Category Archives: Rankings

New Year, New Look: Critiquing All Six New AFL Uniforms

by Richard Martin

The Arena Football League has gone all in with reinventing itself. 2019 brought a new league logo, two new teams, and a new optimism.

Earlier this week, the league also unveiled new uniforms. Phenom Elite, based out of Columbia, South Carolina, designed the new uniforms. According to their website, Phenom Elite has deals with NFL Hall of Famer Randy Moss and the University of Southern Mississippi.

Phenom Elite’s redesigns are…interesting. The unveiling got people talking, including a tweet from Barstool Sports that received 90 retweets and 969 likes.

But how do the uniforms look? Some of the new threads look fantastic. Some are boring. Others are all over the place. Let’s take a look, and rank, the 2019 Arena Football League Phenom Elite Uniforms.

#6 Philadelphia Soul

What in God’s green Earth am I looking at here? These are hideous. I understand wanting to be unique, but then there’s throwing every design you can at once onto a uniform just to see what happens.

This seems like a good idea, but just too much. The fading of colors. The embedded logos. The random stripes. Just a lot going on.

Using the word “Philly” as the city name is unique, and the gloves are nice. But other than that, there’s too much going on here. Which is a shame, because the old Soul jerseys were fine in my opinion.

Final Grade: D

#5 Albany Empire

These uniforms were so close to ranking higher on the list. The embedded logo isn’t as bad on this jersey as on the Soul’s.

But then you get to the pants. I get the idea of wanting it to look like a Gladiator skirt, because of the Roman, now Albany, Empire, but this just looks weird. Add in the weird swoosh line, it feels like, once again, a lot going on.

The numbers are a unique font and will help with the team identity.

The pants don’t quite ruin this uniform for me, but they don’t quite help them either.

Final Grade: C+

#4 Washington Valor

The Valor rank so low because they didn’t really do anything to change it up. It’s not necessarily a bad thing.

The Valor have always had nice jerseys that embrace the good ole USA and our nation’s capital. The stars on the side of the pants are subtle and don’t distract too much.

While it’s not much of a change, it’s hard to beat a good design and I’m glad Phenom Elite didn’t change too much.

Final Grade: B

#3 Baltimore Brigade

Once again, a subtle change, but more of a change than the Valor.

The words on the side of the pants don’t distract too much. The embedded Maryland flag on the sleeves is really nice, especially on the white uniforms.

A solid change to a solid uniform will have the Brigade looking good on the turf.

Final Grade: B

#2 Columbus Destroyers

The Destroyers are back, and while they’re not red and blue like the original team, the black and silver look fantastic.

Using an alternate font on the black jerseys is an interesting choice, as all the other teams have the same font on both uniforms.

The helmets do have a weird Seattle Seahawks look to them, and the full uniform reminds me of the Birmingham Iron of the AAF (RIP).

Besides this, this is a clean look and, while simple, is effective.

Final Grade: A-

#1 Atlantic City Blackjacks

The Blackjacks have an amazing logo, mascot and color scheme, so I was excited for these new uniforms, and Phenom Elite did not disappoint.

The all whites using “A.C.” as the city name is unique, and the font instantly makes you think of the points on a crown. The card symbols on the side of the pants are amazing to promote the Blackjack name.

The only problem I have is that the stripes on the side of the uniforms feel kind of random, but other than that, these look amazing. I’m really excited at how these turned out.

Final Grade: A+

Overall, the new uniforms are unique and got people talking, which is what the league wants.

And who knows, maybe with the exposure, the league gained a couple new fans who want to see the players that wear these uniforms.


AFL Fan Zone Week 3 Power Rankings

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By Kyle Sander | kyle.sander09@gmail.com
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on April 25, 2017 at 7:00 PM

 

After a subpar week two in the Arena Football League, there were two great matchups Saturday night. Although the better matchup on paper came via stream on arenafootballleague.com between the Soul and the Valor, the Storm and Gladiators stole the show on national television. Both games saw big deficits and great individual performances. I expect to see more of what we saw this past week the rest of the season. No one team is playing flawless football, but all five teams are showing flashes of beating anyone.

With that being said, how will Saturday’s games affect the power rankings (if any)? Well, let’s get right down to business. Here are AFL Fan Zone’s Week 3 Power Rankings:

  1. aflsoul Philadelphia Soul – (2-0) / LW: 1 / Week 3 – W at DC 49-31

There are times where stats can be misleading, this is one of those times. 18 points in an Arena Football League game may not sound like a lot, but when you take into account the Soul found themselves trailing 21-7 heading into the second quarter, you can see just how impressive their victory was on Saturday night. That means from the second quarter on, the defending Soul outscored the Valor 42-10. After struggling in Tampa Bay last week, the Soul took it to Erik Meyer and the boys in the nations capitol.

The season is still way too young to crown anyone a champion, but if this what we will be seeing from the Soul, you would be hard to find anyone betting against a repeat.  Next week four brings Philadelphia home for the first time in 2017 against the expansion Baltimore Brigade (1-1).

 

2. tjEJ1IjQ-fXZaFxLg Tampa Bay Storm – (2-1) / LW: 2 / Week 3 – W vs CLE 62-61

Much like the game in D.C., Tampa Bay found themselves down big early. Peaking at 27-7 Gladiators, Tampa Bay stormed back in front of the home crowd of just over 9,000 to a deficit of only five heading into halftime. For much of the first half, the Storm had no answer for quarterback Arvell Nelson and the Gladiators offense. Nelson didn’t throw an incomplete pass until late in the second quarter. Then, just like in any AFL game, the game flipped on a dime and the Storm scored 21 points in the final nine minutes of the second quarter.

Quarterback Randy Hippeard found superstar wide receiver Joe Hills early and often. This connection powered the Storm to a ten point lead in the fourth quarter. The Gladiators made a final push and actually took the lead, but with 28 seconds left in the game, it only took three plays for Tampa Bay to be inside the Cleveland five yard line and ultimately win number two.

The three headed monster that the Storm has put together at wide receiver is going to make Tampa Bay a tough out for everyone, including Philadelphia. All three top receivers for the Storm finished the game with at least 99 yards receiving. It is now Tampa Bay’s turn for a bye week before being back on CBS Sports Net for their clash at the Valor on Saturday May 20th.

 

3.  Valor Washington Valor – (1-1) / LW: 3 / Week 3 – L vs PHI 31-49

 

For just over a quarter Saturday night, the Valor showed shades of quarterback Erik Meyer’s former team in the San Jose Sabercats. Big plays and turnovers is what put the Valor up 21-7 heading into the sevoke quarter before the wheels came off. Erik Meyer finished the night with more turnovers than touchdowns. Whether it’s outdoor or arena football, it’s tough to win when the quarterback is turning over the ball as much as Meyer did Saturday. After missing an entire season, it’s hard to fault him for the mistakes, anyone who takes an entire year off from playing is going to be rusty.

He has shown time and time again in this league that he is a superstar at the quarterback position and with big play wide receivers like Mike Washington, T.T. Toliver, and Greg Carr, I don’t expect the Valor to repeat the goose egg they put up in the second half in week two.

The Valor head on the road for the first time this season in week three against the last place Cleveland Gladiators (0-3). Both teams are coming off losses, so expect to see an inspired matchup at the Q Saturday.

4. Baltimore Brigade Baltimore Brigade – (1-1) / LW: 4 / Week 3 – Bye

 

Baltimore saw their first bye of the season in week three, but even with them sitting out it seems there is a clear line starting to develop in the power rankings. The Brigade are starting the least experienced quarterback in the league which normally means the team is destined for the basement, but Shane Carden has shown to be a pleasant surprise in his first couple games. If he can continue to develop and Big Play Reggie Gray continues to show why he earned that nickname, the Brigade are the best option to spoil the party for the teams above them.

The best part of the bye week is teams get two weeks to prepare for their opponent. Unfortunately for the Brigade, they travel to Philadelphia in Week four and face off against the only undefeated team left in the AFL in their home opener on a night their Arena Bowl XXIX Championship is being honored. Stranger things have happened in the AFL, I wouldn’t chalk that game up to a blowout just yet.

5. glads Cleveland Gladiators – (0-3 ) / LW: 5 / Week 3 – L at TB 61-62

First, I want to say thank you to the Cleveland Gladiators for taking my advice on giving the keys to the offense back to quarterback Arvell Nelson. Even in the loss, Nelson far outplayed Shane Boyd (week one) and Tanner Marsh (week two). Of course I say that tongue in cheek, but if Cleveland has any chance to turn around the season its on the arm (and feet) of Nelson. Losing on the road by one point in the Arena Football League against a team that, let’s be honest, should’ve beat Philadelphia in week two, is very impressive. Cleveland lost Saturday night because they could not find an answer for Hills, that is going to happen again this year to more than just the Gladiators.

Even at 0-3, the Gladiators can look at the tape and be confident they can right the ship. If they can get their secondary back healthy again and Nelson continues to play lights out like he did Saturday, Cleveland will be right back into the thick of things. Week four sees the Gladiators host the 1-1 Washington Valor back at the friendly confines of the Quicken Loans Arena.

  1. Philadelphia Soul – 18 (2)
  2. Tampa Bay Storm – 17 (2)
  3. Washington Valor – 11
  4. Baltimore Brigade – 10
  5. Cleveland Gladiators – 4

()=First Place Votes


The AFL Fan Zone power rankings contributing members are:
Kyle Sander @ArenaFBOutsidrs, Scott Soares @AFLSlasher, Stephen Ur @writingfanatic2, Joran Palacio @Joran_Palacio16, Ryan Knowles @rykno52, and Jesse Mattson @LocalBigTime1

AFL Fan Zone Week 2 Power Rankings

PowerRankings0

By Kyle Sander | kyle.sander09@gmail.com
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on April 18, 2017 at 6:30 PM

Before getting into the rankings, I want to bring up the horrible officiating in the Philadelphia at Tampa Bay game. What in the world was that? Between inadvertent whistles and blind reviews, that was NOT a good showing for the AFL. I believe the league will review that tape and make sure calls like the incomplete pass don’t happen again.

Now that I got that off my chest, let’s dive right into the power rankings!

  1. aflsoul Philadelphia Soul – (1-0) / LW: 2 / Week 2 – W at TB 56-52

Philadelphia entered the Amalie Arena as the defending Arena Bowl champions and at times looked every bit as good as the team that traveled to Arizona last August and unseated the Rattlers. But there were also times the rust was still very much a factor as Raudabaugh turned the ball over twice, one fumble and one interception.

This is still the team to beat after narrowly edging the Storm in their season debut. The Soul look to shake off more rust this Saturday as they travel to D.C. to take on the 1-0 Valor.

2. tjEJ1IjQ-fXZaFxLg Tampa Bay Storm – (1-1) / LW: 3 / Week 2 – L vs PHI 52-56

There is no way around it. The Storm got robbed Saturday night on national television. How the officials missed the review citing “No visual evidence” is atrocious and something the league should be looking in to. It was clear to everyone watching the game and even Soul quarterback Dan Raudabaugh that it was a backwards pass and should’ve been a touchdown on the field, but at least Tampa ball due to the play being called dead.

Not a lot of people felt the Storm was even going to put up the fight they did against the Soul. Most would’ve said it would take a magical night by Randy Hippeard and Joe Hills, but it was actually Kendrick Ings who stole the show. Ings finished the game with three touchdowns, two receiving and one kick return. Ings is proving once again how much of a mismatch he truely is and as long as the offense in Tampa Bay stays healthy, Ings will continue to be more and more of a factor.

Tampa Bay will welcome the reeling Cleveland Gladiators in week three, a rematch of week one when Tampa Bay edged the Gladiators 46-40 at the Quicken Loans Arena.

3.  Valor Washington Valor – (1-0) / LW: 1 / Week 2 – Bye

After thoroughly disposing of the Brigade in week one, the Valor enjoyed their first bye of the season. Their drop in the rankings is more to do with the resiliency of the Soul after beating Tampa Bay than it is an indictment on the Valor.

Saturday’s game versus Philadelphia should shed more light on whether week one was a a matter of playing a quarterback who had no business starting (Chase Cartwright) or if this is the team to challenge the defending champions.

4. Baltimore Brigade Baltimore Brigade – (2-0) / LW: 5 / Week 2 – W at CLE 52-49

The story of the 2017 Brigade has already been started by backup quarterback Shane Carden. Since replacing Cartwright in week one against the Valor, the Brigade has outscored their opponents 90-73. Carden’s numbers may not impress you when looking at the stat sheet, but clearly his leadership and all around play has sparked this club in their inaugural season.

If Carden can continue to find his favorite target wide receiver Reggie Gray (leader in yards, touchdowns, and receptions) the Brigade will continue to rise in the rankings.

Week three is Baltimore’s time for a rest as they see their first bye of the season before heading to face Philadelphia in week four.

5. glads Cleveland Gladiators – (0-2 ) / LW: 4 / Week 2 – L vs BAL 49-52

By far the most disappointing start of the season goes to Cleveland and their quarterback situation. After not bringing back Arvell Nelson (Cleveland’s leading passer in 2016), they have run full circle and seem to be going back to Nelson. Both Shane Boyd and Tanner Marsh have failed to show any signs of sustained success. The defense was decimated by injury in week two as three starting defensive backs were ruled out before the game which only helped Gray pad his stats.

It has only been two weeks, so we are far from seeing Cleveland press the panic button, but they need to choose a quarterback and stick with him through the ups and downs of the season. I personally feel Nelson showed last year he could be a dynamic player in this league. Give him the keys to the offense and let the chips fall where they may.

The schedule never really gets easy as Cleveland was a unanimous pick for dead last, but if there is a chance to steal a win, it would be in week three. If the Gladiators can get ahead early and the Storm let the Soul beat them twice, Cleveland could get the confidence they so desperately need.

  1. Philadelphia Soul – 23 (3)
  2. Tampa Bay Storm – 20 (2)
  3. Washington Valor – 17
  4. Baltimore Brigade – 10
  5. Cleveland Gladiators – 5

()=First Place Votes


The AFL Fan Zone power rankings contributing members are:
Kyle Sander @ArenaFBOutsidrs, Scott Soares @AFLSlasher, Stephen Ur @writingfanatic2, Joran Palacio @Joran_Palacio16, Ryan Knowles @rykno52, and Jesse Mattson @LocalBigTime1

 

AFL Fan Zone Week 1 Power Rankings

PowerRankings0

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By Kyle Sander | kyle.sander09@gmail.com
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on April 11, 2017 at 5:30 PM

Week one is in the books and already there is a shakeup in the rankings. Last week saw Cleveland at number two slightly edging the Washington Valor. Then Saturday happened and the Gladiators came out looking about as rusty as you can imagine starting with a new quarterback in Shane Boyd and dealing with the amount of injuries that occurred in the game.

I would also like to welcome Jesse to the Fan Zone Power Rankings team. Adding another voice into the mix will only strengthen how each team is ranked week after week.

Lets get into it…

  1. Washington Valor – (1-0) LW: 3, Last Game – W  51-38 vs BAL

Last week’s rankings had Washington and Cleveland very close for the #2 spot, with the Gladiators edging out the Valor by a slim margin. Friday’s inaugural game for the Monumental Sports organization showed that at least early in the season, the Valor deserve to be higher.

Although they seemed to ease off the gas pedal in the second half, Erik Meyer and company showed the league just how dangerous they can be soaring out to a 34-6 halftime lead. Meyer showed no signs of rust early on and finished 21/32 for 237 yards and four touchdowns. The chemistry between him and wide receiver Mike Washington was a site to see for Valor fans, but one likely to put fear into defensive coordinators around the league.

2. Philadelphia Soul – (0-0) LW: 1, Last Game – Bye

Philadelphia had the luxury of taking Week one off and being able to scout the other four teams live as they happened due to their first bye of the season. With only five teams, there will obviously be one team on a bye, week one just happened to go to the defending Arena Bowl champions.

The drop in ranking is purely due to not playing week one and not having an accurate look at how the 2017 team will fare against the other four squads.

3. Tampa Bay Storm – (1-0) LW: 4, Last Game – W 46-40 at CLE

What a difference having a quarterback can make for a football team. In one game, Randy Hippeard made Storm fans forget last seasons debacle at quarterback that Tampa Bay rolled out. Hippeard finished the game 22/31 205 yards and six touchdowns. His ability to find the twin towers at wide receiver (Joe Hills and Lamark Brown) were clearly the difference in this game.

Whenever the game got close, Hippeard found one of these two monster wide receivers and there were nothing the Gladiators could to do to stop it. Brown and Hills accounted for 16 catches 174 yards and five touchdowns. The defense was no slouch either putting new Gladiators quarterback Shane Boyd on the ground four times while intercepting him once. If this is the new look Storm that we will see week in and week out, the league better be on notice because the chemistry on offense will only get better with time.

4. Cleveland Gladiators – (0-1) LW: 2, Last Game – L 40-46 vs TB

Saturday night’s game at Quicken Loans arena was supposed to a big welcome back to the Gladiators after the city of Cleveland witnessed the resurgence of the Cavaliers and Indians. Unfortunately, it was not to be as the Gladiators and new quarterback Shane Boyd struggled for most of the night. It didn’t help that player after player seemed to go down ultimately forcing star wide receiver Collin Taylor to play jack linebacker in the second half.

A bright spot for Cleveland is it looks like the team finally found help for Taylor at wide receiver, Brandon Thompkins and Larry Brackins are more than capable of taking some of the load from Taylor. Of course, none of that will matter if the defense can’t stay healthy for a full four quarters.

5. Baltimore Brigade – (0-1) LW: 5, Last Game – L 38-51 at WAS

Let me start off by saying, I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a team give up on a quarterback as quickly as Baltimore did Chase Cartwright. That being said, I think they might’ve left him in too long. Last week’s game got ugly fast due to the inability of Cartwright to handle the pressure of opening day and/or the vaunting Valor defense.

Cartwright saw nine snaps resulting in three fumbles (one lost) and one interception. On the flip side, Shane Carden came into the game and looked very calm and collected under the pressure of being down so much so early. He finished the night 21/33 197 yards and three touchdowns. He did have an interception, but he was forced into an almost impossible situation. On the road against a very talented team in their first ever home game, Carden brought the Brigade within two scores in the fourth quarter. Baltimore is clearly the worst team in the league, but that isn’t to put down what Coach Smith has put together.

This team will just need time to grow, of the four teams, Baltimore is the only one starting a rookie quarterback. We called this in our pre-season rankings, due to being the last team on the docket for roster picks, they were set-up to fail in year one. But I will say, with the way Carden played, I expect to see an upset or two to the hands of the Brigade before the season is over.

  1. Washington Valor – 24 (2)
  2. Philadelphia Soul – 20 (4)
  3. Tampa Bay Storm – 19
  4. Cleveland Gladiators – 13
  5. Baltimore Brigade – 7

()=First Place Votes


The AFL Fan Zone power rankings contributing members are:
Kyle Sander @ArenaFBOutsidrs, Scott Soares @AFLSlasher, Stephen Ur @writingfanatic2, Joran Palacio @Joran_Palacio16, Ryan Knowles @rykno52, and Jesse Mattson @LocalBigTime1

AFL FanZone Pre-Season Power Rankings

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By Kyle Sander | kyle.sander09@gmail.com
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on April 4, 2017 at 08:30 PM

Welcome to another year of the AFL Fan Zone! I thought the best way to say “It’s about time old friends!” is to get right into the content. This year we have five contributors who will be voting on the power rankings each week, no longer will they only be one fan’s opinion.

Some might say this year may the worst the AFL has seen in years due to the fact there are only five teams in the league. We are not those people, just take it from our friends over at Inside The Arena, 2017 Could Be the Best Season Ever.

You came here for the first Power Rankings of the season, so let’s get to it!

  1. Philadelphia Soul

This was the only unanimous selection of the committee. With the return of the best quarterback of 2016 (based on the Fan Zone’s own quarterback  metric) Dan Raudabaugh, wide receiver Shaun Kauleinamoku, and a slew of other Soul players who were part of Philadelphia’s amazing Arena Bowl XXIX victory in Arizona last fall, there doesn’t seem to be a team that can outlast the boys in city of Brotherly Love. The consolidation of rosters due to three less teams means Philadelphia will be in a dog fight against some pretty stacked rosters in the AFL this year.

2. Cleveland Gladiators

The closest battle of the rankings were two and three. Cleveland received only two second place votes, but it was enough to nudge them to this spot. Cleveland was able to put together a very formitable roster behind new head coach Ron Selesky.

If that name sounds familiar, he was the interim head coach last season when Steve Thonn was battling medical issues mid-way through the season. The Gladiators recently announced the former Arizona Rattlers back-up quarterback Shane Boyd has been given the keys to the offense after multiple years behind one of the most decorated AFL players in league history, Nick Davila.

If Boyd can keep down the turnovers that former starter Arvell Nelson was prone to do, Cleveland should be the next best team in 2017.

3. Washington Valor

The AFL Fan Zone team seemed to be hot and cold on the Valor. Washington received three second place votes, but was also looked at the worst team heading into the season by one contributor. The Valor is lead by head coach Dean Cokinos, former assistant for the Tampa Bay Storm and the final HC for the now defunct New Orleans VooDoo. The most notable free agent signing of the offseason brought former AFL MVP Erik Meyer to the nations capital.

Even though Meyer missed the entire 2016 season, his experience and talent level should be enough to make sure the expansion Valor is ready to go in 2017.

4. Tampa Bay Storm

To put it midly, the Storm struggled last season and needed a jolt to keep one of the best fan bases in the league returning for a 26th season. Team President Derrick Brooks decided to look to the past to fix this future with the return of quarterback Randy Hippeard and wide receiver Joe Hills. Hills returns to Tampa as the reigning Under Armour Offensive Player of the Year in 2016.

Not only is he supremely talented, but his best trait may be availability. Hills can be counted on to be there and to put up big numbers week in and week out. But if you want to pinpoint the reason Brooks had to make a head coaching change, it is because of the quarterback play the Storm saw in 2016.

Before Hippeard’s season ending injury last season, he was on pace for his best season ever and was in the conversation with the likes of Davila, Raudabaugh, and Tommy Grady. If he can return to that form, the Storm will finish the season much higher on this list.

5. Baltimore Brigade

The final team announced for the 2017 season finds themselves as the least favorites to win the Arena Bowl. With three fifth place votes, Baltimore is looking up to the rest of the league, with good reason. The Bridage was announced after the dispersal draft, so they were put behind the eight ball before the table had even been racked. Second year head coach Omarr Smith has been tasked to lead Baltimore with the least experienced quarterback in the entire league.

Whether it will be Chase Cartwright or Shane Carden, the Brigade start 2017 with two quarterbacks that have a combined one season of experience in the AFL. A league built on timing and good quarterback play, this one area could spell doom for Baltimore in their first season.

Former Arena Bowl MVP wide receiver  Reggie Gray will be the focal point of the offense much like Donovan Morgan was for the KISS the last few years. If Gray can put the team on his shoulders like the Captain did for LA, then Baltimore might have a chance to surprise a few teams before this season is over.


The AFL Fan Zone power rankings contributing members are:
Kyle Sander @ArenaFBOutsidrs, Scott Soares @AFLSlasher, Stephen Ur @writingfanatic2, Joran Palacio @Joran_Palacio16, and Ryan Knowles @rykno52

AFL FanZone 2016 Quarterback of the Year

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By Kyle Sander | kyle.sander09@gmail.com
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on August 3, 2016 at 12:00 PM

Here we are, Playoffs 2016. With that being said, this is the final QB Rankings for 2016 based on the 10 factors that we think make the most valuable signal caller in Arena Football.

Our ranking system below captures every QB that threw at least 100 passes that started more than three games (the only exception is Danny Southwick as he was cut after his third start and didn’t start another game the rest of the season). This includes QB Randy Hippeard who was put on Injured Reserve halfway through the year.

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Congratulations to Philadelphia Soul QB Dan Raudabaugh for winning the inaugural AFL FanZone Quarterback of the Year award for 2016.

1. Dan Raudabaugh Philadelphia Soul 2.63
339 Completions / 479 Attempts / 4303 Yards / 101 TD / 13 INT / 126.8 Passer Rating
2. Nick Davila Arizona Rattlers 3.38
353 Completions / 507 Attempts / 4198 Yards / 110 TD / 11 INT / 125.2 Passer Rating
3. Bernard Morris Orlando Predators 3.88
107 Completions / 174 Attempts / 1249 Yards / 27 TD / 3 INT / 114.9 Passer Rating
4. Randy Hippeard Orlando Predators 4.00
236 Completions / 360 Attempts / 2967 Yards / 65 TD / 10 INT / 119.1 Passer Rating
5. Tommy Grady Jacksonville Sharks 5.25
400 Completions / 587 Attempts / 4495 Yards / 94 TD / 7 INT / 125.4 Passer Rating
6. Arvell Nelson Cleveland Gladiators 6.00
261 Completions / 439 Attempts / 3425 Yards / 70 TD / 11 INT / 113.3 Passer Rating
7. Pete Thomas Los Angeles KISS 7.13
167 Completions / 295 Attempts / 2086 Yards / 43 TD / 8 INT / 103.9 Passer Rating
8. Shane Austin Portland Steel 7.38
253 Completions / 420 Attempts / 2531 Yards / 48 TD / 19 INT / 87.1 Passer Rating
9. Nathan Stanley Los Angeles KISS 7.50
185 Completions / 315 Attempts / 2057 Yards / 41 TD / 12 INT / 94.9 Passer Rating
10. Adam Kennedy Tampa Bay Storm 8.75
62 Completions / 108 Attempts / 707 Yards / 14 TD / 6 INT / 86.5 Passer Rating
11. Jason Boltus Tampa Bay Storm 8.88
228 Completions / 413 Attempts / 2652 Yards / 42 TD / 14 INT / 86.1 Passer Rating

*Remember a 1.0 is a perfect score, 11.0 is dead last.

Our metric system is made up of the following 10 statistical categories:

  1. Wins
  2. Completion Percentage
  3. Yards Per Attempt
  4. Touchdowns to Attempts Ratio
  5. Interceptions to Attempts Ratio
  6. Passer Rating
  7. Sacks to Attempts Ratio
  8. Rushing Touchdowns
  9. Fumbles
  10. Turnovers in 4th Quarter/Overtime (aka Clutch Trait)

None of these categories are weighted any higher than another as each are important in their own right. The reason our metric system does a TD/INT/SCK to Attempts ratio is because a QB could throw eight touchdowns, but have 50 attempts, that is not as impressive as say six touchdowns with 20 attempts. I call this the Nick Davila stat. Davila lead the league in this stat throwing a touchdown on 21.7% of his attempts. To put this stat into perspective you need to look at Randy Hippeard vs Tommy Grady. Grady threw 29 more touchdowns than Hippeard, but Randy’s ratio is at 18.06% vs Grady’s 16.01%. That means Hippeard threw more touchdown’s per attempt than Grady did, which is very impressive.

Just remember, this metric stat is based on stats and is ranked on a curve. This does not necessarily say that Bernard Morris is a better quarterback than Tommy Grady, but that Morris was more efficient THIS season.

2016 Playoff Momentum Rankings

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By Kyle Sander | kyle.sander09@gmail.com
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on July 27, 2016 at 8:00 AM

We are finally here!! The moment all of us fans have been waiting for; Postseason 2016. Even the league’s biggest critics of the playoff format have to be geared up for an exciting month of playoff football. The following Power Rankings are NOT where each team stands after 18 weeks of football. No, these are AFL Fan Zone’s Momentum rankings. Teams with the most mojo working in their favor headed into postseason play.

Let’s get right into it, below is the AFL FanZone Power Playoff Momentum Rankings after Week 18.

1. Arizona Rattlers – 2016 Record 13-3

No team in the league is hotter headed into the postseason than the Arizona Rattlers. After dismantling the Gladiators in Week 17, Coach Guy and the Rattlers had a bye week which gives them two weeks to prepare for Portland. If you remember back to 2014, Portland traveled to play #1 seed Arizona in the first round of the playoffs. If you don’t remember, Portland only lost that game 52-48 and almost shocked the Arena League. I have a feeling Coach Guy has reminded his team of that game and will have Arizona more than prepared for this year’s Portland squad on Saturday at 10pm ET on CBS Sports Network.

2. Philadelphia Soul – 2016 Record 13-3

With Philadelphia’s Week 18 victory over the Predators, Dan Raudabaugh and company showed that they are aware of what went wrong in last year’s defeat in the American Conference championship and have vowed to correct it. It may have been a regular season game, but let’s be real, that game last week in Orlando was a playoff game. Due to Philadelphia’s win, they will host 2-14 Tampa Bay this Sunday at 6pm ET on ESPN2, while Orlando plays host to the suddenly hot Jacksonville Sharks squad. Another winner in that game was Arizona. Philadelphia beating Orlando made sure that Arizona would host the Arena Bowl if they are able to get out of their conference unscathed. With the way Raudabaugh has been playing and the fact that Philadelphia boasts the league’s best turnover defense, I see Philly making sure 2015 was a fluke.

3. Jacksonville Sharks – 2016 Record 7-9

This may surprise some people and even anger some others, but hear me out. After firing Head Coach Les Moss, the Jacksonville Sharks finished the season 2-0 while giving up an average of 33.5 points per game which is 13 points less than their yearly average. The team has seemed to respond to new Head Coach Bob Landsee and with the talent this team has on its roster, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that this team finds itself in a 2015 American Conference championship rematch against the Soul next weekend. Coach Landsee has made a point to put his future Hall of Fame Fullback to good use racking up 20 carries in the past two games (a mark that took almost the four previous game to hit). With the way Orlando is limping into the playoffs, don’t be surprised if the Sharks go into Orlando and knock off the Predators this Saturday at 7pm ET on CBS Sports Network.

4. Orlando Predators – 2016 Record 12-4

It was only three weeks ago that we were talking about a 12-2 Orlando Predators squad needing only one more win to clinch the overall number 1 seed in the playoffs. Fast forward to now and we are looking at a banged up team heading into the postseason licking their wounds. Star WR Greg Carr missed last week’s matchup against the Soul in what I already described was a de-facto playoff game. If he is unable to go this weekend against Jacksonville, a lot of pressure will be on Brandon Thompkins to get the job done. Bernard Morris has shown he is a capable quarterback in this league, but he has also shown why Randy Hippeard beat him out of the starting spot the past couple years. Morris doesn’t seem to have the killer instinct needed to put teams away and that may come back to haunt them if they let Jacksonville hang around into the fourth quarter on Saturday. I also wonder if the team go too jacked up after the horrible tragedy that happened some time ago and we are now seeing the hangover from the emotion onslaught the team went through. This team will still be favored on Saturday against the Sharks, but unless they come out with a renewed sense of urgency, I don’t see Orlando making it out of the first round.

5. Los Angeles KISS – 2016 Record 7-9

Although Los Angeles lost in the final seconds of their game Monday night, I still believe they are more set-up for the post season heading into the weekend. The game in Portland was a complete wash, the final score meant nothing to seeding, so why would the KISS go full speed and throw and wrinkles into a game to give Cleveland more on film to study? With that being said, they were still in the lead for most of the game and if not for an untimely penalty, would’ve beaten the Steel in their final home game of the season. The Gladiators must prepare for both Nathan Stanley and Pete Thomas which gives the KISS an extra edge in their matchup on Sunday at 6pm EST on ESPN3. Expect to see a very motivated Donovan Morgan as this may be his last game as he has already stated he will retire at the end of the season.

6. Cleveland Gladiators – 2016 Record 7-9

Cleveland went into Week 16 holding all the cards to be able to host Los Angeles in the first round of the playoffs. All they needed to do was beat LA by more than six points and hope either Jacksonville or Portland could knock them out. Instead, Cleveland lost their final two games on the West Coast and head into the playoffs on a downswing of momentum. Due to the Republican National Convention pushing all their home games to the first half of the season, Cleveland has been on the road for almost two months which is clearly weighing on the team. Having the bye week in Week 18 was the best thing Coach Thonn could have asked for. But if the Gladiators want to go into LA and knock off the KISS on Sunday, they are going to need Arvell Nelson to play much better than he did in the second half in their last game at the Honda Center. It also wouldn’t hurt if WR Quentin Sims is back healthy and ready to go as he was unable to suit up for the Gladiators in their game against the Rattlers Week 17.

7. Portland Steel – 2016 Record 3-13

The Portland Steel have become the new Jacksonville Sharks in the past few weeks of the regular season. In a span of three weeks they beat Jacksonville and Los Angeles, but lose to Tampa Bay. Of course those two wins were at home while the loss was on the road, but they showed a ton of heart in their Week 18 come from behind victory against the KISS. No one knows if that was the last home game for the Portland franchise, but if it was, they sure put on a good show. I think Coach James will try to bottle up that emotion and take it on the road to Arizona this week because if Portland has a chance it will be by outworking the Rattlers. Arizona has arguably the most talented roster in the league, so if Portland doesn’t bring the effort, the game will be over by halftime. It doesn’t help their chances that WR Nick Truesdell was picked up by the NFL this past week either.

8. Tampa Bay Storm – 2016 Record 2-14

What is there left to say for the Tampa Bay Storm other than “Which quarterback will be behind center in 2018”? This team has shown heart at home when the game is going well, but there is no other team in the league that shies away from adversity like the Storm. Jason Boltus is clearly not the answer and this past game showed again that we may have seen the last of him in the AFL as he pursues another career path. I don’t expect their game in Allentown against the Soul to be anything other than a warm-up for Philadelphia. I’m excited to see what the Storm do in the off-season as I feel they have some pieces with Kendrick Ings, Prechae Rodriguez, and their talented defensive backfield. But if this is TT Toliver’s last game, it’s a shame his Hall of Fame career will end this way. Sorry Storm fans, but there is always next year!

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