AFL Preview: Rattlers Should Have Field Day Against Outlaws

In the Arena Football League, the Arizona Rattlers stand tall as an unstoppable force in a way that Kentucky men’s basketball and Connecticut women’s basketball are in their respective sport. Coach Kevin Guy and quarterback Nick Davila are like a splitting image to Bill Belichick and Tom Brady in the eyes of their AFL foes/victims.

In their 60-43 season opening victory over the Spokane Shock, Davila displayed a mastery of the game that proved that who lines up at receiver is irrelevant to him. Veteran receivers Rod Windsor and Kerry Reed were both held out of the game and the Latin Laser still completed 21 of 36 passes to relative unknowns like Jared Perry, Markee White, Ronnell Pompey and Chase Deadder, who caught three of the AFL MVP’s four touchdowns.

This is just to clarify just how good the Rattlers are and how they have remained in championship form despite losing greats such as defensive back Virgil Gray and fullback Odie Armstrong to the hated rival San Jose Sabercats, as well as receiver Tyson Poots to the expansion Las Vegas Outlaws — who the Rattlers will face on the road this Saturday.

Despite Poots’ presence, there won’t be much to help the Outlaws succeed in their first season of existence with J.J. Raterink as their quarterback. Raterink was the quarterback for the Los Angeles KISS in their expansion season in 2014 and did little to help their cause. He was eventually replaced in favor of legendary AFL quarterback Aaron Garcia and got to tour the country by being traded four times, eventually finding his way back to LA.

Now, Garcia is the first-year head coach of the Outlaws and Raterink is their main guy behind center. It’s funny how things work out.

Poots — who had seven receptions for 123 yards and three touchdowns in their 59-41 loss to the SaberCats — will be Raterink’s main target. That doesn’t bode well for the Outlaws when facing the three-time defending Arena Bowl Champions, who also know Poots pretty well.

Davila and the Rattlers should have a field day with the young Outlaws and continue their march towards what could very well be a historic undefeated season.

Tony Capobianco is The Sports Kave’s arena football analyst. You can catch his preview segment on your Arizona Rattlers every Saturday between 3-5 p.m. on NBC Sports Radio AM 1060.


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