Who has the best offense in German Bowl XXXIX?

For the fourth time in four years, the 16-0 Braunschweig New Yorker Lions and 16-0 Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns will meet Saturday, October 7 to decide American football supremacy in Germany. For the first time since 1987, the two teams in the German Bowl enter the game undefeated. The Lions have won all three previous finals against Schwäbisch Hall.

In AFI’s continuing coverage in the lead up to German Bowl XXXIX, we take a look at the two offenses today. The New Yorker Lions had the top offense in Germany in 2017 averaging 42.4 points and 420.7 yards per game. Schwäbisch Hall was 4th in points scored with 39.1 on average and 3rd in yardage gained with 405.2 yards a game.

In other words, there is not much separating the two. Let’s break it down by position.

Quarterbacks

This is a tale of a QB rivalry that will last. Casey Therriault and Marco Ehrenfried are facing each other for the fourth straight time in the German Bowl. In the three previous encounters, Therriault has outgunned his rival, twice with double the passing yardage, to lead the Lions past Schwäbisch Hall. This season, Therriault led the top offense in Germany and in 15 games, including both playoff games, he amassed 3,961 yards throwing 48 TD passes. Ehrenfried was the top passer in the country in 2017 averaging 269 yards a game while tossing 54 TD passes. The difference may be mobility. Therriault can use his feet to scramble and extend plays while Ehrenfried is more of a pocket passer.

Advantage: New Yorker Lions

Running backs

While the two teams were the 6th (Lions) and 7th (Unicorns) best rushing offenses in the league, Braunschweign relied heavily on David McCants as evidenced by his 209 carries for 1,598 yards and 15 TDs. The Unicorns Danny Washington shared the rushing duties with Jerome Manyema and Maurice Schule. McCants averaged 7.4 yards a carry while Washington averaged 5.6. This is the first time these two have gone head to head in the championship game.

Advantage: New Yorker Lions

Wide receivers

With their leading receiver Niklas Römer sidelined for five games, Nathaniel Morris picked up the slack and led Braunschweig in receiving yardage for the last six weeks of the season. He was Therriault’s leading target and over the last five games including both playoff games he averaged 115.2 yards a game in receptions. Schwäbisch Hall’s Tyler Rutenbeck led a receiving corps that may well be the best in the country. He caught 66 passes for 1,558 yards and 21 TDs averaging 97.4 yards per game.

Advantage: Even

All purpose yards

With the return of Römer in the semifinals, Casey Therriault suddenly has his deadly offensive arsenal back intact. With Römer, Morris and McCants the Lions offense looks menacing and combined for 521.9 yards a game. Wide receiver Nathaniel Robitaille along with Tyler Rutenbeck and Danny Washington form a potent combination for the Unicorns and they weren’t far behind with 8,211 overall all purpose yards.

Advantage: New Yorker Lions

AFI
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