The Tampa Bay Storm will host the Cleveland Gladiators in the second semifinal of the 2017 Arena Football League playoffs on Monday night. The winner will face the Philadelphia Soul in ArenaBowl XXX on Saturday, Aug. 26.
Going into the playoffs, this was expected to be the more exciting semifinal matchup. No one expected Baltimore to give Philadelphia the challenge that they did in the firsts semifinal on Saturday. Cleveland has got better and better as each week has gone on. They’ve also shown they could pull off an upset on the Storm.
In their first meeting in Week 3, Cleveland held a 27-7 lead, but could not hang on as Tampa surged back for a victory. Later on in the season, Cleveland held a 34-13 lead but once more, however, were unable to hold on to it. They did come out with the victory over Tampa in this one.
In this matchup, there’s more on the line than there was in any matchup for these teams all season. How possible is it Cleveland upsets the Storm to advance to ArenaBowl XXX?
Arvell Nelson has been an amazing quarterback for Cleveland, throwing for 3,084 yards and 61 touchdowns. Has has also been a threat on the ground, rushing for 221 yards and 12 touchdowns, both of which are second in the league.
He’s also got a big target back as Quentin Sims has been activated off the injured reserve list. Tampa’s defense will have a hard time containing this high-powered offense.
On the other side of the ball, Cleveland’s defense has also been a force to be reckoned with. If the Storm think they will cakewalk all over the defense, they’ve got another thing coming.
Some may even question if this would be considered an upset should Cleveland win. It wouldn’t necessarily be an upset except for the fact that the Gladiators are the three seed and the Storm are the two seed. Nonetheless, we’re in for an exciting football game Monday night.