Arena Football League: Week 11 Preview

by Corey Mansfield

Philadelphia Soul (5-4) at Washington Valor (1-8),  June 22, 2018, 7pm Capital One Arena 

This matchup features two teams coming off two totally different performances in week 10. The Philadelphia Soul defeated the Albany Empire when Shane Austin hit Darius Prince in the back of the endzone as time expired to tie the game (PAT won it) and eventually give Philadelphia a 75-74 victory. The Washington Valor on-the-other-hand ran into the Baltimore Brigade and were routed 72-42. 

Can Shane Austin repeat his 10 touchdown performance against the Valor this week? (photo credit: Mike Pelletier)
This is the fourth meeting of these two teams on the season.  The last meeting resulted in the Valor's first and only win of the season 49-48 in week 9. 

It's been interesting season for both of these teams. Both lost their starting quarterbacks to injuries early in the season and had speed bumps finding quarterbacks, before landing the guy they hope can lead them to the Arena Bowl. 

Washington has been sparked by Arvell Nelson who replaced Shane Austin as the quarterback in Washington. Shane Austin is now the starting quarterback in Philadelphia.  It's funny how those things work out. 

Since joining the Valor, Nelson has completed 58-of-112 passes for 782 yards and 15 touchdowns in three games. Austin on-the-other-hand has thrown for 639 yards and 16 touchdowns (including 10 touchdowns last week against Albany) in only two games for the Soul. 

If I'm a betting man, I'd say this game is going to be shootout.

Deciding Factor: This could be a high scoring game and both teams will look to sling it around the field. Both secondaries will need to play solid games if they hope to win. The Valor can not allow Aaron Wascha to get open and have big game like he did last week against Albany. 


Albany Empire (5-4) at Baltimore Brigade (7-2),  June 23, 2018, 7:30 pm, Royal Farms Arena

Both teams have gone in two totally different directions after the Empire defeated the Brigade in Week 8 to take over first place in the Arena Football league...

The Empire lost two consecutive games in the closing moments of each game and dropped out of first place. The Brigade defeated the Empire one of those thrillers and then last week dismantled the Washington Valor 72-42 to move back into sole possession of first place.



It's safe to say that the there is no love lost between these two teams as they meet for the third time in four weeks. 

Deciding Factor: The Empire need to play mistake free football. Their two losses to the Brigade this season were a result of two mistakes. In week 3, a fumbled quarterback-center exchange. In week 9 an interception as a result of a miscommunication between Malachi Jones and Tommy Grady. You can't continue to make mistakes like that if you want to win the Arena Bowl. 

Joe Powell and the Brigade secondary will need to play physical with the Empire receivers. Malachi Jones and Joe Hills are having their way with secondaries so the Brigade will need to step up their game. 

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