AFL Power Rankings, Week 17

Hey, only one week to go in the season, assuming the league doesn’t change the rules again this week! Arizona annihilated the Gladiators, launching them beyond the Soul into the top spot as they wrapped up their regular season.

Tampa Bay’s victory over the Steel also vaulted them into a tie for last place with one game left for each squad. No worries for either team, as each will have its season ended in the first round of the playoffs.

Here’s this week’s Power Rankings:

  1. Arizona (1.17)
  2. Philadelphia (1.15)
  3. Orlando (1.07)
  4. Jacksonville (1.06)
  5. LA (1.05)
  6. Cleveland (0.92)
  7. Tampa Bay (0.80)
  8. Portland (0.80)

Hey, is it 2010? Down in Orlando, something weird is happening in the AFL’s first 16-game slate since the inaugural post-reboot season. If the Philadelphia Soul were to somehow lose their next two games (not particularly likely given that they’re the second-ranked team in our rankings and have been almost all year), then bad memories might come back and consume Rattlers’ HC Kevin Guy.

2010 Shock Team 2016 Predators
Rob Keefe Head Coach Rob Keefe
Matt Sauk Offensive Coordinator Matt Sauk
13-3 Regular season record 12-3
7-1 Record in one-score games 7-2
No. 1 overall Seed/potential seed No. 1 overall (with win)
+145 Point differential +120
Bob Landsee’s Iron
Playoff opponents
Bob Landsee’s Sharks
ArenaBowl Champions Result ???

So of course I’m going to pick Orlando to win this week, although it’s more because I want this to work out than it is my belief that they actually will win.

There are another couple games being played, neither of which mean anything to either team playing, so I’ll skip writeups and say I’m picking Jacksonville and LA to win this week. I’d pick upsets but Portland has even less reason to try than LA, given that they’ll have a Monday late game followed by a Saturday playoff opener in Arizona against a Rattlers squad coming off a bye week. If the Steel could put everyone on IR for a week and play replacement players, they would.

If Orlando wins on Saturday, Jacksonville gets an extra day of rest before playing the Soul. If Orlando loses, then the Sharks travel to Orlando on a short week for Round 1 of the playoffs. So Orlando/Philadelphia matters more to Jacksonville and Tampa than their own game does. Just watch that game – it should be available on ESPN3.