LAS VEGAS – Four of the five teams have already kicked off play in the 2017 AFL season, and the Philadelphia Soul are eager to join the fray this Saturday night in Tampa. When they do, they’ll be bringing with them one of the most statistically accomplished quarterbacks in the history of the AFL.
Raudabaugh Sets Sights on 30k
There are only nine men in the history of the Arena Football League who have thrown for 30,000 yards in their careers. Dan Raudabaugh will almost certainly become the next to etch his name in the AFL history books this season. He enters the 2017 campaign with 28,298 yards, putting him 1,702 yards shy of the elusive 30k mark.
Raudabaugh also has a reasonable chance to become the ninth to throw for 700 touchdowns in a career as well at some point in 2017. He’ll enter this year at 616, and if he plays the entire season and averages six scores per game, he’ll reach 700.
To put in comparison just how amazing of these feats are that Raudabaugh could reach this season, the other four starting quarterbacks from Week 1 started the season with 27,881 passing yards and 595 TDs for their careers combined.
New Home, Same Results for Hills
When Damien Harrell broke the record for the most consecutive games with a touchdown scored, most assumed it was a mark that would never be broken. Except no one ever told that to Joe Hills.
Hills was a member of the Storm when he began his streak of consecutive regular season games with a trip to the end zone 69 games ago. He’s since left for Jacksonville and come back to Tampa, and he hasn’t missed a beat. Now suddenly, this could be the season in which Hills breaks that mark. He’s nine games away from tying the record and 10 away from breaking it.
Keep July 1 open on your calendar. That could be your chance to witness some true AFL history.
Hills also needs just three touchdown grabs to reach 200 for his career. Only 14 others in the history of the League can say that, and just two (T.T. Toliver and Reggie Gray) are active players.
Week 2 Milestone Watch
Clint Dolezel’s offense has managed something over the course of the last two years that no team in AFL history has ever pulled off: Scoring in every single quarter. The Soul have now put points on the board in an AFL record 139 consecutive regular season quarters, a mark they’ll hope to extend on Saturday night in Tampa.
Reggie Gray needs seven receptions to run down Jason Willis for 19th place all-time in league history in that category. Willis finished his career with 717 catches.
Brandon Thompkins needs just one catch to get to 500 for his career. Only four other active players (T.T. Toliver, Reggie Gray, Joe Hills and Mike Washington) have hit that mark.
Week 1 Quick Hitters
Reggie Gray became the 20th man in AFL history to record 700+ receptions in his career. Gray came into the year with 699 catches, and his league-best 12 catches for Baltimore gave him that mark.
With his seven receptions last week, Joe Hills reached 600 receptions for his career.
Tracy Belton’s two picks for Washington last week against Baltimore now gives him 48 for his career. There are only six men in the history of the AFL to log 50 INTs, and Rayshaun Kizer, who also intercepted a pass for the Gladiators against Tampa Bay in Week 1, is the only other active player to do so.
The Storm racked up four sacks in their opening week victory over Cleveland. They only amassed eight sacks for the entirety of 2016 and hadn’t had a game with at least four sacks recorded since March 29, 2014 against Orlando.
The games played at Quicken Loans Arena and the Verizon Center averaged 14,222 fans per game. That’s the highest average total in a single week in the AFL since Week 17 of the 2008 season and the second highest average total in a week in the last dozen years.