The team representing the “City of Joy”, the Kolkata Vipers, unfortunately could not find much joy in the first season as they lost all of their games.
That being said, there were parts of the game from which they can take solace. Let’s take an in-depth look at the Kolkata Vipers’ stats to see how they fared in the various departments.
The Vipers threw the ball often and with some success as their starting Quarter-Back, Ronit Banda threw for a total of 431 yards, which was the third best record in the all of EFLI. However, Banda found little success in the red zone as in Kolkata’s five games he could only connect for 2 touchdowns. While Banda and the Vipers found success by going the aerial route, there were also 8 turnovers for Banda (6 interceptions and 2 fumbles). His accuracy was at 49.3%, which was the lowest amongst all Quarter-Backs who had 70 attempts or more. He had a QB rating of 92.7 (lowest amongst Quarter-Backs who attempted 60 passes or more) but that can be attributed to the team’s overall showing.
It was again Ronit Banda who shone through for the Vipers when it came to rushing. The wiry framed Quarter-Back accounted for 143 yards while wrestling through the defensive lines (good enough for the 8th best aggregate in the league). However, it was Santosh Sandri who came out as the best rusher in the Vipers’ ranks, garnering an average of 5.3 yards per carry. The two of them were able to muster 266 yards between them, but unfortunately it didn’t translate to much in the end-zone as Kolkata didn’t register any rushing touchdowns.
Boini Yadav was Ronit Banda’s favourite target and he was able to hit him on 12 occasions for a combined 149 yards. Much like the other big hitters in the team though, Yadav too had his struggles in the end-zone. It was in fact Subarna Dey and Sanjay Kumar who helped the Vipers put points on the board.
The Vipers’ defense ended up conceding many points; their defense was ranked last allowing their opponents to score 91 points in their 5 games. The Vipers had zero successful tackles throughout the game.
The Vipers had some semblance of success when it came to interceptions as they recorded a total of 4 interceptions. However, they couldn’t make the most of the opportunities as they totalled only 24 yards from the returns of those 4 picks.
The Vipers remained unimpressive even in the other stats department too in terms of kick returns. Their average kick-return distance of 13.9 yards was only better off than the Mumbai Gladiators’ average of 9.3 yards/return. The Vipers failed to record any punt returns.
Rajib Mondal however excelled in the art of kicking. Mondal averaged a league leading 42.5 yards on punts. Even when put in Quarter-Back duties, the Bengali was able connect with his target on 2 of the 3 occasions he was given the opportunity.
Even though the inaugural season was a season of disappointment for the team from the East, they will still have positives like the performances Ronit Banda and Rajib Mondal to take forward. Banda has since then joined the Hyderabad Skykings and has continued his excellent showing with Hyderabad becoming nearly invincible in the exhibition matches since the first season.
One more year of polishing their skills and addition of more firepower in the offense combined with some much needed defense will surely turn their fortunes around.