Written by Matthew Slinn, Rachelle Colston, Baylee O’Shaughnessy, Ray Bentley, Josh Farnzy, Jack Brown and Jason Miller

Images by Tyler Falk

Rank
Team
Record
(Movement)
Recap

1

Denver Nightwings
3-0
(1)
Let’s just take a minute to marvel at this number. Through three games - including a decisive 31-16 win over the defending champion Vultures this past week - Denver is only allowing 7.67 points per game. Dez Troyer had two sacks to help the Nightwings move to 3-0. Offensively, Jarrod McChesney had 142 yards on 32 carries and a score on the ground to go with 12 catches, 99 yards and a TD as a receiver. McChesney must be the MVP frontrunner at the season’s quarter pole. Quarterback Josh Miller continues to shred defenses - and a team that looked like the best team for much of last season now has rookie wideout Riley Quintero dialled in (5 catches, 70 yards and his first pro touchdown). Are they better than last season’s juggernaut? The only thing we know is the Nightwings are No. 1. For now, there is no debate.

2

Vancouver Legion
3-0
(1)
Portland running back Ezekiel Love is the third straight dangerous running back to be stymied by a relentless Legion defense. Two more sacks, three more interceptions and the Legion defense held the Fleet to just over 200 total yards of offense in a 27-5 victory. Quarterback Tom Pepper continues to deal a hot hand - at least after three INTs in the first quarter leading to early struggles. Pepper would bounce back just fine though, thank you, racking up 330 yards passing and two scores. Tip of the Legion hat to tight end Dan Daly, who joined in on the early-season offensive outburst with 7 catches and 122 yards. At 449 yards per game, the Legion lead the SFL. A rejuvenated Gladiators squad awaits in the one of the most intriguing matchups of Week 4.

3

Baltimore Vultures
2-1
(1)
Baltimore simply seemed to run into a sharp Denver buzzsaw - as the Nightwings defeated the Vultures, 31-16 to hand the champs their first defeat in many moons. Mr. Gaines saw very little actual gains on the ground - bottled up for 20 yards on 11 rushes. The Vultures found themselves in an early hole, but stuck around thanks in part to a fluid passing game. The Jack Wigmore-to-Ivory Ervin connection remained on track, but a sluggish first half put Baltimore in a play-from-behind position all afternoon long. A division clash with 2-1 London suddenly looms as a way-too-early-yet-interesting contest for first place. Fret not, Vulture fans. The fight your team showed to comeback and stick around against the hottest team in the SFL last week should give you no reason to keep sipping that sweet champagne from last year’s run.
4
Jacksonville Kings
2-1
(-)
The Kings are coming back out once again roaring after dropping a hard loss to Florida last week and did so through a second half throttling of the San Diego Mavericks, outscoring them 24-7 after a rather, scary first half being deadlocked at 10-10 going into the main break. But after that the Kings machine got rolling for the next 22 minutes of football and unlike the past few weeks, it was not due to their offense but rather through the sky. Christian Christiansen going 43/51 on the day for 335 yards and 4 touchdowns meanwhile the E-Back got just 11 carries for 62 yards. But receiving he did very well netting 2 receiving TDs. The Kings still were able to take, for their standard, a unique style of offense for this season and still waltzed their way to a win and keep up in what is looking to be a rat race in the Atlantic. Now they look to cap off this road trip with another W against Lone Star before a three game home stand that if they perform well, will set them up for success.
5
Charleston Predators
2-1
(2)
Charleston, that is very impressive. You went down 10-0 and lost your QB midway through the game and somehow still win it at the death with a goal line stand from the defense 19-13. Now look, I don’t think it’s exactly a hot take to say that Charleston’s offense is their weaker end. But even without TD Drew in and Warren King stepping up, things were still somewhat functioning. Sure, the passing game was thrown out the window but HB Keith Swearingen was still able to get them into field goal range 3 times that made it so Charleston could eek out the win. The defense as always was able to keep the Sparrows under control and hold them to just 13 points, the fewest allowed by the Preds this far in the young season. Now after 3 games they sit at 2-1 and have emerged as a possible wildcard in the Atlantic division race, and while maybe not something that would wow anybody, a win over DC next week would possibly put them in the driver’s seat in the division. The Dragons proved they can be tough to play last week, let’s see what Charleston can do.
6
St. Louis Gladiators
3-0
(3)
St. Louis is winning close games. They have a 3-0 record against teams currently ranked 19, 16, and 20… We will see what they are truly made of this coming week with a game against a tough Vancouver squad that is 3-0 and we have currently ranked at #2 in the league. Ball security has been a slight concern. But the bigger concern is a lack of offense. Explosive numbers are not a strong suit so far. Can they get things going against a tough Legion defense that just held Portland to 5 points? If they can, they make their case for where they currently stand-in our rankings. If not, they may show out to be pretenders. This week we see if they can hang with one of the top teams this season.
7
Los Angeles Lycans
3-0
(7)
The 2-0 Los Angeles Lycans hosted the 2-0 Las Vegas Fury this week. If you watched the game this week, you had to feel sorry for that poor stats team keeping track of this barn burner. The Lycans appeared to be in trouble at the beginning of the game as they fell 14-0; however, the Lycans headed to their locker room at half time down by only one point 28-27. The Lycans would take over the game in the second half by outscoring the fury 27-17. QB Sully Richardson was 27 for 41 on the night with 332 passing yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions. His favorite targets tonight were WR Davius Reid and TE Jack Flash who had 111 and 95 yards, respectively. Robert “Bowling Bowl” Johnson rolled down the field with his 31 carries for 173 yards. The difference in this game tonight believe it or not was defense. The rookie QB Colin Pierce threw 6 interceptions to the Lycans secondary. SS Ryan Yoseph was the recipient of four of those including a pick 6. Rachelle Colston and Peanut Seay would account for the other two interceptions. The Fury would fall to the Lycans 54-44. The Lycans will travel to Florida next week to take on the Storm.
8
Mexico City Aztecs
2-1
(3)
Mexico City might have a 2-1 record but for the skin of their teeth thanks to a robust offensive and defensive plan by their Week 3 opponents, the DC Dragons. For the first quarter of the game, the Aztecs didn't have an answer for Shabazz Psynergy and company, who held the at-home competitors to 0 points while racking up 10 themselves. Mexico City was able to finally solve the riddle of DC with the help of their rookie lineman, Dan Tritz, who ended up sacking the veteran Dragons quarterback an astounding five times by himself for the day. Quarterback Matt Willson was shaky to start out, throwing four interceptions, but once he and the rushing combination of Phoenix Jones and Ray Bentley found their rhythm, they were able to keep the game competitive and within range. We must take a moment to also chastise Mr. Tritz; the game only went to overtime thanks to his overzealous late tackle on Psynergy on what would have been a Jeffery Daggs pick-six. Chalk it up to excitement. The Aztecs will head north to take on the Sioux Falls Sparrows in Week 4 as the Sparrows look to pick up their first win of the season.
9
Florida Storm
2-1
(1)
Another home game, another home win for the Florida Storm, who seem to have put Week 1's fiasco against Lone Star firmly behind them. Efficient performances all round grabbed victory for the Storm in a tight game vs the Carolina Skyhawks, Mighty's team triumphing 17-20. What a great draft pick Charlie Biletsky is proving to be...the running back has been a touchdown machine, and he provided yet another 6-pointer for Florida in Week 3. Ron Cockren backed this up with some solid play and it was nice to see the defence remain strong, limiting Carolina to under 20 points. Evan Carroll was the pick of the bunch, snagging 2 picks from Xander Gold, stopping the Skyhawks' momentum on numerous occasions. If Florida keep this home form up, a sneaky road win might see them a lock for the playoffs.
10
Atlanta Swarm
2-1
(1)
I'm not sure what Tyler Falk saw with this Atlanta team but I have been seriously impressed. They are tied for 3rd in total points scored with 94 and I can see them continuing that against the Revolution. The Revs are a hot mess and I can see Atlanta winning by at least 2 TDs for sure. If they do then they will certainly be in the conversation not only as a playoff team but also one of the best teams in the league period.
11
Fort Worth Toros
2-1
(4)
The Toros look like a team who can smell the playoffs this season, and it showed in this polished victory over Tulsa. Jason Williams seemed to have woken up on the right side of the bed, looking strong in the carry, and Cam Curtis played like a man much older than his years. Defensively, things were excellent as per usual, and I can imagine they were pleased to have the offence perform, something that takes pressure off the more passive side of the ball. One moment of credit must go to Ayden Davis who took a beautiful pick back to the house, pretty much ending the game and securing another strong victory for the Toros. These Toros look different. They look like a playoff outfit.
12
Las Vegas Fury
2-1
(-)
The 2-0 Las Vegas Fury travelled to Los Angeles to take on their former QB Tom Ramen’s new team the 2-0 Los Angeles Lycans. The Fury got off to a great start and lead the game 14-0. Rookie QB Colin Pierce had a great evening completing 22 of his 36 passes for 410 yards and 5 touchdowns; however, he also threw six interceptions to the Lycan’s Secondary including a pick 6. John Blades was on the receiving end of Peirce’s passes 14 times for a whopping 325 yards and four touchdowns. Scott Johnson keeps showing improvement from last season with 15 carries for 107 yards and one rushing touchdown. FS Nicky Colontrelle led the defense with his 10 tackles, 2 pass deflections and 1 interception. LB Day Drewery also had a great performance with his 9.5 tackles and an interception. The game was a high scoring back and forth festival, but at the end of the evening the Lycans would win the game 54-44. The Fury will host the Houston Hyenas next week.
13
London Knights
2-1
(7)
The Knights came in to the Arizona game with the media saying “The offense is weak” They wont beat that defense” Well no one told Angus Maclaine that. He only torched this great defense 39/41 for 421yds 4 TDs and 0INTs. He has only thrown 2 INTs in 3 games which is the least in the SFL. Pretty good for a guy that lead the league last season in INTs. Now the Knights are 2-1 and have a share of the division lead. They travel to the defending champs to take on the Vultures. Its a homecoming for guy like P JT Dulany but the story line will be the Master (Vulture Owner TJ) vs his old apprentice (London GM Chad Roland). This game to me will be a really good game. And I could see London making it a game.
14
Lone Star Glory
1-2
(6)
That mauling of Florida in Week 1 seems a distant memory for the Lone Star Glory, currently on a 2-week winless streak after defeats from Carolina and Houston. There wasn't much to separate the Glory and their opponents in this game, and the 17-22 loss 'was so close to being an unlikely victory, but for a tackle at the 1 yard line and a sack on the following play. The hole that Lone Star found themselves in was largely down to sloppy special teams play, a muffed punt and blocked punt summing up a terrible day on that side of the ball. The Glory were able to stall Houston for many a FG, giving them the chance to make a big comeback, but it wasn't to be. The season isn't away form Lone Star yet by any means, but play needs to pick up significantly if they are to advance further than they made it last season.
15
Arizona Scorpions
1-2
(9)
The Scorpions took the biggest hit in the rankings dropping 9 spots after losing to the Knights. They did put 31 points against a defense that hasn't given up more than 21 points so that is something good to take away from this game. The Scorpions now have the tough task of facing the #1 team in the SFL in the Denver Nightwings. If they lose this game they will fall to 1-3 and fall even more towards missing the playoffs again.
16
Queen City Corsairs
1-2
(1)
The Corsairs are going back to the drawing board for this offense. They are 17th in PPG with 18ppg but the defense is around middle of the road only giving up 21 per game. So my feeling is that if they can get this offense scoring then we can see QCC back in the conversation of being a playoff team. But as of right now they are outside looking in. And I can see this offense getting back in the groove as they take on one of the worst teams in the SFL in Tulsa. If they struggle against Tulsa I think it could set them back for the rest of the season.
17
Houston Hyenas
1-2
(4)
The Houston Hyenas secured a much-needed home win against the Lone Star Glory last weekend and what a tense game it was at the end. After dominating most of the game and looking like definitive winners towards the end, Houston let the Glory back in the game, giving up a late TD to Dave Axis and ALMOST throwing the 17-22 victory away. Lone Star receiver Greg Soto snagged the ball with seconds left and was b-lining for the endzone and an unlikely victory when a great tackle by the defensive back stopped him at the one. The game ended with a huge sack from the destructive Zach Turner sealing the win. It should have all been very different, but Houston just couldn't convert pressure into touchdowns, settling for field goal after field goal early in the game. It's to be expected from a team trying to find it's groove after a tumultuous off-season, but those TD's will need to come more readily if they are to make noise in their division.
18
Carolina Skyhawks
1-2
(2)
It's always a tough ask to travel to Florida, home of the Storm, and come away with victory. The Skyhawks were very close to doing just that, but weren't quite good enough to go 2-1 on the season, instead falling to 1-2 after last week's great victory over Lone Star, the team that humbled Florida in Week 1. The offense was hampered by the fact that Logan Jack couldn't really get going on the ground, the star player Carolina use on so many occasions. Xander Gold played fairly well, but at this point we're wondering whether he is the answer at QB for the Skyhawks this season. Defensively, Trystan Hatley flashed his skills with a big interception, but a good all-round game by most involved wasn't enough to catch Floridsa. You need to be outstanding for that when you enter The Eye. Having said that, the Skyhawks are going places. This season, they have a chance as much as most.
19
Portland Fleet
1-2
(-)
The Fleet defense were impressive in the first quarter: zero points allowed to the vaunted Legion offense, three forced turnovers and a flipped field. The Portland defense had many strong points, including an impressive outing by No. 3 overall pick Gary Clem, who had 9 tackles, 2 tackles for loss and a safety. Too many minutes logged on the field, however, and eventually the Legion offense made the Fleet pay in a 27-5 Vancouver victory. The Portland offense still needs work. Only 144 yards passing and three INTs to no TDs is not a ratio any team needs.Converting only 2 of 13 on third downs (15%) won’t get it done either. Still, one can chalk this loss up to perhaps a more veteran, balanced opponent. Matt South looks to get the Fleet’s compass pointing north in the standings again this week against Fort Worth.

20
Louisiana Revolution
0-3
(7)
There is a trend growing in Louisiana… Turnovers… their own. A traditionally scary opponent in QB Jonny Pichler has been struggling all season, this week to the tune of 6 interceptions. Even with that, there was a chance against their Week 3 opponent, the St. Louis Gladiators. Ultimately, they lost at home 19-14. The defense is stout, holding HB Kairo Martinez to only 48 yards, and allowing only 6 Gladiators to touch the ball all day through the air for 251 yards and taking 2 interceptions. But this offense needs to find the solution. Pichler is a better QB than this, and the offense should be able to move the ball and score. Unless something changes, they will be on the outside looking in come the playoffs. Louisiana is 0-3 against opponents with a combined 8-1 record, and by a total of only 18 points. They just need a LITTLE offense to turn all of those games their way. It’s there for them… But they need to fix it fast.
21
Sioux Falls Sparrows
0-3
(3)
Okay Sioux Falls, what the hell happened? For all intents and purposes they had that game under wraps. Up 13-3 and Charleston’s QB got a knee injury, surely that should be it! But nope. Somehow they blew it and then failed to get the needed TD to win, and lost 19-13. Like look, I can get going 0-2 with the schedule they had, Baltimore and Denver are the opposites of easy wins. But Charleston with a back up QB playing most of the second half? Something has gone very wrong. The team as per usual has an undervalued pass attack but now? They don’t even have the top tier rushing attack they once had, currently sitting in the bottom half of the league for what should be their bread and butter. But alas, here they are. 0-3. Struggling right towards the bottom of the league and in dead last out west. But hey, crazier things have happened and at least in theory, you can still make the playoffs from 0-3. They look to start that quest back to their winning ways once again at home against Mexico City. A team who has also had some early season struggles, should be an interesting game.
22
Tulsa Desperados
0-3
(1)
Tulsa have talent. That is easy enough to say. The defense is great in flashes but on the field too much, and the offense is high in firepower...it just tries to fire off it's main gun too often, without ever stopping to consider accuracy. Jay Cue has all the arm talent in the world, but if you fire deep 80% of the time against a defence like Fort Worth's, you're gonna cause turnovers. The coaching needs to be a bit more conservative with a ball, as it is wasting the arm talent of Cue and the aggressive running of Sonzo Robinson. Robinson carries a large contract, and while it was pleasing to see the Desperadoes go to him more often than in recent times, it still wasn't enough. Tulsa need to find a way of supporting Cue through this season nif they are going to rise up these rankings, and right now they aren't doing it.
23
DC Dragons
0-3
(1)
The DC Dragons played their fiercest game of the season against Mexico City this past Sunday, taking their former championship rivals (see: Season 5) all the way up to a round of overtime! They were unable to seal the deal though, resulting in their third loss of the season. There are plenty of positives in this week's razor-thin margin than last week's shutout - for one, they played all 44 minutes of football, forcing the perennial postseason contender Mexico City into both teams' first overtime of the season. They were able to pick off former MVP Matt Willson an astounding 4 times in the first quarter, as well as held the at-home Aztecs scoreless while they boasted 10 on the board. Shabazz Psynergy had more yards than his Aztecs counterpart, while it was Kanye Rockafella who nabbed half of the interceptions. The Dragons will hopefully be able to continue building on the foundation these first three games of the season have given them, and will test their mettle at home against another Atlantic-based foe, the Charleston Predators, for Week 4.
24
San Diego Mavericks

0-3
(1)
Well San Diego, that second half was rough, but let’s not focus on that at the moment, let’s look at the first half! San Diego was able to rough it with the best of them Holding true and keeping the J’ville Kings down to just 10 points in the first half, meanwhile they themselves put up 10. That’s a ten ten tie! They also managed to get that elusive first team touchdown on a deep route to Conner Weston with a football that will probably be worth a couple hundred dollars should it ever show up on eBay or something along those lines. But the second half, the Mavs just failed to adjust to Jacksonville’s gameplan. Getting throttled 24-7 and nearly getting shut out if it wasn’t for a touchdown once Jacksonville sent out the backups. But hey, two touchdowns in one game is a great improvement from zero touchdowns in two games. But now, sitting at 0-3, San Diego gas most of the traditional pressures of playoffs and whatnot taken off them, and they can just start having fun. They can now start to have their fun this week against Carolina, so let’s see just how much fun they have.