MLL Preview: Week 14: World Championship Guys Return; Playoff Push Continues

(Photo Credit: Florida Launch)

The 2018 MLL season is winding down as we have reached the fourteenth week of the season. This week we will have a lot of games as we should find out who will capture the last three spots in the playoffs. Right now Dallas has secured home field advantage and first spot in the playoffs but there are still three spots left to be decided.

It should be a very exciting week in the MLL as all of the guys that were in Israel last week will be back with their respective teams. So, a team that may be on the border of getting in the playoffs or not can really step it up here as most of their star players that were gone will be back.

Thursday, July 26th

Ohio Machine (3-9) vs Florida Launch (4-7) 

These two teams haven't had the best season and things don't look to be turning around anytime soon. Ohio, I think, is already knocked out of a spot in the playoffs along with Boston. The good news for them is that they will have Tom Schreiber back so he should really give them a lift along with Marcus Holman and Kyle Harrison this week. 

Florida is sitting in seventh place and they still have a possibility of making the playoffs but it looks very unlikely as of now. Their offense will really need to step up this week as they haven't looked very good at all. Overall the Launch will need to step it up this weekend if they want to stay alive in the playoff race. I feel they can come a live due to the fact that those guys haven't played in a while. 

Atlanta Blaze (5-6) vs Chesapeake Bayhawks (8-3)

If you like offense then you will not want to miss this game. The Blaze have a great offensive attack with Kevin Rice, Matt Gibson, and Tommy Paleseak. This offense has looked good all year long and I don't expect any different this game either. The one thing I would like to see Atlanta do is put an entire game together as it seems they haven't done that much at all this season. The Blaze need this win to stay in the playoff hunt.

As for the Bayhawks, they want to get back on track after their seven game win streak was snapped last week. Their offense didn't look particularly great last week as it really was just a few guys leading the way. This week they have everyone, even Lyle Thompson, so that should really help them put together a much better performance here. Chesapeake just wants to stay in that top three in the playoff race with a win here. 

Saturday, July 27th

Boston Cannons (3-9) vs Charlotte Hounds (7-6)

This game has two teams with two completely story lines up against each other. The Hounds looked great last week despite missing a few key guys. They really dominated all over the field and if they can do that again they can do that again this week they can really aide that playoff push.

The Cannons are officially out of the playoffs so they really have no factual reason for winning this game as it would hurt the Hounds and not effect Boston at all. They have really been a mess all year and that is still continuing today as they just don't look good or consistent. Hopefully they can maybe find some consistency here in the last few weeks and put some pieces of the puzzle together in the off season. In this game though their defense will need to step up big time if they want to stop the hounds.

Florida Launch (4-7) vs Atlanta Blaze (5-6)

In this game we will see two teams that are sitting on the cusp of making the playoffs or not. To be honest, Atlanta is closer to a playoff spot then many may think. They played very well last week and it looks like they no where to go but up from here. They were missing a few guys last week and still looked great, despite the loss. If they can pull that all together they could get a big win here.

The Launch haven't played in a while and it feels like those guys will be able to go off again here in their second game of the weekend. The Launch offense has looked pretty good all year and we should see more success in this game too. 

Chesapeake Bayhawks (8-3) vs Denver Outlaws (7-5)

Both teams are looking to bounce back from losses last week. Chesapeake is playing their second game of the week and they may be a little tired as they try to bounce back from giving up 20 goals last week. The Bayhawks offense should be back in full force as they have everyone back together. I think it should be another great performance for the Bayhawks.

The Outlaws got a tough loss last week and they should be fired up and ready to get a win and possibly capture a playoff spot. They won't have Jack Kelly in cage but Dillon Ward is their backup, luckily. They should have no trouble there with Ward in cage. The question is will Chris Cloutier play after his injury last week? He has been their biggest impacter on offense and that would be a huge loss.

Sunday, July 28th

Dallas Rattlers (10-2) vs New York Lizards (6-6)

The Rattlers have already locked up the top playoff spot so this game doesn't really mean much for them except staying consistent, which is important. The Rattlers have been playing great and that offense should be out in full force as they should have all their guys from the world games.

New York is still in the playoff hunt and they have looked pretty good without all their superstars. The Lizards will have everyone back and they should be able to get the win of they can control the possession game again. That offense has looked very good, but the defense hasn't been that great. They will need to come out full force to get this win and help their playoff push.