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ArenaFan Power Ranking: Week 13

Mike Delrio
Wednesday June 24, 2015

Cleveland falls out of the top half of the Week 13 ArenaFan Power Ranking after losing to Tampa Bay at home while San Jose, Philadelphia and Arizona all won last week and continue to hold down the top three spots in the ArenaFan Power Ranking.

Week 13 Power Ranking

1. San Jose SaberCats (12-1) (LW: W vs. LV 63-31) – San Jose bounced back from a stunning Week 12 upset loss to Los Angeles by doubling up Las Vegas on the road to get back on track toward what looks like a National Conference title game showdown with Arizona. The SaberCats have the highest-scoring offense (772 points) combined with the toughest defense to score on (484 points allowed) in the AFL-a combination that makes San Jose the No. 1 team in the ranking . San Jose will travel to Spokane on Friday.

2. Philadelphia Soul (11-2) (LW: W @ LA 56-48) – Philadelphia went to the West Coast to play Los Angeles last week and got out of town with a hard-fought eight-point win against a two-win team. While Philadelphia continues to be the best team in the Eastern Division, the teams in the Southern Division have stepped up their play and look to be serious challengers for the American Conference title. The Soul have two games remaining on their schedule against Southern Division teams, beginning this week when Tampa Bay (who beat Cleveland last week) visits, and the results of those contests will impact the postseason lineup.

3. Arizona Rattlers (10-2) (LW: W vs. ORL 55-35) – Arizona beat Orlando at home for their sixth consecutive win, the longest active win streak in the league, and the Rattlers are now one win away from clinching the Western Division crown. The convincing win over No. 4 Orlando secures Arizona’s No. 3 ranking as well as closes the gap with No. 2 Philadelphia. The Rattlers will visit Los Angeles on Saturday to play a much improved KISS team.

4. Orlando Predators (7-6) (LW: L @ AZ 55-35) – Orlando remains No. 4 in this week’s ranking despite losing to Arizona by 20 points because the loss was to a higher-ranked team on the road, Cleveland lost and Jacksonville did not play. The Southern Division is a three-team battle royal so every one of the remaining games on the schedule is a must win. Orlando will be home on Saturday against New Orleans.

5. Tampa Bay Storm (6-6) (LW: W @ CLV 52-48) – Tampa Bay climbs two spots in the power ranking based on wins over Jacksonville in Week 12 and Cleveland last week, both teams that were higher-ranked at the time. Added offensive firepower and a defense that is holding opponents to 49 points a game means the Storm are in thick of the division title fight. The team that steps up and puts wins together in the final weeks of the season will win the division and Tampa Bay looks to be playing better than both Orlando and Jacksonville heading into Week 14 action. The Storm has won back-to-back games and has the opportunity to make a statement this week when they travel to Philadelphia to play the No. 2 ranked Soul in a big conference matchup.

6. Jacksonville Sharks (6-6) (LW: BYE) – Jacksonville did not play last week. The Southern Division is wide open and at least two of the three teams will advance to the postseason, maybe all three depending on how successful Cleveland is at finding consistency over the final six-weeks of the regular season, meaning that Jacksonville will be in the race for a postseason slot for the duration. The Sharks have two division games remaining, one each against Tampa Bay (H) and Orlando (A) and also face Philadelphia (H). Like the other teams in the division, each game at this point in the season is a must-win. Jacksonville comes off the bye week with a critical home game against Cleveland that will impact not only the Southern Division but the American Conference wildcard scramble as well.

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7. Cleveland Gladiators (7-6) (LW: L vs. TB 52-48) – Since opening the season 4-2, Cleveland has gone 3-4 with the wins coming against New Orleans (2) and Las Vegas (1), teams with a combined 6-18 record, and the Gladiators still have not defeated a higher-ranked team this season. The Gladiators are still in the American Conference wildcard mix but need a win over a higher-ranked team if they hope to stay in the hunt. Cleveland closes the season with three home games (Orlando, Spokane and Philadelphia) at the Quicken Loans Arena where they are 2-4. The Gladiators have two road games remaining, beginning this week when they will visit Jacksonville.

8. Las Vegas Outlaws (4-8) (LW: L vs. SJ 63-31) – Las Vegas currently has an edge in the chase for one of the two National Conference wildcard spots and controls their own destiny. There are three other teams in the wildcard sweepstakes and the Outlaws play each of them (one twice) over the final weeks of the season. Las Vegas will play Portland twice, Los Angeles and Spokane and wins in two of those games would likely secure a postseason slot for the Outlaws. Las Vegas can take another step toward the playoffs with a win this week against Portland at home.

9. Spokane Shock (4-8) (LW: W @ PO 69-54) – Spokane, like Las Vegas, currently holds one of the National Conference wildcard spots but the Shock have a more challenging schedule over the final third of the season that includes games with San Jose, Arizona and Cleveland in addition to single games with Los Angeles, Portland and Las Vegas. Spokane will host San Jose in Friday’s late game.

10. Los Angeles KISS (2-10) (LW: L vs. PHL 56-48) – Los Angeles came up with a solid effort in a loss against Philadelphia that suggests the KISS are picking up steam in the hunt for a postseason spot after starting the season with eight consecutive losses. Los Angeles has played like a different team the last month and has become part of the postseason talk but face a schedule that includes games with Arizona (2), Tampa Bay and San Jose while only playing two games against other WC challengers (Spokane, Las Vegas). Los Angeles will be home against Arizona in Saturday’s late game.

11. Portland Thunder (3-9) (LW: L vs. SPO 69-54) – Portland is on a five-game slide after a 15-point loss to Spokane that leaves the Thunder in a must-win situation when they visit Las Vegas this week. The importance of games against Las Vegas (2) and Spokane increase with games against Jacksonville, San Jose and Arizona remaining for Portland.

12. New Orleans VooDoo (2-10) (LW: BYE) – New Orleans did not play last week. The VooDoo need to pick up another win to build on early-season improvement but will have to pull off an upset for that to happen. New Orleans has a brutal schedule remaining that includes road games with Orlando, San Jose, Las Vegas, Philadelphia and Jacksonville as well as a home contest with Tampa Bay. A win in any of those games would go a long way toward building some confidence for next season. New Orleans will visit Orlando in one of Saturday’s early games.

Week 14 Game of the Week: No.5 Tampa Bay @ No.2 Philadelphia

The team with the higher power ranking won four of five games in Week 13, 54 of 69 (78%) 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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