Week 13 What To Watch For: Eastbound and Carolina Down

Nashville’s last road trip of the year sees the NightWatch traverse the Appalachian Mountains on their way to visit Charlotte and Raleigh. It’s a rematch in both cases and against teams that the NightWatch have lost to by two-point margins each. The NightWatch have struggled through the latter half of the schedule, hardly looking competitive in games played since they dropped a 26-24 decision to the Express on May 7. Here’s a chance for Nashville to climb out of the cellar in the South and play spoiler to a Raleigh squad that is in the thick of the playoff race. Part 1 of your weekend preview starts here.

Saturday, June 25

Nashville NightWatch @ Charlotte Express

Where They Stand: Nashville (1-9, 7 th in South); Charlotte (3-9, 6 th in South)

Last Matchup: Charlotte squeaked out a win in Nashville on May 7, sending the NightWatch to a tailspin. The Express haven’t exactly been lighting it up on the field since, as this is a meeting between the two worst teams in the South record-wise. Since their last meeting, the Express and NightWatch are a combined 1-10. Yikes!

Key Players:

Player Pierce leads the NightWatch with a dozen D’s, and the Nashville defense was someone leaky when they last played Charlotte. Any team that has scored 26 or more against Nashville this season has won, given that the highest total the NightWatch have put up has been 25. Pierce needs to spark the defense to hold the Express attack.

The Express attack runs through Jesse Liebermann, so I expect him to be a key point man in this matchup. With his handling skills, Charlotte almost upset the Jacksonville Cannons last week and he will be prominent in Saturday’s game against Nashville as well.

Key Matchups:

Javier Ortiz, Frank Strasser, and Pierce lead the NightWatch defense, which will have to matchup well against Charlotte. The Express offense hasn’t exactly set the world on fire, putting up just over 19 points per game and maxing out at 26—an achievement they’ve pulled off twice, once against the NightWatch. Nashville’s defense has been shaky at best, yielding over 30 points in the last 4 contests after doing so only once in its first 6 games. Coach Ryan Balch will be charged with finding a way to plug the holes on D.

Follow all the action this weekend live on Twitter @NSH_NightWatch!