Week five brought us another exciting slate of games, with Cleveland right in the thick of the action. Despite taking another loss, the Gladiators have proved again that they are maybe the most exciting team to watch in the league.
After getting the first week off, the Philadelphia Soul will play in their fifth straight game, and with the way they are rolling is plenty ok for them.
Washington started the year 1-0 and second on the power rankings, two losses in a row, mixed in with a couple of bye weeks, and they have taken a hard fall.
1 Philadelphia Soul (4-0)
Last Week – Win vs Cleveland Gladiators 69-67
This Week – vs Baltimore Brigade
The Soul continue to roll this season, winning all four of their games. They have also faced each team at least once, proving their dominance over the rest of the league.
Philly outlasted the Gladiators and their four touchdowns in the last frame to hang on by just two points.
Dan Raudabaugh continues to be effective and efficient. His 5.8 passing touchdowns per game, and 19.3% touchdowns-to-pass-attempts are second and first in the league, respectively.
Mykel Benson, not surprisingly, is the best threat out of the backfield in the league.
2 Tampa Bay Storm (3-1)
Last Week – W vs Baltimore Brigade 62-55
This Week – vs Washington Valor
Randy Hippeard continues his torrid pace as the Storm played spoiler to the Brigade’s home opener. The Storm’s quarterback is averaging nearly seven touchdown passes per game as their lone blemish on their record has been against the defending champs Philadelphia.
Already with the most interceptions by anyone who played the Jack Linebacker position, Alvin Ray Jackson picked off another pass against the Brigade.
Tampa Bay retooled by adding some more playmakers before the game, but won’t get another shot at the Soul until week 11.
3 Cleveland Gladiators (1-4)
Last Week – L vs Tampa Bay 69-67
This Week – Bye
It’s weird to see the team that is technically last in the standings, in terms of win percentage to be so high in the power rankings, but that’s what happens when there are only five teams in the league.
Arvell Nelson has been spectacular since taking over, registering nine total touchdowns in their loss to the Soul. Cleveland can score on anybody, as they have proven week in and week out, but haven’t been able to close games out.
A bye week to fine tune their end-of-game play may be exactly what they need.
4 Baltimore Brigade (1-3)
Last Week – L vs Tampa Bay 62-55
This Week – vs Philadelphia
Determining spots three-through-five is a hard process. Cleveland has the worst record but defeated Washington. They have lost twice to Tampa Bay and once to Philly, not easy to play. Washington beat Baltimore but lost to Cleveland.
It’s like a game of rock, paper, scissors.
Cleveland gets the third spot due to their offense, mainly Nelson. Baltimore’s improved play and Washington’s recent struggles place them fourth, and fifth, respectively.
Shane Carden continues to get better and better each week, becoming the first AFL rookie to throw for over 300 yards in over five years.
5 Washington Valor (1-2)
Last Week – Bye
This Week – vs Tampa Bay
The Valor come out their second bye week of the season looking to right their horrible second half play that has cost them two games.
It was also a chance to rest Mike Washington, who they clearly missed in their last game against the Gladiators.
Washington has the potential to be one of the better teams in the league, but have yet to play a full 60 minutes in a game. If they can do that, they can quickly climb out of the bottom of these rankings.