Week 11 Power Rankings, CMRP, and Weekend Pillow Fight

16 05 2008

Get it, Kansas City? I’m saying your team is soft.

It’s that time once again, readers. After a surprising loss by Philadelphia, the second-straight win by Utah, and the creeping realization that mediocre-to-shite Arizona will probably sail into the playoffs, the arena league is on its head. After the jump, the musings of ESPN’s Gary “The Grampinator” Horton, terrible football betting advice in the form of the ironically-named Can’t Miss Random Pick, and, of course, your Weekend Pillow Fight that this week is more like a pair of impending smackdowns.

AFL Power Rankings (Week 12)

1.Dallas Desperados (9-1) | Previous: 2 | Week 11: Beat Grand Rapids 65-54 | Next: Arizona
QB Clint Dolezel made professional football history by throwing his 900th touchdown pass in a win over the Rampage, who can be explosive when they’re on and made this game very competitive. The Desperados played their usual strong defense with three sacks and two tackles for loss. TC said it best – Zombie Otto Graham would totally own the lifetime achievement on TD passes if zombies were allowed to play football.

2. Chicago Rush (8-2) | Previous: 3 | Week 11: Bye | Next: vs. Los Angeles
A tired Rush team enjoyed a well-deserved week off. Even though they are not playing their best yet, they have a huge lead in their division and will be ready at playoff time. This is a complete team when it is clicking. +1 point for homerism, but –10 as Chicago teams have a nasty habit of peaking too soon. Don’t try to cheer us up by telling us it happens to a lot of sports teams.

3. Philadelphia Soul (9-2) | Previous: 1 | Week 11: Lost to Georgia 63-62 | Next: vs. Columbus
The Soul were shocked on the road for the second week in a row. After suffering numerous injuries, their patchwork defense gave up the 22 points in the final three minutes. It struggled to stop the Georgia passing game and short-yardage run game, which produced four TDs. This is also known as the “Northwestern defense”.

4. New Orleans VooDoo (7-4) | Previous: 4 | Week 11: Lost to Tampa Bay 41-37 | Next: Bye
The usually explosive VooDoo offense could not make enough big plays versus a normally mediocre Tampa Bay defense. QB Danny Wimprine struggled and the big-play New Orleans defense could not come up with a sack or interception in a disappointing loss. Speaking from experience, we’re not sure a week off to fool around in Nawlins will exactly recharge their batteries.

5. Orlando Predators (7-4) | Previous: 5 | Week 11: Lost to Cleveland 62-43 | Next: at Kansas City
QB Shane Stafford played a solid game (six TDs, no INTs), but his defense didn’t have an answer for Cleveland QB Raymond Philyaw, who was threw seven TD passes to six different players. They selected D) inadequate defense. The correct answer was B) adequate defense.

6. New York Dragons (6-4) | Previous: 6 | Week 11: Beat L.A. 52-48 | Next: vs. Georgia
The streaking Dragons pulled out an exciting road win at Los Angeles in the last minute. They did it with a solid game from QB Aaron Garcia and an aggressive defensive effort that created two sacks, three tackles for loss and three interceptions. I stopped reading after “the streaking Dragons pulled out an exciting”.

7. Cleveland Gladiators (6-4) | Previous: 7 | Week 11: Beat Orlando 62-43 | Next: at Colorado
The Gladiators continue to be tough to beat at home and got a solid effort by QB Raymond Philyaw against a good Orlando defense. Defensively, Cleveland played a solid game and didn’t give up many big plays. This was a very steady performance. Coming soon, KOSAR AND ELWAY: THIS TIME, IT’S PERSONAL, AGAIN, FOR THE SECOND TIME THIS SEASON.

8. San Jose SaberCats (6-5) | Previous: 9 | Week 11: Beat Arizona 63-42 | Next: vs. Utah
QB Mark Grieb finally played a near-perfect game with eight TD passes, no interceptions and led the SaberCats to scores on all nine of their offensive possessions. This was a big division win. Following the final gun, Mark Grieb promptly hopped into the Pope Mobile and made way for the Fortress of Solitude.

9. Georgia Force (5-5) | Previous: 8 | Week 11: Beat Philadelphia 63-62 | Next: at New York
The Force scored the final 22 points of the game in the last three minutes to shock Philadelphia. Their passing game was crisp, they held former Force WR Chris Jackson scoreless, and the defense came up with two sacks and three tackles for loss versus an excellent Soul offensive line. Chris “The Scrappy” Greisen is also Chris “The Pure” Greisen – karma paid him back for a win after he was upset about a non-call and shouted “What? CRAP! GUL-DANG IT!” That really happened. It was marvelous.

10. Tampa Bay Storm (4-6) | Previous Rank: 12 | Week 11: Beat N.O. 41-37 | Next: at Grand Rapids
In a defensive-oriented game, the Storm came up with a solid effort versus the usually explosive VooDoo offense. Plus, they did it with two big defensive stops, which has not been their forte. The Storm also got a solid effort from QB Brett Dietz, who played a very clean game. Brett Dietz plays like an… OxyClean luffa? By the way, we’re fully aware ISF:Dietz::Peter King:Favre. That’s not a bad thing.

11. Colorado Crush (4-6) | Previous: 10 | Week 11: Lost to Utah 71-36 | Next: vs. Cleveland
The up-and-down Crush did not seem ready to play the improving Blaze. Colorado’s offense could not make plays versus a usually mediocre Utah defense and John Dutton and Co. never got untracked. Pretty sure the WWL Intern misheard Gary, as that sentence only makes sense when it ends with ‘never got on track.’

12. Arizona Rattlers (4-6) | Previous: 13 | Week 11: Lost to San Jose 63-42 | Next: at Dallas
The Rattlers’ defense could not make any key defensive stops as San Jose scored on all nine of their possessions. To make matters worse, QB Lang Campbell was knocked out of the game early with a knee injury and Arizona’s offense never really got going. Even though within 72 hours they’ll be 4-7, the odds are in Arizona’s favor to make the playoffs.

13. Utah Blaze (2-9) | Previous: 16 | Week 11: Beat Colorado 71-36 | Next: at San Jose
The Blaze always play good offense, but they finally put an excellent defensive effort together and it led them to a dominating win. QB Joe Germaine played a mistake-free game and the Utah defense created turnovers and made key defensive stops. Two in a row? Utah, you get a slow clap.

14.Los Angeles Avengers (4-7) | Previous: 11 | Week 11: Lost to New York 52-48 | Next: at Chicago
The Avengers let this game slip away in the fourth quarter as they could not stop New York QB Aaron Garcia and New York’s explosive pass offense. L.A. struggled with an opportunistic Dragons defense that recorded two sacks, three tackles for loss and three big interceptions.

15. Grand Rapids Rampage (3-7) | Previous: 14 | Week 11: Lost to Dallas 65-54 | Next: vs. Tampa Bay
The Rampage played a solid game versus a superior team, but could not get anything done on defense (no sacks, no tackles for loss and no interceptions). The other problem was the Rampage’s offense had trouble containing the aggressive Dallas pass rush. The third problem is Michigan is only good at hockey (flame war bait!).

16. Kansas City Brigade (2-8) | Previous: 17 | Week 11: Beat Columbus 59-43 | Next: vs. Orlando
QB D. Bryant is starting to settle in and has now gone two games without throwing an interception. He is doing a nice job of spreading the ball around and his defense helped him out with two interceptions, two sacks, and three tackles for loss. Another win and we’ll upgrade him to “The Bryant”.

17. Columbus Destroyers (2-8) | Previous: 15 | Week 11: Lost to K.C. 59-43 | Next: at Philadelphia
QB Matt Nagy was under a lot of pressure all game and Columbus’ defense could not create any pressure or big plays versus a Kansas City offense that normally struggles. If you pick a fight with someone in a wheelchair, try not to lose.

 

CAN’T MISS RANDOM PICK:  The CMRP, following a few weeks of multiple picks resulting in fractioned records, stands currently at 8-2. You notice how Tampa Bay has been winning whenever we pick them? Tampa Bay over Their Opponents Grand Rapids.

WEEKEND PILLOW FIGHT: No horrendous matches this coming weekend, aside from the pitting of San Jose against Utah which will most likely be not as close as the final score indicates. Instead, Saturday has a pair of sure-to-be smackdowns: Philly over Columbus, and Dallas over Arizona. Not enough smacking, you say? Get ready for Monday Night (Arena) Football when Los Angeles will lose to Chicago. Most cool people in LA are from Chicago anyways.

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