Week 1 is in the books and there weren’t a whole lot of surprises. The favorites went in and did what they were supposed to do (other than Jacksonville). Did you know, week 1 of 2016 had the highest margin of victory in a given week in AFL history? That’s awesome and sad at the same time. But let’s get straight into the rankings shall we?
1. Arizona Rattlers (Last Week – 1, Change –)
Arizona went on the road week one and the only weakness were those socks… I mean, seriously did you see those things? C’mon Arizona, you can do better than that. As far as the play on the field, was that 2016, 2015, or 2014? Davila to Windsor is probably still giving Steel defenders nightmares.
2. Philadelphia Soul (Last Week – 2, Change –)
The final score of the Soul at Gladiators game doesn’t really tell the story of the game. Yeah, Philly won by 28, but it was 55-21 at the half and two of Cleveland’s touchdowns came on defense. Philadelphia looks about as strong as you can imagine, but that first interception Raudabaugh threw was head scratching. The defending league MVP should know better then to throw into the flat late.
3. LA KISS (Last Week – 4, Change +1)
Was there a more impressive team last weekend then the Los Angeles KISS? A lot of people thought LA had a chance to surprise some people in 2016, but no one could’ve seen that performance coming. Whatever Omarr Smith said at that half should’ve been bottled up for future use. After going into the half tied 33-33, the KISS defense gave up only 6 points in the second half. Next Saturday’s game against Arizona is easily the game of the week. Can LA show they are for real or was week 1 a fluke?
4. Orlando Predators (Last Week – 5, Change +1)
Orlando went into Tampa Bay almost too business like. All the quotes for the “War on I-4” came from the Tampa Bay side which led people to believe the Predators weren’t as up for the rivalry game as their opponent. That couldn’t have been further from the truth. Orlando went into Tampa Bay and made the Storm look worse than those hideous Zubaz uniforms they were wearing. Someone forgot to tell Orlando that it was “throwback night” in Tampa and that the Storm were supposed to win. Orlando’s defense will be a force to reckon with it looks like, I know it was Tampa, but they looked fierce.
5. Jacksonville Sharks (Last Week – 3, Change -2)
Jacksonville went to LA as a sexy pick to be American Conference representatives in Arena Bowl 29, but when they left they had to have thought “Did anyone get the license plate number of that truck?”. For a team that is supposed to have the most talented offense, only putting up 6 points on a team with almost an entirely new defense in the second half is troublesome. Yes, it’s only Week 1, but we saw the best and worse of Jacksonville in one game. They need to get to work fast as it doesn’t get any easier this week when they travel to Philadelphia to face the 1-0 Soul.
6. Cleveland Gladiators (Last Week – 6, Change –)
There is an obvious (at least to me) line between teams 1-5 and teams 6-8. After week 1, Arizona, Philly, LA, Orlando, and Jacksonville all look like if the cards fall the right way, they could see themselves in Arena Bowl 29, but these bottom 3 looked like they would struggle in the IFL. What was Dieker looking at in the first half Friday night? I believe Cleveland has the most underrated receiver core in the league with Goodman, Taylor, Beavers, and Lewis, but it doesn’t mean anything if they don’t have a QB to get them the ball. Hopefully Week 1 was just Dieker knocking the rust off because if that is what is to come of Cleveland in 2016, it’s gonna be a long season.
7. Portland Steel (Last Week – 7, Change –)
I’m only putting Portland here because Tampa was playing a rivalry game and still didn’t show up. The loss of Austin wasn’t immediately noticeable as Southwick threw two pretty passes in the first half for Touchdown’s, but when the game started to get out of control, the real Danny showed up. Two strip sacks in one half is unacceptable. As far as the defense, obviously someone forgot to tell Portland that Rod Windsor is pretty good, you might want to try covering him. Windsor won’t get an easier TD then he did in the second quarter Friday night. It’s not going to get any easier for the Steel as they now have to travel across country to face the red hot Predators.
8. Tampa Bay Storm (Last Week – 8, Change –)
I could’ve easily put Portland here and no one would say a word, but when you don’t show up on opening night, against your bitter rival, in game 3000 then you deserve to be dead last. That was absolutely embarrassing for Tampa Bay to provide that type of performance. The league was hyping that game for weeks, even moving it up 30 minutes to make sure it was “Game 3000”. The first drive was great, but then what happened? I want to insert another “zubaz” joke here, but I’m sure you’ve heard it enough since Friday. Bottom line is, Boltus isn’t coming back for at least a few weeks. Tampa better figure out their QB situation or they are going to struggle to win a game this year.
Biggest Jump – Los Angeles KISS/Orlando Predators – +1
Farthest Drop – Jacksonville Sharks – -2
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