Scouting Every AAF Offense Entering Week 2: Trent Richardson is THE Running Back
Courtesy of The Alliance of American Football’s official Twitter account. Pictured: Trent Richardson (33).
- The first week of AAF games gave fans a window into the strengths and limitations of offenses around the league.
- Ian Hartitz dives deep into the Week 1 performances to find out which teams have potential throughout the season.
Week 1 of the newly-formed Alliance of American Football league (AAF) worked out just about as well as anyone could’ve hoped. Ratings were great, fading Christian Hackenberg went swimmingly and viewers were gifted to a new fast-paced brand of football that delivered plenty of exciting moments.
The under cashed in three-of-four games, as poor quarterback play generally outweighed new defensive rules that handcuff the creativity of blitz packages.
Home-field advantage also appeared to be a key factor with each of Arizona, Birmingham, Orlando and San Antonio both winning AND covering while defending their respective home turf.
You can view overall, passing and rushing stats for each Week 1 matchup in the below table.
What follows are my key notes for each team after re-watching all four games and pouring over the box scores.
This is an effort to best capture the best-and-worst performers, as well as to identify depth charts and figure out which teams possess schematic advantages. Thanks to NoExtraPoints.com and Pro Football Focus for their AAF stats.
John Wolford is the Latest QB to Beat Out Trevor Knight
The former-Wake Forest quarterback was tabbed as the Hotshots’ starter just days before their season-opening victory over Salt Lake. Wolford was nothing short of magnificent (by AAF standards), as he set position-high marks in numerous categories while leading the offense to 38 points.
The 23-year old’s poise in running Arizona’s no-huddle offense especially stood out. They consistently kept Salt Lake off balance with a steady diet of pre-snap motion, tempo and RPOs.
It’s only a one-week sample, but Wolford and head coach Rick Neuheisel are the early leaders for QB1 and HC1 of the AAF.
Jhurell Pressley Owns the Arizona Backfield
The Hotshots starting running back incredibly had 18 carries and the position’s only target during his 20 snaps in Week 1. Backups Larry Rose and Justin Stockton were also involved and combined for 16 snaps and 13 carries, but Pressley displayed the most-consistent excellence on the ground with 64 hard-earned yards.
Even more encouraging for Pressley’s fantasy stock was his ability to thrive as a receiver. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Arizona look to get their playmaker additional snaps from the slot in future weeks.
Rashad Ross has an Early Case as the AAF’s Best Receiver
Ross was the only wide receiver in Week 1 to crack 20 fantasy points. Overall, he caught 5-of-7 targets for 103 yards and a pair of scores. Ross’ first touchdown came on a deep ball down the field, but his second came on a four-yard fade — indicating he possesses a fantasy-friendly role as both a field-stretcher and red-zone weapon.