Graphic: Igor Lazarevic
As the German Football League heads into the back half of the 2022 season, the gap has begun to widen between the teams that will make or miss the playoffs get wider. Two of these teams, the Potsdam Royals (6-0) and Cologne Crocodiles (4-2) are currently viewed as locks to make it to September but face each other today to see who punches their ticket first.
To say the Royals are having a great season this year is an understatement, as they have been perfect through six games so far. With another win (against another playoff hopeful in the North), they will become one step closer to becoming the fourth team since 1999 to have at least one undefeated regular season (the other three being the Munich Cowboys in 2000 and 2001, Braunschweig New Yorker Lions in 2002, 2014, 2017 and 2019 as well as the Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns, 2021, 2019. 2018, 2017, 2016, 2014 and 2011).
Cologne’s defense has been solid this season. They have been the best rushing defense in the league, allowing only four touchdowns for the season and 71.2 yards per game as well as the fourth best overall defense allowing only 303.3 yards of offense per game. Defensive back Fardam Allen, who in his first year with the club, has led the way amassing a team-best 6.8 tackles per game.
Cologne is led by second-year quarterback Christian Strong who has thrown for 1,640 yards and 20 touchdowns. The veteran gunslinger has weapons galore as the Crocodiles have built an exciting up-tempo passing attack. Receivers Jarvis Mcclam (593 yards) and Aaron Jackson (616 Yards) are two of the league’s most productive pass catchers this season, putting up 18 touchdowns between them.
The Royals on the other hand will be the toughest opponent the Crocodiles face this season. Postdam has the second ranked rushing offense in the game, with running back Karri Parjarinen getting nine of his team’s 20 touchdowns and 134 yards per game on the ground, while they boast the league’s best passing offense with quarterback Chris Hellbig’s league high 372.3 yards per game and 22 passing touchdowns for the season. Most of those passes are aimed at his dynamic duo of wide receivers Brandon Polk and Jared Wolfe, who have amazed 19 touchdowns and 1,844 yards combined for the year.
Last week, the Crocodiles embarrassed the North’s longtime powerhouse, Braunschweig New Yorker Lions 65-26 blowing them out with both offensive forms of attack. Whether the Crocodiles will prove to be a tougher or easier opponent for the GFL North’s top dog remains to be seen.
Cologne Crocodiles @ Potsdam Royals, July 30, 16:00 CET, (4 pm, 10:00 am ET)
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