Arena Football League: Week 7 Preview

by Corey Mansfield

Philadelphia Soul (3-2) @ Baltimore Brigade (4-1), May 25, 2018, 7pm, Royal Farms Arena

The third meeting of these two teams will be much different than the first two. The biggest difference is that Philadelphia will not have star quarterback Dan Raudabaugh who was placed on Injured Reserve. Raudabaugh was not only the unquestioned leader of the team but is also one of the greatest quarterbacks in league history. The Soul will turn to Greg McGhee to fill the void left by Raudabaugh. McGhee a rookie out of Howard University came into last week's game against the Empire and completed 6-of-9 passes for 48 yards and 2 touchdowns in a 41-36 loss.

Wayne Tribue and the Soul offensive line will need to protect Greg McGhee (photo credit: Corey Mansfield
The Brigade on the other hand narrowly escaped the "new look" Washington Valor 42-41 last week. Randy Hippeard proved why he is one of the premier quarterbacks in the league, keeping his cool under pressure, and not getting rattled when his team was losing early. Hippeard finished the game 22-of-27 for 213 yards and 4 touchdowns.

Deciding Factors:

Philadelphia Soul - Don't change the offense because Dan Raudabaugh is hurt. Keep the offense the aggressive and allow your play makers to make plays. Don't get conservative against the high-powered offense of the Brigade.

Baltimore Brigade - Bring pressure on the Greg McGhee and make him make quick decisions. Don't allow him to settle in.

Washington Valor (0-5) @ Albany Empire (3-2), May 26, 2018, 6pm, Times Union Center

This will be the third meeting in four weeks for these two teams and like the Philadelphia/Baltimore matchup it will be much different. 

Last week, the Washington Valor looked energized under new head coach Benji McDowell and quarterback Shane Austin even though they lost a heartbreaker to Baltimore 42-41. Shane Austin was able to get a once anemic offense going by utilizing receiver Reggie Gray. Gray who finished with 12 catches for a 171 yards and 4 touchdowns.

Could Reggie Gray have another monster game this week? (photo credit: Corey Mansfield
The Empire on the other hand extended their winning streak to three games behind a 41-36 victory over the Philadelphia Soul last Saturday night. The offense of the Empire was explosive again behind quarterback Tommy Grady and receivers Malachi Jones and Joe Hills. However, the Empire defense was the star of the game totaling two interceptions (Terence Moore, Varmah Sonie), two forced fumbles (Nick Seither, Joe Sykes), and two sacks by Nick Seither.

Deciding Factors: 

Washington Valor: Dink and Dunk and then take your shots down field. The Valor had success last week against Brigade with short passes which set up the deep ball. The Empire have been susceptible to the deep ball at points this season. Reggie Gray could have another monster game. 

Albany Empire: Don't allow Shane Austin to make plays with his legs. Shane Austin has 37 rushing touchdowns in his career including two last week. The Empire need to stay disciplined in their pass rush not allowing Austin to slip out and make a big run.

Also for the Empire, Don't get complacent, business as usual. The Empire have defeated the Valor twice already this season but it's a much different team now. Forget the two previous games and focus on the game at hand. Don't let this be a "trap game" leading into your two consecutive meetings with Baltimore at home.

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