|Arena Bowl XXX|
|Last 3 Games||2-1||+1||2-0||1-2||52.7||24.3||279.3||(7.2)||1.0||42.3||24.0||253.0||(6.6)||2.3|
|Offense (All Games)||52.2||26.1||19.3||30:53||5-16||(3.1)||24-37||66.2%||261||(7.1)||42-277||(6.6)||(5.3)|
|Opponents Defensive Avg.||50.3||25.9||18.1||30:14||7-20||(3)||21-34||63.4%||244||(7.2)||41-264||(6.5)||(5.3)|
|Offense Road Games||46.6||24.3||18.4||30:42||5-16||(3.5)||23-36||64.4%||243||(6.7)||41-259||(6.3)||(5.6)|
|Defense (All Games)||48.1||24.1||19.1||29:01||7-18||(2.6)||22-33||66.8%||259||(8)||40-277||(7)||(5.8)|
|Opponents Offensive Avg.||48.5||25.3||18.3||30:15||7-23||(3.1)||21-33||63.1%||244||(7.4)||40-267||(6.6)||(5.5)|
|Defense Road Games||46.9||21.7||17.7||29:18||7-15||(2.1)||21-31||66.2%||245||(7.8)||38-260||(6.8)||(5.5)|
|Last 3 Games||3-0||+2||1-1||1-2||60.0||32.0||279.0||(7.7)||1.0||34.3||13.7||272.0||(6.7)||2.0|
|Offense (All Games)||59.1||31.1||17.5||27:33||8-20||(2.6)||18-28||65.3%||242||(8.6)||36-262||(7.3)||(4.4)|
|Opponents Defensive Avg.||51.9||26.8||18.6||29:24||7-20||(2.9)||21-33||64.9%||246||(7.4)||40-266||(6.6)||(5.1)|
|Offense Home Games||61.6||29.5||16.9||27:24||6-18||(2.9)||20-28||69.6%||256||(9)||35-274||(7.9)||(4.5)|
|Defense (All Games)||42.9||22.2||17.2||33:27||6-22||(3.7)||21-36||59.7%||251||(7)||42-273||(6.6)||(6.4)|
|Opponents Offensive Avg.||47.1||23.7||18.4||31:48||7-20||(3)||22-35||63.4%||249||(7.2)||42-269||(6.5)||(5.7)|
|Defense Home Games||43.6||21.6||17.7||32:35||5-15||(3)||22-36||62.1%||274||(7.6)||41-289||(7)||(6.6)|
|Average power rating of opponents played: TAMPA BAY 43.1, PHILADELPHIA 40.6|
|8/26/2017||@ PHILADELPHIA|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|8/26/2017||TAMPA BAY|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|TAMPA BAY: The history of the Tampa Bay Storm is obviously incredibly proud. Since moving to the Sunshine State, the Storm have amassed 215 regular season victories, more than the other four teams in the Arena Football League in their histories combined. The 2016 season though, was frustrating for sure. The Storm went just 2-14, their worst in franchise history. They've got a fresh start in 2017 with Ron James leading the charge, and there is optimism for a potential return to prominence.
When you win just two games in a season, it's easy to clean house. The Storm had some of the worst quarterback play in the League in 2016, and one of their first major acquisitions of the new season was to bring back Randy Hippeard. Hippeard began his AFL career with the Storm in 2013 and 2014, throwing 117 touchdowns against 27 INTs. He surfaced in Orlando over the course of the last two seasons and became one of the most efficient quarterbacks in the League, posting QB ratings of 133.5 and 121.3.
Joining Hippeard from Orlando are Lamark Brown, Justin McCray and one of the best kickers in the history of the AFL, Mark Lewis.
The club has also brought back Joe Hills and Michael Lindsey, both of whom originally cut their teeth in Tampa before departing for other clubs.
The Jason Boltus/Adam Kennedy/Jonathan Bane quarterback triumvirate from last season has been disassembled, but it isn't just the pivot spot that has turned over. The Storm have essentially dismantled their offense, losing Phillip Barnett to Cleveland and one of the all-time great receivers the League has ever had, T.T. Toliver to Washington.
Jimmy Gordon, one of just two members of the Tampa Bay roster last season who amassed even one sack, was traded to the Valor at the start of the offseason.
Kendrick Ings was one of the standout rookies of the 2015 season. He only played in five regular season games with the Storm last season, but he was big against Philadelphia in the first round of the playoffs, amassing six catches for 115 yards and two touchdowns. Ings is a speedster and an excellent kick returner, and the hope is that he can join forces with Hills and Lindsey to make one of the best wide receiver trios in the AFL.
Cortez Stubbs, Tampa's leading tackler from a campaign ago, is also back to captain this defense in 2017.
|PHILADELPHIA: There was never a doubt that the Philadelphia Soul were up against a mountain of a challenge in ArenaBowl XXIX. They were the decided underdogs in the game on the road against an Arizona Rattlers team which had dominated in recent years, playing in the championship game five times in six years. Yet no one told the Soul they were supposed to be intimidated or even fallible in the ArenaBowl, and they left Glendale as 56-42 victors. |
The goal of the offseason for any team is to make your roster better, but in the case of the Soul, when you're at the top of the mountain, the goal is to merely replicate the success of the prior year. Not surprisingly, Clint Dolezel has brought back as much of the roster as possible from the 2016 season, and that arguably makes Philadelphia the team to beat in 2017.
Dolezel loves to incorporate his ground game into his offense, and whether it was Derrick Ross, Tommy Taggart or most recently, Jeramie Richardson, the Soul always had one of the top rushers in the League. This year, the fullback spot will be turned over to Mykel Benson, a man largely accepted as one of the best all-around players at the position. Benson has reached double-digits in touchdown rushes in each of his last four seasons, and he'll figure to reach that point again in 2017.
Dan Raudabaugh has maintained his status as one of the elite quarterbacks in the AFL for quite some time, and he'll be the first to tell you a big reason for his success is his offensive line. Though Wayne Tribue is back to anchor that line this season, All-Arena linemen, Adam Smith and Neal Tivis are both gone. Granted, John Martinez was fantastic last season with Portland and Orlando, and he should fit in nicely at one of the guard spots, but if there's a potential bone of contention in a roster that is returning the majority of its roster, it's here along the offensive line.
Seven of the eight starters from last season's defense are back in the saddle, and that's a great thing for a unit that led the league in interceptions with 25. Joe Goosby was initially picked up by Baltimore in the Brigade's expansion draft, but Dolezel couldn't stand to ultimately lose the man he refers to as, "hands down the best Jack Linebacker in the Arena Football League." Within weeks of the expansion draft, the Soul made their move, trading future considerations and a claim order pick to Baltimore to get its All-Arena Jack back.
On the other side of the ball, Raudabaugh is obviously the key piece to the puzzle. He's one of the nine men to ever throw for 600+ touchdowns in AFL history and with good health this season, he will likely become the tenth to throw for 30,000 yards at some point in the next few months.
|Last Updated: 6/22/2018 1:33:18 PM EST|