LIVESTREAM GERMANY: Cologne Crocodiles @ Saarland Hurricanes, September 19, 15:00 CET (3 pm, 9 am ET)

The Saarland Hurricanes will host the Cologne Crocodiles in the first-ever German Football League home playoff game in the club’s history.

The surprise of the GFL will not have an easy route to the semi-finals however as an experienced Cologne Crocodiles team visits Saarbrucken boasting of one of the league’s most potent passing attacks.

After a club-best 8-2 regular season, Saarland has made the jump from GFL2 contender to a squad hosting a playoff game in the country’s top league. The German Football League’s coach of the year, Christos Lambroloulos, has done a phenomenal job of helping the Hurricanes turn into contenders.

Cologne Crocodiles @ Saarland Hurricanes, September 19, 15:00 CET (3 pm, 9 am ET)

Offensivly, Saarland is led by GFL All-Star quarterback Josh Goldin. Goldin’s stats speak for themselves as he’s thrown for 2,898 yards and 32 touchdowns this season, all while keeping turnovers to a minimum tossing only five interceptions. Expect the former Colorado University (NCAA D1) walk-on to target receivers Victor Wharton III (California NCAA D1) and Marvin Fuchs. On the ground, running back Brandon Thompson will likely see some carries to keep the speedy Cologne defense honest. The air-raid Hurricanes offense will need to execute in order to get the win today against an athletic Crocodiles secondary.

When looking at the Saarland defense one player that can’t be overlooked is Sasan Jelvani. The veteran linebacker has been one of the league’s best defenders putting up league-leading 28 tackles for a loss to go along with 11 sacks. Despite often being used as a pass rusher, Jelvani’s open-field tackling is among the best in Germany, making 78 total tackles this season. Behind Jelvani, former South Carolina Gamecock (NCAA D1) Chaz Elder will look to contain Cologne’s exciting receiving core.

Quarterback Christian Strong leads the Crocodiles into Saarbrucken. In an interesting twist, Strong will be aiming to knock off Lambropoulos, who coached him when he played for the Dusseldorf Panther in 2019. Aaron Jackson and Markell Castle give the Dusseldorf quarterback two excellent options to throw too. Castle and Jackson have been far and away the league’s best receiving combo, totaling 2,433 yards and 29 touchdowns together. Expect Strong to look their way early and often against a well-coached defense. On the ground, Dean Tanwani is an exciting ball carrier with soft hands. In a game featuring two high-flying passing attacks, Tanwani’s ability to move the sticks and control the clock could be the difference.

Defensively, the Crocodiles match up well against the Hurricanes passing game with two American defensive backs, Emory Polley (Brown NCAA D1 FCS) and Dejvion Steward (Tiffin NCAA D2). The two will need to communicate and provide tight coverage as one wrong step could be a big play for Saarland. In the box, All-Star linebacker Martin Pinter is a key player to watch. Pinter’s sure tackling and physicality have helped him put up gaudy stats to the tune of 12 sacks, 25 tackles for loss, and 67 total tackles. If Pinter can create pressure today, Cologne could be celebrating happily on the long bus ride home.

The Hurricanes have a chance to add to their historic season with a victory today. One year ago this team was still wondering if they would make it back to Germany’s top league. Now they host their first-ever GFL playoff game. Across the field, the Crocodiles enter the postseason coming out of a GFL North filled with talent. The tried and tested Crocodiles are filled with playoff and experience and a hungry corps of players looking to break through the semifinals.

Watch the game live here: Cologne Crocodiles @ Saarland Hurricanes, September 19, 15:00 CET (3 pm, 9 am ET)

Saarland Hurricanes roster

Cologne Crocodiles roster

 

 

Alex is a former professional American football player who is now studying in London. His goal writing for AFI is to stay involved with the game that has given him so much. Alex enjoys covering leagues and players and sharing different football