Randy Hippeard Holds Strong on Latest MVP Watchlist
There has been a lot of strong quarterback play as the season as continued to unfold. After starting out really a two-quarterback race at the top, four of the five signal callers now make the list with just former MVP Erik Meyer not finding a spot on the watchlist.
So for all of the strong play lately by the quarterback position, it should make it even more impressive that Tampa Bay Storm’s Randy Hippeard has been able to hold on to the top spot the way he has.
Hippeard continued his great start with a huge week in the Baltimore Brigade’s home opener. The former UVA-Wise quarterback completed 31-of-40 passes (77.5%) for 285 yards and eight touchdowns to no interceptions.
Through five weeks of the season, Hippeard leads the AFL in almost every passing category – yards, touchdowns, INT%, yards-per-game, and touchdowns-per-game.
Hippeard, a product of the DMV, will play his second straight game there, as he and the Storm will take on former MVP Erik Meyer and the Washington Valor. The Valor, of course, have had severe second half problems, which could help the Storm continue to rack up the points.
Raudabaugh Continues Efficient Play
The reigning MVP has done everything right this season, leading his team to a perfect record to start the year, and knocking off each team at least once in the process.
Hippeard leads the AFL in every major passing category, but Raudabaugh is generally second behind him. Needing to step up and put some serious points on the board against the high-powered Cleveland offense, Raudabaugh registered eight passing touchdowns and no interceptions.
Nelson Just Coming Up Short
A bounce here or there, and we might be talking about Arvell Nelson as the leading candidate for the MVP right now. There is no doubting the spark he has given the Gladiators offense since taking over at quarterback at the end of week two.
The Gladiators are 1-4 on the season, the worst in the league, but three of those losses have been to Tampa Bay (twice) and Philadelphia. So it’s not like they are just dropping games to anyone, those are the two best teams in the league.
Nelson is the only quarterback to record at least eight touchdowns in a game at least twice this season and is leading the AFL in rushing yards.
If they can get a defensive stop or two, Nelson could easily jump even further up the list.
Brick By Brick, Week By Week For Carden
Shane Carden has come a long way in just a couple of weeks. He came off the bench in week one against the Washington Valor, to this past week being the first rookie to throw for over 300 yards in a game in over five years.
A standout at East Carolina University, Carden has the duel-threat ability to be a star in this league, but playing for an expansion team, an adjustment period was expected.
As you quickly see that period come and go, you can see the improvements in Carden’s game. The rookie trails only Hippeard in passing yards and is third in touchdown passes. He’s also fourth in the league in rushing.
Steady As She Goes, For Storm’s Hills
There are several things that are a certainty in life, one of which has become Joe Hills catching a touchdown pass.
After catching four in last week’s game, Hills pushed his consecutive touchdown streak to 73. Oh, he also totaled 13 more receptions for 126 yards to go along with those four scores.
Hills ranks first in the AFL in receptions, third in yards, and is in a tie for second in touchdowns scored. He has been the biggest benefactor from Hippeard’s success, and their mutual connection is what lands Hills on this list.
Honorable Mention: Quentin Sims, Cleveland Gladiators
Want to talk about taking advantage of their quarterback’s play? Sims has flourished since Nelson has taken over as the team’s signal caller.
He ranks second in receptions, first in yards, and is tied with Hills for touchdowns. He pulled in eight catches for 104 yards and 2 TDs in last week’s game against the Soul. He also has a couple of rushing scores to his credit.
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