The Albany Empire joined the AFL in 2018. The leagues' return to Albany was a welcome one, as the Empire went 8-4 and tied for first place in the regular season. Tommy Grady quarterbacked the squad all season, throwing for 2,957 yards, 81 touchdowns, and just six picks. Joe Hills led all receivers with 1,045 yards and 33 scores. Malachai Jones scored 29 times on 77 catches and 1,156 yards. Three of the team's losses came by a combined points, including a 75-74 stunning defeat at the hands of Philadelphia, in which the Soul scored twice in the final 28 seconds. The Empire's championship dreams were dashed by Washington, as the Empire won 57-56 in overtime of the first game, but lost 47-40 at home. The Empire returned for the final AFL season and won the Arena Bowl over Philadlephia. Albany went 10-2 on the regular season and cruised through the playoffs, defeating the Soul 45-27 for the last Arena Bowl.