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Despite blowout loss to San Jose, Arizona holds top spot in AFL Power Rankings

Mike Delrio
Friday July 4, 2014


Arizona, the No. 1 offense in the Arena Football League, and San Jose, the top defense in the league, faced off in Week 16 action and the Rattlers came away with their first loss of the season. Despite the loss, Arizona remains atop this week’s AFL Power Rankings.


Power Rankings: Week 17

1. Arizona Rattlers (14-1) (LW: L @ SJ 62-33) – Arizona came into the Week 16 contest with San Jose having scored at least 70 points in six of their last eight games, but the SaberCats defense showed why they are the best D in the AFL as they held the Rattlers to just seven points in the first three quarters (including seven consecutive stops) on the way to a 29-point win that was even more one-sided than the final score suggests. Arizona trailed at the end of the third quarter 55-7. The Rattlers have a bye this week, and next face Spokane on the road in Week 18.         

2. Pittsburgh Power (12-3) (LW: W @ JAX 64-48) – Pittsburgh improved to 6-2 on the road by downing Jacksonville last week, and should add another road W this week as they travel to New Orleans to play a VooDoo squad that continues to look lost.    

3. San Jose SaberCats (11-4) (LW: W vs. AZ 62-33) – San Jose was dominant against Arizona, and once again showed they can beat the Rattlers. The 29-point loss for the Rattlers was the widest margin since the Cats beat them by 30 last season. Look for San Jose and Arizona to meet again in the National Conference title game. The SaberCats will be on the road this week to play Los Angeles.      

4. Cleveland Gladiators (13-1) (LW: W vs. TB 48-41) – Cleveland beat Tampa Bay by a touchdown and have now won four straight games since their first loss of the season back in Week 12 to Pittsburgh. The Gladiators will play Portland at home this week, and then San Antonio on the road in Week 18 so the Glads have the opportunity to extend the winning streak to six heading to the final two weeks of the regular season.             

5. Philadelphia Soul (7-8) (LW: W @ IA 84-48) – After losing to Pittsburgh (No.2) and Cleveland (No.4) by a point in back-to-back weeks, Philadelphia took out their frustrations on Iowa last week, hanging 84 points on the Barnstormers. The Soul are still in the hunt for one of two American Conference wildcard spots, but must beat Orlando this week to remain in the chase because they close out their season with games against No. 3 San Jose in Week 19, and No. 2 Pittsburgh in Week 20.     

6. Tampa Bay Storm (8-7) (LW: L @ CLV 48-41) – Tampa Bay played well in losing on the road to Cleveland by a touchdown, and remain locked in a battle with Orlando for the Southern Division title. The loss snaps the Storm winning streak at five games. Tampa is on a bye this week, and will next play in Week 18 when they face San Jose on the road.         

7. Orlando Predators (8-6) (LW: BYE) – After a Week 16 Bye, Orlando heads to Philadelphia this week for a game that will do much to determine which of the teams remains in the chase for a wildcard spot in the American Conference. Both squads will be playing for their post-season life, so this one promises to be a heavyweight fight.      

8. Jacksonville Sharks (5-9) (LW: L vs. PGH 64-48) – Jacksonville lost at home by 16 points to Pittsburgh in Week 16, dimming hopes of a post-season appearance. The Sharks are scrambling for a wildcard spot and their schedule gives them the opportunity to go 3-1 over the final four games, making a serious run at a wild card berth. Jacksonville plays San Antonio (1-13), New Orleans (2-12), Cleveland (13-1), and Los Angeles (3-11) over the final month of the season.

9. Spokane Shock (8-7) (LW: W @ LA 64-46) – Spokane locked up one of the two National Conference wildcard spots with an 18 point win over Los Angeles last week. The Shock is one of four teams on a bye this week.

10. Iowa Barnstormers (6-9) (LW: L vs. PHL 84-48) – Iowa followed up their 30 point loss to Pittsburgh on the road in Week 15 with another sluggish performance that resulted in a 36 point loss to Philadelphia at home in Week 16. The Barnstormers are on a bye week before traveling to Orlando in Week 18. Iowa must beat Orlando to have any chance of post-season play because they close out the regular season schedule with games against Pittsburgh (Week 19) and San Jose (Week 19).
 
11. Portland Thunder (4-10) (LW: W vs. NO 62-56) – Portland beat New Orleans by six points last week and, despite a 4-10 mark, remain in a battle with Los Angeles for the final wildcard spot in the National Conference. The Thunder will travel to Cleveland this week for what is likely to be a character building experience, but will face the KISS in Week 18.    

12. New Orleans VooDoo (2-12) (LW: L @ PO 62-56) – New Orleans played with more effort than they have over the last month, but fell six points short to Portland last week. The loss is the sixth straight for the VooDoo, the second longest losing streak in the AFL. New Orleans hopes to improve their 1-5 home record when they play host to Pittsburgh this week.      

13. Los Angeles KISS (3-11) (LW: L vs. SPO 64-46) – Los Angeles fell to 2-5 at home after losing to Spokane in Week 16. The KISS need a win badly but is not likely to get that W this week with San Jose coming to town.     

14. San Antonio Talons (1-13) (LW: BYE) – San Antonio will be home against Jacksonville this week after being on a bye in Week 16.

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 70-22 since the first week the rankings were released (Week 4), 46-11 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.
The opinions expressed in the article above are only those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts, opinions, or official stance of ArenaFan Online or its staff, or the Arena Football League, or any AFL or af2 teams.
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