2015 Arena Football League Records and Milestones
The 2015 AFL regular season is said and done with, and as is the case each and every year, many records have been set and milestones have been reached.
The San Jose SaberCats became the second team in AFL history to finish the regular season 17-1, joining last year's Cleveland Gladiators. Not only did the 'Cats finish up with just one loss, but they also became just the second team in the AFL since 1992 to run through the regular season without a loss on the road. San Jose is just the sixth team in league history to finish the regular season without a loss on the road, and it will be the fourth team in league history to finish a complete season without a road loss including the postseason. (Note: 1989 is excluded from this, as no team with an undefeated road record went better than 1-0.)
Undefeated Road Teams in AFL History
2015 San Jose SaberCats (9-0)
2000 Arizona Rattlers (7-0)*
1992 Orlando Predators (5-0)
1992 Tampa Bay Storm (5-0)**
1991 Detroit Drive (5-0)
1988 Chicago Bruisers (5-0)
*2000 Rattlers lost at Orlando in the playoffs
**1992 Storm lost at Orlando in the playoffs
San Jose currently holds a 10-game road winning streak, the longest in AFL history.
On the flip side of this record, the New Orleans VooDoo (0-8-1) and the Portland Thunder (0-9) became the first team since the 2012 Orlando Predators to finish the season without a single road win. Technically, the VooDoo were awarded a tie for their road game against Las Vegas even though the game was canceled.
In addition, the Los Angeles KISS set the second-longest road losing streak in AFL history at 14 games. If you go back to last season, LA lost 15 games in a row, including starting off at 0-9 this year. That's tied for the third-longest losing streak in AFL history behind the 1995-96 Memphis Pharaohs and the 2002-03 Carolina Cobras, each of which lost 17 straight games.
Outlaws are Renegades
The Las Vegas Outlaws qualified for the playoffs in spite of the fact that they were outscored by 9.94 points per game this season. (Note: This does not include the game which was not played and was officially ruled a 0-0 tie.) The only team which made the postseason and had a worse scoring differential in terms of points per game was the 2000 Buffalo Destroyers, who went just 5-9 and were outscored by 10.86 points per game.
The San Jose SaberCats outscored opponents by 22.2 points per game this season, beating out the next best team in the league by over nine points per game. This was the first time in AFL history that a team outscored its foes by more than 21 points per game.
The SaberCats also put together the second-best run of eight games in AFL history when they outscored their foes in Games 4-11 of the season by an average of 26.1 points per game. In addition, they broke the league record for the best average margin of victory for a team through the records of 7-0, 8-0, 9-0, 10-0 and 11-0 before losing to the Los Angeles KISS on June 13.
Running Away from the Competition
The San Jose SaberCats won the Pacific Division by a whopping 10 games over the Spokane Shock. It was just the second biggest romp to a division title in league history, finishing two games behind the Arizona Rattlers last season, who won the Western Division by 12 games.
Five is Fine for Rattlers
The Arizona Rattlers won the Western Division this year with ease, marking their fifth straight division championship. The Detroit Drive are really the only close comparison in AFL history. Though there were technically no divisions when the Drive were around for most of their existence, they did finish with the best regular season record in the league in 1989, 1990 and 1991 when there were no divisions or conferences. They won the Northern Division in 1992 and then topped the American Conference in 1993.
No other team has won a division/conference title in the regular season more than four times in a row.
Defending the Lair
The San Jose SaberCats held teams to just 36.8 points per game this season, easily the best in the league since 1999. In fact, if you just go by total points, the SaberCats, who allowed 662 total points, allowed fewer points in 18 games than any team in AFL history who played 16 games.
Not Getting Their Kicks
The Portland Thunder became the fifth team in AFL history to not make a single field goal over the course of the year. Portland's kickers only tried two field goals this season, one off of the record set by the 2012 Philadelphia Soul, who attempted just one field goal the whole year. It was a bad year for the Portland kicking game all around. The Thunder ended the year converting just 73.7 percent of their extra points, last in the league.
Both individual and team sack records were set in 2015. The San Jose SaberCats sacked opposing quarterbacks 45 times this year, marking the third time in the last four seasons they have racked up at least 40 sacks. There have only been a total of five seasons in league history where a team has had at least 40 sacks. The mark of 45 sacks ties the 2013 Jacksonville Sharks for the most all-time in league history.
The Sharks were also a bit of individual history in the sack category as well. Joe Sykes picked up 18.5 sacks this season, the most by a player in AFL history.
Taking It to the House
The Thunder had one of the most explosive kick return games in the league this year. Duane Brooks set the AFL record for the most kick returns for touchdowns in league history with eight. He also posted the fourth most kick return yards in AFL history with 1,994.
Bolts of Passes
Jason Boltus had a tough year for the Tampa Bay Storm. He was asked to play much of the season without a fullback in the backfield, and he had the worst running game in the league by just about every metric imaginable. That said, he did throw the ball a ton of times – 714, in fact. That's the second most pass attempts by a quarterback in league history, coming up just short of Tommy Grady's 743 in 2012 with the Utah Blaze.
Boltus also had the fifth most INTs in AFL history with 23.
Hipp, Hipp, Hooray!
The Orlando Predators won the Southern Division for a second straight season, and a large part of their success was thanks to Randy Hippeard. Hippeard finished the season with a stunning quarterback rating of 133.47, third best in AFL history just behind two seasons of Hall of Famer to be Mark Grieb (2001 and 2004). Most impressive was Hippeard's completion percentage of 74.2 percent, which broke the AFL record set by Chris Greisen in 2007 when he was with the Georgia Force at 74.0 percent.
Yes! Yes! Yes!
Jacksonville's Joe Hills scored a touchdown in all 18 games this season for the Sharks. He has now posted 52 consecutive regular season games with a touchdown (and 53 overall including the playoffs), tying him with Chris Jackson for the second-longest streak in AFL history. Hills would still have to play two more seasons to catch the league record, though. Damian Harrell scored a touchdown in 78 consecutive games.
Rumbling for More Records
Derrick Ross is already known as the undisputed rushing king of the Arena Football League. He added to his already fantastic resume this year with 148 carries, 586 yards and 33 TDs. To put that in comparison, only one team (Orlando) beat out Ross by himself in attempts, yards and touchdowns.
For his career, "The Boss" now has 765 carries (225 more than anyone in AFL history), 2,846 yards (1,275 more than anyone else) and 175 rushing TDs (48 more than anyone else).
Watch the Rebound Off the Net
Kicking field goals is a dying art in the AFL, but an even rarer feat is to see a field goal both missed and returned. Gerald Young did something early on in the season that no other man has ever done in AFL history. He returned not just one, but two missed field goals for scores when the Las Vegas Outlaws upset the Arizona Rattlers in April. To put this in its appropriate place in history, there are only a total of seven men who have ever returned more than two missed field goals for touchdowns in an entire career. Young pulled off two on the same night.
Brandon Thompkins has been a spark plug for the Orlando Predators this season. He finished the year out with 3,342 all-purpose yards, the most by a Predator in team history and the fourth-most in AFL history. Thompkins set the Preds record for kick return yards in a season with 1,854. He also had 1,266 receiving yards as well to lead the team.
The Hat Trick
The Philadelphia Soul and the Cleveland Gladiators played against each other in Week 20 and will do so again in the first round of the playoffs next week. These teams though, both pulled off a unique trick, as each had all three of its main receivers post at least 1,000 receiving yards.
For Philadelphia, Marco Thomas had 1,772 yards, Ryan McDaniel posted 1,277, while Shaun Kauleinamoku had 1,035.
Cleveland's trio of Collin Taylor, Dominick Goodman and Amarri Jackson had 1,597, 1,262 and 1,173 yards respectively.
It should be noted that the Tampa Bay Storm nearly pulled off the feat as well. Kendrick Ings finished with 997 yards, or he would have been the third Tampa Bay wide out to get to 1,000.
Dan's the Man
Philadelphia Soul QB Dan Raudabaugh is almost certain to win the league's MVP award this year. He threw for 119 touchdown passes, 18 more than anyone else in the league, good enough for third all-time behind Nick Davila last year at 127 and Tommy Grady in 2012 with 142.
There were a number of other personal milestones hit during the 2015 season as well…
-Nick Davila - 8th in passing yards, 7th in passing touchdowns, 600+ TD passes, 25,000+ passing yards
-Tommy Grady - 10th in passing yards, 8th in passing touchdowns, 600+ TD passes, 25,000+ passing yards
-Dan Raudabaugh - 10th in passing touchdowns, 500+ TD passes
-TT Toliver - 2nd in receptions, 2nd in receiving yards, 5th in receiving TDs, 1,000+ receptions, 250+ TD receptions
-Tiger Jones - 7th in receptions, 5th in receiving yards, 6th in receiving TDs, 900+ receptions, 250+ TD receptions, fourth season with 2,000+ receiving yards
-Donovan Morgan - 10th in receiving yards, 10th in receiving touchdowns, 10,000+ receiving yards, 200+ TD receptions
-Reggie Gray - 200+ TD receptions
-Rod Windsor - 200+ TD receptions
-Derrick Ross - 1st in rushing yards, 1st in rushing touchdowns, 2,500+ rushing yards, 150+ TD rushes
-Bernard Morris - 3rd in rushing yards, 1,500+ rushing yards
-Odie Armstrong - 5th in rushing yards, 4th in rushing touchdowns, 100+ TD rushes
-Adrian McPherson - 8th in rushing yards, 9th in rushing touchdowns
-Eddie Moten - 5th in tackles, 500+ tackles
-Marquis Floyd - 9th in tackles, 500+ tackles
-Clevan Thomas - 10th in tackles, 500+ tackles
-Ken Fontenette Jr - 500+ tackles
-Joe Sykes - 2nd in sacks, 50+ sacks
-Mike Lewis - 3rd in sacks, 50+ sacks
-Francis Maka - 5th in sacks
-Clevan Thomas - 2nd in interceptions, 75+ INTs
-Rayshaun Kizer - 3rd in interceptions
-Marquis Floyd - 4th in interceptions
-Eddie Moten - 5th in interceptions