AFL Power Rankings through Week 6
Alright Orlando, you've proven your point. There's no doubt that Rob Keefe's team was the better on the field last weekend against Arizona, the team which most of us (myself included) perceived to be the best team in the league. Would I favor the Preds to win the ArenaBowl right now if they got on the field with the Rattlers again? No, I wouldn't. But have the Predators earned their spot as the No. 1 team in this Power Poll? You betcha.
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1: Orlando Predators (6-0) (LW: 3) - These Predators are starting to remind me of the 2014 Predators. You remember them, right? The team I said would finish 4-14 but ultimately went 11-7 and won the Southern Division? Keefe had those Predators playing with an attitude and swagger. They weren't taking anyone's crap, and they were going to deliver the pain. This Orlando team is playing with a little more restraint, and I've got no doubt that this team is much more talented than the one of two years ago.
2: Arizona Rattlers (5-1) (LW: 1) - The Rattlers seem to be at a crossroad here in Week 7. It's not that big of a deal to lose that first game to Orlando, but injuries are starting to mount. We'll see how long Arkeith Brown is going to be out for, but if he's out for a long period of time, that takes two players out of the middle of this defense. We all know that you win championships up the middle in this league on both sides of the ball, and not having a jack linebacker and a safety can turn a championship defense into an awful unit. The Ratts gave up 77 points last week, tied for the second most they've given up in franchise history.
3: Philadelphia Soul (5-1) (LW: 2) - The Soul didn't do anything wrong this week for sure, but I don't have a choice but to drop them to third best in the league this week. They'll have their shot against Arizona this week, and this might be as good of a time as any to get Kevin Guy's crew. Philly's defense has been nuts this year. The team has allowed just 36.7 points per game. Allowing 21 passing TDs in six games is tremendous, but the fact that the Soul also have 12 INTs and are holding teams to just a 51.0 percent completion percentage is a testament to just how amazing this secondary has been all season long.
4: LA KISS (3-3) (LW: 5) - The KISS blew out Portland last week, but we're still concerned about this team. Three games against the bottom half of the league have yielded three wins, two of which were blowouts. Three games against the top half of the league have yielded three losses, two of which were blowouts. We'll see real quick here just how good the KISS are. After their bye this week, they've got Arizona, Portland, Orlando and Philly.
5: Jacksonville Sharks (2-4) (LW: 4) - Jeff Bouchy came out after the team's loss to Cleveland and put everyone in his organization on notice. We're still willing to keep the Sharks above the Gladiators at this point because they were clearly the better team on the road at the Q for two and a half quarters before the franchise's most epic collapse in its history took place. We're not sure how much longer Les Moss has before he gets dismissed. We've got to imagine that a loss to Portland in Week 8 would be the end for him, as might a blowout loss against Orlando the next week. Bouchy still thinks his team is going to have a home playoff game, but the battle is a bit uphill from here.
6: Cleveland Gladiators (2-4) (LW: 6) - Kudos to the Glads for their comeback against Jacksonville, but there's still a big concern. They've already played five of their eight home games, and we're only six weeks into the season. Arvell Nelson might've been really good in the second half against the Sharks, but going 17-of-30 isn't going to win a lot of games. This defense is going to have to continue to carry the Gladiators.
7: Portland Steel (0-5) (LW: 7) - The Steel have been on the field on defense 48 times this year. They've allowed 50 touchdowns. They gave up three touchdowns without their defense being on the field last week, and that's got to be driving Ron James nuts. Darron Thomas was definitely an experience to behind on Monday night. He threw five picks against LA's experienced secondary, one short of the league record. So much for the theory that Portland just needed to play a game against a team which wasn't one of the best three in the league to make some headway. The KISS might be good, but they're not 66-27 good.
8: Tampa Bay Storm (0-5) (LW: 8) - The Storm scored 17 points on Monday night in Philly. I made 22 tweets about the statistical ramifications of that. The Storm are now just one game short of tying the league record for the most consecutive games without scoring 30 points, and if they get there this week in Orlando, you can bet that Lawrence Samuels will be at the end of his rope. The only reason he probably wasn't fired after the debacle in Philly is because the team has to turn around and play against the only undefeated team left in the league on just three days of rest.
ArenaFan Fan Power Poll
1. Orlando Predators (92.9 Power Points)
2. Arizona Rattlers (91.9 Power Points)
3. Philadelphia Soul (78.8 Power Points)
4. LA KISS (64.8 Power Points)
5. Jacksonville Sharks (62.1 Power Points)
6. Cleveland Gladiators (54.8 Power Points)
7. Portland Steel (41.4 Power Points)
8. Tampa Bay Storm (38.3 Power Points)