Not too long ago the Storm were mired in a five-game losing streak and any talk of playoffs seemed a bit silly.
But two straight wins have re-energized the team. And results elsewhere have put the Storm (5-6) back in control of their destiny.
Orlando lost 58-48 in Iowa Saturday night. Though the Predators saw the return from injury of QB Jason Boltus, he wasn't particularly effective and ended up getting subbed out for Bernard Morris.
Though the Predators still lead the South Division at 6-5, the Storm now are just a game behind -- the gap was three previously. Each of the four Arena league division winners get to host the four first-round playoff contests.
Tampa Bay would have to finish ahead of Orlando to take the division, since the Predators have already beaten the Storm twice. However there is one more meeting between the clubs in Tampa June 21.
The two games until then could be just as critical. Should the Storm not overtake Orlando for the division crown, they would have to catch up to both Philadelphia and Iowa for the second Wild Card. Both teams are a game ahead of the Storm -- and it just so happens the next two Storm games are against them.
Philadelphia comes to the Tampa Bay Times Forum for a 5 p.m. kickoff this Saturday. The Storm travel to Iowa the following weekend.
For the current AFL standings head HERE.
The first Wild Card seems sure to go to the second-place finisher in the East Division. Pittsburgh is 8-3 after giving Cleveland (9-1) its first loss of the season Saturday.