Written by Christian Christiansen and Xander Gold
Graphics and Published by Mike Daggs

Week seven is in the books and it’s surreal to start seeing teams with six-plus wins (those teams know they’re going .500 or better) or six losses (those teams that know they are probably going to be worse than .500). The reality is starting to set in around the league as in-your-faceness of the statistical probability of your playoff berth are growing ever more present. At the beginning of the season, most people figured you would need to have at least six wins to get into the playoffs. That would mean four teams (Alaska, Carolina, Queen City, and Tallahassee) all meet that threshold and can start feeling pretty good about making ‘The Dance’. While for others, that resonating feeling of needing to win out to get a wildcard birth is right in the forefront. It’s tough times. Heck, we’ve seen some teams snap under the pressure publicly already. Not your team, of course. That might’ve all sounded intense and/or depressing, but now’s the time to step back, enjoy the games, and take in the product. This is the SFL and it was meant to be enjoyed, regardless of the win-loss situation.

– Christian Christiansen

TeamsRecordChangeRankTeam Recaps:
7 - 001In a thriller, Alaska pulled away with their 7th win in 7 games thanks to Cade "In bounds" Stephens. Despite Ron Cockren's uncharacteristically poor game, the Storm still found a way to win and that's a trait all championship teams have. Alaska has, by far, been the best team all around this season and I don't think this close game changes that at all. Alaska will look to prove they are still the best team in the league when they go up against Matt Willson and the Aztecs in the 'Fan Night' matchup. Watch out Mexico City, there's a storm in your forecast.
7 - 002Tallahassee look as dominant and as consistent as ever. Across the board, they are among the tops in the league in offensive production, defensive production, and point differential. Yet it seems even those stats may not tell the whole story, as their generic units gave up three touchdowns in a game that would have otherwise been about 34-7. Tallahassee has a tough slate moving forward out of their bye, with a game versus the Atlanta Swarm (who nearly beat them in the season opener) followed by a fellow-undefeated Carolina Skyhawks team.
6 - 0+13Carolina reclaims their 3rd spot in the power rankings after a dominant performance against the London Knights. Jacques Luyindula put on a show, throwing for 390 yards and finding his wideouts 4 times in the endzone. After the first three weeks, I think we all stopped sleeping on the Skyhawks, but they aren't done tucking their opponents into bed and kissing them goodbye. The Skyhawks have a tough end of the schedule leading into the playoffs, which includes: 6-1 Queen City, 7-0 Tallahassee and the 4-3 Vultures. Let's see if they will be able to finish the season undefeated.
Queen City
6 - 1-14That 62-3 feeling doesn't last all that long apparently. I disagree with dropping Queen City to four because they are one play away from being the top team on this list. The stats indicate Queen City is the best team in the SFL and their aggregate scoring units rankings are substantially better than Carolina's (third and first vs sixth and third). The Corsairs are a legitimate Championship contender and has a very realistic shot at 10+ wins in the regular season.
Mexico City
5 - 105Why aren't we talking about Mexico City more?! After their Week 1 loss to the defending champs, the Aztecs have won 5 games in a row. The Aztecs have a top 3 defense and are 2nd in Avg Points allowed (15 ppg) and are only behind the Corsairs in that category. Speaking of which, they held the San Francisco Sharks to just 13 points in their 23-13 win over the weekend. The Aztecs are legit contenders for the Championship and that comes as no surprise. I have four words for the rest of the league: Don't count them out.
Sioux Falls
4 - 2+16It looks like Sioux Falls is back after they took it to their opponents in last week's showdown. We saw a complete game from a talented Sparrows team for the first time in a while. With the 14th ranked scoring offense (that is much more talented than this statistic would indicate) and the 4th ranked scoring defense, Sioux Falls has a lot of room to grow.
4 - 3+27Oh, what a turnaround we are witnessing with this Vultures team. Thomas Paterniti and Tim Johnston are showing why they've had so much success in this league. The Vultures are on a 3 game win streak and they seem to only be getting stronger. Giovanni Bolt has 8 interceptions (tied with Aaron Lee for 1st this season) and has been an absolute game changer. This Baltimore defense as a whole is underrated and week in and week out they are making their case for why they shouldn't be. On the other side of the ball, Mike Dazzo and T-Roy Gaines are completely dominating teams along with the Garren Malone led WR corps, which also includes Shea Carroll and Daley Holder. Baltimore continues to rise in the power rankings and they don't seem to be slowing down.
4 - 3-28Atlanta might've gotten beat by multiple possessions, but they lost to a hot Tulsa team and Atlanta possesses a roster capable of big things. With the ninth ranked scoring offense and twelfth ranked scoring defense, upstart rookie Marcus Dunhill, electrifying perennial OPOY candidate BDJ Hollewood, and one of the last season's top defenses, just needs to see it all come together and gel down the stretch. If that happens, then you'd better believe they're a contender.
3 - 3-19Houston has dropped 2 in a row and seem to be reeling. The Hyenas went up against the Pharaohs, who came into the game with a 1-4 record and also after losing 3 in a row themselves. Houston seemed to underestimate the young Pharaohs team and came out of the gates slow. Houston eventually started to get it going a little but ultimately fell just short. I expect D.R Sim and this Hyenas team to regroup and gear up for a run at the playoffs.
3 - 4+310Denver is probably the team that has most outperformed their record this season. With the 11th ranked scoring offense and 8th ranked scoring defense, the Nightwings pose a balanced team that doesn't have a true weakness. That being said, there's not a clearly visible strength they can leverage over every other team in the league either. It'll be interesting to see how that impacts Denver down the stretch as the playoff race really starts to heat up.
3 - 4+511Tulsa has to be one of the hottest teams in the SFL right now. This team looks like a completely different squad from what we saw in the first 4 weeks. Tulsa, for the most part, shutdown the potent Atlanta offense and forced them into only 3 FG's. They forced rookie Marcus Dunhill into throwing 4 interceptions. They also held BDG Hollewood to just 59 rushing yards. Tulsa is on the move and trying to complete the miracle comeback and sneak into the playoffs. Would you bet against them?
San Francisco
2 - 4-212San Francisco has been in every game they've played this season outside of their opener versus the Fury. The Storm game last week looks bad at first glance, but the Sharks were actually playing pretty well, it's just that Alaska is a machine and will systematically destroy any non-great team not playing perfectly. The peripheral stats don't look good with scoring units that rank near the bottom of the league in both categories but they've been passing the eye test. And hey, they're a half game ahead of Oklahoma City.
2 - 4-113Chicago seemed like they were ready to finally turn the corner, but that came to a halt against Baltimore. ET King had a slow start to the game, but finished the game with 2 TDs and 1 Int. This season hasn't turned out the way Chicago had hoped, but they have a good young receiving corps along with a new young rusher to look forward to for games and seasons to come.
Las Vegas
2 - 4014This is just a frustrating place for the Fury to be. Most indicators would say that Las Vegas is much, much better than this, but the win-loss table and the recency of those losses really weigh hard (their one "great" win came in Week one and that's all but a memory). Las Vegas should pick it up. As I've been saying every time I get the Las Vegas writeup, they have a talented team and a good head coach who should find themselves rising to near the top of the current two-win pack at the very least.
St. Louis
2 - 5-415STL has lost 5 games in a row which has led to them dropping 4 spots. This Gladiators team is definitely better than their record, but things haven't been going their way. To get back on track, the Gladiators will need to get back to playing the stout defense they were displaying earlier in the season. Despite the struggles, rookie Ethan Kye has hauled in 5 interceptions in attempts to get his fellow defensive mates going.
2 - 5+116That was another good meme. Oh how we would've been forced to rocket the Legion up the boards in a move more shocking than even the one rank boost they're getting for losing last week. They're still having offensive troubles, being ranked dead last in scoring, but they pose an excellent defense that is ranked sixth. Can Andy Hamilton harness that late season magic once again and ride a top tier defense into the playoffs?
New Orleans
2 - 4+417The Pharaohs brought the pain to the Hyenas in Week 7 and they hope to build on that performance. The numbers may not tell it all but this New Orleans defense is pretty good and make it difficult for teams to move the ball on them. Xander Gold and the Pharaohs offense has been having some trouble moving the ball and scoring but they seem to have found an idea of what works for them and they’ll look to continue it against the Sharks.
Oklahoma City
2 - 5-318OKC might be the coldest team in the league right now. In the span of one month, they've fallen from the playoff bubble picture to struggling to stay in contention. At this point, they clearly need to buckle down and focus inwardly on how they can improve their team going forwards. Papa Irvine should be able to do this as a veteran of ownership for all eleven seasons, after all, he did it last season. But this will be a massive test for the new coaching staff in place.
1 - 6-119London recently signed a fullback in attempts to get a run game going and balance out their offensive attack, but it didn't seem to show during their game with the Skyhawks. London definitely has the talent to be a top team, but it's a matter of putting the right game plan together. Nathan Blake has now taken over the play calling duties and hopes he can strategize and play call his way to a few wins. London has a great group of guys and has the leading TD catcher in the league in James Hands, so turning this ship around, even if it's for next season, shouldn't be too hard.
1 - 6-120The bad news? The offense can't get into the redzone. The good news? The defense has been improving every week. James Richards' signature five defensive back build has been steadily improving back to form and it now looks like, perhaps, the defense can be a needle mover going forwards. They might be on the brink of de facto elimination (even more problematic being that they haven't played their bye week yet, so the best this team can do is .500). It appears, however, the team is content with experimenting for Season 12 as EZ Tempel was appointed as a coach and it looks like the Tom Pepper era may soon be over (although recent sources have suggested otherwise). Indy has a bright future, an active locker room, and a smart owner who's gotten to the playoffs before. Even if this season is a lost cause, they have the brains in place to be ready for more.
1 - 5-121What is up with Dallas? I thought for sure they'd be a top team this season, but it just hasn't panned out that way has it? Dallas has a talented roster and everything seems to be there for them to win, but it just hasn’t happened. Despite the struggles, this team has many bright spots, such as the quarterback's mental psynergy with Mike Osayi and JS3, the EK Vinson and Cain Vasquez hard hitting show an the 'big play' West brothers. If this team could find a way to assert all of that talent, they could be very dangerous.