Sep 24th, 2023 10:30, by Dominik Krauss

Key Matchups for the Championship Game

Jonas Wicker

Sep 24th, 2023 10:30, by Dominik Krauss

Key Matchups for the Championship Game

With the European League of Football Championship Game taking place today, here are some final matchups to watch:

Rhein Fire offensive line versus Surge defensive line

This game will for sure be decided in the trenches. Rhein Fire have the best offensive line in ELF history, with all five starters making the All-Star team. This unit has been the key to the Fire’s offensive success this season and is hard to beat. But that’s exactly what the Surge defensive line has to do. Win the matchups in the trenches, force Glen Toonga to bounce to the outside and put pressure on MVP Jadrian Clark and the Surge have a great shot at taking the trophy home with them.

Surge Running Backs versus Rhein Fire front seven

Nicolas Khandar has been a problem for opposing defenses since joining the Stuttgart Surge. Especially the semifinal against the Vienna Vikings showed that he can make explosive plays and is rarely brought down before reaching the third level. The Rhein Fire front seven has to prevent Khandar from going through the first two lines of defense untouched, because one missed tackle then leads to a touchdown.

Reilly Hennessey versus Rhein Fire’s second level

Even though Reilly Hennessey has played well over the last two weeks, he has had some questionable interceptions in the playoffs, throwing three picks in two games. Two of that three turnovers were picked off by linebackers that he did not see. If Rhein Fire linebackers are able to make these plays as well, it will be hard for Stuttgart to win this game. But if Hennessey is able to cut down on these mistakes, the Surge offense is looking sharp and dangerous and could very well hurt the Fire.

Surge defensive backs vs. Rhein Fire wide receivers

The last matchup to watch is the outstanding Rhein Fire wide receiver room versus the mostly very young Surge defensive backs. Besides second-team All-Star Mitch Fettig and three-time All-Star Goran Zec, Stuttgart’s starting defensive backs are both only 23-years-old. They will face the arguably best receiver group in the league consisting of two All-Stars in Anthony Mahoungou and Harlan Kwofie, standout receiver Nathaniel Robitaille, who was re-activated from injured reserve, and other young talented players. If the Surge DBs manage to not allow many deep throws and buy time for their defensive line, Stuttgart could very well upset the favorite Rhein Fire today.

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