News

SHARKS VS PREDATORS PREVIEW

04/28/2011 3:22 PM -

The Jacksonville Sharks (5-1) prepare to battle bitter in-state rival the Orlando Predators(4-2) on Saturday, April 30, 2011 on Sea Best Field at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena at 8:00 PM EDT. The game will be broadcast on the NFL Network on Sunday, May 1, 2011 at 3:00 PM EDT. The game will be broadcast live on 1010XL and hosted by Terry Norvelle.

The second game of a two-game home stretch for the Sharks comes after a bit of controversy during the week. The Orlando Predators infamously posted billboards the week leading up to the match-up lambasting and taunting not only the Sharks players but the city but Jacksonville citizens as well.

This will be the fourth meeting between the two squads. The Sharks are 1-2 against the Predators after dropping the last two contests. The Predators are one of only two teams the Sharks have lost twice to, the other being the Arizona Rattlers. During their last clash in the first round of the 2010 AFL Playoff Quarterfinals, the Predators defeated the Sharks 73-69 by scoring on a last second touchdown.

The Predators (4-2) come into the heated divisional game having lost against the Spokane Shock 58-70 last week. The Predators, led by Quarterback Nick Hill, will look to bounce back this week with the return of their top two wide receivers, T.T.Toliver and Bobby Sippio, who are returning from injury in time to face the Sharks. In his second-year Quarterback Nick Hill has become a very dangerous weapon for the Predators. Hill currently leads the AFL in Total Offense with an average of 339.7 yards per game. He is second in league in passing yards (311.5) and fourth in the AFL in rushing with 28.2 yards per game. Retuning from injury WR’s Bobby Sippio and T.T. Toliver. Sippio torched the Sharks for five touchdowns in the Playoff game and is a valuable piece of Orlando’s offense. Toliver leads the Predators with 12 receiving touchdowns.

This is a big game for the Sharks (5-1) for a variety of reasons. If the Sharks get a win against the Predators, the team will take a commanding lead in the South Division Race. The Sharks are currently 3-0 against divisional teams and a win will give them at least a 1.5 game lead on any team in the division. The other big reason is this will most likely be the game in which Aaron Garcia surpasses 1,000 passing touchdowns for his career. To recognize this accomplishment the Pro Football Hall of Fame has requested the ball and jersey for enshrinement following the game.

Additionally the game against Cleveland was historically important for several other Sharks as well. WR Jeron Harvey tied the franchise record for receptions in a game against Cleveland with 12 and WR Jeff Hughley set a franchise record for kick return yards in a game (157). Also WR Jomo Wilson looks to continue his streak of 6 consecutive games with at least two touchdowns against Orlando. Defensively LB Derrick Summers got another sack last week and is now fourth in the AFL in sacks.

What to Watch For:
• Jacksonville Sharks Quarterback Aaron Garcia is only three touchdown passes from 1,000 for his career.
• The Sharks are next to last in total defense but are first in red zone defense allowing a league low 59.3 percent conversion for points once opponents enter the Red Zone. Orlando is tenth allowing 83.3 percent. Look for the Sharks to try and continue their bend but don’t break style of defense.
•Orlando leads the League in Time of Possession averaging 33.35 minutes per game. Jacksonville is 16th at 27.49. Every game the Sharks have played but two, they lost the time of possession battle and still won the game.
•The game could be a game marred with turnovers as Orlando leads the league in Turnover margin at +9. Jacksonville is right behind tied for third at a +8 differential.
• The Sharks have two former Predators on the roster. Defensive Leader Micheaux Robinson and OG Byron Bishop. Will their knowledge of the Predators make a difference?

Saturday’s game has the potential to be an instant classic as the bitter rivals looks to clash on Sea Best Field.