AAF Week 2 to remember: the Orlando Apollos have the best attack, which could mean they have the best team


Sunday afternoon, in three hours, we saw what the FAA could be. Orlando at San Antonio was by far the best paper game of the week 2, but in a pleasantly surprising way he did not disappoint. On the contrary, he exceeded expectations, which had to be tempered by the time the new professional football league acquires its legs at sea.

But once things click, it's a lot of fun to watch. If Orlando-San Antonio has taught us anything, it is that the offensive will reign supreme in this league. With so many teams still on the defensive to win, having the explosive attack is what distinguishes the playoff contenders. It's no surprise then that teams like Orlando, Arizona and San Antonio seem to be playing in the playoffs.

What lessons did we learn from the AAF during the second week? Here is an overview of everything that happened Saturday and Sunday.

Orlando-San Antonio was the AAF at its best

When football fans get on the bandwagon, the exciting Orlando 37-29 win in San Antonio was the type of football that they envisioned to see. In two weeks, it is rarely football that has been delivered. Certainly, patience is necessary. These teams met a month ago. But it is with zero reservations that I say not only that it's the best game of the season so far, but that it will compete with one of the best games of the year.

Putting Orlando, the FAA's best vertical pass team, one kilometer offshore, indoors in an environment like the Alamodome, virtually guaranteed that it would be a success. He delivered. Apollo quarterback Garrett Gilbert had three passes over 50 yards in his 393-yard performance. In total, Orlando has averaged 8.4 yards per game on just 51 games. Even though they were not too successful in running the ball, they managed to defeat the win thanks to the huge heats of D & # 39; Ernest Johnson.

The distance and efficiency of the blocks count, and it was the best example of why. And it was not just Orlando; Offensive stats from San Antonio were not as good – for example: commanders averaged 5.1 yards per game – but they were much better on the ground run (5.2 yards per run) and accumulated still nearly 400 yards of attack. Even in case of defeat, the commanders looked like one of the top three teams in the Alliance. Could this game be a preview of the championship in April? After the game of these two players, it would not be so surprising.

Recipients of Birmingham must step up

We are at week 2 and the number of these routes is not over yet. I understand that. But the underdogs of Birmingham, after having dropped five passes in a 26-0 win over Memphis, had another case of dropsies against Salt Lake on Saturday. The most glaring was recorded in the first quarter when quarterback Luis Perez escaped the pressure, escaped from a sack and threw the ball to Tobias Palmer, who dropped a sure touch. The Iron then missed a 53-yard field goal in the next game. Then, in the third quarter, tight outside Weslye Saunders missed the ball on the first run.

The safety of the ball is not only an iron problem at the moment, but what makes it particularly alarming is that possession possession of ball is a very important part of their offensive game plan. (The Iron spent 60% of the time on Saturday and averaged 4.1 yards per attempt.) Apart from Quinton Patton, there is no extremely reliable pass-stop that can also stretch the pitch; In fact, running back Trent Richardson was the main receiver of the offense with six catches out of seven targets for 50 yards – and he was battling a hamstring.

Birmingham is 2-0 and that's what's most important, but this offense has work to do at every post. Between Trent Richardson getting more volume than production and the catchers who put the ball on the ground, this team flirts with an "L." They are just not explosive enough to keep coming back from 9-0. (Again, how many offenses around the Alliance are?)

Surprise: the quarters are important

The AAF is a development league, so know that virtually everyone needs development. But the two areas where this evolution is most notable are along the offensive line and the quarter. Unsurprisingly, these positions take the longest to come together. Offensive lines are built on chemistry. It takes time – certainly more than a month. Quarterbacks must commit an offense and develop a rhythm with wide receivers. This has sometimes been an obvious struggle.

It is no coincidence that the four teams with safer quarterback situations are probably the four best teams in the Alliance. Orlando (Garrett Gilbert), Arizona (John Wolford), Birmingham (Luis Perez) and San Antonio (Logan Woodside) recorded the top four offenses in two weeks. Again, playing shifts is not the only factor to consider, but it is one of the most obvious indicators of separation as the season progresses.

Overall, this will be one of the factors in the overall success of the FAA. Each team "writes" regionally through the allocation system when they draw up their list, but shifts are the only position that is actually written in the way we know it well. It tells you how important it is. The AAF needs a higher playoff cap starting in the second year. It's about getting more real backups of the NFL and getting reps, or adapting offensive patterns so that they better match the skills quarters already present in the alliance, it will be necessary to examine further.

The explosiveness of Arizona makes the difference

There are vis-à-vis, and then there is Arizona who scores 38 points in the first week before spilling the ball five times – two interceptions, two turnovers and a fumble – and not to score almost three quarterfinals against Memphis Saturday night. It was shocking, it is the least that can be said. Hotshots were No. 1 in our power ranking and the Express were dead last, and Vegas had chosen Arizona as a favorite at 13 points in many books early in the game.

Chalk these to make judgments. However, the reality was that Arizona played poorly for about two-quarters of a quarter and desperately needed things to click on. Then, suddenly, they did it. The Hotshots ran a nine-game campaign with 80 yards late in the third quarter, highlighted by Tim Cook's 28-yard run and Rashad Ross' 16-yard touchdown, which raised the score to 12- 6. Although the Express was able to react by a touchdown itself during the ensuing training, it would be his last points of the night. The Hotshots scored the last 14 points of the match in their next two attempts to win 20-18. The possession of Arizona on these two drives? A grand total of 11 games, 162 yards (14.7 yards) and 4:22 of playing time. Quarterback John Wolford scored six of his seven passes for 137 yards and two goals.

If you watched enough FAA games for two weeks, you saw how difficult it was for the offenses to start. Call Memphis playing not to lose if you must, but the fact that Arizona was able to light the throws when it was absolutely necessary is impressive and that's partly why it will likely be eliminated in the playoffs by April. When they are synchronized, the trio composed of Wolford, Ross and Cook is as good as any other player in the league.

Player of the week

Broad receiver of the Apollos of Orlando, Charles Johnson: Do not give POTW honors to an Apollos member for the second week in a row, but Johnson was just too good to be ignored. The former receiver of the Vikings led everyone with seven receptions on 10 targets for 192 yards and a touchdown. Orlando has some deep threats in the passing game, and as such, the Alliance's most effective vertical offensive, but Johnson was the star of the victory in San Antonio. His path was determined and effective. If he continues in this way, he will have another look at the NFL.

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