Week Two Power Rankings
1. San Antonio Marshalls (2-0) – No Change
Last Week: W – @ Mississippi Gators – 55-14
It was another dominant performance from the Marshalls. Bo Levi Mitchell threw for 429 yards and six touchdowns while completing over 83-percent of his passes. Mitchell dished the ball all over the field to a variety of different options. Defensively, the Marshalls clicked too. They sacked dynamic Gators quarterback Vad Lee seven times. Alex Okafor had an incredible five sacks in the game.
2. Birmingham Predators (2-0) – No Change
Last Week: W – @ Michigan Stags – 29-7
Through two weeks we haven’t seen the explosive offense like we saw last week for the Predators, but their defense has been incredible, allowing just 10 points so far against Orlando and Michigan. The offense should come along, but if their defense can shut down two championship caliber teams like the Rockets and Stags this could be a repeat championship season for them.
3. New York Marauders (2-0) – No Change
Last Week: W – Milwaukee Warriors – 56-20
We thought the Mike Reilly’s Marauder debut was impressive with three touchdowns, he followed it up with five touchdown passes, and the team overall has six as Kyle Shurmur came off the bench late in the game and tossed on. The Marauders offense hit on all cylinders and their defense picked off Matt Barkley three times in the game. When the Marauders are at their best they are an elite team.
4. Washington Wave (2-0) – Up 3
Last Week: W – Carolina Generals – 21-16
Zach Collaros didn’t blow up and air it out like he did last week, but their defense is definitely loaded with top talent and they got the job down. They proved they can win in multiple ways, with offense last week and defense this week. They sold out to shut down the Generals rushing attack and they succeeded as the Generals running backs managed only 44 yards. Rookie running back Tony Pollard also had a strong showing with two touchdowns on the ground and a team-high in receptions.
5. Columbus Explorers (2-0) – Up 3
Last Week: W – @ Louisville Cougars – 42-32
Who in the beginning of the season would have though by the second week the Explorers would be ranked in the top 5? But here they are. Austin Ekeler has been a big-time game-change for the Explorers. They have been able to lean on him, allowing Josh Dobbs to pick his spots in the passing game. He has also been able to keep his offense on the field and keep the Explorers defense on the sidelines. They did give up some a hefty amount of points, though many in garbage time after the game was already decided. Columbus had four sacks and limited Louisville running back Karlos Williams to just 29 yards rushing.
6. Orlando Rockets (1-1) – No Change
Last Week: W – Jacksonville Stingrays – 28-14
Orlando started slow against Jacksonville but eventually to it going. Devonta Freeman ended up with 115 yards and a touchdown on the ground while Trevor Harris has 270 yards and two touchdowns passing, with 150 of those yards and a score going to Eric Rogers. When those three are clicking the Rockets are impossible to stop, but they will need to get off to better starts against the elite teams.
7. Michigan Stags (1-1) – Down 3
Last Week: L – Birmingham Predators – 29-7
As incredible as Vernon Adams, Jr. was last week in his debut for the Stags last week, he was all bust this week. It’s too early in his run as a full-time starter to say that is his nature. The Predators held Orlando to only three points last week. The Stags still have plenty of talent to beat most teams.
8. Nashville Renegades (1-1) – Up 1
Last Week: W – @ New Orleans Nightmare – 41-14
A.J. McCarron roared back from his disappointing Week 1 with 269 yards and four touchdowns against the New Orleans Nightmare. On top of that, Jordan Howard, who couldn’t get anything going last week, rushed for 147 yards and a touchdown. It was a big week for the Renegades offense as they bounced back to form and obliterated their opponent. Their defense was just a big, sacking Aaron Murray seven times in the game. Greg Hardy had three of those sacks while Tobi Antigha has a pair and Watson Tautuiaki has two as well.
9. Los Angeles Avengers (2-0) – Up 10
Last Week: W – Pittsburgh Forge – 27-24
With 182 yards and two touchdowns, Phillip Lindsay carried the Avengers to victory as he showed no sophomore slump. With Lindsay going, the Avengers can do a lot of different things. Most importantly, they were able to keep the Forge and their high-powered offense off the field.
10. Pittsburgh Forge (0-2) – Down 5
Last Week: L – @ Los Angeles Avengers – 27-24
It’s impossible to think that the Pittsburgh Forge are 0-2 but their defense that appeared to look good coming into the season has shown some weakness. They didn’t allow a load of points against Los Angeles, but they did struggle to get the Avengers off the field. Los Angeles was able to control the clock and keeps the Forge’s high-powered offense on the sidelines and unable to get into a rhythm.
11. Buffalo Warriors (2-0) – Up 9
Last Week: W – San Diego Diablos – 35-14
With the power of the mustache, Gardner Minshew had a great week and led the Buffalo Warriors to a lop-sided win against San Diego. He’s just loving that h has George Kittle to throw to and Orleans Darkwa behind him to run the ball and provide a balance attack on offense. There isn’t too much sexy about the Warriors, but they are just good and effective and balanced offensively and defensively.
12. Omaha Express (2-0) – Up 6
Last Week: W – @ Dallas Six-Shooters – 23-7
Oh the storylines there were in this game between these two team owners. But Omaha got the big, lop-sided win. The Express put together a great gameplan and Rex Burkhead wore down the Six-Shooters. Burkhead rushed for 126 yards in the and while he didn’t score, Terrelle Pryor was able to pass for a touchdown and rush for one in the game. The running game also limited what the Six-Shooters could do as they were stuck on the sideline.
13. Atlanta Firebirds (1-1) – Up 3
Last Week: W – @ Philadelphia Bulldogs – 29-0
Atlanta has a huge bounce-back performance after falling in the season opener. Their defense lived up to the hype as they shut out Philadephia and holding them to just 91 total yards of offense. Kony Ealy had five tackles and two sacks in the game while offensively, Rodney Anderson got their running game going with 100 yards on the ground and Nick Arbuckle threw for 313 yards and three touchdowns. Rookie Preston Williams caught six passes for 119 yards and two scores.
14. Boston Dragons (1-1) – Up 3
Last Week: W – @ Virginia Admirals – 26-12
Andre Ellington is getting older but he is still showing he’s as good as ever making plays on the field. The Dragons don’t have an over-abundance of explosive players on offense, but their defense will keep them in in games as their offense manages things.
15. Dallas Six-Shooters (1-1) – Down 3
Last Week: L – Omaha Express – 23-7
While new addition Solomon Elmimian played great, his couldn’t help slow down the Omaha Express rushing attack that totaled 178 yards on the ground. Omaha was able to get things going late in the game, but by then it was over and the Six-Shooters, even with Josh McCown slinging the ball all over the field, couldn’t rally back.
16. Jacksonville Stingrays (1-1) – Down 1
Last Week: L – @ Orlando Rockets – 28-14
Jacksonville started off great against Orlando but wavered down the stretch in their loss. It’s disappointing and there are no consolation victories, but the Stingrays do have to feel a little good about playing so tough against such an elite franchise like the Rockets.
17. Carolina Generals (1-1) – Down 6
Last Week: L – @ Washington Wave – 21-16
Washington stacked the box to force the Generals to win by passing the ball, and Carolina was not able to succeed like that. Colin Kaepernick ended up with 253 yards and a touchdown while also scrambling for 111 yards, but he alone could not lead the Generals to a win. With Frank Gore and Tarik Cohen being completely shut down the Generals simply couldn’t score enough to win, though their defense did keep them in the game.
18. Milwaukee Warriors (0-2) – Down 8
Last Week: L – @ New York Marauders – 56-20
Okay, Milwaukee has played two of the best teams in the league to start the year, and two of the best defenses at that. But their own defense has been absolutely abysmal. The Warriors are better than a 0-2 start might suggest, but they are 0-2 and their defense really needs to do some soul-searching.
19. Louisville Cougars (1-1) – Down 6
Last Week: L – Columbus Explorers – 42-32
Jeremiah Masoli lit it up again but the Explorers did a great job of limiting the rest of the Cougars offense. Louisville does have to be disappointed in the fact that their defense did give up 42 points, though. That unit has a lot of talent but needs to figure out a way to put it together more.
20. New Orleans Nightmare (0-2) – Down 6
Last Week: L – Nashville Renegades – 41-14
New Orleans has a lot to figure out after a 0-2 start, but they have been down this road before. It wasn’t long ago that they started off 0-4 and ended up going to the Grand Finale. The offensive line really struggled to a point it crippled the team. Aaron Murray was sacked seven times and it prevented the team from even being remotely competitive.
21. Virginia Admirals (1-1) – No Change
Last Week: L – Boston Dragons – 26-12
McLeod Bethel-Thompson didn’t have the dominant game like he had week one. He faced a very tough defense and it is clear the Admirals don’t have quite enough around him to be a championship contender, but things could play the right way and they could rack up some decent wins through the year and maybe contend for the final postseason spot.
22. Indianapolis Speed (1-1) – Up 2
Last Week: W – St. Louis Stallions – 19-14
The Speed could use an answer to their running game. They managed just 2.2 yards per carry for a total of 56 yards. Against better teams, that has to improve and the Speed need to be more balanced. Case Keenum is managing well and this time it was Tim White with 13 receptions for 189 yards and a touchdown that stepped up as his weapon in the passing game. The defense played very well, though. If the offense gets a pop from the running game the Speed will be a tough opponent.
23. Miami Mustangs (1-1) – Up 5
Last Week: W – Utah Raptors – 30-24 (OT)
Bart Houston had a big week for Miami, passing for three touchdowns and 407 yards. He can’t be relied on for those big games every week but in a good matchup against a young Utah Raptors secondary he was able to have great success. Chris Matthews caught seven passes for 140 yards and two touchdowns while Reggie Begelton has 144 yards on nine receptions. The defense did a good job holding against the run, preventing the balance the Raptors want.
24. Sacramento Bandits (1-1) – Up 5
Last Week: W – Seattle Orcas – 23-20
The Bandits didn’t start well but they had a tremendous fourth quarter rally to pick up their first win of the year. While LeSean McCoy really struggles in his debut, Blake Bortles to Cameron Meredith was a strong connection while kicker Taylor Russolino actually was there Bandits hero with 11 of their total points.
25. Utah Raptors (1-1) – Down 3
Last Week: L – @ Miami Mustang – 30-24 (OT)
Utah’s young secondary proved to be a liability against Miami as Bart Houston ripped them up. The Raptors will be making some big changes this week, but think it will help them despite moving some talented players out. The moves will help them get into a more natural 4-3 defense for their personnel rather than the 3-4 defense that forced people to be out of their natural positions. That will take time to gel, though.
26. San Diego Diablos (0-2) – Down 3
Last Week: L – @ Buffalo Warriors – 35-14
Was San Diego a one-year wonder? So far after back-to-back losses it appears their 13-3 season a year ago might be that, but their defense has performed well. The Diablos mostly are just young, waiting for key players in key positions to get more experience. They will go through some growing pains they didn’t really suffer through last year with an easier schedule than they have this season.
27. Seattle Orcas (0-2) – Down 2
Last Week: L – @ Sacramento Bandits – 23-20
Isaiah Crowell still looks like a generational talent. He’s impossible to bring down. He averaged 4.9 yards per carry for 143 yards and a score. But the passing game is still coming along. Brett Rypien is developing and probably could use more explosive weapons as he does.
28. Philadelphia Bulldogs (0-2) – Down 2
Last Week: L – @ Atlanta Firebirds – 29-0
The Trace McSorley era kicked off with a major crash and burn, but really it wasn’t his fault. McSorley isn’t and shouldn’t be expected to come in an light things up. He bring more athleticism and dynamic ability than Nate Sudfeld did, but this team needs Jay Ajayi to carry the load and Atlanta put together an incredible gameplan to prevent him from getting going. Without Ajayi rolling, the Bulldogs had no chance.
29. Mississippi Gators (0-2) – Down 2
Last Week: L – Birmingham Predators – 55-14
It’s been rough for Mississippi. Their offensive line has just been a failure this year and it’s prevented them from doing anything this year so far. Vad Lee is doing everything he possibly can but he was sacked seven times in the game.
30. St. Louis Stallions (0-2) – No Change
Last Week: L – @ Indianapolis Speed – 19-14
St. Louis’ offensive line hasn’t done them too well and Zach Mettenberger is trying to force things. That is a gunslingers mentality, though. Alfred Blue hasn’t been able to balance out the offense and with Mettenberger making a lot of mistakes, the Stallions just don’t have the defense to make up for it.
Week Two Awards
Offensive Player of the Week:
QB Bo Levi Mitchell, San Antonio Marshalls
31-for-37 (83.8%), 429 Pass Yards, 6 Pass TDs, 3 Rushes, 15 Rush TDs (5.0 YPC)
Defensive Player of the Week:
DE Alex Okafor, San Antonio Marshalls
5 Tackles, 4 Sacs, 1 PD, 2 Hurries
Special Teams Player of the Week:
RET Janarion Grant, New York Marauders
3 KR, 129 KR Yards (43.0 YPR), 1 KR TD (92 Yards), 2 PR, 11 PR Yards (5.5 YPR)
Rookie of the Week:
QB Gardner Minshew, Buffalo Gunners
22-for-27 (81.5%), 279 Pass Yards, 3 Pass TDs, 6 Rushes, 28 Rush Yards (4.7 YPC)
Week Three Preview
Virginia Admirals @ New York Marauders
Virginia has done a decent job, but they haven’t shown anything close to the firepower it is going to take to upset New York.
Pick: New York Marauders
Washington Wave @ Indianapolis Speed
Indianapolis has a defensive that could keep the Wave in check, but their unbalanced offense has been an issue and they might not be able to score enough. Still, expect this game to be closer than you’d assume.
Pick: Washington Wave
Atlanta Firebirds @ Birmingham Predators
This is going to be the big test for the Firebirds defense, and also the Predators offense. Birmingham has a load of offensive talent but haven’t been able to really get things going yet. Their defensive could be too much for Nick Arbuckle as well. The Firebirds are still looking for their first win over a top opponent maybe ever. They are a quality team looking to take that next step. Until they do and until Birmingham proves otherwise, we just don’t think this will be the week.
Pick: Birmingham Predators
Mississippi Gators @ Jacksonville Stingrays
The Gators offensive line has been among the worst in the league while the Stingrays rank fourth in the league in sacks so far. The Stingrays defense might struggle to keep up with Vad Lee, but the rest of the Gators offense won’t be nearly as big of a problem.
Pick: Jacksonville Stingrays
San Antonio Marshalls @ Dallas Six-Shooters
The classic rivalry in the Cotton Bowl has two of the best quarterbacks going head-to-head, but while one is in his prime playing amazing ball, the other is well past his and while he’s still keeping up, he’s not looking like the guy that can put his team entirely on his arm. Still, either Bo Levi Mitchell or Josh McCown could still win a shootout any week. San Antonio’s defense might be the bigger difference.
Pick: San Antonio Marshalls
Buffalo Gunners @ Omaha Express
Neither team is sexy, but this should be a great game between two tremendously matched opponents. Buffalo ranks second in the league on defense, Omaha is third. Buffalo is fourth in rushing offense, Omaha is sixth. The difference could be passing, as Buffalo is much better and has scored more through the air, but Terrelle Pryor is a much bigger playmaker than rookie Gardner Minshew. It’s basically a coin-toss, but Omaha gets the edge because they are at home.
Pick: Omaha Express
St. Louis Stallions @ Pittsburgh Forge
If the Forge can’t get things going this week then something unimaginable is wrong with them after looking like a championship contender heading into the season.
Pick: Pittsburgh Forge
Miami Mustangs @ Carolina Generals
While Miami was bad week one, they bounced back well last week. Carolina did just the opposite with a great start and poor follow up. They are inconsistent teams but Carolina’s defense might be the big difference in this game. Their pass rush might keep Bart Houston from getting going.
Pick: Carolina Generals
Orlando Rockets @ New Orleans Nightmare
Orlando hasn’t looked like the Orlando dynasty that we all know so far but they really got things going in the second half against Jacksonville. Could that be the catalyst for the rest of their season? New Orleans is terribly disappointed right now with how things have gone in their 0-2 start. They need to figure out something with their offense, that ranks tied for last in the league in sacks allowed. Against a strong pass rush like Orlando that could be very tough.
Pick: Orlando Rockets
Michigan Stags @ Columbus Explorers
A rivalry older than the league itself, this one should be a great one now that Columbus appears to be out of the cellar. Columbus might actually even be better right now thanks to Austin Ekeler, though he’ll have a tough matchup against a strong run defense. This will be a major test for Columbus, though Michigan has been uneven to start the year themselves.
Pick: Michigan Stags
Milwaukee Warriors @ San Diego Diablos
The Warriors defense has been a terrible disappointment and it has led to a 0-2 start for them. The Diablos haven’t looked very strong either. The have a strong trench game, though, and football is won in the trenches. However, they just don’t have anywhere near the firepower Milwaukee has.
Pick: Milwaukee Warriors
Nashville Renegades @ Louisville Cougars
The Renegades dominated last week and will look to carry that momentum. Louisville has seem another great start out of Jeremiah Masoli but the rest of the team has to step up around him again. The Cougars defense has struggled despite all their talent. Nashville is going to be a tough team to get going against.
Pick: Nashville Renegades
Los Angeles Avengers @ Utah Raptors
Utah’s young secondary proved to be a liability last week against Miami. Jacob Dolegala has had success passing, though the Avengers are primarly a running team. Utah is switching up their defense to go to a more natural 4-3 defense from their 3-4 defense that had a lot of guys out of position. Then again, letting go of two starters and a nickle corner and having a new starting center probably will require some time for the Raptors to gel again.
Pick: Los Angeles Avengers
Sacramento Bandits @ Boston Dragons
Boston’s pass defense hasn’t been great this year but their run defense has been strong. It could be another tough week for LeSean McCoy, and Blake Bortles has a history of inconsistency. Boston might be in a fight because Sacramento has been playing tough, but they haven’t been doing enough to show they could beat the Dragons.
Pick: Boston Dragons
Seattle Orcas @ Philadelphia Bulldogs
This is a crucial game for these two teams. Both teams need to get going and this is the week. Seattle seems closer to a victory than Philadelphia does right now, though.
Pick: Seattle Orcas