Mexico: Liga de Fútbol Americano Profesional (LFA) Week 5 Power Rankings – Favorites still out front

We are now approaching the back end of the Liga de Fútbol Americano Profesional 2022 season in Mexico and now teams are thinking about fighting for the playoffs. Out of the seven teams in the LFA, the top six teams earn a playoff nod, while the top two playoff teams in particular earn a first-round bye.

Considering we are entering the home stretch, it is only right to go through the teams, how they stack up as of now, and their outlook for the rest of the season.

1. Dinos de Saltillo (4-0)

Last Week: 1

In spite of a scare from the winless Galgos, the Dinos came out when it mattered most with a 14-6 win, and were the first team to clinch a playoff spot as a result. A victory in any of their last two games would give them that coveted first round bye. 

As for their next two opponents, they play their final home game of the regular season this Saturday against the Reyes, which looks like an easy matchup on paper. For their final opponent, they go on the road to square off against the Raptors, who have the playoff and championship game experience that could deny the Dinos a perfect regular season.

2. Fundidores de Monterrey (2-1)

Last Week: 2

After winning a hard-fought brawl against the Raptors, beating them 23-20 last week, the Fundidores are now virtually guaranteed to make the playoffs with a win in any of their final three games. Outside of their first game of the season against the Dinos in Week 2, the Fundidores have been one of the top teams in the league and QB, Shelton Eppler, has been leading the LFA in passing yards, completion percentage and passing touchdowns.

For the Fundidores, they face the Gallos Negros on the road on Sunday. Following that, their final two games will be against the expansion teams, the Galgos and the Reyes, which look favorable on paper for Monterrey.

3. Mexicas CDMX (2-2)

Last Week: 3

It looked like it would be a close game for the Mexicas, but in the second half of their game against the Reyes in Mexico City, their offense exploded and had the best offensive performance out of any team this year embarrassing the visitors 46-12.  This victory was due in large part due to RB Rubén Zendejas, who made a strong MVP case after scoring two rushing touchdowns, and a return touchdown. He is now leading the league in total points and touchdowns after four weeks with six.

The Mexicas are off this week, but they will play their final home game of the season against the Gallos Negros and will finish their season on the road against the Galgos. Winning any of these two games will clinch a playoff berth for them.

4. Raptors Naucalpan (1-2)

Last week: 4

The Raptors lost their second game in a row last week when the Fundidores got by them 23-20. However, even in a losing effort, they made the Fundidores fight until the final play to either get in the lead or maintain it. There are still positives to be found in the loss. DB Raúl Mateo returned to the top of the league in tackles with 22 so far this season thanks to an outstanding performance; and it looks the team can compete with the league’s best still after all these years. 

This week they will be home against the winless Galgos, who played hard against the best team in the league, the Dinos. However, they are going to need to win their game and get a little help if they want to clinch it that week. It is by far their easiest matchup though, as their final two games will be against the Dinos and the Gallos Negros

5. Gallos Negros de Querétaro (1-1)

Last week: 3

Four weeks have passed through the season, and the Gallos Negros, due to their original bye week, and their game against the Reyes getting postponed, have only played two games so far this season. As a result of this small sample size, it is difficult to gauge what kind of team the Gallos Negros are. Moving forward they could be the biggest wild card for the rest of the season.

Due to Querétaro having their two bye weeks already, they will play their last four regular season games in a row. If they qualify for the playoffs and in the first two rounds, they would be playing six games in a row with no breaks in between. The first of these games will be their first game at home on Sunday, against the Fundidores who have scored 20+ points in their last two games. Then they will go on the road for another tough opponent in the Mexicas. Their make-up game against the Reyes seems to be their easiest opponent and then they will face a formidable foe in the Raptors to close the season on April 24.

6. Reyes de Jalisco (1-2)

Last Week: 6

It was mostly even for the Reyes in their game against the Mexicas CDMX until the Mexicas clamped down in the middle of the 3rd quarter and never looked back. For a defense that had allowed the second fewest number of points going into the game, they surrendered a whopping 46, with 34 of them being unanswered. 

If Jalisco wants to make the playoffs and be a formidable challenger, they have to execute more while in the red zone. On Saturday, they will play in Saltillo against the undefeated Dinos, who will be looking to try to earn a first-round bye. And their final two games against the Gallos Negros and the Fundidores on the 17th and 23rd respectively could be challenging as both of those teams have higher aspirations and more at stake.

7. Galgos de Tijuana (0-3)

Last Week: 7

In a surprise to many people, the Galgos proved to be a tough opponent for the Dinos last week. While they still lost 14-6 and for the third week in a row failed to score double digits, if there are ever such things as moral victories, Tijuana achieved that last Saturday. Sadly, until they start scoring points and executing plays when they matter most, they are still going to be winless and will be the only team on the outside looking in on the playoff picture.

Their defense has done well, only allowing 24 combined points in their last two games. That will be what their remaining opponents will look at while preparing for the Galgos. For instance, their upcoming matchup against the Raptors, a team that struggled down the stretch to win against a tough Reyes defense, is one to look for them. For their following matchup against the Fundidores, it could be easy too as they are the only team to allow at least two touchdowns per game as a defense. Finally, to close out the regular season, they are up against the Mexicas who have been up and down with their play. Whoever faces the Galgos could be up against a surprise.

A recent graduate of Hofstra University in New York. He is currently a sports freelance journalist and podcaster