NFL Europe review-preview

As the NFL Europe campaign reaches the second half a pair of linebackers allocated by the Bears are beginning to distinguish themselves.

In Week 5 Marcus Reese recorded five tackles in the Cologne Centurions 24-17 loss to the Frankfort Galaxy. He now ranks second on the team with 22 stops this season.

This week Reese will have his hands full with the undefeated Berlin Thunder. The match-up will kick off the weekend's action on Saturday evening when the Thunder travel to face the Centurions (1-4). There could be plenty of points on offer in this clash as the Week 2 meeting between the teams saw Berlin come out on top in a 35-31 thriller.

Last week Chicago receiver Aaron Boone turned his only reception into a 37-yard touchdown in Berlin's 33-29 victory over the Amsterdam Admirals. While Boone has just four catches through five games, he's been a big play threat averaging 24.0 yards per reception.

As the six NFL Europe League teams turn the corner and begin the long sprint towards World Bowl XII in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, on Saturday June 12, the Thunder (5-0) and Galaxy (4-1) have taken up the role of front runners. The German clubs have gained some breathing room at the top of the standings so Week 6 marks the time for the chasing pack – led by the Rhein Fire (2-3) and Admirals (2-3) - to make their move.

Jerry Schumacher has played a stellar middle linebacker for Amsterdam all season. Last week he tallied six tackles in defeat and has 22 on the year. Teammate Andre Forde has been a limited contributor with just five receptions for 35 yards.

In a must-win game for both teams if they are to strengthen their position in the World Bowl race, the Admirals visit the Fire to conclude Week 6.

Punter Brooks Barnard has been one of Rhein's most consistent players. He's the league's top punter with a net average of 36.0 yards per attempt and has a four to one ratio of punts inside the twenty to touchbacks. There is an outside chance that he could challenge Brad Maynard in training camp for the punting duties.

On Sunday, Frankfurt visits a Scottish Claymores (1-4) club celebrating its first win of the season at home against the Fire last weekend.

Saturday, May 8, 2004
Berlin at Cologne 1:00 PM (ET) NFL Network

Sunday, May 9, 2004
Frankfurt at Scotland 9:00 AM (ET) DIRECTV/NFL Network
Amsterdam at Rhein 10:00 AM (ET) DIRECTV/NFL Network

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