Arizona Rattlers (11-5) Runner-up in the last two ArenaBowls,
Arizona won its last eight regular-season games. While
quarterback Sherdrick Bonner, an 11-year veteran, is having one
of his best seasons (3,833 passing yards, 77 touchdowns, eight
interceptions), the key to the club's success has been the No.
3-ranked defense, as of May 28, which had allowed 43.8 points per
game during the winning streak.
Colorado Crush (11-5) The second-year team, which is co-owned by
former Denver Broncos great John Elway, won nine more games this
year than in 2003, the best single-season improvement in AFL
history. Receiver Damian Harrell is an Offensive Player of the
Year candidate, ranking third in the league in receiving yards
(1,635) and touchdowns (41) as of May 28. The key to slowing the
Crush will be getting to quarterback John Dutton, who has not
been sacked since Week 6.
Orlando Predators (10-6) After a tragic off-season--coach Fran
Papasedero died in a car accident in July--and a 3-5 start,
Orlando has become one of the most feared teams in the league.
The defense ranked No. 1 against the pass (218.4 yards per game)
and in total yardage (235.1) and scoring (42.6 points per game)
as of May 28. Rookie passer Joe Hamilton adjusted quickly to the
indoor game, leading Orlando to eight wins in nine games since
returning from a knee injury. --Gene Menez