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Jack Brown, Jett Zero, Merrick Itera, Mike Improta, Ray Bentley
Banner Image by J.R. Lawless

A wild week of football is now notched in the history books; Season 14’s Week One has officially finished, with some wild finishes, crazy upsets, and the best offense in the league currently… in Vancouver? You love to see it happen folks, and we have 11 more weeks of it. This week, having watched film on each team, the Power Rankings have shifted from their Pre-Season state; one team has leapt 5 spots, while two others plummeted six. In order to help you track each team’s rankings (movement up / down), we’ve added color-coded arrows under the records. In addition to this, we have linked each team’s home page to their logo. These are all aesthetic improvements; unfortunately, for the lower-ranked teams, the only thing to help that is to “keep on keepin’ on” at the grind. With that note, on with Week One’s Power Rankings!

Rank
Team
Record
(Movement)
Recap

1

Baltimore Vultures

1 - 0
(-)
Sometimes football just seems too easy for this team. Are the Vultures ready to take over and shock the SFL world (actually, was anybody shocked with a 33-6 romp?) The SFL Beat was, as Baltimore delivered a clinical beatdown of the Tyrants on Friday night. Mike Dazzo spread the ball all over the field to the tune of 33 for 44, 289 yards and 2 Touchdowns, and the offensive line allowed the veteran quarterback to search for his receiver’s without being sacked. The offense was impressive, but it's the defense that makes you think the Tyrants are just the first of many teams bound to be on the wrong end of lopsided final scores involving the Vultures in s14, 2020. Baltimore has playmakers at every level of their D; the secondary wouldn't even allow Jacques Luyindula, (12-21 for 120 yards, 1TD), to pile up some decent garbage-time production in the second half. It won't always be this easy -- it may never be this easy again -- but it remains an incredibly impressive start to a season that just saw its expectations go through the roof. These scavengers look to fly south as they head to Mexico City for week 2.

2

Florida Storm

1 - 0
(🡅 4)
Here's the scary thing about the Storm: They went to the reigning SFL Champions house and held them to 10 points. Stephen Bush was targeted early an often, catching 8 balls for 165yds, and Optimus Cline looks like he is faster than ever with a stat line of 8 for 94. J.W. Doyle will look to improve on his 46 yards from 27 carries and he’ll continue to see plenty of the backfield workload without a HB in the mix. Obviously, the biggest news to come out of the opener for Florida, is the team's talented Linebacker’s, Nicholas Warner and Frank Champion who combined for 18 tackles and held Nightwngs’, Power Running Back, Jarrod McChesney out of the endzone. Huge storms are in the forecast and can sometimes be so overwhelming that you don't imagine ever having to evacuate. Florida is no stranger to tumultuous weather, and Jacksonville Coach, Frank Goodin, thought the weather would be nice in Duvall…now he must plan for the Storm in week 2. Knock on wood if you're terrified.

3

Mexico City Aztecs

1 - 0
(🡅 2)
You can safely dismiss any serious concerns that the Aztec’s offense will take a substantial step back without Steven Mullenax around. Mexico City’s offense, now led by Owner/Head Coach Ramos Lynn, worked his magic putting up 37 points as he knew the opportunity was too perfect to miss. He featured the 16th pick of the first round in this year’s rookie draft, fullback Phoenix Jones, with 12 carries and the first Aztecs TD of the season! Of course, Ray Bentley was involved, contributing with a touchdown, along with Matt Wilson putting up 2 TD’s and 296 yards, but it was the clever offensive game plan from Lynn that surprised the Fury. On Defense, Linebacker Dexter Jackson led the team with 8 tackles and the secondary was as well-prepared as any with Jeffrey Daggs and Han Tyumi roaming around like magnets to the ball. The Aztecs, however, did give up 334 yards in the air, and that’ll be something to keep your eye on. Week 2 doesn’t get any easier for this defense, as they get the #1 ranked team in the SFL, the Baltimore Vultures, traveling south of the border. This team could be championship caliber, and this may be unfair after one game, but great expectations bring added scrutiny. Ball's in your Estadio, Mexico.
4
Atlanta Swarm

1 - 0
(🡅 4)
The Atlanta Swarm move up 4 spots. Heckuva show-up and steal-one on the road from the Swarm, who stunned a tough Jacksonville team on a night where the fans heading into the Lion’s Den of Duvall County were ready to see their star quarterback Christian Christiansen light up the town for their first-ever win. However, somebody forgot to let the Atlanta Defense know this party wasn’t for them, as the Swarm picked-off Christiansen 3 times in the red-zone. Although Jacksonville piled up 365 through the air, when the Kings seemed like they were about to score, the Swarm secondary would come up big right when they needed to. On Offense, Marcus Dunhill threw for 304 yards and 3 touchdowns, with 2 going to the SFL’s leading receiver after week1, Jamaal Wooding. The veteran tight end exploded for 6 catches, 174 yards and 2 TD’s, one of which was a huge 61-yard heart breaker to pay dirt. Let’s not forget the impact of Seige Falco going off for 9 catches, 120 yards and a TD, along with BDG Hollewood rushing for 84 yards on the ground. This was a big win to start the season that showed off Atlanta’s enviable depth. The Swarm have a lot of people who can beat you. Next up, the Fury - and Vegas better not mess around with this nest, cuz they might get stung.
5
Denver Nightwings

0 - 1
(🡇 2)
Pulling a matchup with the perennially dangerous Storm as they begin a new chapter down in Florida would be a hard ask for any team in the SFL, and it didn't appear that Denver was up to the challenge this past week. Call it the 'Championship Hangover', if you'd like, but Denver has made a number of front office changes in the lead up to S14 which still seem to be working their way through the Nightwings Organization. Florida shied away from the run game in James Richards' debut as Offensive Coordinator, taking to the air to post 334 yards and a TD as the visiting team on a Nightwings Defense that finished last season lauded as one of the best squads in the league. Jeremy and Co. will need to have a short memory heading into their Week 2 match-up with a hungry Seattle team as they visit the Tyrants, who will no doubt have revenge on their minds as they welcome this S13 Championship rematch on their home soil.
6
Jacksonville Kings

0 - 1
(🡇 2)
The Jacksonville Kings seemed to have focused on limiting BDG Hollewood's ability to break a game open, (successfully, in my opinion) holding the veteran back to 4 ypc throughout this contest. They were decidedly less effective putting a stop to ATL's passing attack, as QB Marcus Dunhill repeatedly found TE Jamal Wooding for huge chunk plays throughout the contest. It seems as if JAX might have some adjustments to make after picking up All-Pros FS Anthony Wyo and LB Chad Guy in the off-season, finding the right blend of defensive play-calling to get these two producing moving forward in this season. On offense, the Kings looked just as effective as they always are; 1 yard shy of 2 100-yard receivers on the day with WR Greyson Willis reaching the mark and WR Ken Gossett being 1 positive yardage catch away from it. The passing attack was deliberate, as QB Chistian Christiansen threw 58 passes on his way to 365 yards and 2 TDs.... but the turn-overs made a close game TOO close, as ATL was able to come up with a huge 4th quarter to put the game away. The Kings only have to travel a bit to get to their in-state rivals for next weeks contest, but FL is coming off of an upset win over last season's champs to host their franchise home-opener in the Sunshine state. Not to worry, though - JAX always gets up for a game against the Storm, so we should see the best they've got moving into this weekend.
7
Vancouver Legion

1 - 0
(🡅 5)
The Legion came out firing on all cylinders this weekend, rolling into the Pharaohs' home turf and blowing them out in a revelatory 41-16 victory (on the road!) this past weekend on the strength of a dual-pronged attack orchestrated by QB Tom Pepper and RB Sudo Nakai. The Pharaohs put up a good fight in the 1st half, trading punches with Legion and keeping it even... but the 2nd half was a different story, outscoring NO 31-6 to close out the game. WR Brett Killian was closely guarded, but still turned his 3 catches into over 100 yards and a TD, as well as averaging a ridiculous 34 YPC! Along with WR Heath McDaniel Jr. and Rich Pratchard, the Legion's offense was hunting chunk plays all game, and they found quite a few of them. On defense, new addition LB Brian Craven pulled out 3 TFL's in a solid showing and SS Gus Schultz had 9 tackles and 4 pass deflections to make sure NO couldn't keep it competitive in the 2nd half. Looking forward, VAN will be feeling very confident going into next weeks home opener against the Predators. Vancouver's been inconsistent in seasons' past, but Season 14 might be the one where they put it all together. Only time will tell.
8
Seattle Tyrants

0 - 1
(🡇 6)
The Tyrants were hoping for a statement game to start off this season, and they played in one - but it didn't quite make the statement they were hoping for. Coming from the Season 13 Championship, the Baltimore Vultures proved too much of an opening act for them as TJ and company seemed to be out-pacing them from the start. Baltimore really stepped on the gas after halftime, making what was a close contest in the 1st half a blowout by the end of the 2nd. QB Jacques Luyindula was willing to take shots at the vaunted Vulture secondary, but they made him pay for it with 4 INTs and a sub 50% pass completion percentage. RB Zack Sandlin had a better outing, eclipsing 100 yards on 24 carries to keep SEA moving the chains while trying to find the end zone (with limited success). It wasn't all bad, though - SS Cain Vasquez and CB Iverson Gamble both had INTs off of Hall-of-Famer QB Mike Dazzo, and their defensive unit held the always-dangerous Vultures RB Troy Gaines to under 100 yards on the day. Unfortunately, Dazzo had 33 completions that weren't intercepted and ended up being the difference in this contest. To be fair, it's kind of easy to understand why SEA might not have been focusing 100% on this game, as the defending S13 Champion Denver Nightwings are taking a trip to the coastal city this weekend for a Championship rematch that the Tyrants have probably been planning for since the schedule was announced. Their home opener will be a litmus test for this squad, and it'll be interesting to see how it turns out after Week 1 was kind to neither of these teams, nor their post-season aspirations.
9
Sioux Falls Sparrows

1 - 0
(🡅 2)
Sioux Falls continues their impressive streak of flying under the radar (get it? bird pun!) since Season 13 with last week's 22-21 squeaker over the Queen City Corsairs. While they might have only had 39 more total offensive yards than their opponents, the Sparrows were much more effective with their unit on the field, putting a staggering 25 first downs into the stat books to the Corsairs' 12. Defensively, though, while able to stymie Queen City's rushing efforts, the Sparrows' vaunted "air attack" defense didn't look too much like itself, allowing AJ Caswell 281 yards and three end-zone trips. Sioux Falls will need to get those wheels turning as they host the Houston Hyenas next week, with each team looking to extend their current undefeated streak to 2.
10
Charleston Predators

1 - 0
(🡅 4)
Gather round, folks, for a whale of a tale (you thought the puns were over? Hah!). A fearsome band of Knights came by way of the sea to challenge Charleston for superiority, but unknown to them, danger lurked just beneath the surface of the waters. Ehh, ok, enough puns. The Charleston Predators put on a show against the London Knights, scoring the third-highest amount of points for the week and allowing the second-least. Quarterback TD Drew gave up no interceptions and only a single sack, while the Predators defense was able to pick 4 balls away from London's Angus MacLaine. For their follow up, the Predators travel to the team that scored the most points in Week 1, the Vancouver Legion. I know we're all the way at the start of the season, but it could very well be a preview of what's to come in the postseason for one, or possibly both, teams. Charleston will keep on hunting, regardless.
11
Tulsa Desperadoes

1 - 0
(🡅 4)
Well, that's one way to start some drama in Oklahoma: down 10 points in the final quarter, the Desperados scraped and stormed their way back to a single-point victory over the Chicago Wildcats off a miraculous Hail Mary play, thrown by Deacon Nickens and brought down by Khoury Jones. OOOHWEE! Statistically, the Desperados had the Wildcats in almost every category (save for Third Down Attempts, but... that's a good thing, right?) but things weren't able to gel for them until the last quarter. A thriller of a game, for sure, but now that Nickens and company have proven they're ready to take the reigns from the Season 13 squad, they'll have to prove they mean business in Arizona.

Against the very quarterback who just left them. Sorry, everyone; looks like the drama refuses to stop just yet. I, for one, can't wait.
12
Houston Hyenas

1 - 0
(-)
"Demond can't win without Eddie Gauge's defense."

Barely 24 days into 2020 and we might just have the hot take of the year, as the matchup between the Arizona Scorpions and Houston Hyenas was a white-knuckle thriller that ended up tilting towards the underdog Hyenas in the second half. Kentez Johnson is still trying to re-capture the magic that helped push him to Offensive Rookie of the Year under center, as he threw four picks without finding the promised land once. Why, then, are they ranked so high? Warren Murray. Murray channeled SFL legends in his performance against his former Defensive Coordinator's team as he ran 4 touchdowns to the promised land on 30 carries. Speaking of defense, props to the Hyenas for putting the above-referenced story to bed - while Kentez might have tossed 4 picks, his counterpart lofted 6 to the Hyenas, which almost certainly helped them pull the W off in the end. With Houston traveling to one of the best-ranked run defenses in Week 2, a win against Sioux Falls would be the exact statement that the Hyenas are seeking to make.
13
Chicago Wildcats

0 - 1
(🡇 5)
Not to sound like a broken record, bu.... it's okay, Chicago! Week 1 and that Hail Mary from Tulsa are well behind you. Look, you're still in the top... well, dang. After dropping a close one to the Desparados the Wildcats drop hard here. It's not to say they had necessarily that bad of a game, either. The offense did its job and kept them in front all the way up until that moment, with guys like ET King netting a bit over 200 passing yards and a passing TD. The defense as well was doing fine. However, as with anything, a team has to play hard or at least show up when it matters. If Chicago wants to go any distance this season, they have to bring up their offense so they aren't in that situation again, or make sure they have a defense that doesn't fault on the biggest plays.
14
Queen City Corsairs

0 - 1
(🡇 4)
Speaking of teams who lost close games in the last second, well hello there, Queen City! Now if anything, the Corsiar's faltering towards the end was probably worse, letting Sioux Falls come back with a 95 yard game winning drive in the dying minutes. Once again, the team on the whole played a decent game. Quarterback AJ Caswell got himself nearly 300 passing yards, with production being pretty much equal among his receivers. Jett Zero also served well as a fullback and might serve well in the long run. Unfortunately for the Great Lake pirate crew, James Manzi, one of the most vocal rookies in the SFL and Wide Receiver for the Corsairs, announced his retirement after just 1 week. Now leaving a gap in the receiving corp and special teams, Erik Barkley's team needs to find something and make it work for them.
15
Las Vegas Fury

0 - 1
(🡇 6)
Ya know, despite having one of the wider margins of defeat this week, the Fury still looked promising in the Mullenax Bowl, by outgaining Mexico City on total and passing offense with Tom Ramen slinging his guns for 334 yards and a 77% completion rate. Memphis Blue, in Week 1, was Ramen's favorite target. The schedule doesn't get any easier for them this upcoming week, playing a now Top 5 Atlanta team in The Hive itself. The question now becomes if Las Vegas will be like Charleston last season, always impeccably close to victory in some way, but always snatching defeat.
16
Carolina Skyhawks

1 - 0
(🡅 2)
Carolina, and I mean this with the utmost sincerity, congratulations. You have a winning record for the first time since Season 11, and that win was fun to watch, too! One could see some flashes of brilliance from Carolina on offense and defense, I mean, heck, it was the defense that won it on the 'Pichler-6'. However, of course a good win in Week 1 is not what wins you a ring. Besides, it's not like there weren't things to improve upon. The offense, on way too many drives, just sputtered out towards the goal line, leading to a whopping 5 FGs from Wally Herman and just one offensive TD. They'll look to tune that up however by heading into New Orleans and scoring what should be an easy win.
17
St. Louis Gladiators

0 - 1
(-)
Tough break for the Gladiators. With the game tied late in the 4th quarter and the ball in his hands, #1 overall draftee Jonny Pichler throws a back-breaking pick 6 to essentially end the game in Carolina. Ahead of S14, many of the SFL faithful hoped/believed that this would be the season that St. Louis turned things around, which is still very possible given we are only one week into the new season. I believe the new coaching regime, spearheaded by new HC Gerald Smith, will ultimately prove effective and the result will be more W's on the stat sheet. However, optimism alone does not win championships. The time to act is now.
18
Arizona Scorpions

0 - 1
(🡅 2)
With only one regular season game under their belt in franchise history, the Arizona Scorpions are still a tough team to "Gauge" at this point in the season. This outfit definitely showed promise in their first ever matchup with QB AShley Jackson at the helm offensively, however the game was ultimately lost to Houston. The good news is that the Scorpions are the only team to actually IMPROVE in the rankings after suffering a loss last week, by virtue of other teams faring worse in their matchups, and there is a ton of football left to play in Season 14. Only time will tell what type of ship Coach Gauge is running out in the desert.
19
New Orleans Pharaohs

0 - 1
(🡇 3)
Man, were the Week 1 expectations ever high for this Pharaohs unit that retained all it's star talent from last season AND had an impressive offseason with numerous stud acquisitions, headlined by reigning rushing leader Reggie Streeter. The result? Getting blown out at home by a non-s13 playoff team in Vancouver and plummeting in the power rankings. Streeter looked pedestrian with only 3.6 yards per carry on 23 attempts and no scores. QB Xander Gold was operating below is normal level of play and the defense looked out of sync. NOLA was my offseason pick for team to most likely make the playoffs in S14 after having missing the post-season last fall, and I still (as of this week) stand behind that prediction. This franchise is too loaded with talent to NOT bounce back and make this a great season. New Orleans gets a second chance this week with a favorable Carolina match-up at home.
20
London Knights

0 - 1
(🡇 1)
Many folks around the SFL might have predicted this ranking for London by a week or two into the season. My response to the notion that the Knights BELONG at #20, based on last season/off-season shortcomings, is bullplop. Knights owner and head coach Liam Crowter put a lot of time and effort in assembling a strong group of veteran star players to join his group across the pond. London is also taking a somewhat different approach by utilizing star offensive linemen up front. Yes, the Knights had a tough go in Charleston last week, but there are 11 weeks left in the regular season. Every team is growing, tweaking, correcting, and innovating week after week and London in no different. Mark my words, don't sleep on London in Season 14. Next up, St. Louis.

Thanks again, everyone – and a special shout out to the Power Rankings Beat Team, without whom this week would have been a personal nightmare for me. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your team’s ranking, we are always accepting emails here and we can’t wait to see you back next week – same time, same place – for more definitive SFL Power Rankings!

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