Week 11 Power Rankings

1. Orlando Rockets (8-2) – No Change
Last Week: W – @ Mississippi Cottonmouths – 31-13

There has been so much emphasis on the incredible season Eric Rogers is having, and he was huge again this week with seven catches for 198 yards and two touchdowns — remarkably, he had all by five of the team’s yards receiving — but don’t forget about Devonta Freeman. In a game where Mississippi did well limiting the passing game, Freeman showed again he is one of the very best running backs in the league with 147 yards and two touchdowns. The balance is so dangerous. They also had five sacks. This team can win in so many different ways and have no won eight in a row.

2. Michigan Stags (9-1) – No Change
Last Week: W – San Antonio Marshalls – 24-17

When Marlon Mack and Thomas Rawls are running like they did, little will slow down the Stags. They were physical defensively and wore down the Marshalls defense with their running game. This was a tremendous matchup between powerhouses and the Stags stepped up and got their biggest win of the year to show they are a true championship contender this season.

3. New York Marauders (8-2) – No Change
Last Week: L – @ Birmingham Predators – 33-30

They suffered their first loss since week one, but they did score 30 points and it was at the final seconds on the road against a team that has recently loaded up with great talent. That isn’t a loss that will since the Marauders down the rankings. They still have a tremendous group of weapons that can score a ton of points. They just got beat by a team that had a few more big plays.

4. San Antonio Marshalls (7-2-1) – No Change
Last Week: L – @ Michigan Stags – 24-17

As dominant as San Antonio’s defense has been the past few weeks, they might have been a little tired out there against a Stags offense that is based off being very physical. The Stags pounded the rock, running very effectively with Marlon Mack and Thomas Rawls, and couldn’t slow them down. They had some relative offensive success themselves, but couldn’t finish enough series to win the low-scoring battle.

5. Dallas Six-Shooters (8-1-1) – Up 3
Last Week: W – Seattle Orcas – 28-3

Despite having only one loss, Dallas has had trouble rising up the ranked because they didn’t have a truly standout victory over a top opponent. Well they have that signature win now and it’s a tremendous one, blowing out the Seattle Orcas. Their defense still gave up 155 yards to the legendary Isaiah Crowell, but they didn’t let their passing game supplement that running game at all. James Franklin showed off his dual-threat ability and with a tremendous rushing effort of their own they were able to keep grinding down the Orcas. Dallas, no matter who is on the team, just has Seattle’s number.

6. Seattle Orcas (7-4) – Down 1
Last Week: L – @ Dallas Six-Shooters – 28-3

Seattle has always struggled against the Dallas Six-Shooters, no matter who their coach is or who is on their team. The Six-Shooters just build a team that troubles the Orcas and once again, they got beat by them. Isaiah Crowell is still the most dominant player in the league, but this was a case where it showed Ryan Griffin couldn’t get the job done. It’s hard to know what to think of him. Sometimes he looks great, sometimes he doesn’t. There is no point in reading too deep into this game. The Orcas as still an elite team capable of winning a title.

7. Atlanta Firebirds (7-3) – Down 1
Last Week: W – Boston Dragons – 30-14

Maybe Matt Barkley isn’t completing a high percentage of his passes, but there doesn’t seem to be much reason to stress over it because he’s still very effective. Barkley does well picking the match-up and taking advantage of it to win games. This time, it was Cameron Meredith with a huge game. Sometimes it’s Albert Wilson. Defensively, Aldon Smith is a big time pass rusher now added to the unit after he was dealing with off the field issues for the first half of the season. That is a game-changing addition for this team looking to make a playoff and title push this season.

8. Pittsburgh Forge (7-3) – Down 1
Last Week: W – Memphis Bombers – 27-21

Pittsburgh win over Memphis is more impressive than what the teams records might say. Devontae Booker did a nice job as a closer on drives while Jon Jennings continued to throw the ball all over the place. But the Forge’s defense stepped up and were able to shut off Weston Dressler and Jamison Crowder as weapons in the passing game. Jordan Howard couldn’t do it all by himself. Kyle Love showed his power as an interior pass rusher, disrupting it all from the start with two sacks and a hurry.

9. New Orleans Nightmare (6-4) – Up 1
Last Week: W – St. Louis Stallions – 38-24

Jack Del Rio has the Nightmare rolling, having won six games in a row since taking over, getting them in position to make the playoffs and back from the death their 0-4 start had them facing. Aaron Murray being healthy has played a huge part in it too and he might just be the comeback player of the year after passing for 305 yards and four touchdowns against the St. Louis Stallions. Steven Ridley has been tremendous as well. Things are going very well in the Big Easy right now.

10. Boston Dragons (6-4) – Down 1
Last Week: L – @ Atlanta Firebirds – 30-14

Boston got beat up pretty bad by the Atlanta Firebirds, but they aren’t on their level yet. We knew that. The Dragons are still a solid team that is going to get better. They do have a quality defense. They will beat a lot of team, just likely not any of the top teams.

11. Utah raptors (6-4) – Up 1
Last Week: W – San Diego Diablos – 23-21

Ken Dorsey got kicked to the curb and Norrm Chow took over. Then the team put more on Mike Reilly, and he showed why he is one of the mostly highly thought of quarterbacks in the league after passing for 364 yards and a touchdown. Roger Lewis provided a nice boost of athleticism on the outside as well. He and Dede Westbook got down the field and stretched the defense. That opened things up for their new starting running back Terrance West to get going and should open things up for other receivers like Jesse James, Kenny Shaw and Marquess Wilson coming over the middle.

12. Louisville Cougars (6-4) – Down 2
Last Week: L – @ Columbus Explorers – 30-7

Louisville has hit a mid-season skid and suffered a shocking loss to a Columbus Explorers team that has really struggled all season long. Even the best teams do suffer these kind of losses, but their defense cannot be happy with the way they let Joshua Dobbs look like a star. He had 440 all purpose yards and three touchdowns. This defense has been better than that. They will expect to turn it around next week.

13. Birmingham Predators (5-5) – Up 4
Last Week: W – New York Marauders – 33-30

What a huge victory for the Predators, fighting back to take down the New York Marauders, snapping their eight-game winning streak. The Predators have continually adjusted their roster to acquire as much talent as they could and they found a winning combination that not only pulled off a big win, but kept the Predators in playoff contention. A loss would have been devastating for the Predators in such a great division, but this win keep them alive.

14. Carolina Generals (5-5) – Up 2
Last Week: W – @ Houston Wranglers – 30-20

Back-to-back weeks, the Carolina Generals have gotten their ground game going, and outside just Colin Kaepernick, who has a shot to break Tim Tebow’s record for rushing yards by a quarterback. Tarik Cohen had 93 yards and Kaepernick has 83 with two touchdowns. That allowed Kaepernick to pick his spots passing and he finished with a pretty efficient 11-for-18, 171-yard, 1 touchdown game. By effectively running the ball they were able to keep the Wranglers off the field, and with the win, kept their playoff hopes alive.

15. Philadelphia Bulldogs (4-6) – Up 4
Last Week: W – @ Los Angeles Stars – 26-20

Nate Sudfeld might just be the answer at quarterback for the Philadelphia Bulldogs. It’s still Jay Ajayi’s team, but Sudfeld did his job very effectively to supplement Ajayi running the ball. All the Bulldogs want is a guy who will compete about 15 passes a game with minimal mistakes. Sudfeld did that and then made the winning touchdown pass in overtime to give the Bulldogs a quality win during a cross-country trip.

16. Iowa Threshers (4-6) – Up 6
Last Week: W – Omaha Express – 29-23

Somehow, Iowa is leading their division. Granted, it is the worst division in the league and all three teams at the top only have four wins, but going back to CJ Beathard paid off. They experimented with Kevin Glenn last week, and Austin Davis. They didn’t work and maybe that sparked Beathard because against a typically tough defense he had 344 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Threshers to a huge win.

17. Omaha Express (4-6) – Down 4
Last Week: L – @ Iowa Threshers – 29-23

Omaha has struggled to be consistent in a very weak division. They made efforts to improve their passing attack, and against Iowa it resulted in 300 yards passing and two touchdowns, but their running game that has typically been so great really let them down and managed only 64 yards. Combined with a secondary that hasn’t looked the same since trading Alterraun Verner that allowed CJ Beathard to pass for 344 yards and three touchdowns, the Express are up and down.

18. St. Louis Stallions (4-6) – Down 3
Last Week: L – @ New Orleans – 38-24

The Stallions have really fallen off after their big start this season. Zach Mettenberger did what he could to get his revenge against his former team, throwing for 321 yards and three touchdowns, but the defense couldn’t slow down the Nightmare and was ultimately their undoing and has been their undoing.

19. Houston Wranglers (4-6) – Down 5
Last Week: L – Carolina Generals – 30-20

The offense performed as desired — following the lead of star running back Aaron Jones and seeing Johnny Manziel effectively make some passes to supplement that ground game, but the defense let them down. They couldn’t make key stops when they needed. Of course you can look to them scoring just 10 points in the second half, but forcing punts over field goals in the fourth quarter could have changed things and they could faced better field position.

20. Memphis Bombers (3-7) – Down 2
Last Week: L – @ Pittsburgh Forge – 27-21

Virtual Jed Clampett is angry as hell after seeing his team lose again, despite making so many changes to fix his team. Maybe he’s just got to be a bit more patient. Success will come, but when the coaches have to try to figure out what the best gameplan is every week because new players are added and new players are being put in different roles, it’s hard to make constant adjustments. Besides, Pittsburgh is an elite team and the Bombers haven’t put a ton of attention into their secondary. The Forge beat them in a good game with a strong matchup advantage.

21. Washington Wave (3-7) – No Change
Last Week: W – Minnesota Freeze – 17-9

Despite a season-ending injury to Everett Golson, and pretty ineffective play by Jeff Tuel, the Washington Wave were able to get a victory over the Minnesota Freeze. The reason is because Tyreek Hill is such a tremendous athlete and his return ability gave them the huge play they needed in a game that mostly lacked big plays. Expect Cardale Jones to take over down the stretch. He is an interesting prospect that the Wave traded for and will want to see what he is made of.

22. Los Angeles Stars (3-7) – Down 2
Last Week: L – Philadelphia Bulldogs – 26-20

While Brian Hill seems to be the answer for the Stars at running back, they simply just got beaten by a better team. The Bulldogs were pretty complete except for their issues at quarterback. Nate Sudfeld has fixed that. The Stars are playing better, but that doesn’t always mean a win.

23. Mississippi Cottonmouths (2-8) – No Change
Last Week: L – Orlando Rockets – 31-13

The White Tiger Casey Therriault is an unlikely quarterback in this league but got his shot and really didn’t play poorly at all. It was just a really hard matchup against a great team like Orlando, but he should probably get another shot for the team next week.

24. Columbus Explorers (2-8) – No change
Last Week: W – Louisville Cougars – 30-7

Sometimes, you just have to be patient with your rookies and they will figure it out. Maybe that was what happened with Joshua Dobbs. The Explorers were almost ready to give up on him, but while they are pretty much out of playoff contention, he showed what kind of game-changing ability he has as he totaled 440 total yards with three touchdowns. The Explorers tinkered around with their receiving corp., giving different guys more time, and it seems to have worked out.

25. San Diego Diablos (1-9) – No Change
Last Week: L – @ Utah Raptors – 23-21

The Diablos didn’t challenge the Raptors as much as the final score might show. Trevone Boykin is a talented individual, but ultimately, the team is just lacking talent to really be a contender against teams. They opted for the slow build and it’s going to take time. They have some pieces, but just have to keep building the team going forward before they become a threat for many wins.

26. Minnesota Freeze (0-10) – No Change
Last Week: L – @ Washington Wave – 17-9

Minnesota had a great opportunity to get their first win of the season when Everett Golson got injured, but their own offensive line was horrendous and really killed any shot they had to win. Rookie Chase Roullier, who was one of the few true bright spots the team has, went down early in the game and the team them gave up with eight sacks allowed. Not even the legendary Josh McCown could survive getting hit so often.

Weekly Awards

Offensive Player of the Week:
QB Aaron Murray, New Orleans Nightmare
18-for-30, 305 Pass Yards, 4 Pass Tds, 41 Rush Yards (5.1 YPC)

Defensive Player of the Week:
DE Frank Beltre, Washington Wave
6 Tackles, 3 Sacks, 1 TFL

Special Teams Player of the Week:
RET Alvin Kamara, Birmingham Predators
4 KRs, 177 KR Yards (44.3 YPR), 1 TD (93 LG), 5 PR, 17 PR Yards (3.4 YPR)

Rookie of the Week:
QB Joshua Dobbs, Columbus Explorers
18-for-31, 334 Pass Yards, 2 Pass Tds, 106 rush Yards (5.9 YPC), 1 Rush TD

Playoff Watch

Empire Conference:
1. New York Marauders (8-2) – Atlantic Division
2. Orlando Rockets (8-2) – Southeast Division
3. Iowa Threshers (4-6) – Midwest Division
4. Pittsburgh Forge (7-3)
5. Atlanta Firebirds (7-3)
6. Boston Dragons (6-4)

Metropolitan Conference:
1. Michigan Stags (9-1) – Central Division
2. Dallas Six-Shooters (8-1-1) – Mid-South Division
3. Seattle Orcas (7-3) – Pacific Division
4. San Antonio Marshalls (7-2-1)
5. New Orleans Nightmare (6-4)
6. Louisville Cougars (6-4)

SFL News

Alfred Morris cut from Iowa, Darkwa set to take over

It’s been a miserable season for Alfred Morris, the No. 3 leader in all-time rushing touchdowns. In five season Morris totaled 63 rushing touchdowns with the Philadelphia Bulldogs, Atlanta Firebirds and Birmingham Predators. But his time in Iowa was just awful and came to an end after 10 bad weeks. Morris failed to get into the endzone for the expansion franchise, and totaled just 335 yards at a 2.6 yards per carry average. Morris saw a significant drop in his performance last season and was traded from Atlanta to Birmingham. He was not retained in free agency and signed on with the Threshers, but the limited talent around him and a struggling offensive line didn’t help him at all. Morris is only 29-years-old and likely could sign on as a backup and situational running back somewhere else, but his days as a featured back are behind him.

The Threshers appear ready to turn things over to free agent signing Orleans Darkwa. The 26-year-old out of Tulane showed promise with the New York Giants. He isn’t the biggest game-breaker running back, but does have more home-run ability than a typical plodder type of back.

Everett Golson put on IR, Wave giving Cardale Jones his shot

While Everett Golson wasn’t exactly lighting the world on fire in Washington, his speed and athleticism combined with a capable arm helped him make the Wave much more exciting than they were when Ryan Nassib was under center earlier this season. But an injury suffered against the Minnesota Freeze has ended Golson’s season. They went with Jeff Tuel for the remainder of the Freeze game, but after he proved ineffective (despite a win), the team has announced Cardale Jones will be their starter moving forward.

Jones was once a territorial draft pick of the Columbus Explorers but was immediately traded to the then Phoenx Scorpions for a second round draft pick. He got some time with the team, but was clearly behind Mike Reilly on the depth chart. Earlier this season the Utah Raptors traded Jones to the Wave in a package deal for Nassib. Jones may struggle with accuracy, but has a tremendous arm and very good mobility.

Jack Del Rio now 6-0 with Nightmare

Their season looked lost when they fell to 0-4, but a very reason mid-season coaching staff change has sparked the New Orleans Nightmare. Rather than just firing their head coach John Grass and promoting an interim head coach, the Nightmare brought in Jack Del Rio to take over and with him an entire new staff. With him, the Nightmare have played tremendous football and are now fifth in the Metropolitan Conference playoff standings.

Arthur Moats to bring some stability to the Bulldogs linebackers

While on paper the Bulldogs have a strong looking defense, on the field, they were not living up to the billing. Tired of that, the Bulldogs brought in a grizzled NFL veteran defender Arthur Moats, whos physicality and tremendous knowledge of the game should be a huge asset for a team still fighting for the final playoff spot down the stretch.

Week 11 Preview

Louisville Cougars (6-4) @ Carolina Generals (5-5)
This is a very important game for both Central Division team fighting for a Wild Card spot. Louisville has been struggling and the Generals are surging but both teams are build fairly similar, trying to focus on the run right now with an athletic X-Factor quarterback. Louisville might be a bit more desperate right now after back-to-back losses. They will want to go out and prove themselves again as a legitimate playoff contender here.
Pick: Louisville Cougars

St. Louis Stallions (4-6) @ Philadelphia Bulldogs (4-6)
The Stallions have now lost six of their last seven games but are still in a three-way tie for their division lead. Their defense has really been a problem for them, but their offense is still as dangerous as they come. Nate Sudfeld looks like he’s provided stability at quarterback for the Bulldogs, which will pound the rock with Jay Ajayi, but will Sudfeld keep it up?
Pick: St. Louis Stallions

Boston Dragons (6-4) @ Pittsburgh Forge (7-3)
As tough as Boston has been this year, it just doesn’t seem likely they have nearly enough offensive firepower to compete with the Pittsburgh Forge. Pittsburgh has the No. 2 scoring offense and top passing offense in the league. Boston ranks 16th in points. Their defense isn’t enough to make up for it.
Pick: Pittsburgh Forge

Atlanta Firebirds (7-3) @ Birmingham Predators (5-5)
Birmingham is flying high after upsetting the New York Marauders and that is what their offense figures to be able to do with Dak Prescott and Alvin Kamara in the backfield. But Atlanta is a really good, well-balanced team and with Aldon Smith going have a dynamic pass rusher who can make things tough for the Predators. A win for Birmingham would be huge for them, but Atlanta is very talented and fighting for not only a playoff spot but even a division title.
Pick: Atlanta Firebirds

Utah Raptors (6-4) @ Columbus Explorers (2-8)
Columbus is coming off a huge victory after seeing Joshua Dobbs lighting it up, but can the rookie sustain that success after being so inconsistent this season? Utah is also coming off a win in which their offense was much more aggressive. With Roger Lewis added to the offense, running down the field with Dede Westbrook, they can spread the secondary out a lot more. But granted, they did all that last week against San Diego.
Pick: Utah Raptors

San Diego Diabos (1-9) @ Mississippi Cottonmouths (2-8)
Both of these teams have had some hard luck are are one backups to backup quarterbacks. Trevone Boykin’s athleticism has been a huge asset in making the Diablos much more competitive, but Casey Therrauilt actually has a similar type of skill-set and looked decent in his start last week. Could the White Tiger be their answer? This is pretty much a coin flip.
Pick: San Diego Diablos

Michigan Stags (9-1) @ Memphis Bombers (3-7)
Memphis is now happy and really is going to go out there with something to prove. And they have way more talent than their 3-7 record might indicate. Their biggest problem has been their secondary and aging group of pass rushers. That isn’t the best thing going against the No. 4 offensive line in the league in front of the No. 4 scoring offense in the league. But if the Bombers can grind down the Stags with Jordan Howard and use their strong run defense to make Zach Collaros do it by himself, this could be a good win for them.
Pick: Memphis Bombers

Dallas Six-Shooters (8-1-1) @ New Orleans Nightmare (6-4)
Dallas is 8-1-1 and still hasn’t gotten the respect they probably should be getting and this Nightmare team is red hot after winning six-straight games. This is another coin-flip game because both teams are playing so well and both have pretty balanced offenses with tough defenses. Dallas has been much better at defense, but the Nightmare are playing a lot better on that side of the ball lately. This might come down to the trenches, the No. 2 offensive line (Dallas) against the No. 3 pass rush (New Orleans). Whichever team wins that power battle will likely take the win.
Pick: New Orleans Nightmare

Washington Wave (3-7) @ Iowa Threshers (4-6)
This will be Cardale Jones’ first opportunity with the Wave after Everett Golson suffered a season-ending injury. He’s talented and has an arm, but what is he made of? It’s an interesting game against a Threshers team that has been very inconsistent, but do find themselves at the top of their division. Rookie CJ Beathard is coming off a huge game for Iowa, but he also was benched the week before that. But watch out for Orleans Darkwa. It’s pretty shocking it’s taken him this long to sign in the SFL.
Pick: Iowa Threshers

Minnesota Freeze (0-10) @ Omaha Express (4-6)
In the words of their team’s owner, Minnesota seems to keep taking one step forward and two steps back. Two weeks ago their offense looked great and while they lost, it was to a good team and they looked like they were about ready to break through. Then, last week they gave up eight sacks and never got started on offense. Omaha has been pretty inconsistent themselves, but they have so much more all around talent on their team.
Pick: Omaha Express

Houston Wranglers (4-6) @ San Antonio Marshalls (7-2-1)
Just when Houston looked like they were headed for a big turnaround, they disappointed last week. Their running game will still keep them alive and capable of winning every game, but will their defense hold up? Will Johnny Manziel be consistent enough? Those are huge questions especially when facing such a complete team like the San Antonio Marshalls.
Pick: San Antonio Marshalls

Los Angeles Stars (3-7) @ New York Marauders (8-2)
LA’s offensive balance makes them a much more dangerous team. Don’t let the records make you think this game between the two biggest cities in the country won’t be close. The Stars are much better than they were just a few weeks ago. New York we know has a tremendous passing game and some huge names on defense, but this one should be a tough battle.
Pick: New York Marauders

Orlando Rockets (8-2) @ Seattle Orcas (7-3)
Another potential Grand Finale Preview? The Rockets and Orcas are the two premier franchises in the SFL and can beat any opponent. Orlando is red-hot with eight-straight wins. Seattle is frustrated coming off a bad loss at Dallas. But Isaiah Crowell looks like the most unstoppable player in the league, maybe ever. Then again, Eric Rogers looks like he’s the most unstoppable wide receiver in the league maybe ever. Which star will outshine the other?
Pick: Seattle Orcas