AAF Week 4 recap

These are season-to-date totals (four games per team) for points scored and allowed ONLY on drives of 60 yards or more. Defensive points or those scored on shorter drives from field position breaks aren’t counted. The goal is to isolate team skill sets on offense for driving the field, and on defense for preventing it.

 

OFFENSE

Orlando 69, Arizona 53, San Diego 52, Salt Lake 44, Atlanta 30, Birmingham 28, San Antonio 24, Memphis 23.

A month into the season, and the AAF still looks like it’s going to be a defensive league. Has a “business” ever had such a large misread of a product it created? In any field? Would the league have even launched if it had known how far away from “fast-paced, exciting, high-scoring football” its first month was going to be?

Average total points-per-game (all points) is 37.5 through 16 games, with the median right at 38 (three games have landed exactly on 38, 10 of 16 at 38 or below).

Some notes…

  • Zach Mettenberger did “lead” Memphis to a win in his first start. But he had lousy stats and the team didn’t drive the field for any points. The two Memphis touchdowns came on drives of 21 and 31 yards after turnovers. Don’t be fooled by that 26-23 victory. Memphis only gained 225 yards on 3.9 yards-per-play.
  • Aaron Murray finally got to play in Atlanta because Mike Simms was injured after throwing one pass. Murray posted HUGE individual stats (20-33-0-254 passing and 54 rushing yards on seven carries), but his team could only eke out a 14-11 victory. Two points came on a safety. 
  • Philip Nelson of San Diego was injured after throwing 9-12-0-110 Saturday (another sharp outing). He will reportedly miss 4-6 weeks with a shoulder issue. That’s big news…because San Diego’s offense was humming with him, struggling without. Alex Ross was just 8-18-1-80 in relief (4.4 yards-per-attempt). Mike Bercovici is supposed to get the start this week. He was a turnover and sack machine in the season opener at San Antonio. 
  • Trent Richardson’s rushing stats actually got WORSE last week for Birmingham, just 15 yards on eight carries. He’s now averaging 2.4 yards-per-carry, with a season-long scamper of 10 yards. But, he gets the ball in close, and those seven rushing touchdowns need to be marketed for promotional and fantasy reasons.

DEFENSE (drive points allowed)

San Diego 12, Birmingham 18, Orlando 40, Atlanta 46, Salt Lake 47, Arizona 51, San Antonio 54, Memphis 55.

San Diego threw its second drive point “shutout” in a row, and now leads the league on this side of the ball. Birmingham continues to be elite. The rest of the AAF is allowing 10.0 to 13.8 drive points per game. Nobody has a “bad” defense. Yet. Maybe defenses will become more vulnerable after weather improves. 

DIFFERENTIALS

San Diego 40, Orlando 29, Birmingham 10, Arizona 2, Salt Lake -3, Atlanta -16, San Antonio -30, Memphis -32.

If the AAF was only going to have a “one-month” regular season, its “Super Bowl” would have featured Orlando (4-0) vs. Birmingham (3-1). Those are the only two teams over .500 thus far. They square off Saturday in Birmingham at 2 p.m. ET (11 a.m. in Las Vegas) in an attraction that will now be televised nationally by TNT.

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