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ArenaFan Power Ranking: Week 7

Mike Delrio
Wednesday May 13, 2015

Despite losses by Cleveland and Orlando in Week 6 Arena Football League action, the Week 7 ArenaFan power ranking is unchanged among the top six because Orlando fell to higher-ranked and undefeated Philadelphia while Cleveland’s loss was by three points to Jacksonville. Las Vegas and Tampa Bay swapped spots (Nos. 7 and 8) in the only change from last week’s ranking.

Week 7 Power Ranking

1. San Jose SaberCats (7-0) (LW: W vs. LV 61-28) – San Jose has the toughest defense in the league to score against while the SaberCats offense consistently puts up close to 60-points per game - a combination that has San Jose on track for a National Conference title game appearance. San Jose will travel to Washington to take on Spokane this week.

2. Philadelphia Soul (7-0) (LW: W vs. ORL 62-48) – Philadelphia, like San Jose, is lighting up the scoreboard this season (419 points), averaging just shy of 60 a game to lead the league. The Soul are not just the best in the East, but are the best in the American Conference. The Soul will visit the Sunshine State to take on Jacksonville on Saturday.

3. Arizona Rattlers (5-2) (LW: W @ NO 47-39) – Arizona continues to be the best team in the Western Division, a division that includes a second-year team (Los Angeles) and a team in its inaugural season (Las Vegas), but is no longer the best team in the National Conference. The reassignment of star receiver Maurice Purify on Monday suggests the Rattlers are in the early stages of reloading for the future. Arizona is home this week against Las Vegas.

4. Cleveland Gladiators (4-3) (LW: L vs. JAX 46-43) – Cleveland, like the rest of the American Conference, is playing catch-up to Philadelphia but looks to have the edge among the four teams (Cleveland, Tampa Bay, Orlando, Jacksonville) in the battle royal for second-best. With wins over Tampa Bay (two) and Orlando coming before the three-point loss to Jacksonville, a team that has allowed more points than they have scored this season, the Gladiators look to be leading the pack chasing the Soul. Cleveland is home against New Orleans in Week 8.          

5. Orlando Predators (3-4) (LW: L vs. PHL 62-48) – Orlando is a team of extremes. The Predators have one of the most productive offenses in the AFL (54 points per game) but also field the second easiest defense to score against (55 PPG). Because of their ability to score points, they are a threat to beat any team they face, but without a defense that can do a better job of keeping opponents out of the end zone, Orlando will struggle to put wins together. Two of the Predators four losses have come against Philadelphia while the other two came in back-to-back weeks in 56-55 overtime losses to Spokane in Week 5 and Cleveland in Week 6. Orlando is home this week against Tampa Bay in a game for the top spot in the Southern Division.

6. Jacksonville Sharks (2-5) (LW: W @ CLV 46-43) – Jacksonville grabbed a lead and then held on for a much needed win against Cleveland last week. The Sharks remain in the top half of the ranking because of the win over the higher-ranked Gladiators combined with Las Vegas losing by 33 to San Jose. The Sharks have to put some wins together to avoid dropping into the bottom half of the ranking but Philadelphia will make that tough when they pay a visit to Veterans Memorial Arena this Saturday.               

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7. Tampa Bay Storm (3-3) (LW: BYE) – The Southern Division is up for grabs and Tampa Bay has an offense that is averaging 47-points a game while allowing 41 so they have the talent to stay in the hunt for the duration. The team that gets hot and strings wins together will take the division and Tampa Bay has the opportunity for their second consecutive win when they travel to Orlando this week to take on a Predators team that has lost three straight.

8. Las Vegas Outlaws (3-3) (LW: L @ SJ 61-28) – Las Vegas is having a strong inaugural season and has a realistic shot at finishing with a .500 record for the season-an impressive accomplishment for a first-yester franchise. The Outlaws will be in Arizona to play the Rattlers this week.

9. Portland Thunder (2-4) (LW: BYE) – Portland struggles to put points on the board consistently and must find an answer to compete every week. The defense also must improve on the 53-points a game they are allowing to keep the Thunder within striking distance if they are to finish with a .500 record this season.

10. New Orleans VooDoo (2-5) (LW: L vs. AZ 47-39) – New Orleans is working hard to improve on the last couple of seasons and the effort has yielded results, but it will take time for the VooDoo to reach a competitive level with Philadelphia and Chicago in the Eastern Division. New Orleans will play Cleveland this week.

11. Spokane Shock (2-4) (LW: W vs. LA 68-46) – Spokane feasted on the Los Angeles defense last week in a 68-point explosion that was more a result of the KISS defense-a defense that surrenders nearly 60-points a game-than an indication of an improved Shock offense. Spokane is home this week against San Jose.

12. Los Angeles KISS (0-7) (LW: L @ SPO 68-46) – And the beat goes on for Los Angeles. You’re not going to win many (or any) games when your offense averages 36-points a game while your defense allows 57. Los Angeles needs to show improvement over the remainder of the season (whether they win games or not) to try to build a foundation for the future. Los Angeles will travel to Portland to play the Thunder in a game that pits teams that have trouble both scoring and stopping opponents from scoring.

Week 8 Game of the Week: No. 7 Tampa Bay @ No. 5 Orlando

The team with the higher power ranking won four of five games in Week 7, 29 of 38 (76%) for the season.

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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