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Soul need to rebound against Chicago Saturday

This is a relatively new feeling for the Philadelphia Soul.

The Soul lost to the Jacksonville Sharks on April 27, 55-53, falling to 2-3.

It is the first time the franchise has been below .500 since the 2011 season.

The loss was also the team's second in row, marking the first time the Soul lost back-to-back games since June 25 and July 2 of 2011 when they lost to the Arizona Rattlers, 55-54, and the now-defunct Dallas Vigilantes, 58-41.

Soul head coach Clint Dolezel is obviously none too pleased with his team's performance over the last two weeks and the season as a whole.

Even during the team's two victories, they have looked nothing like the dominant 15-win team from a season ago. The Soul have already lost as many games this season as they did throughout the entire 2012 regular season.

Why have the Soul suddenly looked human? According to Dolezel, it boils down to one thing: turnovers.

"We have to protect the ball," Dolezel said via a team press release. "We've constantly been losing the turnover battle week in and week out. We need to do better than that. Not only do we need to protect the ball more, but we need to force the turnovers to happen."

The numbers back up Dolezel's assessment of his team. The Soul are 11th out of the 14 AFL teams in turnover margin at -7. They have committed 14 turnovers this season, including eight fumbles in only five games. The defense on the other hand has forced seven.

Both of those are a far cry from what the team was doing in 2012 when it led the league with a +23 turnover margin.

All of that nullifies the fact that the Soul are tops in the league in total offense, averaging 319 yards per game.

With all of that said, they still hold a one-game lead on the Cleveland Gladiators and the Pittsburgh Power, who both sit at 1-4.

But this is no time for silver linings for the Soul. Things don't seem to get any easier as they face a team that has won four consecutive games in the Chicago Rush at 8 p.m. on Saturday, May 4 at the All State Arena in Rosemont, Ill.

The Rush have surprisingly overcome numerous issues involving ownership and arena availability to take a commanding lead in the Central Division.

Despite their recent run of success, the Rush could be exactly what the doctor ordered for the Soul.

The Rush have not been overly efficient on either side of the ball this season. Chicago is only 11th in total offense and ninth in total defense.

The numbers, however, haven't gotten the Soul very far this season.