Programming Note: Watch the SaberCats take on the LA Kiss on Sunday at 5:00pm on Comcast Sportsnet Bay Area
The SaberCats, after a dominating performance over their arch rivals the Arizona Rattlers, have won eight of their past nine games. Sunday they head down to Southern California for their third meeting with the expansion LA KISS.
The Kiss, an expansion team this season, have lost ten of their past eleven games. The SaberCats can clinch their ninth division title in team history with a win. They would also secure number two seed in the Arena Bowl Playoffs and a home playoff game.
Here are some things to watch for Sunday:
The SaberCats defense has now proven that it is the most dominating in recent memory in the AFL. The 40.1 points allowed are number one in the AFL. As well as the 245.9 yards allowed per game.
San Jose is a perfect 10-0 when allowing 36 points or less. Last week they held the top scoring offense in the AFL in Arizona to seven points for three quarters. At one point they stopped the Rattlers seven consecutive times on defense.
In a league where offense is the main attraction, the San Jose defense is proving once again that defense could win you a championship.
Not a good LA Story:
The LA Kiss started off winning two of its first three games this season. Then the flame was extinguished and an eight game losing streak followed.
During that time Coach Bob McMillen played roster roulette looking for the right combination that would break the skid. This included bringing in the all-time AFL leader in every Quarterback category in Aaron Garcia. But he has not been able to help as the KISS has only one win since he joined the team.
LA is dead last in offense only scoring 38.1 points per game with 77 total touchdowns. San Jose has scored 109 touchdowns this season. QB J.J. Ratternik began the season with LA, got traded to Iowa after eight games, then traded to Philadelphia, only to be reacquired by the LA KISS this past week.
Nate the Great
The SaberCats player personal department continues to show why they are one of the best in the AFL when it comes to finding players that can contribute right away. Case in point is quarterback Nathan Stanley.
In probably the biggest game Stanley has played in since college, he played a masterful game against Arizona, the team with the best record in the AFL. Stanley kept the SaberCats offense rolling by leading the team to a 62-33 win.
Overall Stanley’s numbers are a 60.7 completion percentage with 1,495 yards passing, 32 touchdowns to go with 10 interceptions. Since the injury to Russ Michna, Stanley has shown improvement in being able to make quick throws and even quicker decisions.
Smart play calling by Omar Smith has also given Stanley a chance to succeed when the team enters the red zone.
“No one is going to lay down for you, we’re going to have to go down there and work and get better. It is about us right now, the guys know we got to get better every week if we want to reach our goal,” said SaberCats Head Coach Darren Arbet.
“I just get better every week; the game kind of slows down for me each and every week I am seeing things making better reads just getting more comfortable with the game. I get a little more adjusted to the speed every day and I am just trying to get better every week,” said SaberCats Quarterback Nathan Stanley
"We definitely take pride in the type of impact we can have on the game. Everybody at every position feels the same way that they can make an impact on the game and it is nice to see it come to fruition when they do,” said linebacker Francis Maka on the defensive mindset of this team.