Tag Archives: Atlanta Legends

ALLIANCE 2 XFL: AAF Week 5 Power Rankings

No surprises at the top spot. But there are some changes for this week’s AAF Week 5 Power Rankings:

1. Orlando Apollos 5-0

2. San Diego Fleet 3-2

3. San Antonio Commanders 3-2

4. Birmingham Iron 3-2

5. Arizona Hotshots 2-3

6. Atlanta Legends 2-3

7. Salt Lake Stallions 1-4

8. Memphis Express 1-4

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ALLIANCE 2 XFL: Week Five Attendance Figures

San Diego led the way in attendance this week as the home crowd saw the Fleet win as time expired. The crowd was the largest in Fleet history. Overall attendance bounced back from week four as crowds were treated to four exciting games with two ending with game winning field goals.

Week 5 Attendance:

San Diego: 20,823 (largest crowd in Fleet history)

Birmingham: 13,310

Atlanta: 10,829

Arizona: 9,351

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ALLIANCE 2 XFL: Week 5 Odds

After climbing over the 500 mark, I came crashing down to earth with a 1-3 record last week. The lone bright spot was my outright pick of the Express. Overall, I am 8-8 on the season. Here is to a bounce back week!

Orlando @ Birmingham +5.5: This week’s marquee matchup has the unbeaten Apollos traveling North to take on the Iron. Both teams play solid defense and I can see the Iron being up for the task defensively. The issue will be the inability to put up enough points to stay close to the high flying Apollos. I like the visitors to cover.

Salt Lake @ San Diego PK: This is a classic “the line is telling me something” game. I like the visiting Stallions behind the better QB to win this game on the road. San Diego runs the ball well, but I’m expecting a turnover or two from the new/old starter Mike Bercovici. I got the Stallions in a close one.

Memphis @ Atlanta PK: Each team picked up their first win last week. I like how Aaron Murray played last week and I’m expecting a close battle all day long. I think that the Express have the better overall talent and will win late behind the Zach (Mettenberger) and Zac (Stacy) show!

San Antonio @ Arizona -3.5: This will be a battle of who imposes their game plan – the Commanders with their ground & pound led by Kenneth Farrow II or the Hotshots with their aerial attack led by John Wolford & Rashad Ross This game will go back and forth with the home team prevailing at the end, but look for the Commanders to cover.

PLACE YOUR BETS!!

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ALLIANCE 2 XFL: Week Four Standout Stars!!!

Week 4 saw the Apollos remain undefeated in the snow with a hard-fought victory over Salt Lake, lead by Garrett Gilbert and Charles Johnson. The Iron dropped from the ranks of the unbeaten losing at home to the Commanders who were led by Kenneth Farrow and a bruising defense. Atlanta won their first game as Aaron Murray came off the bench to relieve an injured Matt Simms and they had a punishing running attack that kept the Hotshots off balance. Memphis, led by Zach Mettenberger also won their first game in front of the home crowd taking down the Fleet.

QBs:

Aaron Murray, Atlanta: 20/33 – 254 yards, 7 carries/54 yards

Garrett Gilbert, Orlando: 22/32 – 232 yards, 1 TD

Zach Mettenberger, Memphis: 18/25 – 174 yards, 1 TD, 1 rushing TD, and 1 rushing 2 PT

John Wolford, Arizona: 17/31 – 185 yards, 1 TD and one 2 PT

RBs:

Kenneth Farrow II, San Antonio: 30 carries/142 yards

Jhurell Pressley, Arizona: 14 carries/110 yards

Branden Oliver, Salt Lake: 17 carries/71 yards

Brandon Ross, Birmingham: 9 carries/64 yards

Atlanta: 177 yards rushing led by Aaron Murray with 54 yards and Denard Robinson with 43 yards and 1 TD.

WRs:

Charles Johnson, Orlando: 9 catches/105 yards (back to back 100-yard games)

Rashad Ross, Arizona: 4 catches/74 yards, 1 TD

Dontez Ford, San Diego: 6 catches/ 71 yards, 1 TD

Tarean Folston, Atlanta: 5 catches/66 yards

Reece Horn, Memphis: 4 catches/63 yards

Rannell Hall, Memphis: 4 catches/57 yards

Marcus Bough, San Diego: 4 catches/54 yards, 1 TD

Wes Saxton, Jr., Birmingham: 3 catches/54 yards

Defense:

Drew Jackson, Memphis: 13 tackles, 1 sack, and 1 INT

Erick Dargan, Arizona: 11 tackles

Ed Reynolds, Jr., Atlanta: 8 tackles

Beniquez Brown, Birmingham: 7 tackles, 1 sack

Jeremy Faulk, Birmingham : 7 tackles

Nyles Morgan, Arizona: 7 tackles

Derron Smith, San Antonio: 6 tackles

Andrew Ankrah, Orlando: 4 tackles, 2 sacks, and a forced fumble

Frank Ginda, San Diego: 7 tackles

Micah Hannemann, Salt Lake: 7 tackles

Kicking:

Austin MacGinnis, Memphis: 4 FGs

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ALLIANCE 2 XFL: Week 3 Attendance Figures

Orlando topped the week 3 attendance in the AAF as fans turned out to see the Apollos climb to 3-0. San Diego saw an attendance dip from Week 2 as the Fleet turned in a solid performance against the Commanders. Home openers in Atlanta and Salt Lake were disappointing, although who was in attendance made solid crowd noise from what I can hear watching. I look for a jump in attendance next week for Salt Lake coming off their first win as they host the undefeated Apollos.

Week 3 Attendance:

Orlando – 20,394

San Diego – 14,789

Atlanta – 10,717

Salt Lake – 10,412

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The AAF Needs an Offensive Infusion

Two weeks into the Alliance’s infancy one thing is certain, this league needs an offensive infusion. For a league that is trying to gain the attention of casual football fans, having multiple teams struggle to clear the 200 yards per game hurdle is a hindrance. While teams such as the Hotshots and Apollos have been putting flashy offensive performances, the league as whole needs to showcase offensive ability and not so much defensive prowess. Die-hard football fans can live with defensive struggles but high scoring shoot-outs are what is going to gain the attention of casual fans.

Taking a quick look through the AAF stats page on their website, it’s clear to see why teams like the Arizona Hotshots and Orlando Apollos are 2-0.  Each team has adopted a faster pace modern-day offense.  The Hotshots are looking to utilize their mobile quarterback and above league-average skill players. They tend to lean on run-pass option plays for a large amount of their offensive play-calls. This is a trend that has taken the NFL by storm in recent seasons.  It only makes sense that the best offensive team in the AAF follows suit. The Apollos struggle to move the ball on the ground, so they air it out thanks in part to their QB Garrett Gilbert, who’s completed 64.2% of his passes for 620 yards in two games. The San Antonio Commanders have had their share of offensive success as well.  The Commanders are averaging 381 yards per game and 22 points per game. Largely because they have been the beneficiary of good receiver play.

Garrett Gilbert, Apollos QB

So…you might ask. Who needs to elevate their offensive output?

The answer to this question is simple just by looking at the numbers. The Memphis Express are struggling to break the 200 yards per game mark, coming in at 213.  This is just not going to put butts in the seats.  The obvious answer for how this team could improve is to look elsewhere at quarterback.  Christian Hackenberg simply isn’t getting the job done. When he isn’t fighting with coaches on the sideline, he is struggling to throw the ball downfield. At this point, Memphis is wasting good games from feature-back Zac Stacy.  If Memphis continues to struggle with Hackenberg under center then it would not surprise me to see each week’s promotion to be “Dress as an Empty Seat” night at the Liberty Bowl.

Another team that must improve their offensive gameplay is the Atlanta Legends.  Things were looking good for them in week 2 as they jumped out to a 9-0 lead against the San Diego Fleet, but quickly let the game slip away.  They could not move the ball and struggled to get any points on the board for much of the game. The Salt Lake Stallions have shown flashes, but just haven’t been dynamic enough. There is reason to believe they can improve, but they need to find ways to stretch the field and put points on the board at a much higher rate.

While there is a reason to be optimistic that the Alliance can succeed, there is a big glaring concern with several teams.  Fans are looking for favorite teams to jump on board the bandwagon and right now scoring less than 10 points per game, plus averaging less than 250 yards per game just isn’t enough. Let’s hope that in Week 3, the playbooks open up and teams are more comfortable with each other. If not, I would hate to see the television ratings for an Atlanta Legends and Memphis Express match-up in the future.

Follow me on Twitter @jnschel

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