All-Star break is over, and the players are rested. The NLL players are finally acclimated, and teams are beginning to round out.

This week in Fairfield will be a full showcase of this. The best way to think about it is that the whole league is starting from square one. With new dynamics and healthy rosters, the worst team in the league could outscore the best by 10, and the standings could completely flip.

The top 4 teams in the PLL standings face off against the bottom 4 while we head to Connecticut for Lacrosse. However, don’t be surprised if some of the games don’t go the way you expected.

Redwoods vs. Atlas

The Redwoods, sitting at 1-4, might be the best bottom-tier team in the league. They’ve gone toe to toe with the best teams out there, losing only by 1 to the Archers and the Whipsnakes in previous weeks.

Rob Pannell and Jules Heninburg are the Redwoods firepower and will make the Atlas defense work. However, we cannot forget the absolute dominance the Atlas have been showing throughout the year.

The No. 1 team in the league is led by two of the best scorers in the league, Jeff Teat and Chris Gray. A combined 35 points is tied for the second most out of any pair in the league, proving difficult to handle for every PLL team.

Both teams will have their flashes on offense, and it may turn into a chippy game. This is one of my favorites for the week, and I’ll be sure to tune in.

Whipsnakes vs. Chaos

This may be the closest game out of the bunch, despite the Chaos sitting at last in the league. With the additions of Josh Byrne, Chase Fraser, and the 17-year-old sensation Tehoka Nanticoke from the NLL, this Chaos offense is looking absolutely deadly.

The Whipsnakes are an incredible matchup for this team, led by Joe Nardella and the Hardt boys. This defense may get caught by the fresh play of the Chaos attack, but over time they’ll settle in and lock down. This is going to be a very defensive game for the Whipsnakes, but whenever they get on the other side of the field, they’ll find a way to score.

Cannons vs. Archers

The Archers’ electric offense battles the Cannons to start off day two in Fairfield, and I couldn’t be more excited. However, this game feels a little bit lopsided.

The Archers have such a unique roster of talent, with so much offensive depth that every substitute remains equally valuable. They have 5 offensive players that have double-digit points on the season, and 2 of them are in the top 5.

Led by MVP candidate Will Manny and his feeder Tom Schreiber, this is easily the best offense in the league. They can put on a show against even the best.

That’s what I worry about for the Cannons. Although the Cannons’ offense is incredible with the leadership of Lyle Thompson, their defense is what’s lacking. With Nick Marrocco in goal, your hopes remain alive, but his supporting cast isn’t all that to rave about.

Chrome vs. Waterdogs

The Waterdogs are possibly the scrappiest team in the league, battling through and through for every win and loss they’ve obtained. With two of their games ending in one score differential and their absolute blowout win in Baltimore, things have been looking up for the Dogs.

However, the Chrome are ranked No. 2 for a reason. In actuality, they’re millimeters from No. 1. Connor Farrell is holding down the X, with rookies Wisnauskas and Nichtern firing off at the goal.

While the Chrome offense is unstoppable with its young talent, the Waterdogs’ defense is immovable. It may not show up much on the stat sheet, but the Waterdogs get physical. This team may be the biggest annoyance to PLL offenses in the league.

These four games lined up for us will be incredibly fun. I don’t expect every top-level team to win this weekend, and some pegs may begin to fall. The PLL power rankings aren’t going to stay like that forever, and this week is the best chance to start moving things around.

 


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