Ken Gossett, Hunter Jones, Harish Prasad, Christian Pundt, Matthew Slinn

Welcome back to the SFL Power Rankings! We’ve had plenty of excitement from this last week so we’re just going to dive right into it.

RankTeamRecord (Movement)Recap
1Alaska Storm
1 - 0 (0)Alaska started season 13 looking as dominant as ever, crushing the New Orleans Pharaohs 40-7. The Pharaohs were an 8-4 team last season. It seems that Alaska's growing empire is as strong as ever. Fear not, however, as next week the Empire will face the Denver Nightwings in a Season 12 Championship game rematch. Perhaps this week will bring the galaxy A New Hope.
2Denver Nightwings
1 - 0 (0)The Denver Nightwings pretty much had two games last week. At least that’s what it felt like. In their game against the Vancouver Legion they were down 20-3 in the fourth quarter. Then, almost as quickly as one could say “What?” it was gone and the Nightwings went from looking flat to nearly unstoppable, storming back to break the hearts of Legion fans everywhere 24-20. Next week, however, will be a game they can’t afford to be flat. It’s Alaska. If they win, they’ll be poised to finish the job this season. If not, I mean... it’s Alaska; you can’t be too mad about it.
3Baltimore Vultures
1 - 0 (+4)A few were a little gun-shy about the Baltimore Vultures’ season after head coach Tom Paterniti stepped down from his coaching duties in the off-season. Those doubts were quickly laid to rest as the Vultures looked dominant as ever against the Mexico City Aztecs, an always quality opponent. The Vultures came out swinging and handily won, 44-26. They’ll be given the chance to prove their mettle once more this week as they head down to Florida to take on the Tallahassee Pride.
4Seattle Tyrants
1 - 0 (+2)The Seattle Tyrants debuted in style with a 34-24 win against the Tulsa Desperados. While the score might sound close, the Desperados scored two touchdowns late to make the score look closer than the game really was. Make no mistake, the Tyrants looked as good this week as they did last season when they were the Dallas Lobos, despite some concerns that the offense in particular might be lacking with some coaching changes in the off-season.
5Tallahassee Pride
1 - 0 (-1)The Tallahassee Pride opened up season 13 with a win against the Carolina Skyhawks 17-10. While the offense moved the ball well, some ill-timed turnovers and a pick six hurt the Pride. The defense, however, played lights out, not allowing a single point until the Skyhawks tacked on a field goal towards the end of the first half. Next week, the Pride will play the Vultures at home in what's shaping up to be a great matchup.
6Chicago Wildcats
1 - 0 (+2)The Chicago Wildcats started off season 13 on the right foot with a 30-23 win over the Las Vegas Fury. QB ET King looked sharp, completing 23 of 31 passes for 282 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. The real story of the game, however, was newly acquired RB Ash Odom. Odom struggled a bit on the ground, running for 66 yards on 19 carries and a touchdown. However, he also caught six passes for 43 yards, which makes the performance seem better overall.
7London Knights
1 - 0 (+4)The London Knights came to play in week one. In a 44-23 statement win against the Queen City Corsairs, the Knights flat-out won this game. London RB Reggie Streeter was the one to watch on-field. Streeter rushed for 185 yards while also racking up 122 receiving yards and scoring two total touchdowns. The Knights play the Las Vegas Fury next week, giving them another chance to put the league on notice that this will be the season the Knights make the playoffs.
8Mexico City Aztecs
0 - 1 (-5)After much fanfare entering the season with the addition of Steven Mullenax to the Mexico City coaching staff, the Aztecs fell flat in their opener versus the Baltimore Vultures. There's still plenty of game left to be played but it's hard to find the good in their week one performance, with the Aztecs looking a whole lot more like the pre-Season 12 Dallas Lobos instead of the version that got all the way to the semifinals.
9New Orleans Pharaohs
0 - 1 (-4)Much like the Aztecs, the Pharaohs disappointed in a major way. They were rolled 40-7 to the three-time defending champions. At the end of the day, this seems like another learning experience for the triad of Aaron Arrington, Heath McDaniels, and Xander Gold. This is still a team loaded with talent that we've seen come up big before. They'll do battle with Mexico City next week, a match that could send the loser into a full tailspin.
10Queen City Corsairs
0 - 1 (-1)The Corsairs couldn't stop Reggie Streeter as he juked, spun, and accelerated past a Queen City defense that just had no answers. The game was close in the first half but London really pulled away towards in the third and fourth frames. They'll need to work on cutting down the turnovers after the three-interception performance from AJ Caswell. This team feels like a lot of mystery still presents itself. It wasn't an inspiring opening week, but we'll need to see them when (or if) they can play a clean game to more adequately evaluate them.
11Atlanta Swarm
1 - 0 (+5)Atlanta with the upset of the week! They fully throttled a good Sioux Falls team behind the arm of Marcus Dunhill. This offense looks especially good with a very balanced passing game. Dunhill managed to spread the ball around to the tune of all of his major playmakers seeing at least 85 receiving yards. The defense shut down the Sparrows air attack, not allowing a receiving score and forcing four turnovers. This bodes well for the future, especially with Tulsa and St. Louis on deck. We could see a swift rise to the top of the rankings if this pattern continues.
12Sioux Falls Sparrows
0 - 1 (-2)Ouch. That wasn't what Jacen Tyree was hoping for in the team's opening week. Maybe you can chalk it up to bad luck given that they had four interceptions (to no touchdowns), but it certainly wasn't something this team will be proud to have on their resume. Colin Hart showed up in a big way to, rushing and receiving for over 180 all-purpose yards and four rushing touchdowns (on over six yards per carry). If they can cut down on the turnovers, shore up the defense, and maintain Hart's dominance, then this team will be just fine.
13Charleston Predators
1 - 0 (+1)Last season, we occasionally saw an Indianapolis team explode on the offensive way (TD Drew won multiple Offensive Player of the Week awards last season when this occurred). This time around, however, it was Keith Swearingen carrying the load. He shouldered 36 carries for over 350 yards and four touchdowns en route to fully dismantling the San Francisco Sharks. If Swearingen maintains that pace, and the Predators see their defense that only allowed 17 points as a replicatable aspect of this team, then they could very well be taking a long, hard look at inserting themself into the Season 13 playoff picture.
14Las Vegas Fury
0 - 1 (0)Although Chicago had this game nearly wrapped up by the end of the third quarter, this was still one of the more interesting games of the week, as the Fury saw a comeback attempt and a 17-point fourth quarter fall just short of victory in a 30-23 loss. Although Robert Redford put up nearly 200 yards with two touchdowns, this team still has trouble moving the ball through the air. Thomas Ramen had just 200 yards on 21 attempts with no touchdowns and one turnover. That is not a recipe for success and makes for a very one-dimensional offense. If this team can figure out that aspect of their game, then they will be very dangerous moving forward.
15Oklahoma City Renegades
1 - 0 (+4)The pre-season rankings had the Renegades near the bottom (at 19). We saw them pull out an impressive 16-10 victory over a Hyenas team that were ranked better than them in those very same power rankings. We also saw an impressive coaching debut by the Renegade’s new General Manager and Defensive Coordinator, Jon Gregory, where his defense got an impressive five interceptions on Kentez Johnson. Oklahoma City showed some potential on the offensive side of the ball, with QB Deacon Nickens passing 30/40 for 327 yards but no touchdowns. Tight End Tyberius Bovine had seven receptions for 140 yards. However, they will need to start figuring out how to get newly acquired RB, Jason Williams, going as he had 13 carries for only 16 yards. While it was a good win for this team, it is week one, and they’ll have to show some consistency throughout the season. Next week, they will face a tougher opponent in the Chicago Wildcats, who looked pretty good last week against the Fury.
16Carolina Skyhawks
0 - 1 (-1)Carolina starts out the season 0-1 to a Tallahassee Pride team that continues to dominate the rivalry. However, there are worse ways to lose a game where a team is considered a huge underdog. The Skyhawks lost at home 17-10. For much of the game, the Skyhawks were very competitive with a strong Pride team. For a time, they were within four points of them, and they would have had the lead at halftime had they not given up a long touchdown pass to Ken Gossett. The defense played very well as LBs Shravan Prasad (14 tackles) and DJ Majesty (15 tackles) combined for 29 tackles and two interceptions. However, rookie QB Sully Richardson and the Carolina offense struggled on Tuesday night, as they were only able to score three points on offense. The run game also needs improvement, as 2nd year RB Randy Mercury’s struggles from last year continued with only 11 carries for 32 yards. This team has potential, but has some work to do before they can get to where they need. Despite all of the positives, a loss is a loss, and they still drop one spot in the power rankings. The Skyhawks visit to Vancouver next week to face former coach, Andy Hamilton, for the very first time as they look to bounce back from a tough loss.
17Tulsa Desperadoes
0 - 1 (-4)The score of their week 1 game didn’t look horrible, as the Desperados fell to the Seattle Tyrants 34-24, but don’t let looks deceive you. Tulsa were down 31-10 with 8 minutes left in the 4th quarter when they scored a few late points to make that line look better. This was a night they’re going to want to quickly forget and move on from. For much of the game, they struggled to get offense going. RB Sonzo Robinson had 20 carries for only 48 yards and no touchdowns. Sophomore QB Ashley Jackson, however, had herself a decent night as she threw 25/35 for 310 yards and three touchdowns, with only one interception. This loss has the Desperados drop four spots in the power rankings.Yes, the Tyrants are a strong team, but they will need to perform better as they face an opponent in Atlanta, who were truly dominant last week over a team that made the playoffs, and are looking quite strong at the moment.
18Houston Hyenas
0 - 1 (-6)Houston had the biggest drop this week, as they fell a whopping six spots. They started out close to being in the top ten, and now they nearly fall in to the bottom three. The Hyenas didn’t lose badly, but their struggles from last season continued in to week 1 as they lost to an OKC team they should be better than. The game was lost 16-10, with a weak performance from Kentez Johnson, who threw five interceptions in the game. RB Warren Murray had a decent game with 27 carries for 104 yards, and WR DR Sim also had a good game with six receptions for 129 yards, as well as the Hyenas' only touchdown. This is a loss that the Hyenas might look back on and regret, but they have a good chance of bouncing back against a Sharks team that looked really poor in week 1. Houston are hoping to avoid getting upset for a second straight week.
19Vancouver Legion
0 - 1 (-2)Let’s address the elephant in the room. Yes, they were not the favorites to beat the Nightwings, that came off a championship run. But if you were watching the game, as it was going into the fourth quarter, you were probably thinking “Wow, this Legion team might be a lot better this season.” The reason for that is they were up 20-3 over the former championship-contending Nightwings team, and it was an impressive, dominant performance. Vancouver, sadly, ended up blowing that 17 point lead. Yeah, you read that right. For three quarters, they were shutting down the doubt, but you know how the saying goes - it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. Unfortunately for Andy Hamilton's Legion, they couldn’t finish Jeremy Vega's Nightwings. They begin the season 0-1 as they host the Skyhawks, Hamilton's former team, next weekend for the very first time.
20San Francisco Sharks
0 - 1 (-1)San Francisco gets to stay in the same place in the power rankings despite a loss. This isn’t necessarily a positive thing for the Sharks. They had the second most lopsided loss this week, as Charleston beat them 47-17. There were not many positives to take away from this game, and instead of dwelling on this loss, they need to seek the advice of a wise coach, and look "on to Houston." Luckily for them, it was only week one and they have time to turn things around. San Francisco is going to have to really step it up quite a few notches to recover as they face another team that struggled in week one (but not nearly as much) in the Houston Hyenas.
21St. Louis Gladiators
0 - 0 (0)St. Louis had a bye week, and despite what many people believe for certain teams, you can’t lose a bye week. Despite the Sharks losing as bad as they did, STL hasn’t gotten the opportunity to prove to us that they don’t belong at the bottom of the power rankings. Next week, the Gladiators will see action for the first time this season when they face the Seattle Tyrants, who picked up right where they left off last season. It’s a tough game for the Gladiators, but the games are played for a reason, they will hope to make a statement.