2017 Week 7 Power Rankings

By Adam Ruffner

Rankings Archive

Rank Team Record Trend Comment

1

6-1 +2 This is the first time the Flyers have occupied the top spot in the rankings in their franchise history, and it comes on the back of Jonathan Nethercutt's historic 13-assist performance on Saturday night in Raleigh's win against Dallas. The assist total was an AUDL season-high—and fourth most in a single game since 2014—as Nutt rocketed flicks around the field, keeping an already tired defense reeling on his way to completing 50 passes compared to just a single turnover.

2

6-2 -1 As owner Jim Gerencser put it best, the back-to-back losses the Roughnecks suffered last weekend—their first two in franchise history—may have been a blessing in disguise for the reigning champs as it dissolves some of the tougher to meet expectations placed on this team. And considering Dallas dropped the two games by just nine goals combined while traveling with just 15 active players, including Stanley Peterson who sat with an injury after just eight points and a one-armed Matt Jackson, the Roughnecks are still the most imposing team in the league at full strength.

3

5-1 +6 The Cannons maybe played their most complete game as a team in their history on Friday night in their historic win over the Roughnecks, and much of that credit goes to Coach Tuba for developing a successful strategy to take down the champs. The decision to use Mischa Freystaetter and his length on defense to guard and bother Dallas' handlers and stifle their point of attack was the most effective lineup tweak of the season. The problem for Jacksonville now is their schedule: They still have three upcoming games on the road against Raleigh (2) and Dallas (1), and will likely need to win two of those to have a shot at first place in the South.

4

5-0 - Minnesota continues to take care of business in the Midwest, and is now the final remaining unbeaten team in the AUDL thanks in large part to the efforts of their defense. Jay Drescher—who leads the team with 13 blocks—has been the tone setter for a Wind Chill defense that has the aggressiveness, strategy, and personnel to contest almost any look, as evidenced by the 13 throws an opponent must take to score on Minnesota, the third-best mark in the league.

5

5-1 -1 With their 28-22 victory over the Aviators on Saturday, the Spiders are the first team in the West to have a win against every team in the division, which is a huge advantage for San Jose as the playoff picture begins to take shape. Justin Norden continues to lead the league in assists, with 37 so far in six games, with at least five assists in every game so far this season.

6

3-2 -1 DC's two losses have been mitigated by their 12-goal blowout of the Rush at home, as well as the tumultuousness of their division, where every team in the East now has at least two losses. The Breeze have shown a lot of potential, but right now are lacking a bit of consistency on both sides of the disc. The Breeze have held a lead in every game in 2017, and they held an early 5-4 lead in Toronto on Saturday before allowing the Rush to go on a 7-1 run that effectively put the game out of reach for DC.

7

4-1 +4 It wasn't a clean performance with 27 turnovers on Saturday, but a win on the road against the FlameThrowers is a big notch in the belt for this Seattle franchise and as important a win as any in the league so far this season. It's also interesting that while San Francisco is generally regarded as best team in the West, the Cascades have won three straight games against the FlameThrowers going back to last season. And for all his accolades as an offensive playmaker, Khalif El-Salaam came up with the game-winning bookends in the final two minutes of regulation while playing with the defensive unit.

8

4-2 -6 The loss to the Cascades on Saturday was not what this FlameThrowers team envisioned when kicking off a four-game homestand that will carry into June, but it's also not much of a setback in their pursuit of the top spot out West. San Francisco still will host both the Spiders and Cascades another time in 2017, giving them ample opportunities to avenge their losses. Yet it's still hard to swallow a loss when scoring 27 at home in which Lucas Dallmann and Cassidy Rasmussen combine for 16 assists.

9

4-2 +3 With each passing week, the Rush look a bit more and more like themselves, especially following a quasi statement win against the Breeze at home. And although his stats aren't eye-popping through six games with 11 assists and 19 goals, Cam Harris deserves to be in the early MVP discussions given his particular importance to this Toronto team. He does a little bit of everything, and he does it all at an elite level.

10

3-1 -2 Historically the Radicals have been a quick start team that jumps on opponents out of the gate, but in 2017 that is definitely not the case. Through four games Madison is getting outscored 44-33 in the first half by its opponents, and have trailed heading into halftime in each of their last three games. The Radicals have won enough to stay on course, but they're not playing like a perennial final four team at all.

11

2-2 -4 This feels a bit low for an Empire team with every intention of winning the division. But with no impressive wins to their name and an 0-2 record so far in 2017 against DC and Toronto, there's very little that can be used to define New York at this point. It may be dangerous to overlook the Royal this weekend, but much of the Empire's season will be determined in their game on May 27 at home against the Breeze.

12

3-2 -2 It took until June last season for the Aviators to really hit their stride, but going 0-2 against SF and SJ this early in the season puts Los Angeles in a precarious position for their playoff aspirations. The offense continues to buoy this team's chances, but the defense has given up 26+ goals in three of their five games this year.

13

2-1 - Fresh off a bye week, the Thunderbirds have a terrific opportunity tomorrow night to take advantage of a malaise-infected Radicals team and claim their first ever win in Madison. Tyler Degirolamo is still nursing an injury, but regardless Pittsburgh is traveling with its strongest potential roster. The Thunderbirds defense has struggled so far to stop the deep game, but will likely have better luck facing a very conservative Madison O-line. If there was ever a time for the Thunderbirds to truly topple the hierarchy of the Midwest—as has been their mission since joining in 2015—tomorrow night is it.

14

2-2 +1 Following their win on Saturday against the Phoenix, the Ottawa franchise is now 16-16 overall since joining the league in 2015, acting as the ultimate litmus test team in the league. And although their seemingly eternal .500 record may not indicate it, the Outlaws continue to play with more and more swagger as they develop. Derek Alexander and his endless bag of throwing tricks are still central to this team's identity and successes, but there's also a swell of confidence around his protégé-turned-team-captain Kinley Gee, who is really starting to put it all together despite being just 20 years old.

15

2-3 +2 Atlanta moves up two spots not due to their win against Nashville, but because of the horde of collegiate talent their about to gain. Anders Olsen, a solid contributor to last year's squad, played in his first game of the season this last Saturday and racked up five goals while looking more physically imposing than in years past. The Hustle are also set to add Parker Bray, who missed the entirety of the 2015 season. Bray was a revelation in the college scene in 2017, showing off perhaps the most impressive arsenal of throws in the entire open division.

16

1-5 - Austin continues its slow ascent back towards .500 this weekend when they play host to Atlanta, a team they've always matched up favorably against. The Sol were 1-5 to begin last season, too, before going on a 6-2 run to finish the season. Austin converted 100 percent of their offensive possessions into scores last game, but still hold just a 63 percent conversion rate on the season.

17

2-3 -3 It always feels like it's one step forward, two steps back for this Royal team. Following their impressive upset of the Rush in Toronto in Week 5, Montreal has now dropped two straight at home to teams playing their second game in as many days. It's not so much an indictment on this team's talent or potential, but the focus they lack now to close out winnable games may cost them a playoff spot down the line.

18

1-5 - The best way to sum up Indy's season so far is to note that they've held a lead—many times late into second half—in every single game, yet have just one win to show for it. Starcrossed doesn't even begin to scratch the surface of the kind of late-game torment this team has had to endure at the hands of the Radicals over the years, especially after a two-goal lead entering the fourth quarter on Saturday transformed into a 23-20 loss in just 12 minutes of game clock.

19

1-5 - Another team that let the game get away from them, the Growlers held 10-7 in the first half on the road before eventually falling in overtime to the Riptide. What must be frustrating for San Diego is that they limited their turnovers while completing 94 percent of their passes, only to 27 goals, the the fourth time in six games they've allowed 27 or more in a game this season.

20

1-6 - If it weren't for Philly's triumph in Montreal, there may not be a more emotional win this season than the one Vancouver pulled out at home as the clock expired in overtime on Saturday night. It's going to be an uphill climb the rest of the way if the Riptide want to truly salvage their season and make their first playoff appearance, but for now it's good to rejoice in the win and the confidence it will surely bring to this team.

21

1-4 - Finally. Finally the Phoenix snapped their 19-game losing streak, the second longest such streak in AUDL history. More unbelievable is that it came in the overtime frame of their second game in as many days, which speaks to just how badly each and every one of Philadelphia's players wanted it. And while it's hard to give too much importance to individual players and their effect on a team's culture, the way Nicky Spiva led the team in crunchtime on Sunday—tossing a half field hammer to give the team the lead in OT—is exactly why the team brought him here in the offseason.

22

1-2 - It was a loss, but Detroit gave Minnesota one of their toughest matchups of the season on Sunday. The Mechanix know they have to play aggressively to win, and this year they're more committed to attacking than in years past. The strategy has yet to change results, but Detroit is dictating play more and more with each passing week.

23

0-4 - Chicago may be winless, but they've lost their last two games by just five goals combined. Pawel Janas (19 assists, 320 completions) and Michael Pardo (13 goals) are starting to establish a real rapport on offense, and the defense is slowly starting to figure things out despite playing with a myriad of different lineups.

24

0-7 - The NightWatch have given up 30+ goals in five of their seven games this year, equally their total from the entire 2016 season. Height has always been an issue for this team, and it looks like many of their defenders are in the right places at the right times, but are just getting beaten by more physically imposing opponents. The South is loaded with big athletes, and Nashville is continuing to have a hard time dealing with those matchups.