By Kyle Sander
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on June 07, 2016 at 9:06 PM
Week 10 is in the books and we are only two months from the playoffs, which means we have a good idea of what these teams are. QB play is up in recent weeks which has been the cause of closer games and more entertaining outcomes. Portland gets off the infamous “o’fer” list while Tampa Bay would have rather not shown up.
Without further ado, here is your Week 10 AFL FanZone Power Rankings.
- Philadelphia Soul 8-2 (LW – 1, Change –)
Philadelphia got back on track against a desperate Jacksonville Sharks team on Saturday night. I thought Jacksonville had the momentum going into this game, but it was clear early that the Soul had no visions of conceding their top spot in the rankings. After a close first half, Philadelphia put on the clamps and showed the league they are the team to beat heading into the home stretch. Philadelphia hosts LA for round 2 of the Rock vs Jocks themed games and even though this game will be in Trenton, NJ as opposed to their normal digs in the Wells Fargo Center in downtown Philadelphia.
- Orlando Predators 8-2 (LW – 2, Change –)
I was very tempted to move Orlando down a spot due to their near loss at Los Angeles, but two factors weighed in; No Randy Hippeard, and the emergence of KISS QB Pete Thomas. Should Orlando have won this game on Sunday, probably not, but how many times have we said that about Orlando this year? This is starting to feel like the 2014 Cleveland Gladiators team that rode their magic all the way to the Arena Bowl. Orlando needs Hippeard to be healthy in order for that dream to become reality, but as long as Brandon Thompkins is returning kicks, the Predators should feel confident they have enough playmakers around to make up for his absence. Orlando heads back home to host the Gladiators on Saturday night.
- Arizona Rattlers 7-3 (LW – 4, Change +1)
A lot of people thought Arizona was ripe for the picking in Cleveland as the Gladiators were on a three game win streak, while Arizona might be able to beat Portland with the guys they have on Injured Reserve. As I predicted though, Arizona went into Cleveland and took care of business. The return of DB Arkeith Brown was crucial in stopping Arvell Nelson cold after halftime. Still, the injuries are keeping the Rattlers from performing at a championship type level, luckily for them, they play in the National Conference so a 1 or 2 seed could be locked up by the end of the month. Portland comes to town after finally winning a game and I’m going to put it on record, I think Portland lays an egg like Tampa did last week. When a team finally breaks the streak of losing, they tend to relax for a week because the pressure is off. Look for Arizona to score early and score often this Saturday.
- Jacksonville Sharks 4-5 (LW – 3, Change -1)
Jacksonville had a chance to really shake up the American Conference with a win against Philadelphia on Saturday, but could not get the job done. This team continues to bring in talent on the offensive side of the ball, which makes their lack of output by the offense even that much more alarming. It doesn’t matter how many great WR’s you bring in when the defense can’t stop a nose bleed. The Sharks really missed DB Greg Reid against Philly and that explosive offense, for their sake I hope he is ready to go this week. Jacksonville stays in state to take on a battered Storm team who took two solid shots to the chin against winless Portland. Which team will put their loss behind them and get after it this weekend at the Amalie Arena?
- Los Angeles KISS 4-5 (LW – 6, Change – +1)
Did the KISS lose to a backup QB this weekend, sure they did, but Bernard Morris is not a normal backup. With guys like Danny Southwick, Adam Kennedy, and Chris Dieker earning starting spots in this league, it’s crazy that Morris is still stuck on the bench. That being said, the KISS lost this game more than Orlando won it. I was confused at the time and after seeing the outcome, I couldn’t help but stare at the TV screen. How does a veteran coach (ex-player) make the decision to attempt a 40+ yard FG when your long snapper has struggled with snaps this year? The chance of success was WAY too low, especially with Brandon Thompkins ready to return the kick after taking two in a row to the house earlier in the game. All that being said, I think it’s safe to say that Pete Thomas’ early success isn’t a fluke. He has now thrown for 16 touchdowns to only one interception. The future looks bright for this team, they just have to get over that gut wrenching loss and focus on the Soul for their afternoon kickoff on Saturday.
- Cleveland Gladiators 5-5 (LW – 5, Change – -1)
After taking down the best team in the league in Week 9, a lot of people around the league were high on this Gladiators team against an injured Rattlers squad. Unfortunately for them, the bad second half Nelson returned and the Cleveland offense went into the tank after halftime. Arvell Nelson has now committed eight 4th Quarter / overtime turnovers this season, which adds up to 89% of total turnover output. For whatever reason, he struggles late in games when it matters. If Cleveland wants to get back on track and challenge Arizona for the conference, they are going to need him to be the guy that took down the Soul. That starts this week as Cleveland heads down to Orlando to face an opportunistic Predators team. The question is, who will be at QB for that squad, Hippeard or Morris?
- Portland Steel 1-8 (LW – 8, Change +1)
I have said it multiple times this year on these very power rankings, this is not a standings, it’s a Power Rankings. Along with that, I always say “If these two teams were to play today, who has the edge?” Well, when Portland wins and TB loses, we get our answer. Portland came out and from the start you could see a determination for Coach James’ squad. The Steel forced four fumbles in route to a 68-35 victory in the Game of the Weak. I still think Tampa Bay is the better team, but in this snapshot of the season, the Steel hold the edge. Their reward is a trip to the snake pit to take on the league’s best QB in Nick Davila.
- Tampa Bay Storm 1-8 (LW – 7, Change -1)
I wonder if Coach Samuels is regretting his “Watch out league” line after the Storm took down the Rattlers in Week 9. I get why he did it, but you know those players got a nice ear full for their performance Friday night. What a disappointment after shocking the world against Arizona. Seven points in one half of football is pathetic whether you’re in the AFL, CFL, or the LFL. Seven points won’t get the job done, especially this week against a ticked off Sharks team. Tampa Bay needs to find that magic they had against Cleveland and Arizona if they expect to have any chance on Saturday.
Biggest Jump – Arizona, Los Angeles, Portland – +1
Biggest fall – Jacksonville, Cleveland, Tampa Bay – -1
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