointment” for the Eagles would be an understatement. The 3-time champions have looked surprisingly vulnerable this year after losing twice in the same regular season for the first time in their history.

There’s no questioning the level of talent that the Eagles possess, they’ve had the highest number of players selected to play for the Pharaohs team, and their coaching staff led by Mohy Omar is more than tested and experienced, and with the addition of QB/OC Justin McKenzie, they were looking to come back after missing the championship game last season.

Eagles’ defense is still as formidable as ever, tied for the fewest points allowed (54) and their special teams unit has shown that it can come up big, however, the same could not be said about their offense. Despite featuring a ton of talent, the offense was inconsistent at best; they’ve had very little production from their running game and their passing game has not lived up to expectations as they went two games without scoring before finally finding the endzone in their loss against the Hounds then exploding for 34 points against the Titans.

If they were to find their way back to the championship game, they will need to be firing on all cylinders in order to complement their defensive efforts.

GUC Eagles stat of the season

 4 rushing TDs scored by the Eagles, 3 by QB Justin McKenzie

 1 by WR Adel Emam, none by running backs.

If you’re an Eagles fan then

Your reasons to be optimistic:

  • Experience, “been here before” mentality
  • Solid coaching and veteran players

Your reasons to worry:

  • Players turnover
  • Stagnation
  • Tigers (2-3) “We were not supposed to be here”

The Tigers have not been lucky. Last year they lost their import HC and QB, their star running back quit due to injuries, their best offensive lineman was suspended for a year, and 3 of their best defensive players and leaders left for another team.

Their QB was unproven to start this season and there was nothing promising about that team at the beginning. All that changed as soon as their first game kicked off.

The Tigers’ “New Blood” players have shown that they have the potential to perform in tough games. After getting a huge boost from import running back John Nguyen (who isn’t here anymore?) in game 1 against the Wolves, they were in a perfect position to secure a playoff spot, all they had to do was not shoot themselves in the foot.

Signing Mohamed Anbar as a defensive coordinator was very rewarding for them, however, just as the young players had the passion and drive to win tough games such as the Wolves and the Thunder, they lacked the experience and skill to remain consistent throughout the season. This was obvious in their shocking loss to the Titans that almost cost them the playoffs.

Nonetheless, a respectable performance against the Bears to cap off their regular season gives them a much-needed moral boost going into the playoffs, which they will need along with huge performances from their star players Mohamed Medhat and Mina Salib in order to get past the Bears in the playoffs.

MSA Tigers interesting stat of the season:

 Mohamed Medhat hold this season’s interceptions record (5)

The Tigers’ defense led the league in interceptions (10)

Yet they have allowed the most points (98) of the four playoff teams.

If you’re a Tigers fan then

Your reasons to be optimistic:

  • The rise of Mina Salib as a top tier QB
  • A lot of potential in young players

Your reasons to worry:

  • Uncertainty in coaching staff
  • Lack of leadership
  • Wolves (2-3) “Almost…”

On paper, this year’s Wolves squad was supposed to have a great season; the best offensive line in the league, two of the best running backs in Omar Mansy and Omar Ghanem, a tough and experienced defense, add to that mix import QB Daniel Johnson and great leadership in Mostafa Khalil and Moaz Sabah and you’re looking at one hell of a team, so how did they go from playing in the championship game last season to not making the playoffs this year?

In order to answer that question, we’ll need to take a quick look at the Wolves’ season. They lost game 1 to the Tigers as John Nguyen wreaked havoc and put the whole league on notice then left, they played an excellent defensive game against the Eagles in game 2 but lost to two fatal errors on special teams, they then got two well deserved wins against the Warriors and the Thunder, and finally luck smiled upon them when the Tigers lost to the Titans giving them a huge opportunity to make the playoffs if they beat the Hellhounds.

 They entered week 10, played their hearts out and came up just a field goal short of winning the game. A lot of excuses could be made for the Wolves; a ton of injuries, new QB, a tough schedule.  But at the end of the day, they were a great team, just not enough to overcome what has been thrown at them this year.

Cairo Wolves’ interesting stat of the season:

Wolves offensive line allowed the least sacks (2)

The most rushing yards (822)

If you’re a Wolves fan then

Your reasons to be optimistic:

  • Great coaching staff
  • Great core of experienced veteran players led by a massive offensive line

Your reasons to worry:

  • Too many players battling injuries
  • Quarterback situation unclear so far
  • Warriors (2-3) “Still rising”

Let’s face it, no team has suffered more than the Warriors this past offseason, nearly all of their top performing players left to join other teams, their QB situation was not clear, Ayman Nasr (Calosha) who has been their heart and soul was out of the country, even with signing coach AJ Brown and QB Jeffrey Lloyd they were not supposed to have a better record than they did last year (1-4)… but they did.

 Lloyd has shown to be one of the best signings of the year as the Warriors’ put up impressive numbers on offense.The Warriors’ season ended on a good note in a solid performance against the Bears in week 9 and a win over the Titans in week 10, and with a year of experience under their belt, they can be a team that does a lot of damage next year.

Cairo Warriors’ interesting stat of the season:

Lloyd (100 points scored)

Receiver Robert Roshdy finished in 2nd place for total receiving yards (213).

If you’re a Warriors fan then,

Your reasons to be optimistic:

  • Many surprisingly good players

Your reasons to worry:

  • Lloyd returning next year?
  • Lack of veteran players/coaches to carry the team without imports
  • Thunder (1-4) “All in”

A case could be made that the Thunder “failed” this season; finishing at the bottom of the Western Division with 1 win and giving away a winnable game vs the Tigers in week 4.

However, this is definitely not the same Thunder team that gave up 88 points last year, the Thunder management team had a very busy offseason bringing in 2 import coaches, and an import QB, as well as multiple player signings in what could be the most extreme team turnaround we’ve seen so far.

Sure, a losing record and an underwhelming performance is expected when you’re starting a team from scratch, however, the Thunder made up for their inexperience with their grit playing straight physical football; on defense coach Lawerence Williams’ impact was clear, Mohamed El Sawy and Bassam Walid took the top 2 tackling spots in the league, Sawy also finished in second place for total sacks just half a sack short of the title.

 As for offense, rookie sensation Michael Barsoum brought that rugby run-you-over mentality into the team and finished second in total rushing yards on nearly 5 yards per carry.

The Thunder were not expected to win a championship, not many people thought they would make the playoffs, and while those people stand corrected this year, the Thunder gave everyone reasons to change their expectations for next year.

Gezira Thunder’s interesting stat of the season:

 The Thunder led the league in tackles (177) and sacks (12), they are the only team with double digit sacks this season.

If you’re a Thunder fan then,

Your reasons to be optimistic

  • Michael Barsoum
  • Proper management

Your reasons to worry:

  • A young core of inexperienced players
  • Titans (1-4) “Up and coming”

The Titans are coming off a forgettable season in 2018, and with a new management, an import coach and a few player acquisitions, they were looking to revamp their squad and start the rebuilding process for playoffs contention. Coach Carlos Fragoso’s effect was noticeable this season, despite a losing record, the team looked a lot more organized and in sync than last year, and a huge week 7 win over the Tigers is a testimony to that.

 However, it’s clear that a lot of work still needs to be done; the Titans scored the fewest points (31) and allowed the most points (149) in the league and a lot of that comes down to lack of player development, however, nothing simply changes over night in this league and we can expect a stronger Titans team next season.

AUC Titans’ interesting stat of the season:

 The Titans have a league record 7 players with more than 5 rushing attempts

If you’re a Titans fan then,

Your reasons to be optimistic:

  • The Tharwat brothers
  • The fact that it can only get better

Your reasons to worry:

  • Inexperienced team with coaching turnover