The Washington Valor entered the 2017 season as a brand new franchise. Despite a 3-11 regular season record, the team was competitive, having five losses come by eight points or less. The Valor was also a failed two-point conversion away from upsetting the Philadelphia Soul, but fell 48-47. The team defeated Baltimore for all of its wins. The Valor returned in 2018, led by quarterback Nick Davila at first, followed by Shane Austin, Warren Smith, and finally, Arena Bowl XXXI MVP Arvell Nelson. Despite going 2-10 in the regular season, with the only wins coming against Philadelphia and Baltimore, all four teams made the playoffs. Washington fell in their first game against Albany, 57-56 in overtime, but won in Albany 47-40 to advance to Arena Bowl XXXI. The Valor led by 23 points in the fourth quarter and became the team with the fewest wins to take home an AFL title, 69-55.