The Carolina Cobras have learned a valuable lesson. As OS Jack
Jackson put it, "no matter how many points you score... you can never
have too many." After losing a 21-point lead and their home opener
last week, the Cobras must travel into hostile territory for their first
regular season road game.
This may be
the Cobras' best chance to win this season, as they face off against fellow
expansion team Los Angeles. The Cobras have a legitimate reason to
hold a grudge against the Avengers, who seem to be the league's new darling.
They may have a flashy TV deal and an arena a few weeks newer than the
ESA, but the Cobras will be eager to prove who is better on the field.
will probably have a very distinct home field advantage; the Avengers'
home preseason game drew a very large crowd. Thus, quieting the home
fans will have to be part of the Cobras' game plan as well.
Scouting the Avengers...
Los Angeles had a rather
dismal offensive performance in their first regular season game, scoring
only 31 points and amassing just 181 yards of total offense. Like
the Cobras and Jackson, the Avenger offense is focused on one man, Aaron
Frazier, who led the team in receiving and rivaled Jackson's kick return
skills in the Avengers' game last week against Grand Rapids. Frazier
caught only one touchdown pass however.
The Avengers were stopped deep
often by the Rampage. K Kyle Pooler attempted four field goals, hitting
only one, a 50-yarder. The three missed attempts were all longer
than fifty yards.
Like the Cobras, the Avengers
can move the ball on the ground. Los Angeles rushed for 28 yards
and a score on just three attempts, led by Andy Chilcote.
Nineteen of the 24 players on
the Los Angeles roster have AFL experience, much more than on the Cobras.
QB Scott Semptimphelter (going on his 4th AFL season) is one of the most
experienced, playing in Orlando in 1997 and Nashville in 1998-99.
Troubled former NFLer Scott Milanovich backs him up. Despite their
superior experience, the Avengers were penalized 11 times for 49 yards
The Cobras' Keys to Victory:
Score... a lot
It seems obvious, but it
was something that the Cobras failed to do in the second half last week,
and it cost them the game. A 20-3 second quarter barrage allowed
Grand Rapids to bury Los Angeles last week.
Consistent play from QB
The Cobras' starter performed
well in the first half last week, giving Carolina its wide lead and successfully
scrambling out of trouble and saving drives on several occasions.
But in the second half, he tossed interceptions, missed open receivers
and looked generally less comfortable.
Quiet the crowd
Respond to Avengers points
with big plays the other way. That hollow sound whenever the Bobcats
scored last week? That's how the STAPLES Center needs to sound so
that the Cobras can focus on the game.
Don't get burned
At times, it seemed like
last week's game was really an episode of "Watch Shino Prater and Dell
McGee Chase Eddie Williams." Well, Prater has been released,
but McGee and the other defensive backs can't let opposing receivers get
past them so often.
With a good returner on
the opposing roster, K Remy Hamilton
must do whatever it is he does to make those balls bounce just right between
the bars and the nets and pop out at impossible angles. Even a 50-yard
field can see a battle of field position
Cobras 49 - Avengers 45
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in the CobraZone
Forum! Look on the General Discussion board under the thread
Los Angeles Predictions.