The Arena Football League boasted an impressive Week 7 with five of its eight games decided by less than a touchdown and within the final minute of each contest. Two games were decided by a single point. It was not a week for the faint of heart, that's for sure.
Congratulations to the Orlando Predators (1-5) for posting their first win of the season, 27-24 over the Georgia Force (3-3). As I realized that this game was coming down to the wire, I quickly logged on to Ustream to watch the finish. Georgia's last-gasp 37-yard field goal attempt sailed wide right, and the Orlando announcers came unglued. It was fun to listen to. I could almost feel the weeks of frustration lifted off the shoulders of the team and its fan base, and it made me happy. Everyone deserves to win some games.
Now it's your turn, Kansas City Command (0-5).
Good lord, can anyone stop the Philadelphia Soul (5-1)? I realize that the Cleveland Gladiators (3-3) caught them on a bad night, but after Friday night's 83-48 demolition of a good Tampa Bay Storm (3-3) team, I'm having difficulty imagining anyone getting in their way for the remainder of the regular season.
Not only are the Soul beating opponents, they're beating the tar out of them. In three of their six games so far this season, they've scored 83 points or more. They're outscoring their opponents by an average of 74.2 to 55.7. That's nearly a three-touchdown difference in their favor each week.
The San Jose SaberCats (4-2) tried and failed to beat the Soul, and the Arizona Rattlers (4-2) and Chicago Rush (5-1) are not on their schedule. They do have to face the Utah Blaze (4-2) in the final week of the season, but that game will be played in Philadelphia.
Stranger things have happened--such as the Command upsetting the Jacksonville Sharks last season--but it wouldn't surprise me in the least to see the Soul enter the playoffs with a 17-1 record.
I watched the Milwaukee Mustangs (2-3) play in person on Saturday when they traveled to take on the Rush, and that is one good team. To paraphrase Mr. T, I pity the fool who takes this team for granted based simply on their 2-3 record.
They lost to the Rattlers on the road by six in the final four seconds. They lost to the Rush on the road by one in the final four seconds. They had a bad week against Spokane on the road. They also pummeled the New Orleans VooDoo (3-3) on the road and the Pittsburgh Power (2-4) at home. Have you noticed yet that they've played four of their first five games on the road?
The schedule-maker continues to punch the Mustangs in the gut with a home game against the Blaze next week, followed by a trip to Philadelphia to take on the aforementioned Soul. But I still maintain my belief that this is a playoff-caliber team, even if they drop to 2-5.
There was nothing lucky about them coming four ticks away from knocking off the Rush in Week 7. They played good, hard football for a full 60 minutes. Had the game last another 15 seconds, I'm not sure the result would have been the same.
The same can be said for the Iowa Barnstormers (3-3). Two of their losses have come by a combined two points, and having lost twice to the Blaze and once to the Rush, the teams that have beaten them currently have a combined 9-3 record. As is the case with the Mustangs, Iowa could easily be a 5-1 team right now, had just a few things broken their way, instead.
New Orleans VooDoo
Speaking of dangerous teams with deceptive records, I still like the VooDoo (3-3) as a playoff team. They finally got a win at home a couple weeks ago and just did it again in Week 7 against Pittsburgh. They lost to the Soul by a single point, they crushed the Blaze on the road, and they were beaten by the Mustangs at home and by the San Antonio Talons (3-3) on the road.
The South Division is wide open. After seven weeks of play, there's a three-way tie for first place between the VooDoo, the Force, and the Storm, and now the Sharks are just a half-game out at 2-3. With the Preds finally posting a W, they're still only two games out. It's anyone's division right now, and I see no reason why the VooDoo can't make it theirs.
The Week 8 edition of NET10 Arena Football Friday will actually be played on a Monday. The Storm will host the Command on Monday, April 30 at 8 p.m. ET, 7 p.m. Kansas City time, on the NFL Network. So it's like Monday Night Football, Arena Football League style. That's Monday, not Friday. Monday.
Everybody clear that it's on a Monday?
In case you're wondering, it's because the NFL Network will have their hands full with the NFL Draft on Friday. So the AFL game will be played on Monday.
Now, what day of the week will the game be played?
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