Power Rankings: Week 3

May 17, 2023
By Adam Ruffner

24. Detroit Mechanix (-)
Record: 0-1
Most recent result: Loss, 29-13 vs Pittsburgh

63 straight losses. I’m tired.

23. Dallas Legion (-)
Record: 0-2
Most recent result: Loss, 28-17 vs Houston

With two double digit losses and 64 total turnovers, the throwing concerns that Dallas entered the season with have fully materialized on the field. Jason Hustad and Brooks Wallace already have 12 hucks combined in the first two games, but the team as whole is second to last in pass completion rate for the second straight season. Philly transplant Nick DiGiorgio has provided spark on offense.

22. Seattle Cascades (-1)
Record: 0-4
Most recent result: Loss, 26-14 at Colorado

For the second straight season Seattle has four or more losses by Memorial Day. The ‘Scades have 20 or more turnovers in all four games this season, and have just 12 break scores total. Zeppelin Raunig continues his breakout offensive season, and is averaging six scores and 450 yards per game in his second year. Marc Munoz and Garrett Martin are fearless in attacking with their throws, and they continue to feed Raunig in space for big plays.  

21. Montreal Royal (-2)
Record: 0-1
Most recent result: Loss, 25-20 at Toronto

The Royal offensive attack led by Kevin Quinlan, Christophe Tremblay-Joncas, and Malik Auger-Semmar proved they pack a punch right out of the gate. And the Montreal defense had their opportunities, but converted just three of 12 break chances in the game. It was a tough start, yes, but the East is in tumult other than at the top, and a win this Saturday against Boston could put Montreal right back in the thick of the playoff race in the division.  

20. Portland Nitro (-2)
Record: 0-3
Most recent result: Loss, 22-19 at San Diego

Raphy Hayes was a near one-man show for the Nitro on their SoCal road trip, racking up 14 scores, three blocks, and 1,600 total yards in two games. But the two losses extend Portland’s winless streak to 12 games dating back to last May, the second longest stretch in the league. Defensive pressure is the main culprit. Opponents are completing 76 percent of their huck attempts against Portland this season, and are committing just 15 turnovers per game. 

19. Toronto Rush (+1)
Record: 1-2
Most recent result: Win, 25-20 vs Montreal

Toronto equaled their Week 2 combined scoring output in one game against Montreal, with Mike Mackenzie picking up right where he left off in the 2021 Canada Cup finale and tallying eight scores and 447 yards in his 2023 debut. The Rush still haven’t calibrated their deep throws yet this season, and are completing almost three hucks per game fewer than in 2022. But with so many new pieces integrating—and this still being one of the youngest rosters in the league—Toronto still has a lot of adjustments to make, especially with DC coming to town this Saturday. 

18. Philadelphia Phoenix (-4)
Record: 0-3
Most recent result: Loss, 19-16 at Boston

In just the first three weeks of the season, the Phoenix have really run the gauntlet of gut punch losses with a blowout, a nailbiter, and now a seven-goal-lead-turned-into-a-loss in Boston. Philly’s offense is dead last in efficiency, and has converted just 20 out of a possible 73 offensive possessions (26.3 percent) into scores. And if that wasn’t enough, their reward is a second matchup this month with New York—winners of 18 straight and playing maybe the best defense ever—in Week 4.

17. Madison Radicals (-)
Record: 0-1
Most recent result: Loss, 18-17 at Pittsburgh

The Radicals have won each of their last three matchups in Indy with the AlleyCats going back to the beginning of the 2019 season, and will have confidence this coming Saturday even as they battle with injuries to starters. Madison is averaging almost 24 scores and just 12 turnovers per game in their last three trips to Grand Park. But while the offense may find their rhythm early and often, the Radicals defense struggled to apply pressure to Pittsburgh’s throwers in Week 1, which could be problematic indoors against a ‘Cats throwing core that’s starting to dial in. 

16. Houston Havoc (+6)
Record: 1-1
Most recent result: Win, 28-17 at Dallas

There’s something kicking up in Houston. Yes, the Havoc are still thoroughly an expansion team working into their identity, and have committed 52 turnovers in their first two games. But there’s energy in the chaos, with Ben Lewis motoring sideline to sideline, Matt Bennett being matched in audacious throws by teammate John Shelley, and an overall sense of camaraderie that crackles into existence any and every time a Havoc player makes a big play, which is happening at increasing frequency. Houston isn’t afraid of the huck, and connected on 12-of-15 deep throws in their Week 3 win. It will be a telling matchup on Friday as Houston hosts San Diego in a battle between two stylistic opposites.  

15. Chicago Union (-6)
Record: 0-1
Most recent result: Loss, 19-16 vs Indianapolis

23 turnovers and just 16 points leaves a lot of questions for a Union team coming off a championship game appearance last year. Saturday’s performance was the second most turnovers for the Union since the start of the 2021 season and included six drops by six different players. Chicago rallied to win the scoring battle in the second half—and were a very tidy 13-of-15 on red zone opportunities on the day—but it was too little too late in an important head-to-head with Indy. The Union have a bye in Week 4 before a tough Madison-Minnesota doubleheader the following weekend.

14. San Diego Growlers (+2)
Record: 1-1
Most recent result: Win, 22-19 vs Portland

The lineup absences and injuries meant that everyone in the stadium knew the Growlers offense was going through Travis Dunn, and yet there was nothing the Nitro defense could do to stop him last Saturday. Dunn finished the game with 10 total scores and 650 yards without a turnover, including connecting on all five of his huck attempts; over the past five seasons, no player has delivered as consistently for one franchise as Dunn has with the Growlers. 6’5” rookie Max Gibson made a big pro debut with six scores and nearly 32 yards per touch. It seems no matter what adversities they face, San Diego is still so well coached and stout on both lines that they will be in a majority of games in the West.  

13. Indianapolis AlleyCats (+2)
Record: 1-2
Most recent result: Win, 19-16 at Chicago

The AlleyCats couldn’t afford to start the season with three straight losses in a tight Central playoff race, and they played like it in the second quarter of their big Week 3 road win in Chicago. And without leading goal scorer Cameron Brock in the lineup, the ‘Cats focused their attack and got back to the basics, orchestrating long drives in the adverse winds to grind out 11 crucial O-line holds on 18 points, with Travis Carpenter tirelessly distributing at the center of the action. 18-year-old rookie William Wettengel is diligent and opportunistic in coverage, and has multiple blocks in two of his first three games.  

12. Pittsburgh Thunderbirds (-)
Record: 2-0
Most recent result: Win, 29-13 at Detroit

After struggling to put away Detroit in two different matchups last season, there was no doubt from the beginning as the T-Birds took a commanding 13-5 lead into halftime on their way to their second win of the season. Throwing has been the differentiator this season for Pittsburgh, as the team has become more potent and more selective in their pass attempts. They are currently third in team completion rate (95.2 percent), and are 19-of-26 (73 percent) on hucks through two games; the Thunderbirds had the second worst huck completion rate (54 percent) in the league in 2022. Jonathan Mast and Clint McSherry are looking like the most reliable backfield throwing pair in the division in the first month of the season.   

11. Boston Glory (+2)
Record: 2-0
Most recent result: Win, 19-16 vs Philadelphia

Boston’s defense—coupled with whatever wind deity they’ve summoned at their home field of Hormel Stadium—has constricted opponents to just 30 goals total in their first two games. Glory opponents have the lowest hold rate (O-line scores over total O-line points played) in the league, and Chris Bartoli is leading the league with a ridiculous 3.5 takeaways per game. The Boston break attack is quick in transition, and they’ve taken advantage of many short field opportunities. The worry here is the glaring 26 turnovers number in their last win, and an upcoming date in Montreal this weekend with a Royal team that forced 27 Glory turns in the same meeting last year in May. 

10. Oakland Spiders (+1)
Record: 1-1
Most recent result: Loss, 27-25 (OT) vs Salt Lake

The Spiders have had to use all their legs with two overtime finishes in their first two games of the season. But with 55 turnovers combined and split results, Oakland may need to start favoring possession over the fastbreak style that they love on offense. But it’s not hard to see why uptempo drives suit them, with rookies Dexter Clyburn and Walker Frankenberg already making massive scoring impacts. Clyburn in particular was a hassle to cover in the open field last weekend, and finished with five scores and over 600 total yards in his pro debut. 

9. Los Angeles Aviators (+1)
Record: 1-1
Most recent result: Win, 20-13 vs Portland

After turning the disc over 29 times in their Week 2 loss, the Aviators bounced back and nearly halved their errors in last Friday’s win versus Portland. And while it’s just two starts, Pawel Janas has the highest usage rate of his career with the Aviators, and is averaging 70 completions, six scores, and nearly 550 total yards per game. The LA defense looked like it was firing Lukas Ambrose out of a cannon at discs, and the rookie finished with two blocks and numerous pass pressures in his second game as a pro. 

8. Austin Sol (-2)
Record: 2-2
Most recent result: Loss, 26-19 at Carolina

The Sol won their first two games by a combined 20 goals, and with over half of their total scores coming from their D-line. Because of the blowouts, the Austin offense was never really pressed to play disciplined, which ultimately came to bear this past weekend against two good defenses in Atlanta and Carolina. Austin committed as many turnovers (36) as goals scored on the weekend, and now sit in the bottom half of the league in offensive efficiency after ranking in the top six in 2022. All that being said, we need to make some kind of AUDL dunk competition so Evan Swiatek can be in it. 

7. Minnesota Wind Chill (+1)
Record: 1-0
Most recent result: Win, 23-21 at Indianapolis

After registering three goals and 212 receiving yards in three games as a rookie in 2022, Marco Dregni nearly doubled those numbers in his season debut in Indy. Dregni undoubtedly has speed to give him separation downfield, but what really stood out was the timing and communication he had with throwers like Josh Klane and Colin Berry, giving Minnesota another explosive pass catcher alongside Quinn Snider. The Wind Chill play host to first place Pittsburgh on Saturday, and could take a decisive lead in the Central Division with a win. 

6. Carolina Flyers (+1)
Record: 1-2
Most recent result: Win, 26-19 vs Austin

The 2023 debuts of Liam Searles-Bohs and Matt Gouchoe-Hanas steadied the Flyers as they got their first win of the season, and third in their last four matchups with the Sol going back to the beginning of last year. Jacob Fairfax continues to be a force no matter where he lines up, and team captain Trevor Lynch is showing the full capabilities of his throwing talents in his third season with Carolina. Lynch is 5-of-6 on huck attempts in his first three starts, and has one of the deadliest hammers in his holster. With multiple Flyers players sidelined with injuries, Lynch has looked natural in the mobile distributor role that many players have flourished in over the years with Carolina. 

5. Salt Lake Shred (-)
Record: 4-0
Most recent result: Win, 27-25 (OT) at Oakland

The Shred offense is humming. Through four games they rank third in the league in offensive efficiency, and are converting drives at a seven percent higher clip than a season ago. Jacob Miller and Luke Yorgason continue to propel drives with high precision and mobility, and are as tough a tandem to force out of rhythm as any backfield pairing in the league right now. Sean Connole is rightfully known for his massive backhand throws, but it’s been his legs that have taken his play to a new level. He’s leading the team in receiving yards, averaging 324 yards per game, and tied a career high with four goals in Week 3 against Oakland. And for all the great play up and down the roster this season, when Will Selfridge is feeling it he looks like the best player on the team. 

4. DC Breeze (-2)
Record: 2-1
Most recent result: Loss, 18-17 (OT) vs New York

For all the bright moments in last Saturday’s epic OT battle—Christian Boxley pacing the offense in the first half, Benjamin Oort going supernova down the stretch in DC debut—it was another close/no cigar finish for a Breeze team hellbent on overcoming New York for the first time since 2021. And maybe more disconcertingly: it’s the third straight game that DC’s offense finished with an offensive efficiency below 60 percent, a mark they dipped below just four times total in 2022 in 14 games. DC has always lacked volume in their approach to the deep game—they had the fifth lowest hucks per game average last season—but they were efficient in the looks they took. But in 2023, the Breeze can’t get anything going so far with the longball, and are just 13-of-30 (43 percent) on huck attempts through three games, the second worst rate in the AUDL.  

3. Atlanta Hustle (+1)
Record: 3-0
Most recent result: Win, 21-17 vs Austin

Each week it seems a new member of the Hustle elevates to the status of star player, with Dean Ramsey taking center stage last Friday night and having a career performance against the Sol. The 28-year-old finished with five total scores, 319 receiving yards, and a block while averaging over 44 yards per touch; Ramsey eclipsed his 2022 receiving season total (316 yards) in one game. Christian Olsen continues to be one of the most reliable decision makers in the league, and has just two turnovers on over 114 touches through three starts.   

2. Colorado Summit (+1)
Record: 3-0
Most recent result: Win, 26-14 vs Seattle

The Colorado defense continued their demolition of opposing offenses, finishing with double digits blocks for the third straight game.  Five different players already have four or more blocks, and Cody Spicer is fourth on the team in completions despite playing 70 of his 71 total points on D-line. The Summit are averaging the most break scores per contest in the league, and are limiting opponents to just 15 goals per game. If Jonathan Nethercutt continues to hold his seven assists per game average, it would rank as the most lethal season of his acclaimed career. 

1. New York Empire (-)
Record: 3-0
Most recent result: Win, 18-17 (OT) at DC

Having spent the bulk of the last few months soaking in the hype around the “new look” Breeze, the emphasis of Jeff Babbitt’s primal yell when he scored New York’s game-clinching goal in overtime really drove home the point of why the Empire are the reigning champs. When it comes to the details—making the right throw, beating the opposition to the spot, owning the front cone—New York is second to none. They committed just 11 errors as a team against a great DC defense in Week 3, and Ryan Osgar looked every bit his MVP self with eight scores, 450 total yards, and zero turnovers. Osgar, Jack Williams, and Solomon Rueschemeyer-Bailey—New York’s top three highest usage throwers—have a combined 280 completions compared to just nine throwaways through their first three games.  

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