The 4-5 Berlin Rebels travel to Potsdam, Germany Saturday, August 10 to take on the 2-6-1 Potsdam Royals at Sportpark Luftschiffhafen in German Football League action.
The Royals earned one of their only two wins of the season when they defeated Berlin 30-17 earlier in the year. Both teams are suffering through losing streaks with Potsdam’s the worse of the two.
Potsdam has gone winless since May 18 when they beat Dusseldorf 34-17. That’s a span of six games and includes a 28-28 tie with the Kiel Baltic Hurricanes.
Before losing to the Dresden Monarchs 38-7 last week, and Cologne 26-14, the Royals had been coming off a 33-13 loss to the Monarchs following a 28-28 tie with the Kiel Baltic Hurricanes which saw them rally to score late in the game to earn the tie. They had suffered back-to-back losses to the Braunschweig New Yorker Lions, 35-14 and 46-7. Potsdam had dropped their opening game to the Hildesheim Invaders, losing 50-28, but rebounded in beating the Berlin Rebels 30-17. They then downed the Dusseldorf Panther 34-17 before losing to Braunschweig.
Potsdam is struggling with quarterback injuries resulting in a true revolving door at that position. Sam Straub who had started his fourth game two weeks ago, suffered a concussion and last week was replaced by wide receiver Timothy Knuttel who had a dismal day, throwing for 62 yards. Whether Straub will return is unknown for today’s game. Naturally, with quarterback being in a constant state of flux, the receiving corps has struggled. Running back Gennadiy Adams is a key component of the offense and has rushed for 709 yards so far this year while catching 17 passes for 249 yards. He is the second leading rusher in the GFL.
LB Dustin Illetschko who anchors the front seven, has recorded 99 tackles in nine games, fifth overall in the GFL.
The Rebels’ last minute loss to Hildesheim was their second in a row. They had dropped a 34-9 decision to Braunschweig the week before after earning their fourth straight win right before the break, blanking the Cologne Crocodiles 27-0. The week before, they had beaten the Dusseldorf Panther 55-13 after downing them 55-20. They had defeated the Kiel Baltic Hurricanes 33-13 after suffering through a dismal opening to their 2019 season losing all three games, which they have not done since 2015 when they lost their first three games of the year en route to a 4-8 season.
The Rebels were beaten 30-17 in their opening game by the Potsdam Royals in Potsdam, and then they dropped a 29-12 decision to the Braunschweig New Yorker Lions. In late May, the Hildesheim Invaders proved too much for the 2018 German quarterfinalists, beating them 56-41.
Berlin’s new quarterback, Kurt Palandech, did not have his best days in the losses to Hildesheim and Braunschweig throwing for just 287 yards in the two games. Still, since coming to the team he has looked solid in his six starts throwing for 1,195 yards and 14 touchdowns. TJ Esekielu as the leading receiver with 38 catches for 511 yards and five touchdowns. Jason Harris now has 298 yards receiving. The running game, which has been the strength of the team in seasons past , has suffered this year and is seventh in the league averaging 112.3 yards a game.