Playoff Preview: Lions vs. Cobras

07/28/2022 3:03 PM -

Game Preview Playoffs vs Columbus
Carolina Cobras (9-5) vs Columbus Lions (7-5)
Greensboro Coliseum
Saturday Night 7 p.m ET.

Shark Attack Redux:  The last time Carolina traveled to Jacksonville, the Cobras returned home reeling from a 63-26 loss to the Sharks. The hallmark of these 2022 Cobras has been resiliency, and it was on full display in Saturday’s 62-55 win, which ensured the second seed in the NAL playoffs and a guaranteed home game this weekend. Malik Henry had an excellent night at quarterback, tossing four touchdowns and was aided by the run game courtesy of a touchdown apiece for Zack Brown and Micah Robinson. T.C. Stevens furthered his case as the league’s best kicker with two more Deuces and 3 clutch second half field goals that sealed the game. Defensively, Herb Waters’ 3 picks (1 for a touchdown) stemmed Jacksonville’s early momentum after the Sharks took an early 13-0 lead.

MVP: It’s time to talk about Jonathan Bane. Bane was arguably on cruise control heading to a league MVP award before being injured and missing four games. Even after missing a significant chunk of the season, he is still the league leader in passing yards per game (237.5). He’s dropped to third in both total passing yards and touchdown passes, but based on his TDs/gm average would be hovering around 63 touchdowns and challenging Robert Kent for the league lead. He’s still fifth in the league in rushing touchdowns, and he missed FOUR GAMES. Let’s not forget he’d easily be the league leader in total passing yards if his injury never happened.

Let’s hope that, even if Bane doesn’t get back on the field this season, the powers that be in the NAL recognize the juggernaut that was QB1 before his unfortunate injury.

Leading Men:  D.J. Myers sits in fourth place in total receiving yards, which is remarkable considering the anomaly that is the Cobras’ passing game. Among the 6 NAL teams, three of them primarily run their passing game through one primary playmaker: Albany’s Darius Prince, San Antonio’s Khalil Rashaad and Columbus’ Darien Townsend. The man in fifth place? Kendrick Ings. The Cobras, as we well know, have the most talented receivers’ room in the league.

Last Meeting:  The Cobras and Lions put on easily the most entertaining game of the season, unfortunately resulting in a 47-46 Carolina loss. Malik Henry’s entrance in the second half turned around a seemingly insurmountable deficit and the Cobras took a late lead before giving up a late score and two-point conversion in the last minute.

Coach Says:  “It comes down to what we’ve been playing for all season. Yeah it’s stings a little we let the #1 seed slip away, but no matter what Cobra Nation knows we are the best team in this league. It’s time to put up or shut up Sat night. A chance to punch our ticket to our third championship appearance. It’s simply gonna come down to who wants it more and our guys are ready to do whatever it takes to make that happen!” – Carolina Head Coach Josh Resignalo

Looking Ahead:  Like Coach Res says, we’re not looking ahead. Win Saturday, and the Cobras get another game!