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This week’s picks are sponsored by Sin Wagon Dog Food. Your dog will fly away on a Sin Wagon!
Two weeks ago: 2-0; Season: 92-51.
And then there were two. The last two teams standing in what I consider to be a very exciting AFL season stand on the mountain top, one wanting to push the other over the edge.
Philadelphia Soul makes its first venture into the Arena Bowl Championship Game after beating the Cleveland Gladiators at home two weeks ago. The Soul held the Gladiators to 14 second half points to seal the win and got three turnovers in the process. What may hurt them is penalties, in the sense that they were flagged seven times for 42 yards. Including the playoffs, the Soul is now 45-41 after their first two seasons were below .500. Brent Munsey has found the right buttons to push and the Soul ride a 7-game win streak into Sunday’s Arena Bowl XXII.
The San Jose SaberCats have been to the big game before, so this is not their first time in the rodeo. The hunter became the hunted after they defeated Columbus in last year’s Arena Bowl and look to do the same
San Jose brings three AFL titles (2002, 2004, 2007) to the party as well as nine consecutive winning seasons after falling to 6-8 in 1999. The SaberCats looked like the champs they were with an impressive 81-55 win over Grand Rapids at home to punch their ticket into the party in the Big Easy, taking five turnovers in the process. The win total was the second highest in the history of the AFL Playoffs.
The numbers one and ten leaders in passing (Philadelphia’s Matt D’Orazio and San Jose’s Mark Grieb) meet in the Big Easy. San Jose will be looking to avenge a week seven loss to the Soul at home.
Both qb’s are coming off pretty good games. Grieb finished the contest with a 24-of-30 passes for 255 yards and eight touchdowns day. D’Orazio completed 17-of-25 passes for 184 yards and eight touchdowns with no interceptions.
Philly and San Jose has had time to rest and regroup for what could be a game for the ages. A battle of two teams that won their respective divisions. The clashing of two titans in New Orleans. It will be one of the best Arena Bowls ever played. Period. Both teams have to play smart football and keep the mistakes (mental and physical) down to the barest of minimum.
Only one will survive. That winner is…. San Jose by 6. It’s going to be a tight game. It’ll be a good game, too.
I really enjoyed picking these games this season. The NFL is in camp now, our neighbors to the North are already into their season and college ball is right around the corner. It’s been fun.
Now sit back and watch Arena Bowl XXII.