Tag Archives: Duane Brooks

Game Preview: Portland Thunder (3-8) vs. Spokane Shock (3-8)

Let’s just call this one #TheStruggle. The Thunder enter the game coming off a four-game losing streak. The Shock have a three-game losing streak of their own. The teams struggled to score in their opening matchup, with Portland securing a four-point win, 47-43.

Game Day Breakdown: The Thunder have advantages in: Offensive turnovers, Defensive Yardage, Points Allowed. The Shock have advantages in: Offensive Yards, Points, and Success Rate; Defensive Success Rate and Turnovers Forced. Watch for Jared Perry, who went for 150 yards and 4 TDs last week.

In that game, Bryce Peila came up with an interception return for a touchdown and a fumble return for a touchdown helping overcome a 29-20 Shock lead at halftime.

Of course, in that game, Mike Washington led the Shock and Jamar Howard led the Thunder in receiving yards. Neither is expected to play. Former Thunder quarterback Danny Southwick is now a former Shock QB as well; he’s landed in Los Angeles and has helped them as they mount a turnaround on their season. Kyle Rowley may be backing up recent acquisition Alex Carder at quarterback for the Thunder.

With a previous matchup that went down to the wire and several differences in lineups since then, combined with mounting losses on the field, both personnel and record-wise, it’s tough to determine who has the advantage this week.

One thing’s for certain: After the recent wins by Los Angeles and Las Vegas, these two teams enter needing a win in order to feel comfortable heading into the final third of the season. Both teams trail the Outlaws by a game and both are ahead of the previously left-for-dead KISS by just a game.

And Duane Brooks will be exciting in the return game. He’s either one or two kick return touchdowns away from an AFL record for return touchdowns in a season. He’s also returned two for touchdowns in each of the past three games (unfortunately, one may count as a fumble recovery because he fumbled (and recovered) right before the line and another was called back on a phantom hold), so it’s not crazy to expect a couple on Sunday.

I said in my picks over on ArenaFan that Spokane would get even for the last game, and that the difference between this week and the last one is that Shox the Fox won’t interfere with their receivers. I won’t be that guy who picks both sides of a game, so I’m picking Spokane to win another tight game, 46-43.

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On ArenaFan: Celebrating Brooks’ season; Weighted Power Rankings

I have a couple articles up on ArenaFan this week – First off is coverage of Duane Brooks, who has been the story for the Thunder in recent weeks as he moves toward the record books as having the best season for a kick returner in league history.

The second may not be so well-received by Thunder fans, as it incorporates a weighted “what have you done for me lately” system that sees Portland fall to 12th in the league in offensive/defensive success rate.

Check back later this week for a game preview and the Game Day poster! After this week, the blog will gradually be shifting focuses as I go up to Spokane for Hoopfest and then relocate to Irving, TX to begin work at North Lake College.

Game Photos: Arizona Rattlers 69, Portland Thunder 42

While I was covering Friday’s game, I was also taking photos. A few of the photos I took are up on Flickr now (it’s just so much easier to batch upload). Includes terrible refereeing, big plays, and fine work by a guy out there on the field for the pizza promotion.

In fact, I liked his action sequence so much I won’t make you go to Flickr to see it.

Pizza Challenger

Game Preview: Portland Thunder (3-4) at Orlando Predators (4-4)

The Portland Thunder, fresh off a win against the Los Angeles KISS, head to Orlando in search of their first road win of the season on Saturday, May 23.

The Thunder are 3-0 against the worst two scoring defenses in the league, and 0-4 against the rest of their schedule…which happens to have contained the top four defenses in the league. The Predators are the third-worst scoring defense in the league, if you’re looking for signs that point to a Thunder win.

Wrong Way Sports' Game Day Breakdown, Thunder (3-4) vs. Predators (4-4). Orlando has an offensive advantage in everything but turnovers; Portland has a defensive advantage in everything but Drive Success Rate. Look out for Duane Brooks, who has two consecutive games with kick return touchdowns.

Continue reading Game Preview: Portland Thunder (3-4) at Orlando Predators (4-4)

Photos: Portland Thunder 47, Spokane Shock 43