Week 4 Power Rankings
1. Seattle Orcas (3-1) – No Change
Last Week: L – Charleston – 13-9
Despite Isaiah Crowell’s efficiency running the ball, the Orcas did not commit to running the ball as much as they would be expected to. Ryan Griffin was serviceable, but without the running game to lead the way, the passing game couldn’t pick up the slack. The Orcas defense dominated, but their offense was held without a touchdown as they surprisingly suffered their first loss of the year.
2. Orlando Rockets (3-1) – Up 1
Last Week: W – @ Philadelphia – 34-10
Trevor Harris had another efficient game, but the Rockets went heavy on the run and Devonta Freeman topped 200 yards, averaging 4.6 yards per carry for 201 yards and two touchdowns. That is the forumula the Rockets are going to want to use this year – a power running game supplemented by an efficient passing game, with a shut down defense. They impressively shut down Philadelphia and handed the Bulldogs their first loss of the year. They jumped out quick on the Bulldogs and forced them into a situation where Michael Vick had to pass to come back. The Rockets secondary is far too good to not have the advantage in that matchup.
3. Michigan Stags (3-1) – Up 1
Last Week: W – @ Nashville – 21-16
Once again, Michigan stuck to their classic gameplan to earn a road victory over a division foe. Michigan used their running game to grind the Nashville Renegades defense down and had 168 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns. This time, Thomas Rawls was the lead guy, showing the depth of their great backfield. And with their punishing run game, their defense mad things just as tough for their opponent. The Michigan secondary held the Renegades to only 200 yards passing and they didn’t even allow 300 yards of total offense.
4. Philadelphia Bulldogs (3-1) – Down 2
Last Week: L – Orlando – 34-10
The Bulldogs showed they are not exactly built to play from behind. Orlando got up on them in the first half and forced the Bulldogs to throw more in the second half. The Bulldogs want to grind an opponent down with Jay Ajayi in the second half. Michael Vick has proven he can still make some plays, but he’s not going to be able to lead his team to a big win.
5. San Antonio Marshalls (2-2) – Up 1
Last Week: W – Houston – 40-0
Bo Levi Mitchell showed off the power of the San Antonio Marshall to claim their victory in the battle between Texas rivals. Mitchell thew for 320 yards and four touchdowns, hitting Ricky Collins twice in the endzone. With the passing game dominating like that, the running game had plenty of space to work. Jacquizz Rodgers rushed for a season-best 138 yards. Oh, and their defense pitched a shutout. It’s hard to have a more compete game than the Marshalls had.
6. Washington Wave (3-1) – Up 1
Last Week: W – @ Pittsburgh – 37-34
After losing 17 straight games the Wave of experiencing a three game winning streak and find themselves tied for the lead in the Atlantic Division. Ryan Fitzpatrick ripped apart the struggling Forge defense, competing 31-of-45 passes for 436 yards and a touchdowns. Tyreek Hill had another marvelous day as well with 206 total yards and three scores. They have some big time playmakers on that offense.
7. Carolina Generals (3-1) – Down 2
Last Week: L – @ Omaha – 24-10
We’ll find out next week if Erik Meyer’s disappointing Week 4 performance was just an off game for him or if Omaha figured him out. Meyer led the league in passing heading into the game but threw for only 112 yards against the Express. Their running game didn’t give them enough of a boost to make up for it. Omaha just grinded through their defense with their running game.
8. Los Angeles Stars (3-1) – Up 1
Last Week: W – New York – 16-10
A win is a win, but the Stars much be disappointed with only 16 points, especially considering that they passed the ball 63 times. They are 3-1 on the year, tied for first in the Pacific Division, but they will also need some improvement in the running game. Maybe they’ll start unleashing rookie Troymaine Pope more next week.
9. Birmingham Predators (3-1) – Up 1
Last Week: W – @ Dallas – 32-26
Even without much help from the running game, the Birmingham Predators were able to lean on rookie Dak Prescott to carry then to a win. The Predators defense did disappoint as Trevone Boykin had perhaps his best game against them, but Prescott has been great early on and made the big plays when he needed to.
10. Atlanta Firebirds (2-2) – Up 4
Last Week: W – @ Columbus – 26-3
Matt Barkley faced a lot of criticism last week and may have silenced some of their doubters with a solid performance to give the Firebirds a much-needed victory over the Columbus Explorers. Allen Hurns was finally able to make the big plays we are so used to seeing him make. Moving forward we may see more DeAndre Washington, however, with Alfred Morris struggling so much.
11. Columbus Explorers (2-2) – Down 3
Last Week: L – Atlanta – 26-3
We thought Columbus was back on the rise, but they got smacked by the Atlanta Firebirds. Columbus’ defense just did not have the pass rushing effort they needed to trouble Matt Barkley. He’s been struggling this year, but wasn’t put in any bad situations against the Explorer. Meanwhile, while Columbus gave up only one sack, Terrelle Pryor was pressured all game long and was held to only 142 total yards.
12. Pittsburgh Forge (1-3) – Down 2
Last Week: L – Washington – 37-34
Pittsburgh absolutely can score, but their defense has been pretty disappointing. That wasn’t what was expected coming into this yea, but unless they sure up the defense they are going to be in these tight games all year long and without getting key stops they’ll continue to find themselves on the wrong side of the results.
13. Charleston Dragons (2-2) – Up 4
Last Week: W – @ Seattle – 13-9
The Charleston Dragons shockingly evened their record with a victory over the Seattle Orcas. All year long the Dragons defense has been among the best in the league, it has been their offense that has struggled. The offense still only produced one touchdown against Seattle, which considering is actually kind of impressive in it’s own right, but their defense, led by David Parry, was in the backfield the entire game. Parry had four of Charleston’s five sacks, which just prevented the Orcas from ever getting into a rhythm.
14. Omaha Express (2-2) – Up 4
Last Week: W – Carolina – 24-10
The parity in the league this year has been amazing. Omaha upsetting Carolina was the latest stunner. The Express have been suffering from some mediocre offensive performances, but LeGarrett Blount was able to bulldoze through the Generals defense and their own defense was able to shut down Erik Meyer, the league’s leading passer heading into the game. It was a very impressive win for Omaha as they evened their record.
15. New York Marauders (1-3) – Down 2
Last Week: L – @ Los Angeles – 16-10
Can anybody figure out how the Marauder’s upset the Orlando Rockets on opening night? The Marauders running game was miserable again as they averaged only 1.8 yards per carry for just 28 total yards. Ryan Nassib is having way too much put on him and it isn’t working. The Marauders quickly made a trade to bring in Denard Robinson after suffering their third straight loss. It is a very interesting move that may finally spark their running game.
16. Nashville Renegades (1-3) – Down 4
Last Week: L – Michigan – 21-6
On paper, the Renegades should be much better than their 1–3 record shows, but so far, their secondary has been very disappointing. While Thurston Armbrister had 11 tackles and John Chick had 6 tackles and one interception, the team’s defensive backs had a bunch of tackles too because they kept giving up pass completions. Their defense finished with only two pass deflections. The secondary needs to do better if Nashville wants to return to the playoffs.
17. Houston Wranglers (2-2) – Down 2
Last Week: L – @ San Antonio – 40-0
Connor Cook looked like a rookie in this game, but the Marshalls epic pass rush just shut everything down for the Wranglers all together. San Antonio has six sacks against Houston. They were never given an opportunity to get going and suffered a shutout.
18. New Orleans Nightmare (2-2) – Up 2
Last Week: W – @ Minnesota – 37-14
The Zack Mettenberger era has ended in the Big Easy. He was given plenty of opportunities, but was just far too inconsistent. Nick Davila, though, impressed him his debut. He proved the Nightmare made the right decision as he threw for 348 yards and three touchdowns to finally give them a player who can take advantage of all those proven receivers they have.
19. Phoenix Scorpions (1-3) – Up 3
Last Week: W – @ Louisville – 30-27
Phoenix got their first win of the year as their passing game finally got going. The constant re-shuffling of the Scorpions may have finally gotten settled with Quentin Sims as the top option. He had 113 yards and two touchdowns. That is by far the best performance by a Phoenix receiver this year. But that passing game finally helped the running game. Adrian Peterson also had his best game of the year, averaging a tremendous 7.6 yards per carry for 144 yards and two touchdowns.
20. Louisville Cougars (1-3) – Down 4
Last Week: L – Phoenix – 30-27
Jeremiah Masoli has provided the answer at quarterback for the Cougars, but they need and answer in the running game and their defense needs to get better. Once again, the Cougars were just outscored by their opponent because their defense could not make the necessary stops.
21. Dallas Six-Shooters (1-3) – Down 2
Last Week: L – Birmingham – 32-26
The Six-Shooters continue to stick with Trevone Boykin and he did show some nice improvement in Week 4, but despite 200 yards from a committee of backs, the Six-Shooters still weren’t able to pick up a win at home. Their defense has been very disappointing this year. Their pass rush hasn’t had the explosiveness off the edge and that struggle has let opposing quarterback avoid making mistakes against an opportunistic defense.
22. Minnesota Freeze (0-4)
Last Week: L – New Orleans – 34-14
The running game is still an issue here, but if they cannot get things going on the ground then the Freeze may have to find a guy who can carry the passing game. Josh McCown is the best quarterback in SFL history, and that isn’t even questionable, but he’s far past his prime and just isn’t the guy who can take over games anymore. He won’t cost them at all, but he won’t pick a defense apart either.
Week Four Awards
Offensive Player of the Week
QB Bo Levi Mitchell, San Antonio Marshalls
26-for-35, 320 Pass Yards, 4 TDs
Defensive Player of the Week
DT David Parry, Charleston Dragons
5 Tackles, 4 Sacks, 1 Hurry, 2 Forced Fumbles
Special Teams Player of the Week
P Mike Scifres, Charleston Dragons
7 Punts, 324 Punt Yards (46.3 YPP), 1 TB, 2 In20, Long 51
Rookie of the Week
WR/RB/RET Tyreek Hill, Washington Wave
5 Rec, 131 Rec Yards (26.2 YPC), 4 Rush, 75 Rush Yards (18.8 YPC), 3 Rush Tds, 5 KR, 108 KR Yards (21.6 YPR), 2 PR, 26 PR Yards (13.0 YPR)
Week Five Preview
New York Marauders @ Atlanta Firebirds
Will Denard Robinson fix the problems New York’s running game has? That has really been the only thing that has killed them this year. With a balanced offense, New York might be able to snap their losing streak on the road.
Pick: New York Marauders
Philadelphia Bulldogs @ Birmingham Predators
If Birmingham’s defense was better picking the upset might be a bit easier, but if the Predators can’t slow down Jay Ajayi then that will mean Dak Prescott will be on the sideline longer and less pressure will be put on Michael Vick.
Pick: Philadelphia Bulldogs
Orlando Rockets @ Charleston Dragons
Charleston has to feel great after upsetting the Seattle Orcas. Their offense might still have their problems, but their defense has been great all year long. That is what makes them a threat to any team the play because they can limit any team’s offense, but it is hard to see them pulling off two huge upsets back-to-back weeks.
Pick: Orlando Rockets
Houston Wranglers @ Pittsburgh Forge
This game should be very interesting, but so far the Pittsburgh Forge have shown far better ability when it comes to scoring. Their defense has been a problem this year, but even with Connor Cook having an impressive start to his rookie season, the Wranglers just miay not have the offense to pull off the road win.
Pick: Pittsburgh Forge
Omaha Express @ Washington Wave
Omaha has pulled off some impressive and somewhat unexpected victories this year, but the Washington Wave are on a roll with Tyreek Hill being allowed to showcase his explosive ability and Ryan Fitzpatrick dropping back and picking defenses apart. The one thing that could cost them here is their youth on defense against a physical and grinding running back like LeGarrette Blount, but if the Wave go up early then the Express may have to abandon the run.
Pick: Washington Wave
San Antonio Marshalls @ New Orleans Nightmare
New Orleans may have found their new answer at quarterback, but Nick Davila still is not a guy who can out-dual Bo Levi Mitchell. The Marshalls gun-slinger will have to get the ball out in a hurry against the Nightmare pass rush, but he’s proven himself against everybody.
Pick: San Antonio Marshalls
Seattle Orcas @ Louisville Cougars
Seattle suffered a stunning loss last week to Charleston, so they’ll be on a mission to rebound next week. Cougars quarterback Jeremiah Masoli may actually be able to challenge the Orcas, but there is still very little reason be believe he can have a big enough game (especially with no help from the running game) to pull off an upset against the Orcas.
Pick: Seattle Orcas
Carolina Generals @ Phoenix Scorpions
Phoenix seems to have their offense figured out a bit with a few changes at wide receiver of the past few weeks, but will that mean they can keep up passing with a high-octane group like the Carolina Generals? If it does, then we’ll have to see if first.
Pick: Carolina Generals
Los Angeles Stars @ Minnesota Freeze
Until the Minnesota Freeze makes some sort of notable change on offense to get things going it is going to be tough to imagine they will be able to keep up with a unit like Los Angeles has on that side of the ball. But then again, the Stars have struggled running the ball. Still, Case Keenum will air out the ball.
Pick: Los Angeles Stars
Dallas Six-Shooters @ Nashville Renegades
Trevone Boykin showed some improvement last week but it still isn’t clear that he can make the Six-Shooters offense a threat, even against a weak secondary like Nashville has. Even then, the Renegades passing game should be able to have success against a struggling Dallas secondary.
Pick: Nashville Renegades
Columbus Explorers @ Michigan Stags
The classic Michigan vs. Ohio rivalry renews here, but even without Denard Robinson we expect the Stags to run all over the Explorers defense. Plus, their secondary should make things very tough for Terrelle Pryor trying to pass the ball. Pryor can win other ways, but the Stags defense should get the job done.
Pick: Michigan Stags
Marauders trade for Denard Robinson
Once again the New York Marauders were active making traded, but the latest move they made just may be the big one they needed. The Marauders traded a fifth round draft pick for third-string Michigan running back Denard Robinson. Just because he was third string in a loaded Stags backfield, Robinson is still a very accomplished running back who has had a 1,200-yard rushing season and nearly topped 1,000 yards again last year.
New York averaged only 1.8 yards per carry last game before eventually releasing both Silas Redd and Tyler Gaffney. If Robinson can provide this unit with a spark then New York can be a tough group considering how many good weapons they have in the passing game.
The Stags were not actively looking to trade Robinson, but were able to get a nice draft pick for a guy they could afford to part ways with.
Nick Davila takes over in the Big Easy
Zack Mettenberger hold a record that will probably never be broke with 10 passing touchdowns thrown in a game last season, but outside that game he has been purely mediocre throughout his pro career. Finally, the New Orleans Nightmare had enough of being hopefully and pulled the plug on him being their quarterback.
Nick Davila had very good game in his start for the Nightmare, competing 28-of-43 passes for 348 yards and three touchdowns. New Orleans has the weapons on offense that a team should be able to take advantage of. If Davila can, then the Nightmare probably have enough to continue getting victories.
Keenum ties SFL record
Speaking of Zack Mettenberger records, last year against Louisville he set a new league record with 63 passing attempts in a game. This past week Los Angeles Stars quarterback Case Keenum tied that record. Certainly, his performance was not as prolific, but the 63 passing attempts does get him into the record book.
League office settles on Territorial Plan
After further research the league office has decided to stick with the owners vote and go with team’s having one FBS Power Five school and two more non-Power Five Schools schools, including one sub-FBS team. The league office also decided that the number of territorial selections will go down to two with an option for a third should one of the players come from the sub-FBS team.