The Washington Valor started their inaugural season in the AFL with a bang, defeating the Baltimore Brigade in the first ever game for both teams. After that game, however, things went downhill.
Washington lost ten straight games, including five by double digits. Other than the Brigade, the Valor lost to every other team at least twice. Some of the ugliest games during that stretch included a 59-35 home loss to the Cleveland Gladiators, and a 68-41 defeat against the Philadelphia Soul.
During the losing streak, Washington lost its starting quarterback, Erik Meyer, to injury. Meyer was placed on injured, and he never returned to Washington. He decided to retire after suffering his injury. Washington also lost key wide receivers Mike Washington and T.T. Toliver for a significant amount of time. After losing ten straight games, Washington finally was back in the win column, when they beat the Brigade at home by a score of 34-30.
The Valor were embarrassed in their last home game, when they got blasted by Cleveland, 62-28. Despite a dreadful season, Washington ended the season on a high note. Once again, they beat Baltimore, 41-35, to end the season with a record of 3-11. That was the worst record in the league, and they were the only team to not qualify for the playoffs.
Once Meyer went down, Sean Brackett filled in for the injured quarterback. For the season, Brackett completed 61.1 percent of his passes, while throwing for 1,866 yards and 36 touchdowns. Roger Jackson emerged to become Washington’s best receiver, as he finished with a team-best 780 receiving yards.
Greg Carr was also a bright spot for the Valor, as he caught a team-high 16 touchdowns. On defense, Tracy Belton was a force, finishing with 62 tackles and five interceptions.
Another key contributor was Dominic Addison, who compiled 54.5 tackles for the Valor. Washington’s season obviously didn’t go as planned, but there is certainly hope for the future. The Valor must find a star quarterback, and once they do, they seem to have the pieces to be a better team next year.