Arena Football League: Week 13 Preview

by Corey Mansfield

Baltimore Brigade (7-4) at Washington Valor (1-10), July 7, 2018, 3pm, Capital One Arena

This game means a lot more for Baltimore than Washington. Baltimore needs a win to clinch at least the second seed in the playoffs, allowing them to have the choice of which venue they want to play at first in the opening round. It's no secret that Washington has had a dreadful season. However, the playoffs are a chance for them turn their season around and play spoiler. It's important that they stay fresh this week and not get any of their key players hurt as they head into the playoffs (The same could also be said for Baltimore).

Omarr Smith wants to finish the regular season with a win (photo credit: Corey Mansfield) 
It will be interesting to see how both teams play this game. Are they going to be super-aggressive or more conservative knowing the playoffs are right around the corner?

Deciding Factor: Like almost every week, the two quarterbacks are the deciding factors in this game. Randy Hippeard is one of the best in the league at spreading the ball around to all his receivers which keeps defenses guessing. You can almost pencil him in every week for five touchdowns with over 200 yards passing.

Arvell Nelson, on-the-other-hand, has done a nice job in his limited time with the Valor. However, he's been turnover prone which has hurt the Valor in a few games this season. He'll need to clean that up if Washington hopes to beat the Brigade.

Philadelphia Soul (7-4) at Albany Empire (7-4), July 7, 2018, 6pm, Times Union Center

The winner of this game will clinch the #1 seed for the AFL playoffs, insuring they get the Washington Valor in the first round. The loser will obviously have a much tougher task, playing Baltimore in the first round.

These two teams met in a Week 10 shootout in which the the Soul won 75-74, after Shane Austin hit Darius Prince for a game-tying touchdown as time expired. The Adrian Trevino PAT sealed the comeback victory for the Soul.



In that game both quarterbacks, Tommy Grady and Shane Austin, each threw 10 touchdown passes.

Malachi Jones hauled in five of Grady's touchdown passes while Aaron Wascha torched the Albany secondary for seven touchdowns.  Both receivers have emerged as two of the rising stars in the AFL.

Dan Raudabaugh steps back into his starting job for the Soul. The former league MVP returned from injury last week and threw for 7 touchdowns in the win against Baltimore. Raudabaugh was hurt against Albany in Week 6. During that game he threw two interceptions.

Deciding Factor: Both teams have explosive playmakers at receiver. Which ever secondary plays better is going to win this game. End of story.

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