The Arizona Rattlers (11-3) are playing in the second of three straight home games to end the regular season on Monday night. The Orlando Predators (12-2) are coming to town defending the number one seed in the playoffs. The Rattlers have already clinched the National Conference and Orlando looks to continue their winning ways so they can clinch the American Conference. This game will be at the Talking Stick Resort Arena at 6:30p.m. PDT and can be seen on ESPN3.
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 17 of 26 attempts (65 percent). The Rattlers opponents have a league high 50 attempts but their opponents have only been successful on 17 of them. That gives the Rattlers the second best opponent conversion rate in the league allowing just 34 percent. The Predators have the sixth highest opponent conversion rate allowing the opposition to convert on 20 of 38 tries (53 percent).
Battle in Trenches
The Arizona Rattlers have 23 sacks this season which is best in the league. That mark is five ahead of the second best team, the Philadelphia Soul. Orlando’s offensive line has had their fair share of troubles protecting the quarterback this season. They have allowed a league high 21 sacks, including a season high four sacks allowed against the Jacksonville Sharks back in week 12. Look for both teams to fight hard in the trenches to go after the other team’s quarterback.
Strong Rushing Offense vs. Top Rushing 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 fullback Mykel Benson is second in the league with 22 rushing touchdowns. Arizona also averages 3.1 yards per rush which is fourth best in the league. Orlando’s rushing defense only allows an astounding 1.6 yards per rush. Orlando allows 8.5 rushing yards per game and Arizona averages almost three times that with 21.4 rushing yards per game. Based on the averages, it takes Arizona only three rushing attempts to beat Orlando’s rushing total allowed per game. Look for a battle in trenches as Arizona and Orlando look to continue their league leading pace.
With three weeks left in the regular season the playoff picture is becoming clearer after every game. Both Orlando and Arizona only have two games left this season. If Arizona can win out including beating Orlando by more than 18 points, then Arizona will have the number one seed. If the Rattlers beat Orlando by 18 or less, beat Cleveland next week, and Philadelphia beats Orlando during the final week of the season then Arizona has the number one seed. Philadelphia would then be the two seed and Orlando would be the three seed. This game is big for both teams and the game will have a playoff like atmosphere on Monday night.
History Could be Made on Monday
Last week General Manager and Head Coach Kevin Guy tied Mike Dailey for fifth all time in wins with 115. With a win against Orlando, Guy will have sole possession of fifth place all time. Rattlers Wide Receiver Rod Windsor is close to passing former Rattlers / Utah Blaze Receiver and current Rattlers Offensive Coordinator Siaha Burley. Windsor is only 75 yards away from passing Burley for eleventh all time in career receiving yards. Monday night could be a very special night for not only the team, but these two legends as well.