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NFL Europe Week 9 Preview


Week 9 begins with a meeting between NFL-E's first and last place teams when the Berlin Thunder (7-1) travels to Scotland to face the Claymores (2-6), Saturday.

Despite ranking at opposite ends of the standings, both teams are just a few points from being in the other's position. Through eight games this season, seven of Berlin's games have been decided by eight points or less, while six of Scotland's games have also been decided by one score or less.

In the overall series, Berlin -- who clinched a berth in World Bowl XII in Week 7 -- holds the advantage at 6-5, while the Claymores lead the series 3-2 when playing at home.

On offense, Berlin boasts NFL-E's top-ranked offense, averaging 339 yards per game, while also leading the league in scoring with 221 points and 28 touchdowns.

Meanwhile, the Claymores defense ranks first in the league (30.9%) in forcing opponents off the field on third down.

The game will be broadcast live at 8 a.m. (CT) on DirecTV, with a tape delay airing at 7 p.m. (CT) on NFL Network, Sunday.

Having already qualified for a record sixth World Bowl appearance, the Frankfurt Galaxy (6-2) will look to claim the league title for a record fourth time, June 12.

But first, in what has become the league's biggest rivalry, the Galaxy will turn their focus to the Rhein Fire, a team that's beaten them 13 of the last 19 meetings.

The Galaxy, however, have won the last three contests between the teams, including World Bowl XI, 35-16.

On offense, the Galaxy ranks second in NFL-E with 338.8 yards per game and trails only Berlin in points scored (192) and touchdowns (24).

Meanwhile, the Fire defense ranks second in the league in yards allowed (288.6), while giving up the fewest points (136) this season.

On special teams, the Fire has tied the league record with three kickoff returns for touchdowns, including two by Packers wide receiver Shockmain Davis (93 and 87 yards).

The game will be broadcast live at noon (CT) on NFL Network, with a tape delay airing at 7 p.m. (CT).

In other NFL-E action, six Packers will take the field when the Amsterdam Admirals (3-5) travel to Cologne to face the Centurions (3-5), Sunday.

Cornerback Derek Combs, tight end Tony Donald and linebacker Steve Josue of the Admirals will face Centurions defensive ends Cullen Jenkins and Eric Powell and cornerback Erwin Swiney for the second time this season.

Amsterdam won the first meeting, 17-10, in Week 7. In that game, Donald had five catches for 53 yards and one touchdown, while Josue and Swiney each had one interception.

Through eight games, the Centurions have compiled a 3-1 home record, while the Admirals are 1-3 on the road this season.

The game will be broadcast Sunday at noon (CT) on FOX.

For more on NFL Europe, click here.

Week 9 Preview --

(Saturday, May 29)

Berlin Thunder (7-1) at Scottish Claymores (2-6) -- 8 a.m. CT (DirecTV); Delay Sunday 7 p.m. (NFL Network)

Frankfurt Galaxy (6-2) at Rhein Fire (3-5) -- noon CT (NFL Network); Delay 7 p.m. CT (NFL Network)

(Sunday, May 30)

Amsterdam Admirals (3-5) at Cologne Centurions (3-5) -- Delay noon CT (FOX)

Packers In NFL-E --

Derek Combs, CB (Amsterdam Admirals) -- 21 tackles (20 solo), 2 passes defensed, 1 forced fumble, 3 special teams tackles; 11 kickoff returns for 243 yards ... Last Week: 5 tackles (4 solo); 4 kickoff returns for 89 yards.

Shockmain Davis, WR (Rhein Fire) -- 21 catches for 275 yards, 1 touchdown; 16 kickoff returns for 454 yards, 2 touchdowns (93 and 87 yards) ... NFL-E co-Special Teams Player of the Week for Week 1 ... Last week: 1 catch for 2 yards.

Tony Donald, TE (Amsterdam Admirals) -- 27 catches for 317 yards, 4 touchdowns ... Last week: 1 catch for 22 yards.

Cullen Jenkins, DE (Cologne Centurions) -- 18 tackles (16 solo), 2 passes defensed, 0.5 sack ... Last week: 5 tackles (5 solo), 1 sack.

Jason Jimenez, T (Frankfurt Galaxy) -- 8 games played.

Steve Josue, LB (Amsterdam Admirals) -- 12 tackles (9 solo), 1 sack, 1 pass defensed, 1 interception, 5 special teams tackles ... Last week: 1 tackle (1 solo), 1 special teams tackle.

Eric Powell, DE (Cologne Centurions) -- 16 tackles (11 solo), 2 sacks, 4 passes defensed, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery, 2 special teams tackle ... Last week: 3 tackles (3 solo), 1 sack, 1 pass defensed, 1 forced fumble.

Erwin Swiney, CB (Cologne Centurions) -- 24 tackles (23 solo), 9 passes defensed, 1 interception, 1 fumble recovery ... Last week: 6 tackles (6 solo), 3 passes defensed.

Walter Williams, RB (Rhein Fire) -- 17 carries, 68 yards; 1 catch for 6 yards ... suffered broken hand in Week 1 ... Last week: 14 carries for 68 yards, 1 catch for 6 yards.

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