ArenaFan staff suggests Sharks, SaberCats a close call in ArenaBowl XXVIII
It took five months to get here, but the day has finally come. ArenaBowl XXVIII will kick off at 7:00 p.m. ET at Stockton Arena between the San Jose SaberCats and the Jacksonville Sharks. Who is going to win the biggest game of the year? Our ArenaFan staff weighs in with its selections.
Matt Loeschman, Rattlers Beat Writer - San Jose
I know the Sharks seem to be peaking at the right time, but I think the SaberCats defense will be too much for Jacksonville to handle. The Arizona Rattlers showed the league a blueprint on how to beat San Jose, but Tommy Grady (no disrespect intended) is no Nick Davila in the playoffs. The SaberCats have been the AFL's best team all year even if, in my opinion, they should have lost last week.
Jonathan Willis, SaberCats Guest Writer - San Jose
San Jose: Jacksonville has been on two pretty long road trips back to back. This game is going to be on five days rest after coming back from Philly. Now they're going cross-country back-to-back weeks. That usually doesn't bode well.
Harrison Brown, Soul Beat Writer - Jacksonville
The best team on paper meets the best team on the field. Jacksonville's defensive line was a threat all year with Joe Sykes but didn't miss a beat without him in the American Conference Championship. The Sharks will have three sacks, and allow just one, and walk away as the 28th champion of the Arena Football League.
Connor Akeman, Storm Beat Writer - Jacksonville
The Sharks were the preseason favorite to win it all, but soon became the most disappointing team after a 1-5 start. However, Jacksonville has completely turned it around and put together two very impressive playoff performances on the road. One could argue the Sharks dominated both of those games, despite the close finishes. Keep an eye on my X-factor, Michael Lindsey for the Sharks, who may leave with a championship ring after joining the team just two weeks ago.
Tim Capper, Social Media Director - San Jose
The SaberCats have been the most consistent team this year unlike Jacksonville with its Jekyll and Hyde play on the field. The Sharks defense won't be as strong with the all-time sack leader, Joe Sykes not in the lineup. I think it's going to hurt Jacksonville more than it's going to hurt San Jose. I think the return game with Reggie Gray will make a big impact on returns, too.
Jeff Sims, ArenaFan Contributor - Jacksonville
With two of the top teams and the level of talent in this game (not taking anything away from last week's game as they were two spectacular games as well), this should be an ArenaBowl representative of the REAL Arena Football League product. With that said, I like Jacksonville in this game as that defensive line is just nasty and should be able to get after Erik Meyer. If they can get 1-2 stops and Tommy Grady can be Tommy Gray, the Sharks take ArenaBowl XXVIII.
And lastly, as far as my pick? You can read all of my analysis on our ArenaFan Travel Blog. But since I'm the tiebreaking vote, I'm going to make a flip-flop from where I've been all season long with the Sharks and say that the better of the two teams, San Jose, will end up winning the ArenaBowl.
As of 10:00 AM Pacific, our front page poll on ArenaFan has 62.3 percent of the fans picking San Jose to win the ArenaBowl.
Stay tuned to ArenaFan.com all game long for live coverage of the game, and join us in the ArenaFan chat room to talk about the game live with all of our great fans. ArenaFan will have post-game coverage as well beginning immediately after the game.