TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Storm (1-12, 0-6) hosts the Philadelphia Soul (11-3, 3-1) this Saturday, July 16. Fans will be able to catch all of the action as Darek Sharp and Ian Beckles make the call for 1250 AM WHNZ. The game can also be streamed on the Lightning Power Play through the iHeartRadio app. The game will be broadcast on ESPN2. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. ET.
This is the 16th meeting between Tampa Bay and Philadelphia, and the eighth time the Storm has hosted the Soul. Philadelphia leads the overall series 10-6, with the Storm holding a record of 4-3 at home. Philadelphia has outscored the Storm by a total of 174 points in the series.
The Storm will enter the game coming off a short week after suffering a loss to the LA KISS on Monday night. The team entered halftime tied with the KISS at 14 points, but LA would outscore the Storm 24-7 in the second half. The game showed the offensive and defensive lapses that have been frustrating the Storm all season long. This week the team will look for consistency on both sides of the ball.
Look for the team to continue to search for its identity. The team has the ability to go toe-to-toe with the best the League has to offer after defeating the Arizona Rattlers in week 9. That game showed that if the team can play a complete game, it could contend. With only three weeks until the postseason, it is imperative for the Storm to put together complete games.
The complete game begins with the offense and what it can do on the receiving end. Storm wide receiver T.T. Toliver has continued his assault on the record books, surpassing Barry Wagner as the League leader in all-purpose yards versus the KISS. The future hall of famer now has 21,146 all-purpose yards and is also the League leader in career receptions (1,182) and receiving yards (15,495). However, the team cannot rely on Toliver alone. If it wants to succeed it must look for all of its receivers. With a receiving corps. that contains Toliver, Prechae Rodriguez, Kendrick Ings and Phillip Barnett, the Storm has the ability to put up points.
Defensively, the Storm will have to get back to basics. The team had a top-three defense in several categories, reeling off several consecutive weeks with interceptions and sacks. The team will look to get back to this and start wreaking havoc on opposing defenses. The Storm will have to rely on its veteran defensive lineman. With pressure, the defensive backfield will be able to go to work and force some turnovers.
The defense will have its hands full this week when it goes up against one of the League’s top quarterbacks in Dan Raudabaugh, who is in the top-3 of nearly every statistical category. Much of his success can be attributed to a quick release and an offensive line that has yielded just five sacks all season. Raudabaugh’s top target all season has been wide receiver Darius Reynolds who has caught 100 passes for 1,314 yards and 33 touchdowns.
As the Storm searches for its next win, the team will also be looking to put together a complete game. At this time of year, a little momentum could go a long way.