Quad City Steamwheelers

Years of Existence: 2000-2009
Venue: Mark of the Quad Cities (Moline, IA)
2000 - af2 Champions
2001 - af2 Champions
2002 –
2003 – Playoff appearance
2004 – Playoff appearance
2005 – Playoff appearance
2006 -
2007 - Midwest Division champions, playoff appearance
2008 - Playoff appearance
2009 -
Lifetime Record: 110-61
Home: 67-22
Away: 43-39
Playoffs: 6-5
Average Attendance: 5,755

The Quad City Steamwheelers could be the best team in AF2 history. They are the only team to win back-to-back championships and through their first two seasons, the team lost only one game. Now in their sixth season, the team has yet to lose 10 home games and yet to a have a .500 season or worse. The team owns records for longest win streak and longest home win streak; 24 and 25 respectively. However, the Quad City team will always be marred because following the 2001 season it was found that the team had committed rules violations. The team was suspended from post season play in 2002 and a 10-6 record, which would’ve made the postseason, went for not. Despite these problems, the Steamwheelers reappeared in the playoffs in 2003 and 2004, keeping some success alive. However, the 2005 postseason would bring the Wheelers their third straight playoff loss. This time, Quad City would be defeated by Rio Grande Valley, 56-38. 2006 brought the first season where the Steamwheelers would truly miss the playoffs. Second half meltdowns told the story of the year. Quad City had a 33-14 lead on Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on the road and lost, 55-52. The team was down 28-27 at Manchester in their final game, and lost 79-48. An 0-4 start to the year also set the tone for the franchise's first losing season. The Steamwheelers did something that probably has never been done before in any league. The team won back-to-back overtime games, one on the road and one at home. The Steamwheelers of 2007 were not a great team. The team beat on several subpar teams en rout to a division title and ten victories. Only three wins came against teams with winning records. The team again qualified for the playoffs, but was again denied a victory. After splitting the regular season series with Green Bay, it was the Blizzard who escaped Iowa with a 39-34 playoff victory. In 2008, the Steamwheelers got off to a rough start, going 3-5 in the first half of the year. The team was able to turn it around behind the high powered offense of J.J. Raterink, Kris Peters, Jesse Schmidt, and Deontre Johnson. All three of the receivers caught over 1,000 yards. With an 81-79 win over Lexington in the final week of the regular season, Quad City earned a playoff berth and traveled to Wilkes-Barre to take on the rival Pioneers. The Pioneers took a 30-0 lead into the second quarter and never looked back, dominating the Steamwheelers 57-29, continuing a seven year postseason winless streak for Quad City. J.J. Raterink led the Steamwheelers into their tenth season, but only for ten games. His 54 touchdown passes, most of which went to Jesse Schmidt, who caught 58 on the year, only won four games for the team. Raterink left the team and joined Alaska in the IFL in the midst of what would be an eight game losing streak for the once proud franchise. The Steamwheeler defense gave up 56 points per game, while the offense scored just 48 per game, leading to a 5-11 record. Attendance continued to drop significantly and the team became league owned mid-season. Following the 2009 season, the storied franchise folded.