LIVESTREAM: Germany – Braunschweig New Yorker Lions @Kiel Baltic Hurricanes, Sept. 1, 4p (10 a ET)

The 10-2 Braunschweig New Yorker Lions head to Kilia Stadion in Kiel, Germany Saturday, Sept. 1, to take on the Kiel Baltic Hurricanes (4-8-1) in a game that has become critical for the Lions.

For the Lions, the playoff picture has suddenly become uncertain. Braunschweig leads the North with a 10-2 record and two games left against the Kiel and then against the second place Dresden Monarchs who also have a 10-2 record. Dresden will play the Hildesheim Invaders and Braunschweig. In third are the Berlin Rebels at 9-3. The Rebels have the winless Hamburg Huskies still to play along with Hildesheim.

If the Lions beat Kiel they then face Dresden in the last game of the year to decide first place, assuming that the Monarchs take care of business and defeated the Hilsdesheim Invaders. With their second upset loss to the Berlin Rebels a week ago, Braunschweig is not the sure bet to finish first in the North as they were a few weeks ago. Lurking in third is Berlin but with two wins over the Lions this year and a split with Dresden with better points differential, the Rebels could finish first.

Should both Dresden and Braunschweig both win their games this weekend and then the Monarchs defeat the Lions in the final game, and then Berlin win both of their games, the Rebels will finish first, Dresden second and the New Yorker Lions third. If the Lions win their last two games and finish 14-2, they would capture first, Berlin would come second and Dresden third.

The Hurricanes are in a downward spiral and have only won one of their last five games, a 37-15 defeat of the Hildesheim Invaders.  They lost to the Potsdam Royals last week. They had not won a game before that since June 9 when they beat the Berlin RebelsUntil then, Kiel had undergone an improvement after the arrival of quarterback Lenorris Footman who had an impact.  In nine games he has thrown for 1,581 yards and 14 touchdowns. He has also rushed for 439 yards and 11 touchdowns.With a running back duo of Khris Francis (700 yards) and Julian Ampaw (461), Kiel has a potent running attack.

Braunschweig is coming off their second loss of the season, to the same team, the Berlin Rebels.

They will be looking to atone for that loss which had been preceded by a five-game winning streak. The Lions had beaten the Cologne Crocodiles twice in a row as well as the Dresden Monarchs and the Potsdam Royals two times in comfortable fashion. In their only other loss this year, Braunschweig were surprised by the Rebels in mid June, losing 24-21.

Braunschweig has the second highest scoring offense in Germany averaging 39.7 points a game, while their defense allows just 11.3 points a game, good for third in the GFL.

Jadrian Clark of the Lions is one of the most efficient quarterbacks in the country having completed 182 of 308 passes for 2,703 yards and 35 touchdowns against seven interceptions. His favorite target is Justus Holtz who has 627 yards receiving while big  Nicolai Schumann has 520 yards receiving. In fact, Clark has completed passes to 17 different receivers so far this season.

Interestingly, the Lions have the highest rushing offense in Germany with 1,684 yards in total team rushing but with only one player in the top 10 in overall yardage, the injured Sean Richard who has 744 yards rushing.  However, Chris McClendon returned from injury three games ago and has rushed for 303 yards in three games.

The Braunschweig defense is anchored by linebackers Roni Salonen and Anthony Darkangelo as well as defensive backs Tim Unger, Tissi Robinson and Darius Robinson and sack leader Jakob Schridde. They allow an average of 74.4 yards against the run and 130 against the pass, best in the league. However, against the Rebels a week ago, Braunschweig gave up 255 yards rushing, 168 to Berlin quarterback Terrell Robinson.

Watch the game live here.  Braunschweig New Yorker Lions @Kiel Baltic Hurricanes, Sept. 1, 4p (10 a ET)

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