To some degree, the AAF playoff race has started to take center stage. However, Week 7 is when things really begin to ramp up. In three of the next four weeks, these eight teams will play in key divisional games. With so little separation between seven of the eight teams, there’s still a lot of cloudiness about how this could all unfold. And depending on how things go this weekend, things could get a little clearer, or the race could get even tighter.
Drama is building and the best football is being played now. Here’s everything you need to enjoy all four AAF games in Week 7.
Orlando Apollos at Atlanta Legends
Date: Saturday, March 23 | Time: 3 p.m. ET
Location: Spectrum Stadium — Orlando, Florida
Live stream: B/R Live
San Diego Fleet at Arizona Hotshots
Date: Sunday, March 24 | Time: 4 p.m. ET
Location: Sun Devil Stadium — Tempe, Arizona
TV: CBS Sports Network | Live stream: CBS Sports Network
Birmingham Iron at Memphis Express
Date: Sunday, March 24 | Time: 8 p.m. ET
Location: Liberty Bowl — Memphis, Tennessee
TV: NFL Network | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free)
Orlando at Atlanta: The Apollos had a bad week, dropping their first game of the season to the Hotshots. It was an uncharacteristic game for the AAF’s best team, which looked outmatched on both sides of the ball. The good news for Orlando is that it gets Atlanta next and the Legends took a step back last week. If the Apollos can use this as their get-right game, no one will think twice about what happened in Week 6. Besides, three of the final four weeks of the regular season are critical divisional games for the Apollos. Orlando may be the first team to secure a playoff spot as soon as this weekend.
Salt Lake City at San Antonio: The Commanders are back at the Alamodome for the first time in a month. There’s a bit of irony in the Alamodome having the AAF’s best home-field environment because San Antonio just went 3-1 on the road and played its best stretch of football so far. This team is humming and a win against the Stallions will put it in decent position for a playoff spot. Salt Lake City has yet to win on the road, but if it’s going to knot things up in the West, it needs to start in Week 7.
San Diego at Arizona: Don’t be surprised if this is the best game of the weekend, and there are no shortage of storylines. Arizona ended its three-game losing streak in the most improbable way by upsetting Orlando. San Diego, meanwhile, lost a heartbreaker to Birmingham by way of a walk-off field goal. There’s not much room for a hangover game for either side. Both teams are pressed in the middle of the West division standings at 3-3.
Overall, there’s not much separating these two. Both rank in the top four in points per game and allow about 20 points per game on defense. On paper, this is the most evenly-matched game of the weekend, and both sides have a propensity for frantic endings worthy of the #AAFterDark hashtag.
Birmingham at Memphis: Face it, you’re here for Johnny Manziel, aren’t you? It’s okay to be interested.. Now, will he start? The Express were in need of a quarterback, but coming in and starting right away in Week 7 is no easy task and there’s a lot of personal growth necessary for Manziel as well. Still, the people will want to see the biggest name to sign with the AAF, regardless of the outcome.
Speaking of quarterbacks, the Iron have an interesting situation on their hands as well. One week after coming off the bench, Keith Price was knocked out of the game early against San Diego. That put Luis Perez back under center and he looked like a different quarterback. He was slinging it deep and dropping some dimes, totaling 359 yards and three touchdowns. He also threw two ill-advised interceptions and nearly turned the ball over a couple more times. He probably still gives this team the best chance to win, he just has to harness some of those poor decisions.