ELF Power Rankings: Vikings back on top as final week of regular season looms

As the penultimate weekend of football draws to a close and four teams still vying for that final playoff spot, all is still to play for in the European League of Football (ELF).

Who is strongest today will prove the deciding factor on who earns that final playoff spot.

1. Vienna Vikings

After a two-week absence the Vikings are again back on top. Their second victory over the Dragons in almost exactly the same fashion as the first game shows a team that surges (not to be confused with Stuttgart’s efforts) in the fourth quarter.

This may just be a character trait of the Austrian side and one that will pay dividends in the postseason when games are tight.

2. Hamburg Sea Devils

Hamburg’s inability to get into the endzone this past weekend caused a far closer game than they would have liked with the Wroclaw Panthers.

They have also seemingly manifested a quarterback conundrum between day-one starter Ceesay and Maack, who appears to now be getting the majority of the reps.

This quarterback carousel will not do Hamburg any favors in the postseason. 

3. Barcelona Dragons

Again, the Dragons gave up a lead in the fourth quarter and fell to the Vikings. Their inability to close games out is now being a trend.

Luckily, the side has an overwhelmingly powerful offense and their game plan going forward should be to create an insurmountable lead by half time.

4. Rhein Fire

The Fire’s victory over Galaxy two weeks ago filled the team with confidence. This confidence will now be brimming after their annihilation of the Cologne Centurions over the weekend. 

Jadrian Clark is offering the team a level of aerial dominance they haven’t had all year.

5. Raiders Tirol

The Raiders needed to lose by no more than six points against the Galaxy this weekend, they lost by three.

The Raiders ability to win in a loss shows composure and control of the game. Hopefully these late season lessons will prove fortuitous in the final weekend of football where their playoff destiny hinges on their performance in Berlin.

6. Frankfurt Galaxy

In contrast to the Raiders the Galaxy have not shown the same level of composure. A sideline penalty last week cost them the game against the Rhein Fire and a late-game interception against the Raiders cost them control of their playoff fate.

The Galaxy are one of the most talented teams in the ELF. But in such a closely contested league, wins and losses are decided in the margins. It is these margins that the team needs to get a grip on and some luck if they hope to proceed into the postseason.

7. Berlin Thunder

The Thunder are positioned to take a trip to the playoffs if all their cards align. It is just unfortunate that some poor play at the beginning of the season may have cost them something a little more concrete.

8. Istanbul Rams

Despite the losses continuing to pile up, the Rams are a shadow of their former selves. Their grueling schedule has placed them against the league’s best time and time again.

In weeks past these contests were completely one sided whereas now only a few scores separates them.

9. Wroclaw Panthers

Defensively the Panthers played a stout game against the mono-offense of Hamburg over the weekend allowing just 17 points. Offensively however, they had a howler.

This is the issue with the Panthers all season, their wild inconsistencies. 

10. Leipzig Kings

Despite all the goings on in the Leipzig camp, the Kings came out and dominated the Surge in the penultimate weekend of the regular season.

Granted the Surge are a train wreck currently but this should not take away from quarterback Gabriel Cunningham who had potentially one of the most dominating performances of the season on ground and air combined.

In his second game with the Kings Cunningham rushed for 150 yards and a touchdown and threw for 239 yards and three touchdowns.

11. Cologne Centurions

The Centurions ninth loss in a row may have overshadowed something significant this week. Their quarterback Jan Weinreich may be back to his early-season form.

Weinreich, after a slow start to the game against the Fire, ended with 436 yards and six touchdowns. It is just a shame that their defense hemorrhaged touchdown after touchdown. 

12. Stuttgart Surge

The Surge has gone from bad to worse. After a thrashing by one of the weakest teams in the league, the Kings, it is unclear if the team has just completely given up and is instead now focusing on next year.

Daniel Mackenzie is a Press Association graduate who works in journalism and communications in the third sector. Daniel began playing football for the London Warriors and Team Great Britain and has since played across Europe.