Germany’s top team, the Braunschweig New Yorker Lions will play host to the Cologne Crocodiles Sunday at Eintracht Stadion in Braunschweig.
This is the first ever meeting between these two teams this season. While the undefeated Lions (9-0) have won the past four Germany titles, this is the first season in the German Football League for the 5-3 Crocodiles.
However, this Cologne team can surprise. They split their season series with the Berlin Rebels and lost two good games to the second place Kiel Baltic Hurricanes. However, they have to face both the Lions and the #3 Dresden Monarchs twice in the final month of the season.
The Lions are the sixth leading scoring team in Germany averaging 41.3 points a game but Cologne is right behind in seventh with a 35.5 point per game average. The difference is defense. While Braunschweig only allows 11.7 points a game, the Crocodiles give up twice that much, 23.
Cologne is the top rushing team in the GFL averaging 217 yards and 2.4 rushing touchdowns per game. Running back Kevin Parks is the key to the Crocodiles potent running attack. He is second in the league with 942 yards rushing and 13 touchdowns in eight games.
New Yorker quarterback Casey Therriault is the leader of arguably the most efficient offense in the league. He averages 299.5 yards passing a game and has thrown 26 touchdown passes against only two interceptions. But he knows can rely on running back David McCants who has rushed for 918 yards in nine games. The Lions receiving corps is led by Nik Romer who averages 106.1 yards receiving a game.
Crocodiles quarterback Ben Mentges is having a solid season having thrown for 1,643 yards and 15 touchdowns.
Singling out any one player on the New Yorker Lions defense is difficult. From the front seven to the secondary, they all contribute and rise to the occasion. Mentges has to keep his offensive teammates relaxed under the pressure they will face today if the Crocodiles are to have any chance of winning.
Cologne has not played a game since July 9 when they beat the Hamburg Huskies 51-16. Meanwhile, the Lions have won two tough games against the Berlin Rebels (21-14) and Kiel Baltic Hurricanes (33-22). Will the four week layoff hurt the Crocodiles or will they have had time to heal injuries and prepare?