A look at the best individual performances from Week 15:
• San Jose QB Mark Grieb: Grieb tossed a franchise-record 10 TD passes, including the 600th of his career, as the SaberCats won their eighth-straight game.
• Utah WR Siaha Burley: With his 10 receptions for 103 yards and two touchdowns, Burley entered the AFL record books. Burley broke both the AFL's single-season receiving yardage record (1,996) and single-season receptions record (155).
• Chicago LB DeJuan Alfonzo: Alfonzo tied a league record when he recovered his sixth fumble of the season in the first quarter of the Rush's win over Grand Rapids.
• The Kansas City defense: The Brigade somlpy tortured Columbus. Led by BJ Cohen, who had three sacks and forced a fumble, the Brigade defense recorded a team-record three sacks in first half and five for the game.
• Nashville DB Ahmad Hawkins: Hawkins snagged his AFL single-season tying 13th interception of the season in the Kats' win over Las Vegas.
• New Orleans QB Steve Bellisari: Bellisari, making his second straight start for New Orleans, threw for a franchise-record 418 yards and nine touchdowns. He also ran for two scores.
• The Orlando offense: The Predators scored a team record 75 points as they knocked off New York to earn a playoff spot for the 16th-straight year, the longest consecutive active streak in American professional sports.
• Tampa Bay QB Brett Dietz: The Storm rookie QB threw for seven TDs and led Tampa Bay to a score on every offensive possession.
• Las Vegas WR Travis LaTendresse: LaTendresse hauled in 12 passes for 205 yards and two touchdowns in a loss to Nashville.
THE HOUSE WILL BE ROCKIN'
ArenaBowl XXI is officially sold out, the Arena Football League announced Tuesday. It is the first sell out of a neutral-site ArenaBowl, which began with ArenaBowls XIX and XX, both in Las Vegas, which missed sell outs by 1,000 in 2006 and 3,000 in 2005.
"When we made the decision to move the ArenaBowl to a neutral site, we predicted it would take three years for the game to return to being a sell out," said commissioner David Baker. "That prediction has now come true."
ArenaBowls I-XVIII were played in the city of the team with the best record in the game, thus making ArenaBowl XXI the earliest championship game sell out in League history.
The game will be played at New Orleans Arena on Sunday, July 29, 2007 at 3 p.m. ET. It will be first team championship in New Orleans since the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.
MONDAY NIGHT MATCHUP
Chicago (10-4) at Colorado (8-6)
Monday, June 18
(ESPN2/360, 10 p.m. ET)
With both teams already having clinched playoff spots, now they're playing for seeding. The Rush can clinch a first-round bye with a win plus a KC loss while the Crush is playing for a home game. Both offenses are clicking and this game features two of the league's best WRs in Chicago's Bobby Sippio and Colorado's Damian Harrell. This will be a fun one.
• Complete Week 16 schedule
We're now down to the nitty gritty. It's playoff time and there are two spots left in each conference so let's take a quick look at who I think will be playing the best kind of football ... playoff football.
In the American Conference, Utah and Los Angeles should be in with Nashville just missing out. Utah and Los Angeles are simply too balanced and too good to miss out on the playoffs this season. They also have easy schedules as Utah only has one game remaining, which is against Los Angeles, while L.A. gets the 2-10 Las Vegas Gladiators this week.
Meanwhile, Nashville has to play a tough Kansas City team on the road and then ends the season against Grand Rapids. Those are not easy games.
In the National Conference, Columbus and Philadelphia are my two picks because they are better teams than New York. While Aaron Garcia's return has helped stabilize this team, he missed last week and he simply isn't enough for New York to make it to the playoffs. This team needs another offensive playmaker to go with Garcia because right now he's the lone weapon.
|WEEK 14 RUNDOWN
• Kansas City 47, Columbus 34
Raymond Philyaw throws seven TDs as Brigade clinch a playoff spot.
• Orlando 75, New York 54
No Aaron Garcia, no win for New York. Playing without Garcia, who was nursing an injured ankle, the Dragons fell to the Predators. Orlando earns a playoff spot with the victory.
• Tampa Bay 69, Philadelphia 59
After starting 1-6, the Storm have won six of their last seven and earned a spot in the playoffs with their convincing win over Philly.
• Chicago 55, Grand Rapids 32
Welcome back Bobby Sippio. After missing the last three games with an ankle injury (and watching the Rush lose two of them), Sippio caught six TDs and keyed a big win.
• Georgia 81, Austin 64
Chris Greisen threw nine TDs and ran for another as the Force downed Austin.
• Dallas 80, New Orleans 79
In an effort to keep their slim playoff hopes alive, the VooDoo went for two on the final play of the game. Steve Bellisari was sacked on the game's final play, all but ending New Orleans' playoff hopes.
• San Jose 70, Utah 49
Mark Grieb threw a franchise-record 10 TD passes as San Jose to its eighth-straight win.
• Nashville 63, Las Vegas 48
Dan Alexander ran for 51 yards and five TDs and also caught a TD pass as Nashville kept its playoff hopes alive.
• Los Angeles 55, Arizona 52
Sonny Cumbie threw six TDs, including four to Rob Turner, and the Avengers moved one step closer to clinching a playoff spot.