DULUTH -- As dire as the Georgia Force's situation has seemed at different times throughout the 2012 Arena Football League season, they couldn't ask for much more than the opportunity that sits in front of them.
With two games remaining in the regular season, beginning with tonight's 7 p.m. kickoff against the Pittsburgh Power at the Arena at Gwinnett Center, all of the team's goals are still attainable.
"What it comes down to is, we still control our own destiny," Force coach Dean Cokinos said. "All our (preseason) goals -- the playoffs, a division championship, playing for (an Arena Bowl) championship -- is in our hands."
Step one begins tonight as the Force (8-8), tied with New Orleans for the South Division lead -- can wrap up a playoff berth with a win over Pittsburgh.
A win would also allow Georgia a chance at the division title, as well as a first-round home playoff game, with a win next week in the regular-season finale at New Orleans.
Considering the predicament the Force faced a mere two weeks ago, coming off losses in four of their previous five games, the players feel quite fortunate.
"Three weeks ago (before a July 6 win over Orlando), it wasn't looking that good," said Force defensive back Tracy Belton. "Right now, we've got everything in front of us. We win, we're in. That's all we need is a victory."
Even facing a last-place team like the Power (4-12), the Force will have to work for it.
And while several players like Ahmad Hawkins, Ray Norrell and Michael Johnson are still either out or questionable due to injuries, they Force will be a little closer to full strength with the expected return of Belton, who has missed the last seven games, but was among the league's leaders in interceptions before being injured.
"Right now, I feel good. I'm ready to play," said Belton, who is tied for third in the AFL with 10 interceptions and has added 48.5 tackles despite being limited to just nine games. "We're just going to follow the game plan (and) do what we've been doing. I've been out, but I've been around the guys. ... I'm just going to be making plays."