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Zak Johnson Oct 25, 2017
  1. Zak Johnson
    Season XX of the CFL has been full of excitement and surprises, and it all comes down to tonight. Going into the playoffs the question was: Will we get a new CFL champion. The new question posed is: Which one will it be, PatsFan or D11. Both have lost in the biggest game in the world by just a touchdown in years past. PatsFan lost in CFL Bowl IV (17-24 vs Panthers) and IX (17-21 vs Panthers). D11 lost in CFL Bowl XIII (24-31 vs Raiders). It’s been several seasons since these two have made it here but all that goes out the door as four quarters separates the CFL from crowning a brand new champion. Will it be the 15-1 New England Patriots or the 12-4 Wildcard Dallas Cowboys?

    Dallas has had a longer road to get to this point, beating Tampa in the wildcard round 12-9, then upsetting the Lions 34-17, followed by a conference championship over divisional rival Eagles 38-3. While the Patriots, who were the #1 seed, beat the Steelers 22-6, then the Browns 25-9, crowning them AFC champs. Both teams bring a lot to the table and if we've learned one thing, it's that anything can happen. I got the chance to interview both D11 and PatsFan during media day, let's see what they had to say before the big game.

    ZJ: What’s your mentality going into this game? Both of you have lost CFL Bowls, will that experience help you in this one?
    D11: Right now, I think the biggest thing for me is execution. Being in this position, going against a great user like PatsFan, every play matters, every possession matters, so the message from the coaching staff to all the players, is hey, this is what we play for, you know? There’s no reason to be nervous, there’s no reason to get consumed by the lights and the moment.. this is what we do... let’s just go out there and execute. And that’s one of the things I learned in the Super Bowl against Walk, but I learned it late... and momma says if you would’ve knew better, you’d do better. So here we are with that opportunity, and we have to capitalize on it, because it’s tough getting here... we may not ever get here again.

    PatsFan: I'm just ready to kickoff, I've watched some film from the Cowboys previous playoff games and feel prepared. Being to and losing 2 CFL Bowls doesn't give any advantage one way or the other we both have been and both lost.

    ZJ: What are you going to look out for in the opposing team?
    D11: There’s a lot to keep our eyes on, it’s not just one specific thing, Patsfan is great at what he does in every area, so we have to be on high alert in every situation. He’s one of the best users defensively protecting and covering the middle of the field, he has weapons on the offensive side of the ball where one juke move or the break of a route could result in a touchdown.. and plain and simple, he has Tom Brady {laughs}... and we’re expecting him to come out here and fight, and show why he deserves to be the Super Bowl champion, so we have to keep our heads on a swivel and just follow our gameplan and our scouting report and execute.

    PatsFan: When I'm on Offense my biggest concern will be the Pass Rush. The Cowboys lead the CFL in sacks with 81. After that it's recognizing the coverage he likes man 2 man and when he blitzes its mostly zone blitzing so I need to find the mismatch early and attack. When I'm on Defense my priority will be limiting Zeke, he was 2nd in the league in Rushing yards but is also a threat in the passing game so keeping him in check will go a long way in helping me win this game.

    ZJ: Can you address your teams injuries leading up to this game and what they mean?
    D11: I mean, it’s a part of football... you know? We made it to this point without Dez (for two games) as I’m sure the Patriots went without White for a period of time, but we’ve both proven that we can win football games without them. Don’t get me wrong, it’s tough to not be out there on the field with those guys, but hey, next man up. The game is going to go on with or without them so we can’t hang our heads on injuries.. my favorite word of the day {laughs} we just gotta go out there, and execute! With James White or without Dez Bryant...

    PatsFan: Yes, my biggest injury is HB James White. He got injured in week 17 on the 2nd play of the game with a ruptured disk, it's a big loss as he was third in rushing yards with 1,382 and also had 413 Receiving Yards. So it's a big loss of production on the offense. His backup is Dion Lewis who is more than capable of taking over for White, they have a very similar skill set. Cowboys not having Dez is a big loss for them, he is by far their best WR with 750 more yards then the next Receiver. Not having him helps me in my opinion.

    ZJ: Give me a prediction.
    D11: I’ll leave that to you media folks :) all I can say is the Dallas Cowboys football team will be ready and hopefully it’s a great game!

    PatsFan: I wont give a score prediction but what I will say is this isn't gonna be a easy game for either of us we both have tasted defeat in the biggest game and both want redemption, we both want to say we are CFL Champs!

    Both teams are very similar to each other according to their league ranks. Both have outstanding defenses that are nearly identical, while the offenses have slight differences of their own:

    Patriot Offensive Ranks
    PPG - 29 (#3)
    Rush YPG - 145.5 (#2)
    Pass YPG - 194.5 (#18)
    Total YPG - 340.0 (#7)

    Cowboys Offensive Ranks
    PPG - 26 (#8)
    Rush YPG - 129.7 (#6)
    Pass YPG - 211.8 (#13)
    Total YPG - 341.5 (#6)


    Patriots Defensive Ranks
    PPG - 14 (#2)
    Rush YPG - 88.4 (#4)
    Pass YPG - 196.0 (#4)
    Total YPG - 284.4 (#4)

    Cowboys Defensive Ranks
    PPG - 17 (#6)
    Rush YPG - 89.6 (#6)
    Pass YPG - 178.3 (#6)
    Total YPG - 268.1 (#6)

    1. Run. Run. Run. Use that OL and take advantage of having one of the best HB in the league.
    2. Limit turnovers. Patriots have a phenomenal defense and PatsFan is a great user.
    3. Stop Gronk. If you can stop Gronk, you’re limiting Brady’s most deadly weapon.

    1. Use your weapons. Get everyone involved early and play your game.
    2. Stop the run. Dez is out and Dallas will be looking to use Zeke plenty.
    3. Contain Dak. He can scramble and when he gets loose he can either book it or try and find someone downfield.

    Tune into as we will see a new CFL champion rise tonight starting at 8:30 PM EST!

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  1. DrStrange
    Amazing 10/10 sir
      Johnson likes this.