Written by Baylee O’Shaugnessey, Josh Farnzy, Stefaun Forge, Rae Colston and Matthew Slinn

Images by Axel Raven and Hubba Kimbrel

 

RANK: 1
TEAM: Baltimore Vultures, 7-0 MOVEMENT:  -0

What will stop this team? 6 interceptions? Nope. Being matched score for score through almost 3 quarters? Nope. The Baltimore Vultures were challenged by the Denver Nightwings for 31 minutes… But 31 isn’t 44, and Denver stands alone as the last remaining unbeaten team in Season 17. This offense is explosive. They scored 13 straight in under 2-1/2 minutes to rock Denver at the end of the 3rd, and took a lead that forced the Nightwings to play right into their hands. The Vultures defense made the Denver passing offense pay. Getting 6 interceptions of their own and knocking down about 1/5 of all passes thrown is quite an impressive line of stats. Needless to say, when Denver was forced to pass throughout the 4th quarter, it made for a rough ending. RB Jimmy Hazzard also had a breakout day with 143 yards on 12 carries, with a long of 65 yards. That must have been huge for the rookie, seeing as this team has had a pass-first mentality every game this season. The Baltimore Vultures sit at the top of most statistical categories on both offense and defense. It does not look like they will be relinquishing those easily anytime soon. They host the London Knights this weekend.

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TEAM: Queen City Corsairs, 6-1MOVEMENT: -0

Well, nobody’s perfect. (OK, except for maybe Baltimore). A last minute comeback that saw the Corsairs take the lead was offset by a couple of big plays on the corresponding Skyhawk drive that ended in a walkoff field goal for Carolina, 26-24 to the team in red. AJ Caswell looked to play the hero – stepping up in the pocket away from the pressure and delivering a touchdown strike to Doug Spelling in traffic over the middle to take a six-point lead with 42 seconds to play. The defense, however, gave up crucial chunks of yards on the final-minute drive despite a superb effort all game long. King Jamaal stood out on defense for the black-and-green, as he recorded 10 tackles and an interception. The offense rode Jett Zero’s powerful build on offense, as he touched the ball 36 times on the game for 184 yards and two touchdowns. However, the offense could only muster another 156 yards of total offense when the offense went through anyone else not named Jett. Silver lining: Carolina seemed to outplay Queen City for decent stretches of the contest, but they were still in position to win near the end – a mark of a good team. Queen City travels to Florida for a potential playoff preview this weekend to try and stay within shouting distance of division rival Baltimore.

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TEAM: Florida Storm, 5-2MOVEMENT: ↑1

For the last 3 weeks the Storm have been raising their stock. A team constantly in the conversation is proving, yet again, that they deserve to be there. In week 7 Florida took the lead and never looked back, as they defeated the St. Louis Gladiators 35-27. Ranked #3 in offense and defense, they get their shot at #2 this coming week when they take on the Queen City Corsairs. So far this season their opponent’s combined records is 24-25… But one of those was the 7-0 Baltimore Vultures… So, maybe we should think of it more like 17-25? Regardless of your feeling about the strength of their schedule, the Storm are seemingly always here: always competing. Looking into the future a bit to this coming game, Florida has a chance to make a real statement. QCC has played really well all season, and they absolutely will not take this game lightly. I’m more excited for this battle this weekend more than any other. Two very evenly matched teams that both want this game for bragging rights. Who wins? The fans of the SFL!

RANK:                  TEAM: Atlanta Swarm, 5-2MOVEMENT: ↑3

In a crazy finish that rivals the most dramatic climaxes this season, the Atlanta Swarm defeated the DC Dragons, 34-31, continuing their good run which positions them atop the East division. Some could say that the ending was fortuitous, but you make your own luck in this sport. During overtime, with the game finely poised at 31-31, the Swarm were punting after a badly timed holding call scuppered any chance of a first down. The punt was sent sky high, only for the Dragons’ returner Kanye Rockafella to fumble the ball into the hands of a grateful Swarm defender. The short FG ensued and the Swarm clinched a 5-2 record. The drama that finished the contest was a fitting tribute to the evenly-matched teams. Bryant Dynasty had a mixed day behind center, matching 3 TDs with a couple of interceptions. The connection with Siege Falco was red hot however, Falco catching 6 balls for a huge 149 yards. In a game where Joshua Williams was kept fairly quiet on the d-line, the Swarm’s secondary showed up in a big way. Young cornerback Jay Rock was the pick of the bunch, taking a pass from Shabazz Psynergy all the way back for 6. The Swarm are finding ways to win above adversity, which is scary for the rest of the league. A visit from the much improved Las Vegas Fury will provide another stiff test in Week 8.

RANK: 5
TEAM: Mexico City Aztecs, 5-2MOVEMENT: ↑3

In a tightly fought contest that was undecided well into the 4th quarter, the Mexico City Aztecs recovered from a 2-game losing streak to defeat the Houston Hyenas, 24-27, retaining the lead of the division and securing their 5th win of the season. As predicted, this was a close affair, two young teams speckled with experience, led by coaches who have seen everything there is to see in the SFL. Mexico City were the more domineering force I the first half, going into half time with a 10-point lead. The rest of the action would take place in the 4th quarter with Houston trying to make a comeback, a feat that looked likely in certain periods. Three interceptions of opposition rookie QB Dave Burr complemented the efficient offense nicely, and the Aztecs will potentially be disappointed they didn’t win by more. Matt Willson had a calm, safe game, passing now and then when Phoenix Jones and Ray Bentley weren’t ploughing defenders into the ground. The crash n’ bash style of this running back/fullback combo is the identity of this offense and long may it continue. Week 8 brings the Jacksonville Kings, a team resurgent after a rough start. As we near the business end of the season, Mexico City usually start to get hot. A home victory against the Kings may signal the start of a another purple patch.

RANK: 6
TEAM: Vancouver Legion, 5-2MOVEMENT: ↓1

It was a blue collar effort from the defense that helped give Vancouver’s offense the field position and chances it needed to create separation this weekend from the Sparrows. The Legion offense fired on all cylinders this past weekend – bursting for 455 yards from scrimmage – as Vancouver pulled away in the second half from Sioux Falls, 34-14. The defense turned the Sparrows over five times and limited their offense to 267 total yards of offense to allow their sizzling offense to do what it does best – pedal to the floor. Drew Hamilton and Dean Maddox each had a pair of interceptions to help frustrate the opposing passing attack. Tom Pepper continued to dazzle – tossing another five touchdowns and adding 337 yards to his escalating total to pace the offense. The Legion could not have asked for a more positive weekend, as all other Pacific Division rivals lost. A Los Angeles loss to Arizona pulls Vancouver even (in record only, as they are still behind in the tiebreaker based on LA’s head-to-head win earlier this season) in the division race. The Legion will need to defeat those same scrappy Scorpions this weekend to help keep that standing.

RANK: 7
TEAM: LA Lycans, 5-2MOVEMENT: ↓3

A solid comeback slipped away in the final minute after a questionable penalty compounded an Arizona reception to get the Scorpions into field goal range. The Lycan defensive secondary was called for a late hit to give Arizona 15 precious yards. The replay yielded a tough call. The game-winning three-point boot knocked Los Angeles to 5-2. That call aside, Los Angeles’s effort was valiant down the stretch, as they put 14 points on the board in the final quarter to tie the game with Arizona. Running back Robert Johnson continued his torrid stretch of running as of late. Johnson bulldozed his way to 101 yards rushing to go with 68 yards on nine receptions in the passing game. On the defensive side of the ball, Rachelle Colston was electric – intercepting two Ashley Jackson passes, recording nine tackles (including two for loss) and helping to slow down the Arizona offense to allow their own offense to get back into the game. As for the call? Sometimes the whistle smiles on you, sometimes it does not. The Lycans hope to reverse their fortunes this weekend as they travel to Lone Star to take on the Glory.

RANK: 8
TEAM: Arizona Scorpions, 4-3MOVEMENT: ↑3

They had seen their lead shrink and then evaporate in the fourth quarter, but Arizona still had one last drive in them. Ashley Jackson moved the Scorpions downfield in the final minute, which included a completed pass with mere seconds remaining – in addition to a 15-yard personal foul call against Los Angeles – setup Cliff Allen for a game-winning field goal in a 23-20 victory for the Scorpions. Despite two interceptions, Jackson was precise – completing 26 of 35 passes for 301 yards and a touchdown pass to James Hands. The offense got strong balance with running back D.J. Moses II rushing for 73 yards on 19 carries and a touchdown. The defense was stout for much of the game. Arizona linebackers Joey Tropicana (seven tackles, three pass deflections and an INT) and Sean Moore (13 tackles, two for loss and a pass deflection) were active and productive against both the pass and the run. The victory pushed Arizona to 4-3 and helped keep themselves a game ahead of surging Las Vegas for the West Division lead. They hope to run their win streak to three as they prepare for the Vancouver Legion.

RANK: 9
TEAM: Portland Fleet, 4-3 MOVEMENT: ↓3

The Fleet saw their 4 game win streak with a thud in Sin City as their point production evaporated in the desert heat. The Fleet came into this averaging 36.75 ppg over their last 4 games never scoring less than 30. To be fair the Fleet’s impressive run had been greatly assisted by their schedule. 3 of their 4 wins during the streak were against San Diego 1-6, Sioux Falls 1-6 and a rapidly fading Denver 2-5. Their best win was 34-27 over London but even the Knights have now lost 3 in row to drop to 3-4. When considering all that Vegas appears to be the best of the Fleet’s past 5 opponents and it showed.

In this game Ezekiel Love did Ezekiel Love things, 21-159 1TD. Rookie QB OJ Bruin struggled mightily throwing 6 Ints leaving the Fleet at a -6 turnover ratio in the game. Allowing the Fury to dominate the time of possession and beat down and wear out the Fleet defense. While it is not the end of the world for the Fleet it does raise concerns about the Fleet’s ability to compete with top 12 teams. Yes, they did take undefeated Baltimore to OT BUT that was week 2 and against Houston and Vegas they have been thoroughly dominated. Portland will look to get back on track this week when they host the struggling 2-5 DC Dragons.

RANK: 10
TEAM: Las Vegas Fury, 3-4MOVEMENT: ↑6

Remember when Las Vegas was 1-4 coming off a devastating 34-0 shutout by Baltimore and had the look of team that was in for a very long season??? Well, they don’t! They have won 2 straight now. A hard fought win Denver in Vice Wars and this past weekend a thorough 38-20 thrashing of a Portland team that had won 4 in a row. They have begun to look like the team that finished last season on an epic run to the playoffs. Will history repeat itself? Is Sin City becoming Sim City again? The final 5 games will tell that story.

Against the Fleet the Fury played with a fury. The defense intercepted Rookie QB OJ Bruin 6 times. They held Portland to 20 points for the game and only 6 in the second half. The offense found its footing and erupted for 38 points. RB Scott Johnson led the way with a magnificent day on the ground 28-156 and 4 TDs. Rookie QB Joseph Green had an efficient day in a complementary role to Johnson’s performance going 26-37 254 1 TD. Most importantly the Fury offense did not turn the ball over once. Continued performances like this will have Vegas making a furious charge into the playoffs. Up next another stiff challenge as Vegas heads east to take on the red hot Atlanta Swarm who have won 3 in a row and 4 out 5 and sit comfortably atop the East Division at 5-2.

RANK: 11
TEAM: Charleston Predators, 4-3MOVEMENT: ↑2

Charleston came into this game looking to stay within a game of Florida in the Atlantic Division. On a stretch where they had lost 3of 4 after a 2-0 start the Predators knew this was a vital game to the division and playoff hopes and one that they should win. Despite all that they found themselves in a dog fight against a hungrier dog for all night. When it counted the most late in the 4th quarter though they all showed up in the clutch. Good teams win find ways to win tough games against underdog opponents who refuse to quit. Charleston did that and there is no telling how large a win like this may loom in the playoff picture. There is a big difference between 4-3 and 3-4 right now as the pack of playoff contenders becomes more jumbled every week.

After taking an early 3-0 lead the Predators became prey for the Mavericks and would not lead again until the final play of the game. QB TD Drew had a rough night physically as he was sacked 5 times and hit several other times. His passing was solid going 24-37 277 1 TD but he had 3 Ints. It was the 4th Int that he didn’t have that may have played a crucial role in the outcome of the game. RB Keith Swearingen had a bruising and efficient night with 24 carries for 82 yards including a few critical carries late to help setup the game winning FG. It was in the end the Predator defense that keyed the victory. They kept Charleston in the game for most of the night until the offense could muster the critical drives and scores necessary for the win. They intercepted 4 passes, the last being the biggest as it crucially setup the offense with a short field for the game winning field goal. The Predators have been a streaky team so far win 2 lose 3 win 2. While they are only 1 game behind the Storm you have to believe that they will need to find consistency in winning to keep pace down the stretch. With a monster game at Florida looming in 2 weeks Charleston will need to stay focused on the task at hand when they host Sioux Falls this weekend in a classic trap game.

RANK: 12
TEAM: Jacksonville Kings, 3-4MOVEMENT: ↑7

For those you familiar with Lord of the Rings Trilogy, you will know that the 3rd installment is called “Return of the King”. Well, in Jacksonville the story is the “Return of Kings”! After 4 weeks of the season Jacksonville was 0-4 and hadn’t show much to lead to the belief that they were going to be better anytime soon. Although in game 4 their offense, which had score a total of 48 points in the first 3 games, roared to life putting up 35 points in a loss to London and they haven’t slowed down since. They have scored 100 points over the past 3 games, all wins. The Defense also changed after that game. After yielding 126 points through the first 4 games, the King D has clamped down significantly allowing only 54 points over the past 3 games. Those kind of changes are how 3 game win streaks happen.

Against Tulsa the Kings started slowly trailing for most of the 1st half before seizing the lead for good in the final minute of the half at 14-10. Coming out with ball to start the 2nd half the Kings asserted their dominance and drove quickly down the field to another TD to make it 21-10. The Kings defense followed the offense’s lead locking up the Desperados offense and throwing away the key. Allowing only 3 points in the 2nd half. The offense put up 10 more points to make the final 31-13. Despite the victory there is still room for concern. QB Marcus Dunhill had nice day 30-41 290 2 TDs but he also threw 3 Ints. RB Jared Willis only carried the ball 18 times for 54 yards. He added 7-42 in the pass game but running stats are concerning consider the King had a double digit lead for most of the 2nd half. The Kings will need to be at their best the rest of the way if they are going to make a playoff push. Their remaining schedule is brutal starting with this week’s trip to Mexico City, then Baltimore, @DC, Florida and @ Charleston. Ouch.

RANK: 13
TEAM: Louisiana Revolution, 3-4MOVEMENT:↑1

 

In a pulsating rivalry game that lived up to its billing, the Louisiana Revolution earned a 2-point victory over the London Knights, taking home a 26-24 victory thanks to a last minute field goal by Otis Boudreaux, the kicker crucial for Lou’s road victory, going 4-4. Minutes earlier, it all looked so different. London had just taken the lead and Louisiana heads were down. An excellent final drive by rookie Tommy Utah and Reggie Streeter brought Louisiana within field goal position and Boudreaux did the rest. Streeter was purring all night, facing his former team with an intensity we haven’t seen from him this season. The running back had over 150 yards on the ground and scored the Revolution’s two touchdowns, one on the ground and one through the air. I have to also mention Chase Earl, the underrated receiver often popping up to move the chains for Utah when the offense stalled. Louisiana’s defence played pretty well across the board, picking off Pichler once, sacking him twice and Brian ‘Coach’ Craven also popped up with a nice forced fumble. They didn’t stifle London’s highly powered passing game but they kept them out of the end zone on enough occasions to earn the victory. Given the rivalry and, in some cases, bad blood between the teams, this victory will have seemed like a playoff win. The Revs will hope they don’t suffer an adrenaline dump when they face Denver in Week 8. The Nightwings aren’t what they were last season. It’s a game than many will expect Louisiana to win.

RANK: 14
TEAM: Houston Hyenas, 3-4       MOVEMENT: ↓5

You could almost feel the desire to not drop four games in a row through the screen whilst watching the Hyenas 24-27 defeat to the Mexico City Aztecs. A 17-point 4th quarter really showed the heart of this team, a team that is struggling with a large skid of losses after a fast start to the season. Defences seem to be figuring out what rookie QB Dave Burr is all about, Mexico City picking him off 3 times in a contest that was largely dominated by Houston having the ball. It wasn’t all doom and gloom for Burr, who threw for over 300 yards and a couple of scores to D.R Sim and Greg Corky, two veterans on this young team. Warren Murray also played fairly well, showing glimpses of the form that once upon a time made him a top 2 running back in the SFL. The offense seemingly did enough to win the game, but the Hyenas defence played safe without really attacking Mexico City. Matt Willson was given a decent amount of time to throw in the pocket and the running game bullied up front. Brody Gulch had a busy game from linebacker but it wasn’t enough to limit MXC to fewer than 27 points. At this point, Houston will be desperate to break this bad run of form. A trip to Carolina will be a tough place to start after they just stole Queen City’s unbeaten record.

RANK: 15
TEAM: Carolina Skyhawks, 3-4MOVEMENT: ↑7

A superb performance looked to be heading for the loss column when Queen City scored with under a minute to play to take the lead. But a Matt South-led drive that involved a few bigtime pass plays – including a stretch pass to Heath McDaniel Jr. to put them in solid field position – in the clutch had Carolina in field goal range. Kicker Whistle Jones did the rest – connecting on his fourth field goal of the game as Carolina walked off with a 26-24 victory over previously unbeaten Queen City. The win gives the Skyhawks their signature win of the season – and moves them to 3-4 in an increasingly competitive Atlantic Division. Running back Logan Jack was solid (15 carries, 104 yards, 1 TD) to give South some help. The quarterback responded with 394 yards and a touchdown despite two interceptions. The Skyhawks outgained the Corsairs, 498-340 on the day, but only four third down conversions and two turnovers mitigated some of those yardage gains. It was potentially a season-altering victory for Carolina, but they must keep up the energy this weekend as they host Houston in a crucial Week showdown.

RANK: 16
TEAM: Lone Star Glory, 3-4MOVEMENT: ↑2

Week 7 sees the Lone Star Glory move up in our Power Rankings after a crucial road victory over division rivals Fort Worth.  The 23-20 victory gives the Glory a 3-4 record to the 2-5 record that Fort Worth possess, a reverse story should the score line have been in the Toros favour. With Houston’s loss to Mexico City, the race for second place in the division is well and truly on. The contest proved to be a fortunate one for Lone Star, who survived largely due to two missed FGs by Fort Worth’s star kicker, Taco Sicario. This fortune aside, to go on the road and come away with victory is a tough task in the SFL, and to do it against one of the best defensive teams in the SFL – you have to give the Glory credit. Ace Fenech was his usual efficient self, throwing no picks and a couple of scores in a performance that championed short yardage over going deep. Fenech’s longest pass was 17 yards to Dave Axis, the receiver the recipient of the quarterback’s pair of touchdown passes. Ike McBride had a tough-running century of yards without ever crossing the goal line. One player who had a mightily impressive game was strong safety Nate Haul. Haul, in his first season in Texas, made 8 tackles, 3 of them for a loss, stifling the Fort Worth offense behind the line multiple times. This important victory leads the Glory into a tough game at home to LA. The Lycans are fighting for supremacy in the Pacific. The Glory fighting for relevance in the South. It could be a bloodbath.

RANK: 17
TEAM: London Knights, 3-4MOVEMENT: ↓7

It was right there! The London Knights just had to keep Louisiana from scoring any points on their final drive and they would have squeaked to a 23-24 victory, in front of their home fans in a game that has been spicey ever since Jonny Pichler left Louisiana for London. Pichler did play well against his former team, not letting the occasion get the best of him, going for nearly 400 yards whilst throwing three scores to only one pick. Without much a running game to support (despite Robert Merrill looking good any time he touched the ball) Pichler held his own against Louisiana’s defence, touchdowns passes to Mike St. Green and Merrill showing his quality. Defence was in order down the stretch however, and London couldn’t quite produce the goods when it was needed most. Despite the high volume efforts of Jeff Gagne and a strong performance on the d-line by William Davidson and Cam Frosby, Louisiana willed their way to victory. Four Otis Boudreaux field goals sunk the Knights to a 26-24 home loss and to 3-4 on the season. The Knights need to turn things around if they are going to live up to the pre-season hype. Can they take victory in Baltimore? Why not?

RANK: 18

TEAM: St. Louis Gladiators, 3-4 MOVEMENT: ↓6

The Gladiators have, almost literally, traded a win for a loss all season long. Unfortunately, this week was a loss to the Florida Storm. Looking beneath the surface a pattern is emerging, though. All wins are against teams with losing records: Tulsa (2-5), San Diego (1-6), and Mexico City (3-4). All losses are against teams with winning records: LA (5-2), Baltimore (7-0), Jacksonville (5-2), and Florida (5-2). If this stays true, the next 5 games will result in a record of 3-2, and a regular season record at .500. With how this season is shaping up, it looks as though the Gladiators would end their season there, on the outside looking in at the postseason. But, pull out an extra win… They could sneak in. Which game though? Atlanta? Vancouver? It’s a tall order to take out either of those teams. But… Any given Sunday, right? The Gladiators likely hold their own fate the their hands. Another big test comes at them this week when they travel to take on division rival Atlanta.

RANK: 19
TEAM: DC Dragons, 2-5MOVEMENT: ↓4

After an excellent start to the season, the DC Dragons have been flying through turbulent winds of late. A 2-5 record is the result, and no loss will sting any less than the overtime loss to Atlanta suffered during Week 7. The 34-31 home defeat could have been easily avoided had a fair catch been called, or the special teams for DC just been safe with their hands on the ball. Kanye Rockafella’s uncharacteristic fumble on a late punt return was the knife in the heart, allowing Atlanta to slot the winning FG and take home the bacon. The Dragons battled well during the game, matching Atlanta stride for stride, point for point up until the last moment. Shabazz Psynergy found it hard to break down the Swarm’s secondary, but still managed to connect with Josh Gill and Rupert Westcleod in the endzone for a couple of scores. Kevin Seay once again proved why he is touted to be one of the best rushers I the league over the coming seasons, going for 114 yards and a score. The defense also played their part, pressuring Bryant Dynasty into a few mistakes, Rockafella balancing out his fumble with a pick. In the end, luck wasn’t on the Dragon’s side, although many will attest that if you want to win, you need to put the opposition away in the 4th quarter. DC travel to the Portland Fleet in Week 8, both teams coming off losses – both needing wins to keep any pace with the divisional leaders.

RANK: 20
TEAM: Denver Nightwings, 2-5MOVEMENT: ↓3

To anyone other than the Denver Nightwings, the result of this game in Baltimore was likely not in question. However, at about 2-1/2 minutes left in the 3rd Quarter this game was tied at 24. A quick 13 points by Baltimore to end the 3rd put Denver in a hole to start the 4th. The Nightwings defense grabbed interception after interception, totaling 6 for the day. They played aggressive… A little too aggressive, allowing multiple big plays for TD. But they took it to the Baltimore Vultures. The usually dependable and accurate QB Eric Price struggled in this one. Questionable pass plays into the heart of the Vulture defense was the big difference in the game, leading to 6 interceptions (3 by CB Nick Kindler) and a large amount of the 15+ incompletions for the Denver offense. HB Baylee O’Shaughnessy is finding his stride, amassing 168 yards on 20 carries, and grabbed another 48 through the air. You see what they did for 3 quarters and are excited for what they could be, and likely will be, soon. But, will it be too late? Their hopes of the postseason dwindle further away with each loss. Scoring only 21.43 points per game does not help the cause. They need to find the end zone more frequently. Only 2 games back in the division with 5 games left keeps the door open. It’s now or never, Denver. The Nightwings travel to Louisiana this weekend to take on the Revolution.

RANK: 21
TEAM: Fort Worth Toros, 2-5MOVEMENT: ↓1

It’s rare in the SFL that games are lost at the foot of a goal kicker, but for the Toros, the 6 points missed by star kicker Taco Sicario proved extremely costly. Granted, Fort Worth needed to take kicking out of the equation through effective offense, but when your scoring game has been poor all season, a reliable kicker can really make the difference in a close, divisional game. 23-20 was the final score, giving Lone Star a road victory and forcing the Toros to succumb to their 5th loss of the season. Once again, a lack of high scoring seemed to be the crux. Cameron Curtis, whilst accurate, failed to trouble the end zone as he has done all to often this season. Jason Williams was almost a one man wrecking crew from running back, but that can only take a team so far. Williams ran the ball across the goal line twice and broke off some big runs including a long of 67 yards. It wasn’t enough to beat the 23 points Lone Star managed however. This defense is legit, as it always has been, but until the offense can find its groove, the Toros will sit at the foot of their division and low in our rankings. Time is running short.

RANK: 22
TEAM: Tulsa Desperados, 2-5MOVEMENT: ↓1

It’s been a rough season for Tulsa. Their offense has struggled mightily scoring more than 20 points only once all season. That came in a 30-24 win over Carolina, 1 of their 2 wins on the season. Their only other win was a 2 point squeaker over Sioux Falls 19-17 in week 2. Their defense has also struggled, holding only Sioux Falls under 20 points. Put those 2 elements together and it makes wins hard to come by and for a very long and difficult season.

In the game against Jacksonville both trends continued. For most of the first half the Desperado D controlled the Kings O and Tulsa led. Then with under a minute to go Jacksonville scored a TD to lead 14-10 the doubled up on the first possession of the 2nd half with another TD to make it 21-10 and the Desperados were left in desolation and desperation. They lost starting WR DJ Hume early in the game which left them with only 2 healthy WRs. It was a serious loss to an offense that couldn’t afford one. QB Jay Cue filled the sky with footballs trying to rally Tulsa going 36-59 296 but 0 TDs and 3 Ints. RB Sonzo Robinson never had a chance to get started on the ground finishing with only 9 carries and 32 yards. He did add 10-51 in the passing game as the offense tried to make up for the loss of Hume. Tulsa heads to St Louis this week for what should be a really good game. Their first matchup ended in controversy as Tulsa TE Jason France was ruled down short of the endzone on what looked like a game tying touchdown on the final play of a St. Louis 24-17 win. Have to believe the Desperados will be looking to even the score this time.

RANK: 23
TEAM: San Diego Mavericks, 1-6MOVEMENT: -0

There is no justice in the world of the San Diego Mavericks! How else can you explain it? For the 2nd time this season (see Houston week 2), the Mavericks controlled and in this case dominated a game they lost in the final minutes. For 40 minutes of this game San Diego was on their way to win #2. Then they weren’t. It was a gut wrenching loss for organization that has suffered more than their fair share of strange and inexplicable occurrences on the field during their 19 game existence.

After yielding an early FG to Charleston, the Mavericks took the lead and control of the game. QB Javier Vasquez hooked up with WR Ryan Owens for a 78 yard TD on the Mavericks next possession to take a 7-3 lead. The Maverick defense then stepped up intercepting a TD Drew pass and setting the offense to add a FG for 10-3 lead and 10-6 at the half. After a time consuming drive to start the 4th quarter San Diego added a crucial FG to take 13-6 lead. Then it all fell apart again. The offense failed to move the ball after a Charleston punt. The defense stood strong and appeared to have made a critical stop but a review of an incomplete sideline pass by the Predators revealed a completion sustaining the drive that would eventually tie the game. The Mavericks had a chance at a GW drive but QB Javier Vasquez 1st down pass was intercepted and the Predators drove the ball in close and kicked the game winning FG on the last play. Javier Vasquez had a solid game 16-23 221 1 TD but he threw 4 Ints and in close defensive games that’s hard to overcome. RB Jaylin Wells was a beast carrying 29 times for 108 yards. San Diego goes on the road again this week to take on the also struggling 2-5 Fort Worth Toros in what should be another slugfest with both teams looking to break 2 game losing streaks.

RANK: 24
TEAM: Sioux Falls Sparrows, 1-6MOVEMENT: -0

Turnovers. Turnovers. Turnovers. They’ll just flatout break your heart in the SFL. It was a competitive effort for much of the contest against Vancouver this past weekend, but there was no keeping up with the Legion’s firepower. Especially when you factor in five turnovers. The -3 turnover difference on the game prevented any thoughts of a fourth quarter comeback – even though the game was within one score in third. The Sparrows turnover differential drops to -14, which qualifies them for last place in the league (23rd place ratio is at -10). The turnovers need to stop derailing some of the small victories they are seeing in the passing game. At the same time, Sioux Falls’ defense must find a way to generate more turnovers – as their seven takeaways is also dead last in the SFL. The 34-14 loss drops Sioux Falls to 1-6 and for the second season in a row, their playoff chances seem to be melting into the distance. Will a strong finish get momentum going to make things interesting down the stretch? A trip to Charleston this weekend is a must-win game for a shot at relevance.