The first week of Season 4 of the ELF started with a bang, including explosive offenses. An early trend is the emergence of several dual-threat quarterbacks. Balance on offense is a significant factor in whether or not teams can put themselves in a position to pick up a win each week.

Along with balance on offense, ball security was a determining factor for several teams in the first week of the season in the European League of Football. Most teams in the first week of the season could put together several solid series of plays, but the teams that found the most success protected the ball and finished drives. The best teams in the ELF understand that they must take enough chances to score points but must protect the ball. This week also showed the importance of finishing drives so that if they are in a position to score, they do not squander that opportunity.

We will briefly analyze how each team performed in Week 1 of ELF Season 4.

Vienna Vikings (1-0) 43, Fehervar Enthroners (0-1) 18

To open the first week of the ELF season, the Vienna Vikings and the Ferhervar Enthroners displayed balanced offenses. Vikings and Enthroners could generate explosive plays in their passing game with quarterback Ben Holmes and effectively moved the ball on the ground. Coming out of halftime, the Vikings continued to play well on offense, but the Enthroners began to have some of their previous bad habits return with turning the ball over and failing to finish drives consistently.

Barcelona Dragons (1-0) 23, Helvetic Mercenaries (0-1) 19

Early in the game, the Helvetic Mercenaries looked strong on offense, running the ball well and generating explosive plays in the passing game. The Barcelona Dragons struggled to get their offense moving in the first half. Early in the second half, the Mercenaries muffed a punt return, setting up an easy score for the Dragons, and Barcelona was able to build on that momentum to take the lead. The Mercenaries attempted to get back on track offensively, but it was too late to allow the Dragons to seal the win.

Raiders Tirol (1-0) 32, Milano Seamen (0-1) 0

The Raiders Tirol historically have an explosive offense, and they did not disappoint in their first game of 2024. The Raiders displayed a balanced attack capable of producing explosive plays in the passing game. The Milano Seaman looked very sloppy on offense, which made it difficult for the Seamen to build momentum and set up scoring opportunities. On special teams, the Seamen did block a Raiders punt, but they could not convert that big play into points.

Panthers Wroclaw (1-0) 49, Berlin Thunder (0-1) 39

The Panthers Wroclaw and Berlin Thunder had the game of the week, with both offenses looking polished and capable of moving the ball. Both teams also consistently finished drives, putting the ball in the end zone. A big play occurred when the Panthers intercepted a Thunder pass in the Berlin end of the field and scored a defensive touchdown. A defensive touchdown is a back-breaking play in games where both offenses are executing at a high level.

Rhein Fire (1-0) 42, Cologne Centurions (0-1) 12

The Rhein Fire started the 2024 season, continuing to look like the best team in the ELF. The Fire dominated the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball, allowing them to run the ball well, and quarterback Jadrian Clark was able to build on the success of the running game. The Cologne Centurions struggled to run the ball against the Fire’s defensive line, but they did find limited success in the passing game.

Hamburg Sea Devils (1-0) 31, Prague Lions (0-1) 21

After struggling with several personnel changes in 2023, the Hamburg Sea Devils successfully started their 2024 season. The Sea Devils moved the ball well with their running game and produced explosive plays in the passing game by getting the ball to wide receiver Jarvis McClam. The Prague Lions struggled to stop the Sea Devils offense, but Prague has significantly improved their offense compared to the 2023 season. The Lions were able to move to the ball well on the ground, and in the passing game, if the Lions can shore up their defense, they have a chance to win some games in 2024.

Stuttgart Surge (1-0) 27, Munich Ravens (0-1) 5

The Stuttgart Surge and quarterback Reilly Hennessey started the 2024 season similar to how they finished the 2023 season, which saw them end the season in the ELF championship game. The Surge ran the ball exceptionally well, and they were able to complement that running game with a consistent passing game. The Munich Ravens were competitive on defense but failed to find a rhythm with their offense. The deciding factor in the match was 3rd Down success, with the Surge converting 50% of their 3rd downs and Munich failing to convert any 3rd Down attempts into 1st Downs.

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Aaron Sauter
Aaron Sauter is a 23-veteran high school football coach that is also an fan of all levels of football. He is especially interested in alternative football leagues like the CFL, UFL, and IFL. Aaron enjoys analyzing innovative schemes on offense and defense during his free time.

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