ArenaFan Power Ranking: Week 20
The team with the higher position in the ArenaFan Power Ranking won five of the six games in Week 19 Arena Football League action which resulted in limited changes from last week’s ranking. Las Vegas lost to Portland decisively which led to the Thunder jumping both the Outlaws and KISS in the Week 20 ranking.
San Jose (Pacific) and Arizona (West) are the National Conference division winners and await the results of this week’s games to find out which teams will claim the two wildcard slots. Philadelphia (East) and Orlando (South) are the division champions from the American Conference with Jacksonville and Cleveland advancing as the wildcard teams.
1. San Jose SaberCats (16-1) (LW: W vs. AZ 56-29) – San Jose beat Arizona by 27 points in a matchup of the two teams expected to meet for the National Conference title. The decisive win against the No. 3 team in the ranking confirms that the SaberCats are the best team in the league but, there are teams going to the postseason that are capable of pulling off an upset. San Jose will travel to Los Angeles to close out their regular season schedule.
2. Philadelphia Soul (14-3) (LW: W vs. NO 61-28) – Philadelphia earned the top seed in the American Conference by being the best team week in and week out, but Orlando and Jacksonville are both playing well heading to the playoffs, and either is capable of bringing the Philly season to an end. The Soul go on the road to play the Gladiators this week in a game that is a preview of the opening round of the playoffs.
3. Arizona Rattlers (13-4) (LW: L @ SJ 56-29) – Arizona should have one more shot at San Jose this season, but don’t expect the results to be different. The Rattlers are clearly the second best team in the National Conference, and are likely to see their season end with another trip to California in a few weeks. Arizona will be home this week against a Portland team that must win to have a chance at a wildcard spot.
4. Orlando Predators (11-6) (LW: W vs. JAX 64-50) – Orlando beat Jacksonville to lockup the South and take the No. 2 seed in the American Conference, but the Sharks may have the opportunity to revenge the loss in the first-round of the playoffs if they remain the No. 3 seed. Orlando will be home against a Tampa Bay team that collapsed over the final month of the season to fall out of the wildcard chase.
5. Jacksonville Sharks (9-8) (LW: L @ ORL 64-50) – Despite a losstoOrlando, Jacksonville is a threat to take the conference title. They have an experienced roster that took some time to gel, but the Sharks have had a solid month that included an impressive win over Philadelphia followed by a 47 point win over Tampa Bay. Jacksonville will be home against New Orleans on Saturday.
6. Cleveland Gladiators (8-9) (LW: W vs. SPO 59-42) – Cleveland snapped a four-game losing skid by beating a decent Spokane team that could have secured a postseason slot with a win. The Gladiators have benefitted from the Storm collapse and will be in the playoffs. Cleveland will be home against Philadelphia in Week 20 in a preview of the likely playoff opener.
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7. Tampa Bay Storm (7-10) (LW: W vs. LA 38-34) – Like Cleveland, Tampa Bay ended a four-game losing streak last week, but the Storm will not be moving on to the postseason after a poor second half of the season that included a 16 point effort in a loss to Jacksonville in Week 18 that followed a Week 17 loss to a New Orleans team that had two-wins prior to the meeting. Tampa Bay will travel to Orlando on Saturday to try to end the season on a positive note.
8. Spokane Shock (6-11) (LW: L @ CLV 59-42) – Spokane is on top in the three team battle with Las Vegas and Portland to grab two wildcard spots, and will have the chance to win it on the field when they visit Las Vegas this week in a game that will send the winner to the playoffs.
9. Portland Thunder (5-12) (LW: W vs. LV 64-33) – Portland is 2-2 in the last month with the losses coming by a total of eight points. The win against Las Vegas keeps the Thunder in the wildcard chase heading to Week 20 action, and while Portland is behind both Spokane and Las Vegas, they remain alive because the Shock and Outlaws play each other. A win against Arizona is needed this week, a tough task-especially on the road.
10. Los Angeles KISS (4-13) (LW: L @ TB 38-34) – Los Angeles will be playing for pride when they host San Jose on Saturday to close the season.
11. Las Vegas Outlaws (5.5-11.5) (LW: L @ PO 64-33) – Las Vegas can guarantee a wildcard spot with a win over Spokane, but could advance even with a loss if Portland losses to Arizona.
12. New Orleans VooDoo (3.5-13.5) (LW: L @ PHL 61-28) – New Orleans closes out what may be the final season for the franchise with a road trip to Jacksonville.
Week 20 Game of the Week: No. 8 Spokane @ No. 11 Las Vegas
The team with the higher power ranking won five of six games in Week 19, 74 of 96 (77%) for the season.