Written by Jonah Galeota-Sprung

This Saturday, the New York Rumble travel to the nation’s capital for the first of two away games.

They’ll be riding hungry, looking for their first win of the season after three close losses to the Eastern Conference’s top teams. It’s not quite a must win for NY, but the mental stakes are high. The Rumble have shown that they can compete. Now, they need to show they can win.

DC might be a good place to get things going. The Current have yet to register a win playing at home, and sit only one game ahead of the Rumble in the standings at 1-2. They’re also set to play league-leading Boston on Sunday, so NY hopes to catch them looking ahead. If DC tries to rest its starters in the second half, expect the Rumble to take advantage.

NY will have to keep up with DC’s high-powered offense out of the gates, though, if they want to be in a good position late in the game. Alan Kolick, the Current’s main handler, is 2nd in the league in assists, and is throwing with a stellar 95% completion rate on 160 passes so far. He’ll be looking to open things up early with long bombs to Tom Doi and Jeff Wodatch. If the Rumble want to stick around, they’ll need some big plays from downfield defenders Joe “Smash” Anderson and Rob Baker.

On offense, the Rumble are going to need to show that they can close out games. The story of their early losses has been one of small mistakes at big moments. If they hope to take this one, they’ll need to tighten up down the stretch and play error-free. Look for Chris Mazur to buckle down late and keep the offense on track with high-percentage throwing.

Both teams need a win badly, but the Rumble need it just a little bit more. Will that be enough?

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