Once again, it is time for your favorite Fizzle’d editor to take Scouts Inc.’s weekly AFL power rankings and be a total wise-ass. Also, we have a fresh Can’t Miss Random Pick that could put us to the 5-4 mark, and one hell of a Pillow Fight to look forward to. If you’re one of our (currently) four regular readers, now is the time to take the jump.
1. (1) Georgia (8-1)
|2. (2) Chicago (7-1)
Last week: Beat Philadelphia 54-43
This week: vs. Colorado
After a sluggish first half versus Philadelphia, the Rush played great second-half defense with excellent coverage schemes and posted their seventh straight win. Defense helps, but Bobby Sippio’s man-claws help more.
|3. (3) Dallas (8-1)
Last week: Beat Nashville 69-62
This week: at Utah
It took a dramatic TD pass from Clint Dolezel to Will Pettis with two seconds left to beat the gritty Kats, but the Desperadoes now have won nine consecutive home games. Dr. Dolezel narrowly avoided a nasty malpractice suit.
|4. (6) Orlando (5-3)
Last week: Beat Las Vegas 69-34
This week: at Georgia
QB Shane Stafford picked apart the Gladiators’ defense with pinpoint accuracy, and the defense made several key defensive stops as Orlando built a 34-0 halftime lead and coasted to the win over Las Vegas. Other Gruden’s parents are starting to consider returning his phone calls, and it’s been over a week since his last swirly.
|5. (8) San Jose (5-3)
Last week: Beat Utah 69-48
This week: at Arizona
The SaberCats defense forced five turnovers and sacked Utah QB Joe Germaine four sacks. San Jose QB Mark Grieb played a clean game and the SaberCats are starting to roll. Looks like proofreading isn’t a big priority for Scouts Inc., and cleanliness for Mark Grieb is.
|6. (9) Colorado (6-3)
Last week: Beat Kansas City 45-42
This week: at Chicago
The Crush have won three straight, and QB John Dutton found another receiver in Brad Pyatt (nine catches for 120 yards and a TD) to complement Damian Harrell (three TDs). Now comes a big matchup Monday night at Chicago. Too bad I’m not in charge of marketing for the AFL or ESPN, otherwise everyone would be getting psyched for the C/Rush Bowl.
|7. (7) Philadelphia (4-4)
Last week: Lost to Chicago 54-43
This week: vs. Kansas City
Undermanned Soul played hard versus Rush, especially on defense, but too many injuries make it tough for them to beat the elite teams right now. But at least they get to play at home this week. Despite the loss, QB Juston Wood is on the verge of greatness, just like Shia LaBeouf.
|8. (5) Utah (5-4)
Last week: Lost to San Jose 69-48
This week: vs. Dallas
Defensively-challenged Blaze couldn’t make key stops, and turnovers and pass protection were awful in an embarrassing loss to division-rival San Jose. So basically, in just about every aspect that’s important to winning football, Utah squatted over and dropped a collective turd on the field.
|9. (13) Los Angeles (4-4)
Last week: Beat Grand Rapids 75-71
This week: at Las Vegas
The Avengers put together a huge third quarter, then held on for an exciting win over the gutsy Rampage with Sonny Cumbie throwing for 361 yards and seven TDs. I want to be more excited for the Avengers, but they were almost rocked by the Junior Detroit Lions.
|10. (4) Columbus (4-4)
Last week: Lost to Tampa Bay 34-32
This week: vs. New York
In a game that featured limited offensive explosiveness, the Storm defense controlled QB Matt Nagy and the Columbus offense in a game the Destroyers should have won. Replace “limited offensive explosiveness” with “fucking terrible football teams”, and you’ll know exactly how we at ISF feel about this little slap-fest.
|11. (11) Nashville (4-5)
Last week: Lost to Dallas 69-62
This week: at Grand Rapids
The Kats played hard and ran the ball well versus a good Dallas defense, but they couldn’t make enough key defensive stops late to upset the Desperados. Any Kats cheerleaders need consoling? You know where to find me. On the Internets.
|12. (12) New Orleans (4-5)
Last week: Lost to Georgia 72-57
This week: Bye
Stopping the potent Georgia passing game is the toughest job in this league, and the VooDoo became another victim of QB Chris Greisen and his great trio of receivers. Take the week off to lick your wounds, Voo Doo. We won’t be harsh on you for this loss, but we’ll suggest that after losing to Austin in OT, you can’t be too surprised.
|13. (10) Kansas City (4-4)
Last week: Lost to Colorado 45-42
This week: at Philadelphia
The Brigade defense could not stop Colorado QB John Dutton and WRs Damian Harrell and Brad Pyatt, and Kansas City’s own passing game couldn’t make enough big plays. Raymond Philyaw, PLEASE either have a huge win or insufferable loss so we can know what to make of you. You’re the OK Cola of the AFL (true story: when I first tried it, I said out loud, without irony and without realizing the banality of what I was saying, “Hmm… it’s okay”).
|14. (15) Austin (3-5)
Last week: Bye
This week: vs. Tampa Bay
Wranglers are coming off bye week to face a gutsy Storm bunch that is playing pretty good defense. QB Adrian McPherson must play with more consistency. Either you win this fucking game, Adrian, or I’m going to start calling you “Byron Leftwich 2.0”.
|15. (17) Tampa Bay (2-6)
Last week: Beat Columbus 34-32
This week: at Austin
The Storm lost QB John Kaleo and had to count on a lot of new players in a sluggish offensive performance. Luckily, the defense stepped up and took over the game. Even if you go on a two-week winning streak over Columbus and Austin, I’ll be about as impressed as I am every time some cracker teenager drives by in his 1996 Honda Civic with the fart tube and tinted windows blasting “Still D-R-E”.
|16. (18) New York (2-6)
Last week: Beat Arizona 67-45
This week: at Columbus
The Dragons are a different team with QB Aaron Garcia (seven TD passes), and their defense even recorded four interceptions. Now they are ready to turn their season around. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but New York may actually start to be… good.
|17. (16) Grand Rapids (2-6)
Last week: Lost to Los Angeles 75-71
This week: vs. Nashville
The Rampage got a huge night from Timon Marshall as a receiver and kick returner (406 total yards), but they couldn’t make enough key stops versus a hot Avengers passing game. Even for the AFL, 406 yards for a WR/KR is fucking absurd.
|18. (14). Arizona (2-7)
Last week: Lost to New York 67-45
This week: vs. San Jose
When the Rattlers don’t score a lot of points, it puts too much pressure on a defense that just isn’t good enough to pick up the slack. Although Sherdrick Bonner threw six TD passes, he was also intercepted four times. And yet ‘Zona only lost by 23 points.
|19. (19) Las Vegas (1-8)
Last week: Lost to Orlando 69-34
This week: vs. Los Angeles
It’s tough to win in this league if you don’t score points and the Gladiators offense was totally outmatched by an aggressive Predators’ defense. At least Vegas outscored Columbus this week. I hope the Gladiators are excited to get to 1-9.
WEEK 10 CAN’T MISS RANDOM PICK: The CMRP currently sits at 4-4 (following a first week bye), thanks to the magic hands of Bobby Sippio, and this week we’re looking to go all the way to a winning record (“What’s that?” asks the Tampa Bay Storm and the New York Yankees). As of two weeks ago, Rohan “Reverse Kurt Warner B” Davey was no longer needed by the Dragons, and the folks in Joe Torre country are looking for something to get excited about – that’s where returning QB Aaron Garcia comes in. Although we’re not sure if he’s related to inexplicably-let-go-by-Philly-Eagles QB Jeff Garcia, we do know this – before he broke his leg, he was leading Dr. Dolezel in career TDs. New York is going to be back on the AFL map, and not even Columbus QB/real-estate agent Matt Nagy can stand in his way. Your Week 10 CMRP:
NEW YORK 69, COLUMBUS 45: Take that, state of Ohio.
WEEKEND PILLOW FIGHT: On Sunday, Tampa Bay hosts Austin. The idea of this game actually is making me angry. It’s a shame this one isn’t being broadcast, because if it was, I’d make sure I returned from the Kentucky Derby by 4pm EDT so I could curse at my television for two and a half hours, and spend the next three explaining the situation to the Chicago Police Department and apologizing to my neighbors. Thanks for saving me the trouble and anger management courses, ESPN!