With the weekend’s match-ups behind us, let’s take a look at the good ol’ boys of Scouts Inc. had to say about everyone heading into week 9 – and how wrong they were about Columbus. [Ed. Note: I added this week's final scores in bold, so it also doubles as a Weekend in Review post. -TC]
1. (3) Georgia (7-1)
9 TDs is less than 10, but Greisen doesn’t show any signs of slowing down.
|2. (2) Chicago (6-1)
Last week: Beat Grand Rapids 77-54
This week: Win vs. Philadelphia 54-43
Coming off a bye week, the Rush seemed lethargic early, but 34 consecutive points in the second half buried the overmatched Rampage. Likewise this week Chicago started out a little slow, but any game that ends with Bobby Sippio climbing around in the stands for a modified Lambeau Leap (the All State Ascension? Blah) has to be a good game.
|3. (1) Dallas (7-1)
Last week: Lost to Georgia 78-63
This week: Win vs. Nashville 69-62
The magic finally ended for the Desperados in Georgia as Force QB Greisen picked apart their secondary for 10 TD passes in a great offensive shootout. But the magic is back with Dallas as a last-second TD lifts them over Nashville. Well, last two-seconds TD.
|4. (12) Columbus (4-3)
Last week: Beat Philadelphia 44-21
This week: Lost at Tampa Bay 32-34
Philadelphia could not stop the offense of QB Matt Nagy and WR Damien Groce, but the real story was the Destroyers’ ability to make defensive stops. Columbus is starting to resemble an elite team. WHO THE FUCK PUT COLUMBUS AT 4TH? Did it occur to anyone the Columbus-Philly game was low-scoring not because of great defense, but because right now both these teams suck ass cheese?
|5. (5) Utah (5-3)
Last week: Lost to Arizona 83-69
This week: Lost at San Jose 48-69
The Blaze defense had no answer for a hot Rattlers’ offense. Even though Utah’s offense was productive, it wasn’t enough as the Blaze defense allowed 83 points. Another thing Utah didn’t have an answer for last week – how to beat San Jose.
|6. (6) Orlando (4-3)
Last week: Beat New York 52-47
This week: Won at Las Vegas 69-34
QB Shane Stafford played an efficient game. The Predators scored on all but one of their possessions as they controlled the game and beat outmatched New York. A narrow win over New York is about as impressive as a blowout win over Las Vegas.
|7. (4) Philadelphia (4-3)
Last week: Lost to Columbus 44-21
This week: Lost at Chicago 43-54
New QB Clint Stoerner couldn’t get anything going, partly due to a lack of cohesiveness and partly due to a Columbus defense that applied pressure and played a lot of press coverages. Newly returned Rex Grossman prototype Juston “SLING IT” Wood looked as good or better than Matt D’Orazio for much of last night’s game – but not for all of it.
|8. (10) San Jose (4-3)
Last week: Beat Los Angeles 73-49
This week: Won vs. Utah 69-48
The SaberCats are tough to beat at home and QB Mark Grieb was close to perfect (331 yards, eight TDs). San Jose scored three unanswered touchdowns late to preserve the win. Grieb was almost as close to perfect this past week, tossing 6 TDs to beat Utah.
|9. (8) Colorado (5-3)
Last week: Beat Las Vegas 63-53
This week: Won at Kansas City 45-42
DB Rashad Floyd had two big interception returns for touchdowns in a huge third quarter, and the passing duo of QB John Dutton and WR Damian Harrell finally got on track. And they barely stayed on track to edge Kansas City by 3.
|10. (9) Kansas City (4-3)
Last week: Lost to Nashville 49-40
This week: Lost vs. Colorado 42-45
A solid night by Brigade QB Raymond Philyaw wasn’t enough to overcome a huge rushing display by Nashville (six TDs on the ground) in an unusually conservative AFL game. Philyaw continues to amuse us with his name and sadden us he comes so close to winning.
|11. (13) Nashville (4-4)
Last week: Beat Kansas City 49-40
This week: Lost at Dallas 62-69
The Kats employed a physical ground game and produced a record six rushing TDs by FB Dan Alexander. Nashville’s ball control simply didn’t let the Brigade have the ball enough. Hoorah for controlling your balls, Nashville. Looks like Dolezel ending up owning yours this past weekend, though.
|12. (7) New Orleans (4-4)
Last week: Lost to Austin 45-38 OT
This week: Lost vs. Georgia 57-72
QB Andy Kelly returned from an injury, but the VooDoo offense could not convert key plays when it needed them in a tough overtime loss. Listen up, New Orleans – we understand you losing to Georgia this past week. But losing to Austin? Seriously.
|13. (11) Los Angeles (3-4)
Last week: Lost to San Jose 73-49
This week: Won vs. Grand Rapids 75-71
The Avengers’ defense could not slow down SaberCats QB Grieb, and L.A. QB Sonny Cumbie threw three key interceptions late to thwart any chance of a rally. Yay, they beat Grand Rapids! By four. To clarify, “Yay” and “!” were supposed to be ironic.
|14. (16) Arizona (2-6)
Last week: Beat Utah 83-69
This week: Lost at New York 48-69
The Rattlers put together four quarters of near-perfect offense, featured strong special teams and the return of WR Randy Gatewood carried them to a huge win. Getting killed by New York doesn’t equal “near perfect”. Have I already called Arizona the Detroit Lions/Cleveland Browns (win big games but drop easy ones)? Because they totally are.
|15. (14) Austin (3-5)
Last week: Beat New Orleans 45-38 OT
This week: Bye
It took overtime, but the Wranglers used a good night by QB Adrian McPherson and some key defensive stops for a big home win. Austin had a bye, or ‘off’ week this past weekend, so I guess you could say they ‘beat off’.
|16. (15) Grand Rapids (2-5)
Last week: Lost to Chicago 75-54
This week: Lost at Los Angeles 71-75
Grand Rapids played hard early, but when Chicago decided in the second half it wanted to play, this game was over for the undermanned Rampage. +10 points for climbing back from an 18-point deficit, but –20 for losing.
|17. (19) Tampa Bay (1-6)
Last week: Bye
This week: Won vs. Columbus 34-32
The Storm are coming off a much-needed bye week and has a winnable home game versus Columbus. But can they solve their QB problems? “Can they solve their QB problems?” Just because they managed to beat Columbus doesn’t mean they did.
|18. (17). New York (1-6)
Last week: Lost to Orlando 52-47
This week: Won vs. Arizona 67-45
The passing combination of QB Rohan Davey to WR Mike Horacek was effective, but New York couldn’t make defensive stops when it needed them most. Rohan, get ready for calls from Tampa Bay and Las Vegas. With their starting QB back from the DL, the Dragons won’t be needing your services anymore.
|19. (18) Las Vegas (1-7)
Last week: Lost to Colorado 63-53
This week: Lost vs. Orlando 34-69
The Gladiators allowed Colorado to score 26 unanswered points in the third quarter, and even though they played hard, they just lack enough playmakers. They’re the Cubs of the AFL.
WEEK 9′s PILLOW FIGHT OF THE WEEK [Ed. Note: This also serves as Most Motor-Control Challeneged of the Week, because... eegh. -TC]:
Tampa Bay 34, Columbus 32. It is bad enough TC and I have been following these teams all season, but this kind of bullshit just makes me want to crawl under my desk, suck my thumb, and try to work up the courage to walk across the street to the strip club to forget about all this nonsense. Tampa Bay, Columbus, listen up: either you both get your shit together or this editor is going to start getting NASTY.
And not just across the street.