The Cologne Crocodiles will play host to the Dresden Monarchs at Sportkpark Hohenberg Saturday Aug. 12 in the first of two meetings between the two teams. They will face each other again in three weeks.
Cologne (5-4) is in a desperate battle with the Berlin Rebels for the fourth and final playoff berth in the German Football League North division while the 7-3 Monarchs need each win now to gain home field advantage throughout the playoffs.
Dresden is tied for the lead in offense scoring at a rate of 43.5 points a game while the Crocodiles average 32.3. What is interesting is that both defenses are almost equal in points allowed. Dresden gives up 24.2 and Cologne 24.3.
Cologne leads the league in rushing offense producing 204.4 yards a game but they will be facing the fifth best rush defense as the Monarchs give up 106.
Dresden quarterback Garrett Saffron has thrown for 2,472 yards and 32 touchdowns in 10 games with his favorite target being Sebastian Sagne who has caught 41 passes for 763 yards and 11 passes. His counterpart with the Crocodiles, Ben Mentges has not been as prolific with 1,710 yards passing and 16 touchdowns with a completion percentage of 49.2%.
Cologne running back Kevin Parks is the second leading rusher in the German Football League with 1,039 yards rushing in nine games and 13 touchdowns. Averaging 115 yards a game, he accounts for more than half of Cologne’s rushing yardage and is a key factor. Dresden’s Joe Bergeron has not been used as much with only about 10 carries a game. He has gained 579 yards in his nine games, still good for seventh in total rushing yardage.
This game will boil down to two factors. How well Dresden’s front seven can play against the Cologne running game and whether the Crocodiles secondary can come up with a big game against Garrett Saffron and the Monarchs receivers.
With both teams needing a win badly this is a tough one to predict.