The Atlanta Legends were hosting their second home game of the season, and it was against fellow Eastern Conference straggler Memphis Express. Both teams managed to win their first games of the season lastweek, which removed the most pressing issue this week, but with both clubs trailing the red hot and undefeatedOrlando Apollos (who have to be considered the favorite for the inaugural title, right?).
Over 10,000 fans were on hand at Georgia State Stadium to watch a back-and-forth game between the two worst teams in the AAF. After the barnburner in San Diego Saturday night, it was good to see the Sunday games follow suit, and the Legends came out on top 23-20, moving into sole possession of third place in the Eastern Conference (2-3), while the Express joined Salt Lake at 1-4.
Some questions we have entering this weekend’s action:
Will the Orlando Apollos remain undefeated, or will the Birmingham Iron find a way to win and move into first place in the Eastern Conference?
Can the Salt Lake Stallions find their first victory on the road this season against the San Diego Fleet?
Will the Memphis Express and Atlanta Legends rush for more than 100 yards combined?
Will the winner between the San Antonio Commanders and Arizona Hotshots take over first place in the Western Conference, or will they be joined by a victorious Fleet?
Overall attendance has declined every week during the season. Will this trend continue? (The average attendance of the four hosts this weekend is 12,665 over six games)
We have four original matchups this weekend, and three will have a direct impact on what teams are at the top of each division at the midway point of the season. Let’s take a look at this weekend’s matchups:
The Birmingham Iron fell from the ranks of the undefeated, leaving the Orlando Apollos as the only remaining undefeated team in the inaugural AAF season. The teams meet this weekend, so we’ll have to see if Birmingham can take over the Eastern Conference lead by knocking off the current leader.
Let’s take a look at the individual categories:
For the second week in a row, the Offensive Player of the Week was not a quarterback, despite the league remaining a passing-dominated league. Over 60% of total yards over four weeks has been passing yards, but with the top quarterbacks not having exceptional games, it makes a lot of sense that the PotW was a running back for the second week in a row (more on this in the next section).
Garrett Gilbert continues to lead the league in most of the major passing categories. Beyond the ones on the chart below,he also leads in average net yard per attempt, which factors in yards lost via sacks and interception returns (he still has not thrown an interception). His average of 9.63 in this metric is nearly three yards ahead of the next qualifying quarterback (John Wolford’s 6.65), helping to prove that he is by far the best quarterback at this point of the season.
We have the same nine qualifying quarterbacks (14 pass attempts per team game scheduled), so even though Christian Hackenberg didn’t play last week, he still makes the chart. He’ll likely drop off next week, so we’ll have to see who makes the cut at the midpoint next week.
One team was leading their conference after a dominant performance to close out last week. The other was winless on the season and starting a new quarterback after a former top NFL pick proved ineffective. On paper, the game seemed pretty one-sided, with the host team likely entering next week’s game still looking for their first win on the season. But they don’t play games on paper, even in the AAF.
Early on, it seemed that the Fleet would run away with the game, but the Express were resilient and kept it close. In the end, however, the Express defense came up with a huge stop and forced a turnover, and the Express won their first game of the season 26-23 in front of 13,621 fans at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium.
AAF Week 4 Schedule and Picks It’s Week 4 in the Alliance! Thus far, we have two undefeated teams, as well as two winless teams, with those four teams competing in the Eastern Conference. In the Western Conference, we have already concluded one set of season series, with the teams splitting the games thus far. … Read moreAlliance of American Football – Week 4 Preview
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 1and 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):