This week’s AFL picks are sponsored by Baltimore Ravens Fight Club, featuring Brad Pitt.
I can describe my picks last week in one word: UGLY! A 3-5 week meant a sub-.500 mark fort the week but I am still above the .500 mark overall at 57-29. Not bad but I could have done better. Too much coffee during finals will do that to you. There are five weeks to go in the season, so anything can happen.
Anyway, let’s not delay any longer. Here are this week’s picks.
Tampa Bay Storm (4-6) at Grand Rapids Rampage (3-7). Tampa Bay put New Orleans on notice that they would not be hexed in their home arena last weekend and they pulled it off big time. Leading from start to finish in their win over the VooDoo, Tampa Bay was paced by Brett Dietz, who was 32-22 with no interceptions and four touchdowns and 274 yards. Grand Rapids did not play as disciplined a game as some would think, giving up 67 yards in penalties. Mistakes kill. Even a freshman can figure that out and Grand Rapids had best be careful when Tampa Bay comes calling this week. Going with Tampa Bay to win this contest.
Columbus Destroyers (2-9) at Philadelphia Soul (9-2). Columbus is one of those teams that Philadelphia needs to pay close attention to. Despite a 2-9 mark, the Destroyers played Kansas City tough, leading in total offense in the contest 295-231. They forgot the most important part. They forgot to win the game. Philadelphia is one team that you don’t want to face in the playoffs right now and they almost had Georgia on the ropes in their home arena before the Force came back against them. They’re too hot for anyone to handle and if you’re not sure about that, ask Dallas. The Soul win this one and Destroyer fans will be asking, “What time is kickoff at Ohio State next fall?”
Arizona Rattlers (4-6) at Dallas Desperados (9-1). Arizona is better than their 4-6 record would indicate. Granted, they were held to seven points in their loss to San Jose and need to step it up if they want their season to go further. Desperados quarterback Clint Dolezel made history on Saturday night, becoming the first player in professional football history to surpass 900 career passing touchdowns. This may be a wake up call for the Rattlers, who need to bring their A game to Irving this week. Dallas tames the Snakes.
Cleveland Gladiators (6-4) at Colorado Crush (4-6). Colorado got their teeth handed to them last week by a Utah Blaze team that played as if they had nothing to lose. Well, the Crush need to get back on track this week against a Gladiator team that improved to 4-1 at home. Maybe the Gladiators could use the services of one Lebron James this week. Maybe they won’t need him. Anyway, going with Cleveland for this one.
Utah Blaze (2-9) at San Jose Saber Cats (6-5). It seems that Utah opened up a big can of Whoop Ass against Colorado last week 302 yards total offense and going 4 for 7 on third downs and 2 of 2 on fourth down will get you a win. This time, the task for the Blaze is to somehow survive the rest of the season and make some noise. San Jose flexed their muscles and held Arizona to 15 second half points at Phoenix last weekend. The Saber Cats look like they could take the whole enchilada and they just might if they can keep this up. San Jose will win at home, although Utah will try to make things miserable for the Saber Cats.
Orlando Predators (7-4) at Kansas City Brigade (2-8). If I were the Kansas City Brigade, I would consider forfeiting. Orlando has a major chip on their shoulders after they lost to Cleveland last week. The Predators will be looking for a victim, like the Roman emperor in that Bugs Bunny cartoon. Orlando only mustered 316 yards in total offense. That will be more than enough motivation for the Predators this week. Orlando takes the “Light” Brigade.
Georgia Force (5-5) at New York Dragons (6-4). New York was too much for Los Angeles last week at Staples. The Dragons won the battle of offense, outpacing LA 205-186 in total offense and played keep away from the Avenger offense, holding the ball for 30:23. Georgia rallied at home against Philadelphia and came away with a hard-earned one point win at Gwinnett Centre to even their record at 5-5. The Force have to do a better job of hanging on to the football, with two fumbles and an interception in last week’s game. Both teams look evenly matched on paper… then again, I have yet to see a piece of paper make a tackle. The Force goes to New York and slays the Dragons.
Los Angeles Avengers (4-7) at Chicago Rush (8-2). The Rush clinched a playoff spot without even playing a game this week, thanks in part to San Jose beating Arizona last Friday night. That was the easy part. Now comes the hard part. They host an Avenger team that lost for the seventh time in nine games. Teams like LA are dangerous. Los Angeles was held to 186 yards in total offense in their loss to New York and can’t afford to have a bad game this week. I don’t see LA winning this one. Going with Chicago.
Idle: New Orleans