LIVESTREAM Germany: New Yorker Lions Braunschweig @ Dresden Monarchs, August 14, 15:00 CET (3 pm, 9 am ET)

The Dresden Monarchs (5-1) host the defending champion (2019) Braunschweig New Yorker Lions (3-3) in this GFL North matchup.

The Monarchs have been the North’s top team defeating both the Potsdam Royals and New Yorker Lions as part of a five-game win streak. The Lions, however, are determined to get back to the top of the standings, making some major roster moves in order to try and climb back into contention. Dresden won the previous matchup between these two teams in Braunschweig defeating the Lions 35-27 in an exciting shootout.

The Lion’s offense looked more dynamic than ever last week as running back CJ Okpalobi Jr. made a resounding return to the German Football League, rushing for 128 yards and a touchdown. Okpalobi, the former Schwäbisch Hall Unicorn, combines well with Exavier Edwards, giving the Lions backfield two explosive options to feed the ball. New Italian receiver Jordan Bouah also made an impact catching two passes. Expect quarterback Jake Kennedy to involve the former CFL receiver more and more as the two build chemistry. However, Braunschweig is still a run-first team. Fans can anticipate Coach Tomlin to use Kennedy, Okpalobi, and Edwards to move the sticks this week against a Dresden defense that struggled mightily last time out.

New Yorker Lions Braunschweig @ Dresden Monarchs, August 14, 15:00 CET (3 pm, 9 am ET)

New additions linebacker Paul Veritas, safety Darrian Winston, safety Eric Jackson, and defensive end Eryk Paszkiewicz all made an impact in last week’s win. The Lion’s secondary previously struggled to contain Dresden’s dynamic receivers as they gave up 35 points to the Monarch’s offense. Head coach Troy Tomlin hopes the addition of two experienced defensive backs, an athletic linebacker, and a proven pass rusher will slow down a Dresden offense averaging 45 points a game and the league’s best passing attack.

Dresden’s quarterback KJ Carta-Samuels has been an absolute stud for the Monarchs in his first season in Germany. The former Colorado State (NCAA D1) quarterback has thrown for a league-leading 2112 yards and 30 touchdowns in only five games. Despite throwing the ball more than any quarterback in the league, Dresden’s signal-caller has only thrown three interceptions all year. Strong offensive line play has given Carta-Samuels the time to find former Michigan State receiver Darrell Stewart Jr. and Czech receiver Radim Kalous often. Last week, however, slot receiver Robin Wilzeck stole the show catching four touchdowns for 224 yards. On the ground, Dresden will give the ball to David Baum and Yazan Nazar to keep defenses honest in this pass-happy offense.

Defensively Dresden struggled last week giving up nearly 600 yards passing and seven touchdowns. Safety Andrew Mcelroy and Tim Haggmann must take control of this secondary as they are now up against a talented group of Lions receivers. Linebackers Florian zur Neiden and former Oregon University Duck (NCAA D1) Apelu Kaulana aim to tackle well against a duo of tough running New Yorker running backs.  Expect cornerback Charles Oliver to impact this game on defense and special teams. The former Texas A&M Aggie (NCAA D1) has elite speed racking up three kick return touchdowns this season to go along with one interception.

This is without a doubt the biggest game in Germany this weekend as two talented contenders face off for the second time this season. The Lions are determined to get revenge and beat the Monarchs in front of the rowdy Dresden faithful. Meanwhile, the Monarchs and their prolific offense aim to sweep the defending champions and cement themselves as one of the German Bowl favorites as the playoff quickly approaches.

Watch the game live here: New Yorker Lions Braunschweig @ Dresden Monarchs, August 14, 15:00 CET (3 pm, 9 am ET)

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