The number in parenthesis corresponds to the respective team’s change in the ranking from last week.
1. Orlando Apollos (-)
— Orlando Apollos (@aafAPOLLOS) March 17, 2019
The loss isn’t enough to unseat this Alliance’s number one team. The Hotshots came into Orlando with a chip on their shoulder and came out with a big win. Aside from his touchdown, the Alliance’s leader in receiving yards WR Charles Johnson disappeared in this one. RB D’Ernest Johnson uncharacteristically was a non-factor in this one in well. Still, with the depth of talent on this roster and QB Garrett Gilbert’s arm, Orlando is still the team to beat in the AAF. Next week they look to get back on track in Atlanta who just had an ugly loss in San Antonio.
2. San Antonio Commanders (-)
— San Antonio Commanders (@aafcommanders) March 17, 2019
This was an assertive win for the Commanders who now control their own destiny from here on out in the Western Conference. There wasn’t any stats that jumped off the page in this one. San Antonio spread the wealth out to to their Tight Ends and WR Mekale McKay. RB Kenneth Farrow got some much needed rest, for he’s been running wild all season. He only saw nine attempts for 35 yards but still managed to punch in a touchdown. His lack of usage did result in losing the rushing title for the time being. Hotshots RB Jhurell Pressley squeaked ahead by three yards. I still think by the end of the season Farrow pulls ahead. The Commanders look to extend their hold on the Western Conference as they host the Salt Lake Stallions next week.
3. Birmingham Iron (-)
— Birmingham Iron (@aafiron) March 18, 2019
Another team stagnant in their ranking. The Iron hung tough with San Diego and needed to put up a season high 32 points to get the job done. In arguably the most exciting game all season, the offensively shallow Iron got involved in the shootout they needed to prove themselves as a top tier team in the league. It appeared when they lost to the Orlando Apollos in week five that the Iron couldn’t keep up in a contest like this. It was the first game we really saw QB Luis Perez ball out. WR L’Damian Washington came out of nowhere with 128 yards receiving and two touchdowns after recording just 122 yards on the season before this contest.
Side note: Trent Richardson had seven catches in this game. That is unheard of from a tuck and run type of back like he is. Many believe he deserves another shot in the NFL and I would have to disagree. The only stat those people are looking at is his league leading nine rushing touchdowns. On the season he has 91 rushing attempts for 227 yards, good for ninth in the league and 2.49 yards per carry. His inability to hit the holes in the offensive line still remains to be a huge problem. Next they travel to Memphis for a rematch with the Express.
4. San Diego Fleet (-)
— San Diego Fleet (@AAFFleet) March 18, 2019
At first I had Arizona here, but San Diego has had a more consistent season overall. Putting up 29 points on the Iron’s defense is no easy feat, and Dontez Ford’s 182 receiving yards on just three catches sure helps. QB Mike Bercovici tossed the ball 32 times for 311 yards and three touchdowns. The two interceptions caused the Iron to capitalize on field position, but overall you can’t be too down on a team that can have this type of performance on the Alliance’s number one defense. On tap is a matchup in Arizona to decide who gets to take second behind the Commanders.
5. Arizona Hotshots (+1)
— Arizona Hotshots (@aafhotshots) March 17, 2019
What a strange track record for this team. They nearly give Memphis their first win, and then they waffle against Salt Lake and Atlanta to give both of those teams their first wins. Finally, they go into Orlando and hand the best team in the league their first loss. The Hotshots proved they could win against any team if QB John Wolford keeps the ball out of the other team’s hands. RBs Jhurell Pressley, Tim Cook and Justin Stockton formed the three-headed monster needed to give this offense balance. The way to beat this team is to make Wolford throw it too much. If you stuff the run game, Wolford will force the ball into an unfavorable position. Next, they look to continue their momentum against the San Diego Fleet.
6. Salt Lake Stallions (+2)
— The Alliance (@TheAAF) March 16, 2019
It’s getting hard to hold out hope for these bottom three teams. They seem to be trading places at the bottom of these rankings. The Stallions come off a win however, embarrassing the Express. The Stallions took advantage of the Express’ inconsistent offense and rode to victory on the back of their Tight Ends, each of whom caught a touchdown and had over 40 yards receiving. Still, this team struggles with turnovers and can’t seem to get a week-to-week offensive game plan together. This weekend they’ll be playing the Commanders, who just put up 37 points in Atlanta.
7. Atlanta Legends (-2)
— Atlanta Legends (@AafLegends) March 17, 2019
QB Aaron Murray’s magic had to end sooner or later, but I did not expect the result to be so low. Murray was staying in check-down city, managing only 215 yards on 40 attempts. His three interceptions buried the Legends and they were never able to recover. Murray has a bright future ahead of him and I believe he can even out his season. This was a big lesson for the young quarterback. Hopefully he takes that lesson with him when he hosts the powerhouse Orlando Apollos next week.
8. Memphis Express (-1)
#️⃣2️⃣ in the building.
— Memphis Express (@aafexpress) March 18, 2019
Maybe I am biased, but I think this game goes different if Mettenberger’s ankle doesn’t take him out of the game. RBs Zac Stacy and Terrence Magee were once the bright spot on this roster, but now have become more of a liability as of late. They cannot consistently put up the performance needed to get down the field, and the Express lacks a quarterback who can throw them back on schedule when it comes to down and distance. We’ll see if Johnny Manziel is the cure to this team’s struggles, but who knows if he’ll even be ready to start by their game with the Birmingham Iron this weekend. Something tells me that a quarterback who has been disgraced by two professional leagues already will only bring this team media exposure, not wins.