AAF Is Rising To Their Full Potential
March 14, 2019
Football is surprisingly entertaining in the Alliance of American Football. The teams are slowly advancing to their full potential and using tactics that adjust to the rules that the AAF modified from the NFL.
The top two teams that are ruling the Eastern Conference are the two polar opposites in the Birmingham Iron and the Orlando Apollos. Legendary NCAA coach Steve Spurrier and first-time head coach Tim Lewis lead their teams well and effectively.
Spurrier and the Orlando Apollos are the only undefeated team in the AAF with a 4-0 record thanks to quarterback Garrett Gilbert and wide receiver Charles Johnson with both of them leading the AAF in their positions. Both players both rule fantasy football as well, with both combining for 168.8 fantasy points combined.
The Birmingham Iron is not far behind the Apollos, being 3-1, but their success under Lewis is attributed to the overpowered pass defense and pass rush. Corners Jack Tocho and Jamar Summers with linebacker Xzavier Dickson combining for four interceptions. The after-snap coverage of the ball is exceptional with linebacker Beniquez Brown and defensive lineman Jeremy Faulk both combining for 45 total tackles and eight tackles for loss.
The Western Conference is a totally different story and is a coin-toss at this point. With the San Antonio Commanders, San Diego Fleet and Arizona Hotshots all tied at 2-2 entering the fifth week. With a margin this tight, the top team in the Western Conference barely edges out the second.
The San Diego Fleet head coach Mike Martz, who won the Superbowl in 1999 and led the greatest show on turf with Kurt Warner, as head coach of the Fleet, the offense is nearly non-existent. However, the defense is almost as productive as the Iron and only giving up 275 yards per game and scoring four points per game on defense. The only things the Fleet’s offense can do are and convert on third down and score in the red-zone, boasting a 37.2 percent conversion rate, third in the league, and grabbing 21 points per game, second in the league.
The Arizona Hotshots, under a relatively new head coach, Rick Neuheisel, a graduate of UCLA, who coached at his alma mater and was under scrutiny at his previous head coaching job at the University of Washington. The owner of the Arizona Hotshots had looked past that when he hired him and it has been a good choice so far. The Hotshots got off to a quick start, going 2-0 at the start but have lost the past 2 weeks in a row. Wide receiver Rashad Ross has been an all-star with 295 yards on 26 targets. Quarterback John Wolford is also doing extremely well, throwing 780 yards on 63 completions. Also, running back Jhurell Pressley is on a roll with 266 yards on 54 attempts; however, he has zero touchdowns as a feature back, which needs to be improved upon.
The AAF is finally progressing to a point that it needs to be at. Still, people must understand that this league is a work in progress and has to be treated with patience. Teams like the Apollos and Iron are doing well because of excellent coaching or recruiting, but still, have room to improve. By this time next year viewers should see teams performing considerably better.