|AFL Playoffs - Semifinals|
|Last 3 Games||2-1||+1.4||2-1||0-3||43.3||19.0||213.3||(6)||2.3||41.3||18.3||238.0||(5.2)||3.0|
|Offense (All Games)||49.7||24.3||19.5||31:34||9-29||(3.1)||21-33||63.7%||252||(7.7)||42-282||(6.7)||(5.7)|
|Opponents Defensive Avg.||48.2||24.9||18.3||30:26||7-22||(3.1)||21-33||63.5%||246||(7.4)||40-268||(6.6)||(5.6)|
|Offense Road Games||52.0||26.0||20.3||29:30||9-23||(2.5)||21-32||67.0%||265||(8.4)||41-289||(7.1)||(5.6)|
|Defense (All Games)||51.1||25.7||17.6||29:28||6-14||(2.5)||22-35||64.0%||246||(7.1)||40-260||(6.5)||(5.1)|
|Opponents Offensive Avg.||49.8||26||18||30:48||6-19||(3)||22-34||63.9%||245||(7.3)||40-263||(6.6)||(5.3)|
|Defense Road Games||52.6||24.1||17.6||30:30||6-16||(2.5)||23-34||67.1%||261||(7.7)||40-277||(6.9)||(5.3)|
|Last 3 Games||2-1||+1||2-0||1-2||51.3||28.0||248.0||(7.1)||1.0||41.3||22.7||234.3||(6.1)||2.7|
|Offense (All Games)||50.7||25.7||19.3||30:60||5-17||(3.2)||24-37||65.8%||257||(6.9)||42-274||(6.5)||(5.4)|
|Opponents Defensive Avg.||49.7||25.8||18.1||30:17||7-21||(3)||21-34||63.1%||242||(7.2)||41-263||(6.5)||(5.3)|
|Offense Home Games||54.9||27.1||20.1||31:17||6-17||(3)||26-38||67.2%||272||(7.1)||44-289||(6.6)||(5.3)|
|Defense (All Games)||47.3||23.6||18.8||28:54||7-18||(2.7)||21-32||66.7%||255||(8)||39-273||(7)||(5.8)|
|Opponents Offensive Avg.||48.2||25.2||18.1||30:11||7-23||(3.1)||21-33||62.9%||242||(7.4)||40-264||(6.6)||(5.5)|
|Defense Home Games||47.7||25.4||19.9||28:30||7-22||(3.2)||22-33||67.2%||266||(8.1)||39-287||(7.3)||(6)|
|Average power rating of opponents played: CLEVELAND 45.6, TAMPA BAY 43.2|
|7/22/2017||@ TAMPA BAY||27-57||L||6.5||L||106.5||U||6-27||12-23-142||5||6-0||22-37-234||2|
|8/14/2017||@ TAMPA BAY|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|8/14/2017||CLEVELAND|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|CLEVELAND: The Cleveland Gladiators had arguably the most magical run in the history of the Arena Football League two seasons ago when they went from doormats to the penthouse, a 17-1 season capped off with a trip to the ArenaBowl. The Gladiators came up a game short of their goals that year by losing to Arizona, and the 2016 season ended up being a little more disappointing at just 7-9. |
With 2015 Assistant Coach of the Year Ron Selesky now in charge of the roster, a huge overhaul, particularly on the defensive side of the ball, has Cleveland back in the saddle as a legitimate contender to perhaps host the ArenaBowl for the second time in the last three seasons.
For as talented as his defense was a season ago, Selesky knew that he needed to add some experience to his young guys. Darryl Cato-Bishop, Arness Ikner, Alvin Ray Jackson, Rayshaun Kizer, Willie McGinnis, Terence Moore and Kent Richardson are all players with at least three years of AFL experience, and they are expected to step in and bring some of the confidence that only comes from having actual game reps. Kizer was the best of the haul even though his interception numbers have tapered off in recent years. He is still largely regarded as one of the top cover men in the League.
Brandon Thompkins, arguably one of the most valuable wide receivers and kick returners from last season, has also changed addresses, joining McGinnis, Moore, Richardson, C.J. Cobb and Larry Brackins in their moves from Orlando to Cleveland.
One of the top rookie defenders from a season ago, Joe Powell is now in the NFL with the Bills. It's a big loss for the Gladiators, as Powell picked off five passes last year and returned three of them for scores, but with all of the veterans who are coming to Cleveland, Powell probably won't feel missed.
A potentially sticky situation is brewing at the quarterback spot should anything happen to Arvell Nelson. Nelson started the season as the backup quarterback last year, first to Chris Dieker, then to Dennis Havrilla, but he took over in May and threw for 70 TDs with 11 more on the ground. Should anything happen to Nelson, Dieker and Havrilla are both gone. Veteran Shane Boyd was brought in to be the team's backup after serving behind Nick Davila in Arizona, while Tanner Marsh will also have a chance to compete for the backup role.
Quentin Sims busted onto the scene last year for the Gladiators. He proved to be great around the end zone, scoring TDs on 27 of his 92 receptions. Collin Taylor finished seventh in the League last season with 1,437 yards, and the combination of these two with Brackins and Thompkins could make this one of the most dangerous receiving corps in the AFL.
|TAMPA BAY: The history of the Tampa Bay Storm is obviously incredibly proud. Since moving to the Sunshine State, the Storm have amassed 215 regular season victories, more than the other four teams in the Arena Football League in their histories combined. The 2016 season though, was frustrating for sure. The Storm went just 2-14, their worst in franchise history. They've got a fresh start in 2017 with Ron James leading the charge, and there is optimism for a potential return to prominence.
When you win just two games in a season, it's easy to clean house. The Storm had some of the worst quarterback play in the League in 2016, and one of their first major acquisitions of the new season was to bring back Randy Hippeard. Hippeard began his AFL career with the Storm in 2013 and 2014, throwing 117 touchdowns against 27 INTs. He surfaced in Orlando over the course of the last two seasons and became one of the most efficient quarterbacks in the League, posting QB ratings of 133.5 and 121.3.
Joining Hippeard from Orlando are Lamark Brown, Justin McCray and one of the best kickers in the history of the AFL, Mark Lewis.
The club has also brought back Joe Hills and Michael Lindsey, both of whom originally cut their teeth in Tampa before departing for other clubs.
The Jason Boltus/Adam Kennedy/Jonathan Bane quarterback triumvirate from last season has been disassembled, but it isn't just the pivot spot that has turned over. The Storm have essentially dismantled their offense, losing Phillip Barnett to Cleveland and one of the all-time great receivers the League has ever had, T.T. Toliver to Washington.
Jimmy Gordon, one of just two members of the Tampa Bay roster last season who amassed even one sack, was traded to the Valor at the start of the offseason.
Kendrick Ings was one of the standout rookies of the 2015 season. He only played in five regular season games with the Storm last season, but he was big against Philadelphia in the first round of the playoffs, amassing six catches for 115 yards and two touchdowns. Ings is a speedster and an excellent kick returner, and the hope is that he can join forces with Hills and Lindsey to make one of the best wide receiver trios in the AFL.
Cortez Stubbs, Tampa's leading tackler from a campaign ago, is also back to captain this defense in 2017.
|Last Updated: 10/16/2017 8:46:33 PM EST|