Week 12 Thursday 20:30 ET
The 5-5 Steamers are travelling to Dublin hoping to avenge the humiliation of week 8 when the Shamrocks beat them 38-0. The Steamers really need a divisional win but it won’t be easy.
Shamrocks have a top offense even though their 6-5 record may not be so scary. They average 31 points per game which is the 2nd highest in the NRC. Tom Wilson is having a great year throwing 27 touchdowns and 8 interceptions. And it’s vital he throws those touchdowns because amazingly their half back Lester Gadsden only has 3 touchdowns despite rushing for nearly 900 yards. When Dublin reach the red zone they like to target their wide receivers Andre Agurs and Roland Woods who have 9 and 7 touchdowns respectively.
Going back to that demolition job week 8 the Steamers on defense really struggled to put any pressure on the quarterback. They were on the field for a long time yet they only came away with 1 sack registered. Tom Wilson completed 27 of his 32 pass attempts which is 84%. So for the Steamers to have a chance tonight they really need young defensive lineman Diego Lizarraga Jr and Nahshon Richardson to disrupt the passing game.
One area where the Steamers need to take advantage is in the passing game on offense. Shamrocks defensively are poor vs the pass. Memphis quarterback Reed Wagoner has had a great season, and has the 2nd highest QB rating in the entire RFL with 115.1 only behind Glen Haye of the Voyagers (115.6). His connection with receiver Romeo Jackson has been awesome to watch this season. They have connected for many highlight reel plays.
But Wagoner had his worst performance ever in week 8 when the Shamrocks shut them out. He threw 3 of his season total 7 interceptions that day. Surely that cannot happen again. He needs to just avoid throwing it near Dublin cornerback Craig Chatman. The veteran has 5 snatchies on the year with 2 coming in week 8. Another reason why the Shamrocks struggle vs the pass is they really don’t get after the quarterback well. And this is why I think tonight‘s rematch will produce a completely different result.
Thanks to Cameron Reed for the head to head records:
Shamrocks 31, Steamers 16 (S4 W14)
Steamers 23, Shamrocks 20 (S5 W2)
Shamrocks 13, Steamers 17 (S5 W4)
Steamers 19, Shamrocks 13 (S6 W13)
Shamrocks 19, Steamers 20 (S6 W16)
Shamrocks 38, Steamers 0 (S7 W8)
“Steamers lead series 4-2
Shamrocks 0-2 against Steamers at home (both close games)”
This should be a battle of the quarterbacks. And from what we’ve seen this season I’m expecting a high scoring game. I believe the Steamers will actually show up tonight unlike that horror show in the first game. But it’s hard to predict that they will reverse the whole result.
Steamers 31 vs 34 Shamrocks