Pirates: Iowa Barnstormers (3-1) at Massachusetts Pirates (3-1)

The Pirates return home tonight to host the Iowa Barnstormers in a crucial Eastern Division match up in the IFL.

The Pirates 14 game winning streak was snapped last week in an upset loss to Green Bay. It was a tough overtime loss for Massachusetts but as we’ve seen with this team time and time again, they are resilient.

Here are three keys to tonight’s game.

1. Defense must rebound: The defense struggled last week in the loss to Green Bay. They need to be much better tonight against an Iowa team that is explosive and can score. The Pirates need to get red zone stops. Opponents are finishing drives and that has been a problem.

2. Consistency: The Pirates need to be more consistent in all phases of the game. As good as the offense can be, they have had a hard time putting consistent drives together at key times. That can’t happen tonight against a talented Iowa team that can score. They need to finish drives.

3. Adjust to more personnel changes: The Pirates are seemingly losing someone every week to either the USFL or the CFL. That’s a way of life in professional football unfortunately. The latest Pirate to leave is Corrion Ballard. He will be a loss in the secondary. The next man has to step however. That’s life in pro football.

Final Prediction: Pirates 44 Barnstormers 41: I believe in this team and their ability to bounce back. They will bounce back tonight and win a shootout against a good Iowa team. I expect Alejandro Bennifield and Thomas Owens to connect several times in this one.