Week Seven Power Rankings
1. Seattle Orcas (6-1) – No Change
Last Week: W – Nashville – 34-7
Just how good is Isaiah Crowell? He had another great game, with 190 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. He’s the heart and soul of the team and that heart is as healthy and strong as ever. The defense also proved to be an impossible one for Nashville to break. Jordan Howard was limited to only 76 yards and AJ McCarron was held out of the endzone too.
2. Orlando Rockets (6-1) – No Change
Last Week: W – Dallas – 30-28
Orlando has been dealing with injuries in their backfield but their depth at running back hasn’t let it affect them. Andre Ellington had 110 yards rushing and Robert Kelley got the two goal line touchdowns. That, combined with Trevor Harris’ efficiency was a winning formula.
3. Michigan Stags (5-2) – Up 3
Last Week: W – Los Angeles – 20-13
The defense was dynamite and the offense was led by a running game that combined for 224 yards and two touchdowns. It’s the formula the Stags want to win by and it let to a very nice win against a very tough Los Angeles team.
4. New Orleans Nightmare (5-2) – Up 4
Last Week: W – @ Houston – 38-3
Their pass rush pressure forced Houston rookie Connor Cook into several mistakes, including three interceptions. New Orleans used those mistakes to build up a huge lead and rolled over their divisional opponents. And this time, it was a very strong running game that helped shut the Wranglers down in the second half, by grinding the ball down the field, running clock and keeping their offense off the field.
5. Washington Wave (5-2) – Down 2
Last Week: L – Charleston – 10-3
Just when we thought Washington’s offense was getting to a point of unstoppable, they score only three points. Wave owner Chuck McBrearty’s teams just cannot figure out how to beat Charleston. Tyreek Hill was held to under 100 yards and without any big plays. He averaged just 8.4 yards per catch. Ryan Fitzpatrick had only 170 yards passing.
6. Carolina Generals (5-2) – Up 4
Last Week: W – Birmingham – 23-16
It’s been all about offense for the Generals this year, but their defense was fantastic in the second half, shutting out a Dak Prescott-led for the final 25 minutes of the game. If their defense continues to play at that level then the Carolina Generals are going to continue to be a threat in the second half of the season.
7. San Antonio Marshalls (4-3) – No Change
Last Week: W – Minnesota – 31-22
Bo Levi Mitchell proved the torched has been passed as he out-dueled Josh McCown to a victory. Mitchell had 302 yards and two touchdowns, this with a relatively disappointing rushing effort. But he got the job done and San Antonio continues to stay right in the playoff hunt with a 4-3 record.
8. Pittsburgh Forge (4-3) – Up 3
Last Week: W – Philadelphia – 41-35
The home team in the in-state rivalry game got the big victory and it put them in the lead for the Empire Conference Wildcard. Jon Jennings was just masterful, passing for 393 yards and five touchdowns. Pittsburgh needed all of them as they couldn’t slow down Jay Ajayi, but it was enough for the huge win.
9. Philadelphia Bulldogs (4-3) –Up 5
Last Week: L – @ Pittsburgh – 41-35
It was a second straight loss for the Bulldogs and not only are they off the top of the division, but they are in third place and have to make up some ground on the Wildcard spot. It’s still a long season, but they can’t be happy with their defense, that was shredded by Jon Jennings for nearly 400 yards and five touchdowns.
10. Phoenix Scorpions (4-3) – Up 4
Last Week: W – Omaha – 28-9
Phoenix is on fire, earning their fourth straight victory. Richie Leone was the scoring early on with five field goals, but Mike Reilly and Adrian Peterson did their job to get down the field and eventually put the game away with touchdowns from each. The Scorpions defense and pass rush were getting after Tim Tebow and left him with just a miserable game.
11. Columbus Explorers (4-3) – Up 2
Last Week: W – @ New York – 19-10
It’s been an up-and-down season for Columbus but they were up against New York, holding them to only 10 points in the game. That defense led the way, which is pretty typical of a Colin Durina team, but they just need to be a bit more explosive on offense at a more consistent level if they really want to push for the playoffs.
12. Los Angeles Stars (4-3) – Down 7
Last Week: L – @ Michigan – 20-13
Case Keenum threw the ball 48 times, but completed less than half his passes against a great Stags secondary. At least Troymaine Pope gave them some sort of threat out of the backfield. Still, it wasn’t nearly enough. Michigan’s defense refused to let the Stars make a comeback.
13. Atlanta Firebirds (4-3) – Up 2
Last Week: W – Louisville – 35-0
Maybe the full commitment to Matt Barkley was what this Firebirds team needed. Aaron Murray was disgruntled, and Barkley was looking over his shoulder. Owner Chris Dunn said Barkley is absolutely his guy, and now traded Murray to get rid of the distraction. The 35-0 victory was the result and showed just how dangerous their passing game. Barkley had 337 yards passing and two touchdowns.
14. Charleston Dragons (3-4) – Up 2
Last Week: W – @ Washington – 10-3
Give Charleston no chance at winning against a top opponent in the league and they’ll pull off the upset. It’s pretty amazing that they’ve done this a few times, also beating Seattle and a surging New Orleans team. Their defense has proven they can come up big in games, but their offense just won’t be the reason they win. Aaron Murray was solid, but not particularly good in his debut.
15. Birmingham Predators (3-4) – Down 6
Last Week: L – @ Carolina – 23-16
After losing back-to-back one-point games, Birmingham blew a second half lead as they lost their third in a row. The Predators led 16-10 five minutes into the second half, but never scored again as Carolina ended up pulling ahead for the win. We’re starting to really see this season and the lack of help wearing on Dak Prescott. The Predators were shutout for the final 25 minutes of the game.
16. Nashville Renegades (3-4) – Down 7
Last Week: L – @ Seattle – 34-7
Jordan Howard wanted to prove himself head-to-head against Isaiah Crowell in this game, but just couldn’t get going, and as the team fell behind they had to focus on passing. Nashville needs to improve their defense, that’s the biggest reason for their inconsistency this year.
17. New York Marauders (2-5) – No Change
Last Week: L – Columbus – 19-10
New York has plenty of talent, but no consistency. Stefon Diggs continues to be a great, and the defense continues to have pretty solid performances. However, the running game, even reshuffled, is struggling and Ryan Nassib just doesn’t quite see to have the ‘it’ factor to take this team to the level it could be at.
18. Omaha Express (2-5) – No Change
Last Week: L – @ Phoenix – 28-9
The Express couldn’t get anything going in this game. Tim Tebow just didn’t have it and he didn’t have any help. Eventually, their defense just couldn’t hold the Scorpions out of the endzone as they pulled away from Omaha in the end.
19. Houston Wranglers (2-5) – No Change
Last Week: L – New Orleans – 38-3
Tyrell Sutton had only 15 yards rushing and 95 all-purpose yards in a disappointing debut for his new team. Without an improved running game, Connor Cook made mistakes and was picked off three times in the first half, which led New Orleans build a huge lead as they ran away with the win.
20. Louisville Cougars (1-6) – No Change
Last Week: L – @ Atlanta – 35-0
All those steps forward went crashing back for the Cougars as they were shutout by the Atlanta Firebirds in Georgia. Jeremiah Masoli was held to only 138 total yards and didn’t score. So far, he’s been their only hope for victory. Without him having even a decent game, Louisville did nothing.
21. Dallas Six-Shooters (1-6) – No Change
Last Week: L – @ Orlando – 30-23
It appears James Franklin has taken over as the starting quarterback in Dallas and it led to a better offensive game, but still, the Six-Shooters lost. It will be interesting to see what he can do with this squad against an opponent that isn’t as great as Orlando, though.
22. Minnesota Freeze (0-7) – No Change
Last Week: L – @ San Antonio – 31-22
As Minnesota is still searching for their first win, there is now unsettled ownership, with Rick Sullivan saying he probably won’t keep the team for a second year (citing lack of time to commit). It’s disappointing, but just more adversity the Freeze must face.
Week Seven Awards
Offensive Player of the Week
QB Jon Jennings, Pittsburgh Forge
29-for-36 (80.5%), 393 Pass Yards, 5 Pass TDs
Defensive Player of the Week
DT Mike Patterson, Carolina Generals
6 Tackles, 2 Sacks, 5 Hurries
Special Teams Player of the Week
Trindon Holliday, Atlanta Firebirds
6 KR, 103 Yards (17.2 YPR), 1 KR TD (82 Yards)
Rookie of the Week
LB Cory James, Washington Wave
14 Tackles, 2 TFL, 1 FF
Week Eight Preview
New York Marauders @ Philadelphia Bulldogs
The Marauders season is on the brink, but can they save it with an upset of Philadelphia? If they don’t, they’ll be at least four games back with eight games left. If the do, they still are in a hole but have a bit of life. But Philly needs this win too. The Bulldogs fell out of the top four for the playoffs. Jay Ajayi will be on a mission to get them back on track. But does Michael Vick still have that ability or is he slowing down?
Pick: Philadelphia Bulldogs
Birmingham Predators @ Washington Wave
Birmingham has lost three straight games because the help just isn’t there for Dak Prescott. Washington will be looking to bounce back from a loss to the Charleston Dragons. That loss came because of the Dragons defense. Birmingham has nothing close to that good of a defense that can slow the Wave down.
Pick: Washington Wave
Atlanta Firebirds @ Charleston Dragons
Atlanta is playing quite well right now and will look to keep their momentum going against the Dragons. But it is rather interesting that despite coming off a 35-0 victory to get back into the playoff hunt they announced they’d be willing to trade reigning league MVP Allen Hurns. We’ll see if that unsettles a locker room that seemed to be settled after trading a disgruntled Aaron Murray. Charleston is coming off a huge win over a top-notch Wave team. Their defense could slow Atlanta, but their struggles with consistency may prevent them from winning.
Pick: Atlanta Firebirds
Columbus Explorers @ Orlando Rockets
Orlando his hitting on all cylinders right now and just don’t look like they’ll be beaten even by a Columbus team that is starting to get some wins. The Rockets just have more ways to win a game and their disciplined, well-rounded unit won’t likely be beaten by the one-man Terrelle Pryor show.
New Orleans Nightmare @ Pittsburgh Forge
Pittsburgh is coming off a really big win over Philadelphia and their offense has proven it can be as good as any in the league, but New Orleans is playing we well as any team in the league right now, winning four straight games with a defense that is proving to be a capable shutdown unit. That will be an interesting battle between their defense and the Forge offense, but the Nightmare offense should be able to have a lot of success against the Pittsburgh defense.
Pick: New Orleans Nightmare
Seattle Orcas @ Carolina Generals
Carolina got back in the win column last week, but still have definitely slowed down. Seattle, meanwhile, hasn’t. And their defense has yet to allow 70 total points through seven weeks. Unless Erik Meyer goes back to what he was in the beginning of the year it’ll be very tough for the Generals to pull off the upset.
Pick: Seattle Orcas
Houston Wranglers @ Omaha Express
Two expansion teams toiling near the bottom of the standings; neither team probably has much hope for the playoffs, but this will certainly be about pride. Omaha has been tough at home. Houston’s rookie Connor Cook has been pretty solid this year. Where is my coin to flip?
Pick: Omaha Express
Michigan Stags @ Minnesota Freeze
Minnesota’s new ownership has already collapsed. Carlton Jefcoat will take over at least temporarily so we’ll see if they play inspired, but it doesn’t seem possible that they can beat the Michigan Stags, which are among the very best teams in the league and are coming off four wins in their last five games.
Los Angeles Stars @ Phoenix Scorpions
The Scorpions have won four straight games to get into the playoff picture and the Los Angeles Stars are starting to fall out with back-to-back losses. It’ll be a battle between two teams that are trending in very different directions. The Scorpions passing game has proven to be able to keep up with anybody these past fe weeks. If their pass rush goes they’ll make things really tough for the Stars, which can only win by passing.
Pick: Phoenix Scorpions
Dallas Six-Shooters @ San Antonio Marshalls
On paper, it’s a total mismatch, but the great rivalry games tend to never have those things matter. This will be a tough game, but don’t expect the hapless Six-Shooters to pull off an upset on the road in San Antonio.
Pick: San Antonio Marshalls
Nashville Renegades @ Louisville Cougars
While Louisville had been competitive, they were shutout and blown out by the Atlanta Firebirds. Nashville has been struggling lately but this rivalry game should still have some fire in it. Nashville’s owner and Cougars owner Alex Gray really don’t like each other so you can bet they’ll be scheme up stuff we haven’t seen before. Plus, these teams have traded a lot so they both have players with something to prove.
Pick: Nashville Renegades
Minnesota ownership group collapses
When the league found a Twins-Cities based ownership group to take over the Minnesota Freeze it was a proud day in the offseason, but that ownership group just hasn’t worked out. The league has announced Rick Sullivan will no longer operate the Minnesota Freeze. However, San Antonio Marshalls owner Carlton Jefcoat will take over the team temporarily, as he did with the Los Angeles Stars in the offseason, until a new ownership group is found.
Trade Deadline extended
In reaction to the news of an ownership change, the SFL trade deadline has been extended until Thursday, June 15 at 11:59 PM EST.
Big names on the trade block
The trade deadline is nearing and two big-named wide receivers are known to be on the trade block. The New York Marauders are accepting offers for wide receiver Brandon Coleman, who this year has 24 receptions for 358 yards and two touchdowns. Last year he led the Marauders with 61 receptions, 1,104 yards and 13 touchdowns.
The Atlanta Firebirds have also said they will accept offers for reigning MVP Allen Hurns, though admitted that the price tag will be extremely high and they are not overly likely to make a deal. This year, with a new quarterback, Hurns hasn’t been as great, catching just 35 passes for 559 yards and eight touchdowns through seven weeks. Last year he shattered records with 102 receptions for 2,205 yards and 25 touchdowns.
RUMOR: Dallas on the market for a QB
Without a quarterback proven capable of leading the team, the Dallas Six-Shooters may be on the market for a quarterback. One rumor has them showing interest in SFL veteran Josh McCown, who is currently winless in Minnesota. Another rumor has them linked to Ricky Ray, another league veteran, who was benched in Orlando. A step below them, Matt Flynn’s name has been mentioned as a potential option.