AAF Week 6 Power Rankings: Resilient San Diego Fleet rising, Birmingham Iron falling fast
The Orlando Apollos are No. 1 until further notice, while Mike Martz has the Fleet atop the West despite QB injury
Week 5 was, from start to finish, the most entertaining of the season. Two games were decided by game-winning kicks while San Antonio nearly gave away a 26-point lead to Arizona in a wild finish. If the unpredictability of this past weekend tells us anything, it's that there are still five or six teams capable of getting about three playoff spots. (For all intents and purposes, Orlando is the team to beat.)
So what does that mean for this week's power rankings? Three teams -- Arizona, Birmingham and Salt Lake City -- are in free-fall mode. The Hotshots, once the preseason No. 1 team on here, has lost three straight. Birmingham has back-to-back loses and the Stallions, for whatever reason, can't quite finish like they need to.
With the second half of the season officially underway, here's how the AAF power rankings look at the midway point.
1. Orlando Apollos (5-0)
. The Apollos have had an answer for everything and are beating opponents by an average of 14.4 points per game. Up next is a home game against a free-falling Hotshots team followed by two interesting road games against divisional opponents Atlanta and Memphis -- both of which have changed their quarterbacks. Previously No. 1.
2. San Antonio Commanders (3-2)
I'm not sure what was more impressive: jumping out to a 26-0 halftime lead against the Hotshots, or nearly squandering all of it in the second half. The Commanders have firepower, that's for sure. Receiver Mekale McKay (91 yards on 5 catches Sunday) is a star and one of the best three or four receivers in the league. San Antonio is No. 2 because they're playing like one of the best teams in the AAF ... until they're not. In which case they could be somewhere between No. 2 and No. 6. Who knows! Previously: No. 3
3. San Diego Fleet (3-2)
Steve Spurrier is the favorite to win, but Mike Martz is the only other viable candidate at the moment. He has this team above .500, tied for first in the division and won his first game without starting quarterback Philip Nelson, who is out with a clavicle injury. The Fleet needed their defense to step up against Salt Lake City on Saturday, and they did with two non-offensive touchdowns: a scoop-and-score and pick-six. Previously: No. 4
4. Birmingham Iron (3-2)
Two straight losses have been revealing, but there's potential with quarterback Keith Price coming off the bench. The next month will be fascinating, though. Four of the next five games, including a pair of divisional matchups, are on the road. If Price can play like he did against Orlando -- accumulating nearly 250 yards of offense and keeping plays alive -- the Iron can weather this storm. They are, on paper, one of the two best teams in the East division. Previously: No. 2
5. Arizona Hotshots (2-3)
This has been a bizarre three-game slide, but in erasing a 26-0 deficit and nearly coming from behind to beat the Commanders, the Hotshots showed why they're still one of the most exciting teams in the AAF. John Wolford can sling it and Rashad Ross will be catching passes in the NFL next fall. If Arizona can get it together they have as good a shot as making the playoffs as any team in the West. But first, they have to stop the bleeding. Going to Orlando in Week 6 isn't exactly the best remedy for that. Previously: No. 6
6. Atlanta Legends (2-3)
Back-to-back wins and the Legends have started to crawl their way out of the basement. The offense has found its mojo with Aaron Murray and a home game against the Commanders in Week 6 is a huge opportunity to get to .500. There's still some work to be done to be one of the top two teams in the East, but the signs are more promising now than just a couple of weeks ago. Previously: No. 8
7. Salt Lake Stallions (1-4)
The Stallions are a whopping five points from being 3-2 and in the top four of the power rankings. So, yeah,. Ultimately, though, you are what your record says you are, and Salt Lake City has one win (which started Arizona's three-game skid, mind you, so it looks even less impressive by the week). Despite having a ferocious defensive front, a solid running game and a decent quarterback, this team hasn't been able to finish. Until they do, to the power rankings cellar they go. Previously: No. 5
8. Memphis Express (1-4)
Previously: No. 7
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