Week Two Power Rankings
1. Michigan Stags (1-0) – No Change
Last Game: W – Minnesota Freeze – 31-14
Marlon Mack looks to be the explosive offensive player the Michigan Stags needed to pair with their dominant defense. The defensive talent on this team is well known, but the question for the Stags was how good can their offense be. Zach Collaros is solid, but nothing more. They needed somebody else to be the star and in comes Marlon Mack with 176 yards and two touchdowns in the opener.
2. Orlando Rockets (1-0) – No Change
Last Game: W – Philadelphia Bulldogs – 35-25
Amazingly, the Orlando Rockets lose their season opener the last two years – falling to New York two years ago and last season to the Philadelphia Bulldogs. This year, they won the rematch. While Trevor Harris had been the last two years, this was actually his first start on opening day and he made it a memorable one with three scores and 340 yards. Devonta Freeman didn’t really balance out the offense in terms of hards, but he was money near the goal line with two touchdowns. And what can we say about Eric Rogers? After an epic 2018 season, he kicked off 2019 with 193 yards and two scores. The offense is as deadly as ever and that defense might give up some yards, but they won’t let teams dominante.
3. Dallas Six-Shooters (1-0) – No Change
Last Game: W – @ New Orleans – 33-27 (OT)
The huge contract to Josh McCown paid off. He was great week one and ripped apart the New Orleans Nightmare defense with 420 yards and four touchdowns. He doesn’t have elite weapons, he just made them a lot better and game up huge time and time again as the Six-Shooters got a huge overtime road win over their division rival New Orleans Nightmare.
4. Los Angeles Stars (1-0) – Up 8
Last Game: W – Oakland Odyssey – 48-13
They dominated a lowly Oakland expansion team, but the Stars absolutely deserve a ton of credit for it. Last season the team was so unbalanced and opponents could just leave two guys on the line and load up the secondary to stop the pass. This year, they have Phillip Lindsay, who rushed for 161 yards at a 7.7 yards per clip. That was something Los Angeles hadn’t seen out of the backfield in two years since Lamar Miller left. Kessler had no pressure on him because of it and played marvelous with four touchdown passes. This Stars team disappointed last year, they may actually be a real contender for that division crown this year thanks to their new explosive running back.
5. San Antonio Marshalls (1-0) – Up 3
Last Game: W – Nashville Renegades – 35-24
Bo Levi Mitchell might make this his year. He was tremendous in his opener and he might be on a mission to officially take the next step from top-tier quarterback to truly an elite of elite. He might be the best passer in the league, with performances like he had against Nashville, he’s proving he definitely is. And defensively, former Defensive Player of the Year Teddy Jennings had three sacks. That defense is aging, but they are still a tremendously talented group.
6. New Orleans Nightmare (0-1) – Down 2
Last Game: L – Dallas Six-Shooters – 33-27 (OT)
The Nightmare did a lot well and even though they saw their defense give up four touchdowns to Josh McCown, the team has in a position to win, but just game up a few plays short and lost as they never touched the ball in overtime. Their secondary will be monitored going forward, they will hope Stevan Ridley will get more involved, but this team is still very good and should be a tough matchup for any team.
7. Pittsburgh Forge (1-0) – Up 2
Last Game: W – @ Seattle Orcas – 19-14
We assumed the Pittsburgh Forge would have to score 45 points to beat opponents but their defense stepped up in a huge away the first week against the Seattle Orcas. Of course Isaiah Crowell got his yards, but the Orcas only had 269 yards of net offense and scored 14 points. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh may have been held out of the endzone by a great defense, but Jonathan Jennings passed for 375 yards and two scores to show that offense is still going to get the job done.
8. Seattle Orcas (0-1) – Down 1
Last Game: L – Pittsburgh Forge – 19-14
Seeing their defense hold a high-powered offense to just 19 points and seeing their offense not get the job done and having to suffer a loss was very disappointing for Seattle. Because of his 13-for-25 performance for 113 yards, rumor is Ryan Griffin is already on the hot seat. The Orcas known Isaiah Crowell is unstoppable and their defense is as good as they come, but are not satisfied with the lack of passing game that has plagued them for years.
9. Birmingham Predators (1-0) – Up 1
Last Game: W – Atlanta Firebirds – 20-17
This game went a lot different than expected with both teams defenses leading the way. Birmingham may have only scored 20 points, but we know their offense has a ton of talent and they will be good, but seeing how their defense shut down another very talented offensive team in Atlanta, was impressive.
10. New York Marauders (0-1) – Down 5
Last Game: L – @ Boston Dragons – 35-28
It was a very disappointing week one for the Marauders, but you can’t give up on them yet. Vad Lee, who almost never threw interceptions last season, was picked off three times and he was sacked three times in week one as well. Being down early forced everything on him and Jacquizz Rodgers has to be more of a receiver than a runner to balance out the offense, but Stefon Diggs got shut down, Lee threw three picks. Things didn’t look good for the Marauders. They did make a comeback, but the bigger worry might be that secondary. They lose John Ojo and had Tye Smith step up into the No. 1 role. He got destroyed by Luke Tasker.
11. Atlanta Firebirds (0-1) – Down 5
Last Game: L – @ Birmingham Predators – 20-17
Like Birmingham, we know the Firebirds will have a great offense, they are just too talented not to. Their defense certainly has talent, and it played very well against a loaded Predators offense, but they could not get the win in Alabama. The Firebirds are going to be in great battles in their division, they have to close them out with wins if they want to be a top 10 team like we think they can be.
12. Houston Wranglers (1-0) – Up 1
Last Game: W – @ Oklahoma Roughnecks – 31-17
Houston had a great showing week one, albeit against an expansion team with a lot of issues, but their performance was still strong regardless of the competition. Seeing their stud running back Aaron Jones rush for 169 yards had to have been a major pleasure for the team. While they love Matt Nichols, Jones is their best player and biggest star. And defensively, Jamaal Westerman got a sack in his debut while the big duo of front Johnathan Hankins and Andrew Billings were a disruptive force.
13. Omaha Express (1-0) – Up 3
Last Game: W – @ Iowa Threshers – 38-31
It’s a two-man show on offense in Omaha, but that is fine with as talented and explosive Terrelle Pryor and Rex Burkhead are. They each had two touchdowns, one of them shared. The Express have some nice young talent on that offense as well, so it is scary to think they will be getting better as those guys progress. Defensively, the Omaha employes an interesting scheme that most teams don’t prepare for outside getting ready for the game against the Express. It resulted in four sacks from a very balanced unit.
14. Boston Dragons (1-0) – Up 4
Last Game: W – New York Marauders – 35-28
What a shocker! The Dragons are not supposed to light up a team with so many athletic threats like the New York Marauders, but they did. Andre Ellington had 110 yards and two touchdowns, Luke Tasker had 155 yards and a touchdown, Cooper Rush threw three touchdowns. This team might be coming together a year before they were really expected to compete with the big three at the top of the division for the crown.
15. Carolina Generals (1-0) – No Change
Last Game: W – @ Columbus Explorers – 23-13
Colin Kaepernick looks like he’s perfectly healed from that injury suffered late last season as he rushed for an incredible 173 yards. That just some amazing explosive ability, and their defense was strong, as expected. But we do want to see a bit more from the arm of Kaepernick and Dez Bryant has to get more involved in this offense.
16. Philadelphia Bulldogs (0-1) – Down 5
Last Game: L – @ Orlando Rockets – 35-25
While Jay Ajayi is still running over and past anybody who stands in his way, the Bulldogs might have had a little big of a letdown game from Nate Sudfeld. It’s only one game, so there is absolutely no reason to give up on him but they want to have more than just 147 yards and one touchdown with a turnover from him. Defensively, maybe Eric Rogers just can’t be covered by anybody, but Tavon Young did nothing to slow him down.
17. Nashville Renegades (0-1) – Down 3
Last Game: L – @ San Antonio Marshalls – 35-24
The mystery of AJ McCarron continued. Talent-wise, he’s among the best. In practice, he’s almost perfect, in games, duds. This team will put more on Jordan Howard after he rushed for 142 yards and two touchdowns as they saw McCarron complete less than 40-percent of his passes. But maybe it was just one bad game against a team most think can win a championship. It is way too early to give up on the Renegades.
18. Mississippi Cottonmouths (1-0) – Up 10
Last Game: W – @ Miami Mustang – 30-16
Ricky Ray is alive and more than well! After last year’s catastrophic injury that threatened his career, Ray returned for 2019 with some doubts, especially considering his age. Then, he played a game and those doubters might be believers now. Ray complated 21 of 29 passes for 298 yards and three touchdowns. He was perfect and while the Cottonmouths typically strong running game struggled, Ray was not letting his team lose. He’s a legend for a reason and all the greats have their comeback story. This might be his.
19. Washington Wave (1-0) – Up 3
Last Game: W – St. Louis Stallions – 35-28
Kyle Lauletta looked like a rookie as he made his first start, but Tyreek Hill as explosive as anybody in this league that he is why the Wave won this game. He had a receiving touchdowns, led the team in rushing and was his electrifying self in the return game, where an 88-yard punt return for a touchdown was a huge game changer. Defensively, they were great and shut the Stallions out in the second half that helped allow their comeback.
20. Minnesota Freeze (0-1) – Down 1
Last Game: L – @ Michigan Stags – 31-24
The Mike Reilly era has begun and with three touchdowns, the Freeze fans loved it. However, he only completed half his passes for 203 yards and Corey Clement was shockingly bad with just 36 yards on 20 carries. Granted, the Freeze played perhaps the best team in the league, a loss was likely. They actually played pretty well against them, but the game wasn’t very close either. They are better, but they still have plenty of ways to get better.
21. Iowa Threshers (0-1) – Down 1
Last Game: L – Omaha Express – 38-31
We thought the Midwest was going to be a highly competitive division and already we are not disappointed. Iowa didn’t get the win, but they were in it until the end in a tough battle against the Omaha Express. CJ Beathard looked like he is taking a nice step forward in his second season and Orleans Darkwa continued where he left off last season, providing some good balance to the Threshers. George Kittle also dominated and that is going to be key moving forward because outside him, the receiving corp. is very questionable and it showed against the Express as Beathard had to hold the ball a bit longer than he wanted and endured being sacked four times.
22. St. Louis Stallions (0-1) – Down 4
Last Game: L – @ Washington Wave – 24-21
Zach Mettenberger was able to throw the ball all over the place, but their backfield was very disappointing and unable to grind the Wave defense down. After getting out to a 21-3 lead. Then they saw the Wave score 21-straight points to comeback or the win. The Stallions also have some defensive problems which don’t help either.
23. Louisville Cougars (1-0) – Up 3
Last Game: W – @ Virginia Admirals – 35-10
Okay, it seems weird seeing the Stallions over the Cougars when the Cougars had a dominant win and the Stallions lose their game, but hear us out. The Cougars pulled away in the fourth quarter against what might be the worst team in the league. Their front-seven is tremendous, and Gabriel Knapton continues to play like the beast he is, but that offense is a worry. After tight end Jeff Heuerman, who isn’t going to light teams up often due to his limited athleticism, their receivers were not good in this game. Against a better offense, things could get rough. Or, the Cougars should continue to prove doubters wrong and quickly rise up the ranks.
24. San Diego Diablos (1-0) – Up 5
Last Game: W – @ Utah Raptors – 24-20
It was an unexpected win, but the San Diego Diablos imposed their will against the Utah Raptors. Alex Collins had been facing a lot of criticism after a recent arrest, but he went out and just took care of business and showed he’s still a good football player as he carved up Utah’s defense with 127 yards and two scores while averaging 5.5 yards per carry. Trevone Boykin also ran a touchdown into the endzone but he was in a rhythm with Mychal Rivera, who caught eight passes for 107 yards.
25. Columbus Explorers (0-1) – No Change
Last Game: L – Carolina Generals – 23-13
Joshua Dobbs performed well and continues to show improvement, but the running game remained disappointing. Kenyan Drake only averaged 2.9 yards per carry. They need to be able to utilize their running game more, though maybe that is what they get for trading Alvin Kamara. Their defense is strong and will keep them in games if their offense with a developing QB and little help doesn’t let it slip away.
26. Oklahoma Roughnecks (0-1) – Down 3
Last Game: L – Houston Wranglers – 31-17
It was a loss in their debut, but James Franklin completed 73-percent of his passes against a secondary that was significantly improved this offseason. They had to play catchup early too, but if they can get the grinder Thomas Rawls more involved on the ground that could benefit them. The problem is that’s a big if because there defense showed many holes in it. Getting an early lead to implement Rawls the way they want to might be a bit of a struggle.
27. Utah Raptors (0-1) – Down 6
Last Game: L – San Diego Diablos – 24-20
We saw nothing inspiring about the Utah Raptors in their opening game against a San Diego team that on paper doesn’t look very good. Ryan Nassib was himself, just bleh. Jamaal Williams didn’t do too much to help the offense yet again either. The defense also wasn’t nearly as good as expected and the disappointing part was that the secondary was expected to be the part that struggled if there was any part that did. Instead, they saw Alex Collins rush for 127 yards and two scored against them.
28. Miami Mustangs (0-1) – Down 1
Last Game: L – Mississippi Cottonmouths – 30-16
Brad Kaaya played pretty well, he just needs to cut down on the bobbled snaps. He didn’t lose any of his three fumbles, but they did kill some drives with the dead play. But passing-wise, he is showing why so many people were so high on him coming into the league two years ago with what he did. He’s not at the high level yet, but clearly, he is on his way. Being down really hurt Mike Gillislee’s ability to have a strong game. He is more talented than the statline he had. The worry is a defense that appeared to be loaded with veterans getting shredded by Ricky Ray.
29. Oakland Odyssey (0-1) – Down 5
Last Game: L – @ Los Angeles Stars – 48-13
Phillip Lindsay told owner Jay Amado he would regret not drafting him No. 1 overall, and Amado might be after seeing him gash his defense for 161 yards. He does have his own explosive back in Dexter McCluster, who certainly was the Odyssey’s best player in their debut. The disappointing part was for Case Keenum, who was tossed out of LA and showed every reason why. Grant, he was sacked six times, the offensive line might be more to blame than him.
30. Virginia Admirals (No Change) – No Change
Last Game: L – Louisville Cougars – 35-10
For three quarters the Admirals were in the game, but the three turnovers by rookie quarterback Alex McGough was too much and they got beat up in the fourth quarter. The Admirals are playing a very long game here, so losing isn’t going to make them alter their course. It will just be a long inaugural season.
Week 1 Awards
Offensive Player of the Week:
RB Marlon Mack, Michigan Stags
37 Rushes, 176 Rush Yards (4.8 YPC), 2 Rushing TDs, 1 Rec, 6 Rec Yards (6.0 YPC)
Defensive Player of the Week:
DE Gabriel Knapton, Louisville Cougars
11 Tackles, 2 Sacks, 1 TFL
Special Teams Player of the Week:
RET LaRico Stevenson, Omaha Express
4 PR, 112 PR Yards (28.0 YPR), 1 TD (75 Yards), 2 KR, 54 KR Yards (27.0 YPR)
Rookie of the Week:
RB Phillip Lindsay, Los Angeles Stars
21 Rushes, 161 Rush Yards (7.7 YPC), 2 Rec, 23 Rec Yards (7.7 YPC)
Week 2 Preview
Washington Wave (1-0) @ New York Marauders (0-1)
Both these team has unexpected results with the Wave coming in off a win and the Marauders coming in off a loss. The interesting battle here will be two of the most explosive players in the league, Tyreek Hill and Stefon Diggs. The Marauders barely got the ball to Diggs last week, expect that to change this week, making them much more dangerous offensively.
Pick: New York Marauders
Boston Dragons (1-0) @ Philadelphia Bulldogs (0-1)
Boston pulled off an unexpected upset of the New York Marauders because of their defense. Philadelphia hung in with Orlando, but got a worse performance than wanted out of Nate Sudfeld. The Dragons will probably struggle to contain Jay Ajayi, but if they keep Sudfeld quiet they could be 2-0.
Pick: Boston Dragons
Miami Mustangs (0-1) @ Pittsburgh Forge (1-0)
Pittsburgh’s defense stepped up and shut down the Seattle Orcas. Miami doesn’t have a playmaker anything close to that of Isaiah Crowell. Now, their quarterback Brad Kaaya is more dangerous than Ryan Griffin and Mike Gillislee should be more involved, so don’t be shocked if they score more than Seattle, but their defense is also much worse than the Orcas. Pittsburgh should be able to outscore them pretty easily.
Pick: Pittsburgh Forge
Birmingham Predators (1-0) @ Orlando Rockets (1-0)
After getting a win over Atlanta, could this be the week the Predators take a monumental step forward and proclaim their status as a contender for that division with an upset of Orlando? It’s not as crazy as it sounds. Both of these teams have tremendous playmakers on their offense. Orlando’s front seven might be a little better, but Birmingham has a pretty talented secondary. This one will be closer than most imagine and the upset really could happen.
Pick: Birmingham Predators
Columbus Explorers (0-1) @ Virginia Breakers (0-1)
Could the Breakers be the first of the expansion teams to get a win? This is a pretty good shot for them. Columbus managed only 13 points last week and the Breakers were hanging tough for three quarters against the Louisville Cougars before falling apart. The only thing that might keep them from the W might be their offensive line. Columbus does have a strong pass rush and the Cougars destroyed Alex McGough last week.
Pick: Columbus Explorers
Michigan Stags (1-0) @ Atlanta Firebirds (0-1)
Atlanta really wants to get a win here to avoid an 0-2 start, but Michigan was fantastic last week with Marlon Mack stepping up in a huge way to show his game-changing ability. Atlanta is more dangerous offensively than Minnesota, however, and if thy get ahead the Stags won’t be able to rely on Mack like they did last week. In that situation, it would be on Zach Collaros to step up and lead them to a win.
Pick: Atlanta Firebirds
St. Louis Stallions (0-1) @ Mississippi Cottonmouths (1-0)
Ricky Ray announced in a big way that he isn’t done yet with a great showing last week to get the Cottonmouths a win. St. Louis had their chances against Washington, but couldn’t get the job done. Their offense is a good unit, but their defense might really have a rough day against such a precise passer like Ray.
Pick: Mississippi Cottonmouths
New Orleans Nightmare (0-1) @ Louisville Cougars (1-0)
Louisville had a much better performance than expected last week, but the New Orleans Nightmare are going to be very hungry for a win after falling in overtime to a very strong Dallas Six-Shooters team. The Nightmare are 0-1, but they are a better team and a much stronger opponent than the Virginia Admirals, which hung in for 45 minutes with Louisville.
Carolina Generals (1-0) @ Nashville Renegades (0-1)
Jamison Crowder is going to be out for revenge against his old team that he felt gave up on him for one down season in which he struggled through some nagging injuries. And Mike Hull is going to be out for revenge against his old team that he felt gave up on him despite having a really good 2018 season. The Renegades struggled last week because AJ McCarron struggled yet again. This might be one of his final opportunities to turn it around. Colin Kaepernick was electric on the ground last week, but led and overall uninspiring offense for the Generals. It’s pretty much a toss up game here. Home team has the advantage.
Pick: Nashville Renegades
San Diego Diablos (1-0) @ Minnesota Freeze (0-1)
Alex Collins was great last week and led the Diablos to an unexpected win over a playoff team from last season. But that playoff team was without the quarterback who got them their last year. That quarterback was Mike Reilly, who is now in Minnesota. The Freeze have done a solid job improving their roster, as have the Diablos. Both have problems they still need to address, but the momentum and confidence is behind the Diablos right now.
Pick: San Diego Diablos
Oklahoma Roughnecks (0-1) @ Omaha Express (1-0) – At Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, NE
Express owner Dallas Hartwell is playing mind games with Roughnecks owner Alberto Garcia, a notorious Nebraska Cornhuskers hater, by having this game at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln. But it won’t take mind games for the Express to get this win. The Roughnecks have some nice parts but the Express are a much more complete team with fewer holes right now.
Pick: Omaha Express
Iowa Threshers (0-1) @ Houston Wranglers (1-0)
Houston wants to come out of the gate really strong and make it clear all that losing the last two seasons is behind them. They have a very good roster with a tremendous running back. Iowa is a solid team, but a few inconsistent spots are going to plague them throughout the year. This should be a close, competitive game, but at the end of it the Wranglers should probably get the hard-fought victory.
Pick: Houston Wranglers
Seattle Orcas (0-1) @ Oakland Odyssey (1-0)
Oakland might have to watch out as the Seattle Orcas will be looking to take out their frustrations of Week One’s loss on their opponent. Considering how Oakland got ripped apart by Phillip Lindsay, we can only imagine how bad it will be against Isaiah Crowell.
Pick: Seattle Orcas
Utah Raptors (0-1) @ Los Angeles Stars (1-0)
Utah played some very, very uninspiring football in their opener, Los Angeles looked great with a budding star at running back and a quarterback who played very well as he’s trying to carve out his role as a franchise quarterback. This one might be as ugly as fast as the Stars first game of the season.
Pick: Los Angeles Stars
San Antonio Marshalls (1-0) @ Dallas Six-Shooters (1-0) – (Saturday Night Football) – At Cotton Bowl in Dallas, TX
This early in the year we’re going to be treated with one of the best and longest-running rivalries in the league and it should be a great game. They are so close in talent and among the best teams in the league, both with the ability to beat you in different ways. And, it’s going to be a tremendous matchup between the King of the Quarterback pride Josh McCown, and the young lion ready to take over, Bo Levi Mitchell. This could be an instant classic. In these close tossups, the home team always gets the nod, but this really could to either way.
Pick: Dallas Six-Shooters