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Off the Net: Return to Week 11

June 19, 2017 (Photo Credit: Cleveland Gladiators)
Soul Lock Up Postseason Home Game – The Philadelphia Soul are going to be home for the postseason once again. By beating the Tampa Bay Storm in Week 11, the Soul are guaranteed to finish in either the No. 1 or No. 2 position in the final league standings. Philadelphia has hosted 10 postseason games in the past and sports a 9-1 record in those games. The Soul are also 7-1 all-time in their opening round playoff games.

Soul Sprint to 9-0 – No team has ever run the table in the regular season in AFL history, but the 2017 Soul are now five games away from changing all of that. After dismissing Tampa Bay in Week 11, Philadelphia sits at 9-0, making it the eighth team in AFL history to start a season with nine consecutive wins. The Soul are also two wins short of tying an AFL record for the most consecutive regular season wins and the most consecutive wins (regular season and playoffs).

Most Consecutive Wins to Start a Season in AFL History
2014 Arizona Rattlers: 14
2002 San Jose SaberCats: 12
2015 San Jose SaberCats: 11
1994 Orlando Predators: 11
1988 Chicago Bruisers: 10
2017 Philadelphia Soul: 9
2014 Cleveland Gladiators: 9
2008 Philadelphia Soul: 9

Most Consecutive Wins (Including Playoffs) in AFL History
2013-14 Arizona Rattlers: 18
1995-96 Tampa Bay Storm: 17
2016-17 Philadelphia Soul: 16
1992-93 Detroit Drive: 16

Most Consecutive Regular Season Wins in AFL History
2000-01 San Jose SaberCats: 15
2007-08 Dallas Desperados: 15
2013-14 Arizona Rattlers: 15
1995-96 Tampa Bay Storm: 14
2016-17 Philadelphia Soul: 13
1992-93 Detroit Drive: 13
2001-02 San Jose SaberCats: 13
2011 Jacksonville Sharks: 13

One Shy for Hills – One more game. That's all Joe Hills needs to tie the record set by Damian Harrell for the most consecutive games with a touchdown in AFL history. Hills sits on 77 straight games with a touchdown after finding the end zone in the first quarter at Philadelphia. He scored four times in Week 11, the 12th time he has logged at least four TDs in his last 24 regular season games. Hills also finished Week 11 with a season-high 161 yards on 12 receptions. He surpassed both Darryl Hammond (8,456) and Kevin Swayne (8,488) on the all-time receiving yards list. Hills also moved past Randy Gatewood into 21st place all-time in career receptions and is now eight shy of joining the 700-reception club.

Most Receptions in AFL History
19: Reggie Gray: 729
20: Jason Willis: 717
21: Joe Hills: 692

22: Randy Gatewood: 690

Most Receiving Yards in AFL History
20: Jason Willis: 8,613
21: Hunkie Cooper: 8,599
22: Joe Hills: 8,529

23: Kevin Swayne: 8,488
24: Darryl Hammond: 8,456

Carden's Career Day – Shane Carden continued taking strides to ensure that he'll be the 2017 AFL Rookie of the Year. Though it wasn't quite enough to beat the Cleveland Gladiators in Week 11, the Baltimore Brigade rookie completed 27 passes for 359 yards and seven touchdowns, all career-highs and franchise-highs for the Brigade. Carden's 359 yards was the most in a game by a rookie quarterback since Bryan Randall threw for 387 yards for the Pittsburgh Power in 2012 at San Antonio. The last rookie quarterback to throw for seven touchdowns in a game was Adam Kennedy, who did so for the New Orleans VooDoo in Week 19 of the 2014 season. Unfortunately for Carden, he also  threw a career-high three interceptions.

Carden Joins Rare Company – Carden wasn't done there in Week 11. By throwing for 359 yards, he now has two games of 350+ passing yards this season. He's the eighth man to throw for 350 or more yards at least twice in a rookie season and is one away from tying the all-time rookie record.

Most 350+ Yard Passing Games by a Rookie in AFL History
Brad Banks, 2011: 3
Justin Allgood, 2010: 3
Nick Davila, 2010: 3
Tommy Grady, 2010: 3
Nick Hill, 2010: 3
Shane Carden, 2017: 2
Kyle Rowley, 2010: 2
Lang Campbell, 2007: 2

There's a First Time For Everything – The Gladiators intercepted Carden three times in Week 11. All three picks were the first in the respective careers of Lonnie Outlaw, Kenny Veal and Jordan Holland. Outlaw, normally a wide receiver, had a fumble recovery to go with his interception. Not bad for his first career start on the defensive side of the ball.

Benson Bowls to 100 TDs – Mykel Benson had a banner day in Week 11. He rushed the ball seven times for 22 yards and a career-high four rushing touchdowns. It was the first four-touchdown game in the AFL since June 28, 2015 when John Martinez rumbled into the end zone four times for the Portland Thunder. Benson's second rushing TD made him the fifth man to pick up 100 career scores on the ground, while his fourth score of the night moved him past Odie Armstrong into fourth all-time on the rushing touchdowns list. His 22 yards also puts Benson into the top five all-time in career rushing yards.

Most Rushing Touchdowns in AFL History
Derrick Ross: 195
Barry Wagner: 127
Andre Bowden: 103
Mykel Benson: 102
Odie Armstrong: 101

Most Rushing Yards in AFL History
Derrick Ross: 3,245
Bernard Morris: 1,705
Bo Kelly: 1,571
Bob McMillen: 1,514
Mykel Benson: 1,443
Odie Armstrong: 1,438

Three Quarters of the Way There – The way things seemed to be going for the Gladiators in Week 11, they were trending towards the first 80+ point effort of the AFL season. They had 59 points on the board with 4:24 left in the third quarter, marking just the third time in team history they scored nine or more touchdowns through three quarters of a game. Strangely though, the club didn't score again in the last 19:24 of the game.

AFL Week 11 Odds and Ends
-Carden started off just 2-for-6 against the Gladiators, but he proceeded to roll off 16 consecutive completions. It was the most straight pass completions by any player this season and fell four shy of the AFL record.

-The 10,877 in attendance at Quicken Loans Arena in Week 11 was the biggest crowd to see an AFL game since Philadelphia's home opener in Week 4.

-The Brigade didn't attempt a single rush in Week 11. It's the first time a team didn't even try to run the ball in a game since May 28, 2016 when the Gladiators didn't attempt a rush against Philadelphia. More interesting? Zero isn't the fewest rushing yards in a game this year. The Storm had -3 rushing yards against Baltimore in Week 9.

-Quentin Sims now has six consecutive games with at least 92 receiving yards. He also became the first receiver in the AFL to reach 1,000 yards this season and will enter Week 12 with a league-leading 1,071. Sims had 71 of the 72 yards for the Cleveland offense in a 20-point first quarter. Hills was nearly the second to get to 1,000 yards on the season, but he's stuck on 999 after his 161-yard performance in Week 11.

-Julian Talley had seven receptions for 116 yards and two touchdowns for the Brigade in Week 11. He's averaging 17.2 yards per reception this year. Just one man (Khalil Paden, 2014) has averaged over 17 yards per catch (minimum 40 receptions) since 2010.

-Arvell Nelson now has a streak of 107 consecutive pass attempts without an interception, the longest in the AFL. Dan Raudabaugh saw his streak of 117 consecutive passes without an INT snapped at the end of the first half against Tampa Bay.

-Brandon Thompkins had 141 return yards in Week 11, giving him 5,039 for his career. He's the 26th man to surpass the 5,000-yard mark in career kick return yards.

-Hills now has seven consecutive games with at least nine receptions and is averaging 10.6 receptions per game. Only three players in AFL history have averaged more catches per game in a single season.

-Randy Hippeard threw six touchdown passes in Week 11, making him the 26th man in AFL history to throw for at least 300 TDs.

-After making the score 28-7 early in the second quarter, the Soul had scored four touchdowns on their first seven plays of the game. Dating back to Week 10, Philadelphia had scored nine touchdowns on 17 plays.

-Beau Bell had 1.5 sacks in Week 11, giving him 45 for his career. In doing so, he moved past Earnest Allen into ninth place all-time in career sacks. Bell also tied Khreem Smith for the AFL lead in sacks with seven.

-The Soul forced two Tampa Bay turnovers in Week 11, giving them 16 games in a row with at least one forced turnover.

-Darius Reynolds picked up his second career five-touchdown game, including scoring on each of his first five receptions. Reynolds' career-high is seven TDs.

-The Soul have scored at least 60 points in nine of their last 15 regular season games dating back to 2016.

AFL Week 11 Accolades

Top Passing Performances
Shane Carden (Baltimore) – 27/37, 359 Yards, 7 TDs, 3 INTs
Randy Hippeard (Tampa Bay) – 28/45, 324 Yards, 6 TDs, 1 INT
Arvell Nelson (Cleveland) – 21/32, 258 Yards, 7 TDs, 0 INTs
Dan Raudabaugh (Philadelphia) – 15/21, 209 Yards, 5 TDs 1 INT

Top Receiving Performances
Joe Hills (Tampa Bay) – 12 Receptions, 161 Yards, 4 TDs
Julian Talley (Baltimore) – 7 Receptions, 116 Yards, 2 TDs
Darius Reynolds (Philadelphia) – 6 Receptions, 115 Yards, 5 TDs
Quentin Sims (Cleveland) – 6 Receptions, 109 Yards, 3 TDs
Kendrick Ings (Tampa Bay) – 10 Receptions, 103 Yards, 1 TD

Top Rushing Performances
Mykel Benson (Philadelphia) – 7 Carries, 22 Yards, 4 TDs
Jeramie Richardson (Cleveland) – 5 Carries, 16 Yards
Arvell Nelson (Cleveland) – 8 Carries, 10 Yards, 2 TDs
LaMark Brown (Tampa Bay)- 1 Carry, 5 Yards

Top Defensive Performances
Lonnie Outlaw (Cleveland) – 1.5 Tackles, 1 Fumble Recovery, 1 INT
Beau Bell (Philadelphia) – 5.5 Tackles, 1.5 Sacks, 1 Fumble Recovery
Kenny Veal (Cleveland) – 7 Tackles, 1 INT
Calvin Fance (Baltimore) – 6.5 Tackles, 1 Fumble Recovery
James Romain (Philadelphia) – 6 Tackles, 1 INT