ELF: Week 12 Power Rankings – No surprises as leaders remain firmly in place

The bye week in the European League of Football (ELF) is now over and regular programming is about to be resumed. Ahead of the final stretch in the league, we have updated our ELF power rankings.

1. Rhein Fire

You may be bored of seeing the Fire at the top, but it doesn’t change how good they are…and they appear to be getting better. They unsurprisingly lead the league in both offensive and defensive rankings. 

Offensively, the team seems unstoppable. Their 50 touchdowns are 12 more than the next team down and their three field goals are testament to how often they finish drives in the endzone. It’s hard to imagine a situation where the Fire lose a game this year.

2. Vienna Vikings

What happens when an immovable object meets an unstoppable force…this is what we’re all waiting for when we finally get treated to Vienna vs Fire. The Vikings have trailed the Fire all season long in the power rankings by the smallest of margins, and in recent weeks have made a case for taking the number one spot.

Unlike the Fire, there aren’t one or two key performers on both sides of the ball you can point at for the Viking’s success. Rather, Vienna have been obliterating opponents with a truly team effort and the most stingy defense in the league (in yardage).

Like the Fire, they are unlikely to lose for the rest of the season and will once again sail smoothly into the championship game. It’s crazy to think that the Viking’s are yet to lose a game in the ELF.

3. Stuttgart Surge

Just before the bye week, Stuttgart quarterback Kenyatte Allen put on a show as he racked up over 500 yards through the air and eight combined touchdowns in a 78–27 victory over the Milano Seamen. This is a far cry from what gave the Surge most of their success this year: tough defense and excellent game management.

If the Surge have found their new quarterback in Allen and can get a similar level of production out of him for the remainder of the season, they will truly be a championship contender.

4. Frankfurt Galaxy

It’s hard to believe that the Galaxy are just one game behind the Fire in the Western Conference, but it’s true. In all fairness, the Galaxy were obliterated by the Fire 33–9 in Week 1, but since then Frankfurt has dominated lesser opponents and secured tough wins without a stable quarterback situation. 

Their secondary is one of the best in the league on paper, but their performance hasn’t quite matched that. Franchise quarterback Jakeb Sullivan may also be playing for his future in Frankfurt this year as he faces another injury-plagued season. 

The once heralded Sullivan hasn’t been the difference maker the team needed this year and the drop off to Steven Cluley wasn’t that significant. The Galaxy still has everything to play for and an excellent roster, but if they want to regain the year-one glory, they need to get some consistency in the passing game. 

5. Berlin Thunder

The Berlin Thunder have not played since July 22 as a bye week and the international break has given them two weeks off. Last time they saw action, they lost a sloppy 16–9 game against the undefeated Vikings in which the team did not score a touchdown outside of an opening kickoff return by star receiver Aaron Jackson.  

Maybe this time off will give their offense a chance to figure some things out and put up more points on the board down the stretch. With an automatic win against the Leipzig Kings and an essentially automatic win against the Prague Lions in their future, the Thunder are primed to snag one of the wild card spots.

6. Munich Ravens

At 4–4, the Munich Ravens have an uphill battle ahead of them if they want to make the playoffs, which is a shame as they have been a lot of fun to watch this year. The Ravens have tended to dominate inferior opponents while not being able to pull off an upset win against a great team this year with a number of chances to do so. In particular, losses to their division rivals in the Raiders Tirol (especially their 25–24 defeat in Week 8) have proven to be particularly costly.  

Unfortunately for the Ravens, their next two matchups are against the Stuttgart Surge and Rhein Fire, making it all the more unlikely that they find their way into the postseason. Still, this is a talented and exciting team that has a lot of hope for the future.

7. Wroclaw Panthers

The Wroclaw Panthers will come back from the bye week rejuvenated as quarterback Matthew Vitale will make his return from injury. The 6–3 Panthers hope that he can pick up right where he left off as they welcome the Vienna Vikings to Wroclaw this Sunday. The Panthers led the Vikings by double digits on the road in their last meeting, but ultimately blew the lead and lost. However, that at least showed that they have the ability to compete with the best of the best. Their Week 12 matchup with the Berlin Thunder may very well determine which of those two teams makes the playoffs.

8. Raiders Tirol

As the Raiders have not played since July 22, this weekend’s matchup against the Helvetic Guards will be the first game following the controversial release of quarterback Christian Strong which led to the departure of his top receiver and longtime teammate Jarvis McClam.  

The Raiders’ new quarterback is Joe Dolincheck from Morningside University at the NAIA collegiate level, while they also added former Division I receiver Trevon Sidney. Despite their 6–2 record, their roster turnover does not allow us to rank them higher than this position. With games against the Vikings and Surge remaining, a playoff appearance will be no sure thing.

9. Hamburg Sea Devils

Since our last power rankings, the Sea Devils have played in one game, narrowly defeating the Cologne Centurions. The game saw QB Isaiah Green make his first appearance for the Sea Devils in the absence of Preston Haire, and it was a poor performance to say the least; the ex-Istanbul Ram took four drives in the second half of the game, during which he went 2-7 with 29 total yards and two interceptions. 

Defense and special teams seemed to be the redeeming factor for Hamburg in their most recent matchup, with Curtis Slater continuing to prove himself as an elite return specialist, while Kevin Fortes managed to save the game with a late interception.

Despite a talented roster, a sub-par overall performance against Cologne and an uncertain quarterback situation will certainly present some questions about the Sea Devils as they head into a tough closing stretch of games, starting with the Rhein Fire on Sunday. The game will see Rhein’s Glen Toonga play his old team for the first time, while the Sea Devils will look to maintain their incredible zero rushing touchdowns conceded.

10. Paris Musketeers

The Musketeers are coming off a huge win over the Dragons in the homecoming game of the ELF’s favorite duo, Zach Edwards and Kyle Sweet. While they are still having some issues defensively, ranking among the worst defenses in the league based on points conceded, Paris’ offense seems to be firing on all cylinders. Zach Edwards has been finding more and more success with his receiving corps, spreading the ball out tremendously in a versatile offense; while the likes of Kyle Sweet and Adria Botella-Moreno have been reliable targets as always, Florian Larose has exploded onto the scene as an elite jump-ball specialist and red zone threat.

Following their upcoming bye-week, the Musketeers will get a chance to repeat their week five win over the Sea Devils before heading on to close out the season with games against the Dragons and Centurions.

11. Cologne Centurions

After recovering from a 62-3 demolition at the hands of the Rhein Fire by going toe-to-toe with the Sea Devils before dropping an 18-15 decision, the Centurions have definitely moved up a couple spots. They are still having offensive identity issues, with QB Judd Erickson possessing one of the worst TD:INT ratios in the league for a multi-game starter (3:7 in four games), but there have definitely been improvements throughout the season. Terryon Robinson continues to be an elite receiver, but he truly is on his own, with over double the receiving touchdowns of the rest of his team combined – that may sound like Robinson has put up some crazy numbers, but really, he is barely scraping top 15, with five receiving touchdowns.

Defensively, the Centurions put up a great fight against an almost QB-less Sea Devils team, and of course Zach Blair continues to produce highlights for the team, sitting second isFLs (15), but as a team they rank among the worst overall defenses in the league. Cologne are in for a tough game this weekend as they host the red-hot Frankfurt Galaxy.

12. Helvetic Guards

Has the Guards’ hype died out since being humbled 35-6 by the Ravens? Was their three-game win streak a fluke? Truthfully, it’s hard to tell, but what we can tell you is that the Helvetic Guards’ defensive unit is a force to be reckoned with. They are in the top three in turnovers gained with 18, six of those coming from the league-leader in interceptions, Maceo Beard. Ken Hike Jr. has also been a key component, not only on defense but on special teams, asserting himself as a premiere return specialist.

The offense, however, is a whole different story. All season the Guards have been very one dimensional, with everything coming through the ‘Swiss Army Knife’ Silas Nacita, and that has continued to be the case; of their nine offensive touchdowns, Nacita has punched in five of them. Although the team now looks more consistent and comfortable with quarterback Tristan Noble at the helm, he is not doing much in terms of offensive production, passing sub-50% with just three touchdowns. 

The Guards are in for either another humbling experience or a huge upset as they travel to face the Tirol Raiders and welcome the Raiders new QB, Joe Dolincheck, to the ELF.

13. Milano Seamen

Milano is on a five-game slide as their defense currently ranks second in the league in points allowed. The offense has been capable in the hands of quarterback Luke Zahradka who leads the league in passing. However, the Seamen’s defense continues to let them down, giving up an abysmal 41 points and 409 yards a game. 

14. Barcelona Dragons

The Dragons unfortunately have lost six straight games dating back to June 10. Last week they only scored six points against the Paris Musketeers. They will need an offensive outburst from dual-threat passer Cam Aiken Jr if they want to end the streak before the season comes to a close. 

15. Fehervar Enthroners

The Enthroners added some new talent at the deadline and with some time they could be playing better football. However last week against the Galaxy it didn’t produce a different result as the Enthroners lost their seventh game in a row with the exception of forfeits. 

16. Prague Lions

The Lions take the field again with several new faces this week as the team signed seven new players. This includes four Czech offensive linemen along with Spanish center Mikel Gómez Barroso. More importantly, the team made a change at the quarterback position signing former Stony Brook quarterback Tyquell Fields. The dual-threat passer should pair well with new American running back Kobe Miranda who joins the Lions after a season in Mexico’s LFA.

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