ELF: Week 10 Power Rankings – Vikings still at the top, Istanbul Rams take another giant leap upwards

With only four games left in the regular season of the European League of Football and the playoff race beginning to heat up, here’s AFI’s power rankings ahead of the bye week.

Vienna Vikings

The Vienna Vikings have shown in their undefeated run why they are the best team in the league. They have dispensed with the weaker opponents with relative ease and made the plays when they had to against tougher ones. No one is looking forward to facing them in the first round of the playoffs.

Hamburg Sea Devils

Despite narrowly escaping with a win in their home game against the Istanbul Rams on Sunday, the Sea Devils are one of the most intimidating teams in the league.

Their second-to-none rushing attack and brutal defense has positioned them as the league bullies. It is only their passing game that has been in question this year. But they have a luxury in former NFL receiver and college quarterback Lamar Jordan waiting in the wings if things get desperate.

Barcelona Dragons

Although the Dragons have somewhat fallen from grace since their meltdown against the Vienna Vikings, they are still a team not to take lightly.

Quarterback Zach Edwards and wideout Kyle Sweet are still a league-leading duo of formidable stature. They don’t look to be slowing down anytime soon so it is hoped that the pair can tell them deep into the playoffs despite a few glaring holes in other areas.

Istanbul Rams

This is a power ranking, not a reflection of each team’s standings. The Istanbul Rams beat the Barcelona Dragons two weeks ago in a beautiful coming out party for newly arrived quarterback Isaiah Green.

Despite a cacophony of hate and doubt on social media following this victory, the Rams almost did it again this past weekend taking the Sea Devils into overtime before losing in a nail-biting finish.

The Rams now appear to be fan favorites. In three weeks’ time they will play the Vienna Vikings, a game everyone is looking forward to with the Rams having nothing to lose.

Tirol Raiders

It is hard to place the Raiders in fifth position due to how pitiful they have looked in their two outings against the Vienna Vikings. But despite this they have dominated in other games.

The Raiders are on a record setting pace offensively. Sean Shelton is currently leading the league in yards and completion percentage while throwing just four interceptions, the least among all starting quarterbacks in the league.

Frankfurt Galaxy

Frankfurt has offered consistency where others have not. They are currently on a three-game win streak with quarterback Jakeb Sullivan playing lights-out football. 

In the Galaxy’s clutch 30-29 win over the Wroclaw Panthers on Sunday Sullivan threw for 320 yards and four touchdowns. And he only seems to be heating up as the weeks pass.

It is however worth noting that those three wins have come over the Stuttgart Surge, Cologne Centurions and Panthers…hardly the crème de la crème.

Rhein Fire

It has been a tumultuous few week for the Fire. The roster culling by head coach Jim Tomsula has hit the team hard. 

There are still bright spots for the team such as their defensive output and the dangerous duo of wideouts Nathaniel Robitaille and Timothy Knuettel. But the team seems to be slipping slowly down the rankings.

Berlin Thunder

The Thunder are now on a four game win streak. They have improved massively in all phases of the game since week 1. They now sport a top five rushing and passing attack along with some big play making ability on defense from David Izinyon and Kyle Kitchens.

As with Frankfurt, these wins have come against weaker teams. But with the Panthers immediately in front of them, the Thunder should be able to make a case for playoff contention in the coming weeks.

Wroclaw Panthers

The Panthers acquitted themselves admirably against the Galaxy on Sunday. After going in at the half leading 23-7, Wroclaw fell apart defensively and halted progress offensively losing the game 30-29. The Panthers have likely lost their chance to appear in the postseason too. 

It is this level of inconsistency and a failure to play clutch football that has defined the Panthers this year.

Cologne Centurions

The Centurions are a shadow of their week 1 self. Once showcasing the league’s most devastating attack, they have now given up on passing the ball and invested in running back Joshua Mack in an attempt to replicate last year’s success with Madre London. This strategy resulted in Mack leading week 9 in rushing yards but also them losing to the Berlin Thunder 39-29.

Leipzig Kings

After being manhandled by the Raiders Tirol over the weekend, there is little hope for the Kings to salvage their 2022 season. On paper the Kings look like a good team but have shown the league otherwise since week 1.

Stuttgart Surge

Hamburg RB Glen Toonga has now scored more points than the entire Surge squad. There was some promise following the signing of Dante Vandeven but that quickly dissipated.

All there is left to do now is try and finish the season with one or two wins to gain some honor.

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.