AAF Power Rankings Week 2: Arizona Hotshots No. 1, but where do the other teams rank before second game?
We clear the deck and reshuffle the AAF's eight teams with opening weekend in the books
Ourwere fun and all because they provided something to talk about before the action got started -- but at the end of the day, as you probably surmised, they were guesses and now we're heading into Week 2 ( ).
I'd like to think our initial rankings were educated guesses, as I did catch a few training camp practices and scrimmages, but guesses all the same. Still, it feels good to hit the reset button. It's necessary, even.
With one week down and nine to go before playoffs in April, there are at least tangible results to go off of for this week's power rankings. However, even in reshuffling the deck, a couple of things held true: Arizona and Orlando have the early look of the two best teams in the Alliance, and Memphis ... let's just say the Express have some ground to make up. In the middle is where the most movement took place, with Birmingham shooting up three spots after a shutout win.
Check out this week's power rankings below to see how the rest of the AAF shakes out.
1. Arizona Hotshots (1-0)
No change at the top following the Hotshots' 38-22 win over Salt Lake City. Former Wake Forest quarterback John Wolford looked sharp, delivering strikes down the field and forcing the defense to play honestly with the run. It's apparent that there's even more value on quarterback play in the AAF since this is, at its heart, a developmental league and quarterbacks take time to develop. It's only one week in, but I wonder if the Hotshots will be a chalky pick this season. Previously: No. 1
2. Orlando Apollos (1-0)
Orlando's margin of victory over Atlanta was far greater than Arizona's over Salt Lake, but I have more reservations about the Legends than the Stallions at this early stage. Still, what a first impression for Steve Spurrier's team. The Head Ball Coach might be exactly what quarterback Garrett Gilbert needs to make another run in the NFL. Receiver Jalin Marshall is going to be a problem and linebacker Terence Garvin was our . Previously: No. 2
3. Birmingham Iron (1-0)
The Iron don't appear to be as explosive and fancy as the top two teams in the power rankings, but they are probably going to play possession football to at least a .500 record. Quarterback Luis Perez showed good ball placement against Memphis, plus the Iron played solid defense and special teams in the punting game. When they needed to close things out, running back Trent Richardson got a lot of tough yards. Previously: No. 6
Listen to Brady Quinn and Will Brinson break down opening weekend of the AAF on the Pick Six Podcast:
4. San Antonio Commanders (1-0)
The Commanders' defense looked fast and well-coached in a 15-6 win over San Diego, nabbing three interceptions and sacking Mike Bercovici in the hit heard 'round the country. I heard good things about San Antonio's offense in training camp, though. Can it make strides in the next few weeks? If so, the West division will be stacked. Previously: No. 3
5. Salt Lake City Stallions (0-1)
The Stallions are the first team in the "Loser's Bracket" but I can't in all good consciousness drop them more than a spot even after a 16-point loss to the AAF's top team. Truth be told, I thought they looked good enough to be a top-four team, but I'm not emotionally ready for that type of blowback yet. In any case, Salt Lake looks fun and it has some weapons, and quarterback Matt Linehan displayed some nice pocket presence and throws. After giving up 38 points, though, can the defense turn a corner? Previously: No. 4
6. San Diego Fleet (0-1)
The Fleet have some legit defensive players like edge rusher Damontre Moore and linebacker A.J. Tarpley. I worry about their offensive line and quarterback situation, though. The O-line problem isn't uncommon, but is Bercovici the answer at quarterback? Phillip Nelson didn't inspire a ton of confidence, either. Mike Martz definitely has his work cut out for him. Previously: No. 7
7. Atlanta Legends (0-1)
There aren't many positives to take away from getting a 40 burger hung on you by Orlando. But at least the Legends didn't get shut out. Previously: No. 5
8. Memphis Express (0-1)
Previously: No. 8
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