WEEK 9 PREVIEW: Cobras vs. Sharks
Jacksonville - This Saturday, July 24 the (1-5) Carolina Cobras will be on the road to battle the (2-4) Jacksonville Sharks in a must-win game this week. With the Jersey Flight at two wins this season and a bye week this week, the Cobras must win this week to have a shot at 4th seed. A win against Jacksonville will also keep the Sharks at two wins going into week 10 which could make for an exciting week 10 finish to determine the fourth spot in the NAL playoffs with Columbus, Albany, and Orlando locked in at the top three spots going into the 2021 NAL playoffs. This week a major match between the (5-1) Albany Empire at the (5-1) Columbus Lions, the winner of that game will determine the #1 seed for the NAL playoff and may determine who the Cobras would play if Carolina can clinch the #4 seed.
As far as NAL storylines going from 2019 to 2021 no one could have predicted the Carolina Cobras and Jacksonville Sharks the former the Championship game opponents would be trailing this season at Cobras (1-5) and Sharks (2-4) but here we are, playing on the road in Jacksonville with major playoff implications on the line. Last week the Sharks were crushed by the Columbus Lions 67-35, the injury list for Jacksonville continues to build up as they were without three All-NAL players in their line up and lost their starting quarterback again in the first half of play. The Cobras on the other hand have shared the injury bug but with Coach Res at the helm the Cobras have bounced back with the signing of former IFL quarterback Aaron Aiken who threw three touchdown passes and score one rushing touchdown last week against Orlando in a second straight nail biter in Greensboro where the Cobras were this time only three-points away from winning this close game in Carolina. The last time the Cobras played the Sharks was the prior week where the Cobras were perhaps a TC Stevens away from beating Jacksonville falling two-points shy of victory in the Snake Pit during week 7, with the final score of 54-52.
In a 2021 rematch the Cobras hitting the road to face the a battle-torn Jacksonville Sharks team and a fresh new quarterback behind center in a Cobras uniform, your Carolina Cobras are poised to strike down the Sharks Saturday night to keep the playoffs hopes alive. The biggest key for victory will be to attack the quarterback position whether it’s a injured Southwick forcing a return to action or a shell-shocked backup Connor Kaegi who threw three interceptions against the Lions, putting the pressure on Jacksonville’s battered offense line will prevent the ball from going into their All-NAL receiver hands of Devin Wilson, who like the Cobras Kendricks Ings is a proven impact player. Cobras defensive back Tevin Homer can turn the tide of this game with the Sharks as he leads the teams in tackles, if Homer can stop the Sharks from getting into the endzone as a leader in this Cobras secondary and disrupt some passes this could be a low scoring game for Jacksonville. Homer also snagged an interception last week and could see a likely repeat performance this Saturday. On offense the Cobras have to avoid throwing the ball toward Sharks Kenny Veal who gained two interceptions against the Cobras already this season, the former Carolina Cobra has had a great season thus far leading the team in interceptions with five.
Saturday’s game is set for 7pm kickoff in Jacksonville, FL at the Vystar Veterans Memorial Arena. Tickets are available for traveling fans call: 904-621-0700 Ext. 717 it’s the Sharks Military Appreciation Night they are offering tickets as low as $10 and awarding all active duty and retired veterans a buy one get free ticket offer. If you are making the trip down let’s show the Sharks what Cobra Nation can do! Can’t make the game? Watch live on the National Arena League’s YouTube channel or directly watch at nationalarenaleague.com.