Written by Hunter Norwood, Jacob Clear, Chad Stinson, Ernest McCray Sr., and Auryn Wicker

Welcome back to another run of Premier Stats’ Power Rankings! This week we are looking into what makes teams tick and how they can take that next step. On the rankings side we’ve seen some movement within the top 10 and thereabouts. With a nearly full slate this weekend no spot is safe going into next week. Good luck to all teams that aren’t Denver this week. Enjoy!

  Rank    Team    Record    Average Rank    Last Week    Trending 

     1          4-0                   1.00                                 1                       Even               

It’s tough to look at this team and say they need to improve at things, but there is one part of the vultures game that I look at and wonder if it comes to a close game or maybe a game against a specific type of team, can the Vultures overcome. Currently the Vultures are the 2nd worst in total yards running as a team in the league. All though they haven’t really needed to rely on this, what happens if/when Jack Wigmore gets locked down by a defense that has top ball hawking DBs and they’re forced to try and run more. Even YPC between T-roy Gaines and Jimmy Hazard are at a league low 3.0 YPC. Neither has above 3.3 YPC. I don’t know if this team can grind it out on the ground, now obviously that’s not how they play, but there might be a few teams out there being built to stop that pass and it does bring to question, what if?

      2            4-0                       2.40                            2                      Even

The D.C. Dragons are 4-0, confident & balanced, and the confidence is growing week by week. Led by the leagues leading rusher Kevin Seay with his 777 rushing yards and 8 TDs in 4 games and he’s been doing it all inside and outside, he’s been great so far. Shabazz Psynergy ain’t playing bad but his 5 INTs can’t rise, they stay low and his TDs will grow, just watch. The Dragons defense is solid, they just need a few more takeaways and once that happens look out as it is already hard to stop ’em. They are a real contender and the momentum & confidence has been building since S17 when they they beat Queen City 31-13.

     3        3-1                        3.80                            3                       Even

Vancouver is coming off a bye week to face the Florida Storm. The Legion started this season with an L but have been on a roll with three straight wins since then. If they want to keep this hit streak going they will need to pick it up. Tom Pepper will need to play at the level he is right now and need to lean heavily on Kendra Hall the best WR right now in the league because the run is not working like it has in the past. Robert Redford will need to find away to become more of a weapon this season. If they can do this then the Legion are set to move up the standings and power rankings.

    4         3-1                         4.20                             4                       Even

I thought this team might take a small step back this season under their new Head Coach, not a big one, but still something. However, at 3-1 they don’t seem to have on paper. Yet if you look at the numbers, their stud QB and perennial MVP/OPOY candidate, Ron Cockren finds himself dead last in yards passing. Fortunately Charlie Biletsky is putting up great numbers on the ground and their defense has played quite well. If they are to find their way back to another title game, Cockren is gonna have to find his receivers a lot more and shred defenses like he has in years past.

    5         3-1                         6.20                             6                        Up

There are two things I have seen that Lone Star may want to keep in their heads moving forward that somewhat work hand in hand with each other if they want to keep their winning ways and squeak out those closer games in Glory. They rank dead last in the league in rushing yards allowed per game. Now some teams like to play soft and force teams to run, but my concern here is with the addition of their pathetic offensive 3rd down percentage conversion rate which ranks 5th worse in the league at only 48%. The one positive is they have only had 40 attempts so far this season though they have only played four games due to a bye. If a team can get the lead on the Glory and can run the ball they will control the game, forcing the Glory to be very consistent converting on 3rd down to go toe for toe, and currently when a team puts them into 3rd down attempts the Glory don’t show up. Moving forward if you want to play soft and allow the run, you might want to start working in practice on more situational 3rd down plays to help ensure future success in games when they count.

    6         3-1                         8.20                            8                        Up

San Diego is a team playing lights out this season despite only winning 7 of the 28 games they have played since joining the league. This is also a team that is slowly becoming a one trick pony on offense because of a run game that just can not seem to become a big factor in games. This really needs to be fixed for San Diego to continue on this path and not end up in the boneyard like so many planes before them.

    7          3-2                      8.60                             13                       Up

Coming off a 6-6 campaign that left them on the outside looking in for the playoffs the Revolution are off to a pretty good start. I was scouring their numbers and trying to pick out something that could signal an area of improvement or something to build on and the best I can see was their struggles in the losses. 8 INTs and about a 35% 3rd down conversion rate won’t cut it in this league, but it’s hard to come down on them too hard with a signature win over Arizona already to their name. If Louisiana can just stay consistent and have their Sophomore QB start to get a good feel for the pro league sooner rather than later then this squad should be able to make it out well above the cutoff come playoffs.

    8          3-2                      8.80                             11                       Up

Denver, Denver, Denver at 3-2 there is not much to say except this team knows what they need to do to win. If I really had to pick a few things it would be these two points. Their running could be a little better with O’Shaughnessy only averaging 3.6 yards a carry. Eric Price really needs to cut down on the INT problem with already having 12 this season. These two thing seem to be keeping this team from being what they could be.

    9          3-1                        9.00                             9                       Even

Jacksonville is far outperforming their initial predictions this season thanks to solid performances all around and winning the close games. Their one loss came at the hands of an insane amount of turnovers, seven interceptions and one fumble lost. The very next week they seemed to have instantly fixed that issue as against Carolina they allowed no turnovers and managed to take the ball away three times enroute to an exciting come from behind win in OT. Their defense still has a lot of room to improve, as they are allowing 28.75 points per game while their offense is scoring 28 points per game for a point differential of -3. Once they find a way to slow down opposing offenses from start to finish they will be a force to reckon with!

   10         3-2                       10.40                           14                      Up

When you hear of Sioux Falls, Defense comes to mind. After the first 5 games they have 21 turnovers, 19 of which are INTs. and add 8.0 sacks they set the tone for the team. A.J. Levye (7 INTs) leads the team, though they are giving up 26.4 points a game. With a league best +12 in the turnover game, they are giving their Offense good field position. The Offense is building momentum over the last couple of weeks, 32.3 points over 3 games. Sioux Falls & G.P. Wells are now done feeling each other out and it paid off with almost 200 all-purpose yards, 101 rushing yards with 2 TDs & 90 rec yards. The OC has been in a zone and it has been on display using a nice aerial attack with Kae Marion, 508 yards and 2 TDs, having a nice start. I feel they are gearing up for a playoff run and they are focused on taking back the Wild Wild West!

   11         2-2                      10.60                             7                       Down

When I see the Gladiator team I usually think of how they will grind out wins vs anybody. Last season they finished with 8 of 13 games ending within one possession and split that series at four apiece and so far this season they have won 1 of 3 within one possession. St. Louis needs to start winning the close battles if they want to make the playoffs comfortably as well as look to actually make some progress once they get there. At 2-2 entering week 6 they seem destined for the same result as last season and you cannot bank on making the cut with a .500 record. I believe if the defense can start ending drives with turnovers instead of punts they can start setting the offense up with short fields and really start to put pressure on teams when it matters most.

  12         2-2                 11.00                            5                       Down

With back to back loses (2-2) and a schedule that doesn’t get any easier, will they stop the bleeding? The Defense has given up 55 points the last two weeks and has to create turnovers (-1) and find a way to get to the QB on a regular basis. Offensively 3rd downs have been a headache, only 38% on 3rd down efficiency has to be better. They could be in for a long S18 if they don’t make changes. Get back to basics, run to set up the pass, cause the Offense has been struggling to put points on the board regularly. I feel both sides have taken a step back but they can refocus as a team.

   13         2-2                      11.20                            10                      Down

Charleston is having what most would see as a normal season going 2-2 in the early part of the season. There is not much to say about the offense but the defense seems to give up the Touchdown pass a bit more than normal. This is a problem that needs to be fixed before it sinks them in the long run.

   14           2-2                    13.00                            12                       Down

After a 29-17 lost to SXF a bye week was much needed to regroup. They have a nice 1-2 punch in RB Scott Johnson (604 rushing yards and 8 TDs & WR John Blades 432 receiving yards and 1 TD. Johnson is Forth in the league (SFL) in rushing, he’s been very patient early on this season and I’ve been very impressed myself. At times it seems like defenses forget he’s on the field, and he takes full advantage of that. The Defense has been 50/50, just like their record, first of all they are only +1 in the takeaway game that has to improve and their pass Defense (303.5 YPG) has to keep the YPG down. The Fury’s run D is great, only allowing 64.3 rushing yards a game. Las Vegas is right where they should be, the Offense is ok and the Defense needs more turnovers, if that happens watch OUT!

  15          2-2                      15.20                            15                       Even

Queen City got back on track last season to being the team they should be, a winning team. B.J. Loveless and Chris Comisac showed exactly why Erik and Hubba brought them in. They aren’t off to as hot of a start as they were last season, but they are still in a good position. In order to find their way back to their championship persona, they are gonna have to get more production out of AJ Caswell. He is third to last in total yards, -3 in touchdown to interception ratio, and his completion percentage is dead last in the league. He is a very good Quarterback, and is much more capable than this. Once the coaching staff straightens this out they will start to surge upwards here.

   16           2-3                       16.20                           16                       Even

No one here doubts that Ramos Lynn knows what he’s doing. He has a championship ring to prove it. However at 2-3 his team is woefully underperforming based on the standard he has set in this league. In my opinion that squarely rests on the shoulders on the running game. Phoenix Jones is a beast, and should be performing better than he has so far. Yes, he has 480 yards on 109 carries for an average of 4.4 yards per, but the issue here is that in 109 opportunities he has only broke the goal line twice. Increase that number and you will see their win total increase commensurately.

   17         2-3                    16.60                             17                      Even

The Skyhawks are a team that has been looking to make the playoffs for sometime now. This is a team that has all the pieces it will need to make this happen with players like Matt South, Logan Jack, Monte Wyatt, and Clint Hendershot to name a few. This is a team that is built to win from the top down and once they get everything together it will be an amazing thing to see.

   18        1-3                       18.00                            18                      Even

Houston, we have a problem and it isn’t a laughing matter, we can’t score. Ranked bottom 5 in the league in PPG and total TDs it’s not hard to see why this team is struggling. They can’t even get into scoring position for FG attempts as they only have 7 attempts so far this season. It’s not hard to see why, when the Hyenas also rank 3rd worst in the league in 3rd down completion percentage at 47%. They can’t stay on the field! The Hyenas are going to have to convert their 3rd downs at a much better rate or start finding some big plays every game offensively and get this team into scoring position. Brad Jones does average 5 YPC, top 10 in the league, so he should be able to continuously convert a lot of 3rd downs for this team if they’re setting themselves up in positive situations each down. I mean he’s a first down every two attempts. You can’t win if you don’t score and right now they’re doing that less than almost any other team.

   19          1-3                      18.00                            19                     Even

I would have hoped to have said that this Arizona team, that is coming off a semifinal appearance, just needed to continue doing whatever it was doing and the finals appearance will come but something feels off at times with this squad. The easy route to take here is to say that Ashley needs to limit turnovers and instead get the ball in the endzone, but while that would help I also don’t think that is the full story. With three takeaways, which is good for dead last in that category, the Scorpions and Eddie Gauge just aren’t getting the momentum changes that we are accustomed to seeing. The passing game is there and putting up good numbers. The run game is working more often than not with the linemen doing what is asked of them to clear space. The defense as a whole is 8th in getting opponents off the field on 3rd down. The takeaways, however, are lacking within a defensive minded team and if they can start ball hawking to offset any mistakes from the offense then Arizona will be a team that will clamp down on anyone that stands in their way to a championship.

   20        2-3                      19.80                            20               Even

Tulsa, perennial underachievers that on paper have a solid team. On the field, however, things just aren’t falling their way. That all starts with the play of their QB, Jay Cue. He has a solid build with strong attributes, but is completing passes to the other teams defenders more than he is completing touchdown passes. If you want to reach the post-season you have to reverse that trend and get the ball into the endzone more. With receivers like Gabriel Manning, Khoury Jones, DJ Hume, Sonzo Robinson, Jason France and Jim Copeland JR running routes for you, it should be an easy task to fix. With that one fix they would quickly break into the top 15 here.

   21           1-3                      20.40                           22                     Up

London Knights are struggling as a team, but they did grab a win this pass weekend over the Toros. For me the problem has been their Defense. First they have given up the most yardage in the SFL this year at 367.5 yards a game. If that doesn’t change they will stay at the bottom off the league. Can they get any takeaways (-4)? Can’t win when your Defense ain’t helping your Offense. Offensively they have a nice Trio of WRs & with TE Tybeerious Bovine (329 receiving yards 4 tds) that leads the team in receiving. Overall the Defense has to get better, I feel they took a step back and it might get worse as they go to the state Capital and Face D.C. (4-0). GOOD LUCK!

  22          1-3                      20.60                           21                     Down

Gone are the days of the 2-1 for the Lycans and this early season showing is not what they would have hoped for with a 1-3 start. Looking over their numbers the one thing that stands out above all else are the interceptions that Richardson is oft to commit. Thankfully for them their defense is pulling in almost as much as the offense is letting go, but this team is a 3 point swing away from 0-4 and even still they threw five away to Charleston in that one. If LA can just start to limit the turnovers or even look towards upping their 19th ranked run game as they are only handing it off on 30% of their plays on offense. The Lycans are a good squad who have shown they can be successful in the past despite some errant throws, but as it stands it seems that part of their game is beginning to catch up to them.

   23        0-5                       23.40                           23                      Even

When I’m looking at one thing for the Toros that they need to focus on to improve to help their team moving forward I have a lot of different topics to choose from. However, after looking closer I have come to conclude that the Toros Red Zone defense needs to improve. They lead the league in allowing teams a 1st down play meaning they are on the field a lot. Teams are driving on them and getting into the Red Zone. Also, while they’re in the redzone, they’re bottom 5 in both Rushing and Passing TDs given up, allowing the 2nd most points per game in the league. Tough to win with those numbers! If the Toros can start forcing more FG attempts and turn some of the 7s into 3s, it would be a step in the right direction to righting this ship and not only getting a win, but creating an identity this team desperately needs defensively.

   24         0-5                      23.40                           24                      Even

This one I feel is simple to look at and say they need to get better at this and that’s holding onto the ball and not turning it over. 2nd worst in the league when it comes to giving the ball back to the other team through interceptions or fumbles, and it’s mostly interceptions where Bruin has thrown the 5th most interceptions in the league. I like how the Fleet play behind Love and his running game, but when push comes to shove and you have to throw, you can’t be throwing an interception every 14 pass attempts. You need to help scheme up easier reads for this young guy to make the quick decision or check down, positive play and then ride Love as long as you can.