ArenaFan Power Ranking: Week 18
Arena Football League Week 17 saw four teams lose to teams ranked below them in the ArenaFan Power Ranking, including Philadelphia and Arizona, and top-ranked San Jose forced to overtime before beating Portland. The upsets didn’t result in changes in the top four spots in this week’s ranking, but did lead to changes in the 5 -11 positions.
Week 18 Power Ranking
2. Philadelphia Soul (13-3) (LW: L @ JAX 74-67) – Philadelphia lost a shootout with Jacksonville, but remains No. 2 thanks to Arizona’s loss. The Soul has been the best team in the American Conference on the field this season, but Jacksonville has a deeper, more talented roster and the loss is a reminder that Philadelphia is going to face two competitive games to get to the AFL title game. The Soul is on a bye week ahead of a Week 19 home game against New Orleans.
3. Arizona Rattlers (12-3) (LW: L @ SPO 52-45) – Arizona lost to four-win Spokane in a game that should serve as a wake-up call for the Rattlers. While clearly the better team over the entirety of the season, losing to the Shock-currently the third seed in the conference-should refocus Arizona heading into the final weeks of the season. The Rattlers will host Los Angeles in Sunday’s game.
4. Orlando Predators (10-6) (LW: W @ CLV 65-58) – Orlando has the second longest active win streak (3) in the league, and has locked up a postseason appearance. The Predators are two games up in the win column in the South, and have to be the favorite to win the division, but Jacksonville is still in it. Both are likely to advance to the playoffs. Orlando is on a bye week ahead of a game with Jacksonville in Week 19 that could determine the winner if the South.
5. Jacksonville Sharks (8-7) (LW: W vs. PHL 74-67) – Jacksonville improved their postseason odds with an impressive win against Philadelphia that continues the Jekyll & Hyde season. A team that many believe is the most talented in the league should be better than one game over .500, and the win against a good team suggests the Sharks are building momentum at the right time. Jacksonville has back-to-back division games beginning with Tampa Bay this week followed by Orlando in Week 19 with their postseason fate on the line.
6. Tampa Bay Storm (6-9) (LW: L vs. @ NO 65-53) – Tampa Bay has dropped three straight games after last week’s 12-point loss to a New Orleans team with two wins coming into the game, and now trails Cleveland by a game in the win column in the battle for one of the two conference wildcard slots. The Storm have lost two-of-three games with the Gladiators, so they need to finish with more wins to get into the playoffs. Cleveland is on a bye week, so a win over Jacksonville would get Tampa even with Cleveland.
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7. Cleveland Gladiators (7-9) (LW: L vs. ORL 65-58) – Despite losing four consecutive games (seven of their last ten), Cleveland continues to hold the second WC slot in the American Conference. The three-game skid that Tampa Bay is on has allowed the Gladiators to hold on to the spot, but Cleveland has to end the slide to take the field in Week 21. The Glads are on a bye week.
8. Los Angeles KISS (4-11) (LW: W vs. LV 37-27) – Los Angeles stepped up in a big by beating Las Vegas to remain in the postseason hunt. The KISS has gone 4-3 since opening the season with eight consecutive losses and is gaining ground for a wildcard spot as they travel to Arizona for a game with the Rattlers.
9. Las Vegas Outlaws (5-10-1) (LW: L @ LA 37-27) – Despite losing to Los Angeles, Las Vegas holds the advantage in the wildcard as a result of the game advantage in the win column and the tie awarded as a result of the cancelation of this week’s game with New Orleans. Las Vegas will play Portland in Week 19.
10. Spokane Shock (5-10) (LW: W vs. AZ 52-45) – Spokane upset Arizona to remain in the thick of the National Conference wildcard battle with three games remaining on the regular season schedule. One more win should be enough to secure one-of-two wildcard slots. With games against Portland, @ Cleveland and @ Las Vegas, Spokane holds their postseason future in their hands.
11. Portland Thunder (4-11) (LW: L @ SJ 55-49 OT) – Portland followed a 72-point explosion against Jacksonville with a solid performance against San Jose that went to overtime before the Thunder lost to the best team in the league by six-points on the road. Portland is currently tied with Los Angeles for fifth, a game back in the win column to both LA and Spokane in the wildcard chase, but the Thunder can close that gap with a win against the Shock when the teams square off this week in Spokane.
12. New Orleans VooDoo (3-12-1) (LW: W vs. TB 65-53) – New Orleans pulled off an emotional upset victory against Tampa Bay in what is likely to be the final home game in franchise history. The win ended an eight-game skid as well as impacting the playoff picture, which is all the VooDoo are playing for at this point-that and pride. New Orleans will travel to Philadelphia in Week 19.
Week 18 Game of the Week: No. 6 Tampa Bay @ No. 5 Jacksonville
The team with the higher power ranking won two of six games in Week 17, 66 of 87 (78%) for the season.