Tuesday, March 5, 2019

2019 Alliance of American Football Power Rankings (Week Four)

A comprehensive recap of the inaugural (and let’s face it, probably only) AAF season — an especially needed service, considering the league is too ghetto to post box scores on its own website.

By: Jimbo X

This Week’s Episode:
“You actually DO win some

Boy, it sure was a long one-week wait in between the Super Bowl and the first week of Alliance of American Football regular season play, wasn’t it?

For those of you not in the know, the Alliance of American Football — or, as the kids on the street call it, the AAF — is a D-league pro football organization created by Charlie Ebersol as a gargantuan tax write-off simply to spite Vince McMahon for restarting the XFL. Oddly enough, the AAF seems rather chummy with the real 800-pound gorilla of the pro football arena (err, stadium?) to the point that they’re actually showing a couple of AAF games on the NFL Network. Shit, they’re actually showing these games LIVE on prime-time CBS television, which, if nothing else, at least makes ‘em a classier and ritzier operation than the UFL.

The AAF has its differences from the mainline NFL product. For one, there are not PAT kicks, so everybody has to go for a 2-point try after each touchdown. Also, there’s no kickoffs, because apparently, football players are pussies now. And there’s also some stuff about referee oversight — i.e., the cameras actually follow the officials into the decision room, so you can hear for yourselves how they fuck up calls — which, if nothing else, should be applauded for trying to establish the illusion of transparency.

Whether or not the AAF makes it to a second season — or even completes one full one, as planned — remains an unknown, but we here at TIIIA are nonetheless committed to chronicling the minor-league pro football experiment live as it happens. And trust me, you’re going to want an armchair historian like me taking note of this stuff, because the AAF itself is so damn cheap that they don’t even publish the box scores from their own games on their own freaking website.

That means we will be here for the next 10 weeks, giving you the statistical skinny on each and every AAF game that’s played, leading us all the way up to the playoffs and eventual championship game, which — of nothing else — serves as a nice bridge in-between the end of the NFL season and the start of the hockey playoffs. And hey, even if the AAF turns out to be one big, giant colossal cluster-turd of a failed football league, at least at gave us SOMETHING to talk about in the sports world besides, ugh, college basketball. And for that reason alone, we ought to be thankful the AAF … if but for the year of our Lord 2019 … at least tried to exist.

And with that out of the way, who’s ready to explore THIS WEEK’S AAF Power Rankings countdown? Hey now — don’t everybody raise their hands at once here!

#001 Orlando Apollos (4-0-0)
Season Point Differential: +055

The Apollos remain the only unbeaten team in the AAF following this weekend’s 20-11 win over Salt Lake. Double G went 22 for 32 on pass attempts, finishing the contest with a very respectable 244 yards and one TD pass — in this case, a 20-yard boomer to receiver Donteea Dye, Jr around the midpoint of the second half. Meanwhile, backs De’Veon Smith and Akeem Hunt combined for 86 total rushing yards on 20 carries, with Hunt punching it into the end zone on the opening stanza of the fourth quarter from two yards out.

#002 Birmingham Iron (3-1-0)
Season Point Differential: +044

The Iron saw their undefeated season dreams come crashing down following a 12-11 upset loss to San Antonio. In the low-scoring affair, Luis Perez hardly impressed, going 19 for 39 passing for 202 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions. Likewise, Trent Richardson — despite scoring Birmingham’s only TD on the day — posted some pretty lackluster stats as well, concluding the game with a mere 15 yards on eight carries.

#003 San Diego Fleet (2-2-0)
Season Point Differential: +020

The Fleet blew a pretty substantial lead heading into the fourth quarter against the previously winless Express, and as a result they dropped a tough 26-23 loss to Memphis over the weekend. On the plus side, at least San Diego can take some solace in knowing they have TWO capable quarterbacks under center; Philip Nelson went 9 for 12 for 110 in the losing effort, while back up Alex Ross — yes, he of Coastal Carolina fame and fortune — wrapped up the game 8 for 18 for 80 passing yards and a one-to-one TD-to-INT ratio.

#004 Arizona Hotshots (2-2-0)
Season Point Differential: +007

The Hotshots fell to the formerly winless Legends over the weekend, losing to Atlanta 14-11. John Wolford went 17 for 31 for 185 yards and one TD pass in the losing bid, with Rashad Ross (74 yards on four receptions) reeling in the only touchdown of the day for the Hotshots. Meanwhile Jhurell Pressley concluded the game with 110 yards on 14 carries — a sum larger than the combined rushing yards for the Legends’ top two runners on the day.

#005 San Antonio Commanders (2-2-0)
Season Point Differential: -018

With a 12-11 win over Birmingham the Commanders once again find themselves sitting at .500. In the narrow one point victory Logan Woodside went 11 for 25 on pass attempts for 106 yards and no TD tosses, while running back Trey Williams recorded San Antoine’s only proper touchdown of the game on a 12-yard run with about two minutes left in the third quarter. The MVP of the game for the Commanders, however, was unquestionably ex-Chargers RB Kenneth Farrow the Second, who wrapped up the contest with 142 yards on 30 carries.

#006 Salt Lake Stallions (1-3-0)
Season Point Differential: -020

The Stallions really couldn’t get the pass game going against Orlando in their 20-11 loss over the weekend. Quarterback Josh Woodrum went 16 for 22 on pass attempts, wrapping up the affair with 161 yards and no touchdown throws. Still, running back Branden Oliver had a pretty solid showing, collecting 71 yards on 17 carries, while Joel Bouagnon (eight carries, 30 yards) gave Salt Lake their only touchdown of the game on a 14-yard jaunt in the closing seconds of the third quarter.

#007 Memphis Express (1-3-0)
Season Point Differential : -029

The Express FINALLY got some numbers on the left-hand side of the win-loss column following this weekend’s 26-23 win over San Diego. Former Titans’ QB Zach Mettenberger went 18 for 25 in the winning effort, finishing the game with 174 aerial yards and one TD lob. Proving he ain’t no one trick pony, Mettenberger also scored a one yard rushing TD with about 20 seconds in the first half, as the Memphis’ O posted 11 unanswered to complete the come from behind victory.

#008 Atlanta Legends (1-3-0)
Season Point Differential: -059

And just like that, *your* Atlanta Legends are winless no more following a 14-11 win over Arizona. The Legends outpassed the Hotshots 277 to 172 in the victory, with former Bulldog Aaron Murray going 20 for 33 for 254 yards (albeit, with no TD passes, but no INTs, either.) Meanwhile, Matt Simms collected 33 yards on his only completed pass of the game, while Denard Robinson (43 yards on nine carries) scored the only proper TD for Atlanta on a nine-yard run up the right side with less than two minutes remaining in the first half.


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