Week 3 Power Rankings
1. San Antonio Marshalls (3-0) – Up 2
W – Pittsburgh Forge – 41-30
The first huge victory of the season came in the Alamodome where Bo Levi Mitchell went head-to-head against Jon Jennings and the two remarkable gunslingers dueled it out, but the Marshalls, with Mitchell and rookie D’Onta Foreman leading the way, dominated the visiting Forge. The game was not even as close as the 41-30 score might look with two of Pittsburgh’s touchdowns coming in garbage time in the final four minutes of the game.
2. Atlanta Firebirds (3-0) – Down 1
W – Minnesota Freeze – 31-10
Atlanta goes down one spot despite another one-sided win, but strength of schedule is factoring in a bit here. The Firebirds’ victories over Birmingham and Los Angeles look less and less impressive as the season goes on. Still, Atlanta has very few flaws with an offense loaded with weapons and a defense that has shut every team down so far. Give them credit too for making these early opponents look so awful as well.
3. Michigan Stags (3-0) – Down 1
W – @ Houston Wranglers – 26-0
Michigan also drops down one spot despite a shutout victory, but again, their three opponents are just 1-8 to start the year. They may have figured out their running game a bit by letting Marlon Mack used his superior athleticism more than the grinding Thomas Rawls, but the more Zach Collaros keeps showing his ability as a passer the more you have to believe the Stags can take the next step and truly contend for a title.
4. Seattle Orcas (3-0) – No Change
W – @ Utah Raptors – 27-17
Isaiah Crowell faced a team that completely stacked the box and still managed 136 yards at 5.4 yards per carry. His backup Dwayne Washington also had success with 63 yards and a touchdown at a 5.7 yards per carry average. Seattle’s run game and defense remain as strong as ever. As long as Ryan Griffin don’t hurt them, which he hasn’t, they will continue to win a ton of games.
5. Pittsburgh Forge (2-1) – No Change
L – @ San Antonio Marshalls – 41-30
While Jon Jennings still ended up with 414 yards and three touchdowns, he showed he certainly isn’t flawless and threw three interceptions that did take his team out of the game. The Forge were not as close to the Marshalls as that score says as two of Jennings’ touchdowns were late after the game was long decided, but this team still has massive firepower and will score a lot of points. Their road loss to a great team does not knock them down any.
6. Dallas Six-Shooters (3-0) – Up 1
W – Mississippi Cottonmouths – 31-14
Dallas has more weapons than they appear to have and their defense has been playing a bit better than expected through three weeks and now they are 3-0, one of six unbeaten teams. But will James Franklin keep his strong play up for the duration of the season? He’s been really, really good, and performed well again with 258 yards and two touchdowns. Look out for Austin Ekeler keeping and early pace in the Rookie of the Year race.
7. Orlando Rockets (1-2) – Up 3
W – @ Boston Dragons – 28-7
Trevor Harris is back under center and the Rockets dominated their opponents. Trevor Harris threw for 247 yards and four touchdowns in his first game back as the starter. It’s sad to see the Ricky Ray era be finished, but it’s finished and Harris is ready to ascend into the elite group of quarterbacks. He helped the Rockets defense get better too as drives went longer and the Dragons weren’t able to run as much as they had to play catch up.
8. Carolina Generals (2-1) – No Change
W – New Orleans Nightmare – 31-24
That’s what the Generals have been waiting for out of Colin Kaepernick. After being perhaps the worst quarterback in the league through the first two weeks, Kaepernick showed his explosive ability with 242 passing yards and three touchdowns with another 156 yards and a score on the ground. Zach Miller, who has been one of the best weapons in the league for a while, was finally utilized and able to
9. Omaha Express (2-1) – Up 2
W – Philadelphia Bulldogs – 19-16
Maybe they were helped by a very bad performance by Bryce Petty, but the Omaha Express defense showed their great power against the defending champion Bulldogs. Far more impressive than holding a troubled Petty to just 89 yards passing, the Express held a dominant Jay Ajayi to only 55 yards and 2.5 yards per carry. Meanwhile, offensively, they showed more of a commitment to a dual-threat backfield to better utilize both Rex Burkhead and LeGarrette Blount. They are their biggest weapons and as long as Matt Moore isn’t hurting the team, the Express are going to get some impressive victories.
10. St. Louis Stallions (3-0) – Up 2
W – San Diego Diablos – 26-16
St. Louis is unexpectedly 3-0. Their quality of opponents certainly hasn’t been very impressive, but the efforts they have gotten out of Zach Mettenberger and their backfield has been. Through three games Mettenberger ranks second in the league with both 927 yards passing and eight passing touchdowns. He very well may end up running away with comeback player of the year honors if he keeps that up. Their running game was more of Anthony Wales than Alfred Blue this week, but it just shows another weapon they have. Their defense probably won’t hold up against better teams, but their offense probably will.
11. Philadelphia Bulldogs (2-1) – Down 5
L – @ Omaha Express – 19-16
Bryce Petty finally cost the Bulldogs a game and his performance through three weeks has made the team so desperate that they are bringing in Mark Sanchez. When you’re ‘upgrading’ with Mark Sanchez, that isn’t a great sign. But don’t expect Jay Ajayi to be limited to just 2.5 yards per carry much, and even despite that and Petty’s terrible performance, their defense kept the Bulldogs in the game until the end.
12. New York Marauders (2-1) – Up 3
W – @ Columbus Explorers – 17-13
Two big things the Marauders wanted to improve this year were their rushing offense and their rush defense. Through three weeks they rank second in the league in rushing offense and are top 10 in run defense. Against Columbus, they saw rookie Devante Mays spell in and dominate with 104 of the team’s 209 yards rushing. Late in the game that opened up opportunities for Vad Lee to throw two touchdowns. Lee wasn’t very good, though, but he picked his spots and the team’s defense dominated Columbus and helped them pick up a very good road victory.
13. Boston Dragons (2-1) – No Change
L – Orlando Rockets – 28-7
Andre Ellington couldn’t exact his revenge on his old team as the Dragons fell victim to a Trevor Harris returning to the starting lineup. After four early touchdowns, the Dragons had no choice but to pass the ball to keep up and that took the ball out of Ellington’s hands. Boston just doesn’t have the weapons in the passing game to win that kind of game.
14. Columbus Explorers (1-2) – Down 6
L – New York Marauders – 17-13
It’s going to be up and down for the Explorers this season with rookies Joshua Dobbs and Alvin Kamara leading the way. Dobbs had only 148 total yards in the game and turned the ball over twice. With his struggles, the Explorers couldn’t take advantage of a poor effort out of Vad Lee and suffered a disappointing home defeat.
15. Louisville Cougars (2-1) – Up 4
W – @ Iowa Threshers – 17-12
The Cougars have picked up back-to-back wins, which wasn’t very expected. Jeremiah Masoli had a very nice game and they were finally able to get Julian Edelman really involved, which is what they need to do because just about every game he’s the best player on the field. Iowa wasn’t exactly the strongest of competition, but keep in mind that win over Utah in Week 2. This team might not be so bad, but it’s hard to imagine them being a double-digit win team contending for any playoffs.
16. Memphis Bombers (1-2) – Up 7
W – @ Washington Wave – 26-24
With an investment in their special teams the Memphis Bombers were able to get their first victory. LaMichael James averaged 37.8 yards per return on kick returns and Matt Wiley averaged 51.5 yards per punt. Without a terrible field position game the entire time, they were able to run more and Jordan Howard had 201 yards and a touchdown. He’s one of the best young backs in the league looking to break into stardom. The Bombers have talent, but just needed that special teams investment and they got it.
17. New Orleans Nightmare (0-3) – No Change
L – @ Carolina Generals – 31-24
While Brad Kaaya finally stepped up and had a big game, passing for 325 yards and two touchdowns, the Nightmare were unable to get a victory after their typically strong defense struggled against the Generals. They are hoping and praying that Aaron Murray coming back will help everything be better and they’ll get back on track for the playoffs.
18. Mississippi Cottonmouths (1-2) – Down 2
L – @ Dallas Six-Shooters – 31-14
Mississippi ran into a tremendous matchup against a down Orlando squad last week, but ran into a tough Dallas team this week. Expect a lot of up and down from Mississippi. That’s how most young teams turn out, they can put it all together one week and play great, then the next some guys struggle and the team loses. Mississippi just has to grow through the pains.
19. Utah Raptors (1-2) – Up 1
L – Seattle Orcas – 27-17
Utah is furious that despite playing a 5-3 defense and keying the run just about every down that they still gave up 209 yards on the ground to Seattle. The Raptors offense also still hasn’t performed up to expectations. Mike Reilly was given a slight break since he went up against Seattle, but he must step up fast to keep in good graces with ownership. The Raptors rank 21st in the league in offense and 23rd in run defense. Those are unacceptable numbers.
20. Washington Wave (0-3) – Down 2
L – Memphis Bombers – 26-14
While Ryan Nassib has been quite disappointing in Washington, so much so that there are even rumblings of the Wave benching him, the real problem has been the defense. The Wave allowed 215 yards on the ground at a 5.7 yards per carry average. Their defense ranks among the worst in the league in every area. They aren’t going to win many games that way.
21. Minnesota Freeze (0-3) – No Change
L – @ Atlanta Firebirds – 31-10
Josh McCown hasn’t dropped completely off like Ricky Ray has in Orlando, but it might be time to trade him before it’s too late. The Freeze just aren’t going to win with him because they need way more than what they have. Trading the guys who have value would be wise. We will see what they do, but it will be hard to see them getting consistent victories with their current squad.
22. Birmingham Predators (1-2) – Up 3
W – Los Angeles Stars – 10-3
Birmingham got their first victory of the season, but are they happy about just 10 points scored in a game? The Predators owner even faked a career-ending injury to get off his own roster. Dak Prescott needs to play better, but he also needs help. It’s clear this team lacks much talent and has virtually no depth. And their defense was less about success and more about their opponent not playing well.
23. Los Angeles Stars (1-2) – Down 9
L – @ Birmingham Predators – 10-3
Through three games the Los Angeles Stars have not scored a single touchdown. Total, they have only 15 points. How is this possible for a team that was such a big favorite to succeed in the preseason? How is it possible that Case Keenum has gone from a season where he looked like he was on the bring of stardom to this? Heads might roll soon in LA if they don’t start winning quickly. But who knows, there may not even be any fans left to notice.
24. San Diego Diablos (0-3) – Down 2
L – @ St. Louis Stallions – 26-16
As San Diego tries to figure out what it will take to win they will keep tinkering with their lineup. They may even make a change at quarterback after Kellen Moore was nothing more than mediocre at best through three weeks. He had two touchdowns in the game, but just 464 yards passing through three weeks isn’t cutting it, especially considering he’s fifth in the league in passing attempts.
25. Houston Wranglers (0-3) – Down 1
L – Michigan Stags – 26-0
Houston just hasn’t gotten what they’ve needed or wanted out of any of their young offensive players. Connor Cook doesn’t have much help, but he also isn’t helping his guys be better either. To top it off, the Wranglers have been distracted by ownership changes and it looks like they will be moving after just two seasons back in the league. This could be a really long season for them.
26. Iowa Threshers (0-3) – No Change
L – Louisville Cougars – 17-12
The Threshers are having a tough go of things early on. CJ Beathard has yet to throw a touchdown either, which isn’t something the team is thrilled out. But it’s going to be a long-term build for this team. They are very young and aren’t getting much out of the veterans they do have, like Alfred Morris or Brian Hartline, who are long past their prime.
Offensive Player of the Week
WR Eric Rogers, Orlando Rockets
7 Rec, 182 Rec Yards (26.0 YPC), 3 Rec TDs
Defensive Player of the Week
DE Teddy Jennings, San Antonio Marshalls
6 Tackles, 1 Sack, 2 TFL, 2 Hurrie, 1 INT
Special Teams Player of the Week
RET Tyreek Hill, Washington Wave
6 KR, 204 KR Yards (34.0 YPR), 2 KRs (95 Long), 2 PR, 11 PR Yards (5.5 YPR)
Rookie of the Week
RB D’Onta Foreman, San Antonio Marshalls
18 Rushes, 184 Rush Yards (10.2 YPC), 1 Rush TD
Wranglers set to move to Phoenix, despite ownership commitment
While Ryan Clark committed to the city of Houston, the league administration continued to press the team moving after after lengthy discussions and a vote of league owners, the Houston franchise has been approved to move to Phoenix for the 2019 season and beyond. This will be the league’s fourth attempt in Phoenix, but Clark is signing a 10-year lease and commitment to the city in an effort to secure the league’s western presence.
Colorado announced as 32nd team, but without owner
With the league owners having already approved a future expansion franchise to Sacramento they will need an expansion partner when that time comes. League commissioner Corey Johns said the only city that he will allow become the 32nd team in the league play in the city of Denver as the Colorado Scramblers in a team return. The Scramblers have been brought back as a D-League franchise playing in Colorado Springs. No owner has been announced and the league’s expansion to Colorado has not been approved yet, however.
Mark Sanchez signed by Bulldogs
After Bryce Petty’s terrible play finally cost the Philadelphia Bulldogs a victory, the team went out and spent the rest of their salary cap on former first round NFL Draft bust Mark Sanchez. Sanchez once played two seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2014 and 2015, serving as the backup quarterback. His NFL career was marred by inaccuracy, competing just 56.7-percent of his passes throughout his career in the NFL. He also had a 1-1 TD to INT ratio with 86 passing touchdowns and 86 interceptions.
Raptors spend big to add a big run-stuffer
Though his contract demands left his unsigned after the veteran’s combine, a need to improve their run defense led the Utah Raptors to signing 26-year-old defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins to a deal had his required $2.5 million price tag. Hankins is still young and is a fantastic run-stuffer. The Raptors rank 23rd in the league in run defense after getting shredded by both Mississippi and Seattle on the ground.
Former second round pick Joe Callahan given up on again
It’s been a terrible false start to his career for Joe Callahan. The former No. 2 overall draft pick by Omaha just last season now finds himself on the free agent market after being released by the Mississippi Cottonmouths. Callahan was 10-for-23 for just 80 yards with one touchdown and one interception in his playing time early this season. Looking for an upgrade at quarterback, the Cottonmouths signed veteran TJ Yates.
Baltimore Blue Crabs Confirmed for the D-League
Forced to move their franchise after Virginia Beach was approved for SFL expansion, the Breaker D-League franchise has moved to Baltimore, the home town of owner Corey Johns. The Team will be called the Baltimore Blue Crabs and will play their home games at Johnny Unitas Stadium on the campus of Towson University.
Week 4 Preview
Pittsburgh Forge @ Orlando Rockets
The Forge might be coming off their first loss of the season and the Rockets might be coming off their first win of the season, but it’s impossible to know what to expect out of these two juggernaut teams. The Rockets offense was top class with Trevor Harris back in under center. The Forge might have been held up by an underrated Marshalls defense on the road last week, but expect a big shootout again in this game. But with the defensive edge, the Rockets should be favored at home.
Pick: Orlando Rockets
Washington Wave @ New York Marauders
Will Ryan Nassib get a chance to get some revenge on his old team that pushed him out despite bringing them a championship or have his performances through three weeks been so poor that he’ll be one the bench for the game? Regardless, the Wave defense has been very, very disappointing this season and the Marauders have too much explosiveness to be slowed down by them.
Pick: New York Marauders
Atlanta Firebirds @ Boston Dragons
Boston has done better than early on this season, but the Firebirds are easily in the conversation for best team in the league and look to be on another level than the Dragons are.
Pick: Atlanta Firebirds
Birmingham Predators @ Minnesota Freeze
Two teams struggling to get points, this might be a matchup both offenses could break out in. Minnesota has the legendary Josh McCown, it’s very hard to pick against him, but the Predators have the young budding star Dak Prescott, who is probably the most explosive player in this game. It’s a toss up, but let’s go with the young talent over the old guard.
Pick: Birmingham Predators
St. Louis Stallions @ Iowa Threshers
Are the 3-0 Stallions legit? Well, they might prove to be for at last another week as they are set to go up against the 0-3 Iowa Threshers, which haven’t gotten going in any way this season.
Pick: St. Louis Stallions
Utah Raptors @ Mississippi Cottonmouths
If Utah doesn’t get a win in this game heads might start rolling in Salt Lake City. They made a big investment to beef up their run defense after getting destroyed two games in a row by the run. The Cottonmouths were able to pull one massive upset already over Orlando, can they stunt the Raptors?
Pick: Utah Raptors
Carolina Generals @ Michigan Stags
Colin Kaepernick is coming off a tremendous game last week against New Orleans, which have a very strong defense mind you. But their defense is not nearly as good as Michigan’s defense, which will get after Kaepernick and make it a real nightmare for him trying to complete downfield passes against that loaded secondary.
Pick: Michigan Stags
Columbus Explorers @ Memphis Bombers
Columbus has been up and down, but Memphis mostly has been bad this season. However, with a much improved special teams group the Bombers will be in better positions on the field to take advantage of their talented running back, which will open up the passing game more.
Pick: Memphis Bombers
Houston Wranglers @ Dallas Six-Shooters
Will the undefeated Six-Shooters suffer their third-straight loss to the Houston Wranglers, which swept them last year, or will the news of moving be too much for the already hapless franchise? As much fun as it will be to see the Wranglers upset Dallas again, it’s hard to pick that upset.
Pick: Dallas Six-Shooters
New Orleans Nightmare @ San Antonio Marshalls
While the New Orleans Nightmare get their starting quarterback Aaron Murray back, this is the worst matchup they would have in his return. The Marshalls just beat up on the Pittsburgh Forge, the Nightmare have talent on their team, but they are not the Forge. However, the Nightmare defense is much better than Pittsburgh, and it is a divisional game, so this one will probably be closer than expected.
Pick: San Antonio Marshalls
San Diego Diablos @ Los Angeles Stars
What changes are the Diablos going to make to try to get their first victory? The better question might be what changes are the Stars going to make to try to get their first touchdown of the season? The Stars might be the biggest mystery of the season so far, but both of these teams are struggling, but n different ways and because of that lets go with the “upset.”
Pick: San Diego Diablos
Seattle Orcas @ Philadelphia Bulldogs
The meeting between Isaiah Crowell and Jay Ajayi, what a matchup that will be and it could go either way. Both teams have strong defenses as well, so this may go down to quarterback play, which neither team has much of an advantage of. Ryan Griffin is nothing more than a game-manager, but the Bulldogs are turning things over to Mark Sanchez. Is he really a good answer? He’s an improvement over Bryce Petty, but it’s hard to imagine he will be anything more than what he’s been throughout his entire career.
Pick: Seattle Orcas
Louisville Cougars @ Omaha Express
Louisville is coming off back-to-back victories but this is a big step up in competition for them. The Express defense is among the better groups in the league and that will really make things difficult for Jeremiah Masoli to consistently find Julian Edelman down the field.
Pick: Omaha Express[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]