It’s do or die time for the Force. While there are three regular season games left, in a sense, the playoffs start on Sunday when Georgia faces the Orlando Predators in a key American Conference South Division showdown at the Gwinnett Arena.
The Force (7-8) need to win at least two of the last three game to have a chance at a playoff spot. They are one half game out of the division lead, currently held by the Jacksonville Sharks. The Force are in good position to claim a wild card spot as they sit just one half game behind the two leading wild card teams, Cleveland and New Orleans.
The first thing the Force have to do is break out the slump they are in. For the most part, the Force have been up and down all year. The month of June has not treated the Force well, though, as they have won only one of their last five games.
The main reason for the woes is a lack of points from the offense. The Force are ranked near the bottom of the league in points per game and are only one of two teams that don’t average 50 points per game.
This is all caused by inconsistent quarterback play and it has been something that has haunted the Force all year. R.J. Archer was the most consistent quarterback for the Force, but he is no longer with the team after signing with the Detroit Lions. The starting quarterback for the Force now is Bryant Moniz ,who made his AFL debut last week against Utah.
Moniz had a slow start against the Blaze but was able to improve in the second half, leading the Force to 28 points. Moniz will look to get off to a faster start by finding C.J. Johnson early and often. Johnson had 11 catches for 127 yards last week. Moniz will also try to get Larry Shipp involved after the wide receiver was held to just a few catches last week.
The Force defense started out the season strong but has struggled as of late. They are still missing Tracy Belton, who has been out the last month with an injury. Regardless, they are still one of the top defensive teams in the league, and Robert Durham will look to get going off the bat. Durham led the Force with nine tackles last week.
For the Preadators, former Florida Gator QB Chris Leak leads the offense. Leak has thrown for 1,773 yards, 36 touchdowns and 11 picks in eight games this year. His go-to guy is T.T. Oliver who has 78 catches for 985 yards and 21 touchdowns.
The defense is led by Simeon Castille, Mar Moye-Moore and Travis Coleman. Castille leads the team in tackles (81.5) and also has five interceptions on the year. Coleman has six interceptions to go along with his 50 tackles. Moye-Moore has 56 tackles and one interception.
This is a must-win game for the Force. Moniz should improve from last week as he is more familiar with the offense. The new familiarity should give the offense an opportunity to score a lot of points. The defense has done a good job creating turnovers all year, and with Leak having a tendency to turn the ball over, the Force defense should have a huge day.