ArenaFan Power Ranking: Week 16
A 24-point loss to Portland drops Jacksonville to No.6 and allows Tampa Bay to move back into the No.5 slot despite losing to Orlando by a touchdown. San Jose, Philadelphia, Arizona and Orlando remain Nos. 1-4 after Week 16 AFL action.
Week 16 Power Ranking
1. San Jose SaberCats (14-1) (LW: W vs. NO 54-35) – San Jose is the best team in the league and will remain at the top of the ArenaFan Power Ranking until someone stops their postseason run. The SaberCats will likely meet Arizona, their Week 19 opponent as well, in the National Conference Championship. Arizona will be home against Portland in the late game on Saturday.
2. Philadelphia Soul (13-2) (LW: W vs. CLV 72-56) – Philadelphia has been the best team in the American Conference week in and week out and continue to play at a consistently high level. Philadelphia has already secured home-field advantage throughout the conference rounds and should be the favorite in those games. The Soul will be on the road to play Jacksonville on Saturday in a must-win game for the Sharks.
3. Arizona Rattlers (12-2) (LW: W vs. LV 57-43) – With eight consecutive wins, Arizona has the longest active streak in the AFL and are the No.2 seed in the National Conference. A Week 19 game with San Jose will be the best gauge of how deep the Rattlers will go in the playoffs. Arizona will travel to Washington to face Spokane in a Friday night game.
4. Orlando Predators (9-6) (LW: W @ TB 69-62) – Orlando battled back for a big Southern Division win over Tampa Bay after the Storm had taken the lead with 42 seconds left in the game. The clock ran out with the Storm on the Predators 1-yard line giving Orlando the W and another game between themselves and both Tampa Bay and Jacksonville in the battle for the division title. The Predators will go on the road to play Cleveland in Saturday’s early game.
5. Tampa Bay Storm (6-8) (LW: L vs. ORL 69-62) – The loss to Orlando drops Tampa Bay two games back in the loss column to the Preds in the division and leaves their most likely path to the postseason via the wildcard route. Tampa Bay will play New Orleans on the road this week and must avoid a letdown in a game they should win. The Storm need to win three of their final four games for a legitimate shot at a WC slot and a loss against a two-win team would make that difficult.
6. Jacksonville Sharks (7-7) (LW: L @ PO 72-48) – After an impressive win over Cleveland in Week 14, Jacksonville pulled a Jekyll and Hyde in losing to Portland, a team with three wins coming into the game, by 24-points last week. The 72-points scored set a franchise record for the Thunder and was 22-points more than the average allowed by the Sharks this season. With just four games remaining, including two in the division, Jacksonville needs to get back on track quickly. The Sharks will host Philadelphia this week in a game that the Soul will be favored to win but Jacksonville needs to play well in to build some momentum for back-to-back division games that will decide the Sharks postseason destiny.
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7. Cleveland Gladiators (7-8) (LW: L @ PHL 72-56) – Cleveland is clinging to a wildcard spot with three games remaining but has lost three games in a row (six of their last nine) and has yet to defeat a team ranked above them in the power ranking. The Gladiators need to win two of their three remaining games to stay in the postseason mix. Cleveland will be home against Orlando this week.
8. Las Vegas Outlaws (5-9) (LW: L @ AZ 57-43) – Las Vegas remains first in the four-team battle for the two National Conference wildcard spots and is a win away from all but locking up a postseason appearance in their inaugural season. The Outlaws will be home against Los Angeles this week.
9. Los Angeles KISS (3-11) (LW: W vs. SPO 34-28) – Los Angeles is 3-3 since opening the season with eight consecutive losses and is making a push for a wildcard spot. Holding Spokane to four touchdowns is big but the KISS is a game behind both Portland and Spokane and trails Los Angeles, this week’s opponent, by two games and are running out of games.
10. Portland Thunder (4-10) (LW: W vs. JAX 72-48) – Portland had an offensive explosion last week that resulted in the Thunder putting 72-points up against Jacksonville in a big win that snapped a string of six straight losses and keeps Portland in the middle of the wildcard chase. The Thunder have four games (@ San Jose, @ Spokane, Las Vegas and @ Arizona) still to play and Portland must beat either the Shock or Outlaws to remain in the hunt for a postseason slot.
11. Spokane Shock (4-10) (LW: L @ LA 34-28) – Spokane managed just four TDs in a loss to Los Angeles that dropped the Shock a game behind Las Vegas in the four-team battle royal for the two-wildcard spots. The loss keeps the KISS in the mix and means that Spokane’s postseason destiny may hinge on the meeting with Las Vegas that comes on the final weekend of the regular season. Arizona will visit Spokane for a Friday night matchup.
12. New Orleans VooDoo (2-12) (LW: L @ SJ 54-35) – New Orleans has lost eight straight games and with games against Tampa Bay, @ Las Vegas, @ Philadelphia and @ Jacksonville to close out the season, the VooDoo are going to have to pull an upset to snap the consecutive loss streak. The best shot for an upset looks to be against either Las Vegas or Jacksonville, but a win in any of the games could impact the playoff lineup, and that’s really all the VooDoo have to play for.
Week 17 Game of the Week: No. 8 Las Vegas @ No. 9 Los Angeles
The team with the higher power ranking won four of six games in Week 16, 64 of 81 (79%) for the season.