2017 Week 10 Power Rankings

By Adam Ruffner

Rankings Archive

Rank Team Record Trend Comment

1

8-1 - In his past three games—all wins over Dallas, Jacksonville, and Jacksonville again—Jonathan Nethercutt has thrown an astonishing 24 assists against the best competition in the South. Moreover, he's completed 136 passes and committed just four turnovers in that same stretch of play, while also leading the team in points played by a margin of 12. And because Raleigh has not been blowing out the competition, Nethercutt's eye-popping numbers, leadership, and penchant for the clutch play have been even more remarkable during the Flyers' ascendancy.

2

8-2 - Dallas trailed for much of their game against the Radicals in Madison, but they stayed within striking distance and took control with a blistering, defense-fueled 13-7 run in the second half to close out the game following Jay Froude's dagger-in-the-back, toe drag goal midway through the third quarter. The Roughnecks may lack the outright dominance of last season's undefeated title run, but they still possess the best playmakers in the AUDL. It'll just show up as a catch in the box score, but Dylan Freechild made a one-hand grab in the first half off a hammer throw to keep a Dallas possession alive that would rival Kali Ma for all-time grip strength.

3

7-0 - After a week off, tomorrow night in Minnesota is paramount for a Wind Chill team striving for its first Midwest Division crown. Not only would a win against the Radicals put Minnesota up three games in the standings, it would clinch them the season series against Madison and guarantee the Wind Chill a tiebreaker advantage heading towards the playoffs. And as added incentive: A loss would be the first time in Madison's franchise history that they lost back-to-back games.

4

6-2 +5 With five straight wins by an average margin of nearly eight goals a game on their way to recapturing the top spot in the East, the Rush are playing some of their smoothest offense in years. During the winning streak, Toronto has converted over 72 percent of their offensive points played into scores while averaging nearly 28 goals per game. The upfield playmaking of Jeff Lindquist, Andrew Carroll, Cam Harris, and Jonathan Martin has been undeniable, but at the center of the Rush's efficient success is the perennially underrated handling of Thomson McKnight, who has 100 more touches than anyone else on the team at this point in the season.

5

6-2 +3 He is continually overlooked in the shuffle of amazing stars he plays alongside, but make no mistake, ironman Marcelo Sanchez is one of the most reliably productive all-around talents in the AUDL. He has played in 43-straight games dating back to the 2014 season, and has done so in almost every conceivable role on the field. And after playing as the team's top matchup defender in 2016, Sanchez has reintegrated back on the offense with tremendous success, scoring a team-high 26 goals in 2017 without a single drop.

6

6-2 -2 The culprit in the Spiders' two losses in 2017 has been the defense. Despite their continually strong pressure and energy, the San Jose D-line can struggle with the top matchups on opposing teams, as evidenced in their loss to the Aviators on Saturday where the Spiders allowed three different LA players to score four or more goals; SJ surrendered 28 goals to a Los Angeles team playing without arguably their two best offensive weapons in Eric Lissner and Mark Elbogen. Now San Jose must travel to take on their Bay Area rivals the FlameThrowers tomorrow night in a battle for sole possession of first place in the West.

7

6-3 -2 DC may be the most battle tested team through the first 10 weeks of the season, with six of the Breeze's nine games in 2017 being decided by three goals or fewer, including both of their games this past weekend where they split a pair of one-goal games. Tyler Monroe continues his breakout season and has a shot at a 40-assist/40-goal season, averaging nearly eight scores per game, which is good enough for 10th best in the AUDL. DC's aspirations for their first division title will likely be decided this Sunday when they host Toronto.

8

6-3 -2 All three of Jacksonville's losses in 2017 have come against Raleigh by margins of seven, one, and one, so it's hard to take much away from a Cannons team that has only lost to the league' top team. Still, and even with a solid grip on third place in the South, this was supposed to be the season the Cannons upset the hierarchy in the division and claimed the top spot for themselves. The top end of this roster continues to excel, but Jacksonville's top players are playing a lot of points, and there is a possible worry of fatigue as the season progresses into the summer months.

9

4-2 -2 After two impressive victories over Pittsburgh and San Francisco, Seattle was humbled at home on Sunday by a San Diego team that is starting to peak. The Cascades looked lethargic in transition, which can be mostly attributed to their nearly month-long absence from the field. The 19 goals Seattle scored were the fewest for the team since April 2016.

10

5-2 - On Saturday, Madison inverted its 2017 trend of starting slow by pouncing on the defending champs out of the gate, but they still found themselves on the losing side of another important, championship-esque matchup. And with the exception of their 31-goal performance against the Thunderbirds,
the Radicals have been struggling to put up points, averaging just over 20 goals a game in their other six, non-Pittsburgh games this season. Only three players on the team—Colin Camp (3.3 per game), Peter Graffy (2.8), and Brian Hart (2.0)—are averaging more than two goals per game.

11

4-4 - The Aviators played exceptionally well on one of the toughest road back-to-backs in the league, snapping the Spiders' six-game winning streak on Saturday before fading down the stretch against the FlameThrowers on Sunday, all without two of their best in Eric Lissner and Mark Elbogen. Receiving speedster Bryan Nguyen (32 goals in eight games in '17) is an all-division talent on offense, but it's the play of Eli Friedman (20 assists, 13 goals, 252/260 on throws) and Tom Doi that make this team particularly scary in a one game setting. A win tomorrow night against the Cascades could put the Aviators on the inside track to a #3 seed in the West.

12

4-5 +4 The hottest team in the West Division, the Growlers have clawed their way back from the brink with four wins in their past five games, including three straight on the road, with their sole loss coming by a single goal in overtime. There's a lot of factors that have contributed to San Diego's sudden success, including the stellar two-way play of Hunter Corbett—the Growlers may have the best O-line defense after turnovers in the AUDL—but perhaps the most important is their sudden efficiency with the disc. During their 0-4 start, the team was completing just 92 percent of its passes; during their 4-1 surge, that completion rate has improved to 94 percent, with Dom Leggio and Zeke Ivers combining for 22 assists, 437 completions, and just 13 throwaways in their last five games.

13

4-5 -1 Atlanta's season likely comes down to their matchup tomorrow night in Jacksonville, who the Hustle have yet to beat in two attempts so far in 2017. Atlanta is just 1-8 all-time against Jacksonville dating back to the start of the 2015 season, but the Cannons' margin of victory over the Hustle is a scant 2.9 goals per game in those contests. If only their defense could get a few more stops: Atlanta has never held Jacksonville to fewer than 23 goals in a game.

14

5-4 +1 The Royal are currently riding a three-game winning streak, with two of those wins coming on the road against Ottawa and New York, giving Montreal an inside track on the #3 seed in the East playoffs. Montreal doesn't do many things particularly well, but one area that has vastly improved over last season is their ability to generate turnovers. The Royal are third in the league this season with 14.7 blocks per game, with many of them coming from offensive players winning the disc back after turnovers.

15

4-3 -2 Although Pittsburgh's loss in Chicago last Saturday was a bit of a surprise, it likely doesn't change much for the Thunderbirds' postseason outlook, especially following their close win in Indianapolis on Sunday. Each of the teams trailing Pittsburgh in the standings now has six losses on the season, giving the Thunderbirds an opportunity to experiment and tweak lineups as they get prepared for what is sure to be a tough test on the road in both Madison and Minnesota. And though his brother Alex is usually the Thorne known for his throws, Max Thorne has been as dangerous as anyone in the league with the disc in his hands, throwing five assists and over 40 completions per game in 2017 with just eight throwaways.

16

2-4 -2 After I hyped up the Outlaws for their opportunity to take control of their playoff path last week, Ottawa went out and lost their two games by a combined 19 goals and putting a serve hamper on the team's postseason chances. Alec Arsenault is leading the league in goals (37) and goals per game (6.1), but the rest of the Outlaws are having a hard time finding the endzone; the next three highest goal scorers on the roster have combined for just 35 goals.

17

2-5 - The rusted knife in New York's back continues to twist itself deeper after the Empire's not-quite-come-from-behind double overtime defeat to the Breeze on Sunday that saw the Empire allow the final goal on a simple missed assignment in sudden death. New York has now failed to score 20 goals in three of their last five appearances that has seen them go 1-4. Yet they still remain quite the threat, sitting only two games back of third in the East and holding the head-to-head tiebreaker against Montreal

18

2-6 +2 Given the absolute catharsis of both their wins in 2017, it feels like this Phoenix team should be higher up in the standings just on cosmic merit alone. Other than their 13-goal loss to the Rush in Toronto two weeks ago, Philadelphia has been in every game they've played so far this season. And after having turnover troubles to begin the year, Marques Brownlee submitted his best game as a member of the Phoenix against the Breeze last Saturday, throwing together a 2a/3g/2d performance with just a single turnover.

19

2-7 -1 Aside from some kind of statistical miracle, the Sol's loss on Sunday in Atlanta all but eliminated them from playoff contention for the second straight season despite being in the top half of the league in overall talent. Austin is averaging nearly 28 goals per game in their last four games, but have just a 2-2 record to show for it, with both their losses coming to the Hustle.

20

2-6 -1 Indianapolis has held a late-game lead in all but one game so far this season, yet they are likely to find themselves sitting at home for the third straight postseason with all six of their losses coming to Pittsburgh, Madison, and Minnesota. Despite the team's lack of success, Rick Gross continues to put together one of the most impressive all-around statistical seasons in AUDL history, and is now on track for 36 assists, 56 goals, and 27 blocks for the full 14-game season.

21

2-6 +1 All credit goes to the Wildfire for picking off a travel-burdened Thunderbirds team at home behind another scintillating throwing performance from Pawel Janas, who finished with eight assists, his fifth game this season with six or more assists. And while it's still a longshot, Chicago's underdog victory against Pittsburgh puts them in a possession to possibly contend for the third and final playoff spot in the Midwest. Chicago hosts four of its final six games, including both of their remaining games against Minnesota and Madison. A couple more upsets, and the Wildfire could possibly return to the playoffs for the first time since 2015.

22

1-9 -1 Following Saturday's loss at home, the Riptide are now 1-4 this season in games decided by three goals or fewer. The alpha and omega of Vancouver's problems is turnovers, as they rank dead last in the AUDL in touches per drop (47.9) and third to last in completion percentage (90.3%).

23

1-6 - He's only played in two games—both losses—but Johnny Bansfield is leading the league in scores per game at 11, and his presence has been an electrifying one for a Mechanix team in need of playmakers. With Bansfield paired alongside Dan Donovan, Detroit suddenly has offensive attack that can challenge any area on the field.

24

0-8 - The NightWatch played their most complete game of the season in Saturday's 28-24 loss at home to the Sol, showing both patience on offense and feisty pressure on defense. Eight different Nashville players finished with at least two assists, showing the strides their offensive system has made in incorporating all of its elements.