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ArenaFan Power Ranking: Week 11

Mike Delrio
Thursday June 11, 2015

Jacksonville jumps Cleveland and moves to No.5 in this week’s ArenaFan Power Ranking after beating Orlando in an important South Division game. Despite the loss, Orlando holds on to the No.4 spot while San Jose, Philadelphia and Arizona remain the top three teams after Week 11 wins.

Week 11 Power Ranking

1. San Jose SaberCats (11-0) (LW: W vs. SPO 55-26) – San Jose continues to set the bar in the AFL as the SaberCats head for a Week 19 game with Arizona that is the only serious threat to an undefeated regular season mark. San Jose will be home against Los Angeles this week.

2. Philadelphia Soul (10-1) (LW: W vs. NO 62-41) – Philadelphia is undefeated in division play (3-0) and is on a three-game winning streak heading to a Week 12 game against Orlando in a road game that will tell us much about how good the Soul really is. Philadelphia looks to be the best in the American Conference and a road win against a possible American Conference playoff team would fuel that belief.

3. Arizona Rattlers (8-2) (LW: W vs. TB 69-46) – Arizona is the best team in the West but is going to have to be better than San Jose to take the National Conference title. Arizona will face Portland on the road this week.

4. Orlando Predators (6-5) (LW: L @ JAX 66-51) – Orlando remains at No. 4 despite losing to Jacksonville because of their 21-point win over Cleveland in Week 10. Both the Predators and Sharks have been playing better than the Gladiators over the last five weeks and as a result both are now ranked above Cleveland. Orlando faces Philadelphia at home on Saturday in a game that has the potential to set the tone for the second half of the season for both teams.

5. Jacksonville Sharks (6-5) (LW: W vs. ORL 66-51) – Jacksonville rebounded from a lackluster effort against Los Angeles in Week 10 by beating Orlando in convincing fashion to move to No. 5 in this week’s ranking. The win, the fifth straight for the Sharks, against a higher-ranked Orlando team was impressive enough to move Jacksonville ahead of Cleveland, but not enough to overtake the Predators. An argument can be made that Jacksonville could have moved ahead of Orlando as a result of the win, but Jacksonville’s early-season troubles gives Orlando a slight edge after Week 11 action. Jacksonville will travel to Florida’s East coast to take on Tampa Bay on Friday in a game that offers the Sharks an opportunity to take a game lead in the division with a win combined with a loss by Orlando against Philadelphia.

6. Cleveland Gladiators (6-5) (LW: W @ LV 63-44) – Cleveland improved to 4-2 on the road by downing Las Vegas last week. The win was just the Gladiators second in their last five games with the other coming against two-win New Orleans. During that span the Gladiators have lost to Jacksonville, San Jose and Orlando. While the win keeps Cleveland above .500 for the season, it was not enough to hold on to the fifth spot in the ranking. The Gladiators are battling for one of the two wildcard slots from the American Conference and need to put some wins together to build momentum for a late season run. Cleveland will travel to New Orleans for a Week 12 matchup that looks like a good opportunity to win back-to-back games because the Glads are 2-0 against the VooDoo this season, but Cleveland has to avoid a trap game against a New Orleans team that is capable of pulling off an upset-especially in front of their home fans.

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7. Tampa Bay Storm (4-6) (LW: L @ AZ 69-46) – Tampa Bay is trying to keep pace with Orlando and Jacksonville in the South but lack the ability to put points on the board consistently. The defense is solid but if the offense doesn’t generate more than the 45 points per game they are averaging, Tampa Bay will fall out of the wildcard chase before the final quarter of the season. The Storm will be home this week against Jacksonville in a game that can keep Tampa Bay in the thick of the fight if they win while a loss will drop the Storm another game back in both the division and the wildcard chase.

8. Las Vegas Outlaws (3-7) (LW: L vs. CLV 63-44) – Las Vegas, after starting their inaugural season 3-2, has lost five straight and is having issues on and off the field that include ownership changes and rumors about the future of the team. The Outlaws have a chance to make it to the playoffs as a National Conference wildcard, so their overall record matters less than the head-to-head games with Portland and Spokane-the other teams fighting for the two slots. Las Vegas will travel to Washington for one of those H-2-H contests with Spokane in Friday’s late game.

9. Spokane Shock (3-7) (LW: L @ SJ 55-26) – Spokane joins Las Vegas and Portland in the three-team battle-royal that is going to determine which two will earn the National Conference WC spots, so back-to-back losses to Arizona and San Jose have had little impact on the postseason chances for the Shock. Spokane will host Las Vegas on Friday in a game that will impact those chances.

10. Portland Thunder (3-7) (LW: L @ LA 52-40) – Portland lost some momentum in their wildcard chase after losing to previously winless Los Angeles last week. Like Las Vegas and Spokane, losses to higher ranked teams will not eliminate the Thunder from wildcard contention but losses to New Orleans and Los Angeles will. Portland is likely to lose a game to the winner of the Las Vegas @ Spokane game this week because No. 3 Arizona is coming to town.

11. New Orleans VooDoo (2-9) (LW: L @ PHL 62-41) – New Orleans has allowed 152 more points than they have scored after 11 games. With an offense that is the second-lowest scoring in the AFL (41 PPG) and a defense that is allowing an average of 55 points a game, don’t expect the VooDoo to add many more wins this season but don’t be surprised if they upset someone along the way. Cleveland will visit New Orleans for a Friday night game.

12. Los Angeles KISS (1-9) (LW: W vs. PO 52-40) – Los Angeles followed up a strong effort in a six-point loss to Jacksonville in Week 10 with their first win of the season last week by beating Portland. The KISS played their best back-to-back games this season and need another such performance against undefeated San Jose this week, win or lose, to continue in the right direction.

Week 12 Game of the Week: No.2 Philadelphia @ No. 4 Orlando

The team with the higher power ranking won four of six games in Week 11, 47 of 61 (77%) 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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