Are you ready for the triple threat of Power Rankings with bold face cynicism, the CMRP that’ll hopefully push us to 4-3, and a guide to the worst upcoming games that you wouldn’t bother watching even if it guaranteed you a Sexy Party with the Bush twins? In one post? If you have the cajones, now’s the time to take the jump:
1. (1) Dallas (7-0)
|2. (2) Chicago (5-1)
Last week: Bye
This week: at Grand Rapids
Surging Rush had week off to work on weaknesses, which are few, and they are quietly starting to look like the complete team they were a year ago. Quietly surging: isn’t that how Presbyterians have sex?
|3. (3) Georgia (6-1)
Last week: Beat Las Vegas 69-68
This week: vs. Dallas
Las Vegas played with pride and an excellent new quarterback, Brian Jones, who finished with 366 passing yards and nine TDs, including one rushing. But it wasn’t enough to overcome Force QB Chris Greisen (10 TD passes) and Georgia’s dynamic trio of receivers. Even for the AFL, 10 TD passes in a single game is mildly ludicrous. Dolezel may have the PhD, but Greisen played like he was the resident ‘Doctor of Love’ at Northwest Missouri State.
|4. (4) Philadelphia (4-2)
Last week: Lost to Dallas 51-41
This week: at Columbus
The Soul lost QB Tony Graziani early with a shoulder injury but played hard behind backup Juston Wood until Dallas pulled away in the fourth quarter in a very physical game. With Graziani out and Wood showing he was a little shaky, it may be a matter of time before we actually see Jaws suit up and get under center.
|5. (5) Utah (5-2)
Last week: Beat Los Angeles 76-63
This week: vs. Arizona
Another huge night by QB Joe Germaine (371 yards, 10 TDs) kept the Blaze undefeated at home. Utah even played a little defense in a big division win. I love that in the AFL, ‘a little defense’ means you held the opposition to a mere nine touchdowns.
|6. (9) Orlando (3-3)
Last week: Beat Tampa Bay 61-37
This week: vs. New York
A great defensive second quarter (four forced turnovers) gave the Predators a huge early lead and they never looked back. Orlando’s special-teams play was also impressive. A much-need win for Other Gruden, who is begging his family for acceptance and forgiveness. They reminded him, in no pleasant terms, he only beat Tampa Bay, and sent him to his room without dessert.
|7. (8) New Orleans (4-3)
Last week: Beat San Jose 67-54
This week: at Austin
QB Steve Bellisari, filling in for the injured Andy Kelly, played a great game, throwing seven touchdown passes versus a good San Jose defense. The VooDoo defense also played well in the win. Steve Bellisari proves that Italians are good at things that don’t involve art, wine, or degrading women.
|8. (11) Colorado (4-3)
Last week: Beat New York 49-48
This week: vs. Las Vegas
It took a last-second touchdown pass from QB John Dutton to WR Damian Harrell for the Crush to beat the struggling Dragons. Colorado DB Chris Angel snagged three interceptions. Colorado is dangerously close to being lumped in with Austin and Columbus in my book: after three picks and still barely winning against New York, I’ll bet John Elway’s getting ready to follow Jaws’ lead and suit up.
|9. (10) Kansas City (4-2)
Last week: Beat Grand Rapids 52-41
This week: at Nashville
Steady KC QB Raymond Philyaw found a new offensive weapon in big TE Boo Williams (three TD catches), and made good decisions and big plays as he picked apart the Rampage defense. Once the Brigade finds their new defensive/provider-of-mementos-in-tree-nook weapon in LB Boo Radley, Kansas City will be unstoppable against literature and Depression-era racism.
|10. (6) San Jose (3-3)
Last week: Lost to New Orleans 67-54
This week: vs. Los Angeles
The SaberCats’ defense was embarrassed by backup VooDoo QB Steve Bellisari and had no answer for the New Orleans defensive pressure. The loss of DL Henry Taylor will be costly. I was going to make a snide remark about finding another player from Taylor’s college, but he was on the SEC Academic Honor Roll while playing at SEC powerhouse… South Carolina. So, there you go.
|11. (7) Los Angeles (3-3)
Last week: Lost to Utah 76-63
This week: at San Jose
The Avengers’ defense had no answer for the Blaze and QB Joe Germaine, who ended up with 10 TDs. L.A. couldn’t hold on to the ball on offense in a disappointing road loss. Surprise surprise: a team based in a city with some of the worst air pollution in the country can’t beat a team that plays in the clear (high altitude) air of the Rockies.
|12. (13) Columbus (3-3)
Last week: Beat Austin 72-49
This week: vs. Philadelphia
With a huge game from QB Matt Nagy (326 yards, nine TD passes), the Destroyers routed the defensively challenged Wranglers. Columbus DB Jerald Brown dominated on defense. At least no-one wrote that the Destroyers ‘destroyed’ the Wranglers. Lames-ville. I still think Columbus is under-performing for an Ohio-based team.
|13. (12) Nashville (3-4)
Last week: Beat Arizona 62-36
This week: vs. Kansas City
QB Jeff Smoker (six TD passes) is starting to look like the real deal, and the Kats’ defense limited the big Rattlers’ offense with the help of six turnovers in a huge road win. CMRP could’ve used a road win a few weeks ago, Pole Smoker.
|14. (14) Austin (2-5)
Last week: Lost to Columbus 72-49
This week: vs. New Orleans
QB Adrian McPherson is making more plays with his feet than his arm, which is not good in the AFL. Plus, the Wranglers’ defense cannot make quality stops, especially on third down. A ‘quality’ stop, of course, comes in its own leather-bound collector’s case.
|15. (15) Grand Rapids (2-4)
Last week: Lost to Kansas City 52-41
This week: vs. Chicago
The Rampage played hard but really struggled to make key stops or slow Kansas City QB Raymond Philyaw. Grand Rapids QB Chad Salisbury came back to earth (three TD passes). And on his way to the parking lot, Salisbury was assaulted by estranged astronaut lover Lisa Nowak.
|16. (17) Arizona (1-6)
Last week: Lost to Nashville 62-36
This week: at Utah
Fading Rattlers still cannot make quality defensive stops. The Nashville defense sat back and wouldn’t allow Arizona enough big offensive plays in an embarrassing home loss. The Rattlers are in a complete tail-spin. It seems no matter what the league, Arizona is where football teams go to die.
|17. (18) New York (1-5)
Last week: Lost to Colorado 49-48
This week: at Orlando
Dragons played hard early, but fell apart with poor execution on offense and special teams before making a late push. By then, though, it was too little, too late. Rohan Davey may get a much-needed mental edge this week after we promoted him to “Reverse Kurt Warner B”… or maybe not, since the Original Reverse Kurt Warner played so well for Las Vegas.
|18. (19). Las Vegas (1-6)
Last week: Lost to Georgia 69-68
This week: at Colorado
There may be new hope for the Gladiators after a great performance by new QB Brian Jones (366 yards, eight TD passes), but Georgia’s passing game was too much. Mysterious Brian Jones: second QB to helm Las Vegas, his jersey number is 14 (14/2=lucky number 7), and they almost beat power house Georgia… if I were a betting man, I’d say Las Vegas is bound for a strong second half of the season.
|19. (16) Tampa Bay (1-6)
Last week: Lost to Orlando 61-37
This week: Bye
The Storm fell into an early hole as the Orlando defense and special teams dominated. Tampa is a team in trouble without enough playmakers. Sanjaya Malakar : Music :: Tampa Bay Storm : Football
WEEK 8 CMRP: As much as I’d want to congratulate the city of Chicago with getting the US bid to host the Olympics by predicting a win with CMRP (3-3 following a week 1 bye), it seems like a bit of a gimme given they’re playing Grand Rapids this weekend. The logical leap is to take New Orleans over Austin, given my paesano pride with Voo Doo QB Steve Bellisari. Granted, this is also a bit of a gimme pick, but then again, New Orleans hasn’t exactly proved themselves to be America’s team, so I hope you’ll forgive me. THE PICK: New Orleans 52, Austin 38.
GUIDE TO WEEKEND PILLOW FIGHTS: Actually, this weekendit looks like most of the games are either a terrible mis-match, or two decent to really good teams slugging it out (Dallas and Georgia play at 7 ET Saturday), so this week we’ll give you the biggest blowouts-to-be on the horizon:
FRIDAY: Utah (5-2) vs Arizona (1-6): Arizona has had many a close game this season, dropping their first three games by a total of ten combined points, but they’re playing Utah this week at home. Do you remember the part in Jaws when the shark devours the kid on the raft? That’s probably close to what this game is going to look like.
SATURDAY: Chicago (5-1) vs Grand Rapids (2-4): As previously stated, Chicago is just too good and Grand Rapids is too bad to imagine this one will be even close. So long as we’re going with Spielberg movie metaphors, think of Jurassic Park when the T Rex eats the lawyer sitting on the can.
SUNDAY: No games are being played today. Is there a major holiday coming up? Did I miss something here?
MONDAY: Philadelphia (4-2) vs Columbus (3-3): Not really a mismatch, but it’s the only game being played Monday. Especially with QB Graziani out for Philly indefinitely, this could go either way. Spielberg movie reference: does anyone remember Alwayswhen dead Richard Dreyfuss gets John Goodman to smack himself in the face? Good thing you don’t remember, because it’s a shit comparison that isn’t going anywhere.
So there you go – there’s the trifecta for your Friday afternoon pleasure. Speaking of trios, does anyone know how to get in touch with the Bush twins?