9th Man Nation


Courtesy: Philadelphia Soul Media Relations

Philadelphia (-6, 87.5) @ Washington | 7 p.m. ET Thursday

The battle of the backups goes down in our nation’s capital this weekend, as the Soul and Valor meet. It has been a shocking slide for Philadelphia, as it went from chasing a third consecutive Arena Bowl title to just trying to keep it together after losing three straight contests. The problem for Ron Jaworski’s team has been on the offensive side of the ball, which will happen when you lose your All-Arena quarterback. But the issues started weeks prior to Dan Raudubaugh’s injury when the Soul was held to 21 points in a loss to Baltimore. During the three-game slide, turnovers have really hampered Philly, and the team has committed seven of them over this stretch of futility. Rookie signal-caller Greg McGhee has the skill set to lead a consistent attack, and I expect an improvement this week against Washington.

As for the Valor, I was really disappointed in its performance last week against Albany. Sure, the Empire is probably the best defensive team in the AFL, and will challenge Baltimore for the Arena Bowl title, but the offensive explosion that came last week due to a quarterback change was not there. There are real issues at quarterback, and both Warren Smith and Shane Austin saw playing time as the Valor looked for a spark. Washington already has the shakiest defense in the league, and it is now paired with an anemic offense that bettors shouldn’t back with their hard-earned money.

It is the lesser of two evils for this contest, and give me the team with championship experience, and one of the better coaches ever in Clint Dolezel. Laying six points is not ideal with a team on its backup quarterback on the road, but I wouldn’t touch the Valor at this point. As far as this total is concerned, give me the Under. The Valor will struggle to score points this week, and we shouldn’t expect anything different than what we’ve seen from Washington this season.

PICK: Philadelphia, Under

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