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Örebro Black Knights 2018 Playoff Preview

This upcoming weekend is Sweden’s Super Serien Playoffs! The #2 Seeded Örebro Black Knights (4-4) will play host to the #3 Stockholm Mean Machines (4-4) in an epic showdown Sunday at noon. The Örebro Black Knights have had a season made difficult by injuries and unforeseen circumstances, but look forward to proving they can overcome adversity by getting another chance to win the Super Serien Championship.

 

LETS REWIND THIS MATCHUP

Photo: Jonas Domfors

The Black Knights beat the Stockholm Mean Machines 29-26 at home, way back in April. The two teams that played in that game do not come close to resembling what we will see this weekend. A few weeks ago (June 8th), Örebro overcame a 2 touchdown deficit to beat the Mean Machines in the last few seconds with a score of 40-35. This most recent shootout is more of what we are likely to see. The Mean Machines have fine tuned their offense to score, and to score often. Örebro has done the same, utilizing a stable of running backs and their dual threat quarterback.

 

MEET THE ÖREBRÖ BLACK KNIGHTS

Numbers never lie, so I will let the Black Knights stats speak for themselves. League rankings are included.

 

OFFENSE

 

Photo: Jonas Domfors

Points Per Game: 29 (#3)

Rushing Yards Per Game: 202.6 (#1)

Passing Yards Per Game: 184.2 (#5)

Total Yards: 3095 (#2)

Turnovers Lost: 17 (#3)

3rd Down Conversions: 41% (#3)

4th Down Conversions: 38% (#5)

Red Zone Conversions: 90.5% (#1)

 

DEFENSE

Photo : Stefan Akander

Points Allowed Per Game: 32.9 (#4)

Yards Allowed Per Game: 370.9 (#4)

Turnovers Forced: 14 (#3)

3rd Down Conversions: 36% (#2)

4th Down Conversions: 48% (#4)

Red Zone Conversions: 72% (#2)

 

 

KEY PLAYERS

Photo: Daniel Lubner

Raleigh Yeldell, QB – 55%, 1235 yds, 11 tds, 2 int / 207 rush yds, 8 tds

Johnny Grandin, RB – 652 rush yds (6.3 avg), 3 td/85 rec yds

Gennadiy Adams, RB – 223 rush yds (8.5 avg), 2 td

Tomas Jacobsen, WR – 33 rec, 415 yds, 4 tds

Johannes Lindeus, WR – 19 rec, 418 yds, 3 tds

Josh Murphy, LB – 47 tkls, 2.5 tfl, 2 pbu, 1 int, 2 blk

Cesar Hebel, DL – 43 tkls, 9 tfl, 1 sack, 3 pbu, 1 ff, 2 blk

Eric Murphy, DB – 37 tkls, 7 pbu, 2 int

Johan Stahl, DB/QB – 22 tkls, 5 pbu, 3 int

 

 

BLACK KNIGHTS’ KEYS TO WIN

Establish the Run Game

Photo: Jonas Domfors

Running the ball is what the Black Knights are best at doing this season. The addition of American Gennadiy Adams has just reinforced that philosophy with the team. In just one game the runningback averaged 8+ yards per carry and had over 200 yards rushing. Usually that wouldn’t matter much, but that one game was against the Mean Machines less than 3 weeks ago! If Örebro can run the ball will similar success, they will have a very good chance of beating Stockholm for the 3rd time this season.

“We really have to continue to establish a strong running game.” – Aaron Fiddler, HC Örebro Black Knights

 

Don’t Give up Big Plays

It has been the defensive narrative all season for the black Knights, bend but don’t break. But more often than not, this very good defense breaks before it can bend. Örebro can’t allow Stockholm to get quick scores and build momentum in this playoff game. Forcing the Mean Machines offense to sustain field length drives, plays into the Black Knights strengths as a solid, but not overly aggressive defense. But they will have to create some type of pressure to prevent those big pass plays from happening.

“Focusing on making the plays when we need them and understanding the situation. We need to do a better job of that and making the play when we have the moment.” – Erik Törnblom, DC/LB Örebro Black Knights

 

Control the Tempo of the Game

Photo: Daniel Lubner

This is the accumulation of the two previously mentioned keys. By running the ball well and often, the Black Knights will be able to dictate when the Mean Machines have the ball. Making that big play offense nickel and dime down the field will slow the game, and make Stockholm’s coaching staff work harder on play selection. These two together will let the Black Knights execute their game plan, and control the flow of the matchup in their home stadium.

 

Don’t Give Mean Machines Any Extra Help

Photo: Jonas Domfors

The wording can be misleading on this one, I’m talking about TURNOVERS. Örebro has a plus/minus of -3, that is NOT good. Giving their opponents additional opportunities is why the Black Knights are comeback specialists this year. As good as they have been at those comebacks, the playoffs is no place to find out if you’re out of comeback performances. Örebro should be preventive by taking care of the ball, and forcing the Mean Machines into turnovers.  Winning the turnover battle could be the difference in what’s expected to be a tightly contested game.

“Most of all, we have to take care of opportunities and not shooting ourselves in the foot!” – Sebastian Nilsson, OL Örebro Black Knights.

 

Stop or Slow Down Matthew Retzlaff

Photo: Stefan Akander

If the Örebro Black Knights ignore everything else and only stop Matthew Retzlaff, they will win this game. This is not a statement I make lightly. Nor am I ignoring the fact that the Stockholm Mean Machines have one hell of a team full of talented players. I am merely using basic mathematical principles; finding the least common denominator. When Matthew Retzlaff has a big game, so do the Mean Machines. Who is responsible for the most big plays? Retzlaff. Both as a receiver and returner, Retzlaff can change the game in an instant, and usually does. The game can be won without stopping him completely, that has been proven in the past two games. But stopping him early could lead to a win that doesn’t end in a nailbiter.

 

 

 

Perfect Pervis View

The Örebro Black Knights should be favored to win this game, at home against a team that does not have the playoff experience that they have. But the game is played on the field, any given day. With a potent running game led by Gennadiy Adams, the Black Knights should have no probably dictating the pace of the game. I believe the most important factor for Örebro will be consistently slowing down the Stockholm offense. Defensive Coordinator Erik Törnblom is up to the task, and his team is definitely going to give him their best. Overall I think the Örebro Black Knights are more than prepared for this exciting matchup.

 

THERE’S MORE

If you are interested in finding out what Örebro Black Knights players and coaches think about the upcoming game, go to PerfectPervis.com to see their interviews. Or you can click the links below.

 

Interview with HC Aaaron Fiddler

Interview with DC/LB Erik Törnblom

Interview with OL Sebastian Nilsson

 

 

 

 

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