Four weeks have come and gone in the NSFL and the records reflect a somewhat different scenario than the experts previously predicted. Which is why those experts have put together some fine rankings that reflect the changin situ-HAHAHAHAHAHAH no they didn't. They literally just stuck to their preseason opinions and made excuses or flat out ignored how wrong they were. Ad that's why I'm here.
Also, I'm going to go worst to first because why don't you do that?
8. Las Vegas Legion
Possibly the worst defense of all time. Every week they give up more points than they did the week prior. Three out of four weeks they gave up the most points period. The best defender on the team wouldn't even be a starter for a few teams. The only remotely close game they had was an overtime loss to the Liberty at home. The offense is average at best and can't keep up with anyone, though it has stretches of greatness when the ball is in Dustin Evan's hands because no one can keep up with him. He's literally the fastest receiver in the league. If this team wins 3 games, the entire front office should be awarded a bonus for miracles.
7. Colorado Yeti
Why are they ahead of the Legion? Two reasons. The first is that the Yeti have a decent defense and a below average offense as opposed to what's going on in Vegas. The second reason is losing two separate one score games to 3-1 teams. Against the Otters they had the ball at the 38 with less than two minutes, but couldn't come through to get that extra few tantalizing yards into field goal range. Also the sim had them run on 4th and 10. Against the Sabercats they actually had the lead until Smallwood ran for a TD with 4 minutes left. A last minute drive got them to the Cats' 24 but not far enough. I know that "but I already had them 8th before" is a powerful argument but the results of the games just kinda sway me away from pre-decided opinions. I'm just weird I guess. Also worth noting though" Nicholas Pierno makes as much this year as the 3 all time NSFL passing yards leaders combined.
6. Baltimore Hawks
It's difficult to pinpoint exactly what's gone sideways for the Hawks thus far. Wait. No it's not. They've faced the Wraiths, Sabercats, and Liberty. Even then though, what should be one of the most potent offenses in the league has just...whelmed. It would be wrong to say it's been bad. It just hasn't been the destructive force of nature that it should be. Part of that is skewed by them playing the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th best defenses for points allowed. Just part though, considering that playing the Legion wasn't worth all that many extra points. The defense has been subpar, though. It's given up an average of 30 points per game. Yes, these are difficult games. No, it's not about to get easier. Any change in this team's direction is squarely on the shoulders of the underperforming quarterback (no offense). Blocksdale is tied for 4th in TD passes and dead last in completion percentage. Compare that to fellow 2nd year QB Akelson who is 2nd in both those categories and leads the league in passing yards and has ALSO played three different 3-1 teams. In fact the only easy game that Akelson has had is against Blocksdale and these Hawks.
5. Philadelphia Liberty
Other rankings will put Philly third and basically apologize to them for it. Not this one. This one points out an extremely important fact. Philly is the only 3-1 team not to beat another 3-1 team. All of their wins come from the three teams with the combined 1-11 record and two of those came in overtime. On the other hand, where others may suggest Philly is going to fall form some arbitrary height, I say the opposite. This is the lowest they'll be ranked by a sane person for the rest of the season. This team ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS finds ways to ruin somebody's week and climb into contention despite any and every logical argument why they shouldn't. Like their most famous (but fictional) athlete, this team can literally never be counted out. For now though, they're fifth and about to walk into a three game stretch of teams currently ranked ahead of them.
4. Arizona Outlaws
Don't lie. You were waiting for me to put the Outlaws in the top 3. Well, they're not. The Outlaws have the best offense in the league. They've outscored every other team in the league and each opponent gave up more points to the Outlaws than they have to anyone else this season. You can check that, I know you won't. Couple that with a hot rookie kicker and a decent but still somewhat shaky defense that can be scored on (but will also score on you). The team is locked in a three way death struggle for a playoff spot with two teams that are both more balanced. It will most likely fall off at the end but that hasn't happened yet. So for now they sit at 4 on virtue of actually beating a team with a winning record.
3. San Jose Sabercats
The cats are like their namesake, quiet and sneaky. The second best defense in the league and a low scoring but extremely patient and efficient offense are a dangerous combo versus pretty much any team. They run the ball well and often and slow games way down to make each possession count for more, which plays to their strengths. They'll most likely be figured out but will it really matter? If they need to they can turn up the passing on a dime and that defense will still be tough as hell to score against. They're not a team you want to see against yours or against whoever your fantasy players are.
2. Orange County Otter
And thus there was uproar. Sorry OCO. It was a win that happened. It doesn't change the whole season. You were at home and you won because the Wraith ran out of time on your 6 yard line after the sim made them run the ball. It doesn't leap you over them. It just proves that you belong next to them until the rematch. In the meantime this is still an explosive offense and arguably the best defense in the league. It's still an almost certain loss for anyone that's not the Wraiths or the Sabercats. Don't believe me? Check back in about 18 hours.
1. Yellowknife Wraith
They've faced the toughest schedule. They've come through it arguably a few seconds from being undefeated. They have a tremendous offense and defense alike. They have the best starting secondary in the league. They have the best running back combo in the league. They have the best performing QB in the league. This is the number one team in the league. This team is scary good. However. They're also a team that keeps games far too close. They're more prone to losing this spot then everything suggests. Their next game against the Sabercats will shed some light before they actually get an easy stretch to their season.
There they are. The rankings. USING PERFORMANCE. Booyah. GRADED