The postseason picture became a little clearer in the East this week as Birmingham locked up their spot in the postseason against Orlando while Atlanta and Memphis were eliminated from playoff contention. The West became a little more muddied as Arizona moved into a tie for first with San Antonio after defeating the Commanders.
Week 8 Results
Orlando 34, Memphis 31
Salt Lake 8, San Diego 3
Birmingham 17, Atlanta 9
Arizona 23, San Antonio 6
Week 9 Schedule
Memphis at San Antonio – Saturday, April 6 @ 11:00 am (CBS)
San Diego at Orlando – Saturday, April 6 @ 7:00 pm (NFL Network)
Salt Lake at Atlanta – Sunday, April 7 @ 3:00 pm (B/R Live)
Birmingham at Arizona – Sunday, April 7 @ 7:00 pm (NFL Network)
Standings after Week 7
1. y – Orlando (7-1)
2. y – Birmingham (5-3)
3. e – Atlanta (2-6) – Won head-to-head
4. e – Memphis (2-6) – Lost head-to-head
T1. Arizona (5-3)
T1. San Antonio (5-3)
T3. San Diego (3-5)
T43. Salt Lake (3-5)
x – Playoff spot clinched
y – Seed clinched
e – Eliminated from playoffs
Here are the updated power rankings after Week 7:
1. Orlando Apollos (7-1) –
Week 8: def. Memphis 34-31
Orlando continues to lead the power rankings, but looked a little vulnerable against Memphis this weekend. The Express led Orlando 31-22 late in the fourth quarter but Orlando was able to rally for the win. Garrett Gilbert played well, but did make a few mistakes as he went 22/40 for 310 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions but had a costly fumble in the third quarter that led to a Memphis touchdown that allowed the Express to take the lead. Orlando only gained 71 yards on the ground to out-gain Memphis 368 to 355.
This week sees Orlando take on a San Diego team who has lost their last three in a row. The Apollos have locked up the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference
2. Arizona Hotshots (5-3) +1
Week 8: def. San Antonio 23-6
Arizona continues to rise back up the power rankings as they have gotten their footing back in this league winning three in a row. Their wins have come over two of the top teams in the league in Orlando and San Antonio. However, the win makes them split with San Antonio to keep them tied atop the standings.
John Wolford had a great game goign 17/23 for 216 yards and a touchdown to earn the highest QB rating of any starting quarterback this weekend. The Hotshots didn’t turn the ball over either with a +2 turnover margin. The defense did give up 173 yards on the ground to a host of running backs from San Antonio, but they never let the Commanders score a touchdown and held the passing game in check for the most part.
Arizona hosts Birmingham this weekend.
3. San Antonio Commanders (5-3) -1
Week 8: lost to Arizona 23-6
A rough loss for the Commanders as they could have all but locked up the West with a win over Arizona. They only need to win one more game to at least make the playoffs thanks to a 4-game win streak before this most recent loss.
Logan Woodside struggled in the game going 4/9 for 32 yards and an interception. Marquise Williams came in and went 17/23 for 130 yards, but couldn’t connect for a touchdown. Williams also had 7 carries for 36 yards while David Cobb, Kenneth Farrow, Trey Williams and company all combined for 173 total yards of rushing. The team had two costly turnovers and couldn’t stop John Wolford on the day or Tim Cook who had two rushing touchdowns.
Salt Lake welcomes in Memphis this week.
4. Birmingham Iron (5-3) –
Week 8: def. Atlanta 17-9
The Iron got back in the win column and officially locked up the second playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. However, the team still struggled at times and eventually turned back to Keith Price at quarterback after Luis Perez couldn’t move the team down the field. Perez was 10/24 for 65 yards. Price was only 2/2 for 31 yards, but seemed to lead the offense a little better than Perez. We’ll see who starts week 9.
Trent Richardson had a great day rushing 18 times for 83 yards and a touchdown to have the best rushing performance of the weekend. The Iron defense was the reason behind the win after forcing four turnovers from Atlanta for a +3 turnover margin. Atlanta actually fumbled the ball two more times on punt returns but recovered it both times.
Birmingham travels to Arizona this week where they have to win and hope Orlando loses to San Diego to still have hope to host the playoff game against Orlando.
5. Salt Lake Stallions (3-5) +1
Week 8: def. San Diego 8-3
The Stallions continue to play close games, but they are winners of two of their last three. This game saw very little scoring and both teams turned the ball over three times. Josh Woodrum was 21/32 for 155 yards and two interceptions.
Terron Ward and Joel Bouagnon were most of the offense as they combined for 33 carries but only 92 yards and the lone touchdown of the day.
This week, Salt Lake travels to Atlanta as they look to stay alive in the playoff picture.
6. San Diego Fleet (3-5) -1
Week 8: lost to Salt Lake 8-3
San Diego suffered their third loss in a row and third overall conference loss. This puts them at a disadvantage as they travel to the #1 team in Orlando next week.
Mike Bercovici struggled again throwing 22/47 for 210 yards and two interceptions. Bishop Sankey led the rushing attack with 11 carries for 42 yards. Their lone score came from a HAgeman field goal in the fourth quarter.
This week, the Fleet travel to Orlando. If they win, it keeps the playoff picture interesting in both the East and West. If Orlando wins, it effectively eliminates San Diego from the playoff hunt.
7. Memphis Express (2-6) –
Week 8: lost to Orlando 34-31
A tough loss for Memphis after beating Birmingham in week 7. The loss also eliminates the Express from the playoffs along with Atlanta. The player everyone wanted to see was Johnny Manziel, but after throwing an interception at the end of the first quarter, Manziel lowered his head for a tackle and got knocked out of the game. He ended his day at 2/3 for 13 yards and an interception. See the interception and injury here:
Brandon Silvers went 30/49 for 269 yards with one touchdown and one interception while also rushing for 16 yards. Silvers is easily the best quarterback on this roster and will be the starter for the rest of the season. He had Memphis in the lead midway through the fourth quarter 31-22. He found 10 different receivers in the game. Terrence Magee led all rushers with 9 carries for 39 yards and a touchdown.
This week, Memphis travels to San Antonio.
8. Atlanta Legends (2-6) –
Week 8: lost to Birmingham 17-9
The Legends hung tough throughout the game, holding Luis Perez to a fairly bad day and forcing the quarterback change, but overall, the quarterback duo of Aaron Murray and Matt Simms couldn’t get much done. Murray was 6/13 for 100 yards and one interception while Simms was 13/22 for 135 yards and an interception. Atlanta had four turnovers for a -3 turnover margin and had a couple of fumbled punts that they were lucky to get back.
Atlanta is eliminated from the playoffs but takes on Salt Lake at home who is still fighting for a spot.