2017 Week 9 Power Rankings

By Adam Ruffner

Rankings Archive

Rank Team Record Trend Comment

1

7-1 - With the Flyers hosting the Cannons tomorrow night and Dallas facing a hard test in Madison, Raleigh could emerge from this weekend with either a solid grasp on the #1 seed in the South Division playoff race, or throttled back to second place and with a hard path towards recapturing home field advantage in the playoffs. Much of the credit for this team's successes belongs to their elite throwing corps, but Jacob Fairfax (21 goals) and Matt Bode (19) have seemingly been hauling everything thrown in their direction. Fairfax in particular has emerged as a go-to threat in his second season as a pro, accounting for 28 scores in just 94 touches. Oh-and-by-the-way: They now add Jack Williams.

2

7-2 - It will a battle of the unstoppable force that is Dallas' offense vs the immovable object in Madison's defense in Saturday's epic Cross Coast Challenge showdown, as the Roughnecks take the third fewest passes to score (10.1 per scoring drive) while the Radicals force teams to take the most passes to score (16.7 per scoring drive). Abe Coffin and Jay Froude return to Madison as the #12 and #20 scorers in the league in the first season with the Roughnecks, adding spice to a matchup that was already sizzling for two teams that have never met.

3

7-0 - Sunday was Minnesota's worst showing of the season, but they continue to grind out wins to stay atop the division. If you remove the 5-1 Radicals from the Wind Chill's win column, though, this team has constructed its seemingly impressive undefeated mark by beating teams with a combined 3-16 record this so far season. Still, this team has not played down to its opponents often, especially on defense. Minnesota has the second best scoring defense in the AUDL, allowing just 18.9 goals per game.

4

6-1 - To give you an idea of just how solid this team's throwing rotations are: Justin Norden (57), Chuck Cao (50), and Steven Chang (47) rank second, fifth, and seventh respectively in the AUDL in completions per game, and each of them is completing greater than 95 percent of their throws. No team comes close to the volume and precision of the Spiders' trio, and their confidence in their throws has galvanized the team as a whole. San Jose isn't the quickest offensive unit—they have the fifth slowest pace in the league at almost 13 throws per scoring drive—but their march towards the endzone is seemingly inevitable at this point.

5

5-2 - It wasn't his pro debut, but it was Zach Norrbom's breakout party in DC's big win over New York on Saturday with two assists, two goals, 32 completions and not a single turnover. Another in a seemingly endless supply of young stars on this Breeze team, Norrbom showed absolute confidence in his throws against one of the league's best defenses, easily fitting in alongside established handlers Jon Neeley and Markham Shofner on offense.

6

6-2 - He may not get the name recognition of some of his teammates, but the Cannons team MVP through roughly the first half of the season is most likely Bobby Ley. Sure, he's a bit undersized, but Ley does a little bit of everything extremely well, registering 30 assists, 374 completions, 15 goals, and nine blocks in eight games of play. And needing a bounce back win on the road against a tough Atlanta team last weekend, Ley put on his best performance of the season, completing 89 passes to just two turnovers while contributing nine scores to the Cannons win.

7

4-1 - Seattle scored 26+ goals in each of their first five games of the season—the only team in the AUDL to do so—so it will be interesting to see if their high octane offense can keep up the pace tomorrow night after nearly a month away from the field. Mark Burton is leading the league in scores per game with an astonishing 9.8 per game among players with more than two games played.

8

5-2 - Just a hair behind Burton for the league lead, Cassidy Rasmussen is averaging over nine scores per game while ranking third in the league in assists at 38 despite playing one fewer game than the two above him. He's been the burning cinder at the center of the FlameThrowers aggressive offensive attack, as they are averaging a league-best nine throws per scoring drive.

9

5-2 - Toronto is returning the form, and the rest of the division needs to take notice. The Rush and their defense buried the Phoenix at home last Saturday, jumping out to a 14-3 lead before cruising to a 31-18 victory for their fourth straight win. Cam Harris (19 assists/21 goals/6 blocks) and Jon Martin (15/13/10) are playing at near MVP levels, and the team has allowed just 18.3 goals per game in their last three.

10

5-1 - The Radicals trailed from the opening pull into the fourth quarter at home to Chicago on Saturday, but Madison once again pulled out a late-game, come from behind win to earn their fourth straight victory. And though the numbers will never speak to his importance on this team, Kevin Pettit-Scantling is having a breakout year in 2017 on the defensive line. He's second on the team in blocks with 11, but maybe more importantly, he's shown more aggressiveness in counterattacking off the turn, throwing seven assists and catching 10 goals; he's well on his way to eclipsing his career highs in both assists (12) and goals (16).

11

3-3 - The Aviators took a one-goal lead into halftime against the Growlers, but couldn't hold on for the win at home in what might prove to be a vital game in the close playoff race out West. Mark Elbogen (4 assists, 3 goals) and the rest of the offense continued their solid play, but for the fourth time in six games this season the defense surrendered 24 or more goals. Los Angeles now must go on the road for five of their final eight games.

12

3-5 - If the Hustle can get a win at home this Sunday against the Sol, Atlanta will be in the exact same position as last season when they made the playoffs with a 7-7 record, so not all is lost for this team following their tough loss to Jacksonville at home. What's perplexing about the Hustle is their ability to jam up opposing teams' offenses—they rank seventh in forcing the most passes at 12.5 per opponents' scoring drives—but they are still allowing nearly 26 goals per game.

13

3-2 - A shortened travel roster almost led to a disastrous result for the Thunderbirds in Detroit, but Pittsburgh got the win and still look poised to capture one of the playoff bids in the Midwest. And after playing in just 69 points last year for the team, Joseph Marmerstein has played a big role in the team's early season successes. He has thrown 14 assists and 174 completions (98%) in just four games, and has adopted a de-facto leadership role on the field given the absences of Tyler Degirolamo, Pat Earles, and Max Thorne.

14

2-2 - Ottawa can claim outright ownership of third place in the East with a win tonight at home against the Royal, even if they follow it up tomorrow with a loss in Toronto. The tumultuous starts by New York and Montreal to the 2017 have left Ottawa in a opportunistic position to claim their first playoff berth in three season as a franchise. The top end of the Outlaws roster has shown an ability to hang with the best in the division, so if their depth can elevate their play as the season progresses, there's a real shot Canada's capital city will make the postseason.

15

4-4 +1 There was much made of the Royal's big name additions heading into this season, but it's been the unsung playmaking trio of Quentin Bonnaud, Mike Voelpel, and Andre Arsenault that have kept this team in playoff contention. They are the leading goal scorers on the team, respectively, with Arsenault also leading the team with 12 blocks. On a team filled with ultimate veterans, their athleticism stands out as a gamechanger for when Montreal, as evidenced by Voelpel's momentum-shifting, buzzer-beating sky goal to end the first half on Sunday.

16

2-5 +3 The Growlers were 0-2 in their first two one-goal games of the 2017 season, but finally got a clutch win on the road against their rivals in Los Angeles on Saturday. And though he is one of the youngest players on the roster, Hunter Corbett is quietly putting together one of the best all-around performances in the AUDL. He leads San Diego with 25 assists and is second on the team with 20 goals, including topping the Growlers in both categories in their vital victory last weekend against his former team the Aviators.

17

2-4 -2 It seems that as New York improves in one area, they depreciate in another. The Empire offense looked the best it has all season in Saturday's loss at home, completing a season-high 97 percent of their 293 throws against the Breeze. But the defense registered just seven takeaways, with six of them coming from Josh Alorro and Ryan Drost alone. In fact, the 28 goals New York surrendered to DC was the most the team has given up in over two years of play. Still, with every team in the East having at least two losses, the Empire have a lot of season left to earn their fifth straight playoff appearance.

18

1-6 -1 After missing the past two games, the Sol return 2016 All-AUDL Defense standout Michael Matthis on their two-game road trip this weekend, which should bring a big boost to a team that needs it. Austin is third worst in the league at slowing down opponents, allowing opposing teams to score in just under 10 throws per drive. Having defensive stoppers like Matthis, Chase Cunningham, and Lucky Mosola might be the difference for this team between going winless on the road or pulling of a sweep in Nashville and Atlanta.

19

1-5 -1 This weekend will determine the playoff fate for the AlleyCats, who after making the playoffs in each of their first three seasons as a franchise have missed it in each of the past two years. Both Indy and Pittsburgh will have played one game on the weekend before they matchup on Sunday in Indianapolis.
It might not be the top ticket showdown of the weekend, but it is as important as any for the playoff race of the Midwest Division.

20

1-6 - After getting waxed by the Rush in Toronto on Saturday, Philadelphia turned around and showed a lot of fight in their close two-goal loss to the Royal on Sunday. Sean Mott (24 assists, 24 goals) and Mike Arcata (16, 19) might not be the most efficient offensive players, but what they lack in precision they make up for in power, and are always ready to launch a huck.

21

1-8 - With their chance at a .500 season beyond their reach, the rest of the 2017 season for the Riptide is one of redemption and salvation. They might miss the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season, but Vancouver still has plenty of talent to upset any team in the West even after losing Darren Wu to the Rush.

22

1-6 - Hot take: Even though he doesn't play for a winning team, Pawel Janas deserves to be in the MVP discussion with his play. His stellar performances as a thrower have led opposing defenses to strategize around him, but he is still having a ton of success and is developing more and more as a downfield playmaker as the season progresses. He almost single-handedly hucked Chicago to a historic win, falling just shy of leading the Wildfire to the upset of the season in Madison last Saturday.

23

1-5 - Sure, a lot of his goals come within the flow of Detroit's offense, but who among us had Anthony Davis as the third most productive goal scorer in the AUDL on a per game basis at this point in the season? The undersized cutter now has 33 goals in five games this season, tying him for number three in the league in goals.

24

0-7 - Maybe not as noteworthy as other teams' college pickups, the NightWatch will be integrating a slew of young players that are ready to energize Nashville down the stretch of their 2017 schedule. In particular, Eric Sjostrom (2 assists, 111 completions, 7 goals, and 5 turnovers in 5 games in 2016) and his throws will add another quality arm to their developing offense.