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ArenaFan Power Ranking: Week 19

Mike Delrio
Tuesday July 28, 2015

Despite a light schedule in Week 18 of the Arena Football League schedule, the postseason lineup came into sharper focus with Jacksonville locking up an appearance in the American Conference while Spokane doing the same in the National Conference.

Arizona and Jacksonville were the only teams in the Power Ranking top five that played last week, and both won resulting in no changes in this week’s top five. Cleveland benefited from the poor performance of Tampa Bay in their loss to the Sharks by leapfrogging the Storm in the ranking.

Week 19 Power Ranking

1. San Jose SaberCats (15-1) (LW: BYE) – San Jose will be home against Arizona on Friday in what is likely to be a preview of the National Conference championship game. The SaberCats have been the best team in the AFL week in and week out, but the Rattlers have the ability to put an end to the San Jose run so Friday’s game will be a good measuring stick of where both teams are a couple of weeks away from the playoffs.

2. Philadelphia Soul (13-3) (LW: BYE) – Philadelphia has been the best American Conference team on the field this season, but both Orlando and Jacksonville are playing well heading to Week 19 action and both are in the playoffs so the conference crown is up for grabs. Philadelphia will be home against New Orleans on Sunday.

3. Arizona Rattlers (13-3) (LW: W vs. LA 68-55) – Arizona jumped to an early lead and then held on to beat a Los Angeles team fighting for their playoff life in a game that saw inconsistent play by the Rattlers. The loss to Spokane in Week 17 should have refocused the Rattlers, but Arizona seemed to have this week’s opponent on their mind. The Rattlers will travel to San Jose in a game that doesn’t mean much as far as the playoff seeding goes, but will have an impact on which team has momentum as the postseason begins.

4. Orlando Predators (10-6) (LW: W BYE) – Orlando currently leads the South Division by a game over Jacksonville, and can secure the title with a win against the Sharks when the teams square off this week. A Predators win would make them the No. 2 seed in the American Conference going to the final week of the regular season.

5. Jacksonville Sharks (9-7) (LW: W vs. TB 63-16) – Jacksonville followed an impressive win over Philadelphia by pounding Tampa Bay, and looks like they are peaking at the right time. The 47-point win reserves a spot for the Sharks in the playoffs, but a win against Orlando on Saturday will keep the chance for a division title alive.

6. Cleveland Gladiators (7-9) (LW: BYE) – Cleveland jumping Tampa Bay in the ranking says more about the collapse of the Storm than the performance of the Gladiators. Cleveland has lost four straight games and seven of their last ten, yet looks like they will be the No. 4 seed in the American Conference. The Gladiators will be home against Spokane on Saturday.

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7. Tampa Bay Storm (6-10) (LW: L @ JAX 63-16) – Tampa Bay appears ready for the offseason, and another performance like the one against Jacksonville when Los Angeles visits this week will hasten the arrival. The Storm have lost four straight games, including one to a New Orleans team that had two-wins  prior to the meeting, and are all but eliminated from the wildcard chase.

8. Spokane Shock (6-10) (LW: W vs. PO 42-40) – Spokane currently holds the third seed in the National Conference and is now playoff bound. With games remaining @ Cleveland this week and @ Las Vegas in Week 20, Spokane controls their playoff future. Both games will be competitive, and a four-game win streak would provide momentum for the Shock as they begin their uphill climb in the postseason tournament.

9. Los Angeles KISS (4-12) (LW: L @ AZ 68-55) – Los Angeles has played .500 ball after opening the season with eight consecutive losses, but the quest for a playoff appearance seems to have slipped away with a loss to Arizona. The KISS is currently tied for fifth in the conference, but because Las Vegas was credited with a tie as a result of the cancellation of the New Orleans game Los Angeles must win both of their remaining games to stay alive in the playoff hunt. The KISS will visit the Sunshine State to face a Tampa team coming off an embarrassing 16-point effort.

10. Las Vegas Outlaws (5-10-1) (LW: T @ NO 2-2) – After being credited with a tie as a result of the game being cancelled, Las Vegas needs to win one of their final two games to grab a wildcard slot. The Outlaws will travel to Portland to play the Thunder in Week 19, and then will host Spokane on the final weekend of the regular season.

11. Portland Thunder (4-12) (LW: L @ SPO 42-40) – Three solid performances in a row has resulted in a 1-2 mark that saw Portland lose the two games by a combined eight points. The losses have put the Thunder in must-win situations in both of their remaining games beginning with Las Vegas this week.

12. New Orleans VooDoo (3-12-1) (LW: T vs. LV 2-2) – New Orleans, like Las Vegas, was credited with a tie, but the VooDoo playoff hopes were dashed long ago leaving New Orleans playing for pride in the last two-games of the season, possibly the last in franchise history. New Orleans will travel to Philadelphia in Week 19.

Week 19 Game of the Week: No. 5 Jacksonville @ No. 4 Orlando

The team with the higher power ranking won three of three games in Week 18, 69 of 90 (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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