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18-N0: Sharks stunned by VooDoo 51-50

Dom Errico
Sunday March 29, 2015

It’s always good to get the first loss out of the way and take the pressure of an undefeated season off your shoulders.

Despite some outlandish predictions of an undefeated season by some Jacksonville Sharks fans and ArenaFan’s Adam Markowitz, they didn’t even make it one week in the survivor pool and fell 51-50 to the New Orleans VooDoo Saturday night in the Graveyard.


Needless to say Jacksonville’s detractors are having a field day after the huge upset, and there are definitely some causes for concern if you are a part of Shark Nation. Before all the chants of “Ov-er-ra-ted” start flying around, let’s just remember it’s just one game to open the season against a highly motivated team on the road. 


It was pretty clear early on that Tommy Grady was out of sync with his new receivers, and it took them a quarter or so to really get on the same page. Unfortunately for the Sharks, they dug themselves a 20-0 hole. Grady was 28-of-43 for 296 yards, five touchdowns and an interception that went off the hands of a receiver and was returned for a pick-six. Joe Hills made his presence felt for his new team as he was on the receiving end of all five of Grady’s touchdown passes. 


The Sharks pass rush of Joe Sykes, Caesar Rayford and Jerry Turner didn’t do much to make VooDoo quarterback Adam Kennedy uncomfortable in this one, which was a big reason the second-year signal caller had himself a strong game. Kennedy finished 19-of-25 for 225 yards, four touchdowns and an interception by Terrance Smith. 


One has to wonder how much Les Moss trusts his kicker Fabrizio Scaccia after he missed two critical PAT’s and a field goal in this one. Scaccia did successfully kick a field goal, his first since 2013, but his extra miss compared to Garrett Lindholm was the difference in the game. 


Having gotten the bad out of the way, the Sharks did show a lot of heart to battle back from deficits of 20-0 and 34-13 to take the lead, and they had the ball in hand with a chance to win it at the end but couldn’t quite make the plays needed to secure victory. Sometimes it takes a little bit of time for a relatively new team to gel together. Just last year, the newly designed Pittsburgh Power lost their first game to Cleveland and went on a 15-2 run the rest of the way.


In other words, don’t hit the panic button yet Shark Nation.

Dom formerly served as a pregame host and color analyst for Pittsburgh Power broadcasts on TribLive Radio and also spent a year as their public address announcer. He has served as a fill-in host and guest for AFL Tonight. He now covers the Jacksonville Sharks for ArenaFan. Just call him "The Voice" of reason. Follow him on Twitter @SteelCityVoice.
The opinions expressed in the article above are only those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts, opinions, or official stance of ArenaFan Online or its staff, or the Arena Football League, or any AFL or af2 teams.
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