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Hunter Jones, Christian Pundt, Thomas Paterniti

We are at the quarter-way mark in the season. We’ve already seen a couple teams rise to the occasion and we’ve already seen some teams appear to have already let the wheels fall off. Not naming names, of course. That being said, this is the first real week where we’ve had the opportunity to do a rankings shake up and place teams somewhat out of order relative to their record in a noticeable way. If you’re mad about that, then I have a URL you should check out:

https://simulationfl.net/standings/

And with that, the Power Rankings…

RankTeamRecord (Movement)Recap
1Las Vegas Fury
2 - 0 (0)The Fury ride into their bye week with a 2-0 start to the season, with both wins being close, down to the wire games against some top-tier teams. Next week will be no different as they look to defend their home turf against a Tallahassee Pride that’s oddly 0-2 to start the season and hungry to notch their first win of the season.
2Baltimore Vultures
2 - 1 (0)Baltimore bounces back from a one point loss to the #1 ranked Fury with a 13-6 victory over the Sparrows at home in a game the Vultures controlled for much of the game. The picture is becoming more and more clear of what this season's Baltimore team will look like and thus far it looks like an offense that will be ran through early Offensive Player of the Year candidate T-Roy Gaines with Bishop Warfield being an absolute unit on the outside. Defensively, they look like a well-balanced force with linebackers Joe Dazzo and Aman Takess being among the league's best in the middle. The Vultures should be in the mix and be right around the top end of the Power Rankings for the remainder of the year.
3Alaska Storm
1 - 1 (+1)Alaska, fresh off of a bye week following a surprising loss at home to Baltimore, came out ready to play their frequent nemesis the Pride, and showed that reports of their demise were greatly exaggerrated by handing Tallahassee a 26-10 loss in the Lions' Den. The Storm finally got their running game going behind one-two punch HB Robert Merrill and FB Jason Williams, and QB Ron Cockren was efficient as ever, throwing for 163 yards, 1 TD, and no INTs. The vaunted Alaska defense roughed up the Pride, sacking QB Christian Christiansen five times, and intercepting him three times. The Storm travel to Sioux Falls to face a 1-2 Sparrows team that will be hungry to get back to 0.500.
4Queen City Corsairs
2 - 1 (+5)Queen City, since falling to Chicago on opening week, has looked great. They thrashed Vancouver week 2 and then knocked off a previously undefeated New Orleans Pharaohs in a 37-35 affair last week. They've got the #5 ranked scoring defense in the league but could stand to see some improvement on the other side of the ball - which has been very average. Despite the presence of a talented Ash Odom, Queen City has had only a little over three yards per carry as a team, which is never ideal. They'll get that figured out in a larger sample size and should largely retain the impressiveness of their defense thus far.
5Denver Nightwings
3 - 0 (+5)The Nighthawks are now 3-0 and looking like an absolute force of a team. Statistically, they carry the #1 ranked scoring offense lead by the excellent play of Josh Miller (second highest QBR in the league) and Jarrod McChesney (fifth highest YPC in the league). They have some issues on defense but that appears to be apart of the gameplan. It's worked for sure as Denver has won all of their shootouts thus far. We'll see if it works long term, but the play of Jeremy Vega's side has really grown on us here on the Power Rankings Crew.
6Mexico City Aztecs
2 - 1 (-1)Mexico City squeeked out a win against a winless Houston team 13-6 in a game where their offense did not play well. QB Matt Willson threw 4 INTs, and managed only 219 yards, while the vaunted Houston defense held HB Ray Bentley to just 85 yards on 16 carries. Fortunately for them, Houston played even worse, failing to score an offensive TD for the third straight week. Mexico City travels to Atlanta to face the Swarm in week 4 in what should prove to be a very favorable matchup for the Aztecs. They're hoping that the past game was just a blip on the radar and that the offense that was scoring so prolifically earlier in the season will re-emerge to carry them to their third win of the season.
7New Orleans Pharaohs
2 - 1 (-1)The New Orleans Pharaohs lost a heartbreaker to the Queen City Corsairs this week. The Pharaohs scored a touchdown with just over a minute left in the game to go up 35-34. Unfortunately for the Pharaohs, they were playing against AJ Caswell, one of the most seasoned quarterbacks in the league, as he led the Corsairs into field goal range to put them back on top 37-35 with not enough time left.
8Vancouver Legion
2 - 1 (+3)Vancouver's offense exploded, and their defense played lights out as they obliterated the Chicago Wildcats 38-3 and moved to 3-0 on the season. QB Tom Pepper went 28 for 35 for 337 yards, 4 TDs, and no INTs and claimed Offensive Player of the Week. HB Ivan Sanchez added 94 yards on the ground, including a spectacular 62 yard TD run that made this week's top 10 plays. With this performance, Vancouver has scored 28 points twice in three games, while on the other side of the ball they boast the number one pass defense in the league, allowing just 194 yards per game through the air. They travel to meet a struggling Houston team next that will likely play with great pride and try to pull off the upset at home.
9Sioux Falls Sparrows
1 - 2 (-2)Sioux Falls were completely stifled on offense versus the Vultures. They took a close loss to the Fury on opening week before beating Tallahassee in a non-competitive showing. It looks like we have a good idea of who Sioux Falls is, however. Thus far they have looked like a team that is limited offensively, although featuring a RB who looks like one of the best second season players in the league, and an excellent defense. We'll see if that formula lasts them moving forwards or if they are forced to make changes.
10Chicago Wildcats
2 - 1 (-7)Chicago had one of those games where nothing went right and fell to a surging Vancouver team 38-3. It's likely that owner and head coach Shann Varner will simply burn this tape and move on to the next one, but this performance has to be a sobering step back for a team that many were slotting into the number one spot in the rankings. Although HB Jared Willis had a 100+ yard performance on the ground, QB ET King was never able to establish a rhythm, and only managed 113 yards through the air, no TDs, and one INT. Chicago's defense was flat-out bad, surrendering 459 yards to the opposing Legion. The Wildcats host another dominant offense in the Pharaohs, and they will have to work out the kinks on defense if they hope to pull out a win and avoid falling to 2-2.
11Tallahassee Pride

0 - 2 (-3)The Pride were hanging tough with Alaska when a hail mary play at the end of the first half was tipped high into the air, intercepted, and return for 6, transforming a 6-3 lead into a 13-3 lead. Tallahassee played well in stretches in the second half, sacking Ron Cockren three times, but was never able to fully recover, and went on to lose 26-10. The Pride struggled to get their run game going against Alaska's 3-4 defense, and Christian Christiansen threw 3 INTS. With the loss, Tallahassee moves to 0-2 and must travel to Las Vegas to face a number 1 ranked Fury team that has excelled on offense, defense, and special teams in their quest to win their first game of the season.
12Dallas Lobos
2 - 1 (+1)The Dallas Lobos managed to hold off the Oklahoma City Renegades in a 34-31 shootout this week. Quarterback Jacques Luyindula threw four touchdowns but also tossed four interceptions. However, an interesting thing to note is the fact that rookie running back Zack Sandlin over these three weeks has steadily improved (59 yards week one, 95 yards week two, 147 yards this week).
13Tulsa Desperadoes
2 - 1 (+2)Tulsa is 2-1 and have looked very good in the games they've won and very bad in the game they lost. On balance though, they've been one of the statistically more impressive teams this season carrying the fourth-ranked scoring offense and the eighth-ranked scoring defense. All this would make them appear as one of the top teams in the entire league, but it's also important to remember they've beaten Oklahoma City and Indianapolis - two of the least impressive teams so far - while losing to a fellow 2-1 Dallas Lobo team.
14San Francisco Sharks
2 - 1 (-2)San Francisco dropped to rival their rival Denver Nightwings in a 44-37 shootout where the Sharks came out hot. They have a very capable offense with all their perimeter weapons in Gabriel Manning and Matt Burnham and a defense that has been getting the job done. And then there's the elephant in the room. Dylan Aciel has been cut and is out of the league. How will Juan Thomas respond to his opportunity? There's a lot up in the air moving forwards.
15London Knights
1 - 2 (+5)It seemed like only a matter of time before London's offensive production would turn into wins, and this week it all clicked for them with a 33-17 victory over St. Louis. HB Reggie Streeter struggled on the ground, averaging only 2.7 ypc, but he managed to score two rushing and an additional receiving TD. QB Rob Roby wasn't spectacular, but he did enough to lead the Knights to victory. London's defense really shined in the ground game, as they were able to hold Gladiators HB Denzel Diaz to just 33 yards on 15 carries, and on special teams SS Jeff Melinyshyn contributed to the effort with a spectacular 75 yard punt return for a TD. The Knights travel to Hoosier Memorial Stadium this week to take on the Spitfire, who have struggled mightily this season in all phases of the game. London, on the other hand, appears to be a team on the rise and is hoping to ride the momentum of last weeks win to a 0.500 record.
16Atlanta Swarm
1 - 2 (+5)After a frustrating two weeks to open the season, the Swarm finally manage to get in the win column with a 24-20 win over the Carolina Skyhawks. Running back BDG Hollewood had by far his best game of the season with 175 rushing yards. While quarterback Marcus Dunhill did throw three interceptions, including a pick six, linebacker Aquantis Shyne had a pick six of his own to essentially wipe it off the board.
17Houston Hyenas
0 - 3 (-3)Houston, a playoff staple in the league, has hit rock bottom with their recent 13-6 loss to Mexico City in a game where for the third consecutive week they failed to score an offensive TD. It's easy to point fingers at this or that player, but this has been a team effort by the offense. Houston's defense and special teams played well, intercepting Aztecs QB Matt Willson four times. It doesn't get any easier for the Hyenas, who host the surging Vancouver Legion coming off of a 38-3 shellacking of previously first ranked Chicago. Look for head coach Demond Simien to head back to the drawing board again to try and figure out how to pull out a win at home to avoid going 0-4.
18Oklahoma City Renegades
1 - 2 (-1)The Oklahoma City Renegades lost to a solid Dallas Lobos team 34-31, however a loss is a loss. It’s hard to imagine the Renegades losing this game when looking at the Renegade defense’s four interceptions, three by free safety Brady Clarke, but they fell just short this week. However a bright spot for the Renegades has been running back JW Doyle, who in back-to-back games has rushed for 125 or more yards and multiple touchdowns.
19Carolina Skyhawks
1 - 2 (-3)After showing major improvement in week two, the Skyhawks took a step back this week. They lost to an Atlanta Swarm team that had struggled mightily to begin the season. Quarterback Mark Biddix threw three interceptions again yet only had one touchdown along with it. Next week’s game against the Queen City Corsairs will be huge for the Skyhawks to prove themselves a legitimate threat this season.
20St. Louis Gladiators
1 - 2 (-1)Long gone is the early optimism generated by a week 1 win over Dallas, as St. Louis has come crashing back to reality with back-to-back losses to two lower-tiered teams. QB Moody Mitchell was a bright spot with an extremely efficient performance, going 34 for 45 for 262 yards, 2 TDs and no INTs. The ground game was a different story, as HB Denzel Diaz struggled to only 33 yards on 15 carries. The defense played the run well, holding RB Reggie Streeter to only 2.7 yards per carry, and also intercepted QB Rob Roby twice, but ultimately they were not able to keep London out of the end zone, either on defense or on special teams. The Gladiators host 2-1 Tulsa and will have to establish a viable running game and eliminate some key mistakes if they hope to get back to 0.500 this week.
21Indianapolis Spitfire
0 - 3 (-3)Something just doesn't look right with the Spitfire right now. The team just isn't clicking and that's growing everso more apparent after their 37-20 loss to the Tulsa Desperados. Given their offensive personnel, the attacking side of the ball has been among the league's biggest disappointments as they are ranked sixteenth. Defensively, they just look to have a multitude of issues that may prove to be unrecoverable from. Things are bleak in Indianapolis and most would agree with that sentiment.
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