Patriots Players to keep an eye on in NFL Europe
Cologne, Kory Chapman RB
Rhein, Cedric James WR
Frankfurt, Grant Steen LB
Rhein, Mark Bartosic WR
Amsterdam, Joel Jacobs TE
Hamburg, Ricky Bryant WR
Hamburg Sea Devils
for the Official All-NFL Europe League Team here!
The Berlin Thunder and Amsterdam Admirals moved one step closer to playing for a championship while the Frankfurt Galaxy earned a victory against a venerable rival in Week 8 NFL Europe League action.
The Thunder stand alone in first place with a 6-2 record, one game ahead of the Admirals and Cologne Centurions, as NFL Europe enters the final two weeks of the regular season and the race for a berth in World Bowl XIII intensifies.
FOX-TV continues its 10th season of NFL Europe League coverage on Sunday when Cologne plays host to the Rhein Fire at the RheinEnergie Stadion. FOX NFL Sunday talent CURT MENEFEE and BRIAN BALDINGER will make the call on the national telecast at 2:00 p.m. (ET).
FOX, which televises one game in each of the final three weeks of the season, culminates its coverage with a live national telecast of the World Bowl on Saturday, June 11 from Düsseldorf, Germany, home of the Fire.
On Monday in Amsterdam, the Admirals excelled in all phases of the game to earn a crucial 30-12 win against the Centurions. The victory was especially important for Amsterdam in its quest for the franchise’s first championship, as the Admirals have now swept the season series from Cologne, earning a potentially important tiebreaker advantage.
Tennessee Titans running back JARRETT PAYTON continued to excel at finding the end zone, scoring on a 26-yard second-quarter touchdown run that gave Amsterdam a 10-6 lead it would never relinquish. Payton is tied for the NFL Europe League lead with seven touchdowns.
Seattle Seahawks cornerback B.J. TUCKER scored on a 31-yard interception return and Detroit Lions cornerback JEFF SANCHEZ returned a blocked field goal 56 yards for the Admirals’ final touchdown.
"It was very important for us to get that win," Tucker said. "We have a very tough game again next week and we need to come prepared to play well. We are playing well as a team on offense, defense and special teams, and we need to make sure everything clicks for us again next week."
On Sunday in Hamburg, Houston Texans quarterback DAVE RAGONE led Berlin to a 27-17 road-win over the Sea Devils at the AOL Arena, moving the Thunder closer toward its goal of playing for a fourth championship in five seasons.
In perhaps his best passing performance of the season, Ragone completed 22 of 31 attempts for 258 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions, finishing with a Week 8-best 128.2 passer rating. A three-time Conference USA Offensive Player of the Year while at Louisville, Ragone leads NFL Europe with 12 touchdown passes and a 97.1 passer rating.
"I thought our offensive line protected tremendously," Ragone said. "To not give up any sacks is a tough thing to do, and the guys did a great job. They enabled me to create some things because I had the time and luckily we were able to score points when we really need to."
Ragone has excelled at leading a mistake-free passing game, tossing only two interceptions all season. With 131 consecutive pass attempts without an interception, Ragone is approaching the NFL Europe record of 156, held by former Admiral RON POWLUS, who accomplished the feat in 2000.
The Berlin defense was led by Indianapolis Colts cornerback WILLIE FORD, who posted six tackles, two interceptions and one forced fumble, as the Thunder surrendered only three points in the second half en route to the win.
On Saturday in Düsseldorf, the Fire hosted their long-time rivals, the Galaxy, before an enthusiastic crowd of 28,124 at the LTU Arena. Frankfurt earned a hard-fought 20-13 victory, improving to 3-5 on the season and dropping Rhein to 1-7.
New York Jets quarterback KEVIN EAKIN led the way for the Galaxy, completing 16 of 20 passes for 202 yards, two touchdowns and one interception, posting an impressive 121.2 passer rating on the day. His two first-half scoring strikes helped produce a 17-0 halftime advantage.
"Rhein did not go down easily and they made it very difficult for us," said Frankfurt head coach MIKE JONES. "We hung in there and we are very excited about the outcome. We had not won on the road all season, so this result is very satisfying for us."
Fire continue to receive outstanding production from Tennessee Titans running
back JOE SMITH. Smith, who leads NFL Europe with 764 rushing yards, rushed
for a game-high 115 yards on 20 carries, including a one-yard touchdown run. The
Cleveland, Texas native has topped the century mark in four of his last five games.
Week 8 Results
27, Hamburg 17
Frankfurt 20, Rhein 13
Amsterdam 30, Cologne 12
Week 9 Schedule
Saturday, May 28
Berlin Thunder at Frankfurt Galaxy - 1:00 PM (ET) - NFL Network
Sunday, May 29
Hamburg Sea Devils at Amsterdam Admirals - 9:00 AM (ET) - DIRECTV
Rhein Fire at Cologne Centurions - 2:00 PM (ET) - FOX
Check local listings for broadcast times in your area.
Former New England Patriots IN NFLEL
Shawn Mayer and Michael Jennings are experiencing their own success in the league. Mayer had 3 interceptions in a game for the Hamburg Sea Devils, tying a league record. He is allocated to the league by Atlanta now.
Jennings continues to lead the league in combined net yards gained. His ongoing success as a returner and a receiver, only helps to improve his chances to stick to a roster when he returns to The States. Jennings is allocated by the Giants.
Sean McCready leads all NFLEL receivers in total receptions (37) and is second only to the Patriots' James for total receiving yards. McCready is not allocated by any team, he is listed as a national player.