Another wild week in the Alliance as the first playoff spot is locked up by Orlando with a 30-point win over Atlanta. Birmingham falls to make things a little more interesting in the East, but they still hold a two-game lead on both Atlanta and Memphis. Meanwhile, San Antonio continues to lead the West, but Arizona’s win puts them closer in second place.
Week 7 Results
Orlando 36, Atlanta 6
San Antonio 19, Salt Lake 15
Arizona 32, San Diego 15
Memphis 31, Birmingham 25
Week 8 Schedule
Orlando at Memphis – Saturday, March 16 @ 1:00 pm (B/R Live)
San Diego at Salt Lake – Saturday, March 16 @ 6:00 pm (NFL Network)
Atlanta at Birmingham – Sunday, March 17 @ 3:00 pm (CBS Sports Network)
Arizona at San Antonio – Sunday, March 17 @ 7:00 pm (NFL Network)
Standings after Week 7
1. x – Orlando (6-1)
2. Birmingham (4-3)
3. Atlanta (2-5) – Won head-to-head
4. Memphis (2-5) – Lost head-to-head
1. San Antonio (5-2)
2. Arizona (4-3)
3. San Diego (3-4)
4. Salt Lake (2-5)
x – Playoff spot clinched
y – Seed clinched
e – Eliminated from playoffs
Here are the updated power rankings after Week 7:
1. Orlando Apollos (6-1) –
Week 7: def. Atlanta 36-6
Another dominant win for the Apollos who get back to their winning ways and clinch the first playoff spot in the AAF playoffs. The loss for Birmingham also makes it where Orlando only needs to win two of their next three to lock up home field in the semifinal match-up as well.
Garrett Gilbert was nearly perfect going 19/23 for 217 yards and a touchdown. De’Veon Smith added a pair of touchdowns himself. The defense picked off Aaron Murray twice. There isn’t much else to say about this one other than Orlando is easily the #1 team in the league and that doesn’t look to change anytime soon.
This week, the Apollos travel to Memphis who just got a boost from beating Birmingham but must win to stay alive for the playoffs.
2. San Antonio Commanders (5-2) –
Week 7: def. Salt Lake 19-15
San Antonio and Salt Lake went back and forth, literally, through the game, but Salt Lake couldn’t convert their final two-point conversion, instead allowing San Antonio to return it for two points themselves to get the 4-point win. Logan Woodside was 13/19 for 164 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT. The rushing attack didn’t do much, but it didn’t matter with how well the Salt Lake rushing attack was stuffed.
This week, the Commanders play Arizona to try and help lock up a playoff spot and extend their lead to two games in the West.
3. Arizona Hotshots (4-3) +2
Week 7: def. San Diego 32-15
Arizona is back from the dead after a bad few weeks that saw them lose to the two teams at the bottom in Atlanta and Salt Lake. They turned it around with a win over Orlando and then a giant 17-point win over San Diego. That win moves them ahead of Birmingham who squeaked out a win over the Fleet and lost this week to Memphis who Arizona also beat on the road.
John Wolford was 15/19 for 212 yards, 2 TD and a pick. He had the highest QBR of any starter in week 7 with a 126.3. Jhurell Pressley continues to be one of the best running backs in the league, leading the league with 407 yards and gaining 64 in this contest leading the way for Arizona to gain 189 yards on the ground. Wolford added 44 yards and a touchdown himself.
This week, Arizona looks to get revenge over San Antonio after a 4-point loss at home a few weeks ago. A win puts them in a tie for first place, and a loss puts them two games back where they will need to beat San Diego at the end of the season.
4. Birmingham Iron (4-3) -1
Week 7: lost to Memphis 31-25
What a rough loss for Birmingham. After destroying Memphis 26-0 at home in week one, the Iron fall 31-25 in the first ever overtime game in Alliance history. Johnny Manziel was on the roster for Memphis, but only went 3/5 – the real problem was Brandon Silvers, a QB that Birmingham let go in the draft. The Troy product shredded Birmingham’s defense. The Iron defense did play well against the run, only allowing 41 yards, but couldn’t stop the Express late after getting up 25-14 in the fourth quarter.
Luis Perez started strong, but fell apart late going 16/37 for 235 yards and a pair of touchdowns. There were no turnovers from the Iron, but they abandoned their run game late when it come time to run the clock out and escape with the win. Trent Richardson had 16 carries for 56 yards and a touchdown, but rarely got touches down the stretch. Birmingham had the ball with 4:16 left in the game, up 25-17, and elected to throw the ball three straight times, leading to a sack and two incomplete passes from Perez.
Birmingham’s overtime drive (which starts 1st and goal at the 10) was this:
1st and Goal – Perez incomplete pass
2nd and Goal – Perez incomplete pass
3rd and Goal – Perez sacked for -8 yards
4th and Goal – Perez incomplete pass
Birmingham could have eliminated Memphis from playoff contention and locked up the final slot with a win over Atlanta this week. A win this week will still go a long way, but technically, both Atlanta and Memphis are still alive.
5. San Diego Fleet (3-4) -1
Week 7: lost to Arizona 32-15
A rough loss for San Diego as Mike Bercovici just couldn’t get much done going 22/43 for 310 yards, 1 TD and 2 INT. Bishop Sankey ran the ball well, 12 times for 54 yards, but they will need a better overall performance from the run game if Bercovici continues to play this way. Nelson Spruce had a nice outing catching 12 of 14 targets for 146 yards.
This week, the Fleet take on Salt Lake and need to win to eliminate Salt Lake from playoff contention and stay alive themselves.
6. Salt Lake Stallions (2-5) –
Week 7: lost to San Antonio 19-15
So close, yet so far away – the one phrase that accurately describes the season for the Stallions so far. The Stallions have five losses but three of those by 4 or less points and all on the road. They are 2-1 at home and will need to get wins over both San Diego and San Antonio coming up to stay alive. They also travel to Atlanta who has been shaky all year.
Josh Woodrum was 22/35 for 229 yards and a touchdown and interception, but the rushing attack was stifled, only gaining 49 total yards, mostly from Joel Boaugnon who had 9 carries for 35 yards.
The Stallions host San Diego this week, who they lost 27-25 to on the road in week five.
7. Memphis Express (2-5) +1
Week 7: def. Birmingham 31-25
What a win for the Express who seemed to think all hope was lost on the season after their loss to Atlanta. Despite picking up Johnny Manziel off waivers, Brandon Silvers has been the star for this team. The former Troy quarterback went 24/35 for 266 yards and two touchdowns (plus converting a pair of 2-point plays). Zac Stacy was held in check, but provided just enough of a relief to let the passing game go.
Manziel was 3/5 for 48 yards along with being the leading rusher with 2 carries for 20 yards. However, he was forced into the game despite Silvers playing so well to begin with. Silvers started 10/11 before being replaced by Manziel. Silvers started for a reason and will continue to be the starter for this team. We’ll see how much Manziel plays in the coming weeks.
The Express are 2-1 at home and host Orlando this week. They only lost 21-17 at Orlando in week three, so a win is not out of the question and will cause a major shake-up in the East no matter what happens with Birmingham/Atlanta.
8. Atlanta Legends (2-5) -1
Week 7: lost to Orlando 36-6
Another week, another bad loss for Atlanta. After a couple of big wins over Arizona and Memphis (who both got wins this weekend), the Legends have lost by 31 and 30 points to San Antonio and Orlando. This drops their in-division record to 1-3, and that could easily be 0-4 if Zach Mettenberger hadn’t thrown an interception late in their game a few weeks ago.
Aaron Murray went 16/22 for 135 yards, one touchdown and a pair of interceptions. The rushing attack didn’t do much, only gaining 89 yards total. The turnovers didn’t help as Orlando got a pick-6 off one late in the third quarter.
The Legends get the chance to take advantage of a wounded Birmingham this week, but the game is at Legion Field. They get a crack at Salt Lake at home after that, so if they can somehow win out to week ten, they will be 4-5 with a rematch against Memphis who will also be 4-5 at best. If Birmingham loses to Atlanta and Arizona, there could be a three-way tie at 4-5 going into the final week between the three teams behind Orlando where anything could happen.