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Arizona keeps top spot in AFL Power Rankings despite losing to Spokane in shootout

Mike Delrio
Friday July 18, 2014

 Despite losing to Spokane in a high-scoring shootout, Arizona maintains the No.1 spot in the Arena Fan Week 19 Arena Football League Power Rankings by a razor thin margin over San Jose. Nos. 2-5 either won or did not play, so there are no changes to the top five from last week’s rankings.

Power Rankings: Week 19

1. Arizona Rattlers (14-2) (LW: L @ SPO 73-66) – Arizona came off a bye in Week 17 and lost a good old-fashioned AFL shootout, their second consecutive loss after starting the season 14-0, to Spokane. Arizona held the top spot, but the margin is razor thin. The Rattlers host Portland this week and need to get back in the win column. No team wants to limp into the post season, and Arizona still faces a competitive Orlando team in the final week of the season.     

2. San Jose SaberCats (12-4) (LW: W vs. TB 52-43) – San Jose had to battle, but downed Tampa Bay by nine points and have now won five straight games. The SaberCats go on the road for their final two games, playing Philadelphia in Week 19 and Iowa in Week 20.

3. Pittsburgh Power (13-3) (LW: BYE) – Pittsburgh was on a bye last week, but will be looking to extend the longest win streak in the league to 11 games when they travel to Iowa for a Week 19 contest with the Barnstormers. The Power then close out the regular season against Philadelphia.         

4. Cleveland Gladiators (15-1) (LW: W @ SA 50-47 OT) – Cleveland had to go to overtime to beat San Antonio and  win their sixth straight game since their only loss of the season back in Week 12 to Pittsburgh. The Gladiators will be home against Jacksonville this week, and then travel to Tampa Bay for Week 20.             

5. Philadelphia Soul (8-8) (LW: BYE) – Philadelphia had a bye this week and next play San Jose in Week 19. The Soul is in the chase for a wildcard spot, but must win at least one of their final two games (San Jose, Pittsburgh) to stay in the hunt.

6. Orlando Predators (9-7) (LW: W vs. IA 66-33) – Orlando doubled up Iowa last week to get back in the win column. The Predator win combined with a Tampa Bay loss gives Orlando a one-game lead in the battle for the Southern Division title. The Preds go on the road this week to play New Orleans before closing the regular season with a game at home against Arizona.

7. Spokane Shock (9-7) (LW: W vs. AZ 73-66) – Spokane upset Arizona by outscoring them in a shootout that saw 139 combined points. The Shock, in the playoffs as a wildcard, will host Tampa Bay this week before closing with Portland on the road.

8. Tampa Bay Storm (8-8) (LW: L @ SJ 52-43) – Tampa Bay played well in losing to San Jose by nine points, 52-43, in Week 19. The Storm trail Orlando by a game for the Southern Division, and must win at least one of their final two games to stay in the hunt. The second place finisher in the division will be competing with Philadelphia for the final wild card spot. Tampa Bay plays Spokane this week, and then Cleveland next week.           

9. Jacksonville Sharks (6-10) (LW: L vs. NO 36-35) – Jacksonville is officially out of the post season race after losing at home to New Orleans by a point in Week 18. The Sharks travel to Cleveland this week. 

10. Iowa Barnstormers (6-10) (LW: L @ORL 66-33) – Iowa drops their third straight game by 30 points or more, losing to Orlando by 33 last week. The Barnstormers have now lost the last three games by a total of 99 points (Pittsburgh by 30, Philadelphia by 36 and Orlando by 33) and risk adding a couple more games to that streak as they take on Arizona and Spokane in the final two weeks.  

11. Portland Thunder (5-11) (LW: W vs. LA 44-31) – Portland defeated Los Angeles last week to move a step closer to the postseason as the second wild card team from the National Conference. The Thunder will get a preview of post season talent in their final two regular games when they travel to Arizona this week, and then host Spokane in Week 20. Both the Rattlers and Shock are playoff bound.          

12. New Orleans VooDoo (3-13) (LW: W @ JAX 36-35) – New Orleans played a solid game for the third week in a row, and this time it earned the VooDoo a one-point win against Jacksonville. The win snaps a seven-game losing streak and builds on the progress the team has shown over the last month.      

13. Los Angeles KISS (3-13) (LW: L @ PO 44-31) – Los Angeles lost on the road to Portland in a game that should send the Thunder to the playoffs. The KISS host San Antonio this week, and then finish their inaugural campaign on the road against Jacksonville.            

14. San Antonio Talons (1-15) (LW: L vs. CLV 50-47 OT) – San Antonio put a scare into Cleveland before falling in OT to the No. 4 team in the AFL Power Rankings last week. The Talons will travel to Los Angeles this week.        

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 79-24 since the first week the rankings were released (Week 4), 55-13 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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