Week Five Power Rankings
1. Seattle Orcas (4-1) – No Change
Last Week: W – @ Louisville – 24-22
Isaiah Crowell once again had a great game, averaging 7.4 yards per carry on his way to 126 rushing yards and two touchdowns and that helped the Orcas have a big first half. They did slow down in the second half, and were shutout for the final 25 minutes. But they did enough and their defense helped them build a big enough lead to hang on for the win.
2. Orlando Rockets (4-1) – No Change
Last Week: W – @ Charleston – 35-21
Trevor Harris has been solid since coming in for Ricky Ray. He’s nothing overly especial, but he was good enough and so was the ground game to give the Rockets their fourth straight victory, and it was on the road against a team that upset the No. 1 team in the league last week.
3. Philadelphia Bulldogs (4-1) – Up 1
Last Week: W – @ Birmingham – 35-34
Jay Ajayi continues to dominate on the ground and with the defense having to move up and stack the box, Michael Vick had a very nice game with 258 yards and three passing touchdowns. Their combined effort beat the effort of rookie sensation Dak Prescott.
4. Washington Wave (4-1) – Up 2
Last Week: W – Omaha – 56-20
Tyreek Hill has hit the SFL by storm and is contributing everywhere. He had 542 all-purpose yards and seven total touchdowns. He set a new SFL record with 305 yards receiving to go with his four receiving touchdowns. He led the team in rushing yards and had two more scores on the ground. He had 203 kick return touchdowns, including 100-yard touchdown. Just an incredible game.
5. Los Angeles Stars (4-1) – Up 3
Last Week: W – @ Minnesota – 25-23
The Stars didn’t light it up, but their offense did just enough to get the victory. But it was actually a clutch defensive play by Jamaal Westerman that ended up as the winning safety. He was huge and the Stars defense had a ridiculous eight total sacks in the game.
6. Columbus Explorers (3-2) – Up 5
Last Week: W – @ Michigan – 28-13
The intense rivalry game was as unpredictable as we predicted. Despite Terrelle Pryor being shut down in the air he rushed for three touchdowns and the team overall gashed the Stags on the ground for 267 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns.
7. Michigan Stags (3-2) – Down 4
Last Week: L – Columbus – 28-13
In a quite shocking manner, Dexter McCluster was Michigan’s lead rusher. After falling behind they had to back off the run and Zach Collaros hasn’t been a guy who can really take over a game. He needs the running game to win. Basically, this is not a team built for comebacks.
8. San Antonio Marshalls (2-3) – Down 3
Last Week: L – @ New Orleans – 27-26
While Bo Levi Mitchell had another solid outing, the struggled of the running game and the defense hurt San Antonio. Nick Davila had a huge, huge game against them, passing for 459 yards and four touchdowns. It was an impossible effort to win against.
9. Birmingham Predators (3-2) – No Change
Last Week: L – Philadelphia – 35-34
What a heart-breaker. Dak Prescott had a sensational game and led the Predators on what should have been a game-tying touchdown late in the fourth quarter, but Jordan Gay missed the extra point and it resulted in a one-point loss. But while he can be the scape goat, this was a case of Dak not being able to do it all by himself. Alfred Morris had a bad debut for Birmingham and the defense couldn’t slow down Philadelphia in any way.
10. New Orleans Nightmare (3-2) – Up 8
Last Week: W – San Antonio – 27-26
Nick Davila has turned this team around. In his second start, he passed for 459 yards and four touchdowns. It was a remarkable effort and was impossible to compete against. He finally proved able to get the ball out to all the receiving weapons they have. Rueben Randle had nearly 200 yards receiving while SJ Green had over 130 yards and Dwyane Bowe had 84. He effectively apread the ball out in a dominant effort.
11. Carolina Generals (3-2) – Down 4
Last Week: L – @ Phoenix – 37-18
Carolina’s high-flying offense has slowed down and the team suffered their second-straight loss. Erik Meyer still had over 200 yards, but it’s wasn’t pretty had he had two touchdowns. This team seems to be relying more on a combined running game between Kenneth Dixon and Knowshon Moreno, which in the long run isn’t a bad thing. But their defense really struggled against a Phoenix squad that had been struggling all year long.
12. Pittsburgh Forge (2-3) – No Change
Last Week: W – Houston – 42-9
The Forge offense once again had a huge game, led by Devontae Booker and his four touchdowns. That was expected. But what wasn’t expected was their defensive effort. That has been a problem area this year, but the Forge held the Wranglers to just nine points, no touchdowns at all. Their veteran linebackers finally stepped up and made some big plays.
13. Charleston Dragons (2-3) – No Change
Last Week: L – Orlando – 35-21
Charleston’s re-tooled offensive line was beat for five sacks as their offense was limited against the Orlando Rockets as they couldn’t recapture the upset magic that they had last week. Kellen Moore had a solid game despite the pressure, but it was just too much against him for it to be effective.
14. New York Marauders (2-3) – Up 1
Last Week: W – @ Atlanta – 30-27
While Denard Robinson didn’t light it up in his debut, an effective running game allowed Ryan Nassib to air it out for 369 yards and three touchdowns and helped the Marauders snap their three-game losing streak with a big road win. They desperately needed that with both Philadelphia and Washington improving to 4-1. Falling three games back might have been the end for New York.
15. Nashville Renegades (2-3) – Up 1
Last Week: W – Dallas – 26-17
Nashville has to be thrilled with how this game turned out. AJ McCarron had over 200 yards parring and two touchdowns. Jordan Howard had a great game with over 180 yards and a score, Jamison Crowder, Chris Matthews and Malcolm Mitchell were all getting just about equal shares off the passes thrown their way and their defensive line had a lot of success shutting things down before Dallas got too far. It was their most complete effort of the season.
16. Atlanta Firebirds (2-3) – Down 6
Last Week: L – New York – 30-27
Whether it’s Matt Barkley’s fault the team is struggling or not, Aaron Murray is getting more frustrated as he watched a guy barely complete half his passes. At least Allen Hurns had a big game, but the Firebirds had really high hopes and falling to 2-3 is very disappointing. Their secondary has been a bit disappointing as well. DeAndre Washington showed promise running the ball, but perhaps it was a lack of commitment to the run that led the Marauders keep getting on the field.
17. Phoenix Scorpions (2-3) – Up 2
Last Week: W – Carolina – 37-18
After cutting their dead weight at wide receiver and focusing on their younger athletes, the Scorpions have won back-to-back games. Mike Reilly is playing some very good football and Adrian Peterson is doing just enough in the running game to keep opponents honest. We’ll see if they keep it up over the next week weeks, but they’re already in a deep hole in a division with two of the top teams this year.
18. Omaha Express (2-3) – Down 8
Last Week: L – @ Washington – 56-20
Joe Callahan finally got into the game, and performed better than both Tim Tebow and Vernon Adams. Still, he didn’t really do all that much against a red-hot Washington Wave team that saw Tyreek Hill just shred the Express defense for 542 all-purpose yards and seven total touchdowns. They had no answer for him.
19. Houston Wranglers (2-3) – Down 2
Last Week: L – @ Pittsburgh – 42-9
Ouch. Houston got blown out in this battle of expansion teams. They really didn’t have a statistically bad game, but just couldn’t finish drives and had to settle for three field goals, one of which was a 49-yarder. Their defense just couldn’t stop a pass-happy Jonathan Jennings at all.
20. Louisville Cougars (1-4) – No Change
Last Week: L – Seattle – 24-22
Jeremiah Masoli had another very good game, and has made Louisville a very competitive team, but just not good enough to get these wins in the close games. Their defense has really been the problem. Their offense is scoring, but had they slowed Seattle a little bit more in the first half they wouldn’t have been in the hole they couldn’t dig out of.
21. Dallas Six-Shooters (1-4) – No Change
Last Week: L – @ Nashville – 26-17
Trevone Boykin had another pretty efficient game, but this offense led by rookies only managed 17 points. It’s not overly explosive at this point. The defense, though, continues to be a problem area and as we’ve been harping on, without the interceptions they are being exposed.
22. Minnesota Freeze (0-5) – No Change
Last Week: L – Los Angeles – 25-23
The Freeze came close, but close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. Their running game is still giving them nothing, but their offense line was horrible and gave up eight sacks, which never actually gave them a shot to win this game, despite the final score being so close.
Week Five Awards
Offensive Player of the Week
OW Tyreek Hill, Washington Wave
11 Rec, 305 Rec Yards (27.7 YPC), 4 Rec TDs, 31 Rush Yards (3.9 YPC), 2 Rush TDs
Defensive Player of the Week
DE Trey Flowers, Los Angeles Stars
6 Tackles, 3 Sacks, 2 TFL, 4 Hurries
Special Teams Player of the Week
RET Tyreek Hill, Washington Wave
5 KRs, 203 KR Yards (40.6 YPR), 1 KR TD, 1 PR, 7 PR Yards (7.0 YPR)
Rookie of the Week
OW/RET Tyreek Hill, Washington Wave
11 Rec, 305 Rec Yards (27.7 YPC), 4 Rec TDs, 31 Rush Yards (3.9 YPC), 2 Rush TDs, 5 KRs, 203 KR Yards (40.6 YPR), 1 KR TD, 1 PR, 7 PR Yards (7.0 YPR)
Week Six Preview
Pittsburgh Forge @ New York Marauders
The Forge can score, but we certainly know and saw that the Marauders can be a dangerous offense with Stefon Diggs and Brandon Coleman. Certainly they’ll miss a big part of their offense in Will Tye, but with Denard Robinson capable of bringing some balance to the offense, even if he struggled last week in his debut, New York can score. So this might come down to defense, and while Pittsburgh allowed only nine points this year the Marauders have made the much better group this year.
Pick: New York Marauders
Louisville Cougars @ Carolina Generals
Carolina is trending down and Louisville is proving they are a very dangerous team. This could be where the Generals get back on track, but the Cougars have to be hungry for another win after continually coming so close. The Generals might struggle to slow down Jeremiah Masoli.
Pick: Louisville Cougars
Orlando Rockets @ Birmingham Predators
Orlando has won four-straight games even despite switching quarterbacks recently. Birmingham has to be heart-broken after losing by just one missed point last week. Dak Prescott has been great, though, and he’s going to be the most dangerous player in this game. While Orlando has a very, very deep backfield, not having Devonta Freeman might hurt them.
Pick: Birmingham Predators
New Orleans Nightmare @ Columbus Explorers
New Orleans has their man in Nick Davila. He lit San Antonio up last week for over 450 yards. That is going to be tough for Columbus to keep up with. The Explorers need to rely on a slower ground game to score. They might not have that much time if the Nightmare get off to a really hot start.
Pick: New Orleans Nightmare
Omaha Express @ Nashville Renegades
Nashville will play a Dallas Hartwell-owned team for a second straight week and should be the favorite to get another win. The Renegades had a very nice all-around team effort when they played the Six-Shooters last week. Omaha struggled with quarterback play.
Pick: Nashville Renegades
Seattle Orcas @ Philadelphia Bulldogs
Definitely the game of the week, Seattle will be traveling across the country to take on one of the best teams in the Empire Conference. It’s pretty safe to assume that the winner of this game probably will end up being the No. 1 team in the league next week. And it’s a great matchup of the best two running backs in the league in Seattle’s Isaiah Crowell and Philadelphia’s Jay Ajayi. While Philly does have the most explosive quarterback, Seattle’s defense is absolutely the equalizer and what makes them the slight favorite here.
Pick: Seattle Orcas
Washington Wave @ Los Angeles Stars
Can anybody stop Tyreek Hill? Washington exploded last week in their fourth straight win and Hill broke records in his great all-around effort. Certainly, Los Angeles has a great offense and are having a great seasons, but their defense is far from a shutdown unit that might struggle to slow the Wave offense.
Pick: Washington Wave
Houston Wranglers @ Phoenix Scorpions
Phoenix is coming off back-to-back victories and Houston is coming off a game where they did not score a touchdown. Phoenix struggled passing, so what did they do? The illogical thing of pass more. It’s worked and Houston might struggle to keep up.
Pick: Phoenix Scorpions
Michigan Stags @ Dallas Six-Shooters
The Stags will look to rebound against a struggling Six-Shooter’s team. The Stags couldn’t catch up last week, but with Dallas’ offense not being one that will jump out on teams, they probably won’t have to worry about that and will be able to stick to their grinding gameplan.
Pick: Michigan Stags
Minnesota Freeze @ Atlanta Firebirds
Atlanta still likes Matt Barkley, but this has to be the game that determine’s his future. If he struggles and can’t beat the winless Minnesota Freeze he has to be done. Minnesota just hasn’t made any adjustments to help their struggling running game.
Pick: Atlanta Firebirds
San Antonio Marshalls @ Charleston Dragons
This is an interesting game and a key one for both teams. We know Charleston’s defense does make them a threat to beat any opponent, and we know San Antonio can throw the ball. In the battle of offense vs. defense, San Antonio might just have a little bit more.
Pick: San Antonio Marshalls.
Tyreek Hill breaks receiving record
Last year Allen Hurns took the league by storm with an MVP season. This year the new start receiver is rookie Tyreek Hill. And this past week he broke Hurns’ single-game receiving record with 205 yards on 11 receptions, which included four receiving touchdowns. And his day was much greater than just that. He had over 500 total yards from scrimmage and seven total touchdowns, including his return and rushing efforts.
Rice out, Asiata in
Disgraced running back Ray Rice is officially out of Louisville after his dismal performances. The Cougars instead decided to go with new free agent signing Matt Asiata. The Utah product who was with the Minnesota Vikings the past few years wasn’t great, with only 24 yards rushing on 10 carries, but he did have a receiving touchdown in his debut.
Maualuga joins Cougars too
Veteran linebacker Rey Maualuga was another mid-week signing by the Louisville Cougars. Louisville needed somebody to improve their front seven. While Louisville lose, Maualuga had five tackles as the team held the Orcas in relative check.
Ronnie Hillman also gets SFL shot
The Stars are another team struggling to find some consistency at running back. After unsuccessfully listing some running backs on their trade blocks, the Stars decided to sign former Denver Broncos running back Ronnie Hillman. His debut wasn’t great either, as he rushed for only 41 yards and 2.9 yards per carry, but the Stars won their game against the Minnesota Freeze, 25-23.
Predators release Charles, trade for Alfred Morris
In an interesting move to try to bolster their running game, the Birmingham Predators released Jamaal Charles, who wasn’t that bad this year, and traded a talented rookie, Alex Collins, for struggling veteran Alfred Morris. Morris had just 278 yards and two touchdown through four games, averaging 3.2 yards per carry. Charles had been averaging 4.7 yards per carry and had three touchdowns. Morris rushed for only 17 yards on eight carries in his debut with Birmingham. Collins did not play for Atlanta.
Preds look for o-line help
In more moves designed to improve Birmingham’s running game, the Predators used the cap space created by Jamaal Charles’ release to sign veteran NFL left tackle Ryan Clady to a two-year deal worth $2.5 million. He also traded for Wayne Tribue. Tribue had been having a solid season for the Dallas Six-Shooters, but they really seemed to overpay for him, sending a second and third round pick to Dallas, as well as wide receiver Kenny Bell.
Generals trade for Mettenberger
After benching Zach Mettenberger, the New Orleans Nightmare traded him to the Carolina Generals for a third and a fifth round draft pick in this year’s draft. The Generals proclaimed Mettenberger as their future franchise quarterback. He still has the greatest passing game in the history of the year last year when he threw for over 600 yards and 10 touchdowns, but he’s been purely mediocre since. Nick Davila had over 450 yards and four touchdowns in his second game starting for New Orleans to further confirm their correct decision to move on from their struggling LSU star.