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AFL's Inside the Numbers: AFL Semifinals

August 11, 2017
Brigade Attempt To Become First Expansion Team Since 2010 To Win Playoff Game

Brigade Try To Break Expansion Hex – Expansion teams haven't always had the best luck in the playoffs. They're just 10-22 all-time in postseason games, including winning just four road games. The last time an expansion team won a postseason game was in 2010 when the Spokane Shock won ArenaBowl XXIII. The Baltimore Brigade will attempt to end all of that on Saturday afternoon against the Philadelphia Soul. If Baltimore was to go on to upset Philadelphia, it would become the first expansion team to win a road playoff game since 2001 when the Chicago Rush upset the Orlando Predators 41-26. The Brigade can also become the third expansion franchise in AFL history to beat a defending ArenaBowl champion. Chicago did it to Orlando in 2001, while the Iowa Barnstormers ousted the Arizona Rattlers from the 1995 playoffs.

Expansion Teams To Win Postseason Games in AFL History
*2010 Spokane Shock (vs. Arizona, vs. Milwaukee, vs. Tampa Bay)
2010 Milwaukee Iron (vs. Chicago)
2002 Dallas Desperados (vs. Indiana)
2001 Chicago Rush (at Orlando)
1995 Iowa Barnstormers (at Arizona)
*1988 Detroit Drive (vs. Pittsburgh, at Chicago)
*1987 Denver Dynamite (at Pittsburgh)

*Denotes Won ArenaBowl

Soul, Storm Hope To Move Up Franchise Postseason Win List – The Tampa Bay Storm franchise is the only one to date back to the origins of the AFL. Including its Pittsburgh days, the team is set to embark upon its 42nd all-time playoff game on Monday, and its 23 wins are just one shy of the 24 the Orlando Predators have in their history, the second most in AFL history. Meanwhile, the Philadelphia Soul, who captured the ArenaBowl last season, are tied with the old Detroit Drive for the fifth most playoff wins in AFL history and can break that tie with a victory over Baltimore on Saturday.

Most Franchise Postseason Wins in AFL History
Arizona Rattlers: 35
Orlando Predators: 24
Tampa Bay Storm/Pittsburgh Gladiators: 23
San Jose SaberCats: 19
Philadelphia Soul: 13
Detroit Drive/Massachusetts Marauders: 13

Raudabaugh Seeks Ninth Postseason Win – The four projected starting quarterbacks in the 2017 AFL playoffs have combined to win nine games in the second season. Eight of the nine wins belong to Dan Raudabaugh. Raudabaugh, the only quarterback of the four to have won an ArenaBowl, has already thrown for 3,470 yards and 77 touchdowns in his 13 postseason games. He has more attempts, completions, yards, touchdowns and wins than Arvell Nelson, Shane Boyd and Randy Hippeard respectively, and he'll hope that experience will lead the Soul to a second straight ArenaBowl title.

Top Passers in Postseason (Active Players)
Dan Raudabaugh (Philadelphia) – 296/464, 3,470 Yards, 77 TDs, 16 INTs
Arvell Nelson (Cleveland) – 52/111, 706 Yards, 11 TDs, 6 INTs
Shane Boyd (Baltimore) – 26/50, 470 Yards, 12 TDs, 3 INTs
Randy Hippeard (Tampa Bay) – 25/46, 287 Yards, 5 TDs, 2 INTs

Gray Enters Postseason Win Big Receiving Lead – Reggie Gray has already cemented himself as one of the all-time greats in the history of the AFL. He enters the 2017 postseason as the top receiver by a wide margin amongst the active players with his 79 receptions and 920 yards. His 23 touchdowns ties him with Joe Hills for the most by an active receiver in the AFL in the postseason, and it shouldn't be shocking that both of these men have found the end zone at least once in all of their career playoff games.

Top Receivers in Postseason (Active Players)
Reggie Gray (Baltimore) – 79 Catches, 920 Yards, 23 TDs
Shaun Kauleinamoku (Philadelphia) – 59 Catches, 765 Yards, 13 TDs
Joe Hills (Tampa Bay) – 55 Catches, 640 Yards, 23 TDs
Brandon Thompkins (Baltimore) – 38 Catches, 448 Yards, 6 TDs
Darius Reynolds (Philadelphia) – 27 Catches, 433 Yards, 11 TDs
Collin Taylor (Cleveland) – 39 Catches, 423 Yards, 6 TDs
Ryan McDaniel (Philadelphia) – 36 Catches, 395 Yards, 6 TDs

Up and Running – Though there's absolutely no sure thing in playoff football, the one thing you can take to the bank is the Mykel Benson is probably going to find the end zone. Benson has played in six playoff games in his career and has scored at least one rushing touchdown in all six. The man with the third-most rushing touchdowns in AFL regular season history has 108 yards and 10 rushing touchdowns in his career, numbers he'll almost surely add to on Saturday against Baltimore.

Top Rushers in Postseason (Active Players)
Mykel Benson (Philadelphia) – 108 Yards, 10 TDs
Jeramie Richardson (Cleveland) – 67 Yards, 3 TDs
Rory Nixon (Baltimore) – 23 Yards, 3 TDs

Brown Acquisition Gives Brigade Boost to Secondary – Arkeith Brown was a quiet signing for the Brigade prior to their Week 18 loss to the Washington Valor. Brown is one of the seven men in AFL history to have at least two interception returns for touchdowns in the postseason in a career, and he's the only man who has three. Brown also has eight career interceptions in the playoffs, tied for the third most in AFL history.

Most Interception Returns for Touchdowns in AFL Postseason History
Arkeith Brown: 3
Johnnie Harris: 2
Damon Mason: 2
Kenny McEntyre: 2
Dennison Robinson: 2
Lawrence Samuels: 2
Stevie Thomas: 2

Most Career Interceptions in AFL Postseason History
Kenny McEntyre: 13
Barry Wagner: 12
Arkeith Brown: 8
Marquis Floyd: 8

Dolezel Attempts To Move Up Coaching List – Clint Dolezel enters the 2017 postseason with six career postseason victories, tied for the tenth most in AFL history. The rest of the coaches in the postseason have just one win between them, that being Ron James' lone victory when he was the coach of the Utah Blaze in 2011. Ron Selesky is leading a team into the playoffs for the first time in his career. The last time a coach won his very first career postseason game was Andy Olson, who led the Spokane Shock to a 69-47 win over the Chicago Rush.

Best Postseason Coaching Records (Active Coaches)
Clint Dolezel (Philadelphia) – 6-4
Ron James (Tampa Bay) – 1-3
Omarr Smith (Baltimore) – 0-1
Ron Selesky (Cleveland) – 0-0