Stat Pack Attack: Episode One – Revenge of the Kick

by Richard Martin

What’s up everybody? Welcome to a new weekly AFL blog that I like to call Stat Pack Attack. 

If you’re wondering why I waited until after week three to start looking at stats, I wanted to get a more accurate look at the league after players had some competition and a few weeks to get use to their new coaches and players.

Every week, we’ll take a look at the passing, receiving and defensive stat leaders in the AFL, along with the strangest stat or most shocking stat of the week. 

This week, the scoring was up and the special teams play lead to some interesting stats. So without further ado, let’s dive in.

Week Three Results:

Baltimore 42 Columbus 35
Albany 57 Philadelphia 42
Washington 41 Atlantic City 34

Passing Leaders

The Quarterback is arguably the most important position in the Arena Football League. So far this year, two QBs have stood above the crowd.

Tommy Grady has been in the league for years, winning two AFL MVPs and setting the league records for touchdowns, passing yards and completions in one season. This week, Grady was on fire, going 14-of-17 for 256 yards with seven touchdowns in Alabny’s 57-48 win over Philadelphia. Grady leads the league with 16 TDs and has passed for 732 yards. 

Shane Boyd meanwhile has been phenomenal as well, going 24-of-44 with 287 yards and five touchdowns in the Baltimore Brigade’s 48-30 win over Columbus. Boyd this year has accounted for 15 touchdowns and just 1 interception. 

The quarterback that has impressed me most however may be Arvell Nelson of Washington. While he’s thrown for just 12 touchdowns and has three interceptions, the Valor signal caller has thrown for 819 yards this season. He can thank one of the best receivers in the league for that.

Receiving Leaders

Lamark Brown and Darius Prince have been impressive this year, each with six touchdowns this season.

But Dezmon Epps has surprised everyone in his first year in the league. Week one, Epps went for nine receptions for 201 yards and four touchdowns. Week two, he accounted for five receptions for 91 yards and a touchdown. This week, Atlantic City focused on Epps, holding the former Idaho Vandals star to just three receptions for 29 yards. Epps should be able to rebound, but he’ll need a big week to help the Valor take down Philadelphia.

Defensive Leaders

James Romain has been the talk on defense this season. In week one, Romain had not one but two pick sixes in the Soul’s win over Atlantic City. 

Joe Powell leads the league in interceptions with three, including one this week against Columbus. 

In the tackling department, Monte Lewis of Atlantic City leads the league with three sacks, all three coming in week two against Columbus.

Stat of the Week

This week, there were two kickoff returns for touchdowns in the Arena Football League, a 55 yard return by Fabian Guerra from Columbus and a seven yard onside kick return for a touchdown by Albany’s Arkeith Brown. 

While having two kickoff returns for touchdowns in one week is rare in any football league, it’s especially rare for the AFL, who had two total kickoff return touchdowns all last season. 

This Weeks Games

May 18, 2019
Philadelphia Soul (2-1) @ Washington Valor (1-2) — 3:30 PM
Baltimore Brigade (2-1) @ Atlantic City BlackJacks (1-2) — 7:00 PM
Albany Empire (3-0) @ Columbus Destroyers (0-3) — 7:00 PM

All photos courtesy of official team Facebook and Twitter feeds.

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