The Ballad of Dee Fence #3 - Keep On Keeping On (published 2020-12-26)

This is a Retro Bowl challenge where I use just defensive star players (plus a kicker for the memes). In the last "episode", I played weeks 2, 3, and 4, winning all 3 (some closer than others) to remain undefeated on the season (4-0).

In this one, we'll handle weeks 5, 6, and 7. Week 5 is vs the Bills, who have a 4 star offense and a 5 star defense. They're currently 3-1 and in charge of the AFC East. (Go Bills!)

This week's dilemma: the owner invited me to a board meeting, and I have to choose between the board meeting and a media function. I choose the board meeting, because the sooner I can get more CC, the sooner I can pick up FAs and/or upgrade at coordinator to help my team out.

Week 5: CIN vs BUF - Play By Play

The Bills start with the ball, and Arthur Samuels picks off the QB deep in Buffalo territory, so we start our first drive at the BUF 10. A quick toss to the WR on a comeback route nets a TD. I elect to go for 2, and it falls incomplete (seriously, the CBs in this game get away with way too much). So, it's only 6-0 in my favor. We give the ball back to the Bills, only for Shamar Barkley to get in on the action and pick off the QB! Again, we begin at the BUF 10, and after an incomplete pass, a toss to my WR gets me to the one and a half yard line. A toss to my TE nets the TD, and a toss to the WR in the back of the endzone nets 2. It's 14-0 in my favor now. We kick off again, and this time, the Bills wisely run first, starting a drive that results in a TD for them, to make it 14-7. A quick off-man beating toss makes 7 yards, and that ends the first quarter. Score: Bengals 14 - 7 Bills.

A screen right nets only one (I didn't get the ball far enough outside of the LB), and then loses one. I go for it on fourth and 3, getting 4 to my WR to convert. I get 6 on a toss to my TE on the blitz, hen 7 on a quick off-man beating throw. I get 12 on another off-man beater, and then 8 on another. Really, they ought to stop playing off-man. They keep doing it and I keep gutting them for 7 yards a play. A screen left picks up 3 for the first, and a quick TE toss gets 4. The off-man beating throw gets 6, and a shovel with the RB gets 5 to clean up the rounding error of about 6 inches to the line to gain. Now under 12 seconds, the game asks me if I want to kick a field goal, but I'm gonna go for the endzone if it's an option. A toss to the WR nets me 9, and a quick timeout leaves me with 6 seconds. I throw the ball away quickly on 3rd and goal to cycle the play, and then I QB sneak it for the touchdown. I send out Karras for the XP, which he drills, and after the kickoff runs out the clock, the halftime score is Bengals 21-7 Bills. (Yes, that touchdown drive ate the entire 2nd quarter.)

We start the second half with the ball at our own 16. A screen right nets 4, and a toss to the WR nets 5. A screen right nets 4 for the first. An incomplete pass is followed by an interception after the corner bumps my WR and grabs the ball for himself (the very definition of the "bump and run" tactics that the DPI rule is meant to prevent). The Bills, now, with a short field, immediately net a TD to make it 21-14. We get the ball back at our own 40, still in control of this game. A not-well-planned-out screen nets a loss of 1, and a toss to the WR nets 6. A screen right with a bit more thinking behind it nets 6 for the first down into Bills territory. I hand the ball off to the RB, who barely makes it back to the line of scrimmage, and then overthrow him on the screen to end the 3rd quarter. Bengals 21 - 14 Bills. I swear if I lose to the Bills...

My WR gets held, again, and on 4th down, I go for it (because I'm on my opponent's side of the field my only options are to go for it or try an ill-fated field goal. I throw it up to my WR, get hit as I throw... and he makes the grab! A first down at the BUF 27 gives me hope. My WR gets held, again, before a screen right nets 5. An overthrown screen right is caught by the WR near the sideline for a gain of 8 and the first down. A quick toss to the WR on a corner in route gets 10, and now it's first and goal at the BUF 4. I start by scrambling my QB from the shotgun position (I'm aiming to waste time, since I have the lead), and then my RB suddenly decides that now, as I attempt to waste time, is the right time to actually break through the line, as he scores a TD. The XP is good, so it's Bengals 28 - 14 Bills with 37 seconds left. The Bills drive, but the Hail Mary comes up short (not to mention they took too long). Final score: Bengals 28 - 14 Bills.

Post-Game Press Interview: A foreign reporter asks what position Davon Armah plays: DB or WR? Given as I don't have any star WRs on my roster, this is an easy question to answer: DB. (Also because I know my roster. That helps too.) That boosts my Fans score to 81%.

Week 5 Box Score

Team 1 2 3 4 Final
BUF 7 0 7 0 14
CIN 14 7 0 7 28


Position Name Tackles Interceptions Sacks Forced Fumbles
DL Donta Lambo 3 0 0 0
DL Trevon Maulet 3 0 0 0
DL Dion Cole 2 0 0 0
LB Arthur Samuels 3 1 0 0
DB Shamar Barkley 3 1 0 0
DB Dmitri Payne 3 0 0 0
DB Davon Armah 4 0 0 0


Name Attempts Made Long
Dandre Karras 2 2 29

On to week 6, our bye week. I decide to train my guys, since the better our defense is, the more we can afford little mistakes on offense. This nets 5 level ups. For Donta Lambo, I increase his strength. For Arthur Samuels, I increase his stamina. For Shamar Barkley, I up his strength. For Dmitri Payne, I up his tackling. For Davon Armah, I up his speed.

Week 7's game is at the divisional rival Steelers, who are 4-2 and 2nd in our division. Their 3.5 star offense shouldn't be too much of a challenge for us, but their 5 star defense can always worry me.

Week 7: PIT vs CIN - Play by Play

We start with the ball at our own 42 and a 15 yard gain to the WR. A toss over the middle to the RB nets 7, and a quick toss to the WR nets 6 for a first down. A quick toss to the TE nets 6, a screen to the RB nets 3, amnd the QB sneak nets 2 for the first. The QB overthrows the WR at the sidelines, and then hits the RB on a screen left for 6. On third and 4, a quick toss to the TE nets 5 and a first and goal. 2 incomplete passes are followed by an interception in the endzone. We hold the Steelers to a field goal, and take over from our own 38 to start the 2nd quarter. Steelers 3, Bengals 0 to end the first.

A shovel to the RB up the middle nets 2, the ball bounces off the WR's hands, then he makes a catch on 3rd down to bring up 4th and inches. A QB sneak nets the yard we needed for a first down, and then 2 incomplete passes are followed by a 5 yard gain. I decide to kick the field goal on 4th and 5, but Karras misses it short. They drive for a TD and we take over from our own 33. We get a first down at the 47 and then have to throw it away on first down. We get a first at their 40, and with 10 seconds left, I trot out Karras for another attempt. He misses it low, again. They don't find the end zone on a Hail Mary, and it's Steelers 10, Bengals 0 at the half.

A quick three and out from the Steelers gives us the ball at our own 41 yard line. A toss to the TE nets about 13, and a screen right to the RB nets 6. A shovel pass nets 2, and on third and 2, the QB hits the TE for 13 yards after the defense calls the atrocious blitz-7 defensive play. The WR makes a miracle catch at their 20, and runs it all the way to their 8 yard line for a first and goal. The TE makes one guy miss and gets himself a touchdown. A screen right nets the 2 point conversion, and the Bengals cut the Steelers' lead to 2. Armah makes a great redzone tackle to hold them to a field goal, and so we take over at our own 37 to start the fourth. The score is Steelers 13, Bengals 8.

A quick toss to the WR nets 4, then another quick toss nets 5. On third and short, the screen right nets 5 for the first down in Steelers territory. Another screen right picks up 4, then a quick throw on the in route nets 10 for another first. A screen right nets 2, then the slant route nets about 10 for yet another first. A quick toss to the WR nets 8, then another, more patient throw nets 13 for a first and goal at the Steelers 1. I try to sneak it from the shotgun on first down, to no avail (although it does burn some clock). After an incomplete pass, with 3 seconds left, I go for the screen right, and score the go-ahead touchdown with the RB. I trot out Karras for the extra point, and the game ends Bengals 15, Steelers 13.

Press Interview: "What pleased you most about the win today?" I choose Praise Team to raise our morale from 89% to 91%. Trevon Maulet levels up, and I put the point towards Speed.

Week 7 Box Score

Team 1 2 3 4 Final
CIN 0 0 8 7 15
PIT 0 10 3 0 13


Position Name Tackles Interceptions Sacks Forced Fumbles
DL Donta Lambo 4 0 0 0
DL Trevon Maulet 6 0 0 0
DL Dion Cole 7 0 0 0
LB Arthur Samuels 4 0 0 0
DB Shamar Barkley 3 0 0 0
DB Dmitri Payne 7 0 0 0
DB Davon Armah 4 0 0 0


Name Attempts Made Long
Dandre Karras 3 1 29 (misses from 53 and 54)


In the next "episode", we'll handle weeks 8 (vs IND), 9 (at JAX), and 10 (at TEN).