SaberCats Top Week 3 AFL Power Rankings
Now that two weeks of the 2014 Arena Football Season are in the history books we can begin to gauge team’s strengths and weaknesses based on their game performance rather than projections. This is the first set of Power Rankings for the 2014 season.
Power Ranking: Week 3
1. San Jose SaberCats (2-0): The SaberCats have averaged 67.0 PPG on their way to a 2-0 start that includes a division road win over Portland, and they outscored Portland and Philadelphia by a combined 67 points in the victories.
2. Arizona Rattlers (2-0): With an average of 65.0 PPG, the Rattlers look to be as potent on offense as San Jose but their D has allowed 104 points in two games compared to just 67 put up against the SaberCats. Arizona has not yet played a road or a division game.
3. Tampa Bay Storm (2-0): The Storm and South Division rival Orlando came up in a virtual tie for the No. 3 spot in this week’s ranking. The deciding factor was that Tampa has a division win (New Orleans) as well as a road W (San Antonio). The Storm will host the Predators this Saturday in a head-to-head contest.
4. Orlando Predators (2-0): See Above
5. Cleveland Gladiators (1-0): The Gladiators appear to be the best in a weak East Division, but with only one game played so far -- that against division foe Pittsburgh on the road -- it is tough to determine where they stack up. Because the win was a division game on the road, the Glads are in the No. 5 slot this week. The results of this week’s game on the road against New Orleans will do much to clarify Cleveland’s position.
6. Spokane Shock (1-1): The Shock have the talent to stay close to San Jose in the Pacific Division but is likely to finish second best. The fact that Spokane downed Iowa by 29 at home and then was defeated by the Rattlers by 19 on the road suggests that it is a solid team, but not a top-tier team-yet.
7. Jacksonville Sharks (0-1): The Sharks dropped their season opener on the road to Orlando by two points after a slow start and a failed-2-point conversion in the final minute of play, but will challenge for a post-season spot.
8. Los Angeles KISS (1-1): The Kiss have played well in two road games, losing to Orlando by six and beating division rival San Antonio by a 41-38 count, but until LA faces a PR Top 5 team it is unclear if it is a top-tier club.
9. New Orleans VooDoo (0-1): The VooDoo will compete all year but are in arguably the toughest division (South) and will finish with a sub-.500 division mark despite hitting or slightly bettering .500 overall.
10. Iowa Barnstomers (1-1): The Barnstormers did what is mentioned above by beating No. 12 Portland, on the road in Week 2 action after having been hammered by No.6 Spokane (64-35) in Week 1.
11. San Antonio Talons (0-2): While both Talons losses have been to higher-ranked teams (No. 8 KISS, No. 3 Storm), both by just a margin of three points, they were home games and suggest San Antonio is likely to struggle on the road. The Talons can disprove this theory with a W against No. 7 Jacksonville this week.
12. Portland Thunder (0-2): It is going to be a long season for the Thunder, who got pounded in front of the home crowd by San Jose in Week 1 (64-34), and then fell to Iowa by four, again at home.
13. Philadelphia Soul (0-2): The Soul had the misfortune of opening the season against the top two teams in the rankings and the 0-2 start is not a surprise. After forcing OT against the Rattlers in a 62-55 Week 1 loss, Philly was blown out by San Jose last week, 70-33. Expect to see the Soul move into the Top 10 in the coming weeks but for now they are with the bottom five.
14. Pittsburgh Power (0-1): The Power lost by 10 at home to No. 5 Cleveland in Week 1 and is tasked with hosting the SaberCats in Week 3. Pittsburgh may move out of the Power Rankings cellar, but is not likely to reach the Top 10 any time soon.
Be sure to catch some AFL action this week and check in next week for the new Power Rankings.