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Arizona holds top spot, Cleveland up to No.2 in ArenaFan Week 20 Power Rankings

Mike Delrio
Wednesday July 23, 2014


Arizona won and remains the No.1 team in this week’s ArenaFan.com AFL Power Rankings, Cleveland and Pittsburgh each move up a spot and San Jose falls two after Week 19 action.

Power Rankings: Week 20

1. Arizona Rattlers (15-2) (LW: W vs. PO 65-55) – Arizona rebounded from consecutive losses to beat a determined Portland squad by 10 last week, 65-55, and head to the final week of regular season play atop the ArenaFan AFL Power Rankings. The Rattlers will travel to the Sunshine State to play an Orlando team that had to go to OT to defeat New Orleans last week. Arizona and Portland will meet again in Week 1 of the playoffs.

2. Cleveland Gladiators (16-1) (LW: W vs. JAX 62-20) – A week after being forced to OT in a win over San Antonio, a team with two wins for the season, Cleveland was fired up going into their contest with visiting Jacksonville, and took their frustration out on the Sharks with a 62-20 win. The Gladiators have now won seven straight games, the second longest winning streak in the league, since their only loss of the season back in Week 12 to Pittsburgh. The Power has the longest winning streak, now at 11. The Gladiators will head to Florida this week where they will play a Tampa Bay team that faces a must win situation.

3. Pittsburgh Power (14-3) (LW: W @ IA 59-56) – Pittsburgh had to battle, but came away with a three-point win on the road against Iowa to extend the longest winning streak in the AFL to 11 games. The Power will close out the regular season against Philadelphia at home before going on the road to play Orlando in Week 1 of the playoffs.

4. San Jose SaberCats (12-5) (LW: L @ PHL 42-20) – San Jose had their five-game winning streak snapped by Philadelphia last week resulting in a fall from the No.2 spot to No.4 in this week’s rankings. The SaberCats travel to Iowa to play the Barnstormers this week, and then will host Spokane in Week 1 postseason action.  

5. Philadelphia Soul (9-8) (LW: W vs. SJ 42-20) – Philadelphia beat San Jose last week to knock the SaberCats to No. 4 in the Power Rankings, as well as grab the advantage in the battle with Tampa Bay for the final American Conference wild card. The Soul controls their postseason fate. A win this week against Pittsburgh and they are in-a loss combined with a Tampa victory against Cleveland and the Storm would capture the WC.   

6. Orlando Predators (10-7) (LW: W @ NO 70-64 OT) – The good news for Orlando is that they scored 70 en route to a road win. The bad news is that they had to go to overtime against New Orleans, a three-win team, to earn win No.10 for the season. The Predators are the Southern Division champions and will play Pittsburgh in the opening round of the playoffs, but first must face Arizona, the Western Conference champs, in Week 20. Orlando needs a solid effort at home to build some momentum going into the playoffs after last week’s effort against the VooDoo. 

7. Spokane Shock (10-7) (LW: W vs. TB 55-52) – Spokane followed up their upset of Arizona in Week 18 with a hard-fought three-point win against a highly-motivated Tampa Bay squad in Week 19 to become one of five teams with at least 10 wins. The Shock is headed to the playoffs as a wildcard and will travel to San Jose for a Week 1 matchup with the SaberCats after closing the regular season with a road game against Portland-a National Conference wild card team. 

8. Tampa Bay Storm (8-9) (LW: L @ SPO 55-52) – Tampa Bay lost a heart-breaker to Spokane last week and now must beat Cleveland and hope for a Philadelphia loss for a playoff berth. The Storm face a tough challenge against the one-loss Gladiators, but the opportunity is there.

9. Iowa Barnstormers (6-11) (LW: L vs. PGH 59-56) – Iowa played well in losing to Pittsburgh by just three points last week. While it is the team’s sixth straight loss, it snaps a string of three consecutive losses by 30 points or more. The Barnstormers will finish the season at home against San Jose.

10. Portland Thunder (5-12) (LW: L @ AZ 65-55) – Portland went on the road and battled Arizona before falling by 10 points last week. The Thunder will be advancing to the postseason after defeating Los Angeles last week to grab a National Conference wildcard berth. Portland faces another playoff team this week when they host Spokane. The Thunder will have a rematch with Arizona in the opening round of the playoffs.

11. Jacksonville Sharks (6-11) (LW: L @ CLV 62-20) – After a home loss to New Orleans in Week 18 that eliminated Jacksonville from the postseason, the Sharks looked to be simply playing out the season in a 42-point blowout loss at the hands of Cleveland last week. Jacksonville will host Los Angeles this week, and needs a better effort to go into the offseason. A home loss to the 3-13 KISS would be a disappointing way to finish what has been an underachieving season.

12. New Orleans VooDoo (3-14) (LW: L vs. ORL 70-64 OT) – Despite losing to Southern Division champion Orlando in overtime last week, New Orleans delivered another solid effort. While the VooDoo is 1-3 over the last month, they have been competitive, showed heart and have built some momentum heading to the offseason and have the opportunity to pick up their second home W of the season when they host San Antonio this week to close out the season.   

13. San Antonio Talons (2-15) (LW: W @ LA 72-65) – San Antonio went on the road and won a shootout with Los Angeles, 72-65, to double their win total for the season. The Talons will be on the road again this week as they travel to New Orleans for what should be a competitive game between two teams that are both working to lay the foundation for next season.

14. Los Angeles KISS (3-14) (LW: L vs. SA 72-65) – Los Angeles lost to San Antonio by a touchdown at home last week. The KISS will complete their inaugural AFL season this week with a cross-county trip to Jacksonville.

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 84-26 since Week 4 (the first week the rankings were released), 60-15 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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