Soul at Chicago Rush

Records: Soul 4-3; Chicago 6-1

When: Tonight, 8 o'clock

Where: Allstate Arena,

Rosemont, Ill.

Line: Chicago by 8.

Over/under: 96.


Radio: WPEN (950-AM).

All-time series: Soul leads, 2-1, with the home team winning each time.

What's at stake: The Soul have dropped three in a row and would fall farther out of contention for the AFL East Division title with another loss. Front-running Dallas leads by three games after eking out a last-second win over Nashville on Friday.

About the Soul: The three-game losing streak is a direct result of losing quarterback Tony Graziani with a shoulder injury. Second-year QB Juston Wood will make his first start for the Soul.

About Chicago: The defending champs are working on a team-record six-game winning streak. Wide receiver Bobby Sippio leads the league with 32 touchdowns, putting him on pace for a ridiculous 73 for the year. (Colorado's Damian Harrell set the AFL record with 61 last year.)

Coach on the mend: Chicago head coach Mike Hohensee spent most of Friday in the hospital after he was hit by a car in a parking lot. It's undecided whether Hohensee, 46, will be on the sideline tonight.

Roster shuffle: The Soul placed newly signed wide receiver Scottie Vines (hamstring) on injured reserve, meaning he'll miss a minimum of four games. They signed wide receivers Jerrian James and C.J. Johnson and waived fullback George Layne. Philadelphia also activated OL Kelvin Chiasson as insurance against hobbled center Mike Mabry.

Poll position: The Soul dropped five spots to No. 10 in the weekly AFL sportswriters' poll. Chicago is third behind Georgia and Dallas, respectively.

More from the writers: Soul defensive back Eddie Moten was named the league's top defensive player for the first-half of the season. Sippio won the offensive equivalent. The Soul received only one other midseason mention – team most likely to fade in the second half.

Up next: A home game! The Soul will end a stretch of six road games in 8 weeks tonight. They will start a three-game homestand on Saturday when Kansas City visits the Wachovia Center.

Did you know? Hohensee threw the first touchdown pass in AFL history, June 19, 1987, as a member of the Pittsburgh Gladiators.

- Ed Barkowitz