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

Images by Tyler Falk

Rank
Team
Record
(Movement)
Recap

1

Florida Storm
9-2
(-)
The top of the table Storm came rolling into what is basically a tune up game, but a pretty special tune up game. Visiting former WR Optimus Cline’s team in San Diego. It was like a dad coming over to visit his son at his new apartment a few weeks after moving in to see if everything is okay and perhaps partake in some old hobbies. Then noticing that there were some beer cans on the floor and showed him how to do things properly. That is probably thee best way I can describe a game like this. Not exactly a blow out, but Florida thoroughly handled business and did nothing more before their flight back. There never was a moment where it felt like they were really at risk as the Storm got out ahead with a first quarter and never looked back. All the stats went their way and Ron Cockren was lazer accurate going 33 for 37 with one of those incompletions being a pick so really only 3 times did the ball hit the ground. But apart from Cockren putting on a clinic in accuracy, Florida didn’t exactly do much to stand out. I guess for a team like them that is all you need. A thorough and convincing win over a team you should beat. No blowout needed if you are confident in your skills. Now with the division locked in too, all they need is to put the lock on in state supremacy with a win over their foes from Duval

2

Denver Nightwings
10-1
(-)
Did Denver do that just to dunk on my having said they weren't the best team in the league a few weeks ago? Poor Sioux Falls... they didn't deserve wrath intended for me like that. OK, I'll admit it, I was wrong about Denver - they have been on a tear recently and have secured the top seed for the playoffs. Their final game is the much vaunted VICE WARS at home against the playoff-bound Las Vegas Fury, which while meaningless to the Nightwings' seeding, should be not only a thrilling conclusion to Denver's 16th season, but also a farewell to one of the greatest kickers in league history, Kramer Jackman. A chance for the league to say farewell to a legend, and a chance for him to set the single-season field goal record while doing it. Not bad, Denver. Not bad.

3

Fort Worth Toros
8-3
(2)
The Fort Worth Toros have secured the Tex-Mex division with their win over the London Knights this past weekend, becoming the first team in the division to hoist The Big Enchilada trophy (name and award pending approval). The offensive unit have been an absolute stud all season long and while they might not hold the top spot in our rankings, it's very possible that these Toros could gore their opponents on the way to the SFL championship game. Defensively, they're allowing a league-best 16.27 points a game - a full 3 points less than the top-seeded Denver Nightwings. Cam Curtis is ranked fifth overall in QBR, a very impressive feat for his rookie season. Ultimately, their playoff position will come down to their matchup against the Lone Star Glory, who are fighting for their own shot at postseason greatness. While the Toros own the division, this will still be a matchup to watch as we enter Week 12 (or, as some call it, the first round of the playoffs itself).
4
Mexico City Aztecs
7-4
(3)
It's always nice to get a statement win towards the end of the season and the Mexico City Aztecs did just that, beating the Baltimore Vultures 24-26 in Week 11. Not only will this have a positive effect on morale but it was a victory that clinched yet another playoff berth for the Aztecs. I have been in this league since Season 10 and I can't remember a season when the Aztecs weren't a big part of the post-season. Baltimore didn't let Mexico City have it all their own way, scoring 17 points in the 4th quarter to mount a comeback. But, when all was said and done, the potent offence led by Matt Willson and Phoenix Jones proved enough. Props also has to go to experienced wide receiver, KL Barrett, who has been immense this season and scored yet another TD against the Vultures. We must also mention the Aztec secondary, the athletic group picking off Jack Wigmore 5 times, a trio of that number going to free safety, Jeffery Daggs. Mexico City faces Houston in Week 12 - a great chance to go 8-4 with a first round bye in the playoffs.
5
Las Vegas Fury
7-4
(1)
Las Vegas is on a roll right now. Clinching a playoff spot this past weekend was a great culmination to crawling out of a 2-4 start. But, are they to be a Cinderella story this season? On this string of 5 wins, they have defeated in order: San Diego, Fort Worth, Arizona, Sioux Falls, and St. Louis. Of those teams only one is inside our top 10 in the power rankings, and they have a combined record of 22 wins and 33 losses… Not exactly top tier competition. All but 2 of those teams are below .500. They are a team that is gaining confidence, and they DID take down the Toros by 2 scores. Time will tell if they have truly turned the corner. But that first opponent in the playoffs may be the only one they see. If they show up against Denver on the last game of the season, put a scare in them or somehow pull out the victory, they will have shown enough that they could end up being the story of the season.
6
Baltimore Vultures
7-4
(3)
The reigning champions put their first round bye into doubt as they faltered on the road, losing 24-26 to the Mexico City Aztecs, sending their record to 7-4 going into Week 12. Jack Wigmore, who has struggled a little more this season, had a bit of a stinker, throwing 2 TDs to 5 INTs as the tenacious Aztec secondary punished any errant throws. A champion-like 17-point 4th quarter comeback ensured that the Vultures would go out on their shield, but as the final score suggests, it wasn't enough and many felt like a victory would have been undeserved on balance. Austin Brigham was a bright spot, taking a pick back for 6-points, and Ivory Ervin had a very 'Ervin-like' game, catching the ball over 10 times, but the running game was non-existent. T-Roy Gaines seems to be leaving the RB position at the end of the season and it may be that he feels he is over-the-hill somewhat. Despite the negativity of this ranking, Baltimore are still in the playoffs and have a great chance of retaining their championship. A Vultures team on their worst day is as good as most of the SFL at their best.
7
Vancouver Legion
7-4
(2)
A late fourth quarter interception stalled what could have been a game-winning drive in regulation. Given the ball to start overtime, there would be no stopping a second try at a victory. Quarterback Tom Pepper marched his Legion down the field - connecting on third down with Brett Killion on a 13-yard slant for a walkoff 43-37 overtime win against Jacksonville. Robert Redford continues his sizzling-hot second half of the season - netting three rushing touchdowns by halftime and busting through the 200-yard rushing barrier to give Vancouver energy early and often. When all was said and done, the Legion’s offense put up 695 yards of total offense. Yikes. The defense was short of sensational this week, but came up with key stops in the fourth quarter to keep the Legion within one possession and finally tie the game with six minutes left. The win clinches a playoff spot for Vancouver and sets up a winner-take-all divisional showdown with the Lycans this Sunday. If the Legion offense is still firing on all cylinders, Los Angeles has their hands full.
8
Jacksonville Kings
7-4
(4)
The coin fell the wrong way in overtime and a tired Kings defense was unable to stop one of the league’s best offensive attacks in a 43-37 loss to Vancouver. The Kings offense was rolling under Christian Christiansen with 356 passing yards and three touchdowns on the day. Ken Gossett had 12 catches for 134 yards and a touchdown on 24 targets. While they moved the ball well, the Kings struggled some on third down - converting only 5 of 13 opportunities. Defensively, Jacksonville made some plays. Rookie Keenan Samuels caught a deflection and took it to the house for his first INT and first SFL touchdown. An injury to Hunter Norwood in the fourth quarter gave them one less source of pressure, but the Kings had their issues bottling up the Vancouver battery of Tom Pepper and Robert Redford, who nearly got to the 700-yard mark. Despite the heartbreaking loss, the weekend was not a total bust. Jacksonville officially clinched a playoff spot based on how the rest of the league played out and they are still in line to compete for a home game in the opening round of the playoffs with a win this weekend over division-winning Florida.
9
Los Angeles Lycans
6-5
(3)
This week the Lycans travelled to Raleigh, North Carolina, to play the Carolina Skyhawks. Both teams were looking for the win to keep their playoff hopes alive. QB Sully Richardson struggled again this week only completing 19 of 34 passes for 237 yards with one touchdown and 3 interceptions. RB Robert Johnson had himself a day with 26 carries for 183 yards and one rushing touchdown. He also had 5 receptions for 37 yards. The Lycans defense continues to keep them in games. This week they were led by SS Ryan Yoseph who had 2 tackles, one pass deflection and 2 interceptions. Los Angeles pulls off the win at the end of the game with a long touchdown pass to WR Davius Reid and defeat they Skyhawks 17-13. The Lycans will head to Vancouver this week looking for the win in hopes of clinching the Division Title and keeping themselves in the playoffs.
10
Tulsa Desperados
6-5
(4)
In a game that saw over 800 yards of offense, the Tulsa Desperados set up a season-defining game with the St. Louis Gladiators, the Week 12 contest proving who will win the division - the loser may well find themselves out of the playoffs entirely. Back to Week 11, the Desperados pulled off a 21-29 victory over the Louisiana Revolution behind a mixed game by their rookie QB. Jay Cue showed flashes of brilliance, finding Gabriel Manning, DJ Hulme and fellow-rookie Jason France in the end zone for three scores. Countering that, he also showed moments of inexperience, tossing 3 INTs that gave Louisiana an opportunity to snatch victory and putting pressure on the defence. The secondary showed up to play, much like they have done all season, Nate Hezlep grabbing a couple of picks adding to one from Kamran Shaw. The rushing D struggled to contain Reggie Streeter, despite Jaedyn Swift making 3 TFLs from his defensive tackle position. Tulsa will need to be better in Week 12 if they are to defeat the Gladiators. After a few seasons of uncertainty, this could be the most important game in their franchise history.
11
Lone Star Glory
6-5
(3)
It seemed to start with a Mickey McGuire diving interception. With 6:45 to play, Lone Star seemed injected with life even though they were down 13 points. From that point, the Glory would methodically move downfield - including a key Deuce Fenech conversion on first down - and get a two gutsy touchdown passes to score twice late in a crucial 35-34 win to keep the playoffs firmly in Lone Star’s spring plans. Fourth quarter glory to the Glory defense. After having their issues defending Queen City’s balanced offense for three quarters, dug in and caused a three-and-out to make the late comeback stand up. Ike McBride’s 159 yards and a score on 19 carries helped bring balance to their own offensive production - coupled with 274 yards and 4 TDs in the passing game - despite four costly turnovers. The Glory host the Toros in Week 12 with playoffs on the line. Win and they are in. Lose and it will be up to the SFL gods to decide.
12
Atlanta Swarm
5-6
(6)
This victory was all about BDG Hollewood. Facing the Arizona Scorpions whom have one of the leakiest passing defences in the SFL, the Swarm threw that plan out of the window and fed Hollewood. He smashed into the Scorpions, making less than 3.8 yards per carry but nearly hitting 150 yards and crossing the TD-Line for a hattrick of scores. Siege Falco had a 100+ yards day and Will Todd managed to catch a ball in the end zone from his TE position. Chris Henry showed how much he has grown at the safety position since his supplemental draft pick, grabbing 2 picks on this occasion. The Swarm have enjoyed some great seasons recently. This was a down season, but they could still make the playoffs if things go their way.
13
St. Louis Gladiators
6-5
(3)
After a tough defeat against Las Vegas, St. Louis finds themselves playing for their postseason lives against Tulsa this weekend: A demon of their own making. They lost at home by 4 to Tulsa in Week 9. They had the ability to win the game, significantly better in total yards and first downs, but turnovers killed drives (4), and they are now in a tiebreaker for the division. Tulsa is coming off a victory against Louisiana, but that doesn’t exactly serve as major momentum. This last game of the season will be a slugfest, and may be one of the best games this weekend with true playoff implications for both. It’s do or die time for both the glory-seeking Gladiators and desperate Desperados! Must-See-TV if you ask me.
14
Carolina Skyhawks
5-6
(3)
The Carolina Skyhawks hosted the Los Angeles Lycans this week. They were hoping to send four of their former teammates back to LA with a loss. Unfortunately, the Lycans defense would step up and their offense would do just enough to defeat the Skyhawks 17-13 on the road. QB Xander Gold completed 23 of 34 passes for 180 yards and threw 2 interceptions. RB Logan Jack had 19 carries for 74 yards and one rushing touchdown. He also had 8 receptions for 55 yards. Carolina’s defense was tough all day. DE Chris Colon and DT Phil Hall Kept pressure on QB Sully Richardson all game and each had a sack. FS Chad Stinson, CB Davidson Joseph, and SS Cain Vasquez each had an interception. Carolina will host the Charleston Predators this week in another divisional matchup.
15
Arizona Scorpions
5-6
(-)
The turnover-friendly armof Ashley Jackson didn't help the Arizona Scorpions in Week 11 as they missed a huge chance to put themselves in prime position for a playoff berth and a potential 7-5 record. As it happens, the 37-29 loss leaves Arizona at 5-6 and on the outside looking in. The playoffs aren't completely out of sight, but the sun is slowly dipping over the horizon. As previously mentioned, AJ struggled keeping hold of the ball against the Swarm, throwing a total of four picks to only 1 TD. DJ Moses also struggled against a stout Atlanta rushing D, the lone bright spot being receiver, Donnie Hands. Eddie Gauge had possibly one of the best games of his long and illustrious career, snagging 2 interceptions, but the defence were put in a short field on too many occasions. Arizona are still in with a chance and will be a very tough out for any team in the playoffs. They just need a lot to go their way if they are going to make it.
16
Houston Hyenas
5-5
(5)
This was a tough loss for the Hyenas. Here they are with a 5-5 record, 2 games left (because of the replay that will happen next week), and last in their division. They lost in a game where they gained 124 more yards, had 10 more 1st downs, and led time of possession by 2:19. The unfortunate category they also blew by D.C. in was turnovers: 4-0. Houston play Mexico City and then London this week, and they could still end 7-5. But, the last 2 games are ones to forget if they are going to come out on top and above .500 this season. If they do, they could end up in the top 10 as well… with a little help from others.
17
Charleston Predators
5-6
(4)
Okay, like, is it exactly fair to critique the Preds this week? Sure, they lost a home game that has ended up costing them a shot at the playoffs to a team that they should theoretically beat but like, sheesh. The injury bug crippled their offense from the start with Keith Swearingen AND Ken McCarro going down early. The offense was fighting with both its hands tied at that point. I mean their offense did get a touchdown on a massive bomb from Drew to Simons, an all too familiar move from Charleston. Also hey, a touchdown was one touchdown more than you’d think they would get in a situation like that. So I guess they did what they could. Oh, I do know one place where I can lay down the old scrutiny hammer on, that rush defense. 207 yards let up in this day and age in the SFL? Damn. Love just ran all over the Preds with not one but two rushing TDs to put the submission for what turned out to be the season for the Predators. Now that the race for the playoffs is over, they only have one thing to look forward to, a battle for regional supremacy against the Skygang from Raleigh. A win for the first time since S14 over their rivals would make ending at .500 all the sweater.
18
London Knights
4-6
(2)
London has quite a go of it for the final two weeks. Yes, you heard right - final two weeks, as the Houston / London game from Week 10 was rescheduled after a playbook error. Now sitting at 4-6 for the season and on the precipice of both the postseason and not, their final two games (against Queen City and Houston) are more important than ever. One of the things they'll have to do to boost their chances is finally get their run game going, as Robert Merrill only rushed for 13 total against the Toros last week, and has an average of under 40 yards a game. If London is able to utilize Merrill in the most efficient way, the Knights could very well be defending their honor in the weeks to come... otherwise, well. Keep calm and carry on, as they say!
19
DC Dragons
3-8
(3)
Count me as impressed with the D.C. Dragons’ inaugural season in the SFL. They have won 3 straight and of their 8 losses, 7 were within 2 scores, and 4 of those were within 1 score. The single outlier: A Week 2 blowout delivered by the league leading Denver Nightwings. The combined record of all their opponents (including this coming weekend) is 72-57. Not bad, D.C…. Not bad. We all knew this season was going to be rough for them. But to have played as well as they have, and get some traction at the end of the season is a testament to coaching, player progression (also due to good coaching), and just not knowing how to quit. I’m excited to see how they do in their final game this week versus Baltimore. This will be a true test to how far they have come against top tier competition since that rough outing at Denver.
20
Portland Fleet
4-7
(1)
Well Portland, that surely was fun, wasn’t it? I know that, if nothing else, Ezekiel Love got a healthy chunk of cardio out of the game running for 207 yards after the 44 minutes was said and done with a long of 68 yards. The Fleet defense also laid out the hurt in a linguistic device that I am not exactly sure is too accurate to cross some line or not. However with two of Charleston’s offensive keys out of commission, the Fleet did what any team would do and capitalize on their demoralized opponents by beating them rather convincingly. Who wouldn’t take advantage of such a prime opportunity? I’ll say this, ever since the Fleet have had the pressure off, they have really come into their own. Rattling off multiple consecutive wins for the first time in franchise history and have won both games by multiple possessions and have on the whole looked like a whole new team. A team that can make a serious playoff push down the line. But alas they cannot make that push this season as they host the winless Mavericks looking to desperately avoid going 0-12. Never doubt a team that has nothing to lose, but Portland should still have a stable chance to win.
21
Queen City Corsairs
3-8
(2)
It was there and then, it just wasn’t. The Corsairs dominated much of their contest with the Lone Star Glory last weekend, but saw it slip away late in a 35-34 loss - a sort of microcosm of the Queen City season. Up 13 with under seven minutes to play, turnovers and a sensational Lone Star offensive effort saw the lead evaporate quickly. Lone Star simply made the handful of extra plays needed. Some exceptional performances from the green-and-black nevertheless.Ted Haynes looked like he was everywhere at times - finishing the game with 2 INTs and four additional pass deflections. King Jamaal got his hands on a 40-yard pick-six to put Queen City in admirable position earlier in the game as well. Offensively, Jett Zero was solid and consistent (28 carries, 151 yards, 2 TDs) on the ground. The ship has now officially sailed on the playoffs, but these pirates have their sights set on spoiling London’s postseason hopes as they finish the season against London this weekend.
22
Louisiana Revolution
3-8
(2)
This game pretty much summed up Louisiana's season. On the road at Tulsa would have been flagged up as a winnable game before Week 1. The Revolution were riding high from an excellent debut season and Tulsa had a rookie QB, struggling to find their identity. Fast forward to now and things have been so close, yet so far, the 21-29 score line a pure reflection of that truth. We all know the drama behind the Jonny Pichler departure, the maverick QB leaving two weeks before the end of the season to embark on another Free Agency crusade. A Pichler-sized hole was left at QB, filled by the second-stringer whose name escapes me as I write this. This meant that Reggie Streeter needed to step up to have any chance of victory, as well as the defence. Streeter did his best, gashing the leaky Tulsa rushing D to the tune of 151 yards and 2 TDs. Defensively, interceptions came in the form of Evan Arthur, Rolamin Hood and Tank Bennett, and the rush D played well. Louisiana just couldn't get enough done on the offensive side of the ball to match the playoff-chasing Desperados. In Week 12, Louisiana face Atlanta, with a chance to spoil their slim opportunity of returning to the playoffs.
23
Sioux Falls Sparrows
3-8
(2)
Boy, it is just not Sioux Falls' season. The two-time championship contenders are officially out of the postseason picture with a record of 3-8 and ranked next-to-last on the standings page of the website, and if that wasn't enough, this past week's 24-50 walloping at the hands of the Denver Nightwings was the penultimate nail in the Season 16 coffin. The Sparrows head home for the final week of the season to take on the Arizona Scorpions in what could end up being a spoiler match for the desert team as they seek their own ticket to the playoffs. With the Sparrows allowing an average of 400 yards a game from their opponents, however, this could be a brutal end to an already disappointing season. Stranger things have happened though, so make sure to tune in because Sioux Falls could very well fly away with the surprise victory.
24
San Diego Mavericks

0-11
(-)
Look, San Diego, the previous game is honestly kind of irrelevant to your current mission statement but I’ll bring it up before getting to the point. Once again you did a decent job holding up against a team that was simply better than you in every way. While not as close to victory as you were when the Nightwings rolled up, it was still respectable that you kept pace and even got it into the end zone, not bad at all, dare I say commendable. But that is not the point. San Diego, this next game is the most important game your franchise has ever come across and the most important it will ross for a very long while. No one wants to be the first team to go 0-12, and I don’t want you guys to be the first. You’re a nice group and have a very bright future ahead of you all. But this season obviously is a very dark and dreary one that I’m sure everyone would want to forget. But you can provide it a bright spot, a win to end a long journey against a division rival would be rather poetic, don’t ya think? Now Portland is not going to be easy, they’re riding hot on a two game win streak and beat you earlier in the season and they have made some top teams scared. It is not going to be easy, but I guess this season has proved that wins do not come easy anyway, right? Go out there San Diego, you can do this, I know that coaching staff can make something out of this.