SFL News

Football’s 3,000 yard running back

There are certain numbers that just seem completely unobtainable in professional sports. In football, 3,000 yards rushing just does not seem like something that could have ever been possible, but Seattle Orcas running back Isaiah Crowell did it. Through 16 games, Crowell rushed for 3,025. Crowell broke both his own 16-game season record set last year, and Barry Sanders’ 18-game record set way back in 2001. Last season Crowell rushed for 2,562 yards, a record that seemed unbreakable until about midway through this season. Sanders rushed for 2,605 yards way back in 2001.

Crowell averaged 6.1 yards per carry on a record 495 carries this season and 189 yards per game. Crowell’s efforts led the Seattle Orcas to their fourth-straight Pacific Division championship and sixth division crown in eight years.

Eric Rogers sets new receiving records

Only in a hear where Isaiah Crowell rushed for 3,000 yards could Eric Rogers’ tremendous feat of receiving take a back seat in the news. Rogers went off this season and finished with 2,317 yards receiving this season, breaking both Allen Hurns’ 16-game record of 2,059 yards set in 2016 and Demetrius Allen’s 18-game record of 2,175 yards set in 2001. Amazingly, Rogers did this in 14 games after missing weeks 14 and 15 with injury.

Rogers led the league in receiving but over 700 yards, averaging 21.7 yards per catch and 165.5 yards per game. Rogers had over half of his team’s receiving yards this season.

Special Teams records go down

Washington’s Tyreek Hill and Philadelphia’s Garry Brown both put themselves in the record book this year. Hill set the new league record for kick return yards in a season with 1,976 yards, breaking LaMichael James’ record of 1,838 yards set in 2016. Hill also set a new record with five kick returns for a touchdown, topping his own record in 2017 that tied Steve Smith’s mark of four set in 2003.

Brown, a rookie, shattered Brandon Banks’ record of 982 punt return yards set in 2016 with 1,314 punt return yards this year.

Rockets and Orcas still stand tall with division titles

Of all the league’s franchises’ the Orlando Rockets and Seattle Orcas may be the premier ones, but this week both were fighting against some upstart teams for division crowns, and both came out victorious.

The Rockets earned their fifth-straight division title with a 41-14 walloping of the Atlanta Firebirds in A-Town. The Firebirds were one game ahead of the Rockets in the standings heading into their Week 16 showdown, but with the victory the Rockets swept the Firebirds in their season series. The Seattle Orcas won their fourth-straight Pacific Division crown and sixth out of eight with a victory over the Los Angeles Stars while the Utah Raptors lost to the Dallas Six-Shooters.

Weekly Awards

Offensive Player of the Week
QB Robert Griffin III, Dallas Six-Shooters
20-for-25, 331 Pass Yards, 1 Pass TD, 11 Rushes, 88 Rush Yards (8.0 YPC), 2 Rush TDs

Defensive Player of the Week
DT Watson Tautuiaki, Memphis Bombers
7 Tackles, 3 Sacks, 1 Hurry

Special Teams Player of the Week
RET Knile Davis, Houston Wranglers
7 KR, 230 KR Yards (32.9 YPR), 40 Long

Rookie of the Week
RB D’Onta Foreman, San Antonio Marshalls
18 Rushes, 101 Rush Yards (5.6 YPC) 1 Rush TD

Wildcard Round Playoff Preview

Empire Conference

6. Pittsburgh Forge (10-6) @ 3. Omaha Express (8-8)
The Omaha Express managed to avoid bringing a losing record into the playoffs, but their inconsistency and terrible pass defense that ranks last in the league very well may lead to a quick postseason exit when they face the Pittsburgh Forge and the league’s top passing offense. Pittsburgh doesn’t have much to be happy about outside their remarkable passing attack, but it will be hard for the Express to stop and keep up with.
Pick: Pittsburgh Forge

5. Boston Dragons (10-6) @ 4. Atlanta Firebirds (12-4)
Boston is a tough team and they win a lot of games that we may not expect them too because of their great defense. However, the Atlanta Firebirds have been one of the elite teams this year and are going to be looking to make a statement after getting blown out by Orlando last week, causing the Firebirds to miss out on a division title and first round bye in the playoffs.
Pick: Atlanta Firebirds

Metropolitan Conference

6. San Antonio Marshalls (9-6-1) @ 3. Seattle Orcas (11-5)
On paper, San Antonio is a championship favorite, but the game isn’t played on paper and all season long they’ve been inconsistent. Looking deeper into the reason why they have been inconsistent, their wide receivers have not balanced out their offense. Despite the team ranking second in the league in passing offense, it’s more been an amazing feat by Bo Levi Mitchell and high volumes of passing. Defensively, the secondary is susceptible. In a way, they match up well defensively against Seattle because their run defense is pretty strong and the Orcas cannot pass the ball. However, it’s impossible to go against the 3,000 yard man Isaiah Crowell, because even the elite run defenses has been destroyed by him. The Orcas secondary is also very elite and will be tough for the Marshalls to pass against.
Pick: Seattle Orcas

5. Utah Raptors (10-6) @ 4. New Orleans Nightmare (10-6)
Mike Reilly is a great quarterback, that has been made clear this year because he’s been doing it all by himself for the most part. Utah’s offense is very underwhelming. They have gone off, but not against elite defenses. New Orleans is one of the best teams in the league when Aaron Murray is healthy, losing just one game with him under center the entire game. They are on fire and their weakness is a run defense that the Raptors just cannot take advantage of.
Pick: New Orleans Nightmare

Playoff Projections

Divisional Round Projection

6. Pittsburgh Forge (10-6) @ 1. New York Marauders (13-3)
In Week 1 of the season the Pittsburgh Forge dominated the New York Marauders, but since then the Marauders have been on fire and exacted their revenge when they met again n the middle of the season. New York is the much more complete team and can win in a variety of ways. Pittsburgh can only win in one way.
Pick: New York Marauders

4. Atlanta Firebirds (12-4) @ 2. Orlando Rockets (12-4)
Will Atlanta finally chop down the giant? We just saw the Rockets dominate the Firebirds last week. There is no reason to think the third match of this season’s series won’t be the same result.
Pick: Orlando Rockets

4. New Orleans Nightmare (10-6) @ 1. Michigan Stags (15-1)
Michigan is not a very sexy team and New Orleans is easier to like because they have more flash. That said, Michigan has been dominant all year long. And that said, Michigan is a starless team going against a team full of stars. The playoffs are a different world. Teams without starts don’t always translate their success in the playoffs.
Pick: New Orleans Nightmare

3. Seattle Orcas (11-5) @ 2. Dallas Six-Shooters (12-3-1)
Earlier this year the Dallas Six-Shooters got a pretty significant win over the Seattle Orcas. Dallas isn’t very exciting, but they get the job done almost every time they get on the field. But like Michigan, they are a team lacking true stars and teams like that can struggle. Seattle has the player who just experienced the greatest regular season in football history.
Pick: Seattle Orcas

Conference Championship Projection

2. Orlando Rockets (12-4) @ 1. New York Marauders (13-3)
New York made it clear they are a legitimate team a few weeks ago when they beat the Orlando Rockets, but remember that game. Eric Rogers was injured very early in that game and it was still a close battle. With Eric Rogers fully healthy for the entire game, the Rockets could be the clear favorite to get to the championship game.
Pick: Orlando Rockets

4. New Orleans Nightmare (10-6) @ 3. Seattle Orcas (11-5)
The Nightmare are a fun team to cheer for, but this is a terrible matchup for them if both teams make it here. New Orleans ranks 25th in the league in run defense. That isn’t at all what you want against Isaiah Crowell.
Pick: Seattle Orcas

Grand Finale XIX Projection
Hosted in Detroit, Michigan

Orlando Rockets vs. Seattle Orcas
What a Grand Finale this would be, the meeting of the two premier teams in the league, one led by the record-setting running back and another by a record-setting wide receiver. Both teams also have top-notch defense, except Orlando’s run defense, which ranks 23rd in the league.
Pick: Seattle Orcas

Non-Playoff Team Draft Order

1. Oakland Odyssey (Expansion)
2. Miami Mustangs (Expansion)
3. Virginia Admirals (Expansion)
4. Oklahoma Roughnecks (Expansion)
5. Minnesota Freeze (1-15)
6. San Diego Diablos (3-13)
7. Mississippi Cottonmouths (4-12)
8. Los Angeles Stars (4-12)
9. Columbus Explorers (4-12)
10. Iowa Threshers (5-11)
11. Washington Wave (5-11)
12. Louisville Cougars (6-10)
13. Memphis Bombers (6-10)
14. Houston Wranglers (7-9)
15. St. Louis Stallions (7-9)
16. Carolina Generals (7-9)
17. Philadelphia Bulldogs (8-8)
18. Birmingham Predators (8-8)