Week Two Power Rankings
1. Seattle Orcas (2-0) – No Change
Last Week: W – @ Los Angeles – 20-3
Early in the year, Seattle has established themselves as the clear top team in the league. After shutting out Minnesota last week, the Orcas held a Stars squad that scored 41 points in their opener to only three points. That is right, they have allowed only three points in two games this season.
2. Orlando Rockets (1-1) – Up 1
Last Week: W – San Antonio – 13-9
Orlando might have suffered a loss in their opener, but they bounced back in a very big way against the San Antonio Marshalls. They showed they are still the team to beat. Holding an offense like the Marshalls to only nine points might end up being one of the most impressive defensive performances of the year. Their running game got going huge with Devonta Freeman finishing with 188 yards rushing.
3. Philadelphia Bulldogs (2-0) – Up 7
Last Week: W – @ Minnesota – 33-16
The Bryce Petty era has begun, but this was all about Jay Ajayi. The sometimes frustrating rookie has exploded early in his sophomore season. Ajayi set a league record with 298 rushing yards on 47 carries with four touchdowns.
4. Atlanta Firebirds (1-1) – Down 3
Last Week: W – Michigan – 10-9
Last week their defense looked like it was going to be a big problem. This week, they won an incredible defensive battle. They’ll have to make sure they get the ball to Allen Hurns more moving forward. Cameron Meredith is playing well, but Hurns is a game-changer.
5. San Antonio Marshalls (1-1) – Down 1
Last Week: L – @ Orlando – 13-9
San Antonio lost a heavyweight fight in their Week 2 game against the Orlando Rockets but Orlando completely shut down a running game that already wasn’t the best. They had eight yards on 11 rushes.
6. Michigan Stags (1-1) – Down 4
Last Week: L – @ Atlanta – 10-9
Atlanta’s defense shut Michigan’s great backfield down and the Stags faltered. Without that group dominating, Zach Collaros was not able to get positive matchups against the opposing secondary. But this was a loss against a great team. They shouldn’t worry too, too much about it.
7. Carolina Generals (2-0) – Up 5
Last Week: W – Nashville – 29-20
Erik Meyer was an absolutely perfect 21-for-21 for 282 yards and three touchdowns. Fans were clamoring for him to start last year and now that he is, the Generals have some life in their offense to go along with their tough defense.
8. New York Marauders (1-1) – Down 3
Last Week: L – @ Washington – 27-13
New York desperately needs Bryce Brown back to provide some balance to their offense. Against Washington, they rushed for only 18 yards on 10 carries. They were too one dimensional and that allowed Washington to key in on Stefon Diggs, who was shutout.
9. Columbus Explorers (1-1) – Up 2
Last Week: W – @ Phoenix – 24-14
The Explorers bounced back from their Week 1 loss as Theo Riddick and Terrell Pryor combined for 208 of the team’s 251 rushing yards. If they continue dominating on the ground then they’ll be back to winning like last year.
10. Washington Wave (1-1) – Up 5
Last Week: W – New York – 27-13
The long overdue victory finally came for the Wave in their 18th game since being re-founded. Tyreek Hill is just a fantastic weapon and is contributing everywhere. His explosive ability combined with a much, much improved defense makes Washington a threat.
11. Birmingham Predators (1-1) – Down 5
Last Week: L – Pittsburgh – 30-16
Dak Prescott had another really good game, but the running game is definitely a worry. There is no balance on this offense. He’ll need help for the team to continue winning.
12. Los Angeles Stars (1-1) – Down 3
Last Week: L – Seattle – 20-3
The Stars must be disappointed that after scoring 41 points last week that they were limited to only three in Week two. Case Keenum was tortured, throwing three interceptions while the team rushed for only 18 yards.
13. Pittsburgh Forge (1-1) – Up 3
Last Week: W – @ Birmingham – 20-16
Jon Jennings appears to be the real deal after a second straight bit game. Devontae Booker also had a very strong game on the balanced offense but their offense did a much better job than they did last game and that is why they were victorious.
14. Nashville Renegades (0-2) – Down 6
Last Week: L – @ Carolina – 29-20
Nashville’s secondary concerns are proving to be an issue. This team has a good passing attack and strong ground game. Their front seven is very strong as well, but their secondary is being picked on. Carolina was able to expose that.
15. Houston Wranglers (2-0) – Up 2
Last Week: W – @ Charleston – 20-13
Houston is 2-0, but with victories over two of the teams near the very bottom of our power rankings. The Wranglers have to be happy with the start of their season, and Connor Cook will keep them in games, but they need to prove themselves against a little bit better competition.
16. New Orleans Nightmare (1-1) – Down 3
Last Week: L – Dallas – 16-13
As good as Zach Mettenberger can be, he’s very inconsistent and that cost the Nightmare against Dallas. Still, the Nightmare have plenty of weapons that makes them far better than their result against Dallas.
17. Louisville Cougars (1-1) – Up 5
Last Week: W – @ Omaha – 27-20
Jeremiah Masoli has brought incredible life to the Louisville offense. The team finally put him in over Christian Ponder and he didn’t make them regret it. Masoli was incredible efficient, completing 22-of-29 passes for 225 yards while rushing for another 72 yards and three touchdowns. That sort of weapon was very much needed in Louisville.
18. Omaha Express (1-1) – Down 4
Last Week: L – Louisville – 27-20
And after we thought Tim Tebow was back to being his old self on a new team last week, he was the complete opposite this week. But maybe that has more to go with a poor performance by his receiving corp. Either way, this team is going to be relying on their running game moving forward with LeGarrette Blount running at tough as he is and Tebow having the explosive ability he has. We’ll need to see more out of Vontaze Burfict defensively.
19. Dallas Six-Shooters (1-1) – Up 2
Last Week: W – @ New Orleans – 16-13
The Six-Shooters ran the ball to a victory, but the offense stalled quite a bit and demanded Billy Cundiff come out for field goals. Trevone Boykin probably isn’t actually ready to be a starting quarterback yet.
20. Charleston Dragons (0-2) – Down 3
Last Week: L – Houston – 20-13
Kellen Moore isn’t playing bad at all, but he’s not going to be one who can lead a team to victory without much help from a running game. Right now, Charleston is not getting much from their running game at all. Joique Bell and Trent Richardson are done. Zach Zenner isn’t particularly explosive either.
21. Minnesota Freeze (0-2) – Down 2
Last Week: L – Philadelphia – 33-16
Minnesota has lost to two of the best teams in the league to open the season, but their losing also looks like it has something to do with Josh McCown’s clear decline and a lack-luster running game.
22. Phoenix Scorpions (0-2) – Down 2
Last Week: L – Columbus – 24-14
If they don’t have the weapons to threaten defenses with a passing attack, then it won’t matter how often they hand the ball to Adrian Peterson. Phoenix needs more weapons.
Week Two Awards
Offensive Player of the Week
RB Jay Ajayi, Philadelphia Bulldogs
47 Rushes, 298 Rush Yards (6.3 YPC), 4 Rush TDs
Defensive Player of the Week
DE Gabriel Knapton, Louisville Cougars
9 Tackles, 1 Sack, 2 Hurries
Special Teams Player of the Week
RET D’Anthony Thomas, Minnesota
3 PR, 167 PR Yards (55.7 YPR), 2 PR TDs, 4 KR, 87 KR Yards (21.8 YPR)
Rookie of the Week
OW Tyreek Hill, Washington Wave
19 Rushes, 96 Rush Yards (5.1 YPC), 2 Rush TDs, 6 Rec, 71 Rec Yards (11.8 YPC), 1 Rec TD, 2 KR, 39 KR Yards (19.5 YPR), 1 PR, 8 PR Yards (8.0 YPR)
Week Three Preview
Minnesota Freeze (0-2) @ Columbus Explorers (1-1)
Minnesota is at a crossroads after losing their first two games against teams that are near the top of the league standings. Columbus is expected to be another great team this year after making a run to the Eastern Conference Championship game last year. Unless Minnesota can find a spark for their running game, they might be 0-3.
Prediction: Columbus Explorers
Birmingham Predators (1-1) @ New York Marauders (1-1)
This is an interesting game between two teams that match up very well against each other. Birmingham has Dak Prescott, and that makes them a threat every single time they play, but the Marauders pass defense has been pretty strong. They will need a lot more from their running game and after releasing John Crockett they’ll be starting a different running back for a third straight game, unless Bryce Brown gets healthier, quicker than expected. But Birmingham’s secondary might have a tough time matching up against Stefon Diggs, Brandon Coleman and Will Tye.
Prediction: New York Marauders
Los Angeles Stars (1-1) @ Louisville Cougars (1-1)
Is Jeremiah Masoli the league’s next breakout star or was he just a one-week wonder? He really makes things very interesting for the Cougars. Los Angeles’ defense might have trouble containing him.
Prediction: Louisville Cougars
Pittsburgh Forge (1-1) @ Orlando Rockets (1-1)
Orlando bounced back last week with a great win, but hey need a lot more from their offense, especially against this Pittsburgh team that clearly knows how to score. Then again, the Rockets did hold San Antonio to only nine points. If Bo Levi Mitchell can be shut down by this Rockets team just imagine how they can limit Jonathan Jennings.
Prediction: Orlando Rockets
Omaha Express (1-1) @ Michigan Stags (1-1)
Michigan suffered a loss to a great Atlanta team last week. We don’t see them getting shut down like that again by Omaha, which just got torched by Jeremiah Masoli last week.
Prediction: Michigan Stags
Atlanta Firebirds (1-1) @ Nashville Renegades (0-2)
Nashville’s secondary is a problem. Until they do something to improve it they will give up points. Atlanta has the most dangerous passing offense in the league on paper. So far it hasn’t quite played out that way but even still, it would be foolish to expect Allen Hurns and Cameron Meredith to be slowed down in a positive matchup against a struggling pass defense.
Prediction: Atlanta Firebirds
Philadelphia Bulldogs (2-0) @ San Antonio Marshalls (1-1)
Our game of the Week, this week. San Antonio will be looking to bounce back after losing last week’s major clash against Orlando. Philadelphia, though, is 2-0 and has Jay Ajayi coming off a record-breaking performance on the ground. With their running game going, the Bulldogs have some balance to their offense that they just didn’t have last week. But Bryce Petty is still pretty untested. He’ll face a dominant pass rush next week so we’ll see how he reacts.
Prediction: San Antonio Marshalls
Washington Wave (1-1) @ Dallas Six-Shooters (1-1)
The Wave are coming off a long overdue victory, their first of the team’s new era. They successfully shut down the Marauders offense with their blue-collar defense. Dallas has struggled offensively so far this year, so they may have some real trouble scoring this week.
Prediction: Washington Wave
Carolina Generals (2-0) @ Houston Wranglers (2-0)
A very interesting game here between two unexpected 2-0 teams. These two teams started the year at the bottom of the power rankings but are 2-0. Carolina’s offense has gotten the spark it needed with Erik Meyer under center. Houston has picked on some bottom level teams, but Connor Cook has been impressive. It’s really a coin-flip here.
Prediction: Carolina Generals
Phoenix Scorpions (0-2) @ Seattle Orcas (2-0)
Seattle has allowed only three points in two blowout victories this year. Phoenix has had trouble moving the ball and scoring. This should be a blowout and while we may not want to project another shutout for the Orcas, it honestly wouldn’t be a shock considering the matchup.
Prediction: Seattle Orcas
Charleston Dragons (0-2) @ New Orleans Nightmare (1-1)
Charleston is a surprising 0-2 considering how tough they were last year, but their running game has just killed their offense, that isn’t particularly explosive anyway. The Nightmare are dealing with inconsistent play from their players, but they at least have some explosive ability on offense.
Prediction: New Orleans Nightmare
The Mississippi Cottonmouths have announced the hiring of their coaching staff for when their franchise will begin in 2018. The Cottonmouths have hired Carolina Panthers offensive coordinator Mike Shula, son of the legendary Don Shula, as their head coach. Joining him on their staff will be Wade Wilson as their offensive coordinator and Mike Trgovac as the defensive coordinator. Wilson was previously the quarterbacks coach for the Dallas Cowboys. Trgovac was once the defensive coordinator for the Carolina Panthers, but has most recently served as the defensive line coach for the Green Bay Packers.
The New York Marauders have traded a second round draft pick for the 2017 SFL Rookie draft to the Nashville Renegades for offensive guard Ted Karras. Karras as a second round pick in this past rookie draft by the Renegades.
After a league vote the SFL owners have agreed to alter the territorial draft beginning in 2018. With the league expanding and increasing the number of top players taken in the territorial draft, the league voted to move away from it’s current system. Currently teams have three territorial schools, including one sub-FBS program, from which teams can select up to five players, but only a maximum of four from any FBS school. Generally, SFL teams have territorial rights to two schools that play in the Power Five conferences. The league will now allow only one Power 5 school as a territorial attachment. The teams can still have two more territorial schools, but one must be a sub-FBS school (DI FCS, DII, DIII, NAIA). Another Division I FBS school must be considered a mid-major from the Group of Five (or Army or BYU. Should a expansion team gain territorial rights for Notre Dame they would be considered in a group with the Power 5 Conference teams). There has still been no decision on the number of selections teams may make in the territorial draft.
The Charleston Dragons have revamped their running game. After falling to 0-2 on the year, the Dragons have released disappointing running backs Joique Bell and Trent Richardson and have signed long-time NFL veteran DeAngelo Williams. The team may still go with Zach Zenner as their starter in order to give Williams times to learn the playbook and pick up the offense, but he should be expected to work into the offense pretty quickly.
The Dragons also significantly beefed up their offensive line with the signings of NFL veterans Nick Mangold and King Dunlap. Mangold was once viewed as the best center in the NFL, but has seen a recent decline in play and was still unsigned after the NFL draft. Dunlap was released by the Chargers in March after violating a protective order against an ex-girlfriend and causing a domestic disturbance.
Former New England Patriots starter Sebastian Vollmer has found a new home in the SFL with the Columbus Explorers. Vollmer is a highly skilled and disciplined offensive tackle who could provide an upgrade at tackle for the Explorers, but his signing certainly does not come without risk. Vollmer missed the entire 2016 season with an injury and was eventually released on an injury settlement in March. Vollmer obviously passed all physical tests before signing, but should still be considered an injury risk.