Impressions from Week Seven of the 2016 AFL Season

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Well, I wanted to watch some AFL games this week. But… I forgot to. Twice. Shows how dedicated of a fan I am, huh? Regardless, the games I would’ve seen were quite the nail-biters. The competition of each game this week was surprisingly apparent, even between the best and the worst team in the league. I wonder if that’s more a compliment to the lesser team or an insult to the better?


Tampa Bay at Orlando

  • Did not watch.

So, apparently, Orlando took notes from the Kardiac Kids back in the ’80s, because they really like playing close games. And against Tampa Bay of all teams? Why is Orlando even giving them the chance?

Jason Boltus, the Storm’s new quarterback, seems to be giving a spark to the Storm that wasn’t present with Jonathan Bane. At least, he’s managed to put more than 30 points on the board. That’s right! Tampa Bay finally surpassed 30 points with this game, with a total of 40! Good job, boys! You’re still 0-6.

The real concern here is Orlando. The regular season doesn’t matter much, sure, but what’s with the random drop in quality? You can’t win an ArenaBowl by struggling against Tampa Bay! After their sure work of Arizona last week, Tampa Bay shouldn’t even be a smidge on Orlando’s radar.

A win is a win, but a disturbing win at that.


Arizona at Philadelphia

  • Did not watch.

I will give Philadelphia credit: after a shaky start to the season, they’ve become the offensive powerhouse they’re capable of. Raudabaugh is playing very well and they even have a stout running game in Jeramie Richardson. They’re a really good team overall, with the defense being able to hold up against most. Including the Rattlers.

The Rattlers, however, have an issue: they’re ravaged by injuries in the defense. Kerry Reed is out for the season and now Arkeith Brown looks to be out for a while, too. The defense on the back-end is weakening, so their defense can’t always keep a shoot-out from happening. This proved to be too much for this game.

It’ll be interesting to see if the Rattlers can recover after two straight losses, right after I predicted they could go undefeated if they wanted to. Right now, I think the Soul might be the best team in the league, just because they’ve been so dominant in the last few weeks. However, they have one loss, while Orlando does not. But Orlando… man, they need to easily win some easy games. That near-loss to Tampa Bay was alarming. Sorry, I shouldn’t be talking about that under here.


Portland at Cleveland

  • Did not watch.

Cleveland is now on a two-game winning streak. Against the Sharks, it was uplifting. Against the Steel? It’s a little suspicious. The Steel were playing former Cleveland starting quarterback Shane Austin for this game, which made them better in some ways, but they still aren’t that good of a team. Kudos to Cleveland, but they almost lost this game in the same way Orlando almost lost to Tampa Bay. Only thing is, Cleveland ain’t Orlando.

I believe if Shane Austin remains in Portland, they’ll win at least two or three games. It’ll likely be against Cleveland, Tampa Bay, or even Jacksonville and Los Angeles, but I believe they have enough ability to squeeze a win out of one of these teams, perhaps even on a few occasions. Perhaps it’s wishful thinking for an 0-6 team being competitive against a lesser team this week, but I sincerely feel they have some shot. I’ll guarantee this, though: it won’t be a pretty win.

Arvell Nelson is playing well enough to keep Cleveland afloat. I can’t say much more than that. He offers a threat with his legs, but he’s not exactly an efficient passer. He has more wins as a starter this season than any other quarterback to start for the team, so I’d probably keep him in there for the sake of continuity. That, and who else are they gonna replace him with? In any case, so long as they have Collin Taylor as a pass-catching threat, they’ll at least be respectable. Certainly more respectable than Portland.

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