|March 23||vs Jacksonville||
|March 30||vs Cleveland||W 69-37|
|April 6||AT Utah||
|April 12||vs San Antonio||L 36-52|
|April 20||AT Orlando||
|April 27||AT Spokane||W 70-62|
|May 4||vs New Orleans||
|May 10||AT San Jose||L 34-64|
|May 18||AT Pittsburgh||
|May 25||vs Philadelphia||L 55-73|
|June 1||AT Iowa||
|June 8||vs Orlando||L 48-55|
|June 15||AT New Orleans||
|June 22||vs Chicago||L 49-50|
|July 6||vs Spokane||
|July 13||AT San Antonio||L 42-68|
|July 20||vs Pittsburgh||
|July 27||AT Jacksonville||7:00pm|
When they got on the bus the Tampa Bay Storm were pretty sure their first round playoff opponent was going to be the streaking Philadelphia Soul.
But instead Philadelphia, which was up 21-6 at eliminated San Antonio surely on to their eight straight win and top seed in the American Conference, blew it. The Talons produced an unlikely comeback and won 42-28.
As a result Jacksonville and Philly have the same 11-7 record which puts Jacksonville as the the No. 1 seed due to a head-to-head victory.
And that puts the fourth-seeded Storm right back in Jacksonville next weekend. The Storm and Sharks kick off at 7:20 p.m.
The other conference semi matches Orlando with Philadelphia.
Without the offense having to lift a finger, Jacksonville went from leading by three to being up 17 and the Sharks went on to a 52-44 win over Tampa Bay Saturday night.
Tracy Belton's interception return 30 yards for a score was followed by Jamaal Fudge's fumble recovery were the key plays. They gave Jacksonville a 45-28 advantage.
Until then Shane Boyd had kept the Storm more in contention. It was tied after Boyd hit Joe Hills for a touchdown early in the third quarter. But things fell apart after that.
Boyd got his first start after Randy Hippeard struggled in a loss last week to Pittsburgh. The Storm sat two starting receivers and two key members of its defense, not wanting to risk injury.
Likewise Jacksonville was without several of its key players who were dinged. And starting quarterback Bernard Morris was pulled late in the first quarter.
Tampa Bay's receiving group became even thinner when Justin Hilton, who had scored a touchdown to make it 14-14, got ejected along with Jacksonville two-way star Matt Marcorelle after a fight.
Former Gibbs High player DeAngelo Woodie was pressed into duty and had four catches for 20 yards. Joe Hills ended with 11 catches for 144 yards and a touchdown, and broke the Storm single-season receiving marks for catches and yards.
Jason Chery had a fine game with 10 grabs for 116 yards and two scores. He also had a kickoff return called back.
Jean Fanor gave the Storm (7-11) the early edge with an interception, but later the first of Boyd's two fumbled snaps put Jacksonville on even terms and it stayed that way until the back-to-back defensive scores.
Tampa Bay actually almost pulled off a crazy comeback. After Chery's 8-yard score made it a 45-34 the Storm missed the extra point, but Jacksonville was called for a penalty. The Storm then decided to go for 2 and succeeded making it a nine-point game.
The onsides kick was unsuccessful, Jacksonville scored and then Tampa Bay turned it over on downs. The Storm were ready to stop using timeouts when, with :43 left, Sharks backup Kyle Rowley fumbled the snap.
Tampa Bay recovered and got a touchdown and two-point conversion with :12 remaining to pull within eight. But the Sharks managed to recover the onside kick even though it bounced off a player and was up for grabs.
Tampa Bay falls into the fourth seed in the American Conference with its seventh straight loss. Orlando beat New Orleans to grab the No. 3 seed.
The Storm's playoff opponent is either going to be Philadelphia or Jacksonville, but where they go and what they're seed is when they go there depends on three outcomes Saturday night.
That unless the Storm happen to end their six-game losing streak and get a win. If Tampa Bay can knock off Jacksonville (6:30 p.m. on WDAE) the Storm will head right back to play the Sharks again as the third seed in the American Conference.
But should Tampa Bay lose....
The same exact pairing and seeding would still hold should both Philadelphia beat San Antonio and New Orleans defeat Orlando.
And Tampa Bay would also head to Jacksonville, but as the fourth seed, should both games go the other way. In this scenario Tampa Bay is seeded fourth.
To be the four seed and go to Philly, that would mean Orlando defeats New Orleans, jumping the Predators into the three spot. And the Storm could hold their No. 3 position with an Orlando loss, but would have to travel to Philly should the Soul falter in San Antonio.
Confused? No worries. Jack Harris and Darek Sharp will have the explanations in full tonight during WDAE's coverage of Storm-Sharks. Listen online at wdae.com.