Week 4 Power Rankings, CMRP, and Weekend Pillow Fight conclude: Utah is terrible

27 03 2008
Chief tries to show a third-string DB how to get a takeaway
Chief tries to warm up a third-string DB with an easy takeaway
Utah is very, very bad. We know. You know it. Grampa Gary knows it. Bold faced smugness, CMRP, and Pillowfights agree after the jump. Also, forgive the hyphens between paragraphs, because WordPress has decided it’s a union-labor blog that’s taking its five-hour lunch break.
UPDATE/NOTE: Grampa Gary’s “Next” is, like, totally FUBAR.

AFL Power Rankings (Week 5)

1. Philadelphia Soul (4-0) | Previous: 1 | Week 4: Beat Los Angeles 71-34 | Next: vs. Utah
Everything pointed to a Soul letdown and an Avenger upset, but somebody forgot to tell Philadelphia’s players. Backup QB Matt D’Orazio threw eight TD passes (six to Chris Jackson) as the offense was almost perfect. Plus, the defense and special teams continue to dominate for the AFL’s most complete team. Backup’s back not acting up with defensive lockup equals doubling up.
2. Dallas Desperados (4-0) | Previous: 2 | Week 4: Beat San Jose 59-55 | Next: vs. Cleveland
Without QB Clint Dolezel and iron man Will Pettis, the Desperados showed their depth and character with a surprising road win in San Jose. Backup QB Chris Sanders is now 3-0, but it wasn’t easy versus a physical San Jose defense. However, his offensive line gave him good protection, which was a key to the win. My dad says utilizing good protection is… well, you get the idea.
3. Chicago Rush (3-1) | Previous: 4 | Week 4: Beat Colorado 70-35 | Next: at Orlando
Look out! The Rush are on the move and they are playing excellent football in all phases, especially defense and special teams. The Sherdrick Bonner to Damian Harrell duo is hot and this defense can take over a big game with key stops and turnovers. ISF approves this message.
4. New Orleans (3-1) | Previous: 8 | Week 4: Beat Cleveland 63-24 | Next: vs. San Jose
The VooDoo are becoming the surprise team in the AFL and they have now won three games in a row with new QB Danny Wimprine and they are doing it in almost a dominating fashion. Not only were they impressive on offense in the win over Cleveland, but they also dominated on defense. The addition of BillyWitchDoctor.com to the Black Magic Teams roster is starting to pay off, apparently.
5. San Jose (2-2) | Previous: 3 | Week 4: Lost to Dallas 59-55 | Next: at New Orleans
Everything was in place to hand the Desperados their first loss, but the SaberCats came up short and their 15-game home winning streak was snapped. This was a very physical game, but the usually strong San Jose pass rush couldn’t get enough pressure on Sanders. TC’s 2007 sleeper pick is about to be upset by New Orleans, methinks. UPDATE: They’re actually playing Kansas City, but they still stand a chance of losing.
6. Tampa Bay Storm (2-1) | Previous: 6 | Week 4: Bye | Next: at Columbus
This team is coming off a bye week in which the Storm hopefully corrected some pass-protection problems and found more consistency on both sides of the ball. As a result, they should not have a let down versus struggling Columbus and if Tampa Bay is an elite team it must win games like this. The last time these two teams played, Columbus won when Tampa Bay missed a last-second field goal. We’re guessing (hoping?) this one isn’t as close. UPDATE: They play Philly. Thanks for the schedule, Captain Misinformation.
7. Cleveland Gladiators (3-1) | Previous: 5 | Week 4: Lost to New Orleans 63-24 | Next: at Dallas
The upstart Gladiators received a dramatic wake up call from the surging VooDoo as they were dominated on both sides of the ball in a lopsided loss that brought their three game winning streak to a halt. Five turnovers, including four interceptions, did the Gladiators in. Silly Gladiators – only Rex Grossman can pull of a win with four interceptions.
8. Orlando (2-2) | Previous: 10 | Week 4: Beat Georgia 50-45 | Next: vs. Chicago
It might not have been pretty, but the Predators scratched out a much-needed home win over rival Georgia. It took a last-second defensive stop to preserve the victory, but this is still a team that has not yet found a real rhythm. Last-second defensive stop via questionable officiating. Other Gruden will take what he can, including Pac-10 basketball refs.
9. Los Angeles (2-2) | Previous: 7 | Week 4: Lost to Philadelphia 71-34 | Next: at Colorado
Everything was in place for an Avengers upset — a long trip by Philadelphia with a short work week and a backup QB – but the Los Angeles players forgot to show up! D’Orazio shredded the Avengers’ defense and they were also badly outplayed on defense and special teams. Ironically, we think Colorado could manage to lose even if LA doesn’t show up this weekend. UPDATE: they play Grand Rapids, and they will probably lose.
10. Georgia Force (1-3) | Previous Rank: 9 | Week 4: Lost to Orlando 50-45 | Next: vs. Kansas City
A controversial call on the last play of the game was the difference as the Force continue to struggle with any kind of consistency. Their usually excellent defensive line was outplayed by the Orlando offensive line and that was a big part of the game. The pun “Georgia Farce” is about as bad as the actual team.
11. Grand Rapids (1-2) | Previous: 17 | Week 4: Beat Kansas City 92-52 | Next: at New York
The much publicized potential offensive explosiveness under new head coach Steve Thonn came to fruition versus Kansas City as the Rampage and new QB James McPherson threw for nine touchdown passes. The defense also created five turnovers and this game was over by the second quarter – this is an offense to watch. Denizens of Grand Rapids, MI, it is possible you will now only need to lament the fact you live in Grand Rapids.
12. Arizona Rattlers (2-2) | Previous: 12 | Week 4: Beat New York 62-33 | Next: Bye
Arizona dominated this game on both sides of the ball and produced a rare nine defensive stops versus a struggling Dragons’ offense. They also got a solid performance from QB Jeff Smoker in a badly needed home win. Jeff “Pole” Smoker does not impress us with beating New York, and the Pole will likewise fail to impress when he beats “off” [/NU dorkiness] UPDATE: they’re actually going to lose to Chicago tomorrow night.

13. Colorado Crush (1-2) | Previous: 11 | Week 4: Lost to Chicago 70-35 | Next: vs. Los Angeles
The Crush got a reality check in Chicago as they were dominated by the Rush in all three phases and they weren’t even competitive in the second half. They couldn’t convert on offense in key spots and to make matters worse, their former teammate, Damian Harrell, had a huge night and became the all-time career TD reception leader in the AFL. Ditka wins the plasma screen this round.

14. Columbus Destroyers (1-3) | Previous: 14 | Week 4: Beat Utah 52-49 | Next: vs. Tampa Bay
Kicker Mark Lewis was the hero for the Destroyers with a last-second, game-winning field goal to shock Utah at home. QB Matt Nagy continues to put up good numbers, but this team turns the ball over, doesn’t convert enough downs into scores and they are just not very explosive. However, they continue to play hard with limited personnel. UPDATE: I didn’t write anything about Columbus originally. Um, Columbus, STOP SUCKING.
15. Kansas City Brigade (0-3) | Previous: 16 | Week 4: Lost to Grand Rapids 92-52 | Next: at Georgia
The Brigade defense was a no show at home versus a Grand Rapids offense that had been struggling. Kansas City they gave up nine touchdown passes to an unknown QB, but the offense didn’t help much either by turning the ball over five times – not a very impressive performance in front of the home crowd. Does anyone know if there’s a Krispy Kreme promotion like at Royals Games?

16. Utah Blaze (0-4) | Previous: 15 | Week 4: Lost to Columbus 52-49 | Next: at Philadelphia
The Blaze lost another heartbreaker at home with a Columbus last-second field goal. QB Joe Germaine continues to put up good numbers and their defense was respectable, but this just isn’t a Utah team with a lot of firepower or explosiveness. Utah Blaze : football :: Meghan McCain : political commentary

17. New York Dragons (1-3) | Previous: 13 | Week 4: Lost to Arizona 62-33 | Next: vs. Grand Rapids
When your offense is stopped nine times, including five straight in the first half, you are not going to win a lot of AFL games. New York was embarrassed as its offensive line was horrible and continues to be the Achilles heel for this struggling team. Not as embarrassed as they’re going to be once we find out about the cross-state prostitution.
CAN’T MISS RANDOM PICK:
Crap, we’re at a 2.5-.5 record? Alright, I’m making two picks a week until we’re back to natural numbers. We’re taking Georgia over Utah and Chicago over Arizona.
WEEKEND PILLOW FIGHT:
I missed last week’s rankings while studying
For my B+ in things microphage
If I were you I’d pass on
The game with the Sabercats and the Brigade.
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