AAF Stat Leaders
We are three weeks into the inaugural Alliance of American Football season, and there has been some separation in some of the statistical categories after an amazing week of football. We have three teams at 2-0, and one of those teams had both the Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week.
Let’s take a look at the individual categories:
During the previous two weeks, quarterbacks have been the ones highlighted as Offensive Players of the Week, with John Wolford of the Arizona Hotshots and Garrett Gilbert of the Orlando Apollos securing the honors during Weeks 1 and 2. However, that wasn’t the case this week, but it doesn’t mean that either quarterback has stopped performing. Gilbert remains the only qualifying quarterback that has yet to throw an interception, while Wolford leads the league in touchdown passes.
The bottom of these rankings might see a change next week, as Zach Mettenberger has been named as the starter for the Memphis Express, replacing the very ineffective Christian Hackenberg. I doubt that Mettenberger will qualify to be on the list next week – he’d have to throw the ball 44 times on Saturday – but he’s been efficient in his limited time thus far, throwing for 120 yards and two touchdowns.
By quarterback rating (using the NFL formula), here’s how the eight qualifiers (minimum 42 pass attempts (14 per team game scheduled) stack up currently. (Stats courtesy of AAF.com game reports; quarterback rating via author calculation):
The Offensive Player of the Week for Week 3 went to San Diego Fleet running back Ja’Quan Gardner, who is now in possession of a couple of rushing records for the young league. His 122 yards last week is the new single-game high, and that performance was highlighted by an 83-yard run, the longest offensive play in league history. He’s also the only running back with multiple 100-yard games with two.
After adding three more touchdowns, the Birmingham Iron’s Trent Richardson continues to lead the league in touchdowns, with six through three games. He also leads the league in carries, though he is still not that efficient, averaging less than 2.5 yards per carry on the season. He has also not had a run longer than 10 yards.
Here’s the current top 10 in rushing yards:
Charles Johnson of the Apollos maintains his lead in receiving yards, yards per game, and yards per catch. He is the only receiver in the league with over 300 yards, though that was aided by his near 200-yard game during Week 2. Rashad Ross of the Hotshots continues to lead in receptions and touchdowns, with Mekale McKay of the San Antonio Commanders leading in targets (his catch percentage is only 40.7%, which is worst among the leaders.
Here’s the current top 10 in receiving yards:
The Defensive Player of the Week also came from the Fleet, with linebacker A.J. Tarpley claiming the award due to his 27-yard interception return for touchdown. Tarpley, like many of the other players in the league, spent some time in the NFL, playing one season with the Buffalo Bills after signing as an undrafted free agent. However, he might hold the distinction as the only “retired” player playing in the Alliance, as he retired after that season citing concerns about concussions. Whether or not that means he would go back to the NFL if called, but it’s an interesting story regardless.
Linebacker DeMarquis Gates of the Express is the league’s leader in tackles with 23 (19 solo) through three games. Also, Salt Lake Stallions defensive end Karter Schult continues to lead the league in sacks after picking up another one on Saturday, and is all alone in the lead with four. Week 1 Defensive Player of the Week Terence Garvin leads the league with three interceptions, with 18 players having at least one interception.
AAF League Attendance
With the first home games played in Atlanta and Salt Lake City, every team has hosted at least on home game now. Overall, though twelve games, the league is averaging nearly 18,000 in attendance per game, which I’m sure the league is ecstatic about. However, only two teams – the Orlando Apollos and San Antonio Commanders – are drawing above that average. It will be interesting to see how this number changes over the rest of the season.
Here’s a look at average attendance and the number of home games each team has hosted thus far. Three of the four teams with one home game will be hosts this weekend, leaving the Atlanta Legends as the odd team out:
- San Antonio Commanders – 28,517 (2 games)
- Orlando Apollos – 20,293 (2 games)
- San Diego Fleet – 17,404 (2 games)
- Birmingham Iron – 17,179 (2 games)
- Arizona Hotshots – 15,000 (1 game)
- Memphis Express – 11,980 (1 game)
- Atlanta Legends – 10,717 (1 game)
- Salt Lake Stallions – 10,641 (1 game)
Week 3 Power Rankings
After three games, we have two undefeated teams remaining, and both play in the Eastern Conference, and both will be playing 1-2 teams from the Western Conference this week. Both winless teams also reside in the East, and they’ll be playing the leaders out West. Should make for some interesting moves around the standings, and the power rankings below.
All that said, here’s how we envision the league at the moment:
- Orlando Apollos (3-0)
- Birmingham Iron (3-0)
- San Diego Fleet (2-1)
- Arizona Hotshots (2-1)
- Salt Lake Stallion (1-2)
- San Antonio Commanders (1-2)
- Atlanta Legends (0-3)
- Memphis Express (0-3)
Only seven more weeks to go and it should be exciting! Be sure to check back in this weekend to see what we think about this weekend’s slate of games.
Until next time…