Georgia Force

Years of Existence: 2002-2008, 2011-
Venue: Phillips Arena (Atlanta, GA)
2002 -
2003 - Semifinal appearance
2004 -
2005 - Southern Division champions, Arena Bowl appearance
2006 - Quarterfinal appearance
2007 - Southern Division champions, semifinal appearance
2008 - Southern Division champions, quarterfinal appearance
2011 - Semifinal appearance
2012 - Playoff appearance
Lifetime Record: 90-69
Home: 48-30
Away: 42-38
Neutral: 0-1
Playoffs: 6-7
Average Attendance: 9,123

The Georgia Force moved from Nashville and have been mediocre since. In 2002, the team lost five of their first six games and missed the playoffs. In 2003, the team turned in the other direction, but not completely. After an 8-8 regular season, the Force beat Dallas by four points to advance to the semifinals. They lost in San Jose, 69-48. In 2004, the team was, for the most part, blown out in their nine losses. Georgia returned to the postseason in 2005, posting an 11-5 record and then defeating Tampa Bay and Orlando to advance to the first-ever neutral site Arena Bowl. The Force lost to the Colorado Crush, 51-48. The Force finished the 2006 season at 8-8. Their second game was a rematch with the Colorado Crush, which they again lost, 61-59. Their first playoff game was at New York, where they had lost just two weeks earlier. This time, they pulled a stunning 72-69 upset of the Dragons. Unfortunately, the season came to a screeching halt with a 62-27 loss at Dallas. The Force continued their success in 2007, winning fourteen regular season games, including seven against teams that made the postseason. Coach Doug Plank won the Coach of the Year Award and led the Force to a division title and first round bye in the playoffs. After powering by upset-minded Philadelphia, the Force stumbled a second time against Columbus, as the Destroyers defeated the top three seeds in the conference. The Destroyers eliminated Georgia, 66-56. Chris Greisen led the the Force for the entire 2008 season. In the first eight weeks, however, the team went 3-5. The Force then put together seven consecutive wins behind three receivers who caught over 1,000 yards and 80 touchdowns: Carl Morris, Tiger Jones, and Troy Bergeron. The Force won their second consecutive division title and a first round bye. In their playoff game against Cleveland, Greisen passed for almost 350 yards and eight touchdowns, but it was not enough as the Gladiators recovered an onside kick in the final minute to secure a 73-70 victory. The Force returned in 2011, led for the most part by Brett Elliott, who threw for 4,457 yards, 90 touchdowns and 20 picks. The new team produced three 1,000 yard receivers in Larry Shipp, Maurice Purify, and C.J. Johnson. Purify led the receivers with 46 touchdowns, while Shipp racked up the most yards with 1,653. Tracey Belton and Ahmad Hawkins both picked nine passes on the defensive end, returning two for scores. C.J. Johnson returned five kickoffs for touchdowns. Kicker Carlos Martinez converted on 113 of his 124 extra point attempts. Three of the team's seven regular season losses came in the final 90 seconds of games. The Force won six of its last eight games to qualify for a playoff berth. Four of these wins came on the road, including a win at San Jose by six. Their first playoff contest would come at Cleveland. The Force dominated the Gladiators, taking a 40-21 fourth quarter lead. Four turnovers doomed the Gladiators in a 50-41 loss. The Force advanced to face top-seeded Jacksonville. Darnell Kennedy quarterbacked Georgia through the playoffs and matched all-star Aaron Garcia for an entire game, except for one interception. That would turn out to be the game changer, as Jacksonville went on to win 64-55. The Force had new faces at quarterback for 2012. af2 veteran Kevin Eakin threw for 721 yards, 11 scores and six picks. Bryant Moniz passed for 875 yards, 16 scores and two interceptions. R.J. Archer spent the most time at the position, passing for 2,446 yards, 49 touchdowns and 12 picks. Larry Shipp remained on the team, catching 133 balls for 1,584 yards and 33 scores. C.J. Johnson amassed 1,075 yards and 14 scores. On defense, Tracy Belton picked 11 passes. The team had an up and down year, going 9-9 in the regular season, only one game shy of winning the division. The team played in seven games decided by three points or less and went 3-4 against teams that made the playoffs. Orlando defeated the Force 27-24 in one of the more low scoring games in league history. Despite losing five of their last seven, the Force qualified for the playoffs as the third seed. They would play at Jacksonville. Georgia defeated the Sharks twice in the regular season by 28 and 17. In this third meeting, the Sharks took a 48-21 third quarter lead and appeared to be well on their way to victory. However, Georgia would score five of the next six possessions in the game and took a 56-55 lead with 1:28 to go. Jacksonville had the ball and a long field to go as time ran down in the game. The Sharks attempted a franchise record 51 yard field goal as time expired, and it was good, giving Jacksonville the 58-56 win. Following the 2012 season, the Force franchise folded.