Saturday night’s meeting will be a battle of the only two undefeated teams in the Arena Football League when the Arizona Rattlers and Orlando Predators meet at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida. Both teams head into the game leading their respective conferences and boasting a 5-0 record. The game will be nationally televised on the CBS Sports Network at 4:30pm PST.
4th Down, Shutter Down?
When the Rattlers and Predators meet, a key to the game could be 4th down. The Predators have the best conversion rate in the league converting seven of nine attempts (78%). The Rattlers have had their opponents try a league high 28 attempts but their opponents have only been successful on eight of them. That gives the Rattlers the best opponent conversion rate in the league allowing just under 29%. The Predators have the highest opponent conversion rate allowing the opposition to convert on seven of eleven tries (64%).
Flags could be Flying… or Not
On Saturday night there could be a lot on laundry on the field when the two teams meet up. The Predators and Rattlers are on the opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to penalties. Orlando averages the most penalty yards per game in the league with 70 yards. However, the Rattlers average the fewest amount of penalty yards in the league averaging 32 per game. The field position gained or lost with these penalties could be a determining factor in the game.
Arizona Hits the Meat of their Schedule
The Rattlers are starting to get into the more difficult part of their schedule this season starting with the road game against the 5-0 Orlando Predators on Saturday. So far on the season the combined record of the teams Arizona has played is 4-17. They have played Portland twice, and LA, Jacksonville, and Tampa Bay once each. After the game in Orlando, the Rattlers have another difficult road game this time against the 3-1 Philadelphia Soul. Then the Rattlers come home for one game against the rival LA KISS.
Battle of Top Rush Offense vs Top Rush Defense
The Arizona Rattlers have had a great season so far rushing the ball, but Orlando looks to stop that with the top rushing defense in the league. Arizona’s rushing offense led by star fullback Mykel Benson averages a league best 4.4 yards per rush. Orlando’s rushing defense allows an astounding 1.2 yards per rush. Orlando only allows 6.6 rushing yards per game and Arizona averages almost six times that with 37 rushing yards per game. Based on the averages, it takes Arizona only two rushing attempts to beat Orlando’s rushing total allowed per game. Also Orlando has only allowed seven rushing touchdowns which is tied for third in the league, whereas Arizona leads the league with 12 rushing touchdowns. Look for a battle in trenches as Arizona and Orlando look to continue their league leading pace.
Battle of Top QB’s
When Orlando and Arizona meet up there will be fireworks in the passing game. Arizona quarterback Nick Davila and Orlando quarterback Randy Hippeard are number one and two when it comes to passing efficiency with ratings of 130.6 and 122.9 respectively. Davila and Hippeard also have two of the top touchdown to interception ratios in the league with Davila’s being 16 to 1 and Hippeard’s is nine to one. Hippeard does lead Davila in passing yards per game averaging 272 compared to 239 for Davila. Davila is tied with Philadelphia quarterback Dan Raudabaugh for the lead league with 32 touchdowns and Hippeard is right behind them in third with 28 touchdowns. Look for the ball to be thrown all around the field on Saturday.