Monthly Archives: May 2016

AFL Week 9 Power Rankings

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It will be hard to top the amount of upsets that we had in Week 9. If you poll anyone who put in their picks for this weeks games, I have a feeling most will tell you they went 1-3. That kind of week can only mean one thing, a shuffle of the power rankings.

Let’s get started.

  1. Philadelphia Soul 7-2 (LW #1, Change –)

I’m sure others will argue that if you lose, you don’t deserve to stay in the top spot, but who else are you going to put here. All three of our top three teams lost this week and no, a four loss team is not going to jump Philly or Orlando just over one win. Look, Philadelphia was coming off an impressive win against Arizona and let off the gas a little bit playing a team who went to overtime the prior two weeks in a row. Philly will be fine, they are still the best team in the league at this point and I truly believe it will show come Saturday on CBS Sports Net when they take on the red hot Jacksonville Sharks.

  1. Orlando Predators 7-2 (LW #2, Change –)

There was a point in their loss to Jacksonville where I pondered if Varmah Sonie had Joe Hills on his fantasy team. Eight touchdowns given up to the same player is absolutely unacceptable for a team who was undefeated just two weeks ago. Yes, Orlando lost at home to Jacksonville and those who cried “FRAUD” when this team barely beat Tampa Bay three weeks ago are all relishing in the two game skid, but this is still the team that knocked off Arizona a couple weeks ago. Randy Hippeard threw two ill-advised interceptions, but other than that this loss was on the defense. I think Keef gets those guys back on track and you will see a different Orlando team out in LA this week. If not, it might get ugly in the jungle… for the home team.

  1. Jacksonville Sharks 4-4 (LW #5, Change +2)

Something was said or done during the bye week to finally light a fire under this team. Why it took almost half a season, I don’t know. But this is the Sharks team we were hyping at the beginning of the season. After destroying Portland last week, Jacksonville goes into the jungle and takes care of Orlando to get back to .500. They decided to peak at the perfect time as six of their final eight games are on national television starting this week against Philadelphia. If Grady can continue to feed Hills like he did against the Predators, there won’t be many teams able to match touchdown for touchdown the rest of the season.

  1. Arizona Rattlers 6-3 (LW #3, Change -1)

How the mighty have fallen. Just a few weeks ago we were talking right here on our power rankings “Who is going to beat Arizona this year”, then the injury bug made its way to the desert and ravaged this team. Let’s count them, Kerry Reed, Antaj Hawthorne, Arkeith Brown, Maurice Purify, Kenny Spencer, and Cliff Dukes. All these players have missed substantial time at different points of this season. Arizona was 21.5 point favorites going to Tampa Bay this past Sunday. Obviously the odds makers don’t read the injury report. I told a friend that the game will be close, to not expect a blowout and not only because of the injuries. Going into that game Arizona was 1-2 on the East Coast with their only win being an overtime victory against a struggling Sharks team. For whatever reason, Arizona isn’t traveling well this year. Due to their division, they should still get a #1 or #2 seed, but if they have to travel out East in the playoffs, it may be an early exit for coach Guy’s team. Having only a one game lead on Cleveland this far into the season is not how people saw this season going, but a win at the Q this week will go a long way to getting their confidence back.

  1. Cleveland Gladiators 5-4 (LW #6, Change +1)

Don’t look now, but Cleveland is on a three game win streak capped by an impressive win over the league’s best team, the Soul. It looks as though Cleveland is the new Orlando, struggle against the bad teams, and beat the good teams. After back to back overtime games against the two winless teams in the league, Cleveland comes out on Saturday and basically controlled the entire game against the Soul. I think they caught Philadelphia in the best case scenario coming off big wins against Arizona and Orlando in consecutive weeks. You only have so much juice to keep that going. I’m not taking anything away from Cleveland here, they made all the plays when needed. A mark of a good team isn’t always dominating, sometimes it’s being able to take advantage of the other team’s miscues, which is how I would categorize Cleveland’s win against the Soul on Saturday. They need to keep the magic going as they get an upset Arizona team traveling to town after giving Tampa Bay their first win of the season.

  1. Los Angeles KISS 4-4 (LW #4, Change -2)

It’s tough to drop a team two spots after a win, but let’s be honest, they probably should’ve lost to Portland on Saturday night. They made the plays when necessary late in the fourth quarter, but there is no excuse for allowing a slumping Shane Austin to play like the Austin we saw in 2014 when Cleveland was in the Arena Bowl. Austin came into the game throwing 12 interceptions in his prior three games combined and finished with only one interception against the KISS. I understand it was Pete Thomas’ first start of the season, but LA wasn’t in a dog fight because of the offense, it was the defense who kept Portland in the game. The Steel finished the game going 2 for 3 on fourth down. That is unacceptable for a team who wants to shed the stigma of being a bottom dweller team in the league. The good (maybe?) news is, LA just matched their win total from last year, one more win and they will have set a team record for wins in a season. If that is going to be this week, Coach Smith better get a better performance from his defensive backfield because you know Randy Hippeard is going to throw early and often to try and end their two game slide.

  1. Tampa Bay Storm 1-7 (LW #1, Change –)

The 2008 Detroit Lions can pull out the corkscrew, we at least won’t have TWO winless teams this year. That’s right, not only did the Storm finally erase the goose egg, but they did it against a perennial power in the Arizona Rattlers. This was an impressive performance all the way around. From holding a late lead, to stopping Davila late, to Toliver’s ridiculous catches at the end. Everything that had to go right for Tampa to win this game, happened. But it almost didn’t, late in the second quarter QB Jason Boltus was slammed against the boards on a short running play and took quite a while to get up. Long enough to allow Adam Kennedy to come in and get an easy TD on the next play. But Boltus shook it off and looked as sharp as ever late. Even though it looked like a hope and a prayer, his pass to a streaking Toliver was in perfect position. If that ball is thrown anywhere else, it’s either incomplete or intercepted. I am very happy for Tampa Bay, but I was already thinking of a preview video for the “Game of the Weak” when Tampa travels to Portland this week to face the Steel. But alas, not all good things are meant to be.

  1. Portland Steel 0-8 (LW #8, Change –)

Another week, another way to lose. After holding a lead for much of the game against Los Angeles, Portland found a new way to lose; by giving up two bar balls in a row late in the fourth quarter. The effort is much improved for Coach James, but this team still lacks a certain swagger that Tampa Bay has shown (and why I think they were able to pull off the impossible against Arizona). Shane Austin looked much better than he did in his prior three starts and the Steel will need him to continue that level of play to beat a suddenly relevant Tampa Bay team this week. Look for Portland to pull out all the stops as this may be their last chance at victory this season.

 

Biggest Jump – Jacksonville – +2

Biggest fall – Arizona and Los Angeles – -2

 

Week 1 Power Rankings

Week 2 Power Rankings

Week 3 Power Rankings

Week 4 Power Rankings

Week 5 Power Rankings

Week 6 Power Rankings

Week 7 Power Rankings

Week 8 Power Rankings

 

Always remember to keep it locked on AFL FanZone for the latest information for the Arena Football League.

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Twitter: https://twitter.com/AFLFanZone

YouTube: AFL FanZone on YouTube

Week 8 AFL FanZone Power Rankings

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If Week 8 taught us anything, it’s that Portland is still bad and Philadelphia isn’t messing around. The playoff seeding is starting to take shape, while the three separate groups continue to shape the league.

Here are the Week 8 AFL FanZone Power Rankings! Where do you rank the teams? Let us know in the comments section of the AFL FanZone Facebook page!

  1. Philadelphia Soul 7-1 (LW #2, Change +1)

In two consecutive weeks the Soul have taken down Arizona and Orlando. Sure, both were at home, but both were also in impressive fashion. Both games were the marquee game of the week knowing they were going to be getting the best shot of their opponent. Other than the one game against Jacksonville, Philadelphia is showing the league they are poised to avenge last year’s early playoff exit. Once again the Raudabaugh to Reynolds connection cannot be stopped. Philadelphia heads to play Cleveland for the 3rd time this season, as long as they don’t lay an egg, the Soul should walk out 8-1 and in the driver’s seat for the #1 seed in the American Conference.

2. Orlando Predators 7-1 (LW #1, Change -1)

Orlando ran into a buzz saw in Week 8. There is no shame in losing on the road to a good team. This loss may actually be what the doctor ordered for Orlando. They were skating by opponents like the Steel and Storm, but still beating the big boys. Losing to Philadelphia puts that bug into the team to let them know they aren’t invincible. They get cross state rival Jacksonville in Week 9, so there is no time to sulk, I have a feeling we are going to see Orlando’s best effort of the season this week.

3. Arizona Rattlers 6-2 (LW #3, Change –)

What is wrong with Arizona? They still won the game, yes. But something just seems off with this team. I don’t know if it’s the injuries or team chemistry. Davila is missing throws he doesn’t normally miss, the defense is giving up big plays that you don’t normally see them give up. When Nathan Stanley went down with the injury you would’ve thought the game was over, but the KISS actually played better with backup Pete Thomas under center. That is bad news for a team that seemed destined to host the Arena Bowl not even three weeks ago. They head back East this week to face the Tampa Bay Storm, but I’m not expecting a blowout like I feel I should. Tampa needs to win a game BADLY, so Arizona better be ready to go on Sunday or they could be in trouble.

4. Los Angeles KISS 3-4 (LW #4, Change –)

Some people might have moved the KISS down after losing to Arizona on Saturday, but I won’t. They went into the snake pit, a place they haven’t had any success in their history and went toe to toe with their backup QB. After Stanley went down, the team seemed to rally around Thomas and they found themselves a fourth down conversion away from the game coming down to an onside kick. Speaking of Thomas, he looked very impressive Saturday night. His ability to read the defense, make check downs, throw the ball away, and place the ball in the perfect spot are all things we haven’t seen from Stanley since Week 1 (other than the game against Portland). If Pete Thomas can continue to progress, Stanley’s unfortunate injury may be a blessing in disguise for a team looking for a break. Luckily they get the Steel at home this week to be able to work on expanding the playbook for the new young signal caller.

5. Jacksonville Sharks 3-4 (LW #6, Change +1)

Jacksonville was in a no win situation Saturday, a win and it is “ok, and…” and a loss may have gotten Coach Moss fired on Monday. The Sharks did exactly what they needed to do, blow a bad team out at home to save their coach. I’m not joking here, I believe the Sharks are one embarrassing game away from starting over. Jeff Bouchy has not minced words on his displeasure of the team’s effort thus far this season. Beating Portland may be a sigh of relief for a couple days, but if they lay an egg against Orlando this weekend, be ready for some heads to roll.

6. Cleveland Gladiators 4-4 (LW #5, Change -1)

It isn’t very often a team can go 2-0 in two games and drop both weeks, but Cleveland is also nicknamed “believeland” where anything can happen. Look, have the Gladiators won the last two weeks? Sure they have, but is anyone willing to bet they could beat any of the teams above them on this list even at home? I didn’t think so. Cleveland had a chance to really take it to their last two opponents, but instead found themselves in dog fights against two teams who are a combined 0-14. THAT is how you drop even when you win. I’m starting to lose faith in Arvell Nelson as a developmental QB, I liked what I saw early in the season, but you can’t put up those kinds of performances against horrible teams and expect anyone to be impressed. The Glads welcome a red hot Philadelphia team to Cleveland this week for their second to last home game of the season. If they think they can put up the same kind of effort they did the last two weeks, then they are sorely mistaken.

7. Tampa Bay Storm 0-7 (LW #7, Change –)

I admit it, I was wrong. I really thought Monday night’s game against Cleveland was going to be Tampa Bay’s first win of the season. And I was close, but this isn’t horse shoes or hand grenades, so I have to eat crow when it’s deserved. I still think Tampa Bay is trending upwards though. The comeback of Jason Boltus has ignited a fire under this team that will prove to be vital in the second half of the season. I think Tampa has the ability to surpass Cleveland in the Power Rankings, they just need to get the monkey off their back first. Could they shock the world this week and beat Arizona? Normally I would say “hahahaha”, but Arizona is ripe for the picking right now. Expect a close game on Sunday. I’m not bold enough to pick Tampa Bay again, but I also don’t see the game being a complete blow out either.

8. Portland Steel 0-7 (LW #8, Change –)

Portland’s overtime game against Cleveland was a fun, cute story for a few days, but the Steel came crashing back to Earth in their pounding at Jacksonville Saturday night. Shane Austin can’t continue to throw four interceptions a game if this team wants to win a game this season. At this point, I think it would be bolder to predict a win than 0-16. This team is bad and can’t wait for the season to end. Unfortunately, so are the Steel fans. Portland heads back to Los Angeles this week for a meeting with the KISS. I expect a game close to what we saw three weeks ago while Portland continues to look ahead to the offseason.

Biggest Jump – Philadelphia and Jacksonville – +1

Biggest fall – Orlando and Cleveland – -1

Week 1 Power Rankings

Week 2 Power Rankings

Week 3 Power Rankings

Week 4 Power Rankings

Week 5 Power Rankings

Week 6 Power Rankings

Week 7 Power Rankings

Always remember to keep it locked on AFL FanZone for the latest information for the Arena Football League.

Facebook: www.Facebook.com/AFLFanZone

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AFLFanZone

YouTube: AFL FanZone on YouTube

 

Week 8 Arena Football League – Practice Status Report (Thursday)

 

Portland Steel at Jacksonville Sharks

Portland Steel

DNP-Did Not Participate      LP-Limited
Participation            FP-Full Participation

IR-Injured Reserve         
IAR-Inactive Reserve    NP-No Practice OLE – Other League Exempt

Portland at Jacksonville

5/21 – 7:00pm – ESPN3

Mon

(NP)

Tue

(NP)

Wed

(NP)

Thu

 

Fri

 

Sat

(Game Day)

Sun

(NP)

Mon

(NP)

QB Danny Southwick

DNP

 

 

 

 

DB Bryce Peila

DNP

 

 

 

 

DB Terrence Mitchell

DNP

 

 

 

 

WR Jared Perry

DNP

 

 

 

 

OL Jarien Moreland

DNP

 

 

 

 

LB Dexter Davis

LP

 

 

 

 

DB Tim Shelley

LP

 

 

 

 

OL Deveric Gallington

FP

 

 

 

 

OL John Collins

FP

 

 

 

 

DB Sergio Gilliam

FP

 

 

 

 

WR Tyrone Goard

FP

 

 

 

 

LB Robert Hayes

FP

 

 

 

 

DB Mike McMillan

FP

 

 

 

 

OL Duke Robinson

FP

 

 

 

 

DL Reggie Wilson

FP

 

 

 

 

WR Jabin Sambrano

IAR

 

 

 

 

WR Rashaad Carter

IAR

 

 

 

 

 

Jacksonville Sharks

DNP-Did Not Participate      LP-Limited
Participation            FP-Full Participation

IR-Injured Reserve          IAR-Inactive
Reserve    NP-No Practice OLE – Other League Exempt

Portland at Jacksonville

5/21 – 7:00pm – ESPN3

Mon

(NP)

Tue

Wed

Thu

Fri

 

Sat

(Game Day)

Sun

(NP)

Mon

(NP)

DL Anthony DeGrate

DNP

DNP

 

 

 

 

DB Micheaux Robinson

DNP

DNP

DNP

 

 

 

 

OL Moqut Ruffins

DNP

DNP

DNP

 

 

 

 

WR Anthony Jones

LP

LP

LP

 

 

 

 

DL Laith Wallschleger

LP

LP

LP

 

 

 

 

OL Ray McNeil

LP

LP

LP

 

 

 

 

WR Jamar Howard

FP

DNP

 

 

 

 

OL Jason Holman

LP

LP

 

 

 

 

WR Roger Jackson

IAR

IAR

IAR

 

 

 

 

Orlando Predators at Philadelphia Soul

Orlando Predators

DNP-Did Not Participate      LP-Limited
Participation            FP-Full Participation

IR-Injured Reserve         
IAR-Inactive Reserve    NP-No Practice OLE – Other League Exempt

Orlando at Philadelphia

5/21 – 7:30pm – CBS SN

Mon

(NP)

Tue

Wed

Thu

Fri

 

Sat

(Game Day)

Sun

(NP)

Mon

(NP)

DB Paul Stephens

DNP

LP

FP

 

 

 

 

DL Michael Lewis

DNP

DNP

DNP

 

 

 

 

DB Emanuel Cook

DNP

DNP

DNP

 

 

 

 

WR Brelan Chancellor

DNP

DNP

DNP

 

 

 

 

OL Adam Shead

DNP

DNP

 

 

 

 

OL CJ Cobb

DNP

 

 

 

 

DB Brian Smith

LP

 

 

 

 

WR Larry Brackins

LP

LP

FP

 

 

 

 

WR Kendal Thompkins

FP

FP

FP

 

 

 

 

WR Brandon Thompkins

FP

FP

FP

 

 

 

 

DL Monte Lewis

FP

FP

FP

 

 

 

 

WR Paul Browning

IAR

IAR

IAR

 

 

 

 

OL Will Maxwell

IAR

IAR

IAR

 

 

 

 

 

Philadelphia Soul

DNP-Did Not Participate      LP-Limited
Participation            FP-Full Participation

IR-Injured Reserve         
IAR-Inactive Reserve    NP-No Practice OLE – Other League Exempt

Orlando at Philadelphia

5/21 – 7:30pm – CBS SN

Mon

(NP)

Tue

 

Wed

Thu

Fri

(NP)

Sat

(Game Day)

Sun

(NP)

Mon

(NP)

K Tommy Frevert

DNP

DNP

DNP

 

 

 

 

FB Jeramie Richardson

DNP

DNP

DNP

 

 

 

 

DL Teddy Jennings

DNP

DNP

 

 

 

 

DB Torez Jones

IAR

IAR

IAR

 

 

 

 

OL Neal Tivis

IAR

IAR

IAR

 

 

 

 

Los Angeles KISS at Arizona Rattlers

Los Angeles KISS

DNP-Did Not Participate      LP-Limited
Participation            FP-Full Participation

IR-Injured Reserve         
IAR-Inactive Reserve    NP-No Practice OLE – Other League Exempt

Los Angeles at Arizona

5/21 – 9:00pm – ESPN3

Mon

(NP)

Tue

 

Wed

 

Thu

Fri

 

Sat

(Game Day)

Sun

(NP)

Mon

(NP)

OL John Martinez

DNP

DNP

DNP

 

 

 

 

DB Clevan Thomas

DNP

DNP

DNP

 

 

 

 

DL Rodney Fritz

DNP

DNP

DNP

 

 

 

 

WR DJ Stephens

DNP

DNP

DNP

 

 

 

 

WR Donovan Morgan

LP

LP

LP

 

 

 

 

WR Dan Buckner

LP

LP

LP

 

 

 

 

DL Marcus Pittman

LP

IAR

IAR

 

 

 

 

DB Qumain Black

LP

 

 

 

 

OL Cornelius Dixon

LP

DNP

DNP

 

 

 

 

OL Sam Tapua

LP

LP

LP

 

 

 

 

DL Gustave Benthin

LP

LP

LP

 

 

 

 

DL Jamil Merrell

FP

FP

FP

 

 

 

 

OL Shannon Tevega

FP

FP

FP

 

 

 

 

OL Kody Afusia

IAR

IAR

IAR

 

 

 

 

WR Amarri Jackson

IAR

IR

 

 

 

 

 

Arizona Rattlers

DNP-Did Not Participate      LP-Limited
Participation            FP-Full Participation

IR-Injured Reserve         
IAR-Inactive Reserve    NP-No Practice OLE – Other League Exempt

Los Angeles at Arizona

5/21 – 9:00pm – ESPN3

Mon

(NP)

Tue

 

Wed

 

Thu

Fri

 

Sat

(Game
Day)

Sun

 

Mon

 

WR Maurice Purify

DNP

DNP

DNP

 

 

 

 

FB Mykel Benson

LP

LP

FP

 

 

 

 

DL Damien Borel

LP

LP

FP

 

 

 

 

DL Anttaj Hawthorne

LP

DNP

DNP

 

 

 

 

DL Hayworth Hicks

LP

LP

LP

 

 

 

 

WR Joe Matthews

LP

LP

LP

 

 

 

 

DB KJ Morton

LP

LP

FP

 

 

 

 

DL Chris McAllister

LP

LP

FP

 

 

 

 

DB Qua Cox

LP

LP

 

 

 

 

DB Markus Smith

LP

LP

FP

 

 

 

 

DB Allen Chapman

LP

LP

LP

 

 

 

 

DL Tyre Glasper

FP

FP

FP

 

 

 

 

OL Dionte Savage

FP

LP

FP

 

 

 

 

WR Anthony Amos

FP

FP

FP

 

 

 

 

DL Luis Vasquez

FP

FP

FP

 

 

 

 

WR Chase Deadder

FP

FP

FP

 

 

 

 

OL Jordan Mudge

FP

FP

FP

 

 

 

 

OL Michael Simons

FP

LP

LP

 

 

 

 

QB Nick Davila

FP

FP

FP

 

 

 

 

DL Dimetrio Tyson

IAR

IAR

IAR

 

 

 

 

DB Arkeith Brown

IAR

IAR

IAR

 

 

 

 

Cleveland Gladiators at Tampa Bay Storm

Cleveland Gladiators

DNP-Did Not Participate      LP-Limited
Participation            FP-Full Participation

IR-Injured Reserve         
IAR-Inactive Reserve    NP-No Practice OLE – Other League Exempt

Cleveland at Tampa Bay

5/23 – 8pm – ESPN3/Univision

Mon

(NP)

Tue

(NP)

Wed

(NP)

Thu

Fri

Sat

 

Sun

 

Mon

(Game Day)

DB Brandon Stephens

DNP

 

 

 

 

WR Devin Wilson

DNP

 

 

 

 

DL Abe Koroma

DNP

 

 

 

 

DB Joe Phinisee

DNP

 

 

 

 

OL Aslam Sterling

DNP

 

 

 

 

WR Thyron Lewis

LP

 

 

 

 

DB Jamie Bender

LP

 

 

 

 

WR Larry Beavers

LP

 

 

 

 

OL DJ Brandel

LP

 

 

 

 

DB Demarcus Robinson

FP

 

 

 

 

K Adrian Trevino

FP

 

 

 

 

DL Randy Colling

FP

 

 

 

 

WR Quentin Sims

FP

 

 

 

 

DL Curtis Young

FP

 

 

 

 

 

Tampa Bay Storm

DNP-Did Not Participate      LP-Limited
Participation            FP-Full Participation

IR-Injured Reserve         
IAR-Inactive Reserve    NP-No Practice OLE – Other League Exempt

Cleveland at Tampa Bay

5/23 – 8pm – ESPN3/Univision

Mon

(NP)

Tue

(NP)

Wed

(NP)

Thu

Fri

Sat

 

Sun

 

Mon

(Game Day)

WR Mike Washington

DNP

 

 

 

 

DB James Harrell

DNP

 

 

 

 

OL Isaiah Tuiasosopo

LP

 

 

 

 

DL David Washington

LP

 

 

 

 

DB Rick-J Hill

IAR

 

 

 

 

OL Isaiah Shelton

IAR

 

 

 

 

 

 

Week 7 AFL FanZone Power Rankings

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It was definitely an upside down week, the AFL FanZone Game of the Week was the most lopsided of the weekend and the Tampa Bay Storm almost pull the impossible in Orlando. It was nice to see Jason Boltus and Shane Austin back in the AFL throwing passes. Those two quarterbacks instantly gave their teams a boost and as long as they are under center the rest of the year, should insure we don’t end the season with a 0-16 team (like my 2008 Detroit Lions…).

With that being said, let’s get right into the Power Rankings. Here are where all 8 teams stand after 7 weeks.

  1. Orlando Predators 7-0 (LW #1, Change –)

Yes, Orlando squeaked by Tampa Bay, but guess what? Orlando is the last undefeated team which means they will get everyone’s best shot and you know Tampa Bay put a little extra into their game hoping they would be the ones to do it. Look, it was a rivalry game against a team with a legitimate quarterback for only the second time all season. I refuse to drop the Predators because they won a tight game against a bitter rival a week after taking down the kings of Arizona. That was setup perfectly as a letdown game and Orlando came out on top. For that reason (and their record) Orlando stays #1. The good thing is, we find out on Saturday night if they deserve it. The matchup against Philadelphia will go a LONG way in finding out who wins the American Conference. I don’t even have to really say it, but I will, Saturday’s Orlando at Philadelphia game will be the AFL FanZone Game of the Week.

  1. Philadelphia Soul 6-1 (LW #3, Change +1)

For the second week in a row, Arizona found themselves in the Eastern Time zone battling against a team hitting its stride. Philadelphia did a great job solidifying their status as a legitimate contender in the American Conference. Arizona never really got going and when they made a mistake, the Soul made sure to take advantage. That is a mark of a great team. Make the other team play flawless. Dan Raudabaugh and Darius Reynolds (Double DR?) are making their argument as the best QB-WR duo in the league, right there with Davila and Windsor. Saturday’s game at the “Soul Shack” should be a ton of fun, let’s see if Philadelphia is ready for the challenge.

  1. Arizona Rattlers 5-2 (LW #2, Change -1)

For the second week in a row, Arizona finds themselves sliding down a spot in our Power Rankings and as much as Coach Guy would deny it, we all know why. Injuries. I mentioned it in my preview video for the Week 7 Game of the Week, the injury to Kerry Reed will prove more costly then the team will admit. The Jack Linebacker position is atrocious now that Reed is out of the lineup. Chase Deadder is trying his best, it’s not for a lack of effort, he just isn’t built for that position and teams are taking advantage. Then the loss to Arkeith Brown meant a very young secondary was tasked in stopping one of the most potent offenses in the league. That spelled disaster last weekend and proved even the King can be broken. On the plus side, Arizona returns to the desert to face the KISS this weekend, a team in which the Rattlers have handled for the past 2.5 seasons. But they cannot afford another major injury or this team will continue to struggle.

  1. Los Angeles KISS 3-3 (LW #5, Change +1)

I asked last night on twitter after Cleveland’s overtime win vs Portland if there was a reason not to drop the Gladiators. I think the silence was deafening. Los Angeles did nothing to deserve a jump, but Cleveland did everything to deserve to fall. The KISS have a tough matchup at Arizona this week, but coming off of a week’s rest, they should be ready to go.

  1. Cleveland Gladiators 3-4 (LW #4, Change -1)

Like I mentioned above, Cleveland’s fall to #5 was due to their own lack of production against a terrible team. I mentioned in my preview video that this was going to be Cleveland’s first blow out of the season. Of course, that was before the mention of Shane Austin starting was announced, but even with that Cleveland shouldn’t have been where they were late on Monday Night. To make matters worse, they “should” have lost. If Tyrone Goard doesn’t take his helmet off at the end of the game, K Ernesto Lacayo for Portland more than likely makes the extra point. He was perfect leading up to that kick. I know some people will mention that Portland played above itself because of Shane Austin, but those people will also probably hide his stat line. Not here, that is not how we roll at AFL FanZone. Shane Austin finished the night 36 for 56 for 363 yards, 6 touchdowns and 4 interceptions. That is not exactly lighting up the scoreboard. Plus, Portland lost so many receivers we saw defensive backs catching touchdowns. Cleveland was in a no-win situation last night because had they blown out Portland no one would’ve said anything, but because they barely lost, here we are questioning the execution. For whatever reason, this team cannot rise up and punch a team in the mouth and they better be careful this week because I think the close loss to Orlando will keep Tampa Bay fired up.

  1. Jacksonville Sharks 2-4 (LW #6, Change –)

Jacksonville was on a much needed bye week in Week 7 and no one around them did enough to move the Sharks position. There is no better time for Jacksonville to pull out of their slump than this week when they host Portland. Crunch time is coming for the Sharks with Orlando and Philadelphia refusing to lose.

  1. Tampa Bay Storm 0-6 (LW #7, Change –)

No one saw Jason Boltus’ return coming last week for the Storm, well those of us outside of Tampa Bay of course. His presence was an automatic boost for a team who had refused to hit 30 points in each of its first five games. Tampa Bay found themselves with a 27-21 lead at the half against undefeated Orlando. Now, like I mentioned in my defense for the Predators, the Storm got a team coming off a huge win against Arizona. Anyone that has been around football for more than a couple  years can name multiple times a team struggled a week after a big emotional win. Boltus proved to be the spark this team needed to get over its offensive futility. He finished the game with over 250 yards passing, four touchdowns and only one interception. Tampa had a chance to knock off the Predators, but ultimately, there is a reason this team is winless. The talent level is not where it should be for such a storied franchise in this league. They could end their losing streak this week when Cleveland comes to town. They just need to bring the same intensity they showed in the War on I4 against the Predators in Week 7.

  1. Portland Steel 0-6 (LW #8, Change –)

Did Portland almost pull off a victory on the road, sure they did. But that was more because Cleveland couldn’t step on the gas when they had the game in their hands in the fourth quarter. Shane Austin brings instant credibility to the quarterback position for Portland, but he must play better than he did Monday if they expect to compete week in, week out. Multiple times the game on Monday night should’ve been over and Cleveland kept them in the game. Injury after injury, turnover after turnover, and somehow the Steel found themselves in overtime against a team who knocked off Jacksonville the week before. It was nice to see a much better effort this time on Monday night than last week’s pathetic performance at the KISS. Either way, Portland finds themselves stuck in the basement and a trip to Jacksonville this week means it will probably stay that way for another week.

Biggest Jump – Philadelphia and Los Angeles – +1

Biggest fall – Arizona and Cleveland – -1

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