Phoenix, Ariz. – This weekend’s matchup will feature two teams that have not faced each other since 2013. The Arizona Rattlers (4-2) are coming off their second loss of the season, while the New Orleans VooDoo (2-4) are coming off their second win. The game will be played at the Smoothie King Arena in New Orleans, Saturday night at 5:00 PDT. The game can be seen online at ESPN3.com. Here is what to watch for in Saturday’s game:
Arizona Rattlers wide receiver Rod Windsor came out of training camp with a minor injury and missed the first two games of the season, but that has not slowed him down. The four time All-Arena wide-out has caught at least 10 passes in every game he has played in this season. Quarterback BJ Coleman will likely continue to look his way Saturday night.
BJ’s Second Start
Rattlers quarterback BJ Coleman has not started in a meaningful game at any level of football in over two years. That changed last Saturday night against the SaberCats. Despite this only being his first start, Coleman looked confident in the pocket. While he did overthrow a few passes early, he showed flashes of why head coach and general manager Kevin Guy was excited to acquire him this offseason. Look for him to take a big step this weekend as he goes from his first full start to his second.
Red Zone Offense
The Arizona Rattlers have been lethal this season once they reach the end zone. While the Rattlers currently only rank 3rd league wide, the last three games tell a different story. In those games, Arizona has scored on every possession they had in the red zone (15-15). This Saturday, they are going up against a VooDoo defense that ranks last in red zone defense (allowing the other team to score 87.5 percent of the time).
The VooDoo also have a potent red zone offense. They currently rank 1st in the league; scoring on 90% of their trips to the red zone.
Both teams will look to special teams to get the ball rolling this weekend. The Rattler’s AJ Cruz leads the league in yards per kick return with an astounding 25.1 yards average. The VooDoo, on the other hand, currently lead the league in kick return yards with 661 total yards this season.
Home Field Advantage?
These two teams rarely face each other (only 5 times in their history). When they do, the visiting team has had the upper hand. Since both teams began playing each other in 2004, the home team has only won once, notching a 1-4 record overall. That single win came in 2013 when the Rattlers knocked off the VooDoo, 79-42.
Guy Climbing the Ladder
Rattlers head coach Kevin Guy is one of the winningest coaches in AFL history. He currently has 82 regular season wins (93 including the playoffs), and is the all-time leader in post season winning percentage with .786. His next win will push him passed current Washington Redskins head coach Jay Gruden for 6th all-time career regular season victories.
About the Arizona Rattlers
The Arizona Rattlers have won three straight ArenaBowl championship games and are proud members of the Arena Football League (AFL). ArenaBowl XXVII marked the team’s ninth appearance in the Championship game, winning in 2014, 2013, 2012, 1997 and 1994. For tickets, call 602-514-TDTD (8383), or visit www.azrattlers.com.
Contact: Peter Garbow, (989) 395-3789, firstname.lastname@example.org
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