Week 6 is in the books and in my eyes, playoff seeding is starting to take shape. There is a defined line separating three groups between the 8 teams: Contenders, Pretenders, Portland Bay…
Let’s get into this week’s power rankings, shall we?
- Orlando Predators 6-0 (LW #2, Change +1)
Does this surprise anyone? Take down the king and you move up, it’s that simple, especially if you are undefeated and you force Shane Boyd into the game. If you watched the AFL FanZone preview of this game, I said the team with the more productive QB will win this game. Well, how does 73% completion rate, nine touchdowns and zero interceptions work, those were Predators QB Randy Hippeards numbers on Saturday. In contrast, Arizona Rattlers QB Nick Davila finished the night with a 68% completion rating, seven touchdowns and an interception. That slight production difference is why Orlando pulled off the upset and sent the Rattlers home with their first loss of the season. Like I mentioned before, Orlando needed this game more than Arizona did. I don’t think they will stay here at #1 all year, but as of Week 7, they deserve this spot. The Predators stay home next week for the second round of the War on I-4 against Tampa Bay. Orlando won this game and will be favored by a lot, but I hope for their sake they are done celebrating and have moved on to Tampa.
- Arizona Rattlers 5-1 (LW #1, Change -1)
Arizona got outplayed Saturday in the jungle, but don’t believe for a second that the Rattlers are flawed. To be honest, I think this was exactly what the doctor ordered for Coach Guy. Now he has tape to back him up later in the year when the team isn’t showing 100% effort in practice and/or games. They showed they can’t just walk into a stadium, roll their helmet out and win a ball game. Davila and company need to have a short memory because they face a tough Soul team this week in Philadelphia. I guarantee Philadelphia will be looking to give Arizona that infamous “double loss” that you see in sports when a team loses a tough game. With that being said, I think Davila comes out on fire and you will see a different Arizona team for the AFL FanZone Game of the Week for Week 7.
- Philadelphia Soul 5-1 (LW #3, Change –)
Philadelphia started slower than I’m sure coached Dolezel wanted, but by halftime, the game we expected is what we got. The stifling Soul defense clamped down after Tampa Bay’s second drive and Philadelphia only gave up seven more points the rest of the game. If Philadelphia can continue their defensive dominance then the fight for the division crown should be fun in the American Conference. Raudabaugh will need to tighten a few things up this week because Arizona comes to town fresh off of a tough loss at Orlando.
- Cleveland Gladiators 2-4 (LW #5, Change +1)
I wills tart off by saying congratulations to the Cleveland Gladiators. They took advantage of Jacksonville’s ineptitude in the second half. On the other side of the coin, you’d like to see the Gladiators take it to a team and blow them out, but when you are on quarterback number 3, you will take a win however you get it. Cleveland showed some real heart and Collin Taylor’s beautiful one handed game winning catch is what keeps them a tick above Los Angeles in the Power Rankings. This should be the week we see that blowout win as they get hapless Portland on Monday Night.
- Los Angeles KISS 3-3 (LW #6, Change +1)
The KISS did exactly what they wer supposed to do. Portland gave up weeks ago and instead of LA just going through the motions, they whipped the Steel up and down the field. Three pick six’s and four Captain Morgan touchdown’s led to a 66-27 victory. Nathan Stanley desperately needed a game like this for his confidence. He still turned the ball over, but other than that he was pretty sharp. The other bright spot is the play of the defensive backs with Rayshaun Kizer out with a knee injury. The KISS find themselves on a bye week this week, but you can guarantee their minds will be on the rematch with Arizona two Saturday’s from now.
- Jacksonville Sharks 1-5 (LW #4, Change -2)
If this was a power ranking based on hype vs production, the Sharks would be entrenched at #8. How in the world is this team 1-5 after six weeks? Tommy Grady, Joe Hills, Tiger Jones, Derrick Ross, I could keep going. There is no way to sugar coat it, this start is an embarrassment for Coach Moss. I have to wonder if the Sharks thought they would just show up on game day and win. It’s clear the leadership on this team is lacking, but luckily for them they have their bye week this week. They need to do some serious soul searching or it may end up being too late to flip the switch on the season.
- Tampa Bay Storm 0-5 (LW #7, Change –)
What is left to say? A week after I pump up the Storm for their effort against Jacksonville, the Storm come out and throw up a 17 burger. Seventeen points on a 50 yard field is unacceptable as the hunt for 30 (points) continues. I’ll tell you right now, it won’t end this week at Orlando, that much is clear. My question for the Storm is, why is Coach Samuels so stubborn with Adam Kennedy? Why are we still watching Bane look lost and throwing interceptions when you have Kennedy healthy on the bench? He won the preseason position battle and he is ready to go, let’s see what he can do. Honestly, how much could it hurt? Bane put up SEVENTEEN points on Saturday. That won’t even come close to cutting it this week against the Predators.
- Portland Steel 0-5 (LW #8, Change –)
I almost don’t want to waste my time with a write-up on this Portland “team”. They clearly aren’t trying, why should I? Oh, that’s right… because I’m actually trying to be professional here. Portland’s effort on Monday night was an absolute joke. Los Angeles was coming off of two straight stinkers, lost their defensive captain, and the Steel made them look like Arizona. I think the players and coaches know their fate and are playing to not get injured. There is not much else to say. Portland heads to Cleveland this week and I can’t help to think it’s going to be a blowout.
Biggest Jump – Orlando, Cleveland, and Los Angeles – +1
Biggest Fall – Jacksonville – -2
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