It could be a long season, Arizona fans.
We’re starting to see a few patterns emerge this AFL season. Among them:
Philly is scary-good
Grand Rapids can put up basketball numbers
- Utah is as about as useful on the football field as is my navel
Although Jeff Smoker may be forced to take this
sitting lying down, ESPN’s Grampa Gary Horton is all riled up and ready to crack some skulls. As soon as he remembers where he put the remote control.
AFL Power Rankings (Week 6)
|1. Philadelphia Soul (5-0) | Previous: 1 | Week 5: Beat Tampa Bay 59-51 | Next: vs. Utah
Although pressured more than usual, QB Matt D’Orazio played a flawless game and got the ball to his two playmakers at wide receiver — Chris Jackson and Larry Brackins, who combined for 18 catches, 215 yards and six TDs, Plus, the defense made enough plays to stop a good Storm team and stay undefeated. D’Orazio continues to prove he can get the ball to NFL-caliber receivers.
|2. Dallas Desperados (5-0) | Previous: 2 | Week 5: Beat New York 33-31 | Next: vs. Cleveland
When the usually-mighty Dallas offense really struggled, the defense and special teams took over with pressure and big plays in a win over New York. This was a subpar effort over an inferior opponent, but the Desperados are resilient and never seem to panic. “Even though they almost took a giant dump on the field against a bottom-tier opponent, they remain undefeated and thus stay at #2.”
|3. Chicago Rush (4-1) | Previous: 3 | Week 5: Beat Arizona 59-35 | Next: at Orlando
The Rush defense is simply dominating all opponents and this is a team playing at the top of their game. Chicago’s quickness in the trenches overwhelmed Arizona’s size and produced four sacks, five tackles for loss, three interceptions, and seven passes broken-up. Chicago is strong like bull. Their opponents are weak like kitties.
|4. San Jose (3-2) | Previous: 5 | Week 5: Beat Kansas City 44-36 | Next: at New Orleans
The keys in the SaberCats’ win over K.C. were a stifling defense that practically shut out the Brigade in the second half and an effective power run game in the red zone. Good thing because the usually-explosive San Jose pass offense was not clicking. Have I not said that San Jose would suffer for waiting so long to re-sign Grieb? I’m pretty sure I did say that. Bad mojo, SaberCats, bad mojo.
|5. New Orleans (4-1) | Previous: 4 | Week 5: Beat Colorado 54-51 | Next: vs. San Jose
The VooDoo are starting to show some resiliency and beating Colorado in Denver is not an easy task. They were a little sluggish early with some mistakes and penalties, but played much better in the second half and got solid performances from their offense and defense. New Orleans has won four straight games. New Orleans has won four straight games?
|6. Tampa Bay Storm (2-2) | Previous: 6 | Week 5: Lost to Philadelphia 59-51 | Next: at Columbus
You can’t beat an elite team if you make mistakes. The Storm found that out. Although QB Brett Dietz put up big numbers, the Soul pass rush caused three sacks, three tackles for loss and two lost fumbles which were mistakes they couldn’t overcome in a game of possession. You also can beat an elite team when most of your starting receiver core is injured, but Brett Dietz could keep a game close if his receivers were all literal sacks of flour.
|7. Grand Rapids Rampage (2-2) | Previous: 11 | Week 5: Beat L.A. 84-59 | Next: at New York
The Rampage put up a whopping 56 points in the first half behind a solid passing day by QB James MacPherson, but the real key was three huge kick returns for TDs by Chris Martin. The Rampage are starting to look like a legitimate contender. Chris Martin’s TD celebrations all consisted of him sitting at piano in the moonlight singing melancholy love tunes to the denizens of Grand Rapids.
|8. Orlando (3-2) | Previous: 8 | Week 5: Beat Columbus 47-44 | Next: vs. Chicago
It wasn’t real pretty, but the Predators finally won a road game. They did it with a very aggressive defense, especially in the first half, and the offense was solid behind QB Shane Stafford and receivers T.T. Toliver and Chas Gessner. They are getting better, but there is still work to be done. We are looking forward to seeing the Gruden Face this weekend. Over and over again.
|9. Cleveland Gladiators (3-1) | Previous: 7 | Week 5: Bye | Next: at Dallas
The Gladiators are coming off a horrible game versus New Orleans and right now it’s hard to tell if that was a one-game flop or if weaknesses were exposed. They face Dallas this week and that will tell us exactly where Cleveland stands. Except that Dallas has been pretty craptacular as of late.
|10. Georgia Force (2-3) | Previous Rank: 10 | Week 5: Beat Utah 70-49 | Next: vs. Kansas City
The Force played close to a complete game on both sides of the ball in the easy win over Utah. QB Chris Greisen was outstanding with eight TD passes, but the real story was the defense which produced three big stops and a turnover. Not to knock Greisen, but I could have posted eight TD throws against Utah.
|11. Los Angeles Avengers (2-3) | Previous: 9 | Week 5: Lost to Grand Rapids 84-59 | Next: at Colorado
The Avengers seem to be in a free fall and their defense is non-existent. They gave up 56 first-half points to the Rampage and their special teams gave up 249 yards and three TDs to Chris Martin. This may be their most embarrassing loss in a long time. Los Angeles, I’d advise you to beat the tar out of Colorado – you wouldn’t want to see Grampa Gary angry.
|12. Colorado Crush (1-3) | Previous: 13 | Week 5: Lost to New Orleans 54-51 | Next: vs. Los Angeles
The Crush played a respectable game versus the surging VooDoo, but came up just short and couldn’t hold on to a fourth-quarter lead. They got solid efforts from the offense and defense, but this is a team that doesn’t seem to make enough explosive plays. Is it me, or is there some pent-up sexuality in this recap?
|13. Arizona Rattlers (2-3) | Previous: 12 | Week 5: Lost to Chicago 59-35 | Next: Bye
The Rattlers were never really in this game as the Rush defense took over and totally dominated in the trenches. The bigger Arizona line was out-quicked by Chicago and surrendered four sacks and three forced Jeff Smoker fumbles. This team does not play well when it falls behind. We would have also accepted “this team does not play well”. Sorry Fez.
|14. Columbus Destroyers (1-4) | Previous: 14 | Week 5: Lost to Orlando 47-44 | Next: vs. Tampa Bay
The offensive line had trouble protecting QB Matt Nagy and surrendered three sacks and three tackles for loss. The Destroyers could not overcome a sluggish first half, and even though their defense played a respectable game they seem to lack a lot of punch. It’s getting to the point where Gary could use the same recap every week. If I were Matt Nagy, I’d be spending every night with a bottle of bourbon watching the playoff run up to XXI and weeping softly.
|15. New York Dragons (1-4) | Previous: 17 | Week 5: Lost to Dallas 33-31 | Next: vs. Grand Rapids
Aaron Garcia returned at QB for the Dragons but an excellent Dallas defense kept him from getting into a flow. He was pressured all game and was 0-for-6 on third-down conversions in a sloppy, low-scoring game. Aaron Garcia Season-Ending Injury Watch begins, and will probably end, this weekend.
|16. Kansas City Brigade (0-4) | Previous: 15 | Week 5: Lost to San Jose 44-36 | Next: at Georgia
The Brigade defense did a good job versus the usually-explosive SaberCats offense. But K.C.’s offense could not get untracked, especially in the second half. This is just not a team with any explosiveness and big plays. This reads suspiciously like Columbus’ wrap up.
|17. Utah Blaze (0-5) | Previous: 16 | Week 5: Lost to Georgia 70-49 | Next: at Philadelphia
The Blaze continue to show no ability to play quality defense or make key defensive stops. Even their usually explosive pass offense was dominated and a 21-point fourth quarter made this game look closer than it actually was. /shits pants
CAN’T MISS RANDOM PICK:
Dammit. 3.5-.5 record. Two picks until we’re back to Natural Numbers (I started my 101 Algebra refresher last night!).
New Orleans over San Jose, Cleveland over Dallas.
WEEKEND PILLOW FIGHT:
Rocky Mountain High? City of Angels?
More like Mountains of Rich Assholes and America’s Cesspool Supplying Said Assholes. Colorado Crush and Los Angeles Avengers, we can do without you this weekend.