A Look Back At Noah's AFC Power Rankings
In the world of sports writing, there are a lot of crazy predictions that get thrown around. People say things to get clicks and it doesn’t matter because nobody checks back in to see if their predictions were right or not. I will not be one of those people. In fact, I’m taking a look back at my own power rankings to see where I went wrong. While football is unpredictable, a little self-check never hurt anyone. And if you think this list is pretty wonky, I don’t think you could have done any better. Let’s get to the list.
16. Black Knights Original Thoughts: Underachievers Back in the offseason, this looked like one of the worst rosters in the league. And while this team isn’t stellar, it’s a bit better than last in the league. In my original article, I said that the Black Knights live and die by Holden Wolfe which has held through this year. A middle of the road passing attack has lead to a team that is just below that. Langford Cloud started the year off hot but has cooled off a bit. The defense is the definition of a “bend don’t break” team as they are worst against the pass in the AFC and are second-worst in total defense. This is not a good team but number 16 might have been a little disrespectful.
15. Voyagers Original Thoughts: Identity Crisis I am pleasantly surprised by the play of the Voyagers. I have always like this team but they needed a smack in the face to get them into shape. HC Todd Baker has done that very well. He took a pretty shallow roster and turned it into a playoff contender simply by being a good coach. Glenn Haye has done some solid work and has controlled a top 10 RFL passing offense, something that was otherwise thought impossible. The defensive stars have done well and they are competent once again. This is an exciting team moving forward.
14. Dreadnoughts Original Thoughts: Time to rebuild around Kam Jones Well, This is one of the ones that make me look really silly. The Dreds were one of the biggest worst-to-first teams this year. I said I didn’t trust Jake McBride and the coaching staff didn’t either because they turned it over to Matt Jones who has looked very solid this year. Gilliam and surprise standout Kirby Britt have hit the ground running and are currently top 3 in rushing for this year. They also have a great run D and Kam Jones which is also a problem for their opponents. This is a serious Championship Contender.
13. Pioneers Original Thoughts: Young and Rebuilding. I nailed this one. But most people would have had the Old Pioneers down here is not even lower on this list. We all know their struggles to win games in the RFL which has never been more apparent than this year. They are bottom of the league in just about every category and just can’t get any momentum. Veterans Carrington Crowell and Andre Tomlinson have been bright spots on the team along with Jesse Newhauser who has had a few great games. They need a QB that is better than McAfton if they want to win and they will be in the area to get one in this year’s draft.
12. Celtic Tigers Original Thoughts: Time to put them out to pasture. Having the Pioneers in between the Celtic Tigers and the Dreadnoughts is absolute lunacy in retrospect. After coming off another year of missing the playoffs, I thought CT would be right sinking back down again and boy was I wrong. With the vigor of someone half his age, Dr. Dre has looked amazing this year. He has the top passing offense paired with a top 10 rushing offense. Dublin is top of the AFC right now and it will be very hard to stop them with Crowell’s legacy in the balance. If they can win the Relo Bowl he will be on Rushmore till the end of time.
11. Aviators Original Thoughts: One Last Chance This team just makes me hate them more and more. For those who don’t know the Aviators are my least favorite RFL team. There really isn’t a reason why that’s just how it is. If I didn’t rate them above two of the top three AFC teams I would feel good about this spot. Like I said in the original, they are in a very stacked division and Father Time is on his way. Russel Renes is not the Starter for a playoff team anymore (If he ever was.) Their Defense is putrid and I would probably try to get someone in the draft to help that spot. Maybe local kid Drew Brewer!!? Regardless of what the offseason looks like for the Aviators, This season was very bad for a team that really should be better than they are.
10. Bisons Original Thoughts: Going Backwards When I said that the Bisons would take a step back, I didn’t think it would be this dramatic. Their QB situation has been strange, to say the least. Neither Torres nor Hobert has been bad but it just hasn’t translated to success this year. That’s mostly because the rest of the team is hot garbage. They haven’t been able to run the ball or play any defense what so ever. I love HC, Ethan Long but he has a lot of work to do this offseason to get this team back to where it should be.
9. Bulldogs Original Thoughts: Possible Playoffs This is a very solid team that has a decent chance of sneaking into the playoffs. Nothing they have done this year has really changed my opinion on them. I thought they may have had one more win or two by this point but they were never supposed to be world-beaters. They are a solid team that has gotten good production out of their players. Merritt and Wheaton have both done very well and I am pleasantly surprised by a top 5 Rush Defense. HC Jacob Reid has brought his team up and now they just need one more step to get to the end game.
8. Armadillos Original Thoughts: Talented Roster, Need good QB play The Armadillos always seem to be the most under performing every year. They have stars on their team all over the place but just can’t put it all together. They still have a chance to compete but you have to imagine that if they had a better QB and Coach Combo, they would be winning more games. Both QBs are inconsistent although they have decent yardage. Yes, Wade has looked good the past couple weeks but we have also seen him be the worst part of the offense. The rest of the team has been pretty solid with a middling defense that has been decent enough to survive. This team will look better with a new QB or a new system.
7. Red Dragons Original Thoughts: Ready for the Playoff Picture The Red Dragons have a philosophy that we haven’t seen in the RFL to the extreme they are at. A ground and pound team to the T, They are at the bottom in passing but it doesn’t matter because their running game and defense are top-notch. This exactly what you want to see from a team starting a rookie QB especially the way Savoy plays. Coach Davis will be on the Coach rankings this year because he built an offense around his QB. Charles Raymond is still one of the best in the game and the rest of the team follow him to wins.
6. Bulls Original Thoughts: Contenter with a chip on their Shoulder Not far away on this one. The Bulls are one of the top teams in the AFC that may be looking at a first-round bye. But there are some that are concerned with Layne Kerney and how he is playing this season. He isn’t in MVP Form but it hasn’t mattered because of the great defense that has been put forward. They are one of the best against scoring in the league. They are still a contender but you have to wonder if they can win without a reliable offense.
5. Cougars Original Thoughts: Great Culture Chicago Is just what many thought they could be. Much like the Red Dragons, they don’t rely on their QB but Rob Slater has done enough to get wins. Their Defense is great and will be for a while because of how young it is. Robey Havner was a great pick up to join with Wilcox and Woolfolk and Payne. They are at the Wild Card because of their Division but they are gonna be a scary playoff team.
4. River Hogs Original Thoughts: Acquisitions will spark a run The River Hogs record isn’t amazing but they are still very much a scary team. They aren’t number 4 admittedly but I think this isn’t a terrible spot. Mackey has been pretty solid and a revitalized Dre Shivers makes them pretty scary. They have a solid balanced team otherwise but just haven’t been able to get the wins they need. They will need some help to make the playoffs but they are good.
3. Sentinals Original Thoughts: Young and Hungry Team Not a surprise that Coach Armstrong’s gang is here. They are a little lower than I put them but they still are a force in the RFL. As of week 15, he has 3 WRs over 800 yards and TE at 750. They are one of the best offenses in the League and the D is also very good. Wendell Dimanche is at the top of the league in sacks although they do miss Dondi Woods inside. Their 2 losses to the Black Knights early in the year might come back to bite them in the standings.
2. Conquistadors Original Thoughts: Defensively Minded Super Power Alright Alright, I admit this is bad. But the Conquistadors have done pretty well statistically. They just haven’t been able to get wins. They have a great passing D but a terrible rushing D. And because of that, the Offense is not able to carry it. They should have been defensively run but they still have a long way to go. They have solid pieces but they need another superstar or two to be dangerous. They aren’t championship caliber but it was a really weird season for them.
1 Huskies Original Thoughts: The Champs
After a slow start, The Huskies have been on a tear reminding people why they are the reigning champs. Hudson Johnson has been a reliable target to join up with an already great offense. Their D is bend don’t break which is good for the strength of the opponents they face. Brady Hutson is still a goon and I think this team is gonna be making a run again. Will they be number 1. I don’t know. But you can’t take this team lightly.
So it looks like my ignorance caught up with me a bit but I still think I did pretty well. What do y’all think? Let me know in the comments and in the discord.