AAF playoff picture: Here's where every team stands as the season's second half begins

The AAF, first and foremost, is a league designed to develop. That applies to everyone: players, coaches, even officials. Getting them to (or back to) the NFL is the main goal. Yes, winning is important, but it's sort of a 1A/1B goal with development. 

Still, the Alliance has a regular season, playoffs and a championship game, so there's something to play for at the end of it all. As the second half of the season gets underway, we'll be tracking how all eight teams are doing in the playoff hunt from best to worst. The four-team playoff will be held on the weekend of April 20 with the higher-seeded teams hosting semifinals. The championship game will be held in Las Vegas on April 27. 

Check out where every team stands below heading into the weekend. You can also view expanded standings here and the remaining schedule here

Playoff bound

No team has secured a playoff spot yet. 

Looking good

Orlando Apollos (5-0 overall, 3-0 vs. division): Get used to seeing the Apollos up here. Unless they lose quarterback Garrett Gilbert for some reason (knock on wood), this team is almost certainly playoff bound. In fact, they're likely bound for the top seed out of the East and may be able to secure as much in the coming weeks. 

San Antonio Commanders (3-2 overall, 2-1 vs. division): While you're never quite sure what to expect out of the Commanders, they have a few things going for them. First, they're tied with the Fleet for the West lead (albeit by one game). Second, they have one of the better offenses, and offense matters. Finally, they're getting ready to come back home after a month on the road. After Week 6, three of their final four games are in the Alamodome. 

San Diego Fleet (3-2, 2-1 vs. division): The Fleet beat -- nay, whipped -- San Antonio 31-11 in Week 3, so at the very least they can compete with the top of the division. The next five weeks are going to be huge for the Fleet, who get one more game against Salt Lake City and two games against Arizona. A lot can be secured, or lost, in that span. 

Work to be done

Birmingham Iron (3-2 overall, 2-1 vs. division): I'm mixed on the Iron. They're still in better shape at the moment than the Legends, who are the only other realistic playoff option out of the East, but that could change. Another factor in this equation is quarterback Keith Price. He came off the bench against Orlando and played better than Luis Perez. If that's the direction the offense goes, maybe the Iron firm up a playoff spot in the next few weeks. 

Atlanta Legends (2-3 overall, 1-2 vs. division): The Legends actually look like formidable playoff contenders with two straight wins. Switching to quarterback Aaron Murray was key, but overall this team has played more cohesively (and it has a kicker, Younghoe Koo, with ice water in his veins). A game against the Commanders in Week 6 -- the Legends are a slight home favorite -- won't change the East standings, but it'll say a lot about whether Atlanta could make a run. 

Arizona Hotshots (2-3 overall, 1-2 vs. division): The Hotshots are trending in the wrong direction, but there's still hope of being a top two team in the West. It has an explosive offense, ranking second in points per game, and a capable defense. While it has an overall better record than the Stallions at the moment, Salt Lake City currently has the win. 

Salt Lake Stallions (1-4 overall, 1-2 vs. division): The Stallions already have a win against Arizona, so all is not lost yet. The good news, too, is that two of the final three divisional games are at home. Now, if this team can figure out how to close out a game. 

Needs help

Memphis Express (1-4 overall, 0-3 vs. division): It's still too early in the season to completely give up hope on a team's playoff chances, but the Express are about as close as it comes to full-on looking ahead to next season. Quarterback Zach Mettenberger has lifted the offense, just not enough to win. Memphis needs to be perfect in the second half of the season and get some help to secure a spot. 

Eliminated

No team has been eliminated from playoff contention.

CBS Sports Writer

Ben Kercheval joined CBS Sports in 2016 and has been covering college football since 2010. Before CBS, Ben worked at Bleacher Report, UPROXX Sports and NBC Sports. As a long-suffering North Texas graduate,... Full Bio

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