Week 3 Power Rankings
1. Seattle Orcas (3-0) – No Change
Last Week: W – Phoenix – 33-10
Once again, the Seattle Orcas outclassed an opponent. Phoenix was given no chance to pull off an upset in Seattle and just could not stop bulldozing running back Isaiah Crowell. Crowell became the first-ever SFL player to rush for 300 yards in the game. He finished with a record 301 yards, breaking Philadelphia’s Jay Ajayi’s mark set just last week. He averaged over seven yards per carry in the game.
2. Philadelphia Bulldogs (3-0) – Up 1
Last Week: W – @ San Antonio – 34-33
The Bulldogs are undefeated with an impressive win over the San Antonio Marshalls and as long as they keep feeding Jay Ajayi, they are going to continue having success. The one worry is how long Michael Vick can keep going, but by no longer needing him to be the focal point of the offense the Bulldogs are going to be a tough out.
3. Orlando Rockets (2-1) – Down 1
Last Week: W – Pittsburgh – 34-33
Despite winning by the same exact score as Philadelphia, the Bulldogs and Rockets switched spots. The difference was that Philadelphia won their game in hostile territory while Orlando needed to kick a last second field goal to avoid being upset. But the big news here is that the legend Ricky Ray was benched. He’s older, but he did just win an SFL Championship. Still, they went with Trevor Harris and was solid, but nothing too special. We’ll have to keep an eye on the QB situation now.
4. Michigan Stags (2-1) – Up 2
Last Week: W – Omaha – 30-17
Michigan had plenty of success with their ground game last week, but if Zach Collaros has more games like he did against Omaha then the Stags have a chance to be a dominant team. They still have the feel of an elite team, despite that unexpected upset last week. Collaros just has to be more consistent overall to take that next step.
5. Carolina Generals (3-0) – Up 2
Last Week: W – @ Houston – 32-31
Carolina might feel a bit disrespected by being undefeated and ranked below two teams that have experienced a loss, but they can continue working their way up the rankings because their quarterback play has been fantastic. Many thought Erik Meyer could be a clear improvement at the quarterback position for Carolina, but nobody could have imagined he’d be the best quarterback in the league to this point. He threw another four touchdowns and topped 300 yards again.
6. San Antonio Marshalls (1-2) – Down 2
Last Week: L – Philadelphia – 34-33
San Antonio has played better than their record. Their losses are by a combined five points to out No. 2 and No. 3 teams in the league. They’ve had a tough schedule but we have to be confident that they’ll start getting some wins coming really soon. Bo Levi Mitchell is still an elite quarterback, they just have to improve on defense if they want to elevate themselves to title contender.
7. Washington Wave (2-1) – Up 3
Last Week: W – @ Dallas – 37-34
After losing 17 straight games to start the latest installment n the franchise’s history, the Wave have won back-to-back games. This time, Tyreek Hill was closed down, but Ryan Fitzpatrick picked the Dallas defense apart and Arian Foster was able to plow his way through the defense and into the endzone three times. The defense is still a work in progress, but the talent is most certainly there for this team to compete for a division title this year.
8. Columbus Explorers (2-1) – Up 1
Last Week: W – Minnesota – 31-25
Columbus has also won back-to-back games. Terrelle Pryor didn’t do too much passing, but he was impossible to stop on the ground, rushing for 135 yards and three touchdowns. Columbus might need to figure out how to give him some help on offense, but their defense gets after it.
9. Los Angeles Stars (2-1) – Up 3
Last Week: W – @ Louisville – 33-10
Yes, the Stars only scored three points last week, but other than a struggling effort against one of the most dominant defenses the league has seen, the Stars have proven they can really score some points. Case Keenum had three touchdowns and over 400 yards passing while Denarius Moore and Joe Hills just tore apart the Louisville secondary. Their defense certainly has problems, but they’re going to make things tough for opponents.
10. Pittsburgh Forge (1-2) – Up 3
Last Week: L – @ Orlando – 34-33
Maybe it doesn’t make sense for a team to move up this many spots after a loss, but the Forge had the defending champions on the ropes and have proven that they can score with the best of them. Of course, their defense is struggling, but even at 1-2, it wouldn’t be a shock to see them challenge for the Atlantic Division title.
11. Birmingham Predators (2-1) – No Change
Last Week: W – @ New York – 34-20
Dak Prescott got welcomed to the SFL as he was sacked five times by the New York Marauders, and he had pressure another five times in the game. But despite the aggressive pass rush the rookie was impressively able to keep his cool and led his team to a victory in New York. And on the defensive end we go from the No. 1 overall pick being a star to an undrafted free agent stepping up. Claude Pelon is playing some great football early in his career and was big in stopping the Marauders running game at the line.
12. Nashville Renegades (1-2) – Up 2
Last Week: W – Atlanta – 29-20
Nashville’s front seven finally got things done and didn’t let the secondary get in trouble. That was incredibly important considering the wideouts Atlanta has, but Allen Hurns and Cameron Meredith were held to just a combined 118 yards. They coupled that tough defensive effort with a strong ground game that wore the Firebirds down and limited their offense’s chances. Jordan Howard ran the ball 39 times and finished with 159 yards.
13. New York Marauders (1-2) – Down 5
Last Week: L – Birmingham – 34-20
New York has to be very disappointed that they pressured Dak Prescott all game long and couldn’t slow him down. But the problem was more with their offense not being able to carry a lengthy possession. Their short drives didn’t allow their offense to have much rest. Ryan Nassib has to do more with the weapons he has and they’ll have to continue searching for way to improve their running game.
14. Atlanta Firebirds (1-2) – Down 10
Last Week: L – @ Nashville – 22-14
Atlanta’s offense should be way better than it is but Allen Hurns has almost been a non-factor this year and Alfred Morris isn’t having too much success either. Cameron Meredith has stepped up, but still, the offense is averaging only 11.3 points per game. That forces the question about whether the Firebirds might go back to Aaron Murray because things were so much more explosive last year when he was running the show.
15. Houston Wranglers (2-1) – No Change
Last Week: L – Carolina – 32-31
2-1 with just one loss by one point to a top five team and they’re down this far? Houston might be underrated, but still, we need to see more. Their two wins are against teams that haven’t proven to be very good and while Connor Cook had another strong game, they still haven’t seen very explosive. And as soon as they played a team with some offensive weapons, their defense got picked on. It’s still early, they can continue proving themselves and move up the rankings.
16. Louisville Cougars (1-2) – Up 1
Last Week: L – Los Angeles – 33-30
Jeremiah Masoli solidified himself as a play-making quarterback as he passed for 400 yards and three touchdowns while getting two receivers over 130 yards in the game. Louisville’s defense was the problem, and their running game is contending as one of the worst in the league. They have problems, but got the main one fixed.
17. Charleston Dragons (1-2) – Up 3
Last Week: W – @ New Orleans – 13-6
It wasn’t a pretty win, but it was a win. Charleston’s defense is still proving to be a pretty tough one, but the Dragons just don’t have enough weapons on offense. That is putting all the pressure on Luke Tasker, who can only do so much on his own.
18. Omaha Express (1-2) – No Change
Last Week: L – @ Michigan – 30-17
Tim Tebow just doesn’t have the offensive line or the receivers that he had in Dallas to make him look better. He’s still a top athlete, but he was always a bit inconsistent for the Six-Shooters. It’s just showing more in Omaha because too much is being put on him.
19. Dallas Six-Shooters (1-2) – No Change
Last Week: L – Washington – 37-34
Trevone Boykin is a talented player but he’s just in over his head right now and shouldn’t be quarterbacking a team already. At least Jalen Richard is looking like he can become a great running back, but the passing game just isn’t giving him the necessary help and the defense just isn’t forcing the turnovers like they were last year.
20. New Orleans Nightmare (1-2) – Down 4
Last Week: L – Charleston – 13-6
Rumor in New Orleans is that the Nightmare are considering benching Zach Mettenberger. The guy has a cannon for an arm but his inaccuracy and inconsistency has been a huge issue that has troubled the team. We’ll see what the Nightmare do, but something has to change after dropping their second straight game. They have way too much offensive talent to fail to even scored 14 points in either of their two recent losses.
21. Minnesota Freeze (0-3) – No Change
Last Week: L – @ Columbus – 31-25
The schedule certainly hasn’t done any favors for Minnesota as they’ve played the No. 1 and No. 2 teams and a talented Explorers team that is back approaching the top of the rankings. But with Josh McCown no longer playing an elite level of quarterback, the Freeze aren’t going to win much if their running game provides them literally nothing. They totaled just three yards against Columbus, on 15 attempts.
22. Phoenix Scorpions (0-3) – No Change
Last Week: L – @ Seattle – 33-10
Phoenix was the first team this season to score a touchdown against Seattle, but their defense got embarrassed as Isaiah Crowell averaged 7.2 yards per carry on his way to a 301-yards, 4-touchdown game. The Scorpions o-line is struggling and their offense just lacks significant weapons. They really need to figure out something fast.
Week Three Awards
Offensive Players of the Week
RB Isaiah Crowell, Seattle Orcas
42 Rushes, 301 Rush Yards (7.2 YPC), 4 Rush TDs, 2 Rec, 12 Rec Yards (6.0 YPC)
Defensive Player of the Week
DE Chris Smith, New York Marauders
7 Tackles, 3 Sacks, 1 Hurry
Special Teams Player of the Week
P Mike Scifres, Charleston Dragons
7 Punts, 335 Punt Yards (47.9 YPP), 2 In20
Rookie of the Week
QB Dak Prescott, Birmingham Predators
20-for-29 (68.9%), 238 Pass Yards, 2 TDs, 9 Rushes, 24 Rush Yards (2.7 YPC)
Week Four Preview
Washington Wave @ Pittsburgh Forge
This is going to be a critical Atlantic Division battle between two teams fighting to stay near the top. Both teams are built in different ways with Jonathan Jennings leading the Forge with a surprise effort at quarterback while rookie Tyreek Hill is the playmaker for the Wave. But last week Washington proved they can win with a classic approach of a power running game and efficient passing. Not a bad combination.
Pick: Washington Wave
Atlanta Firebirds @ Columbus Explorers
Will the Firebirds make a change back to Aaron Murray or will they stick with Matt Barkley? We’ll have to wait and see, but based on current results it’s hard to see Atlanta scoring enough against a tough Explorers defense.
Pick: Columbus Explorers
Michigan Stags @ Nashville Renegades
Nashville got their first win of the year, but Michigan’s defense is going to be really tough for Nashville to score against. The Stags running game should wear Nashville’s front-seven down as well, which will put a lot of pressure on the Renegades weak secondary.
Pick: Michigan Stags
Phoenix Scorpions @ Louisville Cougars
Phoenix needs a win, but they just don’t seem to have the offensive firepower to beat a Louisville Cougars squad that found their playmaker at quarterback.
Pick: Louisville Cougars
New Orleans Nightmare @ Minnesota Freeze
These teams are both desperate for a victory – Minnesota their first of the year and New Orleans their first since a promising week one victory. The difference is, Minnesota has played three of the very best teams in the league while New Orleans has played three of the worst looking teams from the early part of the season. NOLA may also make a quarterback change, which makes this pretty unpredictable, but we’ll go with Minnesota at home for their first win.
Pick: Minnesota Freeze
Birmingham Predators @ Dallas Six-Shooters
Every single day of the week we’re going to take Dak Prescott to win over Trevone Boykin.
Pick: Birmingham Predators
Houston Wranglers @ San Antonio Marshalls
The Wranglers might feel like they have something to prove but the Marshalls will feel like they really need a win. After facing some very tough competition to start the year, Bo Levi Mitchell could really open things up against Houston to get the Marshalls a big win over their Texas rival.
Pick: San Antonio Marshalls
Carolina Generals @ Omaha Express
Omaha had a promising start to the year but have struggled ever since. The Generals, meanwhile, don’t look like they are slowing down any time soon with Erik Meyer having one heck of a start to the year.
Pick: Carolina Generals
Charleston Dragons @ Seattle Orcas
Charleston’s offense just won’t have the weapons to score against an absolutely dominant Seattle Orcas defense.
Pick: Seattle Orcas
New York Marauders @ Los Angeles Stars
The two big cities will face off but New York will need to figure out something on offense to be able to outscore the high-octane Stars.
Pick: Los Angeles Stars
Orlando Rockets @ Philadelphia Bulldogs
The game of the week between two of the very best teams in the league. This is going to be a great battle and really a coin flip to pick to win. But we’re just a bit more confident in the Jay Ajayi-led Bulldogs at home over the Rockets squad that is featuring a new quarterback.
Pick: Philadelphia Bulldogs
Owners approved the move of the Phoenix franchise to Salt Lake City starting in 2018. Owners approved the vote 10-3, the minimum number of votes for to approve the move. The Salt Lake City franchise will remain in the Pacific Division. Salt Lake City is ranked 48th in the United State in metropolitan population with 1,187,187 people. The city is widely regarded as one of the most under-served sports markets in the country.
“I think Phoenix is a great city and my heart breaks for the fans of there, but I am very excited about the move to Salt Lake City,” Scorpions owner Corey Johns said. “Salt Lake City is a tremendous sports town and I think the city fits perfectly in the foot print of the SFL, which focuses on under-serves sports markets.”
Lawrence Phillips’ single-game rushing record stood for 15 years before it was broken by Jay Ajayi last week. But the Bulldogs’ running back didn’t even last 15 days. In fact, it only lasted one week as Seattle Orcas running back Isaiah Crowell became the league’s first back to rush for over 300 yards in a game. Crowell averaged 7.2 yards per carry on his way to a 301-yard game with four touchdowns in a lopsided 33-10 victory by Seattle.
Despite the league voting to approve a new structure to the territorial draft for the 2018 season, the league office has decided to re-open discussions after further research into the topic.
SFL legend and future Hall of Famer Ricky Ray was benched by the Orlando Rockets in favor of Trevor Harris. Ray completed only 65.8-percent of his passes in the first two weeks for just 314 yards and only two interceptions. Harris was 23-for-29 passing for 349 yards in his first SFL start.
New expansion franchise St. Louis Stallions have announced the hiring of Bill Legg and DeMonte Cross as the team’s coordinators, set to take over the team for next season. Legg will be the offensive coordinator after previously holding the same position at Marshall University. Cross will be the defensive coordinator after heading the defensive unit at Missouri.