AAF Power Rankings: Hotshots Continue to Fall

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The Alliance of American Football is halfway through season one. Orlando continues to be the class of the Alliance as the only undefeated team remaining. How do the rest of the teams line up behind them? Let’s see how they stack up through five weeks.

1.Orlando Apollos, 5-0 (No Change)
Previous Week: 31-14 win at Birmingham Iron
Upcoming: vs Arizona Hotshots

The only undefeated team remaining in the Alliance got it done against the Birmingham Iron on both ends. For all the accolades and highlights that the Orlando offense gets, the defense for Orlando has also consistently played at a high level. Keith Reaser, the Orlando corner, is in the conversation for best corner in the Alliance. Reaser had a pick six this week to get his third interception of the year. He’ll likely be responsible for shutting down Arizona’s Rashad Ross this coming week.

2. San Antonio Commanders, 3-2 (No Change)
Previous Week: 29-25 win at Arizona Hotshots
Upcoming: at Atlanta Legends

San Antonio had one of the best starts to a game you could imagine this week. They got off to a 26 point lead in the first half which was the largest lead in an AAF game since week one. It’s a little concerning that they almost let Arizona back into the game with sloppy play in the second half. The Commanders will need to tighten their defense up against Aaron Murray and the Atlanta Legends this week.

3. San Diego Fleet, 3-2 (Up 1 Spot)
Previous Week: 27-25 win vs Salt Lake Stallions
Upcoming: vs Birmingham Iron

When Philip Nelson went out with a clavicle injury, people expected the Fleet to lean on their strong running game. Instead, Mike Martz went out and had Mike Bercovici throw the ball 43 times. Bercovici made the most of it, leading the Fleet to a big win over the Stallions on a last-second field goal. The Fleet pass rush also helped them get the win, and could be in for a feast against the Iron.

4. Birmingham Iron, 3-2 (Down 1 Spot)
Previous Week: 31-14 loss vs Orlando Apollos
Upcoming: at San Diego Fleet

The Iron made a switch at quarterback against Orlando, moving to former Washington star Keith Price after some uninspired play from Luis Perez. Price should be the starter moving forward due to the inconsistency shown by Perez in the first few weeks. Telling stat of the week: going into week five, Perez hadn’t thrown a touchdown pass. In week five he did: a pick-six by Keith Reaser for a touchdown for the Apollos.

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5. Atlanta Legends, 2-3 (Up 2 Spots)
Previous Week: 23-20 win vs Memphis Express
Upcoming: vs San Antonio Commanders

Everyone get on the Aaron Murray hype train because it’s only going to be picking up speed. The Legends look much different with Murray’s ability to stretch the field and his quickness in progressing through reads. The Murray-Tarean Folston backfield gives the Legends some stability on offense, and the defense showed great instincts for getting to the quarterback against Memphis with 13 quarterback hits. Expect lots of disruptions from the Legends against Commanders quarterback Logan Woodside next week.

6. Salt Lake Stallions, 1-4 (Up 2 Spots)
Last Week: 27-25 loss at San Diego Fleet
Upcoming: vs Memphis Express

Salt Lake is the best one-win team in the Alliance. They lost on a last-second field goal to San Diego and put up a good fight at home the week before against the Orlando Apollos, the league’s best team. Josh Woodrum needs to do a better job holding onto the ball and limiting turnovers. If the Stallions can limit their turnovers and keep up their good work on defense, there’s no reason they can’t turn the ship around and put together a string of wins.

7. Arizona Hotshots, 2-3 (Down 2 Spots)
Previous Week: 29-25 loss vs San Antonio Commanders
Upcoming: at Atlanta Legends

After a hot start for Hotshots quarterback John Wolford in the first two weeks, he has cooled off considerably. Wolford has been dealing with injury issues that have affected his play in a noticeable way. The Hotshots defense has also struggled to contain opposing passing attacks, allowing Logan Woodside and Aaron Murray to have good games in back-to-back weeks. Arizona will have to pull their socks up this week when they travel to Orlando to face the dynamic offense of the Apollos.

8. Memphis Express, 1-4 (Down 2 Spots)
Previous Week: 23-20 loss at Atlanta Legends
Upcoming: at Salt Lake Stallions

Despite losing the battle of one-win teams this past week, there are areas of promise for the Express. Defensive end Corey Vereen gathered two more sacks this week to propel himself to third in the league in sacks. The offense showed it has the ability to make big plays with pass plays of 56, 31, and 29 yards. The offense will need to re-establish running back Zac Stacy in week six against the Stallions because if the Express become one-dimensional on offense the Stallions defensive line will cause havoc in the pocket all day.

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