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

Images by Tyler Falk

Rank
Team
Record
(Movement)
Recap

1

Denver Nightwings
6-1
(2)
An imperfect performance by the Denver Nightwings still saw them take victory in Portland, catapulting them back to the top of our Power Rankings with a 6-1 record. While others around them falter, the Nightwings have an inherent knack of battling to victory, even when they are playing below par. Despite outgaining the Fleet by more than 120 yards, Denver were plagued by the turnover bug which saw them go into halftime down, 16-17. A mature second half performance on the back of another strong Jarred McChesney showing secured the narrow victory. Interestingly, last season Portland gave Denver a fright too, a long range Kramer Jackman field goal proving to be the difference on that occasion. Maybe this is just a case of Denver having a bogey team. Funny thing is, they're that good, they even win those games.

2

Florida Storm
5-2
(3)
Well Florida, congrats! You were able to have a great fourth quarter and came through to make a wet game look like a convincing win on your end. However, as Peyton Manning once said ““You hear about how many fourth-quarter comebacks that a guy (pretend it says team) has and I think it means a guy screwed up in the first three quarters.” Now I don’t know how to better describe the Storm than that one quote. It just was not a super impressive first three quarters especially on the offensive front. With Cockren throwing two picks during the time and n to getting his first TD until quarter four. Hell, no one scored a TD until the final term. But once they got going, they could not stop. Scoring 21 unanswered points to win 27-10 after all was said and done. That last quarter showed what Florida can be on its day, but the first three was what the team looked like on a down day and looked like a team down and beaten, especially with the weather. Now looking forward, they take their talent to the nation’s capitol to take on the Dragons hot off their first win in their new incarnation. But for all intents and purposes, it should be an easy win for the Storm.

3

Baltimore Vultures
5-2
(1)
Even great teams have bad days. If you can’t remain balanced, eventually it will come around to bite you. That’s what happened in Week 7 when the 8th run defense in Atlanta went up against this Vultures team that currently ranks 20th in rushing yards per game. This all adds up to not staying on the field, if your QB has a rough day, which he did. Is there trouble brewing in Baltimore for the remainder of the season? No. It is difficult to see a scenario where the Vultures do worse than 4-1 to close out the season. But anything can happen, right? After all, the #2 ranked team in the SFL for Week 6 just got beaten by the 11th ranked Atlanta Swarm…
4
Fort Worth Toros
5-2
(3)
Let’s be honest: No one saw this coming. Arizona defended their home turf and took down a hot Toros squad that had won 5 straight. Are the Toros figured out? I don’t think so. This was simply a case of matchups and the solid running game for the Scorpions coming to life. Fort Worth was forced to pass, which is not their strength (currently ranked 22nd in passing yards per game). Arizona was all over the running attack, holding HB Jason Williams to only 40 yards on 18 attempts. It was no small feat for Arizona to take down the potent 3rd ranked rushing attack in the SFL. However, I do not see this as a developing trend for the Toros. Look to them to lick their wounds and come back to make a powerful statement against the Las Vegas Fury.
5
Mexico City Aztecs
5-2
(2)
A final score of 35-48 doesn't actually give a sense of blowout scale that surrounded this matchup. The Aztecs, looking at a 5-2 record for the season, went to work on Tulsa this past weekend. Mexico City was able to score at least a touchdown in every quarter, including an impressive 40-yard pick-six from Jack Napier, to put the score over the top by the end of the third. They're on a roll now, averaging almost 31 points a game and over 400 yards in offense, but they'll need to do something about the 2nd worst amount of touchdowns allowed (21 for the season, second only to San Diego). Like their previous opponents Tulsa, it's the next three games that will define Season 16 for Mexico City, as they gear up to take on the 5-2 St. Louis, then travel to divisional opponents Lone Star and Fort Worth. Can Matt Willson and company make it back to the postseason once again, or will they be shut out for the first time since Season 6?
6
St. Louis Gladiators
5-2
(2)
The Gladiators, after starting 5-0 on the year, have spent the past two weeks going on a bit of a skid but honestly it is not something to worry about. Especially when pertaining to this past week dropping to the Florida Storm. Which really, they were able to keep them at bay for three quarters, leading them 10-6 heading into the final term but then just not being able to finish the job, ending up losing 27-10 after it was all said and done. But honestly, given how Florida has been back into form this season, this is still a great improvement for a St. Louis team that still is pretty dang young. They showed especially through three quarters that they can tussle with the absolute best of them. Statistically too, they hung right there. A team of this quality can definitely beat the best of the best going forward. They still have the lead in the east although now it is only by a single game. They look to their three south of the border in order to keep their lead and if they win, it’ll show they are still very much in it.
7
Houston Hyenas
4-3
(2)
For a team that had a brief quarterback crisis in the offseason, Houston has done quite well for themselves, thank you very much. While a 4-3 record and a spot just outside of postseason contention might not have them laughing uproariously, there's plenty to smile about for football in Houston (in the SFL, at least). The Hyenas are tied for fifth best in total points allowed, though their new-look quarterback E.T. King is still working out some offensive kinks with and 11:18 touchdown to interception ratio at the moment. Their recent addition of Shann Varner as a coach has already added some zest to the team, and reuniting him with some of his former teammates is bound to create the spark that Houston is looking for - at least that's what coach D.R. Sim is hoping as they prepare to take on the Portland Fleet and Fort Worth Toros in the upcoming weeks in their battle for playoff seeding.
8
Atlanta Swarm
4-3
(3)
Plan for Success: 1. Make your opponent one-dimensional. 2. Create turnovers. 3. Win time of possession. Atlanta just took down the #2 ranked team in the SFL with a solid gameplan. QB Bryant Dynasty turned in an incredible performance, completing almost 88% of his passes and 3 TDs. Add a defense that forced the lackluster passing attack of Baltimore into 4 interceptions, and you have a recipe for success. The question is: Can they keep it up and finish the last half of the season strong? The Swarm now has 2 wins in a row. The next 3 opponents are L.A., Denver and St. Louis. That isn’t exactly an easy road. We will soon find out if this was a fluke or not.
9
Jacksonville Kings
4-3
(3)
A slow-churning offense in the first half combined with a defense that allowed Tom Pepper to put up early points doomed the Kings to a 37-24 defeat this past week. The offense failed to convert a number of key third downs in the first half - part of the reason they trailed 24-3 at halftime and never recovered. The Willis’ found the end zone three times in the second half and Taqwuan Hale (two sacks, forced fumble, fumble recovery) was sharp in the loss. The Kings remain very much in the playoff hunt, though. Their brief homestand continues this weekend against Queen City. And they will get one more crack at the Legion in Week 11, where playoff positioning figures to be a factor.
10
Vancouver Legion
4-3
(2)
Tom Pepper’s all-pro season continued this week - helping the Legion score early and often en route to a 37-24 road win over the Kings. Pepper connected on 37 of 45 passes for 421 yards and three touchdowns with no INTs. He pushed the passing game deep to Brett Killian (9 catches, 153 yards, 2 TDs) and also to running back Robert Redford (17 receptions, 117 receiving yards) to keep Jacksonville’s defense guessing. Defensively, Vancouver frustrated Christian Christiansen in the first half while the offense built a large lead. Gerald Giudicessi tallied two of the team’s three sacks and Josh Farnzy had a key pick-six to put the game out of reach. The win stops Vancouver’s three-game losing streak. Charleston awaits Saturday night to see if they can start a winning streak.
11
Arizona Scorpions
4-3
(2)
QB Ashley Jackson led a patient offense to success against the Toros, while HB D.J. Moses II helped keep the defense on the field with 154 yards on 27 carries, outperforming predictions based off of the ranking of their rushing attack (13th) and the Fort Worth rushing defense (10th). But, together with staying on the field with the ball and the defense hitting Fort Worth in the backfield on 7 tackles for loss and 1 sack, everything came together at the right time for the Scorpions. They now extend their winning streak to 3 in their first true test since getting beat in Week 4 by Denver. With Louisiana and Las Vegas on the horizon, look for the Scorpions to keep stinging [I know… shameless pun] opponents over the next couple weeks and into the future to prolong their streak. If they can keep the excellent game planning going, who knows where they could end up?
12
Charleston Predators
4-3
(3)
The Charleston Predators travelled to LA to face the Lycans. The Predator’s defense totally shut down the Lycans high scoring offense holding them to only 7 points and forcing three turnovers. QB TD Drew continues to struggle completing 17 of 28 passes for 213 yards, one interception and zero touchdown passes. Keith Swearingen carried the ball 39 times for 135 yards with one touchdown. Amanda Moyer was responsible for over half the offense for the day with her 4 field goals. CB Johnny Bravo, SS Zak Ley and LB Jack Brown each had an interception. The Predators will travel to Vancouver this week to play the Legion.
13
Los Angeles Lycans
4-3
(5)
The Los Angeles Lycans hosted the Charleston Predators this week looking to get their first win over an east coast team. After a quick long touchdown pass to WR Davius Reid, the Lycans offense was basically non-existent. The tired defense played well, allowing the Predators only 19 points, despite being on the field over 27 minutes. The Lycans will have to go back to the drawing board and figure out how to use their offense weapons while lowering QB Sully Richardson’s interceptions. Unfortunately, for the Lycans, they will have to travel to Atlanta to face another team in the east this week.
14
London Knights
3-4
(4)
London was coming off a big victory against the Gladiators. They were looking to continue that against a struggling Sparrows team. London dominated the entire game even though they only scored 10 points. The offense in this game just was not explosive as it was against STL. But questionable defensive play calling late in the 4th the Knights took the loss 14-13. Now they have a Tulsa team looking to prove themselves after taking a loss of their own.
15
Queen City Corsairs
3-4
(4)
A fast start against Carolina was enough for Queen City to take victory, moving them to 3-4 and ensuring that they slowly rise up our power rankings. The Corsairs are proving that it doesn't need to be pretty to be effective. Last season's failed experiment, Jett Zero, has awoken rushing talent we didn't know he had, going for over 130 yards and 1 TD, only outperformed by tight end, James Matthew Jr, who gashed the Skyhawks, gaining over 150 yards on just 5 catches, 2 of those grabs ending up in a touchdown. Digger Graves wasi n the backfield pretty much most of the game and the secondary played the right kind of aggressive when called upon. If they keep this simple formula, the Corsairs should find themselves slowly trudging up this rankings table as well as taking charge of that second spot in the North.
16
Lone Star Glory
3-4
(2)
Lone Star, it sucks to lose a game that, on paper, was an embarrassment. Being blown on statistically and through two quarters, only making the game close towards the end but every other time, it was not good. But honestly, that is only because the Dragons were playing the game of a lifetime on their end. When any team plays a perfect game, well, it takes their opponent playing a perfect game in order to hope to win. Unfortunately Lone Star, while the game you played was good, especially in the third and about half the fourth quarter, it was not perfect. That generally speaking, has been the best way to sum up the Glory. A team that does pretty well, but just is not quite, there. In most stats right now, their best is in rush defense where they kind of just vibe outside the top 5. They need to tighten up their overall performance if they want to make a lunge for the playoffs, they get to start this lunge this week against a very weak Sioux Falls team. Should they do it, I think they got something on their side.
17
Tulsa Desperados
3-4
(1/b>)
The Desperados snapped a three game winning streak this past week in Estadio Azteca, dropping to 3-4 for the season and teetering on the edge of the playoffs. They're not in trouble yet; Tulsa is ranked #7 in passing yards overall with rookie Jay Cue under center, and he showed why he was their first-round pick when going 2-for-2 on fourth down conversions against Mexico City. It's the defense that needs to tighten up to have a shot at the postseason. Opposing teams average almost 28 points against the Desperados D, with the Aztecs being the latest to clock 48 points on them. The next three games, against London, at (division-leading) St. Louis, and at Arizona, will be games to watch for Tulsa; another winning streak could open the path to the playoffs for them - if their defense can catch up to their offense, that is.
18
Carolina Skyhawks
3-4
(1)
The only thing positive about the Skyhawks' performance against QCC was Harish Prasad's insane punt return which I may or may not have watched at least 10 times. Prasad is such a gamebreaker with ball in hand, if Logan Jack wasn't normally so good, I'd campaign for him to play running back as well. Other than Prasad's moment of genius and the reliable boot of Whistle Jones, there isn't much to write about. Jack was marshalled pretty well all game and Xander Gold had a very low key game. The defense played well, but that wasn't enough to earn victory on the road against a tricky QCC team.
19
Las Vegas Fury
3-4
(3)
After dropping four games in a row, the Fury held to a slim 6-0 lead a few minutes into the second quarter. And then running back Scott Johnson’s double-spun his way to an 86-yard score to seemingly snap the Fury out of their slumber. From there, the Fury rolled. Johnson hit the ground game effectively (25 carries, 223 yards and two touchdowns) on his way to being named Offensive Player of the Week. The defense suffocated the Mavericks all night long - yielding only 241 yards of total offense. Completions for San Diego were hard to come by, as the Fury racked up 15 pass deflections and had two interceptions (Kris Magle and Max Jackson). Yes, it was a victory over winless San Diego. Yes, it was at home. But yes, I can easily seeing that double spin move as also a figurative turning point in their season.
20
Sioux Falls Sparrows
2-5
(1)
The Sparrows were coming off their first victory of the season. Flying across the pond to take on an up and coming Knight football team looking to match their win total from the past two seasons combined. Let's just say this. Sioux Falls got lucky in this game. They did not deserve to win this game. Bad play calling at the end is what won this game for them. But a win is a win. Now they will be going up against a Lone Star team looking to bounce back after giving DC their first win of the season.
21
Portland Fleet
2-5
(1)
The Fleet have dropped a spot in our power rankings due to other results, but we can't punish them too harshly - they put up a real fight against what many see as the best team in the SFL this season. The Fleet seem to have what it takes to push Denver to the limit every time they play, this despite the two's contrasting records. The real star of the show for Portland in this one was Ezekial Love, the rookie RB upping his game to try and match the output from McChesney. 150 yards and a touchdown later and we can honestly say that Portland have a much better situation at RB than they did last season. Before we move down to the next team, props also must be given to Shaud Allen, a player who seems to be making play after play in Season 16. Once again, he showed up, grabbing 2 picks including a 94 yard TD return.
22
Louisiana Revolution
2-5
(4)
Louisiana has been bogged down in the bayou this season, posting a 2-5 record after making it all the way to semi-finals and capturing the MVP title last season. What's happened, and can the Revs fix it before it's too late? It's possible, but part of it starts with the play under center. At the moment, there is only one other quarterback in the league with more interceptions - Las Vegas' Colin Pierce - but Pierce also has 7 more touchdowns and one more win than Louisiana's Jonny Pichler. Former MVP Streeter isn't faring much better, only averaging 3.7 yards per carry. Defensively, the Revolution are in the top ten for points allowed, so if they can recapture the offensive magic from last season, Louisiana could definitely be a dark horse candidate for the postseason. Their uprising begins against the Arizona Scorpions at home for Week 8.
23
DC Dragons
1-6
(-)
DC, what an amazing way to get your first win back! I, for one, am greatly pleased by the game that you played there. The team fired on absolutely all cylinders and put together a borderline perfect performance, especially in that first half. The big man behind the performance was Kevin Seay. DC, you might just have a potential legend on your hands once that man builds himself up. What SFL Nation saw out there on Saturday may just be one of many great things to come. The man pounded the rock for 186 total yards and having multiple very long runs, the longest being for a whopping 70 yards. The man had a legendary performance and I personally believe it is just the first of many. The Dragons, on the whole, roared to life this game. I have yet to see anything like this from such a young team. This week they play host to the Florida Storm, will they keep up their swagger and have another great game? Or another “so close yet so far” game? Only time will tell.
24
San Diego Mavericks

0-7
(-)
Forget the 36-6 final score. Let’s stay positive for a few moments. The defense bent often, but seldom broke (sans a few big plays) inside the red zone - holding the Fury to many field goals instead of touchdowns. San Diego’s third down conversion rate seems to be improving: going for 52%. Also, the passing attack for Las Vegas was kept mostly to a simmer on the night. And now, the bad: 241 total yards of offense - against a team they could only score 6 points on during Week 2. This offense needs to find pay dirt and keep more drives alive to give this defense a chance. A reeling Fury squad who lost three in a row looked like an ideal candidate for an upset. No dice. They are 0-7 and all alone in the basement now. I do believe if they can find some offensive rhythm, that defense can steal them a game or two down the stretch.