Tag Archives: Los Angeles KISS

AFL Power Rankings, Week 11

I don’t have enough fun and interesting facts for a full post, so here are a few to tide you over until next week.

  • Until Week 10, no team had surrendered a safety all season. The LA KISS have now given up two in two weeks (no one else has surrendered one).
  • Jacksonville’s three defensive TDs against Tampa Bay exceeded their non-offensive output for the rest of the season combined (they had one defensive TD and one special teams TD).
  • Tampa Bay reached 10 touchdowns surrendered first, getting all the way up to 11 in just 10 games. Yes, opposing defenses average more than a touchdown per game against the Storm.

Here are your power rankings:

  1. Philadelphia (1.21)
  2. Arizona (1.12)
  3. Jacksonville (1.10)
  4. Orlando (1.02)
  5. Cleveland (0.99)
  6. Los Angeles (0.93)
  7. Tampa Bay (0.81)
  8. Portland (0.78)

Jacksonville improved their ranking by annihilating Tampa Bay. Portland couldn’t capitalize on the Storm’s poor performance, losing by a lot to Arizona. Orlando and Cleveland’s dead-even battle resulted in almost no movement for both teams. And Philadelphia has started running away with No. 1 honors.

This is a big week for our rankings – the No. 1 and 2 teams will battle, as will 3 and 4. The biggest disparity in a matchup this weekend is between Cleveland and Portland, and the first game between those two teams went to overtime. Enjoy the games and hopefully we’ll shake things up next week!

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On ArenaFan: Team Rankings

The Thunder are getting dangerously close to having a worse defense than the KISS after last week’s game in Anaheim. Unfortunately, they face a reinvigorated Arizona Rattlers team this week, which won’t help them increase the gap. This week’s article also features the perfect example of how worthless yards are as a measure of offense in the AFL:

The Los Angeles KISS average more yards per game than the San Jose SaberCats, although the SaberCats have the most effective offense in the league and the KISS are the least effective.

Check out the rest of the numbers and this week’s picks over at ArenaFan.

Game Preview: Portland Thunder at Los Angeles KISS

The Portland Thunder have three wins on the season, two of which they earned at the Los Angeles KISS’ expense. If Portland wants to keep pace with the Spokane Shock and Las Vegas Outlaws (who have two wins against the KISS of their own) for a playoff spot in the National Conference, they’ll need to secure a third win over the KISS.

Meanwhile, if the KISS don’t want to spend Independence Day as a winless team, they’ll need to beat the Thunder, as their next three games are against the league’s three best teams – the San Jose SaberCats, Arizona Rattlers, and Philadelphia Soul.

Wrong Way Sports' Game Day Breakdown between the Portland Thunder and Los Angeles KISS. The Thunder have scoring and turnover margin advantages; the KISS have a yardage advantage.

Quarterback Alex Carder produced some excitement late in last week’s game against the SaberCats, throwing the first two touchdown passes of his career and showing a nice touch on deep passes. Head Coach Mike Hohensee wouldn’t say for sure who would get the start against Los Angeles, but last time someone sparked the team against San Jose with a couple of late touchdowns, Darron Thomas ended up starting the next game against…the Los Angeles KISS.

The KISS are having some consistency problems. As you can see in the infographic above, they’re really not all that far away from the Thunder statistically. Their chief problem has been that when their offense plays adequately, their defense has been abysmal, and when their defense finally steps up to the plate, as it did last week against the Jacksonville Sharks, the offense throws the game away.

Last week the Sharks missed two field goals and and extra point in the second half, giving the KISS a chance to win the game with a late drive and a PAT of their own, only to end the game with a Danny Southwick interception. If they want to have a chance in this one, the defense needs to continue to perform like they did last week and Southwick will have to at least repeat his performance in the last Thunder/KISS game, where he led the offense to touchdowns on two-thirds of the team’s offensive drives.

The bad news for the KISS: The only good games the Thunder have played on defense have been against Los Angeles, Southwick, or both combined (aka their three wins). Against the KISS/Southwick, the Thunder have stopped 38 percent of drives, which would put them in the league’s top five defenses. Against everyone else, they’re stopping just 12.9 percent of drives, which would be the worst mark in the league – even below the KISS.

Even though this is my only chance to pick the KISS and be right about it over the next month, I can’t believe they can win until they show me they can. Even without knowing which quarterback will play for the Thunder, I’ll take Portland, 57-47.

Arena Football League Midterm Grades

All 12 Arena Football League teams have made it through the midpoint of their season, so it’s an ideal time to hand out mid-term grades.

I took the offensive and defensive success rates, added them up, then let the SaberCats set the curve, giving them an overall 100 percent grade. Everyone else gets their grades adjusted based on that 100-point scale.

The National Conference’s average grade was a 73.6; the American Conference tops that with an average grade of 75.3. However, the National Conference has a huge disparity, with both the two top teams and four of the five bottom teams. The American Conference is the AFL’s middle class, with four of their six teams earning Cs halfway through the year.

San Jose SaberCats A+ 100

They have the best offense and defense in the league, they’re 10-0, and they still have potential to do more. When they look sloppy and bad, they win by 20. What happens when they play well?

Arizona Rattlers B+ 88.3

Yup, the Sabercats are wrecking the league so badly that no one else scores in the A range. Arizona’s offense has had some hiccups while working through missing their receivers early in the season and then their quarterback problems with Davila’s injury and Coleman’s leaving the team. The Defense has been really good; San Jose’s defense has just been ridiculous. If this team gets healthy, they are definitely still a threat to the SaberCats. Continue reading Arena Football League Midterm Grades

On ArenaFan: Measuring San Jose’s Success (And LA’s Lack Thereof)

How much better is San Jose’s defense (by far the best unit in the league) than Los Angeles’ defense (the worst unit in the league)?

The KISS would have to stop the next 69 opposing drives just to become San Jose’s defensive equal (if San Jose continues to force stops at the same rate). The KISS defense faces fewer than 10 drives a game, so that’s just about seven consecutive shutouts. We’re only eight games into the season!

For more drive-based stats, see my article over at ArenaFan.

(Pictured: the ninth stop of the season for the KISS. Again, we’re eight games into the season.)

Game Photos: Portland Thunder 63, LA KISS 47

Here are a couple of shots from the Thunder’s third win of the season, the second against the KISS. For the rest of the photos from Saturday’s game, head over to my Pinterest page.

Former Thunder WR Jeffrey Solomon suited up for the KISS, but his presence wasn’t enough to overcome the Thunder’s impressive offensive output.
Three Thunder defensive linemen take down KISS QB Danny Southwick, while Marquis Jackson gets ready to finish the play (The whistle was blown before Jackson could get there, fortunately).

Thunder Rain All Over KISS, 63-47

The Portland Thunder annihilated the Los Angeles KISS on Saturday night, 63-47, behind a great performance from Darron Thomas. Of course, last week, Shock QB Warren Smith lit up the KISS, only to be on the receiving end of an 83-28 beatdown to San Jose this week, so we’ll have to wait another week to actually evaluate Thomas.

Since the game wasn’t memorable despite two kick returns for touchdowns and a bar ball recovery, and all I could think of were ways to discuss the KISS’ performances this season, here are my in-game and post-game thoughts.

  • The KISS are the team you’d schedule for homecoming.
  • Games with the KISS involved are as competitive as that Romney/Holyfield boxing match would’ve been if it had been a real fight.
  • The KISS offense makes opposing defenses look like the Russian army in the winter – no matter who’s leading them, they’re not getting through.
  • The KISS defense makes any opposing QB look like they’re stealing defensive signals.

Continue reading Thunder Rain All Over KISS, 63-47

Game Preview: Thunder vs. KISS

These teams epitomize the old maxim: The best kind of ability is availability. Unfortunately, they’re displaying its validity through their struggles with consistency due to injuries.

The Thunder (2-4) are coming off a bye, which fortuitously arrived after a brutal three-game stretch where they played consecutive road games against the three-time defending champions and both of the league’s currently undefeated teams. With a week of rest, they’ll look to topple the team who they beat to start the season, the Los Angeles KISS (0-7). After playing the Thunder close in Week 1, the KISS have been punching bags for the rest of the league, their smallest margin of defeat being 13 points.

Game Day Breakdown, Portland Thunder vs. LA KISS. Thunder 246.7 yards/game; KISS 265.3. Thunder 44 points/game; KISS 36.1. Thunder 12 turnovers; KISS 14. Thunder defense is surrendering 291.7 yards/game; KISS 268.9. Thunder surrendering 52.5 points/game; KISS 57.6. Thunder have forced 9 turnovers; KISS 5. Watch out for Darron Thomas, making his first start since the final game of 2014. Continue reading Game Preview: Thunder vs. KISS