Written by Matthew Slinn, Rae Colston, Ray Bentley, Josh Farnzy, Baylee O’Shaughnessey and Jack Brown

Images by Tyler Falk

Rank
Team
Record
(Movement)
Recap

1

Mexico City Aztecs
6-2
(4)
Now that was a scary performance from the Aztecs. Fresh off their win against the Tulsa Desperados, Mexico City spent the week gameplanning for a fellow 5-2 team in St. Louis to great effect, completely dismantling their opponents on their way to a 3-38 win at home. Matt Willson is still throwing to the other team too much, but the Aztec defense has found a way to stymie opponents time and time again, partly thanks to the explosive tackling from rookie Dan Tritz, who continues to lead the league in sacks after grabbing 2 against Christian Brown. Mexico City was effective against St. Louis thanks to their five scores from five different people - tight end Mike Daggs, receivers K.L. Barrett, Nick Daggs, Fox Highwind - and Phoenix Jones adding to his league-leading 15 touchdowns, but it was the defense that kept the Gladiators out of the promised land entirely, allowing only three points in the final quarter of the game. Mexico City travels to Lone Star for their next matchup, a divisional tilt that could help set the playoff picture for either team.

2

Denver Nightwings
7-1
(1)
While Denver is the top-seeded team currently in the SFL, (large, comical tugging at collar gestures; dabbing of copious amounts of sweat from brow; uneasy noises). Jeremy Vega's squad went to overtime against the only team without a win this past week, squeaking out the W off the golden leg of Kramer Jackson. A win is a win, no matter how you slice it, but cutting it this close is a scary prospect for the Nightwings as they seek to return to the championship stage for a third time. Jarrod McChesney is leading the league in rushing yards with over 1000 yards (1,110 to be precise) but is second in touchdowns; Josh Miller is sixth in completion percentage and thirteenth in touchdowns. Defensively, Echo Love is riiiiiight outside of the top 10 for the season with an average of 9.1 tackles per game. What I'm getting at is that Denver is a good team, but their statistics are starting to de-syncronize from their seeding. Their final games are against Atlanta, Louisiana, Sioux Falls, with Vice Wars against Las Vegas at home to wrap it up, so Denver is all but guaranteed a spot in the dance for Season 16 - the question is, how far will they make it?

3

Florida Storm
6-2
(1)
This week should have been an easy win for the Storm, and it was. Regardless of being the 20th ranked defense against the run and Dragons HB Kevin Seay running 20 times for 136 yards, they kept the pressure on and wouldn’t relinquish the lead late. QB Ron Cockren was excellent, going 35 of 42 for 359 and 1 TD. One interception can’t really spoil a day when you complete 83% of your passes. If Florida is to make some waves in the postseason, they need to start making holes for HB Biletsky, who ran 21 times for only 47 yards. This team is built for some fireworks, but they are extremely one-dimensional to the passing game (10th in passing yards, 18th in rushing yards).
4
Houston Hyenas
5-3
(3)
The Hyenas continue their steady rise up our Power Rankings after last week's narrow 13-16 victory over the Portland Fleet. This was by no means the prettiest victory Houston will produce, but a win is a win and DR Sim's team move on to 5-3 in the tight South Division. Keeping pace with Mexico City who sit in first place is a must, and strong performances by safety, AJ Barnes, and the defensive line helped them do that in Week 8. Barnes was the standout, picking off Matt South a couple of times to keep Portland from ever really gaining momentum. There were no offensive performances of note apart from a nice TD by rookie WR, Kyle Finnamore. The Hyeans travel to a reeling Fort Worth team this weekend in what should be a pivotal game for the South.
5
Vancouver Legion
5-3
(5)
The team from the great white north continued to roll their way along through the season picking up a win this week over a head scratching Charleston team. They had all the typical markings of a good Vancouver team, a solid defense, a great game in the air from Tom Pepper, and this week particularly, a damn good rushing attack from Robert Redford. Redford himself had one long run in particular (76 yards, to be exact) plowing through Charleston’s defensive line and sprinting down the sideline and outrunning the man currently sitting at his laptop and writing this, Jack Brown. But even with that Redford had an amazing game with an additional rushing touchdown and 105 yards rushing which would already well outperformed Keith Swearingen. Leading the Legion to fill out a good performance and win 31-16 and setting up a good chase in the two horse race that is the Pacific division. Now they head across the country to play the Florida Storm who are also looking to pull ahead in their division. Two teams tossing for supremacy? Should always be fun.
6
Los Angeles Lycans
5-3
(7)
The Los Angeles Lycans travelled to Atlanta looking for their first win against an east coast team. QB Sully Richardson completed 25 of his 41 passes for 194 yards with one touchdown pass to his WR Chris Lee. He was also sacked seven times and threw 2 interceptions. RB Robert Johnson had 19 carries for 89 yards. The heroes of the game were the Lycans secondary as well as the leg of K Rob Emms. The secondary picked off QB Bryant Dynasty 6 times. Rachelle Colston had 3 interceptions, Thomas Ramen, Jr. had 2 interceptions and Ryan Joseph had 1 interception. Buddy Blaze was all over the field with his 9 tackles, 3 assists, 1 tackle for loss and 1 pass deflection. K Rob Emms was responsible for most of the Lycans offense with his 5 field goals which included a 54 yarder. He would also give the Lycans their first win over an east coast team on the road with a field goal with 3 seconds left on the clock. The Lycans would defeat Atlanta 22-20. The Lycans will stay at home this week and host another east coast team in the Jacksonville Kings.
7
Baltimore Vultures
5-3
(4)
Well, for a team currently in the tough midst of a top four playoff spot, Baltimore sure didn’t do themselves any favors, eh? I mean, it’s not like they were throttled, because they weren’t, they were just beaten, key difference. But still, Baltimore lost. Jack Wigmore and crew threw for 318 yards, a pair of touchdowns, and a whopping 5 interceptions. Okay yeah that is certainly an issue to clear up. Baltimore still even with such a major ball drop in the turnover category played a very competitive game and had they not thrown all those picks they would have easily won. But still even with this the Vultures remain to lord over the North division and pretty much are a lock for the playoffs. But even though you are practically a lock, you cannot let up now. Going forward their schedule chills out at least for the next week as they play division foe Queen City who have been struggling all season long and if Baltimore can win it should be all they need to make it to the dance.
8
Jacksonville Kings
5-3
(1)
The Kings had a lot to prove in this one after a mixed first half of the season. A loss would have seen them in the midst of a 4-4 battle for the remaining playoff places. But, just as Jacksonville so often do, they showed up when it really mattered. A ocnfident performance later, and they sit rather prettily at 5-3 with a 17-31 victory under their belts. The Corsairs were never really in the game, largely due to a great showing by Christian Christiansen and his receivers. C-Squared hit his pass-catchers in the end zone four times on the night, most notably Jared Willis, the running back catching a whopping 14 balls, including 2 for a TD. The Kings have officially set the standard for the rest of their season. Now, they just need to live up to it.
9
Fort Worth Toros
5-3
(5)
The Toros ascent to the top spot in the Power Rankings seems like a distant memory - even if it was just two weeks ago. Fort Worth dropped a 31-20 decision to Las Vegas last weekend. They were not particularly “bad” in any phase of the game (except for special teams coverage - allowing Doug Britton to take the second half kickoff back 100 yards for a score). The ground game was solid thanks to Jason “Thrilliams” Williams, who had 110 yards on 21 carries and two touchdwns. The offense, however, stalled out on some key drives in the second half - failing to score at all in the final two quarters. Defensively, the Toros continue to get solid play from Katherine Horrell, who registered 9 tackles and 1.5 sacks. The 5-3 Toros head into this weekend with a date with 5-3 Houston in a tightly contested South Division.
10
St. Louis Gladiators
5-3
(4)
St. Louis started the season a dominant 5-0, and were ranked near the top of the list. Now, they're in freefall, having lost three in a row and dropping their last game to the Mexico City Aztecs 3-38, barely avoiding the dreaded 'oof' ranking. What happened in the Gateway City? Their offense was almost DOA in Mexico, with rookie quarterback Christian Brown posting 3 interceptions to 0 touchdowns. None of the receiving corps had over 100 yards, and Kairo Martinez was only averaging 1.7 yards per carry. The spark of inspiration for St. Louis lay with the defense this week; while the score shows a blowout, their four picks kept it from being much worse than it could have been. It's not all doom-and-gloom for the Gladiators though; while they've hit a rough patch midseason, they're still 5-3 and well within the playoff picture. Their final four games are against Tulsa, Atlanta, Las Vegas and Tulsa again, a true test of mettle for the midwest warriors as they seek their best seed in team history.
11
Las Vegas Fury
4-4
(8)
A win over San Diego a week ago stopped the slide. Now, it appears, the Fury are rolling towards a playoff berth. Las Vegas spotted Fort Worth a 10-0 first quarter lead, but proceeded to dig in and climb past the Toros in the fourth to win, 31-20. Doug Britton caught a nine-yard slant to get Las Vegas on the board, and then took the opening kickoff of the second half 100 yards for a score to get them rolling. Britton now has two of the four kickoff touchdowns for the entire league this season. The defensive effort in the second half is what has Sin City excited about the stretch run. The Fury bottled up Cameron Curtis and Fury running back Scott Johnson continues to be a workhorse on the ground. A showdown with 4-4 Arizona looms large for second place in the West Division.
12
Lone Star Glory
4-4
(4)
Things looked conspicuous on the first offensive play of the game for the Glory when quarterback Ace Fenech was sacked for a safety and put in an early hole. They would climb out of that hole with a vengeance. Fenech would dust himself off and lead an offensive attack that put up 490 total yards - including 379 through the air - to march past a suddenly resurgent Sparrows squad, 34-19 on the road. Lone Star leaned on star tailback Ike McBride often - to the tune of 32 touches, 175 total yards and two rushing touchdowns. The offense grinding out a late five-point lead in the final minutes to score a touchdown and put the game away should give Glory fans confidence in their ability to close. This game was won on third down. Lone Star was 77% on third down (10 of 13), while the defense of the Glory held Sioux Falls to 5 of 12 on the key frame. The win keeps Lone Star in contention for a division title that heats up this week with a matchup against division leader Mexico City.
13
Carolina Skyhawks
4-4
(5)
The challenge of winning a game on the road here in the SFL is already high enough, but to also try and do that while being significant underdogs to a major rival of yours? Geeze, it may as well be mission impossible. But that one word, rivalry, it seems to do some funny things to teams and has an equalizing effect on the competition. Carolina took that boost and went in to B-more and won, yes, won. With the team edging the Vultures on the scoreboard and hoisting themselves over the finish with a massive receiving TD. But on the whole the Skyhawks did very well and decently outperformed their foes from Charm City. Logan Jack doubling up on T-Roy Gaines on the ground and Xander Gold doing well enough to pip the passing win in this game by 3 yards, with Carolina winning the whole day on both sides of the ball. Showing themselves to be a real threat on the playoff scene. Standing right in the thick of the 4-4 party. A win for the team next week against Portland will help but Portland too, while not being at the top of the game, has been a team to always scare their opponents.
14
Atlanta Swarm
4-4
(6)
The Atlanta Swarm hosted the Lycans this week. Bryant Dynast had a rough day completing 24 of his 38 passes for 231 yards, one touchdown and 6 interceptions. The Lycan’s defense held BDG in check and allowed him only 51 yards on 21 carries and one rushing touchdown. K Sammy Steele was 2/2 for field goals on the day. The Swarm defense was all over Sully Richardson the entire game. CB Connor Darian, DE Chris Porter and DT Joshua Williams combined to sack QB Sully Richardson six times. FS Moose Papineau and LB Aquantis Shyne each had an interception. It appeared that the Swarm would win the game late in the fourth quarter with Dynasty’s touchdown pass to WR Boo Chisholm; however, the Lycans would strike back and get into field goal range with 3 seconds left on the clock. The Swarm would suffer the heartbreaking loss 20-22. The Swarm schedule does not get any easier as they will host the Denver Nightwings this week.
15
Tulsa Desperados
4-4
(2)
Jay Cue walked out of the matchup against the Knights in Week 8 with 144 less yards than his counterpart in London, no touchdowns, 2 interceptions, and a win. Their latest game was the textbook definition of 'defense wins games,' as the Desperados were able to prevent the Knights from scoring any more than 13 points thanks to their ball-hawking five interceptions against Angus MacLaine and stout run defense. Tulsa is currently sitting at an even-keeled 4-4 for the season, having only lost to the Mexico City Aztecs recently in their spate of wins. Their remaining schedule includes divisional rival St. Louis twice - first in Week 9, last in Week 12 - as well as Arizona and Louisiana. The Desperados have a shot at making the playoffs again, but to get there, they're gonna need to steel their nerves for the shootouts of their lives... or at least of Season 16.
16
Charleston Predators
4-4
(4)
The Predators have been a rather, intruiging team to be watching this season. Interesting as they have been almost the definition of above average. Most every aspect of the team has done, well, but when they aren’t on their day, it is almost frustrating to watch. This past game against Vancouver, while not as bad as the Orca Crew’s last trip to Canada’s west coast, was still just hard to watch. Dropping the ball 31-16 on the road. Not only that, but the team, especially on offense just did not seem as much there, being especially not that great in the redzone. Ya see, Charleston only had one less scoring drive than the Legion on the day. But while the Legion had 4 touchdowns and a field goal to boot, the Preds had just one touchdown, a throw from TD Drew to Buchanon Simons, and three field goals to top it off. Not exactly the best thing to hear when it’s playoff crunch time. Where do they stand on that? They are certainly in the fight, but as of now their best bet in is a wildcard spot as an Atlantic Division title seems to be out of reach. But a win next week could jostle them up the order, taking on the winless Mavericks who just… nearly beat Denver and were right there. Well then, I guess as they say is that things worth going for aren’t easy, right?
17
Arizona Scorpions
4-4
(6/b>)
Arizona heads into a mammoth clash with the Las Vegas Fury in Week 9, coming off a bad 20-34 loss to the team directly below them in this Power Rankings, the Louisiana Revolution. Today just wasn't Arizona's day. Reggie Stretter was allowed to do 'Reggie Streeter-esque' things and the offense in Arizona just couldn't keep up. By half time, the game was out of reach with Louisiana having scored over 30 points. A nice enough second-half mini comeback led by Ashley Jackson gave some hope, but that's all it was. The Scorpions now have to dust themselves down and get ready for a crucial clash against a team they have already stomped on once this season.
18
Louisiana Revolution
3-5
(4)
Well, well, well. There's life in the old dog yet. For all the problems this season in Louisiana, we can't say they are out of it yet. The Revolution gave themselves a chancew at the playoffs with this victory, as they finallly were able to get Reggie Streeter going to great effect. The RB had nearly 150 yards and a couple of scores to help the Revs to march to an unassailable lead. A nervy second half ensued but in reality, things were never in doubt. The Revolution need to keep this up. They can do it. That belief must still be there.
19
London Knights
3-5
(5)
Are things starting to fall apart for London? The Knights are 3-5, although for how the SFL has viewed them this season, you would think they were at least 5-3. The Knights have definitely shown improvement upon Season 15, but is it going to be enough to take them to the playoffs? This road game at Tulsa will have been one they were targeting as a potential victory, but despite keeping it close, they never really looked like winning. Angus MaClaine haad one of his 'let's chance our arm' kinda games and there was just no coming back from it. Don't get me wrong, Tulsa didn't exactly play well either, apart from in the secondary, but the Knights didn't deserve victory on reflection. There is still a chance for London, but they have to win at least 3 of their upcoming matches.
20
Queen City Corsairs
3-5
(5)
Momentum has been an issue for the Queen City Corsairs this season, a storied franchise that is going through it's fair share of on the field struggles. AJ Caswell had a bit of a stinker, and the defense just couldn't handle Jacksonville's attack, the Kings using Jared Willis to dramatic effect. 17-31 was the end scoreline and it probably could have been an even wider margin. It perfectly illustrates the gap between where the Corsairs are and where they should be. Caswell needs to keep control of the ball better, as this young team isn't quite good enough to atone for his mistakes. One positive: it was great to see Deezer Powell looking like the Deezer Powell of old out there.
21
Portland Fleet
2-6
(-)
This game pretty much summed up the season so far for the Fleet. So close, yet so far. Following a strong showing against theNightwings, the Fleet showed up once more in dogged fashion, pushing the Hyenas all the way to a narrow 13-16 loss, both teams scoring late TD's to add to the drama. Matt South hooked up with Jean Valentine late on for a score, but it wasn't to be. The difference remained at 3 points and Portland were unable to capitalise on a strong defensive showing, the secondary proving once again to be takeaway happy. There will come a time when the Fleet turn these narrow losses into wins. It just isn't yet.
22
Sioux Falls Sparrows
2-6
(2)
The two-game win streak is over, and likely now so too is the two-championship appearance streak. While not mathematically out of the playoff race, the Sparrows’ 34-19 loss to the Lone Star Glory drops them to 2-6 and puts them in need of playing perfect football for the last four games and potentially needing help. Lone Star was tenacious against Julian Tyree - forcing him into two interceptions and holding the Sparrow signal-caller to under 100 yards passing on less than 50% completions. The defense was decent, but a late touchdown drive by Lone Star put the game out of reach. Is a four-game win streak to give them a playoff chance possible? Yes, but unlikely. Three of the final four games are on the road, and they must go through each of their division opponents to have a shot. Not done yet, but need a miracle to make it.
23
DC Dragons
1-7
(-)
It may not look like it via the W/L record, but this team is on the rise for next season. 15th in passing, 6th in rushing, 2nd in passing defense… They are doing okay. A young and talented core is building. This defense has obvious holes in it against the run and pass, but those will close. They have 3 losses of 1 score or less. Picture a possible record of 4-4 right now: not too shabby for a 1st year team. This win wasn’t going to happen against Florida. They are too outmatched against the FL passing attack. But they never let down and scored late. These Dragons are tenacious. We all knew this would be a rough first year. But, if you only look at records, this should have been a blowout. Obviously, there is more to this team. I’m excited for their future. They should keep their heads up and give the rest of their Season 16 opponents hell. It’s just a matter of time.
24
San Diego Mavericks

0-8
(-)
Of all the losses for the season (and there are many), this one had to have hurt the worst. To be able to take the top-seeded team in the league for the season all the way into overtime, only to see the chance at victory kicked away, is a stinging sensation. San Diego has the unfortunate albatross of the Rookie Team Curse this season, without a single win to their name headed into the home stretch of games. While it is possible for Javier Vasquez and company to run the tables and win out for the remainder, they're just for glory at this point as the Mavericks have become the first team officially eliminated from postseason contention. Charleston, Vancouver, Florida and Portland is a gauntlet, but the Mavericks have the need for speed. They're hoping to finally take off after having been grounded for the past 8 games, and without playoff seeding to worry about on their part, these could low-key be the most exciting matchups of the season.