If A-League Men clubs were NFL teams

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When NFL supporters hear G.O.A.T they think of Tom Brady, but who is the A-League Men equivalent?

Let’s find out how these competion’s respective clubs compare…

Adelaide United – Las Vegas Raiders

When the going gets tough, they pull through with flying colours. Both teams continue to hang around the middle of the pack without much fuss.

Las Vegas won their last four games of last season by four points or less, showing their true grit when the going gets tough. Four wins came in overtime.

Adelaide similarly continue to show their grit, winning eight games by two goals or less. Three of those wins have come from goals scored in stoppage time.

They like to leave it to the death, but wins are wins, and it’s certainly paying dividends.

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Brisbane Roar – Seattle Seahawks

Consistent turned inconsistent in a matter of seasons.

Seattle and Brisbane have been for quite some time at the top of their leagues. Although no silverware has been collected in recent seasons, they’ve still been a challenging team to contest with.

Their most recent seasons, however, have been an off year, down with both bottom of the pack and struggling to find answers as to what’s going on with such star power at hand.

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Central Coast Mariners – New Orleans Saints

After impressive previous seasons, each haven’t been able to further the success of the later. Fans have expected a solid comeback, and have been given that to some extent.

With prolific players out of the team, they have had to re-adjust to such and build around their new foundations. Saints quarterback Drew Press retired in 2021, leaving a huge hole in the hearts of all New Orleans fans. Mariners have lost their cult hero in Matt Simon for possibly the year, if not forever.

Less experienced players have been thrown into these holes and are putting in the yards, though it just isn’t the same.

Macarthur FC – Baltimore Ravens

Failing to capitalise on their star roster.

With players like Lamar Jackson, Marquise Brown, Marcus Peters, and more, you would think they’d be an unstoppable force across the board. Baltimore missed the playoffs with a negative record for the first time since 2017.

Macarthur finished sixth in their inaugural season and made it to the semi-final stage. This season Bulls are currently running seventh, though with such forward strike power in Ulises Davila and Craig Noone, goals should be becoming more frequently.

It’s not do or die though if both are wanting to go further than last season.

Melbourne City – Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The real heavyweights of their league, each know how to put points on the board. Tampa Bay were second with 511 points scored, while City have tallied 52 goals and will continue to rise.

City and Buccaneers have both collected silverware in the last few seasons after acquiring standout players, and continue to show their dominance.

Tampa Bay fell short of going back-to-back, though we’ll see in the coming month whether Melbourne City can achieve this feat.

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Melbourne Victory – Cincinnati Bengals

With both teams having an awful season previous, each were quick to reclaim their ascendancy.

No one would have thought Bengals would be playing in the Super Bowl after their previous four-win 2020/21 season. Similarly, Victory finished 12th last season and currently run third.

However, with signings of key players, they have transformed their roster into possible championship winning sides. Joe Burrow and Nicholas D’Agostino are the head of their team’s triumphs, claiming their spots as one of the best players in their competitions.

Newcastle Jets – Jacksonville Jaguars

Woeful previous seasons, though youth is going to be the answer to their demise.

Jaguars handed the torch to rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence to supercharge their offence, though couldn’t live up to the hype set by his collegiate days.

Jets, on the other hand, have seen real promise in their youngsters, especially in 18-year-old forward Archie Goodwin, who impressed last season and with his brace against Sydney FC late last month.

Akin to many other teams in their leagues, youth players are thrown into the deep end, now a matter of swim or sink.

Perth Glory – New York Jets

Glory are really ‘butt-fumbling’ this season.

This year just hasn’t been it for Perth, coming off a few thrashings that has seen them cop heavy criticism about their mentality as a football team.

Alike, New York have become a team everyone wants to play because of their lacklustre offence and defence.

Bringing in superstar Daniel Sturridge seemed to be Glory’s problem solver, only to have played 94 minute of football over five matches.

New York proclaimed quarterback Zach Wilson to be their saviour, though was constantly benched over other quarterbacks due to not living up to expectations.

Their gambles continually aren’t paying off.

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Sydney FC – Los Angeles Rams

A real match made in heaven.

Powerhouses of their leagues for sometime now, they continue to add more and more talent to draw success.

Although Sydney FC narrowly missed being crowned champions last season, they aren’t slipping away from their winning ways. Rams excelled in their championship winning season, leaving opponents in their dust.

Sydney have scored 36 goals (second in the league), while Los Angeles put up a respectable 460 points. Although not at the top of their packs, they bite at the right times, expressing their deadliness.

Wellington Phoenix – Pittsburgh Steelers

Sometimes they make you wonder how they’ve gotten this far.

Wellington currently hold the second worst goal difference at -10, though sit in fifth position. They even lost 5-0 to Central Coast, who sit six points below them in eighth.

Steelers made the playoffs last season with their worst record among all contenders with nine wins, seven losses, and a draw – only to be shutout by 21 points by Kansas City Chiefs in their first postseason game.

How they make it this far without extraordinary success is surprising, though it sheds light on how close the competitions can be.

Western Sydney Wanderers – New England Patriots

After losing their main man, seasons since have been mediocre.

The contrast between former Wanderers manager Tony Popovic and former Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is quite similar, each having an extraordinary effect on their team’s successes.

Upon leaving, however, both sides are yet to find their strike power, putting in seasons of mediocrity. Western Sydney are yet to make the finals since under Popovic, while New England haven’t won a playoff match since Brady left.

Until both find their next Brady/Popovic, victories may continue to run thin.

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Western United – Buffalo Bills

Going about their work, there’s no real drama stemming from their successes.

Defense is a real forefront toward their winning ways, able to defend their line consistently and constantly troubling opponents offence with their big bodies.

Buffalo surrendered the fewest points per game (17) among any team, the first time in franchise history they received that distinction.

On the contrast, United have currently surrendered only 26 goals (2nd in the league). So far it’s been their most successful season since their inauguration in 2019/20.

Only time will tell when their success may run out, thought let’s enjoy it while it lasts.

Feature Image Credit: Mr Brown

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Mitchell Roese
Mitchell Roese
Sports enthuse currently studying a Bachelor of Communications (Journalism) at the University of Technology Sydney. Covering the Central Coast Mariners 2021/22 A-League Season

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