The Arizona Rattlers (10-3) will start their three-game home stand this Saturday against the Jacksonville Sharks (5-7). The game will be played at the Talking Stick Resort Arena and will be at 6:30 p.m. PDT. In Week 4, these two teams met up in Jacksonville, where the Rattlers won in overtime 75-68. Both teams are coming off of the league-wide bye week last week. The game can be seen nationally on CBS Sports Network.
Power Rushing Attack
One thing to watch in this matchup will be the battle of the two rushing offenses. Rattlers fullback Mykel Benson and Sharks fullback Derrick Ross are first and third respectively with 18 and 15 TD’s. Arizona leads the league with 20 rushing touchdowns on the season so far. Jacksonville leads the league averaging 23 yards per game on the ground. The ground game will be critical for field position for both teams. Look for both teams to try and move the chains on the ground, allowing them to have a great chance to win the game.
Battle of Top QB’s
Both of these savvy veteran quarterbacks are in their seventh year in the league, and have made their mark on the history books. Both Rattlers quarterback Nick Davila and Sharks quarterback Tommy Grady have gone head-to-head ten times. Davila has always been with the Rattlers and Grady has spent time with Oklahoma City, Utah, Pittsburgh, and Jacksonville. In their meetings, Davila has 66 touchdowns and nine interceptions and Grady has 74 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. However, Grady does have 150 more career completions than Davila. Davila does lead in Grady in career passing yards and touchdowns. Look for another great quarterback battle from two of the best
Battle in Trenches
The Arizona Rattlers defensive line has been unstoppable this season leading the league with 22 sacks. Jacksonville’s offensive line has had a good year as well, only giving up 7 sacks, which is tied with the Rattlers for second fewest. Jacksonville’s defense has 13 sacks and looks to improve on that number on Saturday. Whichever one of the two offensive lines can keep their quarterback protected will have an edge. Look for a very competitive and aggressive battle in the trenches.
Flags Could be Flying
The Rattlers average the fewest penalty yards averaging 43 yards per game. However, Jacksonville forces their opponents to commit the most penalties in the league with their opponents averaging 66 yards. The Sharks averages 57 penalty yards per game and Arizona forces their opponents to 51. Both of these teams look to force the opposition into penalties and throwing them off of their game plan. Whoever can have the fewest penalties will give their team an edge in the game on Saturday.
Battle in the Red Zone
When these two teams meet, another thing to watch is the battle in the red zone. Jacksonville boasts the third best red zone offense converting on 83 percent of their tries. Arizona has had a tough red zone defense only allowing their opponents to convert on 76 percent of their chances. Whichever team can execute in the red zone and take advantage of their chances will put themselves in the driver’s seat for the win on Saturday.