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ArenaFan Staff Makes ArenaBowl XXIX Picks

Adam Markowitz
Friday August 26, 2016

As has become an annual tradition at ArenaFan, our staff has made its selections for who we all think will win ArenaBowl XXIX between the Arizona Rattlers and the Philadelphia Soul.

Harrison Brown (Soul Beat Writer) - Offensive line play and the three-step style offense has been the pride and joy of the Soul since 2012. This season, they have the best offensive line in team history. Dan Raudabaugh should be kept upright and if he plays under control and continues to take what the defense gives him, it'll be tough to stop the Soul on offense. Philadelphia Soul

Matt Loeschman (Rattlers Beat Writer) - Arizona is playing its best football of the season at the right time, averaging 82 PPG in the postseason with a 42.5-point average margin of victory. The team is completely healthy and will have a boisterous crowd behind it in Glendale. Soul quarterback Dan Raudabaugh has traditionally struggled on the biggest stage. Philadelphia did manage to take down the Rattlers in the regular season, but Arizona was missing several key players to injury. Once they returned, the Rattlers put 80 points on a tough Philly defense. I expect Nick Davila and his Arizona teammates to be celebrating an AFL-record sixth championship on Friday night. Arizona Rattlers

Connor Akeman (Storm Beat Writer) - The Tampa Bay Storm faithful should enjoy the last couple hours they have boasting about being tied for a league-best five championships, because that all ends Friday night when the Arizona Rattlers win their sixth. I mean, how can you pick against them? Nick Davila and Kevin Guy are an unstoppable tandem. Neither of their two playoff games were even close, and while I see the Soul putting up a solid, physical fight... No dice. Rattlers will pull away late and become one of the greatest teams the league has ever seen raising their fourth Foster Trophy in the past five seasons. Arizona Rattlers

(Editor's note: Connor was set to join us at the ArenaBowl and came down with the flu. From all of us here in Glendale, feel better, kid.)

Jeff Sims (Staff Writer, ArenaBowl XX Expert) - I am going to go against my own better judgement and the glaring obvious. The league NEEDS this game to be competitive, desperately. If Philadelphia (and I believe they will) comes out and hangs with the Rattlers for the first quarter, this will be a highly contested ArenaBowl. Dan Raudabaugh will avoid the early mistakes and will play well. The Soul defense will keep them in the game as well. Arizona's disappointments in home ArenaBowls is past history to not take lightly either. I am gasping as I actually type this, but I pick the Soul in a nailbiter. Philadelphia Soul

Tim Capper (Social Media Manager) - The Rattlers have only one win in the ArenaBowl at home/in state in their history, and lost their last two (ArenaBowl XVIII, XXIV). The last win at home was in 1997 in ArenaBowl XI vs Iowa. For some reason the Rattlers have issues winning the big game at home. The trend will continue with Philadelphia winning their first title ArenaBowl XXII vs. San Jose. Philadelphia Soul

And as far as I'm concerned... I've been consistent all week in which way this one is going. The Rattlers have the best team in the league and is playing at home, and barring something strange happening in the game, I've got no doubt that this is going to be a romp. Nick Davila is going to cement himself as the greatest quarterback to ever play in this league with another solid game with seven or eight touchdowns and probably no picks. Philadelphia is a great team, and in my heart of hearts, I'm biased in rooting for them, but I don't truly believe the Soul have a chance here.

Enjoy ArenaBowl XXIX, ArenaFan fans.

Adam Markowitz is an accountant and a freelance sports writer living in Orlando. As a Florida State graduate with degrees in music and history, the garnet and gold will forever be a part of him, but he bleeds the black and red of the Orlando Predators like none other. Adam has been following the AFL since 1991 and has been at well over 200 games, including 16 ArenaBowls. You can follow Adam on Twitter @AFLGuru.
The opinions expressed in the article above are only those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts, opinions, or official stance of ArenaFan Online or its staff, or the Arena Football League, or any AFL or af2 teams.
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