by Mike Daggs, Queen City TE

Two thirds of the season are in the books, only 4 weeks of regular season action left! The playoff picture is coming into focus. Where does everyone stand? Let’s take a look…

8 - 001Tallahassee nearly suffered their first loss last week after the London Knights put up quite a fight, even leading the game at the half. But the Pride held on and continued their winning ways now with an extremely impressive 8 - 0. There's only so much that can be said week after week after week about a team that is as dominating as Tallahassee. I guess my only thought at this point is - how long can it last? Would you almost rather get a loss out of the way now, rather than trying to maintain this momentum through the playoffs and losing once you get there? Nah - just keep winning.
8 - 002Tulsa has been the most impressive team in my eyes this season. If you had asked be how many undefeated teams we'd have after 8 weeks of play, I would have told you zero. MAYBE one. I don't think you could have asked anyone - the Tulsa staff included - if they thought that an expansion team would be undefeated after 8 weeks and hear them say yes. But here we are. 8 weeks in the books. 8 wins in the books. Sure - they had some close calls - but at the end of the day all that matters is the tally of W's and L's. And Tulsa has all W's. Oh, and because of strength of victory tie breakers, they are the #1 seed in playoff position right now.
6 - 2+ 23Alaska stopped their two game skid and put another win back on the board. The win may have been against a team with only one win on the season, but as noted above - the W is all that matters. Alaska may have slipped a little but they still boast the #2 scoring offense and #3 defense - they're in this for the long haul.
Sioux Falls
6 - 204Sioux Falls is continuing to get it done this season with yet another win. They went up against Chicago who had been impressively strong on defense despite their lack of wins, and the Sparrows put up 38 points on them. The Sparrows have the #6 scoring offense, a top 10 defense, and a positive turnover differential. That should continue to carry them all the way to the playoffs and beyond.
5 - 3+ 25Houston is still clawing their way up to the top - with a slow start to the season now seeming like a distant memory. Not only did they take down the San Antonio Vaqueros last week, but in doing so they move up to the top 5 playoff positioning. How's that for a turnaround? They have the #7 scoring offense at this point - and guess what? We have a new leader at #1 on defensive points allowed. Not hard to guess who that might be - your Houston Hyenas!
San Antonio
5 - 3- 36Two closely matched teams went head to head in week 8 - the Vaqueros and the Hyenas. In the end, San Antonio lost the game and it hurt a touch more than you may expect. They may be tied with Houston in overall record now, but because of tie breakers Houston is now out in front in playoff positioning and the Vaqueros fall all the way to #7. They still have a top 10 offense and defense - but barely. They're in good shape, but can't afford to take their foot off the gas at this stage of the season.
Mexico City
4 - 4+ 47Mexico City is BACK in the playoffs. For now. They're going to need to keep on winning. They play the London Knights this week, who nearly took down the top team in the league last week. Their biggest problem this season continues to be scoring - they're not a top 10 offense and they need to be in order to see continued success. The defense has been stout, not allowing many points and getting their share of takeaways. The building blocks for winning are there - and the time is now to finish off the season strong.
4 - 4- 28The up and down season for Atlanta continues as they fall once again to .500. The defense has proven tough for opposing teams and ranks in at #4 overall in points allowed, but the offense has fallen out of the top 10 in scoring and is having trouble sealing victories. All of the teams sitting at 4 - 4 are currently still in the playoff picture - but they need to get back to winning if they hope to stay there.
Queen City
4 - 4- 19Queen City went back and forth all night with Carolina, and with less than a minute to go it looked like they had blown another game. Last second heroics by Chris Curtis and then a timely interception sealed the victory for the Corsairs, and planted them BACK in the playoff picture. Granted, they're in dead last for playoff position, but IN none-the-less. Like every team at 4 - 4 they need to keep on winning. Up next - a matchup against the aforementioned Atlanta Swarm. Both teams will be fighting for their playoff lives.
4 - 4- 110Indianapolis is another team that has had an up and down season. But as it stands right now, they're in the playoffs if the season ended today. Having the #4 scoring offense and #5 defense you'd almost expect them to be even higher up this list, and in the overall rankings in general, but here they sit in their rookie season looking to hold on to their playoff spot.
3 - 5- 111The London Knights were extremely close to pulling off the upset of the season and beating the Tallahassee Pride. But they fell JUST short. And unfortunately, that currently means they're on the outside of the playoff picture looking in. They face the Aztecs next week - who's offense puts up less points on average that London, but who's defense allows far less points than London's has.
San Francisco
3 - 5012The rise of the Sharks has come to a temporary halt as the they lost to Vancouver last week. They've done a lot to fix their turnover problem, and they've slowed the bleeding for sure, but they still lead the league in turnovers at this stage. They're definitely not out, and they have a favorable matchup against Dallas (the team they're tied with for most turnovers) but they can't afford more than another loss or two at most if they want a shot at the playoffs.
St. Louis
3 - 5013The losing streak now grows to 4 in a row. After a strong 3 - 1 start, the Gladiators now sit outside of playoff positioning hoping for a rebound. They're down, but not out. They just can't lose a whole lot more before it'll be too late. They've done some things well - they're one of only two teams who are not in the playoff picture at this point with a positive turnover differential. But like I've said for all 3 - 5 teams and will continue to say - they can't afford many more losses.
3 - 5+ 214Vancouver has been weird to watch. Some weeks they look like pushovers. Other weeks they put up 40+ points on their opponent and look like a championship caliber unit. Is some consistency really too much to ask for?! They average more points on offense than San Antonio, Atlanta, and Mexico City - all playoff teams - and are the other team along with St Louis with a positive turnover differential - but find themselves all the way down here in the rankings and out of the playoff picture. A win against San Antonio this week would go a long way in getting them back where they want to be.
2 - 6- 115Chicago went from runner up in the Season 9 championship game in their rookie season to fighting for their lives in their second. They haven't played all around bad - their defense was the #1 team in points allowed for a majority of the season so far - but their offense just hasn't been able to put up the points needed to win games. Their season is not yet officially over - but at 2 - 6 they'd effectively need to win out in order to squeak their way into the playoffs. Up next - the Tallahassee Pride.
Oklahoma City
2 - 6- 116Oklahoma City is in the same boat as Chicago. They haven't played awful - but they haven't played well enough to find victories this season. Unlike Chicago, they have a favorable matchup this week against Carolina. Winning out is still in the realm of possibility, but it's a long shot.
1 - 7017Carolina nearly pulled off an upset victory over Queen City. In fact, with about 30 seconds to go in the game they thought they had their 2nd win in the bag. But big plays will strike like a bolt of lightning - you never know where or when they're going to happen. And Queen City pulled a big play off right at the end to steal the win away from the Skyhawks. With 7 losses on the season, they'll be unable to finish with an even record and will likely now start their planning for season 11.
1 - 7018Dallas has struggled mightily on defense this season. They've managed only 3 takeaways - a league low - which gives them a -16 turnover differential. The next closest team is at -3. They, along with the San Francisco Sharks, lead the league in turnovers this season at 19 per team. They face off against each other this weekend in a game that Dallas hopes to spoint for the Sharks as their fighting to keep their playoff hopes alive.