PHILADELPHIA, PA (CBS) — The Philadelphia Soul continue to fight for an Arena Football League playoff berth. They will continue their quest on Monday night as they welcome the Orlando Predators to the Center.
Philadelphia is 7-8 this season. Last time out they snapped a three-game losing streak with a very impressive performance, winning at Iowa, 84-48. The Soul dropped the hammer in the second half after trailing 34-33 at the break.
“First half was kind of typical of how we’ve played all season long,” Soul head coach Clint Dolezel tells KYW Newsradio. “We kind of let teams hang around, didn’t make the play we needed to on 4th downs, didn’t play catch a couple of times and got off the field when we needed too. Second half, pass rush came alive, secondary played well. Just defense as a whole played well and we were pretty steady all night offensively. We scored, I think every time we had the ball. So it was a good night.”
Monday night’s game is critical. Philadelphia is chasing the final American Conference playoff spot. Orlando is also in that mix, along with Tampa Bay. Now the 8-6 Predators and the the 8-7 Storm are also jostling for the South Division title. Whichever team doesn’t win the division, is the one Philadelphia needs to catch.
This will be the second match-up between Philadelphia and Orlando. The Soul won the first, but Dolezel says there’s not a lot you can take out of that game because of how long ago it was. Philadelphia beat Orlando, 69-56, down in Florida on April 10th.
“They’ve got a lot of new faces, we’ve got a lot of new faces out there,” Dolezel says. “It’s basically watching what they’ve done the last couple of weeks and they’re playing a lot better right now. They’ve got kind of a veteran secondary over there. They are playing well together, playing a lot of zone. The pass rush is pretty steady by them and they’ve got a quarterback that runs around. That’s the scary part about playing (Orlando QB Bernard) Morris, he can definitely beat you with his legs as well as his arm.”
After a brutal start to the season here in 2014 with four straight on the road to kick off the season, the schedule is much more in the Soul’s favor down the stretch. They have a couple of extra days to prepare for Monday night’s game and then they have a bye week coming out of the game.
“We’ve just got to hold serve, that’s how we’re looking at it,” Dolezel says. “We feel like if we win our last three games then we’ll be in the playoffs. Orlando is our next big game and then after that San Jose. So each one will be the biggest game of the season for us from here on out.”
Philadelphia and Orlando get underway at 8:00pm on Monday night.