In the final game of Week 5 action in the Alliance, the San Diego Commanders rushed out to a 26-0 halftime lead but needed to hold on down the stretch as the Arizona Hotshots attempted to mount a comeback.
That comeback came up a little short, with the Commanders holding on to win 29-25 in front of less than 10,000 fans at Sun Devil Stadium in Tucson. The Commanders are now tied with the San Diego Fleet at the top of the Western Conference with 3-2 records, while the Hotshots find themselves alone in third place at 2-3.
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.
The Birmingham Iron entered Sunday afternoon’s game knowing that the Orlando Apollos had already won on Saturday, so the Iron would have to win to keep pace in the Eastern Conference. The Commanders wanted to join the San Diego Fleet at 2-2 (after the Fleet lost to the Memphis Express Saturday night) instead of joining the Salt Lake Stallions at 1-3 in the Western Conference.
The game from Birmingham, in front of a league low 6,539 fans, wasn’t terribly exciting, but the Commanders managed to knock the Iron from the ranks of the unbeaten, leaving the Apollos the lone undefeated team in the league. In a messy game, the Commanders stopped a late drive from the Iron and won 12-11 to join the Fleet at 2-2. The Iron fell to 3-1.
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):