Force plagued by problems in several areas

It wasn't difficult for Georgia Force coach Doug Plank to find little things that went wrong in his team's 66-61 loss to the Arizona Rattlers last Saturday night at the U.S. Airways Center in Phoenix.

The trouble was trying to figure out which one played the biggest role.

The bottom line, however, was hard to ignore as the Force fell to 3-5 on the season, dropping them into a tie with Tampa Bay for the Southern Division cellar.

"We're just not playing very well right now," Plank said Monday. "There are a number of reasons (for the loss in Arizona)."

Statistically, there shouldn't have been that many reasons as the Force outgained the Rattlers (4-4) in total yardage 393-203 and in average yards per play (8.7-4.7) and had 22 first downs to Arizona's 18.

But as Plank pointed out, the number of mistakes the Force made outweighed the advantages they earned. A pair of interceptions late in the third quarter and early in the fourth helped the Rattlers turn what had been a tie game into a 63-49 Arizona lead after Chris Robinson turned each miscue into short touchdowns and forced Georgia to try to play catch-up.

Throw in eight penalties for 42 yards and problems in kick coverage - two kickoffs out of bounds and two more returned by Arizona for 50 or more yards, including Trandon Harvey's 58-yard scamper for a touchdown in the second quarter - and it was a recipe for disaster. It was also enough to negate an otherwise fine night by the Force offense, including quarterback Chris Greisen (28-42-2, 383 yards, 7 TDs) and receivers Tiger Jones (Offensive Player of the Game with 7 receptions for 140 yards and 4 TDs) and Damien Groce (206 all-purpose yards, 11-128, TD).

"Statistics really don't mean much," Plank said. "The turnover ratio is not in our favor. Our scoring is down, and what's really hurting us right now is our kick coverage. ... The lack of consistency in our receiving corps and defensive backs are hurting our productions right now."

While Plank hopes to address all of his team's problems, the latter is the one in particular he hopes to make an adjustment with as the Force prepare this week to host the division-leading New Orleans VooDoo on Saturday at the Arena at Gwinnett Center.

"It's been kind of musical chairs back there," Plank said. "We want to get three guys back there and try to simplify things - eliminate the thought process and let those guys go out and play."