Power Rankings: Week 2
Week 2 is in the books and we have some movement in the rankings, including a new #8 team. Who’s it going to be?
#1: Orlando Apollos (2-0)
Last Week: #1
Last week there was doubt, but after coming back from down 12 not once, but twice, to beat the Commanders, the Apollos have earned their #1 spot. Garrett Gilbert threw for just under 400 yards to pace a league best 37 points this week. The defense didn’t play their best game, but made stops when it mattered most, including another pick six.
#2: Arizona Hotshots (2-0)
Last Week: #3
Like Orlando, Arizona found themselves in a big hole, but managed to climb out of it and stay undefeated. It was the most impressive win of the weekend until Orlando’s comeback. Their resilience is what moved them up, but there are still concerns after John Wolford struggled with two interceptions this week. Still, their performance was significantly better than Birmingham, causing them to jump the Iron in this week’s rankings.
#3: Birmingham Iron (2-0)
Last Week: #2
The Iron were close to dropping even further, but their defense and some serious luck got them to 2-0 this week. You can’t rely on a kicker going 1-4, but props to Birmingham for putting the Salt Lake kicker in rough field goal spots to begin with. The strip on the kick return shouldn’t have stood, but it was one hell of an effort so I’m going to give credit where it’s due. The offense needs to be better moving forward if they want to compete with Orlando in the East, but their defense is keeping the Iron in games.
#4: San Antonio Commanders (1-1)
Last Week: #5
You could make the case that San Antonio, the league leader in attendance, should be higher after they almost beat Orlando, but almost isn’t good enough. Don’t be shocked if they keep moving up though. Despite giving up 37 points, the Commanders defense is legit. They just didn’t match up well against the Apollos, particularly in the secondary. Not every team can chuck it deep like Spurrier’s group; however, so don’t be surprised when the Commanders hold teams to low scores.
#5: Salt Lake City Stallions (0-2)
Last Week: #4
Having an 0-2 team ahead of a 1-1 team might seem unfair, but the Stallions really should have beaten the Iron. Their kicker put in a Cody Parkey-esque performance, going 1-4 on field goals including hitting the post on one. That’s how good teams lose close games. Their defense did a great job limiting Luis Perez and Trent Richardson to just 6 points, with the other score coming on a poorly officiated special teams play. We’ll see what Salt Lake is really made of in their rematch against Arizona this coming week.
#6: San Diego Fleet (1-1)
Last Week: #7
Phillip Nelson finally got the offense going, although it did take a while due to his receivers dropping passes left and right. Still, they got the win over a poor Atlanta team. If you want to be successful, you have to beat the bad teams and that’s what San Diego did. Their matchup against San Antonio this week will go a long way in showing us how much they’ve improved.
#7: Memphis Express (0-2)
Last Week: #8
Memphis nearly moved up a bunch more with their strong defensive showing against Arizona, but their offense is a real piece of work. Christian Hackenberg, the Jay Culter of the AAF, is not the leader the Express need right now. He can’t throw the ball more than 10 yards down field and in this league, or any league, that just won’t work. With an offense as inept as the Express have, they’re going to keep finding themselves on the wrong side of big comebacks. They need to change quarterbacks if they want to win.
#8: Atlanta Legends (0-2)
Last Week: #6
The Legends once again started strong, scoring a touchdown and a field goal before San Diego got on the board, but penalties really hurt Atlanta down the stretch. In another rain-soaked game, the Legends couldn’t get off the field when it mattered most, and then couldn’t answer with touchdowns when they absolutely needed to. They did show improvement, but not nearly as much as the other 0-2 teams.