A lot of things have to fall into place for the Scottish Claymores to earn a spot in World Bowl XI, but the one constant in all the scenarios is this: the Claymores must win.
With two games left to play, the Claymores have a 4-4 record and are one game back of a trio of teams knotted at 5-3. But to be able to finish the season among the top two and earn a World Bowl berth, the Claymores need to win both of their remaining regular-season contests.
If recent play is any indication, Scotland is up for the challenge. Led by Green Bay Packers quarterback Craig Nall, the Claymores have won their last two straight.
In those games Nall has gone a combined 32-for-52 (61.3 percent) for 425 yards and five touchdowns, with no interceptions. Wednesday he was named the NFLE offensive player of the week for his performance in Week 8.
Thanks also to a ground attack led by the Buffalo Bills' Ken Simonton, the Claymores lead the league in total offense with 3,285 yards.
The Claymores' defense, which ranks fourth in the league, includes Packers safety Bobby Jackson and linebackers Isaac Keys and Jermaine Petty.
Jackson especially has been a constant stopper, ranking third on the team with 36 tackles, while also earning four passes defensed.
Saturday, in a game tape-delayed for noon CT on FOX Sports Net, the Claymores will take on the Barcelona Dragons (5-3), a team coming off a 47-13 crushing at the hands of the Frankfurt Galaxy (5-3).
Frankfurt can clinch a World Bowl berth of its own Sunday, but faces a tough challenge in the Rhein Fire (5-3), the league-leader in total defense, allowing just over 306 yards per game.
FOX will offer a tape-delayed telecast at noon CT, Sunday, allowing Packers fans to watch Galaxy defensive back Jeremy Unertl and punter Tim Morgan.
A safety in his college days at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, Unertl has made two straight starts at cornerback, filling in according to the Galaxy's injury situation.
With a pair of interceptions under his belt, Unertl is member to a Galaxy defense that leads the league with 17 takeaways.
The only Packers player in NFL Europe eliminated from World Bowl contention is wide receiver Travis Williams, whose Amsterdam Admirals (3-5) need to win out to avoid a losing season.
The Admirals take on the last-place Berlin Thunder (2-6) Saturday at noon CT, televised on DirecTV.
Week 9 TV Information -
Saturday, May 31, Scottish Claymores (4-4) at Barcelona Dragons (5-3) - Noon CT (FOX Sports Net)
Saturday, May 31, Berlin Thunder (2-6) at Amsterdam Admirals (3-5) - Noon CT (DirecTV)
Sunday, June 1, Rhein Fire (5-3) at Frankfurt Galaxy (5-3) - Noon CT (FOX)
Week 8 Results -
Frankfurt 47, Barcelona 13
Rhein 28, Berlin 21
Scotland 31, Amsterdam 20
Packers In NFLE --
Bobby Jackson, S (Scottish Claymores) - Third on the team with 36 tackles (32 solo, 4 assist) ... 4 passes defensed ... 6 special teams tackles ... Last week: 3 tackles, 2 passes defensed, 1 special teams tackle vs. Amsterdam.
Isaac Keys, LB (Scottish Claymores) - 19 tackles (14 solo, 5 assist) ... 1 forced fumble ... Last week: 1 tackle vs. Amsterdam.
Tim Morgan, P (Frankfurt Galaxy) - Second in league in punting average at 41.5 yards with 29 attempts for 1,203 yards ... 7 inside the 20-yard line ... long of 58 yards ... NFLE special teams player of the week in Week 2 ... Last week: 2 punts for 100 yards (50.0 avg.) vs. Barcelona.
Craig Nall, QB (Scottish Claymores) - Leads league with 14 touchdowns on 124-of-221 passing (56.1 percent) for 1,696 yards ... quarterback rating of 90.6 is tied for league best with Barcelona's Seth Burford ... 6 interceptions ... Last week: 22-of-31 for 313 yards and 3 touchdowns, 0 interceptions vs. Amsterdam.
Jermaine Petty, LB (Scottish Claymores) - 10 tackles (7 solo, 3 assist), 4 special teams tackles ... Last week: 1 tackle vs. Amsterdam.
Jeremy Unertl, CB/S (Frankfurt Galaxy) - Tied for fourth in league with 2 interceptions ... 20 tackles (18 solo, 2 assist) ... 5 passes defensed ... playing cornerback because of team's injury situation ... Last week: 3 tackles vs. Barcelona.
Travis Williams, WR (Amsterdam Admirals) - 7 receptions for 80 yards ... Last week: 1 reception for 11 yards vs. Scotland.