5. Washington Valor
The Valor have been all but eliminated from playoff contention with their loss against the Soul. After winning their first game of the season, they have lost 10 in a row. Their performance against Philadelphia showed how their season has gone since Week 1. They turned the ball over several times and were dominated once again. Not only is their season over, but it doesn’t look as if the Valor can win another game this season.
4. Cleveland Gladiators
Even after a slow start to the season, starting at 1-6, the Gladiators have gotten better as each week has gone on. They have now won three of their last five games and are just a Brigade win from clinching a playoff spot, even if it will be the four spot.
3. Baltimore Brigade
Baltimore is the biggest surprise of all five teams. With the superteam Washington had coming in, everyone thought that they would be the better expansion franchise. Unfortunately, due to much injury and misfortune, that hasn’t been the case. Shane Carden, who took over the team during the second half of Week 1, has clinched the Rookie of the Year award for himself and has his team in the drivers seat for the three seed and a playoff spot against the next team on our list.
2. Tampa Bay Storm
Tampa has made the biggest turnaround in AFL history. Of course, it helped that they cleaned house on offense and hired a new head coach. Unlike Washington, this superteam Tampa has built has worked out very well. They’re on pace to finish with a 11-3 record, which is a huge difference from their 2-15 season in 2016. The one thing they haven’t done is beat the top team on the list.
1. Philadelphia Soul
The defending champions haven’t played like a team that just won a title the past few weeks, especially offensively. Dan Raudabaugh has thrown nine interceptions this season, which is actually a high number for a quarterback of his stature.
Against Washington, however, he had one of his better games this season. He threw for nine touchdowns and one interception. Philadelphia will need to play like that for the final three games – two regular season games and their playoff game Aug. 12 – if they want to become the first repeat champion since the Arizona Rattlers won three straight from 2012-14.