The Arizona Rattlers (12-3) and the Cleveland Gladiators (7-8) are meeting in the regular season finale for both teams. This game will be a rematch of the week ten matchup in Cleveland where the Rattlers won 77-62, and could be a preview of the National Conference Championship Game. The game is at 6 p.m. at the Talking Stick Resort Arena and can be seen on ESPN2 or online using the WatchESPN app.
Flags Could be Flying
The Rattlers are very disciplined when it comes to penalties, averaging 42 penalty yards per game, which is the best in the league. The Gladiators will try to force Arizona into penalties just like they have done to their other opponents this season. Cleveland is third best in the league in opponent penalty yards forcing 58 yards per game. Arizona commits only six penalties per game and Cleveland forces their opponents to commit nine per game. Both teams will try to be disciplined and not give the other team key field position.
Red Zone Offense vs. Defense
An important aspect for both of these teams’ success has been the red zone. Cleveland is second best in the league with an 86 percent conversion rate. Cleveland also has the third fewest red zone attempts with 62. Arizona’s red zone defense is third best in the league only allowing their opponents to convert 78 percent of their chances. Look for both of these teams to battle in out in red zone and take advantage of the opportunities they have.
Both of these teams have talented secondaries, which are tied for second in league with 18 interceptions each. Arizona is led by both Arkeith Brown and Jeremy Kellem. Brown leads the league with his 25 pass breakups, and Kellem has four interceptions this season. Cleveland is led by Marvin Ross who leads the team with 22 pass breakups and six interceptions. Look for these two secondaries to try to force the opposing quarterback into bad throws and get the ball back for their offense.
Move the Chains?
Cleveland and Arizona both know how to move the ball down the field and move the chains. The Rattlers and Gladiators average 21 and 20 first downs per game, which is second and third respectively. However, Arizona is sixth in the league allowing 19 per game and Cleveland is in last allowing 23 per game. Both of these teams will look to move the ball and get the field position they need to get the win.