Week Six Power Rankings
1. Seattle Orcas (5-1) – No Change
Last Week: W – @ Philadelphia – 24-7
It was a battle of two of the best teams in the league and the two best running backs, and Isaiah Crowell beat Jay Ajayi and led the Orcas to a victory over the Bulldogs. Crowell had 269 yards and two touchdowns, just another marvelous game. Their secondary was also incredible, holding Michael Vick to only eight completions and 56 yards passing. The Orcas further established themselves as they very best team in the league.
2. Orlando Rockets (5-1) – No Change
Last Week: W – @ Birmingham – 48-47
Trevor Harris has gotten better and better and he had a special game against Birmingham’s weak secondary. Eric Rogers had 181 yards and three touchdowns receiving and two more receivers were near 100 yards. It was a huge game for Orlando and they needed all of those points because Dak Prescott was marvelous.
3. Washington Wave (5-1) – Up 1
Last Week: W – @ Los Angeles – 44-36
What an amazing turnaround story this season is for Washington, now winners of five straight games. Are they the best team in the Empire Conference? It’s very possible. At the very least, Tyreek Hill is the most dynamic playmaker in the league right now. He’s so dangerous and contributing in a bunch of different ways.
4. Philadelphia Bulldogs (4-2) – Down 1
Last Week: L – Seattle – 24-7
It might not have been Michael Vick’s struggles, but instead probably just Seattle’s greatness. The Orcas secondary is the best and deepest in the league. Vick isn’t a young stud anymore and he couldn’t make any big plays against it.
5. Los Angeles Stars (4-2) – No Change
Last Week: L – Washington – 44-36
The Stars shouldn’t fret over their loss, but it was one they needed to keep up with Seattle, but while their passing game is amazing, their running game is dreadful and their secondary is really a liability. They’ll outscore opponents, unless that opponent can put up loads of points too, because they won’t stop many teams and definitely don’t be grinding down the clock.
6. Michigan Stags (4-2) – Up 1
Last Week: W – @ Dallas – 23-12
This was the Stags defense that we’ve all expected all year long. Matt Judon had the best game of his rookie season and that pressure never let Dallas’ offense to get into a rhythm.
7. San Antonio Marshalls (3-3) – Up 1
Last Week: W – @ Charleston – 37-6
While their offense is always the story, San Antonio’s pass rush was big in this game and never allowed a struggling Dragons offense to get going. John Bowman, Alex Okafor, Teddy Jennings…those guys were in the backfield and it really made Kellen Moore almost a non-factor. And when you make the opposing quarterback a non-factor, there is no chance for that team.
8. New Orleans Nightmare (4-2) – Up 2
Last Week: W – @ Columbus – 23-15
Just a few weeks ago the Nightmare were near the very bottom of these power rankings but Nick Davila has them inside the Top 10. It wasn’t the best performance he’s had, but he’s still providing the consistency the Nightmare need under center. And that consistency on offense is really helping their defense, which had a very big game against Columbus, limiting their big plays.
9. Birmingham Predators (3-3) – No Change
Last Week: L – Orlando – 48-47
It’s very rare, but for his seven touchdown performance Dak Prescott will take the Offensive Player of the Week award despite losing. He was incredible, but again, the problem was it was all Dak. The rest of the team just isn’t providing enough to break through in these tough games. Their defense, especially has been pretty worrisome all year long.
10. Carolina Generals (4-2) – Up 1
Last Week: W – Louisville – 22-19
The passing game has come back down to life, but Erik Meyer did a great job to lead a comeback. The offense did stall a couple of times and they had to settle for field goals, but still, Meyer had 314 yards and got both Marques Colston and Zach Miller over 100 yards receiving.
11. Pittsburgh Forge (3-3) – Up 1
Last Week: W – @ New York – 27-25
It was a scary fourth quarter as they watched their secondary get beat and New York take the lead, but then Jon Jennings made a huge throw down the field to set up the game-winning field goal and Pittsburgh escaped with a huge run they really needed to keep pace in a tough Atlantic Division.
12. Nashville Renegades (3-3) – Up 3
Last Week: W – Omaha – 23-6
Eleven sacks? Holy…. If there is any way to guarantee a victory it’s getting 11 sacks. On top of that, Jordan Howard had a fantastic game with 231 yards and two touchdowns. It was a big win, but at the same time it will be impossible to repeat that kind of performance.
13. Columbus Explorers (3-3) – Down 7
Last Week: L – New Orleans – 23-15
Tyrelle Pryor had a very good game on the ground, but once again he proved to be their only real threat on offense. The Explorers have had guys come up big in games, but it’s not consistent in any way and it’s hurting them this year.
14. Phoenix Scorpions (3-3) – Up 3
Last Week: W – Houston – 28-9
What has gotten into this Phoenix team all of a sudden? They’ve won three straight games and after a miserable start to the year passing the ball their passing attack has been one of the best in the league recently. Mike Reilly threw for over 400 yards and four touchdowns. It’s surprising to see their running game struggling so much, but they are getting the ball down the field very well right now.
15. Atlanta Firebirds (3-3) – Up 1
Last Week: W – Minnesota – 31-17
Matt Barkley silenced some doubters with a big performance, but it was against a struggling Minnesota team. Still, 300-plus yards and four passing touchdowns is a great game and got the Firebirds back to .500.
16. Charleston Dragons (2-4) – Down 3
Last Week: L – San Antonio – 37-6
The retooled offensive line wasn’t good this game and it killed Charleston from the start. Kellen Moore faced a lot of pressure and did not have enough time to let his receivers get down the field. And because they were playing from behind, the Dragons couldn’t grind down the Marshalls and steal an upset victory like how they beat Seattle.
17. New York Marauders (2-4) – Down 3
Last Week: L – Pittsburgh – 27-25
New York couldn’t build off last week’s success and get another victory. They just couldn’t close. They had a tremendous comeback in the fourth quarter, but their secondary couldn’t make the big stop late in the game and then it set up the game-winning field goal. The loss really does hurt, though, with Washington at 5 wins, Philadelphia at 4 and Pittsburgh now in third place with three wins. New York is now in fourth and it’ll be hard for them to make up the games.
18. Omaha Express (2-4) – No Change
Last Week: L – @ Nashville – 23-6
The Express should fire their offensive line coach after that embarrassment. The Express gave up 11 sacks. There was zero chance for a victory when the quarterback is on their backs that much.
19. Houston Wranglers (2-4) – No Change
Last Week: L – @ Phoenix – 28-9
Houston’s offense continues to struggle despite solid play from Connor Cook, but now they are starting to sell off some pieces. Veteran Roddy White was traded, but they did add a veteran running back in Tyrell Sutton. It’ll be interesting to see what that change leads to.
20. Louisville Cougars (1-5) – No Change
Last Week: L – @ Carolina – 22-19
Louisville had the better start, but they couldn’t close and it resulted in another close loss. This Cougars team clearly has some talent and is close to getting victories, but their running game is still killing them. Without the ability to grind the ball down they couldn’t run the clock out in the fourth quarter and let Carolina comeback for the win.
21. Dallas Six-Shooters (1-5) – No Change
Last Week: L – Michigan – 23-12
The quarterback position continues to be pretty unsettles. The Six-Shooters might be realizing that Trevone Boykin isn’t ready for the starting job yet. It’s not a bad thing that he may be benched going forward, but James Franklin was much better. Still, he came in too late and the offense still struggled to get going against a very tough Michigan defense.
22. Minnesota Freeze (0-6) – No Change
Last Week: L – @ Atlanta – 31-17
We might be a ways away from Minnesota getting their first victory. They did play better, but by getting into a whole the Freeze had to throw to come back and without a running game to keep the defense even the least bit honest, Josh McCown faced tough matchups and couldn’t be Superman.
Week Six Awards
Offensive Player of the Week
QB Dak Prescott, Birmingham Predators
32-for-40 (80%), 374 Pass Yards, 4 Pass TDs, 75 Yards Yards (7.5 YPC), 3 Rush TDs
Defensive Player of the Week
DT Watson Tautuiaki, Nashville Renegades
6 Tackles, 4 Sacks, 3 Hurries, 1 FF
Special Teams Player of the Week
RET Tyreek Hill, Washington Wave
5 KR, 238 KR Yards (47.6 YPR), 1 KR TD (103 Yards)
Rookie of the Week
QB Dak Prescott, Birmingham Predators
32-for-40 (80%), 374 Pass Yards, 4 Pass TDs, 75 Yards Yards (7.5 YPC), 3 Rush TDs
Week Seven Preview
Louisville Cougars @ Atlanta Firebirds
Louisville has been close and it’s going to be a tough road trip for them this week. But this might be the game for them. Atlanta’s defense and lack of running game haven’t give them much stopping power and that might cost them. The Firebirds are fairly inconsistent and it’s hard to know what to expect from them week to week.
Pick: Louisville Cougars
Dallas Six-Shooters @ Orlando Rockets
This might be a bad blowout and over pretty quick. Trevor Harris might be due a letdown game, but it won’t be against a secondary that gives up a lot of yards like Dallas does.
Pick: Orlando Rockets
Birmingham Predators @ Carolina Generals
As great as Erik Meyer has been, he’s slowed down and the talented rookie Dak Prescott his coming off his best game of the year so far, even despite the losing effort. Birmingham takes this one as Carolina continues to sink.
Pick: Birmingham Predators
Charleston Dragons @ Washington Wave
Charleston has a tough defense, but they really don’t have an offense that can keep pace with the Washington Wave.
Pick: Washington Wave
Los Angeles Stars @ Michigan Stags
This will be a great chessmatch of a high-octane passing offense against a team that thrives because of their secondary and a running game that grinds down defenses. It’ll probably be a close game, but the Stags will need Zach Collaros to get the ball down the field consistently against an offense like Los Angeles, even just as the team’s second option, but they won’t score fast enough with the running game. If they fall behind, it will be tough for them to catch back up without Collaros.
Pick: Michigan Stags
New Orleans Nightmare @ Houston Wranglers
We’ll have to wait and see what Tyrell Sutton’s impact can be for the Wrangler’s offense, but the Wranglers have given no signs so far this year to being able to keep up with the new Nick Davila-led Nightmare offense.
Pick: New Orleans Nightmare
Minnesota Freeze @ San Antonio Marshalls
Minnesota is searching for their first victory, but it won’t come against the San Antonio Marshalls. The Freeze are overmatched.
Pick: San Antonio Marshalls
Omaha Express @ Phoenix Scorpions (@ Arizona Stadium in Tuscon, Arizona)
The Scorpions are going to be playing at a different in-state venue, but their pass rush talent should still shine against an Express offensive line that just gave up 11 sacks last week. Combined with the resurgence of the Mike Reilly-led passing game, Omaha may not be able to keep up.
Pick: Phoenix Scorpions
Nashville Renegades @ Seattle Orcas
Maybe this will be a battle between the two best running backs in the league, Jordan Howard certainly might believe so. If Nashville can grind down Seattle with their power running game and keep Isaiah Crowell off the field, it will bode well for them. They probably won’t have as dominant a pass rush effort against a much better Orcas offensive line, but they could get in the backfield. That was the recipe for upsetting Seattle as given by Charleston, but it’s still impossible to pick against the Orcas at home.
Pick: Seattle Orcas
Columbus Explorers @ New York Marauders
This historic Atlantic Division rivalry is renewed as an inter-conference game, but the flair may not be there. Both teams have been pretty disappointing this year. Both still have a lot of talent, however. But it does seem like New York has more ways to be successful, even though they’ve only have two victories this year. Home Field advantage will be in their benefit too.
Pick: New York Marauders
Philadelphia Bulldogs @ Pittsburgh Forge
The big in-state division rivalry game will be a very important one for both teams as they fight to keep up with the Washington Wave. Philadelphia is coming off a very disappointing loss, but the Forge don’t have nearly as good of a defense as Seattle does. Pittsburgh nearly blew their game last week, but got a comeback victory. They’ll have a hard time trying to do that again.
Pick: Philadelphia Bulldogs
Philly and Houston make big deal
While Roddy White has been relatively disappointing compared to the massive contract he has, the Philadelphia Bulldogs have added his veteran presence to an offense that is looking for a consistent chain-movie in their receiving corp. And for his services, they will pay a heavy price but got him relatively cheap. The centerpiece of the trade for White was running back Tyrell Sutton. Philadelphia traded for Sutton in a draft-day deal but he never got a carry in a backfield that is dominated by Jay Ajayi. His only contributions have come as a kick returner. Backup defensive end Ceasar Rayford and disappointing cornerback JaCorey Shephered were also traded.
The Wranglers look to upgrade over rookie Paul Perkins in the backfield, who has displayed good flashed, but hasn’t proven to be ready to take over as the lead guy. White was the second receiving option on the Wranglers, but only had 32 receptions for 276 yards and one touchdown through six games. The Wranglers also traded running back Chris Rainey, who had 51 rushing yards one five carries so far this year.
Trade deadline approaching
The annual trade deadline will Tuesday, June 13 at 11:59 pm EST.
Cut deadline comes
Owners voted to allowed teams to take on a released player’s entire salary cap hit for the season, instead of over the duration of the remaining contract, should they be released during the first eight weeks. That means any release after Tuesday, June 20 at 11:59 EST would have to be have the cap hit spread throughout the rest of the deal.
Draft City chosen
The SFL season is not even halfway through, but the site for the 2017 SFL Draft has been chosen by the commissioner. While the SFL Grand Finale will celebrate the league’s expansion to St. Louis, this year’s draft will be hosted in one of the cities of the league’s original franchises: Dallas, Texas.
SFL Grand Finale Halftime Concert announced
To nobody’s surprise, the SFL Grand Finale being hosted in St. Louis will feature one of the cities’ most famous musicians singing at halftime. Rap star Nelly will headline the halftime shot, but he will share the stage with fellow rap star T.I.