|AFL Playoffs - Semifinals|
|Last 3 Games||0-3||-4.1||0-3||0-3||28.7||14.0||226.7||(5.2)||2.0||48.3||25.7||233.0||(5.9)||2.0|
|Offense (All Games)||44.5||20.8||16.6||30:04||6-13||(2)||22-35||62.7%||246||(7)||41-259||(6.3)||(5.8)|
|Opponents Defensive Avg.||47.3||24.3||18||30:26||7-20||(3)||21-34||63.2%||244||(7.2)||41-264||(6.5)||(5.6)|
|Offense Road Games||41.9||18.9||15.3||27:57||5-7||(1.4)||22-35||62.9%||241||(6.8)||41-248||(6.1)||(5.9)|
|Defense (All Games)||53.9||29.4||18.9||29:50||8-26||(3.5)||21-32||64.4%||237||(7.4)||40-264||(6.6)||(4.9)|
|Opponents Offensive Avg.||49.8||26.7||18.5||30:04||7-23||(3.3)||21-33||63.7%||241||(7.3)||40-264||(6.6)||(5.3)|
|Defense Road Games||52.9||27.4||19.3||31:51||8-25||(3.2)||22-34||63.9%||240||(7)||42-265||(6.3)||(5)|
|Last 3 Games||3-0||+2||2-0||1-2||59.7||32.0||280.7||(7.9)||1.0||30.0||16.3||244.0||(5.8)||3.0|
|Offense (All Games)||58.4||30.9||17.4||27:32||8-20||(2.6)||18-28||65.3%||236||(8.5)||36-257||(7.2)||(4.4)|
|Opponents Defensive Avg.||50.8||26.3||18.4||29:23||7-20||(2.9)||21-33||64.7%||242||(7.4)||40-263||(6.6)||(5.2)|
|Offense Home Games||60.6||28.9||16.4||27:20||7-19||(2.8)||19-27||70.3%||246||(9)||34-265||(7.8)||(4.4)|
|Defense (All Games)||42.1||22.4||17.1||33:33||6-24||(4)||21-36||59.4%||246||(6.8)||42-270||(6.4)||(6.4)|
|Opponents Offensive Avg.||46.5||23.7||18.4||31:51||7-21||(3.1)||22-35||63.3%||246||(7.1)||42-267||(6.4)||(5.7)|
|Defense Home Games||42.1||21.9||17.7||32:40||5-17||(3.4)||23-37||61.9%||267||(7.3)||42-284||(6.8)||(6.7)|
|Average power rating of opponents played: BALTIMORE 47, PHILADELPHIA 40.7|
|8/12/2017||@ PHILADELPHIA|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|8/12/2017||BALTIMORE|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|BALTIMORE: It would be fair to look at the Baltimore Brigade as the little brothers of the Washington Valor. They're Ted Leonsis' second team in the Arena Football League, and they got off to a much later start in the process than the Valor did. However, Omarr Smith has assembled quite a talented bunch, and if the Brigade have found a gem in Shane Carden at the quarterback position, this could end up being the surprise team in the AFL in 2017.
It's obvious to point the finger at the quarterback spot for the Brigade. Whereas the other four presumptive starting quarterbacks in the AFL are true veterans of the game , Carden is a rookie and is going to be tasked with leading this offense right out of the chute.
Baltimore's receivers aren't the biggest in the AFL, but it does have one of the true standouts of the League in Reggie Gray. Gray was, at times, a little lost in Jacksonville's crowded offense last season, but he should be the showcase receiver on this team this year, and it wouldn't be surprising if he ended up leading the League in many receiving categories by the time this campaign is said and done.
Keep an eye on the offensive line for the Brigade as well. They only have two players with any AFL experience up front, though do note that Rory Nixon played for Smith last season in LA and was a threat as a receiver and a runner.
In many respects, this Baltimore offense looks awfully similar to the one that Smith had with the KISS, and he was able to develop both Nathan Stanley and Pete Thomas with the help of a veteran receiver, in that case, Donovan Morgan.
Baltimore is going to win its games on the defensive side this year. Calvin Fance, Dexter Davis, K.C. Obi and Khreem Smith are all pass rushers with a great attitude, and it wouldn't be shocking if this club ended up leading the AFL in sacks as a result.
Keep an eye on Varmah Sonie and Brandon Stephens in the secondary as well. These two men helped make Orlando's defense last season, and Sonie in particular is incredibly special with his 47 PBUs and 19 INTs in his three-year career.
|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: 8/20/2017 12:25:02 PM EST|