LIVESTREAM: Germany – Potsdam Royals @Düsseldorf Panther, Sat., Aug. 17, 5p CEDT (11a EDT)

The 0-10 Düsseldorf  Panther will be looking for their first win of the season when they play host to the 2-7-1 Potsdam Royals,  Saturday, August 17 as the German Football League nears the end of the regular season.

Potsdam won the first encounter between the two teams earlier this year, beating the Panther 34-17.

Both teams are mired in the bottom of the standings in the GFL North with the winless Panther in desperate straits, trying to avoid relegation in their first year back in the top league. Potsdam came into the season with high hopes after a very successful campaign in 2018 which saw them  barely miss the playoffs.

The Panther have dropped 10 in a row after last week’s 38-7 pummeling at the hands of the Dresden Monarchs. This had come on the heels of a a 20-10 loss to the Kiel Baltic Hurricanes before the break. They lost back to back games to the Berlin Rebels, 55-20 and 55-13. The week before they suffered a 44-21 loss to the Cologne Crocodiles which followed a game in which they were beaten by the Hiidesheim Invaders 46-10. They had opened the season losing to the Monarchs 49-13, the Invaders 49-17 , Potsdam Royals, 34-17 and the Hurricanes 37-17.

Panther quarterback Christian Strong (Seton Hill) has completed 205 of 368 passes for 2,061 yards and 13 touchdowns, but tossed a league-worst 21 interceptions. Féli Manoka is his leading receiver with 728 yards. Sergej Kendus is the team’s leading rusher but he has only carried the ball 89 times for 404 yards in 10 games and with 137 of those yards in one game against Potsdam. In fact, the Panther remain the second worst rushing team in Germany averaging 61 yards a game.

The Royals earned one of their only two wins of the season when they defeated Berlin 30-17 earlier in the year. Potsdam has gone winless since May 18 when they beat Dusseldorf 34-17. That’s a span of seven games and includes a 28-28 tie with the Kiel Baltic Hurricanes. 

Before losing to the Berlin Rebels last week, 14-7, Potsdam dropped a 38-7 decision to the Dresden Monarchs the week before, and Cologne 26-14 before that. The Royals had been coming off  a 33-13 loss to the Monarchs following a 28-28 tie with the Kiel Baltic Hurricanes which saw them rally to score late in the game to earn the tie. They had suffered back-to-back losses to the Braunschweig New Yorker Lions, 35-14 and 46-7. Potsdam had  dropped their opening game to the Hildesheim Invaders, losing 50-28, but rebounded in beating the Berlin Rebels 30-17.  They then downed the Dusseldorf Panther 34-17 before losing to Braunschweig.

Potsdam continues to struggle with quarterback injuries resulting in a true revolving door at that position. Sam Straub who had started his fourth game three weeks ago, suffered a concussion and last week was replaced by Paul Zimmermann who did an admirable job throwing for 273 yards and a touchdown in the loss to Berlin. But he was -66 yards in rushing. The week before wide receiver Timothy Knuttel was called upon and he had a dismal day, throwing for 62 yards. Apparently, Zimmermann will be starting today. Naturally, with quarterback being in a constant state of flux, the receiving corps has struggled. However, Knuttel  was a bright spot last week catching eight passes for 155 yards and a touchdown. Running back Gennadiy Adams is a key component of the offense and has rushed for 774 yards so far this year while catching 20 passes for 292 yards. He is the second leading rusher in the GFL.

LB Dustin Illetschko who anchors the front seven, has recorded 108 tackles in 10 games, fifth overall in the GFL.

Watch the game live here. Potsdam Royals @Düsseldorf Panther, Sat., Aug. 17, 5p CEDT (11a EDT)

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