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Pittsburgh and San Jose swap spots in ArenaFan AFL Week 18 Power Rankings

Mike Delrio
Wednesday July 9, 2014

Arizona had a bye week and remains No. 1 in this week’s ArenaFan AFL Power Rankings. Pittsburgh, San Jose, Cleveland, and Philadelphia, Nos. 2-5 in the Week 17 rankings, all won and No. 6 Tampa Bay had a bye. Despite winning, the Power fell to No. 3 as a result of their thin five point victory margin over a struggling New Orleans team, and a SaberCats 41 point win over the KISS. That was the only change in the rankings from last week.  

Power Rankings: Week 18

1. Arizona Rattlers (14-1) (LW: BYE) – After a bye in Week 17, Arizona will travel to Spokane this week looking to rebound from their first loss of the season in Week 16 to San Jose.    

2. San Jose SaberCats (11-4) (LW: W @ LA 75-34) – San Jose followed up a 29 point win over Arizona in Week 16 by beating Los Angeles by 41. The win was impressive enough to move the SaberCats past Pittsburgh in this week’s power rankings. The Cats will be home this week against Tampa Bay to play a Storm squad fighting for their post season life.

3. Pittsburgh Power (13-3) (LW: W @ NO 48-43) – Pittsburgh improved to 7-2 on the road by downing New Orleans last week, but the five-point win against a 2-12 team was much closer than projected and resulted in the Power slipping from No. 2 to No. 3 in the Week 18 rankings. Pittsburgh has a bye this week before hosting San Jose in Week 19.      

4. Cleveland Gladiators (14-1) (LW: W vs. PO 61-40) – Cleveland beat Portland to extend their winning streak to five games since their only loss of the season back in Week 12 to Pittsburgh. The Gladiators will travel to San Antonio in Week 18 working to push the streak to six consecutive wins.           

5. Philadelphia Soul (8-8) (LW: W vs. ORL 42-35) – Philadelphia played host to Orlando last week and did what they had to do, get a W, to remain in the chase for a postseason spot. After back-to-back one-point losses to Pittsburgh (No.2 at the time) and Cleveland (No.4), Philadelphia has now put two wins together. The Soul have a bye this week before finishing the regular season with games against No. 2 San Jose in Week 19, and No. 3 Pittsburgh in Week 20.     

6. Tampa Bay Storm (8-7) (LW: BYE) – Tampa Bay did not play last week. The Storm will travel to California to play San Jose in one of the games to watch in Week 18.           

7. Orlando Predators (8-7) (LW: L @ PHL 42-35) – Orlando played well on the road, but fell by seven points to Philadelphia last week. The loss puts the Predators in a tie with Tampa Bay for the Southern Division lead. Orlando is home this week against Iowa and are in a must win situation if they want to stay in the playoff hunt..          

8. Jacksonville Sharks (6-9) (LW: W @ SA 62-34) – Jacksonville entered Week 17 play needing to go 3-1 over the final month of the season for a playoff chance. After a four touchdown win against San Antonio, the Sharks now look to games with New Orleans (2-13), Cleveland (14-1), and Los Angeles (3-12) over the final month of the season. A 9-9 mark will have Jacksonville in the mix.  

9. Spokane Shock (8-7) (LW: BYE) – Spokane is playoff bound and will gain experience this week when Arizona pays a visit. With the Rattlers coming off a bye week that followed their Week 16 loss to San Jose don’t look for the Shock to be able to give Arizona their second straight loss, but they can use the experience to better prepare for the playoffs.   

10. Iowa Barnstormers (6-9) (LW: BYE) – Iowa did not play last week. The Barnstormers are coming off big losses to Pittsburgh (30 points) and Philadelphia (36 points), and face an Orlando team that is in  a must win situation.

11. Portland Thunder (4-11) (LW: L @ CLV 61-40) – Portland lost to Cleveland in Week 17 to fall to 4-11, but remain in a battle with Los Angeles for the final wildcard spot in the National Conference.  Look for the Thunder to move a step closer to that playoff appearance when they host the KISS this week.    

12. New Orleans VooDoo (2-13) (LW: L vs. PHL 48-43) – New Orleans delivered a solid effort for the second week in a row, but lost to Philadelphia by five at home. The loss is the seventh straight for the VooDoo, the second longest losing streak in the AFL. New Orleans heads across I-10 to play Jacksonville this week. Win or lose, New Orleans needs another solid effort to continue the progress they have shown the last couple of weeks.      

13. Los Angeles KISS (3-12) (LW: L vs. SJ 75-34) – Los Angeles lost to San Jose by 41 to drop to 2-6 at home. The KISS will travel to Portland to play the Thunder in a game that will help determine which of the two teams will advance to the playoffs.     

14. San Antonio Talons (1-14) (LW: L vs. JAX 62-34) – San Antonio lost to Jacksonville by 28 points in Week 17 action, and will host a Cleveland team that is on a roll and likely to beat the Talons by at least as many.     

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 75-22 since the first week the rankings were released (Week 4), 51-11 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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