ArenaFan Power Ranking: Week 8
Jacksonville followed last week’s upset of Cleveland by handing Philadelphia their first loss of the 2015 season for the only upset in Week 8 Arena Football League action.
Week 8 Power Ranking
1. San Jose SaberCats (8-0) (LW: W @ SPO 83-28) – San Jose combines the best scoring defense in the league with an offense that consistently puts up 60-points a game and are headed for another appearance in the National Conference title game. San Jose will host Cleveland in a matchup between top American and National Conference teams.
2. Philadelphia Soul (7-1) (LW: L @ JAX 55-47) – Philadelphia became the second top five team to fall to Jacksonville in two weeks, but the loss is not enough to drop the one-loss Soul from the second spot in this week’s ranking because Arizona, Cleveland, and Orlando all defeated lower ranking teams. Philadelphia will be on the road again this week when they travel to Tampa Bay.
3. Arizona Rattlers (6-2) (LW: W vs. LV 60-42) – Arizona is the best team in the Western Division and looks to be on like they way to a battle with San Jose for the conference championship. The Rattlers have a bye this week.
4. Cleveland Gladiators (5-3) (LW: W vs. NO 64-42) – Cleveland can compete with any team in the AFL but need a win against a higher-ranked team to prove they can beat an Arizona or Philadelphia before they can be considered legitimate championship contenders. The Gladiators wins have come against No. 7 Tampa Bay (2), No. 10 New Orleans (2), and No. 5 Orlando-a win that was a come-from behind, overtime W. Cleveland is 0-2 against Arizona and Philly and also lost to No. 6 Jacksonville. The next two weeks will reveal much about the future of the Glads season beginning with a Week 9 trip to California to play No. 1 ranked San Jose followed by a home contest against Orlando.
5. Orlando Predators (4-4) (LW: W vs. TB 63-62 OT) – Orlando must find a way to keep opponents out of the end zone if they hope to make a run at the AFL title. While the Predator offense is scoring 55 points a game, the defense is allowing more (as shown by the -3 point differential). Because Orlando can score, they are a threat against every team they play but because of the easy-to-score against D they are likely to continue at a .500 pace. The Predators are home against Portland this week.
6. Jacksonville Sharks (3-5) (LW: W vs. PHL 55-47) – Jacksonville handed Philadelphia their first loss of the season in Week 8 after defeating Cleveland in Week 7 and have now won three of their last four games after opening the season with four consecutive losses. While many argue that Tampa Bay should be ranked above Jacksonville based on the 35-point thumping that the Storm laid on the Sharks back in Week 6, the fact that Jacksonville has wins against Philadelphia and Cleveland while Tampa Bay is 0-2 vs. Cleveland, 0-1 against San Jose keeps Jacksonville in the No.6 spot for another week. As mentioned last week, the team in the Southern Division that gets hot and strings wins together will take the title and the Sharks have now won back-to-back games and, with road games coming up against New Orleans and Los Angeles, have the opportunity to ride a four-game winning streak into a critical game with Orlando in Week 11 that will be followed by a matchup with Tampa Bay in Week 12.
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7. Tampa Bay Storm (3-4) (LW: L @ ORL 63-62 OT) – With losses to three of the four teams ranked above them (Cleveland twice, San Jose, and Orlando) and wins coming against Portland (by six points) and New Orleans in addition to the blowout W against Jacksonville mentioned earlier, the Storm need to go out and get a win against a Top 5 team to prove they can challenge for more than a division title. With games against Philadelphia this week and Arizona in Week 11, Tampa Bay has the opportunity to do just that.
8. Las Vegas Outlaws (3-4) (LW: L @ AZ 60-41) – Despite losing to Arizona last week, Las Vegas continues to impress in their inaugural season. First-year head coach Aaron Garcia has his team on track for a .500 season, a major accomplishment for a first-year team in any sport. Las Vegas will be home against Spokane this week looking to even their season mark.
9. Portland Thunder (3-4) (LW: W vs. LA 63-47) – Portland is in a three-team battle with Spokane and Las Vegas for the two wild card spots from the National Conference so while they may not achieve a .500 season, the Thunder need to improve every week if they hope to advance beyond a wild card round appearance. Portland will be in Florida this week to play Orlando.
10. New Orleans VooDoo (2-6) (LW: L @ CLV 64-42) – New Orleans is a couple of seasons away from challenging week-in and week-out but are building a good foundation for the future of the team. As part of the Eastern Division the VooDoo have a tough schedule remaining, including two games with Philadelphia and one with Cleveland, so don’t look for New Orleans to add many more wins this season. New Orleans is home against Jacksonville this week.
11. Spokane Shock (2-5) (LW: L vs. SJ 83-28) – After putting 68-points on the board against Los Angeles last week, Spokane was brought back to reality by San Jose. As projected last week, the point total was a result of a KISS defense that is allowing 58 points a game-not an improvement in the Shock offensive attack. With a defense that is allowing 58 points a game while scoring 39 against every team not from Los Angeles, Spokane will continue to struggle for wins. Spokane has a road game against Las Vegas this week.
12. Los Angeles KISS (0-8) (LW: L @ PO 63-47) – With a defense that is surrendering nearly 60-points a game and an offense that is scoring just 37, Los Angeles has many positions that have to be upgraded during the coming offseason but the KISS need to show some kind of improvement over the remainder of this season to try to build momentum for the franchise in spite of the on field results. Los Angeles has a bye this week.
Week 9 Game of the Week: No.4 Cleveland @ No. 1 San Jose
The team with the higher power ranking won five of six games in Week 8, 34 of 44 (77%) for the season.