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Force hope for balance against Arizona

Georgia Force coach Dean Cokinos admits he and his staff and players are getting tired of seeing their 2012 Arena Football League season rise and fall with yo-yo-like precision.

They would prefer to stay on an upward path, but first thing's first, beginning with today's 3 p.m. clash with the Arizona Rattlers at The Arena at Gwinnett Center.

"That's pretty much our trend right now," Cokinos said of the Force's habit of alternating very good performances with a poor ones through their 3-3 start. "We're really trying to look for balance."

True, the Force has gotten good performances from its offense at times this season -- as in wins of 69-41 over defending ArenaBowl champion Jacksonville and 70-49 over previously unbeaten Chicago -- and its defense at others -- such as the season-opening 41-39 win over Cleveland and last week's 27-24 loss at Orlando.

Likewise, they have had a habit of playing up and down to their competition, scoring wins over good teams like the aforementioned Sharks and Rush, but falling to struggling teams like previously winless Orlando, which Cokinos said must stop.

"We can't (continue to) score 60 points one week and then score 24 the next," Cokinos said. "We've got to play them all. We beat 5-0 Chicago, but then lose to 0-5 Orlando."

Today's opponent resembles greater the better teams the Force have beaten, with the Rattlers, last year's National Conference champion and ArenaBowl runner-up, currently tied for the West Division lead at 4-2.

Arizona also features quarterback Nick Davila -- third in the AFL in passing efficiency, passing yards per game and total offense -- and former Force receiver Maurice Purify (58-875, 20 TDs), the league's leader in receiving yards per game.

But again, Cokinos says his team is more inwardly focused right now.

"Right now, I'm more concerned about stabilizing ourselves," Cokinos said.

More specifically, the biggest concern is with an offense that only turned the ball over once in last week's loss, but still had trouble finding the end zone.

"We played pretty good defensively, but we missed two field goals and kicked one, and then we fumbled once going in at the 5," Cokinos said.

"We had opportunities, but we kind of stalled in the red zone. We weren't horrible. ... We just weren't able to cash in, and it was all little things -- one play out of each drive."