Week 10: Ranks, Pillows, and Picks: I’m in training again!

9 05 2008

I’ve been here before!

It’s painfully close to the end of the week, so you know what that means – blogging on company time! All your favorites, from Grampa Gary’s Power Rankngs to Can’t Miss Random Pick and Weekend Pillow Fight await you after the jump:

AFL Power Rankings (Week 11)

1. Philadelphia Soul (9-1) | Previous: 1 | Week 10: Lost to Cleveland 67-55 | Next: at Georgia
In a classic trap game at Cleveland, the Soul were upset thanks to a fourth-quarter surge by the Gladiators and an injury to QB Matt D’Orazio. The usually stout Soul defense couldn’t stop QB Raymond Philyaw or a very impressive Gladiators running game. Since I’m sure JBJ and Jaws take great pride in their weekly rankings, they must have sent Gary a delicious ham.

2. Dallas Desperados (8-1) | Previous: 2 | Week 10: Beat Columbus 48-45 | Next: vs. Grand Rapids
The Desperados might have still been feeling the affects of their loss in Week 10 with another lackluster performance in a last-second win over struggling Columbus. Neither offense played particularly well, but the Dallas defense got a couple of timely stops that made the difference. Interpretation: barely beat a mediocre team = early departure from playoffs.

3. Chicago Rush (8-2) | Previous: 3 | Week 10: Beat Tampa Bay 51-46 | Next: Bye
It wasn’t pretty and they needed to recover an onside kick at the end, but the Rush scratched out a tough win over the Storm. Chicago was led by QB Russ Michna and WR Travis Latendresse and now has a 3½ game lead in their division with a bye week coming up. Yay, homerism!

4. New Orleans VooDoo (7-3) | Previous: 4 | Week 10: Lost to Georgia 66-39 | Next: at Tampa Bay
The usually terrific VooDoo defense had an off night versus a good Georgia pass offense that played nearly mistake-free football. New Orleans QB Danny Wimprine also had his own off night with two key interceptions. This was not the team we have seen in recent weeks. Spend too much time reading your press clippings and bad stuff happens. See also: 2007 New England Patriots, 2006 Detroit Tigers, 1948 Thomas Dewey

5. Orlando Predators (7-3) | Previous: 5 | Week 10: Beat San Jose 61-35 | Next: at Cleveland
The Predators built a solid halftime lead and coasted to an easy win over visiting San Jose. The offense, under QB Shane Stafford, played well, but the story of the game was the Orlando defense that produced two interceptions and a fumble recovery for three TDs. If there’s one thing Orlando is good at, it’s making me write them off early in the season just to sneak back in

6. New York Dragons (5-4) | Previous: 7 | Week 10: Bye | Next: at Los Angeles
The Dragons are the new hot team in the AFL. They are getting excellent production from QB Aaron Garcia behind an improved offensive line. Add in a defense that is young and opportunistic and it’s easy to see how they keep winning. However, they have their work cut out for them with a tough cross-country trip to L.A. To clarify, the trip itself will be harder than the actual game, as LA is La Awful.

7. Cleveland Gladiators (5-4) | Previous: 9 | Week 10: Beat Philadelphia 67-55 | Next: vs. Orlando
The Gladiators played their best game of the season, upsetting the best team in the league. They beat Philadelphia using an almost perfect night by QB Raymond Philyaw, a terrific run game, and a good defense that really tightened up late in the game. No-one expects the Bernie Kosar Inquisition.

8. Georgia Force (4-5) | Previous: 10 | Week 10: Beat New Orlando 66-39 | Next: vs. Philadelphia
The up-and-down Force pass offense finally put together a complete game behind QB Chris Griesen and dominated a usually great VooDoo defense from start to finish. Georgia’s defense also came up big with two sacks and two key interceptions in a much-needed win. We’re not as impressed by the win so much as we are surprised by the formation of a new city.

9. San Jose SaberCats (5-5) | Previous: 6 | Week 10: Lost to Orlando 61-35 | Next: at Arizona
The SaberCats offense couldn’t get anything going for much of the game against Orlando’s defense that cause three turnovers it turned into TDs. It was a tough night for QB Mark Grieb and Co. How far you have slipped, San Jose. Last year I never would have said you stand a good chance of losing to Arizona.

10. Colorado Crush (4-5) | Previous Rank: 11 | Week 10: Beat Grand Rapids 63-28 | Next: at Utah
QB John Dutton played a great game in a win over the inconsistent Rampage. Colorado’s defense played its best game of the season, producing five sacks, causing two fumbles, and scoring two defensive TDs. Remember that Family Guy where the tobacco company paid a really ugly girl to hang out with Meg all the time so she’d look more attractive in comparison?  In related news, never tell a significant other you think their friends are hot.

11. Los Angeles Avengers (4-6) | Previous: 14 | Week 10: Beat Arizona 66-59 | Next: vs. New York
The Avengers played just enough defense to eke out in a win in the fourth quarter over division-rival Arizona. They got good performances from QB Tom Hicks and WR Timon Marshall. The lead in this game changed 11 times, but L.A. played with more resiliency and focus than in recent weeks. 11 lead changes? Despite LA and Arizona being involved, I daresay this is a game I regret not being able to watch.

12. Tampa Bay (3-6) | Previous: 8 | Week 10: Lost to Chicago 51-46 | Next: vs. New Orleans
The Storm played hard, but could not capitalize on scoring opportunities. Plus 14 penalties and an average night by QB Brett Dietz didn’t help their chances to pull off the upset. It’s just about time for the Storm to start their run to the playoffs where they miraculously go on a major winning streak and beat the rich kids from across the lake to get the girl in the end so everything turns out okay.

13. Arizona Rattlers (4-5) | Previous: 12 | Week 10: Lost to Los Angeles 66-59 | Next: vs. San Jose
In a tight game that had 11 lead changes, the Rattlers defense couldn’t make enough key plays in the fourth quarter as L.A. scored 28 points and wasted a good game by QB Lang Campbell. The mothers of the Rattlers were quick to remind them that there are millions of children in China that would’ve been thankful for a good game from Lang Campbell, and a good game from Lang Campbell is a terrible thing to waste. The entire squad was then sent to bed without Siaha Burley.

14.Grand Rapids Rampage (3-6) | Previous: 13 | Week 10: Lost to Colorado 62-38 | Next: at Dallas
Who are the Rampage? At times they look great, while at other times they are very ordinary. Colorado totally dominated them in all areas and pass protection was a huge problem for the Rampage, who gave up five sacks in a game that was basically over at halftime. Who are the Rampage? They’re a team that’s not playing well enough for me to make a funny joke about the last line of V for Vendetta.

15. Columbus Destroyers (2-7) | Previous: 15 | Week 10: Lost to Dallas 48-45 | Next: at Kansas City
Columbus played hard, especially in the first half, and caught Dallas on an off night, but it still wasn’t enough. Columbus’ offense did not have an explosive night while Dallas’ defense made some key late stops and that was the difference. It’s too bad because the Destroyers defense played well enough to win. No offense, but when was the last time the Destroyers offense was explosive?

16. Utah Blaze (1-9) | Previous: 17 | Week 10: Beat Kansas City 67-50 | Next: vs. Colorado
The Blaze finally played a decent defensive game to complement their potent offense. QB Joe Germaine threw eight TD passes and the Utah defense had one sack, four tackles for loss, and two fumbles recovered. That’s a recipe for success. Another recipe for success is playing the one team that sucks more than you do.

17. Kansas City Brigade (1-8) | Previous: 16 | Week 10: Lost to Utah 67-50 | Next: vs. Columbus
The Kansas City offense was decent but faced a Utah defense that actually created pressure with sacks and tackles for loss. The other problem was the Brigade couldn’t slow down Blaze QB Joe Germaine. Hey Kansas City, your mom called… SHE SAID DON’T SEND FLOWERS!

 

CAN’T MISS RANDOM PICK: Damn you, VooDoo! I was firmly attached to your gravy train and you went and laid a goose egg. For spite, and for Brett, we’re taking Tampa Bay over New Orleans. CMRP stands at 7ish and 2ish.

 

WEEKEND PILLOW FIGHT: I may be visiting the Better Half’s folks in Columbus for Pink Football Momma’s Day Weekend, but that doesn’t change the fact that Columbus and Kansas City are teams that only a mother could love. ZING.

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