Friday, July 13, 2007

You Arena Football Conferece Championships Preview

Yep - it's that slow a day here at TSE. JTBI is job-hunting and Seaward, well, God alone knows what he's doing. Me? I'm just trying to get to 5pm so I can go home. So in order to kill some time, I present your AFL Conference Championship Preview.

American Conference

Not surprisingly, since my last post on the AFL, popularity for the league has skyrocketed.* People from all corners of the world are clamoring to see what will happen during this week's conference finals and I am chief among them. The American Conference seems to have the better match up on paper, but as the wise man once said: "games aren't played on paper, they're played inside televisions".

*(probably not, I can't back that up)

The Chicago Rush have been one of the league's best teams throughout this unpredictable AFL season, finishing with three wins to catapult them into 2nd overall in the conference. The quick and able WR Bobby Sippio has been the lynch pin in the Chicago offense and we shouldn't look for that to stop this week. In last week's 52-20 drubbing of the Los Angeles Avengers (how do you score only 20 in an AFL game?) he was all over the offensive side of the field, taking snaps at Quarterback from time-to-time but usually sitting pretty in his role as WR #1 for QB Matt D'Orazio. He's the big play guy for Rush and if he has a strong game, so should Chicago.

Standing in their way, of course, are the San Jose Sabrecats, the conference's #1 seed, who haven't lost a game since the middle of April. The win streak rests firmly on the back of the Sabercat D, which gave up a whopping 400+ yards to the Colorado Crush last week. This wasn't the norm for the 'cats, who gave up 67 points last week, which was the most they've given up at home, where they are undefeated, or on the road all year. If the defense shores up, and and QB Matt Grieb can continue to lead the offense at the 72% season passing clip, then this should be a very close, if not low-scoring game.

San Jose has more weapons, but Defense wins championships. Chicago 51-47.

National Conference

Coming into this game, the [my] Columbus Destroyers are the talk of the Arena Football world, stunning, in consecutive weeks, the Tampa Bay Storm in Tampa and the #1 seed Dallas Desperado's IN big-D. Pundits are calling Columbus one of the more unexpected, nigh stunning teams in AFL playoff history. They will look to QB Matt Nagy to continue the run to ArenaBowl XXI in New Orleans.

They run, headlong this time, into the Georgia Force, who are easily the National Conference's most talented team. Defensively, no one hits harder, as has been the case all season and if Georgia can plant Nagy into the turf early and often, the budding star might lose enough of his shine to make mistakes. Combine that with Georgia's quick-strike offense and it could be a-lot-to-a-little very early into the game.

How can Columbus hope to stack up to the now 15-2 Georgia Force? They'll need some of the same luck that got them there in the first place: luck. They've had it on their side in the first two games and everyone in Columbus is banking on it again. Nagy has been stellar this year and his 75-15 TD-INt ratio must be on display. If WR Damien Groce can elude the Force secondary and get in a few scores early, Columbus is as good as anyone in the second half, outscoring Dallas 24-0 to open the third quarter last week.

Like I said, I'm riding this Columbus bandwagon all the way to ArenaBowl XXI. They beat the Force once before this year and I don't think lady luck has stopped singing for the Destroyers yet. Columbus will humble Georgia 62-48.

Your thoughts and predictions in the comments.

No comments: