The Tampa Bay Vipers still looking for that elusive first win win of the season will take on the DC Defenders at Raymond James on Sunday Night.
The Vipers are coming off a tough loss to the unbeaten Houston Roughnecks 34-27 last week, a game in which the Vipers played much better offensively but couldn’t get points in the red zone when they needed them the most.
The Vipers defense which had been playing very well up until last week, ran into one of the hottest quarterback/receiver duos in the league in P.J. walker and Cam Phillips.
Walker who is being touted as the early season MVP torched the Vipers defense completing 24/36 for 306 yards and three touchdown passes.
Cam Phillips caught all three of the touchdown passes and finished with 194 yards receiving.
The Defenders come to Tampa with a 2-1 record but were blown out by the LA Wildcats on the West coast last week 39-9.
DC is led offensively by former Ohio Sate quarterback Cardale Jones.
Jones started the season off with four touchdown passes and one interception in his teams 2-0 start, but last week against LA passed for only 103 yards and threw four interceptions.
Donnel Pumphrey leads the Defenders rushing attack with 97 yards, and Rashad Ross is the Defenders leading receiver with 164 yards on the season.
The Vipers remained challenged at the quarterback position With
Taylor Cornelius starting in place of Aaron Murray. Cornelius will start again today if Murray cannot go.
Cornelius has struggled so far this season although he did play better against Houston.
Cornelius has passed for 347 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions on the season.
Dan Williams is the leading receiver on the Vipers with 180 yards, and De’Veon Smith leads the ground attack with 197 yards rushing.
Vipers quarterback and fan favorite Quinton Flowers took a leave from the team for personal reasons this week and coach Trestman said that they want him to return to the team but not sure when that may be.
Part of the Vipers 0-3 starts stems from the fact that Trestman cannot commit to anyone particular quarterback.
As soon as Flowers or Cornelius makes a mistake or the offense stalls, they are pulled from the game. This prevents any kind of momentum to get going offensively.
The game of Flowers and Cornelius is so different you have to change the offense when either one is in to play to their unique strengths and abilities.
The Vipers will once again count on their defense to give them good field position and keep them in the game.
The Vipers have given up given up 74 points this season and have had trouble defensively covering opposing receivers one on one.
The Vipers have the third best offense in the league averaging just north of 350 yards a game and the Vipers rushing attack is second in the league averaging 140 yards a game.
The big fail is for all the offense the Vipers generate, they have only scored 39 points this season.
This will have to change if the Vipers are to turn their season around.
The Vipers are playing their second home of the season, while the Defenders are playing their second straight road game.
This is a game the Vipers need to win and should win.
The Vipers will get their first win of the season tonight 28-20.