Week 3 of Arena Football League action helped separate the contenders from the pretenders just a little bit. We'll take a look at the Week 3 results first, then we'll move on to this week's Super 7.
The first 2 weeks of the AFL season featured several close games, but Week 3 was very different. Save for Arizona's 2 point loss over Colorado, every game was won by 12 points or more. Arizona is now 0-3, but their 3 losses are by a combined 10 points.
Thursday's game saw Philadelphia move to 2-0 with a win at Grand Rapids, who are having attendance issues. I am sure that the AFL would love to see small market teams thrive just as the Packers have in the NFL, but drawing less than 5,000 fans to a game won't cut it. Mr.NFL, you need to go to more games - and if you can, bring 5,000 friends with you.
On Friday, Orlando's defense was strong once again, holding Austin to just 30 points in their victory. Dallas moved to an easy 3-0 by beating Kansas City on the road.
Saturday saw just one game played. Georgia & Tampa Bay celebrated St. Pat's Day by missing 4 PATs. This is why kickers should wait until after games to get liquored-up. Georgia remained undefeated, and Tampa Bay remained winless after that matchup.
Sunday's action featured Chicago & New York, with Chicago winning easily. Chicago is beginning to look like a contending team once again, and the bye week didn't seem to help New York. Utah travelled to Nashville, and was unable to preserve their perfect record as the Kats took the victory. Finally, in the matchup of party cities, New Orleans beat Las Vegas like Joey Porter beat Levi Jones. After their 59-31 win, New Orleans is now 2-1 on the season.
Those are all the recaps, here is this week's Super 7, which as usual was picked by you, the fans. Each team listed has their record next to their name, as well as their gain or loss in the rankings from the previous week.
Arena Football League Super 7 - After Week 3
7. New Orleans Voodoo (2-1) Up 5 spots
New Orleans makes their long-awaited Super 7 debut! In case you haven't been able to tell, I have been rooting for New Orleans to do well this season. A win by 28 points on the road is big no matter who it is against. They return home this week to host Los Angeles. Momentum is building...
6. Utah Blaze (2-1) Down 3 spots
The Utah bandwagon hit a speed bump in Nashville. They should get things back on track this week as they host Grand Rapids. A loss, and maybe this team isn't as good as we thought after those first couple of games.
5. Orlando Predators (2-1) Up 2 spots
Orlando won the battle with Austin to remain in the Super 7. Their defense looks great. The only question is if their offense will be able to post enough points to win each week. They have a huge game against Dallas this week. As the 2 teams are a combined 5-1 to start the year, the winner will undoubtedly be the early championship favorite. Since the game is being played in Orlando, the pressure will be on the Predators.
4. Chicago Rush (2-1) Up 1 spot
After that season opening loss, the Rush look like they have it going again. A win at Columbus should be expected of this team.
Congratulations to Bo Kelly of the Arizona Rattlers, who became the all-time leading rusher in Arena Football League history in the Rattlers' loss to Colorado. He has played in the league for 12 seasons, all but one of them in Arizona. Being all-time leading rusher in the AFL probably seems about as important as being the fastest runner at a swim meet, but he has been a valuable member of every team he has played on. Teams might not rush much in the AFL, but when they do, they need a guy who can move the chains or get those crucial last few yards before the end zone.
Back to the Super 7...
3. Philadelphia Soul (2-0) Up 1 spot
Philly got a late start in the Super 7 due to their Week 1 bye, but that extra time made them well-prepared to start the season. They host Colorado tonight in a game that will be televised on ESPN2. Expect to see Jon Bon Jovi & John Elway on camera more than the players.
2. Georgia Force (3-0) No change
Georgia won't move up until Dallas loses. The Desperados have a stranglehold on that top spot. However, with Dallas down in Orlando this week, it could happen. Georgia has no easy task themselves though, as they host a tough San Jose team that is coming off a bye.
1. Dallas Desperados (3-0) #1 team for 4th consecutive week
The easy wins are behind them. A 3-0 start was pretty much expected from this team. This week is where it gets hard. The Desperados travel to Orlando, which is always a tough place to play. Will the Dallas offense be able to outperform the Orlando defense? This is the best matchup of the season so far, and luckily for all of us, it will be a nationally televised game on ESPN2 on Sunday night. Gametime is at 7pm Eastern. For those of you who haven't watched a game yet, this is definitely one to check out. A Dallas victory, and they will undoubtedly have more than 26 out of 40 first place votes in next week's Super 7. A loss, and you will probably get to see a cheerleader from a different team next week. In the meantime, enjoy this week's Dallas cheerleader photo!
That's it for This Week in the AFL! Check back next Thursday for a recap of this week's action and a preview of the Week 5 games.