Things were looking up for the Force when they took off for New York.
And they only look better now that they are back.
In erasing a 13-point halftime deficit to the New York Dragons, the Georgia Force put up some of its best offensive numbers of the season, and in history, against what was ranked the top defense in the AFL entering the game.
The Force (6-5) beat New York (6-5) 72-67 on Sunday for the team's first-ever win in New York, a third consecutive victory and a winning record for the first time this season.
"It has been incredible the past few weeks," said Force coach Doug Plank. "You always enjoy winning, but the manner in which the wins came out encapsulate what sports are about. The camaraderie and teamwork all seem to have come true in these last few weeks."
In the last three weeks the Force have put up wins, two coming from behind, on teams with a combined record of 23-11. Georgia's first three wins came against teams with a record of 8-26.
"The key to our success has been the willingness of our players to prepare," Plank said. "That is not the most exciting thing, but in a sense that is where our team has become good and that is where trophies and championships are won."
The win puts the Force within one game in the loss column of division leader Orlando, which has its bye this week, and one back of New Orleans, which the Force play Monday night.
Three weeks ago, Georgia routed the VooDoo 66-39, starting the current run.
"If you look at our team, our team is different than it was at the beginning of the season," Plank said, referring to the litany of roster moves made nearly each week by the team. "Our lines, defensive and offensive, have been the same, but the skill positions like wide receiver and defensive back - where we are still trying to get consistency from one week to the next - (have changed). I believe the receivers and the quarterback are synchronized.
"They understand where each other is going during the course of the play. They can operate under third- and four-down situations and feel confident they can convert."
And it's starting to show.
On Sunday, Georgia set a new franchise offensive marks for total yards with 432, quarterback Chris Greisen set a new career and Force best with 403 yards passing and nine touchdowns and wide receiver Tiger Jones set a team-best mark of 224 yards and tied the franchise record of touchdowns with six and catches with 15.
"Our offense, right now, they believe in each other," Plank said.
But it wasn't without a small scare. Two turnovers in the second quarter led to the 13-point deficit, forcing another comeback. The Force's defense picked up its first stop of the game in the second half on an interception by recently signed William Fields and from there, it was a team effort in scoring.
Jones, Carl Morris, Troy Bergeron and Matt Huebner all scored in the fourth quarter and Morris put the game away with a blocked field goal.
"This teamwork thing has made coaching a dream," Plank said. "We don't have any quitters on our team. It's enjoyable to be around players that are willing to go the distance.
"It's about how you finish."
SideBar: Force at Voodo
When: Monday, 8 p.m.
Where: New Orleans