NFL

AAF Power Rankings: Orlando Apollos dominate Week 1 in The Alliance

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The first week of the AAF (Alliance of American Football) is in the books, but how do the league’s eight teams stack up against one another after one game.

Despite the fact that the Super Bowl is in the rearview and it’s the NFL offseason, pro football is still in full-swing. That’s because the Alliance of American Football (AAF) kicked off this past weekend to start their inaugural season. Or perhaps it’s better to say that they had their first snap as there are now kickoffs in this new, upstart league.

The AAF actually had a strong start for a new football league as their Saturday night game actually drew better ratings than the primetime NBA game on NBC. While the following weeks will be crucial to the success of the league as a whole, the start for The Alliance was as good as they could’ve hoped for.

Subsequently, we’re going to start diving in and seeing what this league looks like. And what better way to do that than to rank the eight teams playing. These are your AAF Power Rankings after Week 1 of their first season.

8. Memphis Express

This might shock you, but playing in the AAF has not made Christian Hackenberg a good quarterback. The starter for the Memphis Express, the former NFL second-round pick by the Jets was downright abysmal as he went just 10-of-23 for 87 yards, no touchdowns and an interception. However, Hackenberg wasn’t the only dark spot for an Express team that looks like the worst team in The Alliance out of the gate.

Despite the Birmingham offense showing some ups and downs, the Iron still hung 26 points on an Express defense that simply didn’t make enough plays to have an impact. When you then combine that with the lack of production from Hackenberg, running back Zac Stacy and the rest of the Memphis offense, this could be a long season for the Express.

7. Atlanta Legends

In a bit of history, it was the Atlanta Legends and former Chargers kicker Younghoe Koo that scored the first points in the history of the AAF as he put a 38-yard field goal through the uprights. However, that was about where the positives stopped for the Legends in their Week 1 game as the Apollos absolutely ran them into the ground in a dominant effort for Atlanta’s opponents.

There truly wasn’t much to speak of in regards to offensive production as both Matt Simms and Aaron Murray were shaky when they were under center and their stable of running backs were less than stellar throughout the contest. The biggest concern, though, is that defense that allowed the Apollos to put up 40 points on them. Maybe that speaks to Orlando in some way, but it does sound the alarm slightly for the Atlanta defense moving forward.

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