Arizona scores 83 in 14th straight win; remains No.1 in Week 16 AFL Power Rankings
Arizona, Pittsburgh, San Jose, and Cleveland all won in Week 15 action, resulting in no changes in the top four spots in this week’s AFL Power Rankings. Orlando lost by a point to Tampa Bay, knocking the Predators from the N0. 5 ranking.
Power Rankings: Week 16
1. Arizona Rattlers (14-0) (LW: W vs. LA 83-47) – Arizona had scored 70 points in five of their last seven games heading into a matchup with Los Angeles, and the Rattlers continued their march toward an undefeated season by lighting up the KISS for 83 points in winning their 14th consecutive game to open the season. Arizona set the All-Time Arena Football League record for wins to begin a season with their victory last week over San Antonio. The Rattlers will go on the road this week to play San Jose, and are sure to face more of a challenge from the No. 3 SaberCats.
2. Pittsburgh Power (11-3) (LW: W vs. IA 57-27) – Pittsburgh followed their divisional road victory against in-state rival Philadelphia in Week 14 by beating Iowa easily on their way to a 7-1 home mark in Week 15 action. The Power will be on the road this week looking to improve their road record to 5-2 by defeating Jacksonville.
3. San Jose SaberCats (10-4) (LW: BYE) – San Jose had a bye this week, and used the extra week to prepare for an Arizona offense that is averaging nearly 70 (66.92) points per game. The SaberCats defense has been solid this season, allowing an average of 40 points per game, but the task against the Rattlers is to avoid getting into a shootout-no team in the AFL can beat Arizona if the game comes down to that.
4. Cleveland Gladiators (12-1) (LW: W @ PHL 69-68) – Cleveland came up with a big road win last week, beating Philadelphia by a point, and have now put three straight wins together since suffering their first loss of the season back in Week 12 to Pittsburgh. The Gladiators will be working to extend the streak to four when they host Tampa Bay this week.
5. Philadelphia Soul (6-8) (LW: L vs. CLV 69-68) – For the second week in a row Philadelphia was host to one of the best teams in the AFL and, for the second week in a row, the Soul lost by a point. In Week 14 Pittsburgh left with the W, last week saw Cleveland hand Philly the one-point loss in front of their home fans. Despite dropping four of their last five games, Philadelphia moved from No.6 to No.5 in this week’s power rankings as a result of their strong performances against higher ranked teams, as well as lower ranked team’s losses. The Soul will visit Iowa in Week 16, and need to guard against a letdown following the two heart-breaking losses. A road win would get Philly back on track, but a loss to an Iowa squad that has lost three straight games would be hard to recover from.
6. Tampa Bay Storm (8-6) (LW: W vs. ORL 35-34) – Tampa Bay beat Orlando by a point to move up a notch in this week’s rankings, and continue to look like they are hitting on all cylinders just in time for the post-season run. The Storm has won five straight games, and will be looking to make it six when they travel to Cleveland this week. Tampa has two upset victories in a row coming in, so look for the Storm to push the Gladiators.
7. Orlando Predators (8-6) (LW: L @ TB 35-34) – Orlando fell a point short in the battle with Tampa Bay for first in the South Division, and falls from No. 5 to No. 7 in the Week 16 rankings. The Preds and Storm are likely to battle all the way to the end of the season for the division title. Orlando is on a bye this week.
8. Iowa Barnstormers (6-8) (LW: L @ PGH 57-27) – After losing in OT to Tampa Bay in Week 14, Iowa looked sluggish on the road in losing to Pittsburgh by 30 points in Week 15. The Barnstormers are home this week against a good Philadelphia club that is hungry after back-to-back one point losses at home to Pittsburgh and Cleveland. Iowa is going to have to play a physical game and limit mistakes if they are to get back in the win column this week.
9. Jacksonville Sharks (5-8) (LW: W @ NO 54-13) – While Jacksonville thumped a hapless New Orleans club by 41 points last week, the win was not enough to move the Sharks from the No. 9 position in this week’s rankings. The Sharks will have to play their best game of the season if they hope to stay in the game when Pittsburgh pays a visit to the Sunshine State for a Week 16 contest.
10. Spokane Shock (7-7) (LW: L vs. SA 70-30) – Spokane broke out of their scoring slump by hanging 70 points on San Antonio, a team with one win this season, to improve to .500 on the season. The Shock hope to take advantage of the schedule this week when they travel to Los Angeles to play the 3-10 KISS.
11. Portland Thunder (3-10) (LW: BYE) – Portland had an extra week to prepare for New Orleans thanks to a Week 15 bye. The Thunder, unlike the VooDoo, has shown improvement and should be expected to take advantage of the home field to pick up win No. 4 of the season.
12. New Orleans VooDoo (2-11) (LW: L vs. JAX 54-13) – New Orleans looked lifeless in losing to Jacksonville by 41 points at home, seemingly ready to call it a season. The VooDoo has now lost five straight, the second longest losing streak in the AFL, and have to travel to Portland to face a Thunder team that is playing with more heart and showing more fight than New Orleans has in weeks.
13. Los Angeles KISS (3-10) (LW: L @ AZ 83-47) – Los Angeles became the most recent victim of an Arizona team that is scoring nearly 70 points a game. The Rattlers hung 83 on the KISS, who did manage to score 47 in the loss. Los Angeles is home this week to play Spokane. The KISS need a win badly, but the Shock are coming off a 70 point output last week.
14. San Antonio Talons (1-13) (LW: L @ SPO 70-30) – San Antonio lost by 40 points to Spokane in Week 15, and has now been outscored by 76 in the last two games. The Talons are on an eight-game losing streak, the longest in the league, and should welcome their Week 16 bye.
The Power Rankings are determined by Total Wins, Division Wins, Road Wins, Home Losses, results against common opponents, and Head-to-Head results. The higher-ranked teams are 65-21 since the first week the rankings were released (Week 4), 47-10 since Week 8.
Mike began his third season reporting on the Georgia Force in March, 2012. Coverage includes weekly game previews and recaps, exclusive interviews and AFL news. Mike has been a Gwinnett County resident (the home of the Force) for two decades and provides coverage of the counties other pro sports franchises, the Gwinnett Braves (Braves Triple-A affiliate) and the Gwinnett Gladiators (ECHL, player development deals with both the Phoenix Coyotes and Buffalo Sabres) as well.