May 2, 2014, JACKSONVILLE (ISN) – The Jacksonville Sharks (2-4) host the Arizona Rattlers (6-0) in “NET10 Wireless Arena Football Saturday” action on CBS Sports Network. Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m. ET on Saturday, May 3.
The two teams met four weeks ago in Phoenix, with the Rattlers coming away with a 63-38 victory. Arizona has never lost a regular season game to the Sharks. A win in Week 8 would give the Rattlers a 7-0 record for the first time in franchise history. A win for the Sharks would help them keep pace in the American Conference South, a division they have won every year since joining the League in 2010. The Rattlers are coming off a 69-59 win at home over the San Antonio Talons (1-6), while the Sharks fell to the Portland Thunder (1-5) last week, 62-69.
Arizona quarterback Nick Davila is enjoying yet another All-Arena caliber season, leading the AFL with a passing efficiency mark of 128.1. He has recorded a triple-digit passer rating in all six games this season, has not been sacked in four straight games and has tossed nine touchdown passes in back-to-back weeks.
With 489 passing touchdowns for his career, the “Latin Laser” is five passing touchdowns shy of moving into ninth place all-time time and 11 scoring strikes shy of joining the “500 Club”. Receivers Rod Windsor and Maurice Purify have hauled in a fair number of those touchdown passes. Windsor has tallied 10 touchdown grabs this season, while Purify leads the League with 18 receiving scores, including at least three touchdowns in each of the last five games.
Sharks quarterback R.J. Archer will need to rise to the occasion for Jacksonville to keep pace with the Arizona attack. The fourth-year pro has struggled as of late, throwing three interceptions in back-to-back games and failing to record a triple-digit passer rating in three straight contests.
Archer has developed a nice rapport with his receiving corps, however. London Crawford has come on strong in his first season as a regular starter, snagging touchdown receptions in six straight games and multiple scores in each of the last three. Jeron Harvey collected a season-high 151 receiving yards last week and has scored in four consecutive games played, while the recently acquired Jomo Wilson adds another big play threat for the Sharks offense.
On the defensive side of the ball, Jacksonville needs big performances from their All-Arena pass rushers, defensive end Jerry Turner and Mac linebacker Aaron Robbins. With a combined 57.5 career sacks, the pair will need to put pressure on Davila and force the cautious quarterback into poor decisions. The Rattlers defense will attempt to do the same to Archer, with an opportunistic secondary – led by defensive back Arkeith Brown, who came away with a pair of picks last week – prepared to take advantage of any errant throws.