Happy Easter everyone!
Despite the holiday and the decent weather we had on this day, not everyone is feeling so festive. The Chicago Rush are not in the best of moods today. They dropped their second straight game with a 76-61 loss to the Spokane Shock. Last year the Rush won their first two season games, this year has been a completely different story.
The Rush are starting to look better on offense but their defense has been a concern thus far. They have given up 139 total points to start the season. The 2012 Chicago Rush defense was known for putting pressure on opposing quarterbacks and forcing turnovers. This year that has not been the case.
Aside from the total points, they have also given up 587 total yards. As a team, the Rush so far have been outscored 139-102. And they have been out-gained 587-550. Not the ideal way to start the season, but the Rush are still trying to put themselves back together from top to bottom.
The worst part about all of this is that they have lost two home games already. Last year the Rush lost three home games all season. And if that isn’t bad enough, both games have been conference games. Unfortunately it only gets harder from here. On Friday the Rush make their first road trip of the season when they head to San Antonio for another division game.
The Talons swept both meetings with the Rush in 2012, and the Rush struggled on the road last year. Bob McMillen’s team sported a dismal 3-6 record away from Allstate Arena last season. San Antonio is hostile territory for anyone who sets foot in the Alamodome. The Talons won the Central Division last year and are favored to do so again.
The good thing is, there still some bright spots about this Rush team. New quarterback Carson Coffman is finally starting to come into his own now. He threw for a season-high 294 yards and seven touchdowns against Spokane. “Big Play” Reggie Gray is still living up to his nickname, he caught another four touchdown passes today.
J.J. Payne is also getting involved which is something that didn’t happen last year. The Rush fullback already has 21 rushing yards and two touchdowns on the season. The new offensive line of Steve Edwards, Collin Madison, and Jeff Maddux have only allowed one sack all season.
The Rush have also been getting good performances from new receivers Rodney Wright and AFL veteran Nate Forse. It also appears that Rodney Wright could take over as the team’s full-time kick returner. He had five returns for 122 yards this afternoon, including a 43-yard return which helped to set up a touchdown.
He has 190 total return yards after just two weeks of play. Jose Martinez is also looking better on the turf. After missing his only field goal attempt and missing an extra point in the opener last week, Martinez went 7-7 on PAT’s today. He was on point. Even though the Rush offense keeps getting better, the defense is still struggling to find it’s identity.
They will to find that identity in a hurry as they have a short week ahead of them. Even though the Talons lost their season opener last week, this week was a bye week for them. And they will have a full week to prepare for the Rush. Even though it is only two weeks into the season, the Rush must put themselves into panic mode now if they are going to turn things around.
Tomorrow afternoon I will be covering the Chicago White Sox 2013 season opener from U.S. Cellular Field. First pitch will be around 3:05pm, and you can follow me on Twitter for game updates @GabeSalgado82 #Q101Sports