5. Washington Valor
Washington has played much better over the last two weeks, but it’s too little, too late. They (have been eliminated from playoff contention/are hanging by a thread and must win Friday’s game against Baltimore to clinch a playoff spot). Not only that, but they were still the team that lost 10 in a row after winning their first game. That’s the main reason they remain at the bottom of our list.
4. Baltimore Brigade
Just a couple days ago, the Brigade were anticipated as the third seed in the AFL playoffs. Now, they’re just a loss next weekend away from being the lone team out of the playoffs altogether. They have played very poorly the last two weeks, scoring season lows in both of their last two games. Shane Carden could also be gone for the year as he left their last game in the second quarter with injury. If he is gone, the Brigade are in trouble moving forward.
3. Cleveland Gladiators
The Gladiators may be the last threat to the Soul moving forward. These two franchises have built what has become the biggest rivalry in the AFL. Not only that, but they have given the Soul more trouble than any other teams outside of the Brigade handing them their lone loss. Should these teams meet in the playoff matchup on Aug. 12, Soul fans should be concerned.
2. Tampa Bay Storm
Tampa Bay has made an incredible turnaround. From 2-14 to possibly 11-3, the Storm now have an amazing team behind them. Quarterback Randy Hippeard continues to play like he is the league MVP, wide receiver Joe Hills continues to do Joe Hills things, and the team as a whole is just as good as they come. Still, they’re not better than the top team on our list.
1. Philadelphia Soul
Philadelphia proved they are top dog in this league with their performance against the Brigade yesterday. They played near perfect football on both sides of the ball and never gave in at any point. Barring any catastrophe, the Soul are well on their way to winning ArenaBowl XXX and becoming the first repeat champion since the Arizona Rattlers won three in a row from 2012-2014.