The Splendidly Efficient Rattlers

The Arizona Rattlers have the most efficient offense and defense in the Arena Football League, but even they shouldn’t be able to do what they did in the second quarter last week against the Philadelphia Soul.AZPHI2q1.pngAZPHI2q2.png

Their plays are listed in blue – they ran ONE offensive play in the quarter, a 35-yard strike to Chase Deadder, and scored 33 points, effectively ending the game before halftime. Yikes.

Because their games with Jeremy Kellem missing are still relatively recent, and because the Soul rallied last week to score plenty of their own points, Philadelphia is still atop the weighted power rankings this week, although their lead over Arizona nearly evaporated with that quarter. Here are the weighted rankings through three-quarters of the season:

  1. Philadelphia (1.15)
  2. Arizona (1.13)
  3. Jacksonville (1.07)
  4. Cleveland (1.04)
  5. Orlando (1.03)
  6. Los Angeles (1.02)
  7. Portland (0.77)
  8. Tampa Bay (0.77)

Don’t like where your team is in those rankings? Maybe you’ll like the total domination rankings, which don’t weight recent weeks, but do give credit for not surrendering points with your offense and for scoring them with your defense.

  1. Arizona (1.29)
  2. Philadelphia (1.18)
  3. Orlando (1.11)
  4. Jacksonville (1.10)
  5. Cleveland (1.01)
  6. Los Angeles (0.97)
  7. Tampa Bay (0.65)
  8. Portland (0.62)

Arizona scores a defensive touchdown on 7.1 percent of opponents’ drives and hasn’t allowed a defense to score on them this year, which gives them a huge boost over a Philadelphia team that has scored seven defensive touchdowns but surrendered six on offense.

So, who wins this weekend?

Orlando beats Tampa Bay. Backup QB Bernard Morris has been effective, if not pretty, under center with the Predators and the Storm are awful. They’re adding some more talent this week, but it probably won’t be enough.

Cleveland beats Jacksonville. Dan Gilbert’s teams are riding a hot streak with titles, the Gladiators have been one of the best offenses in the league with Arvell Nelson under center, and I frankly just don’t like the Sharks.

Arizona beats Los Angeles. Picking against Arizona is silly.

Philadelphia beats Portland. Portland just doesn’t have the horses to keep up.