ArenaFan Power Ranking: Week 12
Arena Football League Week 12 was a week of upsets with three of the top five teams in the ArenaFan Power Ranking losing to lower ranked teams, including top-ranked and previously undefeated San Jose falling to No. 12 ranked Los Angeles in overtime in what has to be considered one of the biggest upsets in league history.
Week 12 Power Ranking
1. San Jose SaberCats (11-1) (LW: L vs. LA 48-42 OT) – San Jose stumbled against previously one-win Los Angeles but remains in the top spot in this week’s ranking based on their season-long performance combined with Philadelphia’s loss to Orlando. Despite the loss, the SaberCats remain the favorite to take the National Conference title and advance to the AFL title game. San Jose will travel to Nevada to take on Las Vegas on Sunday.
2. Philadelphia Soul (10-2) (LW: L @ ORL 45-42) – Philadelphia lost to Orlando and missed an opportunity to take the top spot in the ranking that presented itself after San Jose lost to Los Angeles. The loss is not enough to drop the Soul from No.2 because Philly took the three-game season series with Orlando 2-1 (including a win on the road) and were +18 in the point differential, but the table is set for a post-season confrontation between the Soul and Predators that could decide the American Conference championship. Philadelphia will travel to California to play Los Angeles on Saturday in the late game.
3. Arizona Rattlers (9-2) (LW: W @ PO 69-42) – Arizona retains the No. 3 spot in the ranking after winning their fifth consecutive game, the longest active win streak in the league now that San Jose’s streak has been snapped, but that could change when the Rattlers host Orlando on Saturday. The Predators defeat of Philadelphia put Orlando and Arizona in a virtual dead-heat for the third position in this week’s ranking but the Rattlers better winning percentage along with the 3.5 game difference in w/l record was good enough for Arizona to hold on to the slot-for this week. Orlando plays in a division that is stronger than the National Conference that Arizona plays in, making the winning percentage less of a gauge of the team’s ability so this week’s head-to-head matchup will carry more weight.
4. Orlando Predators (7-5) (LW: W vs. PHL 45-42) – Orlando’s defeat of Philadelphia last week put the American Conference on notice that they will be in the hunt for the conference title for the duration of the season. The win was not enough to push the Predators past Arizona in the ranking, but a victory on the road against the Rattlers when the two teams meet this week would.
5. Cleveland Gladiators (7-5) (LW: W @ NO 51-34) – Cleveland moved back into the No. 5 slot as a result of their win and Jacksonville’s loss to Tampa Bay, but the Gladiators continue to lack a win against a higher-ranked team this season and could find themselves behind every American Conference team in the ranking not from New Orleans if they come up short against Tampa Bay when the Storm visit the Buckeye state this Friday.
6. Jacksonville Sharks (6-6) (LW: L @ TB 63-56) – Jacksonville falls back to No. 6 in this week’s ranking after spending a week at No. 5 because of their loss to Tampa Bay. The loss snapped the Sharks five-game win streak and was the second loss to the South Division rival Storm this season. Jacksonville has a bye this week.
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7. Tampa Bay Storm (5-6) (LW: W vs. JAX 63-56) – Tampa Bay added some punch to their offense and the result was encouraging for Storm fans. Tampa Bay scored 18 points more than their 45 PPG season average in the win over Jacksonville and look like they will be in the fight for the South Division title until the final weeks of the season. The Storm defense has been solid and a higher-scoring offense means Tampa Bay can challenge both Jacksonville and Orlando for the division crown. The Storm will go on the road this week to face Cleveland with a chance to knock off a Top 5 team while putting back-to-back wins together.
8. Las Vegas Outlaws (4-7) (LW: W @ SPO 62-56) – Las Vegas improved their post-season chances by beating Spokane, one of the three teams they are battling for one of the two wildcard spots from the National Conference, and brought to an end their five-game skid that included losses to Top 5 teams San Jose, Arizona, Philadelphia and Cleveland. The Outlaws will be home against a San Jose team coming off a loss to Los Angeles in what is arguable the biggest upset in AFL history.
9. Spokane Shock (3-8) (LW: L vs. LV 62-56) – Spokane remains No. 9 despite their loss to Las Vegas because Portland also lost in Week 12 action. The Shock and Thunder will meet in Portland on Sunday night in a game that can be called a must-win for both in the battle royal for the conference wildcard slots.
10. Portland Thunder (3-8) (LW: L vs. AZ 69-42) – Portland needs a win against Spokane this week when the two teams meet if they want to keep pace with the Shock and Las Vegas in the race for a post-season appearance.
11. Los Angeles KISS (2-9) (LW: W @ SJ 48-42 OT) – After a 0-8 start, Los Angeles has looked like a different team the last three weeks. The turnaround began in a Week 10, six-point loss to Jacksonville that was followed by their first win of the season the following week against Portland and highlighted by last week’s stunning overtime upset of previously undefeated San Jose. A couple of more wins and the KISS could find themselves in the battle for a wildcard spot, a real possibility if they continue to play like they have in the last three weeks. Los Angeles will host Philadelphia on Saturday.
12. New Orleans VooDoo (2-10) (LW: L vs. CLV 51-34) – New Orleans falls to last in the ranking after losing their sixth straight game. With Los Angeles playing better, the VooDoo may have a hard time getting out of the cellar but still can play the spoiler role. New Orleans is on a bye this week.
Week 13 Game of the Week: No.4 Orlando @ No.3 Arizona
The team with the higher power ranking won three of six games in Week 12, 50 of 64 (77%) for the season.