Field set for 2015 playoffs
Sunday August 9, 2015
LAS VEGAS – The field for the 2015 Arena Football League Playoffs is set, with eight teams heading into postseason play.
The No. 1 seed in the National Conference belongs to the Pacific Division champion San Jose SaberCats (17-1), who tied the 2014 Cleveland Gladiators’ record for the most regular season wins in AFL history this year. San Jose will play host to the No. 4-seeded Portland Thunder (5-13), a franchise heading to the playoffs for the second time in as many years. San Jose leads the overall series 6-0; however, this will be the first-ever meeting between the two teams in postseason play. Kickoff for the matchup is set for 11:00 p.m. ET Friday night on ESPN2.
On the other side of the bracket, the East Division champion Philadelphia Soul (15-3), fresh off from tying their best regular season record in franchise history, are set for a rematch with their opponents in Week 20, the Cleveland Gladiators (8-10). This will be the second consecutive season the Soul and Gladiators matchup in the AFL Quarterfinals. Cleveland edged Philadelphia in last season’s opening round thanks to a 36-yard game-winning field goal as time expired. The No. 1 seed in American Conference, Philadelphia has found vindication three times this season, sweeping their division rivals in regular season play. The two squads have each recorded a victory over the other in the playoffs, with the winner of both contests going on to play in the ArenaBowl (Philadelphia in 2008, Cleveland in 2014). Kickoff for the latest meeting is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. ET Saturday on CBS Sports Network.
Also in action on Saturday night, the South Division champion and No. 2 seed in the American Conference, the Orlando Predators (12-6) will match up for a fourth time this year with their intrastate rival, the No. 3 seed Jacksonville Sharks (10-8). The Predators beat the Sharks two-out-of-three times this season, though the two squads are an even 1-1 against each other in playoff games. Jacksonville has hosted Orlando in both previous postseason contests, most recently defeating the Predators en route to their first and only ArenaBowl championship in 2011. Kickoff from the Amway Center in Orlando is set for 7:30 p.m. ET Saturday night on ESPN3.
The three-time defending ArenaBowl champion and winners of five consecutive West Division crowns, the Arizona Rattlers (14-4) will host the wildcard Spokane Shock (7-11) in the AFL Quarterfinals. Arizona, the two-seed in the National Conference, edged the No. 3-seeded Shock two games to one in this year’s three-game regular season series. The Rattlers a 2-1 advantage in postseason play, having last defeated Spokane in the 2013 National Conference Championship Game. This year’s Quarterfinal contest is set for 9:00 p.m. ET Saturday night on ESPN3.
About the AFL
Since its inception in 1987, the Arena Football League has showcased a fast-paced and exciting game to millions of fans in a myriad of markets across the country. The ESPN family of networks and CBS Sports Network will nationally broadcast AFL games each week for the entire 2015 season. This season will also be the first with Scott C. Butera leading the way as Commissioner. The AFL schedule culminates with ArenaBowl XXVIII Saturday, August 29, 2015 at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN.