Tag Archives: Philadelphia Soul

AFL Power Rankings, Week 15

Before I start, I’d like to tout my 8-0 record in picking games so far, since it’s not often I have this kind of prognostication prowess, and I’d like to do it before I lose a game.

Now that that’s done, here are some fun facts about Week 14 and the Arena Football League season so far:

  • Philadelphia had the first 100% successful offensive week since Jacksonville’s Week 8 win. (Orlando is the only other team to have turned in a 100% week, having done so three times.)
  • The league’s best offense (by success rate – surrender rate) can be found in the desert, with the Rattlers (80.5%) eking out the Predators (80.3%) and “whoever plays the Steel” (80.2%).
  • The league’s best defense is still “whoever plays the Storm” with a 60.3% success rate. “Whoever plays the Steel” is No. 2 at 56.9%, and the Soul round out the Top 3 at 45.8%.
  • Defensive touchdowns – your team either scores ’em a lot or they don’t. Arizona has 11, Cleveland has nine, and Philadelphia has eight…but no one else has more than four. Tampa Bay still hasn’t scored a defensive touchdown in 2016.
  • On offense, there are three tiers: Portland and Tampa Bay’s offenses have given up 11 touchdowns each, and Arizona (0), Jacksonville (1), and Orlando (1) have surrendered just two combined. The remaining three teams have between 4-6 surrendered TDs.
  • Tampa Bay converted nearly 72 percent of offensive possessions into touchdowns in weeks 7-9, culminating in their win against the Rattlers. Aside from those three weeks, the Storm offense has been stopped more often than it’s scored in every game.
  • Why do I weight the rankings? If I didn’t, the last time a team passed another team (aside from LA and Cleveland dancing around the middle) would have been Week 4. Boorrrrrrrring!

Continue reading AFL Power Rankings, Week 15

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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!

AFL Fun Facts, Post-Week 10

I’ve lost my ability to use Photoshop, so no cool graphs or .gifs anymore. All I have for you are fun facts about the Arena Football League as the regular season heads into its homestretch.

  • Two teams have yet to surrender a defensive touchdown – Arizona and Jacksonville.
  • One team has yet to score a defensive touchdown – Tampa Bay.
  • The LA KISS lost their game against the Orlando Predators via a botched FG snap that bounced through the end zone. It was the first safety recorded of 2016.
  • Because of Brandon Thompkins’ two kickoff return TDs in the fourth quarter that kept the Predators in it, the Predators offense took the field for only five drives. The next fewest drives in a game this season is seven, achieved by the KISS (in this game), and the Storm in Week 5. (Portland had the most, 15, in a Week 1 loss to Arizona.)
  • Speaking of Thompkins, he leads a Predators special teams unit that has EIGHT special teams touchdowns in 10 games. Tampa Bay has the second-most with three.
  • Portland’s maligned defense has come up with lots of stops recently. After having three combined stops against first team offenses in their first four games combined, the defense has come up with 3+ stops in three of their last four games, including six stops of Tampa Bay last week (plus two special teams fumble recoveries).
  • On the other hand, Orlando’s defense has melted down recently. After getting more than one stop in each of their first seven games, they’ve managed just one stop in each of the last three. They’re 1-2 in those games, with the win being due to an unforced error on LA’s part.
  • The Philadelphia Soul now lead the league in weighted offensive and defensive success rate, which is why they’re my No. 1 team in my upcoming Power Rankings post.
  • …and Cleveland‘s offense has become pretty darn good under Arvell Nelson. Since he took over as starter, the Gladiators have had 70% or better scoring rates in every game, a number they failed to achieve even once in their first four games. Under Nelson’s leadership, the offense went from Tampa Bay-levels of production to slightly better than Jacksonville’s.

 

Facebook Cover Schedules, Vol. 1

Now that the Portland Steel have finally been named and their logo has been announced, I’m able to finish the home schedule graphics I’ve made as Facebook cover images. Of course, after using my template from last year to show what areas would be covered, it appears that Facebook has made it so even more of your profile pic will be in the way of the image, removing the 2016 part of the image.

I hope you’ll be able to live with having to remember what year it is. 😃

Anyway, here are the American Conference’s team schedules; you can see the National Conference schedules at this link.

2016 Jacksonville Sharks' home schedule.

2016 Orlando Predators' home schedule.

2016 Philadelphia Soul's home schedule.

2016 Tampa Bay Storm's home schedule.

 

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

Thunder Can’t Stop Soul; Fall 52-35

Portland Thunder Press Release:

PHILADELPHIA – Thunder receiver Jared Perry hauled in five passes, for 74 yards, and two scores, but that was not enough to keep Portland (2-4, 1-1) from suffering their third successive road loss, falling 52-35 to the Philadelphia Soul (6-0, 1-0) Saturday night in front of 7,011 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.

“We’ve gone through the rough part of our schedule,” stated Thunder head coach Mike Hohensee, following the loss. “We have to come back with a sense of urgency, understanding that everyone is accountable for these performances.”

The Thunder head into their first bye week of the 2015 AFL season on the heels of a winless three weeks on the road, which included losses to the 4-1 Arizona Rattlers, the 5-0 San Jose SaberCats, and the now 6-0 Soul.

“I want our guys to enjoy their loved ones, and get their rest, but when we come back, we are going to grind again,” Hohensee continued. “Our guys need to find out whether or not they will be the reason we turn this streak around.”

Portland fell behind by two scores early in the second quarter, and were made to play catch up the rest of the way. Soul quarterback Dan Raudabaugh hit receivers Shaun Kauleinamoku and Marco Thomas with 32 and 27 yard TD passes respectively, sandwiching a Thunder turnover on downs at the 11:26 mark of the second. Named the J. Lewis Small Playmaker of the Game, Shaun Kauleinamoku totaled seven catches for 122 yards and four touchdowns on the night.

Philadelphia, who average 59.5 PPG, were held to their lowest point total this season (52). Offense has been the focus for the Soul in 2015 under coach Clint Dolezel, who attempted two onside kicks following Soul scores that provided two touchdown cushions. Both failed, but showed the third year coach’s intent.

The game devolved in a third quarter that saw 11 penalties called between the clubs, and ejections for both Thunder DB Quincy Butler, and Philadelphia receiver Marco Thomas. Portland finished the evening with eight infractions, totaling 60 yards, while Philadelphia committed 15 on the night, for 72 total yards lost.

WR/KR Duane Brooks returned a kickoff from Soul K Tommy Frevert 54 yards to make the score 45-35, and bring the Thunder within 10 points midway through the fourth quarter. Brooks’ return marks the first kickoff returned the length of the field for a touchdown in Thunder history. WR Jamar Howard, currently on injured reserve, returned an onside kick attempt for a score last season.

Thunder quarterback Kyle Rowley completed 17 of his 38 passes for 169 yards and four scores. His counterpart, Raudabaugh, threw for 274 yards and six TD’s from his 22 completions of 38 attempts. WR V’Keon Lacey was stymied in his return to Philadelphia. The former Soul receiver tallied just four catches for 42 yards in his first game against his former club.

Game Preview: Portland Thunder at Philadelphia Soul

The Portland Thunder had a tough week, although no one outside of San Jose had an opportunity to see how tough it was. They lost on the road to the undefeated San Jose Sabercats by a comfortable amount and lost top WR Jamar Howard to an injury for the next couple of months.

Their reward for getting past that game? Now they’ll travel across the country to take on the league’s OTHER undefeated team.

Game Day Breakdown: Portland Thunder vs. Philadelphia Soul. The Soul best the Thunder in yardage, points, and turnovers on offense and defense.

They’ll try to make up for Howard’s absence with more plays to former Soul receiver V’Keon Lacey as well as former fourth receiver Perez Ashford, who produced career highs in Howard’s absence in San Jose.

However, the defense will also have to try to slow down the league’s top scoring offense, as the Soul average 61 points per game. (The Thunder’s last two opponents, San Jose and Arizona, are second and third in the league, respectively).

Fourth down looks like it could play a huge role in this game, as well, as the Soul lead the league in fourth-down conversion rate, having converted nine of their 12 opportunities, while the Thunder are tied with the Voodoo for last in the league, having converted just three of 11 chances. The Soul are second in the league in stopping fourth-down conversions as well, having given up a first down on just three of 12 fourth-down plays.

All in all, the Thunder are going up against a better team while missing one of their biggest weapons, on the road, across the country…it’s going to be pretty difficult to get back to .500 on the season.

On the bright side, because the game isn’t in San Jose, Thunder fans will at least have the opportunity to see how the team looks against a potential ArenaBowl team.

Choosing your team for the 2015 AFL season

Great! You chose to be an Arena Football fan based on my last blog post. Now, what team should you root for? Check out my newest flow chart over at ArenaFan (here’s a small portion of it below).

Part of the "Pick your 2015 AFL Team" flowchart over at ArenaFan

AFL 2015 Schedule Cover Images: American Conference

I wanted to take on a project yesterday, so I decided to make these Facebook cover images for anyone who’s an Arena Football League fan. If Facebook told me correctly in its sizing guide, the sides will drop off on mobile and you’ll still have a pretty good-looking cover image with the home schedule. And when you view them on the web, you’ll get the added bonus of being able to see your team’s away schedule!

Here are the American Conference images (NOTE: Philadelphia’s looks a little off because of where your profile picture will cover up; I wanted the logo to still be visible. It’ll look better on an actual page):

Cleveland Gladiators Schedule FB Cover Image

2015 Jacksonville Sharks Schedule Cover Image

2015 New Orleans Voodoo Schedule Cover Image

2015 Orlando Predators Schedule Cover Image

2015 Philadelphia Soul Schedule Cover Image

Tampa Bay Storm Cover Image

Note: I was working on these until nearly 3 a.m., so it’s possible I made some errors in transcribing the schedule. Let me know if your team’s is wrong and I’ll do my best to fix it quickly! If you’re a fan of a National Conference team, check out that set here.