Week four was an interesting week of Arena Football action, and it certainly reflected in the latest edition of the power rankings. One team made a jump just about how high as humanly possible in a five-team league.
While the top two teams were fairly easy, sorting out the next three was difficult, and if look at three different power rankings on different sites, you may get completely different answers.
1 Philadelphia Soul (3-0)
Last Week – Win vs Baltimore Brigade 69-34
This Week – vs Cleveland Gladiators
It was a great week for the defending champs, getting a chance to finally play in front of the home crowd and celebrate last year’s AFL title.
A 69-34 victory over the Brigade was just the icing on the cake. Dan Raudabaugh connected with Ryan McDaniel for five touchdowns, while Mykel Benson rushed for another five. Those TDs for Benson moved him into fifth all-time on the AFL rushing list.
The Soul has now rolled through three of the four other teams in the league, hosting a plus-57 points differential. They have the opportunity to establish their true dominance in the league and get a victory against each team this week, as they face the Gladiators.
2 Tampa Bay Storm (2-1)
Last Week – Bye
This Week – Baltimore Brigade
Hard to take away their second placed ranking just because they didn’t play a game. Either way, the three other teams haven’t done anything to really come close to threatening their spot here.
Score wise, the Storm came the closest to knocking off the Storm, and it took a late touchdown to make it look close.
As long as Randy Hippeard is slinging touchdowns, the Storm is going to be a tough team to beat. Wouldn’t be surprised if he threw a couple on his bye week, he has been that good.
3 Cleveland Gladiators (1-3)
Last Week – Win vs Washington Valor 48-34
This Week – vs Philadelphia Soul
This was hard, coming up with the order from here on out, but despite still having the worst record technically (win percentage wise), Cleveland earned their spot here.
It’s not often you see a team with their record have a positive points differential, but that’s just what the Gladiators have.
Arvell Nelson continues his assault on the league like he is mad at it or something. Maybe someone should remind him it was the Gladiators that cut him, brought him back as the Jack linebacker, only to put him back at quarterback.
If not for a last-second touchdown by Hippeard, Cleveland would be entering this week 2-2 and we’d be talking about this being a matchup of the two best teams in the league.
4 Washington Valor (1-2)
Last Week – Loss vs Cleveland Gladiators 48-34
This Week – Bye
Washington enters their second bye week at perhaps a perfect time. The second half of games have been crippling to the Valor, who have blown leads in each of the last two games in the final two quarters.
The bye also comes at a perfect time with their top playmaker, Mike Washington, not playing the majority of the game against Cleveland.
Erik Meyer has been good at times, then look completely lost the next. The defense needs to get more pressure on the quarterback. Greg Carr did come up huge in Washington’s absence.
5 Baltimore Brigade (1-2)
Last Week – Loss vs Philadelphia Soul 69-34
This Week – vs Tampa Bay Storm
To be completely fair, if you were to throw the Brigade and Valor on the field right now against each other, the smart money may favor Baltimore this time around.
Shane Carden has shown subtle improvements each week, but the loss of Reggie Gray is going to be huge, which is why they get the nod at the bottom of these power rankings. Julian Talley stepped up big with seven catches for 124 yards and two touchdowns in the loss to the Soul.
After the first three games on the road, Baltimore finally gets a home game, matching up against the Storm and DMV product Hippeard.