One of the best and most exciting parts of the AAF is watching the play from the quarterback position. Finding good NFL quarterback play is difficult enough, so finding good AAF quarterbacks should be all but impossible. Still, some passers around the league are proving to be diamonds in the rough capable of carrying their teams with their arms. Still, others are proving that there’s a reason on any NFL rosters. Without further ado, here are the AAF quarterback rankings after two weeks of action.
AAF Week Two Quarterback Rankings
1. Garrett Gilbert
The Orlando Apollos have the best quarterback in the AAF, and it’s not even that close. Nobody knew exactly how good Garrett Gilbert was after one week, as just about anyone could have beaten the Atlanta Legends. However, Gilbert’s Week Two performance left no doubt that he is the best quarterback in the league.
Gilbert became the first 300-yard passer in league history on Sunday, throwing for 393 yards, two touchdowns, and no interceptions. Not only did Gilbert put up good stats, but he never gave up and dug his team out of major holes. Gilbert erased two separate 12-point deficits to power Orlando to a 37-29 victory. If Gilbert keeps up this high level of play, he should earn himself another shot in the NFL.
2. John Wolford
Arizona Hotshots quarterback John Wolford was hit-and-miss against the Memphis Express, finishing his night with 194 passing yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions. Despite the pedestrian stat line, Wolford saved his best work for the final half. Wolford completed six of his seven second-half pass attempts, with the lone incompletion coming on a drop. He showed a flair for the dramatic, leading an impressive fourth-quarter comeback. Facing an 18-6 deficit, Wolford led his team on two consecutive scoring drives to take the lead. Wolford even threw the game-winning touchdown pass to running back Tim Cook and ran in a two-point conversion which turned out to be the game-winner.
John Wolford lit up the field in the 2nd half against Memphis – his lone incompletion came on a dropped ball pic.twitter.com/3Za8aBcKgu
— PFF_AAF (@PFF_AAF) February 17, 2019
So far on the season, Wolford has completed 63% of his passes for 469 yards, six touchdowns, and two interceptions. He’s also added 48 yards on the ground while converting three separate two-point conversions. He’s in a class of his own right now leading the best team in the AAF. Come the end of the season, don’t be surprised if Wolford ends up on an NFL roster.
3. Luis Perez
Luis Perez had one of the best Week One performances of any AAF quarterback but came down to Earth in Week Two. Perez attempted 38 passes against the Salt Lake Stallions, converting those attempts into just 184 yards (4.8 yards-per-attempt), no touchdowns, and no interceptions. Still, Perez made a few impressive throws and managed to move the ball when it counted. He should’ve had a beautiful touchdown pass early in the game, but the attempt fell through his receiver’s hands.
Perez has yet to throw a touchdown pass, although he did convert a two-point conversion through the air. So far on the season, Perez has completed 60.6% of his passes for 436 yards while adding 16 yards on the ground. He’s basically nothing more than an exciting game-manager so far.
4. Logan Woodside
He still has a ways to go, but San Antonio Commanders quarterback Logan Woodside is improving on a weekly basis. His final Week Two stat line isn’t anything impressive, as the quarterback finished the night with 223 passing yards, one touchdown, and one interception. However, watching the games show that Woodside could be a young star in the making.
Woodside has one of the best deep arms in the league, and he’s starting to develop better timing with his receivers. He’s done enough to keep the starting job moving forward, and his performance should only improve. The first three quarterbacks on this list are well above him, but Woodside has the potential to join them.
5. Matt Simms
Order these next three however you want, as they’re all pretty terrible. Matt Simms isn’t good, but he’s just good enough to take home the five spot. Simms finished Week Two with an unremarkable 160 passing yards, one touchdown, and one interception. He artificially inflated his stats with quick screen passes and dumpoffs, and he wasn’t capable of holding on to a nine-point lead in the first quarter.
Simms improved dramatically in Week Two, but that speaks more to just how bad he was in Week One. So far on the season, Simms has completed 60.4% of his passes for 286 yards, one touchdown, and three interceptions. It’s hard to imagine that local legend Aaron Murray could do worse than this, and Atlanta could make a quarterback switch as soon as Week Three.
6. Philip Nelson
The San Diego Fleet won in Week Two, but it certainly wasn’t because of their quarterback. Philip Nelson earned the start over Mike Bercovici against the Atlanta Legends but didn’t do much to justify his spot in the lineup. Nelson completed just 14 of his 30 pass attempts for 142 yards, no touchdowns, and one interception. This adds to an ugly Week One where he completed five of his 10 passes for 68 yards and an interception.
Make no mistake, Nelson was bad in Week Two. However, he wasn’t quite as bad as his final box score would indicate. Nelson received no help from his receivers, as the pass catchers dropped at least five or six passes throughout the contest. Additionally, Nelson played in rainy conditions, which naturally limits the passing game. Nelson isn’t a good quarterback, but he’s not quite as bad as his stat line makes him out to be.
7. Christian Hackenberg
Christian Hackenberg is showing why he couldn’t beat out Bryce Petty as a member of the New York Jets. The Memphis Express have a decent roster, but the quarterback position is holding everything back. Memphis blew a 12-point lead, in large part because the Express simply didn’t trust Hackenberg to move the ball. The Penn State product finished his night throwing for just 102 yards, no touchdowns, and no interceptions. The lone bright spot came on the ground, as Hackenberg recorded 39 rushing yards and a touchdown.
Through two weeks of action, Hackenberg is completing 50% of his passes for 189 yards, no touchdowns, and one interception. He’s also fumbled twice while compiling just 44 yards and a touchdown. If he doesn’t show dramatic improvement, it’s only a matter of time before Memphis turns the offense over to Zach Mettenberger or Brandon Silvers.
8. Whoever Starts for Salt Lake
Two weeks, three quarterbacks, zero wins. Such is the life for Salt Lake, who undeniably have the worst quarterback situation in the league. The Stallions trusted Austin Allen to run the offense against the powerful Birmingham Iron defense. This was a bad decision, as Allen finished his night completing under 50% of his passes for a ghastly 3.7 yards-per-attempt. Most of the yardage he did accumulate was due to yards after the catch, as he only completed one pass to a wide receiver.
The Stallions could give the offense back to either Josh Woodrum or Matt Linehan in Week Three, as both players played better than Allen in Week One. Still, neither was particularly good. Woodrum or Linehan could jump up on the rankings, but if they can’t beat out Allen, then they belong at the very bottom of this list.
Embed from Getty Images