Keys to the game: New York Guardians vs. St. Louis BattleHawks
The New York Guardians are in St. Louis Sunday for a matchup with the BattleHawks (3 p.m. ET, ESPN). Both New York and St. Louis are looking to rebound from their first loss of the season. It's the second consecutive road game for the Guardians, while the BattleHawks will be playing their first at The Dome.
Here are some key player matchups for Week 3:
New York quarterback Matt McGloin is trying to get back on track while St. Louis quarterback Jordan Ta’amu is trying to keep a good thing going. In Week 2, McGloin struggled. He completed just over 42% of his passes and was removed from the game in the second half. By comparison, Ta’amu completed 81.1% of his passes to nine different receivers. On the season, McGloin has one touchdown pass and two interceptions while Ta’amu has four TD passes and two interceptions. The difference in this game could be remaining upright. McGloin has only been sacked once in two games while Ta’amu has been sacked a league high five times.
The Guardians will look to their top receiver, Mekale McKay, to be a big part of the passing game. McKay is top 15 in the league in both receiving yards (88) and yards per reception (14.67). At 6-foot-5, McKay is one of McGloin’s favorite targets. The key will be getting him the ball in space where McKay does what he does best: make plays.
Meanwhile, St. Louis will try to keep its offense rolling with running back Matt Jones, who leads the league in rushing after two weeks with 129 total yards. He also leads in rushing attempts with 37. The BattleHawks lead the league in rushing the ball, with more than 158 yards per game.
Defense has been a strength for the Guardians. They’re led by defensive end Bunmi Rotimi, who is third in the league in total tackles with 16. Rotimi is also second in the league in quarterback hits and tackles for loss. He also has one forced fumble and one quarterback sack. The BattleHawks have given up the most tackles-for-a-loss (8) and quarterback sacks (5) in the league.
For St. Louis, look for safety Dexter McCoil to continue his dominance in the secondary. McCoil is fifth in the league in total tackles with 14. He also spends time in the opposing team’s backfield, registering two tackles-for-loss this season. McCoil leads a defense that has given up the third fewest total yards in the league through two games.