After three straight seasons of making the FCS playoffs, Fordham was home for the holidays in 2016.
The Rams went 5-1 in Patriot League play, but the squad’s loss to Lehigh cost the team a chance at an at-large bid to the postseason despite an 8-3 record. A non-conference setback to a Monmouth team that went 0-5 in Big South play was a major blow to its playoff chances, so the school decided to schedule better in 2017.
2016 Fordham Football Season In Review
Defense was the primary problem for Fordham last year. The Rams gave up over 30 points per game and allowed an average of 50.6 points to opponents in their three losses. The main reason for the struggles was a porous front seven that was very susceptible to rushing attacks. Fordham was gashed for 4.7 yards per contest in 2016.
Quarterback was anything but an issue for the team, though. Kevin Anderson threw for over 2,700 yards and tallied 27 touchdowns while tossing just four interceptions. His efficiency with the ball was a big reason why this was one of the better offenses in the FCS last fall.
Fordham historically has had a very good rushing offense, and that was the case again last year. Chase Edmonds was the go-to guy, averaging more yards per game than anyone else in FCS. He put up 163.5 yards per contest on seven yards per carry. Based off of what he has done throughout his career, Edmonds will go down as one of the best players in school history.
Robbie Cantelli was a touchdown machine in 2016. While he only had 37 receptions, 13 of those went for scores. His 17.1 yards per reception average was one of the best in FCS.
2017 Fordham Football Season Preview
Edmonds will likely break the all-time FCS career rushing yardage record this season. He ran for 5,285 yards in his first three years and will take over the mark with a 1,300-yard season in 2017. There’s no doubt that he’ll get the opportunity to run as much as he wants in his senior year.
He is a bona fide NFL prospect that can power through arm tackles and has proven his durability. Unlike other running backs at this level, he has also shown an ability to catch the ball out of the backfield, which sets him apart from a lot of other backs.
Fordham won’t be seeing many teams stack the box because Anderson is back to make defenses that disrespect the passing attack pay. He has thrived off of play action with defensive backs cheating to try to stop the run, and there’s no reason to think that will stop in 2017.
The only thing preventing this team from winning the Patriot is a competent front seven on defense. The secondary will be fine with three of four starters returning, but the run defense is another story. Fordham’s coaches have certainly tried to work with this group in the offseason, but we won’t know how successful they were until they take the field.
2017 Fordham Football Schedule
September 1: Fordham at Army
September 9: Fordham at Central Connecticut State
September 16: Fordham vs. Eastern Washington
September 23: Fordham at Bryant
September 30: Fordham vs. Yale
October 7: Fordham at Lafayette
October 14: Fordham at Colgate
October 21: Fordham at Georgetown
October 28: Fordham vs. Lehigh
November 4: Fordham vs. Holy Cross
November 18: Fordham vs. Bucknell
FCS Pick ‘Em Games To Watch
This defense will get tested by two completely different offensive philosophies in the first three weeks of the season. In the season opener, we are going to see whether the run defense solved its woes or not when the school takes on Army. The Black Knights had their most successful season in two decades last year and will be a tough test for the Rams.
Two weeks later, one of the best passing attacks in the FCS will come to the Bronx. Fordham will host Eastern Washington in a clash that is sure to see plenty of points. A win would be huge for the Rams’ postseason chances, and they match up well with the Eagles. Fordham should be an underdog, but is a sneaky pick in your FCS Pick ‘Em Contests against Eastern Washington.