The Storm may take the field Monday night in Spokane knowing that a win will put them in the playoffs, but the division title hopes are over.
That's due to Orlando's wild 70-64 OT victory over New Orleans on Saturday, giving the Predators the Southern Division championship and No. 2 seed in the American Conference. Orlando gave up two late touchdowns but won when Greg Carr, a WR pressed into defensive duty, ran back an interception for a 48-yard touchdown.
Also on Saturday, Los Angeles lost meaning that seven of the eight Arena Football League playoff spots are decided, with only the No. 4 seed in the American Conference to be decided. And it will go to either Tampa Bay or Philadelphia.
Both teams entered the weekend with 8-8 records. Importantly for the Storm they hold the tiebreaker due to a 2-1 record against Philadelphia this season. That means Philadelphia must win more games the rest of the way, and further the Storm might not even have to win at all.
Tampa Bay will have a big eye on what happens Sunday. The Soul host 12-4 San Jose at 4 o'clock. If Philly wins, the Storm would have to knock off Spokane Monday to maintain control of their fate.
Should San Jose, which has won 10 of its last 11, prevail, then the Storm would officially make the playoffs with a Monday victory -- but at worst would know they're in with either a win in their finale against Cleveland next Saturday at the Tampa Bay Times Forum, or another Philly defeat next week at 14-3 Pittsburgh.
Worth noting: the Philly-Pittsburgh game kicks off at 5 p.m. next weekend while the Storm take the field at 7:30 p.m. Depending on what happens this weekend, the Storm may find out either they're in the playoffs, or eliminated, in the first quarter of the Cleveland game.
In the National Conference, essentially the West, Arizona, San Jose and Spokane are the top three seeds with the final spot going to Portland (5-11) due to LA's loss to San Antonio. Portland could make the playoffs with a 5-13 record. Portland will visit Arizona while San Jose hosts Spokane in the conference semifinals.
As for the Storm's American Conference, Cleveland and Pittsburgh from the Eastern Division had wrapped up the first and third seeds respectively. Orlando as the No. 2 will host Pittsburgh in a first-round matchup.
Cleveland's first-round contest has already been set for Saturday, Aug. 2 at 7 p.m. with the Storm or Philly as the opponent.
Sorting it all out on Monday will be Jack Harris and Darek Sharp, who will have the call of the Storm game on 620 WDAE. Pregame coverage starts at 8.