Lee Ann Herring-Olvedo
It looks likes we might just have us a ball league in the AAF. In just a short month of the leagues’ existence,each week seems to demonstrate more and more just what pro football has been missing in the spring… The Alliance. Week 4 was nothing short of twist and turns from upsets to
comebacks in the AAF. So where does every team stand heading into Week5? Well right now It’s The Ol Ball Coach and the Orland Apollos and then everyone else but the way things are shaping up its anyone’s game in Week 5. Here are the Power Play Rankings for Week 5
Scores From Week 4
San Diego Fleet(2-2) 23 at Memphis Express(1-3) 26
Orlando Apollos(4-0) 20 at Salt Lake Stallions 11(1-3)
San Antonio Commanders (2-2)12 at Birmingham Iron 11 (3-1)
Atlanta Legends(1-3) 14 at Arizona Hotshots 11 (2-2)
#8 Atlanta Legends (1-3)
It was far from pretty and a long way from a perfect win but a win is a win. The Atlanta Legends finally picked up their first win of the season on the Road against the Hotshots. Someone upstairs finally saw that there was nothing Simmering about Matt Simms at QB. It was a good step in the right direction to finally put Aaron Murray in at QB. Even though they only score one touch down their offense seemed to have a bit more zeal. For one Murray dint turn over the ball and with his running abilities helped move the ball more which the Legends have been struggling on. Interested to see if this change will roll over into the next games. While the ace in the hole was the Legends Kicker, Younghoe Koo who is 8-for-8 in the season the Legends is going to need to get by with more than just FGs down the stretch. The Legends will be at home for a Sunday Matinee against the Memphis Express @ 3 PM on the CBS Sports Network
#7 Salt Lake Stallions (1-3)
It seemed that the Stallions had finally found their identity after a huge upset in Week 3 to Arizona at home ending their undefeated streak. While the Stallions were able to rally and take down one undefeated franchise they were not able to do it back to back in Week 4 at home against the Apollos. The setback with this team is it has the potential to make moves up the ranks without the right power plays but the problem is they can’t find the formula to follow thru and finish. They have playmakers on both sides of the ball but even with their contributions, it hasn’t been substantial enough to put together a win. The Stallions head to San Diego to take on the Fleet in a Saturday primetime match-up. The opening snap is set for 7 PM CT on the NFL Network.
#6 Memphis Express(1-3)
Can slow and steady win this race? After a bleak start to their season, it seems that the Express has picked up a little of that “Memphis Mojo” to put themselves on the rise and back on track. The big turnaround was when the Express finally realized that Hackenberg just couldn’t “Hack it” as their QB. The switch to Mettenberger wasn’t a flawless transition but it was a lot more promising than what the Express had to witness for far too long. I think the next couple of weeks will be a better indicator just what direction Metternberger will take the Express but it can’t be worse than it was. As for the defense they have been the ones grinding to keep this train afloat despite being shut out in week 1. This defense has forced 9 turnovers already and has kept their margin of defeat very close despite the shutdown. If both the offense and defense can remain on the rise this train may be on the road to Vegas.
#5 Arizona Hotshots (2-2)
It seems that there is a bit of an identity issue with Arizona ( a bit too early for a crisis) and the question is can the snapback from back to back losses. The team that was the early favorite to win it all in The Alliance seems to be having some issues. They started off hotter than hell and the offense just seem to be unstoppable. QB, John Wolford has not been producing like expected and while they have an explosive RB in Jhurell Presley we all know that one-star player can’t carry a team. The defense hasn’t really come into to its own to make a statement just yet. If the offense doesn’t get back in a flow. The defense is going to need to step up or it’s going to turn into Deja Vu of Week 3 & 4 over and over like a bad dream.
#4 San Diego Fleet (2-2)
This is kind of one of those teams I say is waiting in limbo not quite sure just what they’re going to do next. The talent is there for this team to really pull together some key wins. However, the QB situation is what may sink this ship and their offensive production altogether. They are down to their 3rd string signal caller. The Fleet GM mentioned they are looking to add another QB. I think approaching the midpoint of the season this is a tough challenge to pull off under the circumstances. San Diego stays at home to face Salt Lake in a primetime Saturday showdown in Week 5. The opening snap is set for 7 PM CT on the NFL Network
#3 San Antonio Commanders (2-2)
Talk about a commanding comeback for San Antonio. While they may have a split record if they keep playing the way they do then watch out. The Commanders have had a bit of Jekyll and Hyde persona but they are probably one of the more balanced ball clubs heading into Week 5. Talk about having obstacles stacked against having a road schedule as they have. However, I think what will help this ball club is that their schedule has had them play the better teams of the league earlier and they have stood their ground.
Ther depth is diverse on both sides of the ball. Their playmakers emerge every game and you can expect a new name each week. There defense and secondary have come up big and while they may not be spotlighted they are built Texas Tough that’s for sure. Logan Woodside grows each week even the struggles adapting to pressure situations. Offensively, this team can attack on the groun and in the air which will be a difference maker to keep winning from here on out. Look out for Kenneth Farrow to keep on rushing (Week 4 AAF Offensive player of the week) he may not have a record week every week but you can be sure he’s going to #takecommand on the backfield. The Commanders head to Arizona for Sunday primetime showdown against the Hotshots. The opening snap is set for 7 PM CT from Sun Devil Stadium on the NFL Network.
#2 Birmingham Iron (3-1)
All is not lost for the Iron by any means. This is still one of the tougher franchises in the league and I think they needed this test to be able to really see just where they stand in the bigger picture. In this defeat, it will give the chance to evaluate just what they need to fix heading into the upcoming weeks. The defense for Birmingham has been “Iron Clad” they have been able to make big stops and key plays to keep them in the game.
I think the biggest revelation in their Week 4 loss is the offensive struggles. The Iron have been plagued by the injury of two lineman. QB Luis Perez lack of production and focus and the ware and tear of Richardson. Trent Richardson has been the bread and butter of this offense but week 4 unmasked a bit of the ware and tear on his ability to perform as expected. You cant rely at the pro level on one player to carry an entire offense. I think the fact the Iron is able to see this now may help salvage their season before it takes a turn. The best bet for the Iron is to ease off Richardson and look to his understudy Brandon Ross who had a pretty damn good showing in week4. This could alleviate some stress on the offensive woes and open up some new avenues to produce some TDs. The Iron remains at home to face the Orlando Apollos at Legion field in an early Saturday showdown. The opening snap is slated for 1 PM CT on TNT.
#1 Orlando Apollos (4-0)
Then there was 1. After a month of the play in The Alliance, the Ol Ball Coach and his ball club remain the only undefeated franchise. They braced the elements in Week 4 to come up with a solid win against the Stallions on the road. Not even the snow was going to slow down the Apollos animo to remain victorious. It was the most explosive Apollos performance to date but it was a win under tough conditions. Once again hats off the Apollos explosive offense that continues to set itself apart in due to their QB. Let’s just go ahead and call Garrett Gilbert, Mr. Touchdown. He now leads the league in passing yards with 1,071 yards. It doesn’t hurt that Gilbert has found a partner in crime in Charles Johnson tearing up that backfield who also leads the league in receiving yards with 410 yards. I think what set them apart is their ability to work under pressure and their ability to change the game not just with a solid offense but a stout defensive unit. Much credit has to go to the Apollos offense for wrecking and racking on the gridiron. Terence Garvin and Keith Reaser have been key defensive game changers with multiple interceptions for the Apollos. Earl Okine and Andrew Ankrah are also making noise on defense with three sacks to date. What I like about this ball club is their adaptability and adjustability throughout the game. They never stop playing ball whether they’re ahead or behind. Not to mention those trick plays alone keep it interesting. The Apollos hit the road again to B-Ham to take on the Iron. The opening snap is set for 1 PM CT on Saturday from Legion Field. You can tune in on TNT.
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Lee Ann Herring-Olvedo is a Senior Editor and writer for Main Event Sports. She is a veteran SEC sports journalist, NFL Network content writer, and Brown University, graduate. She loves good cigars, good games and a smooth glass of bourbon — not necessarily in that order.She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @ Misskyus2011