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Off the Net: Return to the Regular Season, Player Edition

August 7, 2017 (Photo Credit: Baltimore Brigade)
Raudabaugh Sets Youngest Marks for 30,000 Yards – Part of the reason why the Philadelphia Soul finished the year with the best record in the AFL is because of the play of Dan Raudabaugh. He finished the year with 3,175 yards and 82 touchdowns. In the process, Raudabaugh reached the career milestones of 30,000 passing yards, the tenth in AFL history to get to that illustrious mark. The "Red Rocket" is only the second man to reach the plateau at the age of 30, and he accomplished the goal 285 days faster than Nick Davila. Raudabaugh also became the fifth quarterback in AFL history to throw for 30,000 yards for one franchise.

Youngest Quarterbacks To Throw for 30,000 Yards in AFL History
Dan Raudabaugh: 30 years, 72 days
Nick Davila: 30 years, 357 days
Tommy Grady: 31 years, 78 days
Aaron Garcia: 33 years, 209 days
Mark Grieb: 33 years, 339 days
John Dutton: 34 years, 237 days
Clint Dolezel: 35 years, 3 days


List of Quarterbacks to Throw for 30,000 Yards for One Franchise
Mark Grieb (San Jose SaberCats): 46,893
Sherdrick Bonner (Arizona Rattlers): 40,959
Aaron Garcia (Iowa Barnstormers/New York Dragons): 35,065
Nick Davila (Arizona Rattlers): 32,616
Dan Raudabaugh (Philadelphia Soul): 30,886


Raudabaugh's Winning Streak Snapped at 14 – Philadelphia's 14-game regular season winning streak was one of the most epic in the history of the AFL. The Soul fell just one shy of the all-time record for regular season wins, and Raudabaugh came up just one short of the most consecutive wins by a starting quarterback. Ironically, though, none of those 15-game winning streaks that the Soul came short of featured just one quarterback. The longest winning streak by a starting quarterback in AFL history is also 15, but it belongs to Erik Meyer, who won his games over two seasons in 2014 and 2015 with two different teams, Spokane and San Jose. Raudabaugh's 14 in a row shouldn't be scoffed at, though. Only Meyer, Raudabaugh and Hall of Famer, Jay Gruden have ever won 14 consecutive starts.

Most Consecutive Regular Season Wins by a Starting Quarterback in AFL History
Erik Meyer (2014-15): 15
Dan Raudabaugh (2016-17): 14
Jay Gruden (1992-93): 14
Aaron Garcia (2011): 13
Mark Grieb (2001-02): 13


T.T. Takes Over – There may never be another T.T. Toliver in the history of the AFL again. Toliver, playing in his 15th year of arena football, spent the 2017 season merely continuing to build his Hall of Fame resume. Toliver finished up this year with just about every record you could ask for in AFL history. He has 1,241 receptions (1st), 16,293 receiving yards (1st), 314 receiving touchdowns (3rd), 2,056 points scored (4th) and 22,047 all-purpose yards (1st). This year, Toliver became the first ever to log 1,200 receptions, 16,000 receiving yards and 22,000 all-purpose yards in AFL history, and he became the fourth to score 300 receiving touchdowns and the fifth to score 2,000 points.

Most Receptions in AFL History
T.T. Toliver: 1,241
Damian Harrell: 1,164
Tiger Jones: 1,041
Lawrence Samuels: 1,035
Chris Jackson: 1,004


Most Receiving Yards in AFL History
T.T. Toliver: 16,293
Damian Harrell: 15,134
Tiger Jones: 14,329
Barry Wagner: 13,363
Chris Jackson: 13,355


Most Receiving Touchdowns in AFL History
Damian Harrell: 357
Chris Jackson: 325
T.T. Toliver: 314
Eddie Brown: 303
Donovan Morgan: 290


Most Points Scored in AFL History
Barry Wagner: 2,490
Damian Harrell: 2,172
Eddie Brown: 2,076
T.T. Toliver: 2,056
Chris Jackson: 2,052


Most All-Purpose Yards in AFL History
T.T. Toliver: 22,047
Barry Wagner: 21,024
George LaFrance: 20,343
Hunkie Cooper: 18,534
Chris Jackson: 16,627


Lewis, Gray Each Log 1,500 Career Points – For all of the hubbub surrounding Toliver and his march on the AFL record books, Mark Lewis and Reggie Gray each made a bit of history in their own right in 2017. Lewis finished the year with 68 total points, allowing him to become the third kicker in AFL history to log at least 1,500 points. Gray scored 78 points and became the 15th all-time member of the AFL's 1,500-point club.

Hills Breaks TD Streak, Scores 200th Touchdown – Damian Harrell's streak of consecutive games with a receiving touchdown seemed like it would never be touched. The league's all-time leader in career touchdowns held the record for consecutive games with a touchdown for a decade at 78 games. Joe Hills, though, has snapped the unbreakable mark. In a streak that could only be rivaled to perhaps Joe DiMaggio's 56 consecutive games with a hit, No. 81 has found the end zone in 81 straight games. But Hills' streak was very nearly stopped in Week 2 against Philadelphia. Hills scored his touchdown of the night with 0:30 left in the game to continue the epic streak. Hills also became the second-fastest man and the 15th overall in AFL history to score 200 career receiving touchdowns, falling just four games short of Hall of Famer, Eddie Brown.

Fewest Games to Score 200 Receiving Touchdowns in AFL History
Eddie Brown: 71 Games
Joe Hills: 75 Games
Rod Windsor: 78 Games
Reggie Gray: 80 Games
Tiger Jones: 82 Games


Most Consecutive Games with a Receiving Touchdown in AFL History
Joe Hills: 81 Games
Damian Harrell: 78 Games
Chris Jackson: 52 Games


Carden Posts Best Rookie Year Since 2011 – Outside of the huge boon of new talent that flooded into the league for the 2010 season, there haven't been a slew of rookie quarterbacks bred and cultivated in the AFL. Omarr Smith, though, found a diamond in the rough with Shane Carden. Carden took over for Chase Cartwright in the first game in the history of the Baltimore Brigade and immediately started to put on a show. Though Carden did lead the AFL in interceptions this year, he's the reason the Brigade were able to become the first expansion franchise since the 2014 Portland Thunder to clinch a playoff appearance. Carden's 3,189 passing yards ranks No. 16 in AFL history for rookie quarterbacks and makes him the first rookie pivot since Brad Banks and Kurt Rocco in 2011 to throw for 3,000 yards. Carden also had a pair of 350+ passing yards on the season, making him the eighth rookie to do so in the history of the AFL. His crowning moment? A 49-42 win over the Soul to prevent them from matching the longest winning streak in AFL history. Carden became the first rookie to beat a defending ArenaBowl champion since 2014 when Nathan Stanley knocked off Arizona.

Rookie Quarterbacks to Beat Defending ArenaBowl Champions (Since 2000)
Shane Carden (2017 vs. Philadelphia)

Nathan Stanley (2014 vs. Arizona)
Brad Banks (2011 vs. Spokane)
Danny Wimprine (2008 vs. San Jose)
Jeff Smoker (2007 vs. Chicago)
Sonny Cumbie (2006 vs. Colorado)
Chad Salisbury (2000 vs. Albany)


Benson Blows Past 1,500 Yards, 100 TDs – Mykel Benson might be playing on his sixth team in seven AFL seasons, but what he has been able to accomplish as a fullback has been largely unmatched. Benson rumbled for 274 yards and a career-high 23 touchdowns in 2017, and in the process, he moved into fourth place on the all-time rushing list and became just the fifth man in AFL history to score 100 TDs on the ground. Benson's Week 2 game against Tampa Bay was one for the record books as well. His 17 carries that day marked the fourth most in a single game in AFL history.

Most Rushing Yards in AFL History
Derrick Ross: 3,245
Bernard Morris: 1,705
Bo Kelly: 1,571
Mykel Benson: 1,549
Bob McMillen: 1,514


Most Rushing Touchdowns in AFL History
Derrick Ross: 195
Barry Wagner: 127
Mykel Benson: 110
Andre Bowden: 103
Odie Armstrong: 101


Ings Sets Storm Franchise Marks – In the same game Week 2 that Benson finished with his 17 carries, Kendrick Ings logged a whopping 346 all-purpose yards, the most by a Storm player in the franchise's storied history. Ings finished the year with four kick return touchdowns, the most by a player in Tampa Bay history, and he now has nine kick returns for touchdowns for his Storm career, matching the franchise mark set by Hall of Famer George LaFrance.

Nelson Rumbles For Back-To-Back 60+ Rushing Yards Games – The Cleveland Gladiators went through a quarterback carousel at the start of the season. From Shane Boyd to Tanner Marsh, the carousel finally stopped on Arvell Nelson in Week 3. It's a good thing it did. Nelson guided the Gladiators back to the postseason for the fourth consecutive season. But it was his two games in Weeks 4 and 5 that stood out the most, and it was his legs that did the talking. Nelson rushed for exactly 60 yards in both games, and in the process, he became the first man since Derrick Ross to have consecutive games of 50+ rushing yards (2013) and 60+ rushing yards (2012).

Bell, Summers Continue Sack Barrage – The old-timers had themselves a field day in the sack department in 2017. Beau Bell and Derrick Summers finished with 12.5 and 7.5 sacks respectively this season, and both moved way up the all-time sacks list in AFL history. Bell, who logged the first double-digit sack season in the AFL since 2015, is now up to sixth place on the all-time sack list. Summers, who finished off the 2017 season with the tenth individual game in AFL history in which a player had four sacks or more, is right there as well tied for eighth in career sacks.

Bell broke the Soul record for sacks in a season with 12.5, smashing the previous record of 11, previously held by Bryan Robinson. Keep in mind that Bell missed two games this year and played in just 12 games! Bell also broke the all-time career sack record by a man who primarily lined up at Mack Linebacker.

Most Sacks in AFL History
Sam Hernandez: 60
Mike Lewis: 59
Joe Sykes: 53.5
Jermaine Smith: 51
James Baron: 50
Tom Briggs: 49
Beau Bell: 49
Francis Maka: 46.5
Derrick Summers: 46.5


Most Sacks in a Single Season in AFL History
Joe Sykes (2015): 18.5
Joe Sykes (2012): 16
Gabe Nyenhuis (2010): 15.5
Greg White (2007): 15
Joe Sykes (2013): 14.5
James Ruffin (2005): 14
Silas Demary (2005): 13.5
Craig Walls (1987): 13
Scooter Berry (2012): 13
Beau Bell (2014): 13
Beau Bell (2017): 12.5
Joe March (1991): 12.5
Tim Cheatwood (2011): 12.5
Cliff Dukes (2011): 12.5
Mike Lewis (2012): 12.5
Mike Lewis (2013): 12.5
Jason Stewart (2014): 12.5


Talley Finished with Highest Yards Per Catch Average Since '14 – There was a point in the middle of the 2017 season that Julian Talley was quietly having one of the best seasons in the AFL. Injuries derailed Talley's season, but he still finished averaging 16.6 yards per catch. He's the first man since Khalil Paden in 2014 to average more than 16 yards per reception and finished with the 12th best season in terms of yards per reception in AFL history.

Highest Yards Per Reception Average in AFL History (Minimum 40 Receptions)
Larry Ray Willis: 19.6 (1996)
Carl Aikens Jr.: 18.3 (1988)
Stevie Thomas: 18.0 (1992)
Larry Ray Willis: 17.6 (1998)
Stevie Thomas: 17.4 (1993)
Khalil Paden: 17.3 (2014)
Randy Hymes: 17.3 (2010)
Cornelius White: 17.2 (2000)
Russell Hairston: 16.8 (1987)
Jerry Reese: 16.7 (2000)
LaShaun Ward: 16.6 (2008)
Julian Talley: 16.6 (2017)


AFL Regular Season Accolades

Top Passing Performances
Randy Hippeard (Tampa Bay) – 66.4% Completions, 3,506 Yards, 80 TDs, 8 INTs
Shane Carden (Baltimore) – 63.8% Completions, 3,189 Yards, 63 TDs, 16 INTs
Dan Raudabaugh (Philadelphia) – 66.6% Completions, 3,175 Yards, 82 TDs, 10 INTs
Arvell Nelson (Cleveland) – 64.0% Completions, 3,084 Yards, 61 TDs, 13 INTs
Sean Brackett (Washington) – 61.1% Completions, 1,866 Yards, 36 TDs, 10 INTs


Top Receiving Performances
Joe Hills (Tampa Bay) – 129 Receptions, 1,353 Yards, 36 TDs
Darius Reynolds (Philadelphia) – 84 Receptions, 1,272 Yards, 35 TDs
Kendrick Ings (Tampa Bay) – 98 Receptions, 1,031 Yards, 22 TDs
Quentin Sims (Cleveland) – 79 Receptions, 1,071 Yards, 24 TDs
Ryan McDaniel (Philadelphia) – 80 Receptions, 940 Yards, 20 TDs


Top Rushing Performances
Mykel Benson (Philadelphia) – 108 Carries, 274 Yards, 23 TDs
Arvell Nelson (Cleveland) – 51 Carries, 221 Yards, 12 TDs
Randy Hippeard (Tampa Bay) – 41 Carries, 127 Yards, 7 TDs
Will Corbin (Washington) – 21 Carries, 119 Yards, 3 TDs
Shane Carden (Baltimore) – 37 Carries, 114 Yards, 8 TDs


Top Defensive Performances
Dwayne Hollis (Philadelphia) – 72 Tackles, 7 INTs, 3 Fumble Recoveries, 1 Forced Fumble, 2 TDs
Alvin Ray Jackson (Tampa Bay) – 56 Tackles, 4 INTs, 5 Fumble Recoveries, 2 Forced Fumbles, 2 TDs
Joe Goosby (Philadelphia) – 67 Tackles, 1 Sack, 4 INTs, 2 Fumble Recoveries, 4 Forced Fumbles
Sean Daniels (Philadelphia) – 31 Tackles, 8.5 Sacks, 3 Fumble Recoveries, 3 Forced Fumbles, 1 TD
Beau Bell (Philadelphia) – 31 Tackles, 12.5 Sacks, 2 Fumble Recoveries, 1 Forced Fumble