WITH A FRANCHISE REBUILD LOOMING, OMAHA PLAYERS LOOK TO A MAKE STATEMENT IN SEASON FINALE (OFFICIAL GAME PREVIEW)
(LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA- Wednesday, August 5, 2015)
It’s no secret that the Chicago Bliss (4-0) have made their own fortune by running the table on their opponents. Quarterback Heather Furr will look to hone a passing game that critics have blasted for being lackluster and ineffective in big games. The Bliss will face the LFL’s worst defense, giving her the perfect opportunity to improve her game and build her throwing confidence before the playoffs.
Meanwhile, the Omaha Heart (0-5) have been battered all season long, but they’ve been fortunate enough to have a passionate group of fans behind them. For the Heart, it’s time to lay everything on the line and pay those loyal fans of Omaha back with a much-needed win. For the Heart players that want to be around in 2016, Saturday will be a sort of judgment day and an opportunity to make a name for themselves. Game time experience and reps will only help this team mature, especially against a tough Chicago squad.
Saturday’s game will be broadcast a week later in primetime on national television via Fuse (check local listings), Saturday, August 15, 9p / 8c.
Las Vegas Betting Line
Chicago – 18.5 points | 48 Over/ Under
The Chicago Bliss remain undefeated, but certainly aren’t unbeatable. Quarterback Heather Furr remains a wildcat-style gunslinger who posts great stats based on the backbone of a viscous running attack. Furr has yet to prove her ability to pass effectively down the field in big games. Chicago has relied on the ground game and a short-pass scheme, that makes the offense one-dimensional. Some have questioned if Furr is a true quarterback at all, which leaves her with a lot to prove Saturday and the following week in the playoffs.
Running back Chrisdell “Ferrari” Harris is arguably the toughest offensive player in the LFL. With great blocking up front, Bliss fans have watched the young lady rumble her way to an impressive 258 yards and 7 touchdowns on only 39 attempts. Coupled with the electric play of wide reciever Alli Alberts, Chicago should coast through this match-up if everything goes according to plan.
Something that’s often overlooked because of their offensive weaponry is the fact that the Chicago Bliss have a very brutal defense that commands respect. Yahshi Rice and Chantell Taylor shore up a defensive front that is a complete terror for opposing offenses to plan against. In the secondary, both Furr and Alberts complete the total package. Against the league’s worst team, though, the Chicago Bliss may not even travel many of their key veterans as they prepare for the playoffs.
Keys for Chicago
Fans in Chicago and throughout the league would love to see the Bliss open up their passing game in this one, much like their last game against Omaha. With other players getting reps at running-back and wide-receiver if Chicago doesn’t turn the ball over they should have no problem staying ahead of the Omaha Heart. Chicago needs to improve their passing attack as they approach the playoffs this season because if Atlanta can stop their running game, which is easier said than done, they will need to utilize their receiving talents. Good blocking up front and strong defensive play should be enough to bury the Omaha Heart early in this one as they prepare for a tough Atlanta playoff game.
The quarterback position in Omaha has been somewhat of a merry-go-round this season. Anonka Dixon was brought in to help a young roster, but instead Omaha Heart fans watched her throw for only 8 yards in two games. Whatever the reason, Dixon has shown little resemblance to the great quarterback of old. She’s also been called out for her run-first mentality and a lack of effort at times, which didn’t helping her stock in Omaha. This week Omaha will feature an unknown rookie under center as Kayleen Colson will start her first game for the Heart.
Coach Dontae Allen has to believe that his job is on the line. After reaching this point without a single win, the Heart now claim the worst defense in the league and perhaps the worst team in LFL history. The front office has made the effort, but key players simply haven’t performed at the needed levels and in football, that ultimately falls onto the shoulders of the coaching staff. If ever there was a must-win game for a head coach, this is it.
One bright spot for Heart fans is that wide receiver Heather Hudson seems to be the rock of talent in which Omaha can build upon moving forward. Running-back Sarah Jane Thompson has proven to be effective for the ground game and resembles the running style of LA’s Carmen Bourseau. Many people in the Omaha Heart organization should be taking this game personally, because for a lot of them, it is. Jobs could literally be on the line in this one.
Keys for Omaha
A team with absolutely nothing to lose is often the most dangerous opponent, but defensive play is a must in this game. The Heart’s offense has looked anemic all season long and if they hope to stay competitive in this one, their defense will need to keep the score close enough for quarterback Kayleen Colson to get something going on offense with the talents of wide-receiver Heather Hudson and Sarah Jane Thompson.