Shock Can Clinch Playoff Spot with Win, Help - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Shock Can Clinch Playoff Spot with Win, Help

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SPOKANE, Wash. -- The Spokane Shock are on the verge of clinching a playoff spot.  All they need is a win at Tampa, paired with a Chicago or San Antonio loss this weekend to lock up a bid to the AFL postseason.

The Shock enter Saturday's contest against the Storm with a mark of 10-4, with Chicago and San Antonio tied for the division lead in the Central Division at 8-6.  Four games remain in the AFL regular season and Spokane has the head-to-head tiebreaker against both Rush and the Talons.

Below is a game preview by Spokane Shock Media Relations 

SPOKANE, WA (July 3, 2013)  - The Spokane Shock (10-4, 4-2) will travel to Tampa, Fla. To take on the Tampa Bay Storm (7-7, 2-3) this Saturday, July 6th at the Tampa Bay Times Forum with a 4:30 PM PST kickoff. This Saturday's matchup will kick off a two game road trip to Florida, the team will remain in Florida after this weekend's game to take on the Jacksonville Sharks in Week 17.   

This week will mark the Shock's first trip to Tampa, Fla. since joining the AFL in 2010, despite the fact that this will be the two teams fifth meeting overall with the series tied at 2-2.

Spokane and Tampa Bay met in Week 6 of the 2013 season as the Shock fell to the Storm to mark their first loss of the season by a final score of 62-70. In that matchup, the Storm were able to hold the Shock to a mere 7 points in the first half to take an early 28-7 lead before the two teams would combine for a total of 97 points in the second half to bring the game within one score as Spokane fell short of the comeback. Storm quarterback Adrian McPherson posted 310 yards passing with 7 touchdowns and added 51 yards on the ground with 3 scores while wide receiver Joe Hills would lead the Tampa Bay receiving effort with 10 receptions for 177 yards and 5 touchdowns. Shock quarterback Erik Meyer posted 258 yards passing and 7 touchdowns, but would also record his first 2 interceptions of that season after 193 passing attempts. Adron Tennell would lead the Shock receiving effort with 12 receptions for 161 yards and 3 touchdowns.

Each team will enter Week 16 coming off a bye last week. While Spokane was able record a victory against their West Division opponent in the Utah Blaze by a score of 80-41, the Storm recorded their third straight loss at the hand of the Chicago Rush which came on a 2-point conversion as time expired with a final score of 49-50.

As the teams enter the final four games of the 2013 regular season, playoff scenarios begin to unfold as Tampa Bay has the opportunity to clinch a playoff berth with a win against Spokane this week. With the Shock holding tie breakers in head-to-head matchups against Chicago and San Antonio, a win this week for the Shock would create a difficult road for the Central Division to enter two teams into the Playoff race with best possible overall records matching the Shock at 11-7 to end the regular season.

As Spokane enters the final four-game stretch of the season, single-season franchise records continue to be rewritten with multiple others on the horizon. Shock wide receiver Adron Tennell surpassed his 2012 points scored record already this season with 276 and receiving touchdowns with 40. He is also nearing his record for receptions (157) and receiving yards (1810) that he also set last year having already tallied 130 receptions for 1,498 yards.

Shock defensive back and kick return specialist Terrance Sanders has also achieved new franchise marks this season as he has set new records for kickoff return yards (1773), all-purpose yards (1926) and kickoff return touchdowns (5). Sander's five kick returns for touchdowns this season is also nearing the AFL single-season record of 7 which is currently held by two players (Antonio Chatman, 2003 Chicago and Lamont Cooper, 2000 Milwaukee).

Shock quarterback Erik Meyer is also nearing single-season franchise records for passing yards and touchdowns which were set by Kyle Rowley in 2010 (4,428 yards and 100 touchdowns) as he has recorded 3,774 yards and 89 touchdowns so far in 2013. Shock Defensive lineman James Ruffin is also nearing the franchise single-season record for sacks in a season as he is just one sack shy of tying Jon William's record set in 2011 at 8.5.

This week's matchup will feature two of the top scoring offenses in the AFL with the Shock entering Week 16 ranked 1st (66.8 pts/g) and Tampa Bay ranked 4th (56.2 pts/g). While Tampa Bay will field the third best rushing offense in the league averaging 33 yards/g, the Storms have struggled over their three game losing streak as they have posted a mere 4 net rushing yards.

Beyond the high flying offenses of each team's passing offense, the defensive side of the ball will be under the microscope for each squad. The Shock are ranked 2nd in turnover margin (+21) while Tampa Bay is ranked 3rd (+18). Despite their defensive success against their opponents throughout the season, they will have their hands full this week as the Shock and Storm offense are each ranked in the top four for passing efficiency while doing an excellent job of protecting the football and limiting their own turnovers. 

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