The Arizona Rattlers (6-2) are making another east coast road trip when they travel to Tampa Bay to take on the Storm (0-7). The Rattlers are coming off of an inter-conference matchup against rival LA KISS (3-4), which the Rattlers won 47-34. The Tampa Bay Storm are coming off a crushing defeat in overtime against the Cleveland Gladiators (4-4) 70-63. The Storm are still searching for their first win of the season while the Rattlers are looking to extend their lead in the National Conference. The game will be streamed on ESPN3 at 11am on Sunday.
Rattlers’ quarterback Nick Davila and Storm quarterback Jason Boltus have both had their fair share of success against the other team. In three games, Davila has thrown for 23 touchdowns and no interceptions against the Storm. Boltus has thrown for ten touchdowns compared to four interceptions in two games as the Storm signal caller against Arizona. Look for these two savvy veteran quarterbacks to bring their leadership to their respective teams and have them ready to fight for the win on Sunday morning.
Scoring Offenses vs. Scoring Defenses
Just like they have for eight weeks, the Rattlers still hold the top spot for scoring offense, averaging 65 points per game. Tampa Bay has the opposite story; they average 32 points per game but they are coming off an overtime loss to Cleveland, scoring a season high 63 points. Also, in the week prior, Tampa Bay came within a field goal of beating then unbeaten Orlando, losing 42-40. Both of these defenses will have their hands full with two offenses that are rolling. Arizona has the second best scoring defense only allowing 44 points per game, Tampa has the sixth ranked scoring defense allowing 53 points per game.
Sacks are Hard to Come By
Even though Arizona leads the league with 18 sacks so far, Tampa still has been one of the best teams in the league only allowing four sacks this season. Arizona is tied with Tampa only allowing four sacks as well. Four is a common number when looking at Tampa’s sack numbers because they have accumulated that many sacks on the opposing quarterback. Just like every week so far, the battle in the trenches will be one to watch. Being able to get to the quarterback may be a rarity for the defenses and it could play a key factor in who wins this critical non-conference game.
Move the Chains?
The Arizona Rattlers and Tampa Bay Storm are the book ends in the rankings when it comes down to first downs. Arizona leads the league averaging 22 per game. Tampa is last in the league only averaging 15 per game. The Rattlers have had no problem moving the chains, whether it is in the air, on the ground, or by penalty. Arizona leads the league with 128 first downs coming through the air, Tampa just passed 100 first downs on the season last week. Being able to move the chains down the field will not only help the respective team earn a win but not allow the other team’s offense to try to do the same.
Look for Flags to Not be Flying
The Rattlers and the Storm are once again right next to each other as far as rankings go, ranked first and second in a category; this time being fewest penalty yards. Arizona impressively only averages 31 penalty yards, whereas Tampa only averages 47. The Rattlers have committed 38 penalties this season which is the fewest, compared to the Storm who have the fourth fewest only committing 57 so far in seven games. Look for both teams to be able to play this game on Sunday morning clean and not have much laundry on the field.
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