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Friday, June 27, 2008

Arena Football: Wild Card Playoff Matchups/Predictions

Later tonight is the first game of the 2008 Arena Football League Playoffs. The sixth ranked New York Dragons will attempt to knock off the 12-4 Dallas Desperados. The game will kick-off at 7:30 PM ET on ESPN. Be sure to tune in.

Here is a look at all four of the Wild Card matchups this weekend, along with the Divisional Round matchups (according to my Wild Card picks).

Friday June 27th
6 New York Dragons @ 3 Dallas Desperados

Can the Dragons follow Eli Manning's road in New York, and upset the favorites in Dolezel, and the Desperados? I think the answer is a plain and simple, NO. Dolezel knows how this league works, and doesn't make many mistakes. He knows how to get the job done, unlike NY's Aaron Garcia, who failed to lead New York to the playoffs the past two years. New York's offense was 15th in total offense throughout the regular season, and remember that the AFL had just 17 teams this season. Dolezel leads Dallas to big win, 64-48.

Saturday June 29th
5 Colorado Crush @ 4 Utah Blaze

Ah, yes...the first upset of the postseason. Colorado QB John Dutton has had a solid season under center, and I think he will lead Colorado to a first-round win over the Blaze despite great QB play during the regular season. Utah's offense, which is led by Joe Germaine, was the second-highest scoring offense in the entire Arena-League this year, behind only the number two team in the Western Conference, the Georgia Force. But, I'm feeling an upset. Dutton passed for 4,548 yards this season, which was fifth best in the League. Dutton has the leadership skills, and the ring (2005) to back up my prediction. Colorado over Utah, 62-55.

Monday June 30th
5 Orlando Predators @ 4 Cleveland Gladiators

In their first season in Cleveland, the Gladiators went 9-7, good enough for third place in the Eastern Division of the National Conference. Cleveland's QB Raymond Philyaw, former Chicago Rush, and Kansas City Brigade QB, threw for 83 TD's, and 10 INT's this season, and has done a nice job leading this team, ranked seventh in total offense. Cleveland was also second in the league in rushing with 497 yards on the ground, and a 3.2 YPC. No upset here, I believe the Gladiators will finally win a postseason game, which will be the first since 1998, when they were known as the New Jersey Red Dogs (they went 8-6, and second place in the Eastern Division). Cleveland over Orlando, 52-48.

6 Grand Rapids Rampage @ 3 Arizona Rattlers

For a second straight season, the Rattlers finish in second place, going 8-8. But, this year was different, Arizona earned the third seed in the Western Conference. But, I'm not too sure Arizona will have much success, despite the Grand Rapids 6-10 regular season record. The Rampage are on a three-game win streak, and QB James McPherson is on a hot streak. McPherson threw for 80 TD passes, and just 16 INT's with a 118.7 QB Rating in 14 games this season. McPherson's hot streak, and the fact that Arizona has a situation at the QB position leads me to believe that the Rampage will pull off the upset. GR 51, ARI 42.

Divisional Matchups:

American Conference
6 Grand Rapids Rampage @ 1 Chicago Rush
5 Colorado Crush @ 2 San Jose Sabercats

National Conference
4 Cleveland Gladiators @ 1 Philadelphia Soul
3 Dallas Desperados @ 2 Georgia Force

4 comments:

JustinY said...

Philly and Dallas...how classic

Dumont J. Walker III said...

There's only one Philly vs. Dallas match up that matters, and that's because there is only one America's team

falcon02520 said...

I think "America's Team" has become the New England Patriots. Every where you turn there is a Partiots fan. I wonder why...

Ben Heck said...

Well, so much for the Philly/Dallas classic matchup. New York, led by Aaron Garcia, upset the Desperados 77-63. Anyone else think the Desperados are looking like the Dallas Mavericks??? In terms of having a great regular season but not being able to get it done in the postseason. Both teams have been doing that for several consecutive seasons.

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