Baltimore takes on Philadelphia to open 2017 AFL Playoffs
With 18 weeks of regular season play in the books, the 2017 AFL Playoffs are set to begin this weekend. The 4-seed Brigade take on the defending-champion, 1-seed
Philadelphia Soul, in the 2017 AFL Playoffs: Semifinal Round with kickoff set for 4 p.m. on Saturday, August 12 at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. The winner will advance to ArenaBowl XXX and take on the winner of the other semifinal matchup: 2-seed Tampa Bay vs. 3-seed Cleveland. The Brigade are the first expansion franchise to make the playoffs in their inaugural season since the Portland Thunder in 2014 and will look to become the first expansion franchise to win a playoff game since the Spokane Shock in 2010.
BRIGADE PLAYER TO WATCH:
WR REGGIE GRAY– Gray provides the spark for the Brigade offense, leading the team in receptions (69) and receiving touchdowns (15) despite missing four games due to injury. Gray scored a crucial fourth quarter touchdown in Baltimore’s Week 14 win over the Soul, giving the Brigade a two-score lead with just under seven minutes remaining.
SOUL PLAYER TO WATCH:
QB DAN RAUDABAUGH– Raudabaugh leads the way for the Soul offense, starting all 14 games this season on his way to 82 touchdown passes and 226.8 passing yards per game, setting the pace for a Soul offense that leads the league in points per game (58.2). Raudabaugh has thrown for 23 touchdowns in four games against the Brigade this season.
MATCHUP TO WATCH:
BRIGADE DB VARMAH SONIE VS. SOUL WR DARIUS REYNOLDS – DB Varmah Sonie leads the way for the Brigade on the defensive side of the ball, ranking second in the league in total tackles (72.5). Sonie will look to repeat what was his best performance of the season – 10 tackles, four pass break-ups, two interceptions and a defensive touchdown last weekend against the Valor. WR Darius Reynolds provides the big play threat for the Soul, ranking second in the league in yards per reception (15.1) and total receiving yards (1,272).