“Are you not entertained?”
Say it ain’t so: New Orleans in an upset win, Cleveland Whatevers on the playoff fast track, Chicago in a sloppy loss? Well, sadly, we can believe that last one. Ripping off Grampa Gary, Can’t Miss Random Pick, and Weekend Pillow Fight are calling you after the jump.
Is it me, or is there an undercurrent of disgust in the bottom half of Gary’s rankings? Like he lost a lot of money over the weekend?
AFL Power Rankings (Week 2)
|1. Philadelphia Soul (2-0) | Previous: 2 | Week 2: Beat Chicago 60-49 | Next: vs. New York
The Soul scored 137 points in two weeks and are the most complete team in the AFL right now. The Tony Graziani-to-Chris Jackson duo continues to be explosive, the defense is solid and the special teams are top-notch. ISF does not care to comment on this game, other than we are continually amused by the similarity of Graziani’s nose to JM’s fathers’.
|2. Dallas Desperados (2-0) | Previous: 3 | Week 2: Beat Columbus 46-36 | Next: vs. Colorado
The Desperados used a solid defensive effort, especially early in the game, and got solid production from backup quarterback Chris Sanders and receiver Marcus Nash. The defense held Columbus to just 1-of-7 on third down. Dallas’ defense pulled the football equivalent of standing next to the kid with the potato-shaped head to look better in comparison.
|3. Los Angeles Avengers (2-0) | Previous: 5 | Week 2: Beat Arizona 65-33 | Next: at Georgia
QB Sonny Cumbie and the Avengers’ offense played a solid game, but their defense was the real difference. They made four consecutive stops in the second half to not only stymie Arizona’s offense but also give their offense a short field. Having a short field in the AFL is akin to being the tallest Munchkin.
|4. Tampa Bay Storm (2-0) | Previous: 4 | Week 2: Beat Georgia 69-48 | Next: at New Orleans
QB Brett Dietz played almost a mistake-free game with seven touchdown passes versus a sloppy Force team that could not pressure him. But the real difference was the defense, which produced two interceptions, three tackles for loss and one sack. As the internet’s leading authorities on Brett Dietz, we’re glad to see him improve from last week’s 2 TD passes, which means next week he should throw for 12.
|5. Chicago Rush (1-1) | Previous: 1 | Week 2: Lost to Philadelphia 69-49 | Next: at Grand Rapids
The usually powerful Rush defense struggled to slow down the hot Soul offense and QB Tony Graziani. QB Sherdrick Bonner played a decent but not great game, and the Rush were exploited in the kicking game. As Northwestern alums, being exploited in the kicking game is not new to your editors.
|6. San Jose SaberCats (1-1) | Previous: 6 | Week 2: Beat Grand Rapids 66-58 | Next: vs. Arizona
The SaberCats survived a scare at Grand Rapids after falling behind by two touchdowns early; they came back in the second half behind QB Mark Grieb and a strong defensive pass rush that frustrated the Rampage. ‘Inspiring victory’ does not have this box score next to it in the dictionary with phrases and AFL allusions.
|7. Cleveland Gladiators (2-0) | Previous: 8 | Week 2: Beat Utah 66-63 | Next: at Columbus
The surprising Gladiators continue to play exciting offensive football and are getting excellent production from QB Raymond Philyaw. They have some work to do on their pass defense, but this is a fun team to watch. The ‘surprising Gladiators’ are ready to be the ‘that was expected Gladiators’ next week versus Ohio rivals ‘the painfully inept Destroyers’.
|8. Colorado Crush (1-0) | Previous: 9 | Week 2: Bye | Next: at Dallas
The Crush had an early week off but now face one of the two best teams in the AFL. Dallas is playing smart offense and opportunistic defense, and Colorado must play nearly a mistake-free game on both sides of the ball if it hopes to win. Or they could just go for the backup QB’s knees. That usually works, too.
|9. Georgia Force (0-2) | Previous: 7 | Week 2: Lost to Tampa Bay 69-48 | Next: vs. Los Angeles
The Force were sloppy, with 14 penalties, two interceptions and two lost fumbles. They could not control the Tampa Bay defense, which forced three turnovers and had a key defensive stop. The much-publicized Force pass rush did not produce a sack; this team is not in sync yet. You have to really want it to get 14 penalties in an AFL game.
|10. Orlando Predators (0-2) | Previous Rank: 11 | Week 2: Lost to New Orleans 54-53 | Next: vs. Utah
This is a game the Predators should have won, but they let it get away. The New Orleans defense made plays late in the game and Orlando did not. Plus, 11 penalties, two interceptions and two fumbles didn’t help. Finally, where is the defensive pressure? I think it left during free agency.
|11. Arizona Rattlers (1-1) | Previous: 10 | Week 2: Lost to Los Angeles 65-33 | Next: at San Jose
The Rattlers’ offense could not convert in the second half as the Los Angeles defense controlled the tempo with a pass rush that produced five sacks, five tackles for loss and two interceptions. And it’s hard to win when you commit 11 penalties. The ‘Get Your Season Ticket Money Back’ Watch is back to exactly what we expected.
|12. New Orleans VooDoo (1-1) | Previous: 15 | Week 2: Beat Orlando 54-53 | Next: vs. Tampa Bay
The VooDoo shocked division rival Orlando with an excellent defensive fourth quarter, led by two interceptions and a key pass breakup. They also got a solid game out of backup quarterback Danny Wimprine and stopped an Orlando two-point conversion to seal the win at the end. Someone should have told Gruden – going for the two points and the win only works when you’re Boise State or in “The Longest Yard”.
|13. New York Dragons (1-1) | Previous: 16 | Week 2: Beat Kansas City 50-47 | Next: at Philadelphia
The Dragons surprised Kansas City and did it with a solid passing game led by QB Rohan Davey. Also, a good defensive effort, led by DB Billy Parker, produced six defensive stops. It was a solid character win for New York. ‘Character win’ is code for ‘Philly is going to fucking destroy this team next weekend’.
|14. Columbus Destroyers (0-2) | Previous: 12 | Week 2: Lost to Dallas 46-36 | Next: vs. Cleveland
Columbus really struggled early and never could dig out of the hole as the Dallas defense dominated with key stops all game long. The Destroyers were only 1-of-7 on third-down conversions, but at least they played better in the second half. I can’t rip on Columbus too much. Matt Nagy is really nice, and totally let me scratch his playoff beard.
|15. Grand Rapids Rampage (0-1) | Previous: 17 | Week 2: Lost to San Jose 66-58 | Next: vs. Chicago
The Rampage made it interesting by really pushing the AFL champs to the edge, but they just couldn’t stop QB Mark Grieb and San Jose’s versatile pass offense. QB Adrian McPherson was really bothered by the SaberCats’ pass-rush pressure. I defer to TC on all issues concerning slamming Grand Rapids. You can’t mess with the master.
|16. Kansas City Brigade (0-2) | Previous: 13 | Week 2: Lost to New York 50-47 | Next: Bye
QB John Fitzgerald threw for 238 yards and four touchdowns and continues to show his mobility (he scrambled for another three scores). But six defensive stops by the New York defense hurt. Another crushing stat: The Brigade were only 4-of-12 on third- and fourth-down conversions. I like to think teams going into bye-weeks with crushing losses have the advantage the following week. Especially when the following week is versus Grand Rapids.
|17. Utah Blaze (0-2) | Previous: 14 | Week 2: Lost to Cleveland 66-63 | Next: vs. Tampa Bay
The promise of an improved Blaze defense continues to be a mirage as the Gladiators and Raymond Philyaw picked them apart. QB Joe Germaine put up great numbers, but this is the same old story. Utah must win games with offensive shootouts, and that won’t work every week in this league. Grampa Gary is so bored with this team it is making him angry. We think this is fantastic.
CAN’T MISS RANDOM PICK:
CMRP is 2-0? We couldn’t be more thrilled. Fuck Humble Pie, we’re going all the way to the Arena Bowl, and this week, Tampa Bay over Utah is the meal ticket.
What’s that, you say? Grampa Gary messed up his scheduling? Utah is playing Orlando, Tampa Bay is playing New Orleans? Fine. Tampa Bay wins, Utah loses. At least 1/2 of those predictions will be correct.
WEEKEND PILLOW FIGHT:
ABCB RHYME TIME!
In the City of Clouds,
The Benedict is Lando
Utah is bad
But so is Orlando.