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Cobras (0-1) at Los Angeles Avengers (0-1) 

Time: 10:30 p.m. (EST) 
Location: STAPLES Center 
TV: none  
Radio: Cobras Radio Network  
   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. 
   Los Angeles 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 last week.

    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 Jim Arellanes 
      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. 

      Kick funny 
      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  

    Register your prediction in the CobraZone Forum!  Look on the General Discussion board under the thread Los Angeles Predictions.