Friday Night Football continues in Sweden as the league-leading Stockholm Mean Machines (3-0) will play host to the Uppsala 86ers (0-3) Friday, May 17.
Stockholm defeated the 86ers a week ago 20-0 in Uppsala.
These two team met twice in 2018, with Stockholm also winning those games, 37-17 and 17-13.
In their two previous games this season, the Mean Machines first stunned the eight-time champion Carlstad Crusaders 33-13 in the opening game of the Swedish season and then handed the Orebro Black Knights a 23-7 loss.
The Mean Machines have played and lost two international games as well as they lost a close game to Finland’s Helsinki Roosters 21-19 five weeks ago in Helsinki and then dropped a 28-25 decision to the Copenhagen Towers.
In the wins over Carlstad and Orebro, quarterback Alex Thury has been solid completing 64 of 101 passes for 608 yards and six touchdowns. His wide receivers make up maybe the best receiving corps in Sweden. Omar Fall, Per Lindelöf and Hans Maximilian von Wachsmann (187 yds, 3 TDs) are all dangerous. Also at his disposal is the joker in the mix, Alpha Jalloh.. Against the Roosters he had a monster day hauling in 13 passes for 222 yards (of Stockholm’s 242 total) and two touchdowns while Denny John scored the third touchdown on a pass from Thury who completed 17 of 29 passes.
Before losing to Stockholm last week, Uppsala had opened the season in Sweden with a 21-7 loss to the Orebro Black Knights and then dropped a 33-7 decision to the Carlstad Crusaders.
Wide receiver turned quarterback Gustav Bowall, who was pressed into service during that opening game when starting quarterback Olle Hesselgren broke his leg, is still developing. He has thrown for 183 yards and a touchdown so far but is slowly getting familiar with the offense.
Uppsala’s Canadian defensive back Ryan Hector plays both ways while also returning kicks has given the team a true all-round weapon. Last week against Stockholm he had 11 all purpose yards while recording 5.5 tackles. Australian offensive/defensive lineman Tim Clulow (12.5 tackles) also starts both ways. Linebacker Luis Rosado, who leads the team with 23 tackles in three games, is joined in the defensive front seven by another Australian, defensive end Sam Matautia.
Running back Johannes Nilsson had 15 carries for 88 yards and could pose problems for the Mean Machines front seven this week.
Can Uppsala learn from the loss last week which saw them reach deep into Stockholm territory three times in the fourth quarter?
This will be a true test for both teams.