Week Five AAF Power Rankings

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AAF Power Rankings
TEMPE, ARIZONA - MARCH 10: John Wolford #7 of the Arizona Hotshots drops back to pass in the first quarter against the San Antonio Commanders during the Alliance of American Football game at Sun Devil Stadium on March 10, 2019 in Tempe, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/AAF/Getty Images)

The tides in the Alliance of American Football league are beginning to turn. The Atlanta Legends no longer look like the worst team in the league. The Hotshots are reeling, suffering their third straight loss. The Fleet continue to look formidable despite losing Phillip Nelson to a fractured clavicle. The week five AAF power rankings are full of surprises, so without further ado, here they are.

AAF Week Five Power Rankings

8. Memphis Express (1-4)

Last Week: 7

The Memphis Express are maximizing their roster that lacks adequate talent. This is a tough, gritty football team that shows a resemblance of the Washington Redskins. The Redskins are always a tough game on a schedule, but never good enough to be a true threat. The Express go toe to toe each and every week, nearly beating the Iron, Apollos, and Hotshots this season. Their recent loss to the Legends was in large part due to a late Zach Mettenberger interception.

Running back Zac Stacy can only do so much with a pedestrian offensive line. Despite the losses, Stacy continues to prove he can play again at the next level. Stacy contributed two touchdowns Sunday against the Legends, bringing his season total to three.

All the Express can do at this point is to keep playing hard. Not all teams are created equally, and unfortunately for the Express, they find more ways to lose than win.

7. Arizona Hotshots (2-3)

Last Week: 6

So much disappointment from this team. After week one’s victory against the Stallions, most people were ready to crown them the Western Conference champions. John Wolford had a masterful day, throwing for four touchdowns and 275 yards, looking like an early season MVP.

Fast forward four weeks and now look at the Hotshots. Losers of three of their last four, the Hotshots look like they are hitting rock bottom. At this point, their only bright spot is receiver Rashad Ross, who hauled in another touchdown and broke the 100-yard barrier once again. Ross leads the league in receiving touchdowns with six, including at least one in every game this season.

The Hotshots latest loss to the Commanders included a season-high five turnovers. The Hotshots continue to shoot themselves in the foot. Last week, it was giving up a safety to the Legends, and this week, Wolford gave the ball away four times by himself. With five weeks left of the regular season, the Hotshots don’t have much more room for error.

6. Salt Lake Stallions (1-4)

Last Week: 4

The Stallions have had an unlucky first half schedule. Playing the Hotshots twice, Iron, Apollos, and Fleet is a brutal schedule to open the first five weeks on the season. Despite the challenges, every week but week one the Stallions have had a chance to win each game. Poor late-game execution has cost the Stallions a better record.

Stallions quarterback Josh Woodrum put forth his worst effort of the season in Saturday night’s nail-biting loss to the Fleet. Woodrum put up a season-best 348 yards on 31 completions but threw three interceptions, all to Fleet cornerback Kameron Kelly. The running game was nonexistent, but Woodrum still put the Stallions in position to win late.

The Stallions need to start winning because another loss could put them in a deeper hole to make the playoffs. With the Commanders and Fleet both coming off victories, the Stallions next couple of games are must wins to stay in the playoff hunt.

5. Atlanta Legends (2-3)

Last Week: 8

That’s right! You see it correctly. Making the biggest jump of the week is the Atlanta Legends, jumping up three spots to get out the basement of the AAF. The Legends look like a dangerous team coming off a narrow victory over the Express. With quarterback Aaron Murray finally getting his opportunity to start this week, Murray came through big for the Legends. Murray completed 27 of 43 passes for 306 yards and a touchdown. Murray has come in and changed the whole dynamic of this Legends offense.

The Legends defense is coming into form as well. Tyson Graham, Jr. had himself a game. Graham, Jr. intercepted Mettenberger late to help the Legends secure the go-ahead field goal, then, on the final play of the game, recovered a fumble. The Legends continue to get timely stops and continue to play well. If the Legends can continue their balance, they have a real shot of making the playoff by season’s end.

4. Birmingham Iron (3-2)

Last Week: 2

Luis Perez’Β time at quarterback may be over after backup quarterback Keith Price ignited the Iron passing game. For the last several weeks, Perez has put forth pedestrian numbers, and after starting the game with three of seven completions for four yards, and a pick-six, Iron head coach Tim Lewis had enough. Keith Price threw the Iron’s first touchdown of the season, the last team in the AAF to do so. Price finished with 234 yards, completing 62 percent of his passes. Price’s efforts were not enough, as the Iron fell to a superior Apollos team.

Just like other teams have done in the Alliance, the Iron will look to their backup quarterback to lead their troops. The Iron offense has not scored consistently all season long. The Iron finally took deep shots down the field with Price at the reigns, a promising sign for the Iron. Teams shut down the Iron run game and force the Iron to pass, and that game plan has worked two weeks in a row for the Commanders and Apollos.

If the Iron cannot get their offense to become a threat, we could see the Iron fizzle out like the Jacksonville Jaguars did this season in the NFL. A team built on defense like the Iron are can divide locker rooms. When the offense cannot hold up their end of the bargain, the defense is forced to be on the field longer. The Iron will need to do some soul searching for the offense.

3. San Diego Fleet (3-2)

Last Week: 5

The Fleet showed impressive resilience in their 27-25 win against the Stallions. Fleet quarterback Mike Bercovici put forth a solid effort, bouncing back from his poor week one performance in the Fleet loss to the Commanders. Bercovici was last seen all over social media with his helmet rolling around on the ground. Now, following his 22 for 43, 304 yard passing day along with a touchdown and interception, Bercovici has the Fleet poised for a playoff run.

The Fleet forced five turnovers in their big win over the Stallions. Kameron Kelly put forth one of the best defensive performances of the season, netting five tackles and three interceptions, one of them going for six. Defensive end Damontre Moore added two sacks of his own, and Jordan Martin added another defensive touchdown with his 41 yard fumble return touchdown.

The Fleet are dangerous in all three fazes of the game: offense, defense, and special teams. Despite losing Phillip Nelson for the season, the Fleet offense continues to thrive. The Fleet are finding new ways to win, which will be valuable heading down the home stretch of the regular season.

2. San Antonio Commanders (3-2)

Last Week: 3

After two losses in a row to the Fleet and Apollos, the Commanders have won two straight against two tough teams. After absolutely dominating the Iron with their rushing attack last week, the Commanders used the arm of Logan Woodside to carve up the Hotshots secondary.Β  Woodside threw for 290 yards and two touchdowns, dominating the game in the first half. Running back Kenneth Farrow did not need to carry the load this week, showing the versatility of Mike Riley‘s offense. One week, they can run it down anyone’s throat. The next week, they can beat you through the air.

This Commanders’ defense has been tenacious. Over the last two weeks, the Commanders have forced eight total turnovers, absolutely swarming the field. From the first drive against the Hotshots, the Commanders defense set the tone with a 66 yard pick six from Derron Smith. Although the Hotshots offense rallied late, the Commanders still played a dominant game.

The Commanders will be tough to beat these next couple of weeks. The offense is finding ways to generate explosive plays, the defense is opportunistic creating turnovers, and their coach has a ton of confidence in his players.

1. Orlando Apollos (5-0)

Last Week: 1

The Apollos are the best team by a mile. Quarterback Garrett Gilbert is the front runner for MVP, receiver Charles Johnson cannot be guarded, and head ball coach Steve Spurrier is the best play caller in the AAF. The Apollos latest blowout victory against the Iron prove how dominant their offense and defense can be. Most teams consider the Apollos the best offensive team in the AAF.Β  But the Apollos defense has proven important to the success of this Apollos team.

Keith Reaser has been the leader of this Apollos team. He has a team-high three interceptions on the season, including a pick-six against the Iron at the beginning of the game. Running backsΒ D’Ernest Johnson andΒ De’Veon Smith form a two-headed monster in the backfield, with Smith rushing for 119 yards against the Iron. This Apollos team is full of former NFL talent all over the field, and simply looks unbeatable.

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