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Cleveland grabs top spot in ArenaFan AFL Power Rankings

Mike Delrio
Monday July 28, 2014

 A win by Cleveland combined with a loss by Arizona on the AFL’s final Saturday of the regular season moves the Gladiators to the No. 1 spot in the final regular season ArenaFan Power Rankings. After sitting atop the rankings all season, the Rattlers fall to No. 3 after losing to Orlando. Pittsburgh moved to No.2 on the strength of their 30 point win against Philadelphia.

  Power Rankings: Final Regular Season

1. Cleveland Gladiators (17-1) (LW: W @ Tampa Bay 56-49) – Cleveland went on the road to face Tampa Bay to close out the regular season, and came away with a hard-fought win over a Storm team that was fighting for their postseason life. The Eastern Division champion Gladiators head to the playoffs with the second longest winning streak in the league, now at eight. The Glads haven’t lost since Pittsburgh handed them their only loss of the season back in Week 12. The Power has the longest winning streak, now at 12 games. The Gladiators will host Philadelphia in the opening round of the postseason.

2. Pittsburgh Power (15-3) (LW: W vs. PHL 64-34) – Pittsburgh was hitting on all cylinders against Philadelphia last week, resulting in a 30 point victory over a Soul team that controlled their own postseason destiny. A Philly win and they were in, but the Power had little difficulty in extending the longest winning streak in the league (11). Pittsburgh is the hottest team in the league, but must go on the road to play an Orlando squad that is coming off a win over Arizona.

3.Arizona Rattlers (15-3) (LW: L @ ORL 56-50) – After opening the season with 14 straight wins, Arizona losses to Orlando in Week 20 to finish the regular season with three losses in four games. The late season slide drops the Rattlers to No.3 in the final regular season rankings. Arizona has the good fortune to have drawn Portland for their Week 1 matchup, and should bounce back to advance to Week 2.

4. San Jose SaberCats (13-5) (LW: W @ IA 72-43) – San Jose rebounded from a loss to Philadelphia in Week 19 that snapped a five-game winning streak to dismantle Iowa last week on the road. The SaberCats will meet Pacific Division rival Spokane in Week 1 of the playoffs in what promises to be a heavyweight slugfest.

5. Orlando Predators (11-7) (LW: W vs. AZ 56-50) – Orlando hosted Arizona last week and made a statement about their playoff plans by defeating the Rattlers by six points. The Southern Division champions will be home against Pittsburgh in the opening round of the playoffs.    

6. Spokane Shock (11-7) (LW: W @ PO 45-40) – Spokane won on the road against Portland last week. The Shock is headed to the playoffs as a wildcard and will travel to San Jose for a Week 1 matchup with the SaberCats. This visiting team has won two of the three games this season between the division rivals.       

7. Philadelphia Soul (9-9) (LW: L @ PGH 64-34) – Philadelphia lost to Pittsburgh by 30 points last week, but will be going to the playoffs as the second American Conference wildcard as a result of Tampa Bay losing to Cleveland. The Soul will play the Gladiators on the road to open their postseason run.      

8. Tampa Bay Storm (8-10) (LW: L vs. CLV 56-49) – Tampa Bay needed a victory in Week 20 over Cleveland to get to the postseason, but came up seven points shy and saw their season come to an end.

9. Portland Thunder (5-13) (LW: L vs. SPO 45-40) – Portland played Spokane last week, and again stayed within striking distance but failed to get the W. The Thunder will travel to Arizona this week.

10. Jacksonville Sharks (7-11) (LW: W vs. LA 53-36) – Jacksonville delivered a solid effort in a 53-36 win against Los Angeles to close out what has been a disappointing season.

11. Iowa Barnstormers (6-12) (LW: L vs. SJ 72-43) – Iowa gave up 72 in losing to San Jose last week. It was the seventh straight loss for the Barnstormers.

12. San Antonio Talons (3-15) (LW: W @ NO 38-35 OT) – San Antonio downed New Orleans in overtime to win on the road for the second week in a row to close out the season.

13. New Orleans VooDoo (3-15) (LW: L vs. SA 38-35 OT) – New Orleans and San Antonio were even at the end of regulation and, for the second week in a row, the VooDoo lost in overtime. Despite finishing the season 1-4, the VooDoo was competitive, showed heart and built some momentum heading to the offseason.  

14. Los Angeles KISS (3-15) (LW: L @ JAX 53-36) – Los Angeles completed their inaugural season on the road with a 17 point loss 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 90-27 since Week 4 (the first week the rankings were released), 66-16 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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