Once again, it is time for your ISF team to break down the weekly power rankings from Scouts, Inc. and insert our bold-faced wit and wisdom; also we’ll lay out the Pillow Fight of the Week, and see if Randomness can prevail and get back to a .500 record, all after the jump:
(Ed. note: prior to the jump we will completely ignore the fact we totally jinxed “American Idol” and ruined someone’s life who’s only crime was having a non-sanctioned fan site that commented on an AFL blog)
The teams denoted with an * can join Dallas with a clinched playoff berth with a win this week. Or we could just tell you it’s Georgia, Chicago, Colorado, and San Jose. Whatever.
AFL Power Rankings
|1. (1) Dallas (10-1)
Last week: Bye
This week: at Columbus
The bye week came at a good time for the Desperados. Rested and healthy, the Desperados should be ready for the stretch run carrying the tag of the best team in the AFL. And maybe with the extra rest they’ll be able to win without last-second TDs from Dr. Dolezel.
|2. (2) Georgia (9-2)*
Last week: Lost to Los Angeles 57-51
This week: vs. Tampa Bay
The Force could not withstand a strong second half by Los Angeles and their usually explosive offense was stopped four times by the Avengers’ defense. If they have another surprising loss to Tampa Bay, this hombre has eaten his last peach.
|3. (4) San Jose (8-3)*
Last week: Beat Grand Rapids 69-44
This week: at Nashville
The SaberCats continue to roll with a nine TD pass performance by QB Mark Grieb and a strong defense that limited the Rampage to 222 yards of total offense. TC’s favorite dark horse continues to impress, even if it was beating up on Grand Rapids.
|4. (3) Chicago (8-3)*
Last week: Lost to Nashville 44-27
This week: at Arizona
Without injured WR Bobby Sippio, the Chicago offense lost its explosiveness. Add in the fact the Nashville offense controlled the ball on the ground and it equals a lackluster road-loss. What did we say would happen to the Rush when Sippio went to the NFL? I believe we said the Rush would be “totally fucked”. In this case, injury = contract with Green Bay Packers.
|5. (5) Colorado (8-4)*
Last week: Beat Columbus 58-40
This week: at Grand Rapids
QB John Dutton finally put together a complete game (eight TD passes) and the Crush had a strong defensive effort that produced four turnovers in a big win over the Destroyers. Do you have any idea how hard it is to describe this win without making a lame-ass pun?
|6. (6) Orlando (7-4)
Last week: Beat Austin 46-45
This week: vs. Utah
The Predators needed a late comeback TD to beat lowly Austin for their fifth victory in their last six game. Even though they did not play a perfect game, their defense is always good. Is Other Gruden already focusing on his fall duties in Tampa Bay? Had they lost to Austin, I think Primary Gruden may have demoted his brother to Jockstrap Maintenance Specialist.
|7. (9) Los Angeles (6-5)
Last week: Beat Georgia 57-51
This week: at Kansas City
Even without key injured players DB Damon Wheeler and WR Kevin Ingram, the Avengers played a complete game with a strong second half to upset Georgia. The Law of Quarterback Supremacy is proven because Sonny Cumbie was still serviceable without his go-to WR. A surprising win – playoff dark horse candidate?
|8. (11) Philadelphia (5-6)
Last week: Beat New Orleans 78-34
This week: at Austin
The Soul got a huge mental boost with the return of QB Tony Graziani and got their swagger back in a blowout win over New Orleans. And it’s not out of the question for Philly to get into the playoffs, provided Graziani doesn’t get slammed again or miss a game to Guitar Hero Wrist.
|9. (8) Kansas City (6-5)
Last week: Lost to New York 62-56
This week: vs. Los Angeles
The Brigade got a good day from QB Raymond Philyaw (eight TD passes) and they came close at the end but they could not stop Aaron Garcia and the Dragons’ passing game. Philyaw is like a can of Miller High Life – you’re never quite sure if it’s going to be terrible or hit the spot.
|10. (7) Columbus (6-5)
Last week: Lost to Colorado 58-40
This week: vs. Dallas
The Destroyers D couldn’t stop QB John Dutton (eight TDs) and a Crush offense that scored on nine of 11 possessions. It didn’t help that they also committed four turnovers. The chances they’ll beat Dallas? I’d say Pauly Shore has a better chance of winning an Oscar.
|11. (12) Tampa Bay (5-6)
Last week: Beat Arizona 59-50
This week: at Georgia
New QB Brett Dietz (eight TDs) looks like the real deal, the Storm got a huge game from WR/KR T.T. Tolliver and the defense applied a lot pressure on Rattler QB Sherdrick Bonner. Liked Dietz’s performance? Drop by his website and say hey. We’d also like to mention the fact he played in a professional Finnish league, which is absolutely amazing.
|12. (16) New York (4-7)
Last week: Beat Kansas City 62-56
This week: at New Orleans
QB Aaron Garcia had another hot day with nine TD passes, 261 yards and no mistakes and they held off a late rally by the Brigade to climb back into the playoff race. If New York wins out and Tampa Bay or Columbus drop a few games, Garcia could lead New York to the playoffs. Which is astounding.
|13. (10) Utah (5-7)
Last week: Lost to Las Vegas 54-53
This week: at Orlando
The Blaze can’t sink lower after an embarrassing loss to Las Vegas, as their non-existent defense allowed QB Nick Rolovich to throw for 329 yards and seven TDs. They could sink lower, but it would involve flashing their genitals to the paparazzi as they get out of a car. And maybe shaving their heads. If you didn’t catch on, I’m making painfully out-of-date jokes at the expense of Britney Spears (by the way, if you had told me when I was in high school that there would be a day when I could see her birth canal on the internet, and that not only would I not want to look at it, but I’d be horrified if I did, I would have told you you’re full of shit).
|14. (14) Nashville (5-7)
Last week: Beat Chicago 44-27
This week: vs. San Jose
Nashville FB Dan Alexander was awesome again with 71 yards rushing. Without WR Bobby Sippio, Chicagohad no offensive punch and it resulted in a big, physical win for the Kats. 71 yards rushing. In the AFL. Seventy. One. Rushing. Yards.
|15. (13) New Orleans (4-7)
Last week: Lost to Philadelphia 78-34
This week: vs. New York
The VooDoo played as poorly as they are capable of in a blowout loss to Philadelphia. They were outhit and manhandled by a Soul defense that scored three TDs of their own. The Voo Doo aren’t getting any love from Scouts, Inc. And, after watching that game, we can say they kind of deserve it.
|16. (17) Grand Rapids (3-8)
Last week: Lost to San Jose 69-44
This week: vs. Colorado
The Rampage defense had no answer for San Jose QB Ben Grieb (nine TD passes) and their offense couldn’t get anything going versus a stingy SaberCats defense. Basically, they are bad at all things necessary to being good at football.
|17. (15) Arizona (3-9)
Last week: Lost to Tampa Bay 59-50
This week: vs. Chicago
The Tampa Bay defense harassed QB Sherdrick Bonner all night and the Rattlers defense and special teams did not play well versus surging Storm. And when Bonner filed a complaint with AFL HR, they coldly told him if he didn’t want to be harassed, he shouldn’t dress the way he does.
|18. (18). Austin (3-8)
Last week: Lost to Orlando 46-45
This week: vs. Philadelphia
The Wranglers took Orlando right down to the wire after leading for most of the game before giving up a last-second QB in a tough home loss. Re-read this sentence out loud and tell me how much ESPN really cares about the AFL.
|19. (19) Las Vegas (2-10)
Last week: Beat Utah 54-53
This week: Bye
The Gladiators ended a nine-game losing streak with a shocking win over Utah thanks to a big night by unknown QB Nick Rolovich, good kick returns and excellent defensive pressure. Rolovich temporarily knocked Timmy Chang off of Hawaii’s roster. He has to be good if he upstaged the guy, who, by the numbers, is the greatest college quarterback in the history of the NCAA. Or maybe he’s just better than fellow NFL castaway Shaun King.
WEEK 13 CAN’T MISS RANDOM PICK: Randomness bit me in the ass last week and dropped us down to 5-6 after Las Vegas pulled a huge win over Utah out of the cavernous depths of their asses. And of course, I can’t go with a “fuck randomness in favor of spite” pick because they’re on a bye. So we’re going to really scrape the bottom of the randomness barrel to get a decent matchup, and we’ll say randomness dictates eating crow with the CMRP this week: we were wrong about Philly. As an apology to Jaws/JBJ, we’ll honor the Soul with the CMRP over AFL powerhouse Austin (3-8) when they host Philly on Sunday.
THE PICK: PHILLY 65, Austin 42.
WEEK 13 PILLOW FIGHT: LOS ANGELES vs KANSAS CITY
This isn’t a pillow fight in the classic sense, but these are teams that have been alternately the Rolls Royce of AFL Supremacy and the Chevy Vega of AFL Self-Immolation. Saturday’s match up could be an utter shoot-out, a rout, or a pre-pubescent crap-fling. If you’re horrified by the previous metaphor, you clearly didn’t attend the same day-care I did.