Rush Wide Receiver Reggie Gray was held under 100 receiving yards for the first time this season.
For the second time this season the Rush have been held scoreless for an entire quarter. For the first time this season and in team history, they were held scoreless for two quarters (1st and 4th). And as a result the Rush suffer their worst loss in franchise history, a 68-28 pounding at the hands of the Utah Blaze. The Rush who were already 1-4 on the road on this season needed this victory to keep pace with the other top teams in the conference in order to gain a playoff spot. But the Utah defense had other plans in mind for the Rush.
Aside from Reggie Gray being held to under 100 receiving yards, Russ Michna only went 16-29 for 161 yards and 2 touchdowns. A complete 360 from the previous week’s performance against Spokane. The Rush also only managed to gain 234 yards of total offense which is also among the team lows. And if that wasn’t bad enough, not a single Rush receiver gained 100 yards which is another first for the 2012 season. The Rush defense also looked lost out there. The Blaze put together 392 yards of total offense and they scored 20 or more points in three of the four quarters.
It was so bad that Russ Michna was pulled in the 4th quarter for Luke Drone who wasn’t much better. Drone only went 2-3 for 13 yards passing, and ran the ball twice for 2 yards and 2 touchdowns. After the victory against Spokane, the Rush walked into a nightmare in Salt Lake City. And now with 6 games left the Rush literally have their backs against the wall and they need to come up with a miracle if they are to get a playoff spot. And their chances of hosting a home playoff game are pretty much gone. Now while 3 of those remaining games are at home, it’ll be easier said than done for the Rush to get a victory.
The Rush return home this Saturday to play the Georgia Force, the same Georgia Force team who handed them first loss of the season
(70-49) back in May. It was also their first road loss as well. Saturday June 30th the Rush welcome the league’s best San Jose SaberCats to the Allstate Arena. Back on May 26th, the Rush blew a late 4th quarter lead and lost to the Cats in overtime. And in the final home game on Sunday July 8th, the first place San Antonio Talons come to Rosemont for a showdown. The Rush blew a late lead against San Antonio back in April.
So while it may be good to get some home cookin’, the Rush will have a very difficult task ahead of them. Now for their final three road games….. Saturday June 23rd the Rush head to Kansas City. Despite the fact that it’s a road game, KC is the second worst team in the league plus the Rush have already beaten the Brigade this season. Saturday July 14th the Rush make their way up I-94 to play the Milwaukee Mustangs, the Rush own a victory over them as well. Then they finish the 2012 regular season on Saturday July 21st in Cleveland.
Now while the Rush haven’t played Cleveland in a couple of years, the Gladiators are second place in the Eastern Division and are fighting for a playoff spot. If the Rush can win at least 3 or 4 of their remaining games they could still get a playoff spot. The Rush are one of the few teams in league history to make the playoffs in every season of their existence. But this task will be nearly impossible when you consider their remaining schedule. The Rush will have to dig deep in order to save their season. The Rush will need to play their best football of the season if they are to survive and keep their historical record of playoff appearances.
Here is the box score from Saturday night’s game: http://www.arenafootball.com/game/chicago-rush-utah-blaze-6-9-2012
Also, I joined C-Dub and Big Dave from RookieTV.com on their Bawl! Sports podcast this week where we discussed the Rush among other topics. You can listen to that podcast here: http://www.rookietv.com/bawl/
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