AAF Week 2: Where to watch online, storylines, and predictions

The future of the NFL is being fleshed out between the lines in the new professional development league, The Alliance of American Football (AAF).

Every year there are roughly 12,000-15,000 college football players and only 224 get drafted, which is less than 2% of the available pool of players. Drafting is far from an exact science, i.e. the Cleveland Browns, so The Alliance may shape up to be the REAL farm system the NFL needs far a steady supply of ‘capable’ pro players.

The initial curiosity for the Alliance, as it has affectionately become known,  was palpable on opening night — CBS averaged nearly 3 million views for the first game — now the regular season is settling in a little bit more. We have first impressions of all eight teams. Some are good. Others … questionable.

Week 2 of the AAF schedule features four cross-divisional games. There’s more travel involved, so it’ll be interesting to see what role that plays in the outcomes. The Vegas odds are a little bit more aggressive on the point spreads out of the gate this week, but based on the Week 1 scores, point totals are still understandably on the lower side.

CBS’s Ben Kercheval put together a fantastic summary of viewing info, storylines, and predictions for Week 2.

Here’s everything you need to know:

Viewing information

Salt Lake City Stallions at Birmingham Iron

Date: Saturday, Feb. 16 | Time: 2 p.m. ET
Location: Legion Field — Birmingham, Alabama
TV: TNT | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free)

Arizona Hotshots at Memphis Express

Date: Saturday, Feb. 16 | Time: 8 p.m. ET
Location: Liberty Bowl — Memphis, Tennessee
TV: NFL Network | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free)

Orlando Apollos at San Antonio Commanders

Date: Sunday, Feb. 17 | Time: 4 p.m. ET
Location: Alamodome — San Antonio, Texas
TV: CBS Sports Network | Live stream: CBS Sports Network

Atlanta Legends at San Diego Fleet

Date: Sunday, Feb. 17 | Time: 8 p.m. ET
Location: SDCCU Stadium — San Diego, California
TV: NFL Network | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free)

Storylines

Salt Lake City at Birmingham: If you haven’t read up on Iron quarterback Luis Perez, take some time and rectify that now. He’s already received some interest from NFL scouts and if he continues to play well he’ll probably be in the league next fall. As for this game, it’s oddly intriguing. Birmingham succeeded with a ball-control offense and some sexy punting. Meanwhile, Salt Lake quarterback Josh Woodrum left the Week 1 loss to Arizona with a hamstring injury and his status for this game is unknown.

Arizona at Memphis: One thing I continue to remind myself of daily is that what happened last weekend was one game. These are professional football players, many of whom were on an NFL roster in the not-so-distant past. There is parity. But … you’re not going to get two more vastly different results than what Arizona and Memphis had in Week 1. The Hotshots have the looks of a playoff-caliber team. The Express have yet to score a point. Hats off to Memphis if they do an about-face and make this a game.

Orlando at San Antonio: Chances are, this will be the game that garners the most attention in Week 2, and why not? The Apollos look like the best team in the East and the Alamodome might actually carry a true home-field advantage. These defenses combined to allow just 12 points last weekend, but it’s the offenses that most will be curious about. Obviously, the Apollos have weapons with guys like wide receiver Jalin Marshall. The question is whether the Commanders can keep up after scoring 15 points in Week 1 — if things get into a shootout, that is.

Atlanta at San Diego: Remember above when I said Orlando and San Antonio’s defenses gave up a combined 12 points in Week 1? These were the 12 points. Are Orlando and San Antonio just that good? Or do the Legends and Fleet have serious issues? I’ve opined some about the Fleet’s quarterback situation and the Legends may need to look inward as well.

Prediction, picks

Salt Lake City at Birmingham: Both offenses showed they can move the ball, so taking the under could result in some SWEATS before the afternoon is done. However, let’s remind ourselves that Birmingham had to put Memphis away in the fourth quarter and Salt Lake City, while it certainly played well at times, still lost by two touchdowns to Arizona. Plus, uncertainty at quarterback plays a role. Pick: Birmingham -6.5, Under 46

Arizona at Memphis: Whew, buddy. Vegas sees this as a mismatch and it’s hard to disagree. Coming back home should give Memphis a bit of boost, but is there any offense to be had? Arizona lit up the scoreboard in Week 1 and it would probably take a complete collapse for the Express to pull the upset. I’ll give Memphis some points for being the home team and that keeps things under the point total, but the Hotshots cover. Pick: Arizona -10, Under 49

Orlando at San Antonio: While I love the idea of Steve Spurrier’s team playing indoors, San Antonio’s defense looked fast and well-coached against the Fleet in Week 1. In fact, both defenses were excellent in their first effort, though this will undoubtedly be a greater test. The Commanders can make it close but does the offense have enough to pull off the full-on upset? Pick: San Antonio +6.5, Under 45.5

Atlanta at San Diego: The Legends aren’t asking for sympathy, but I’m giving it anyway. The last thing Atlanta needs after losing to Orlando 40-6 is to travel across the country for a second-straight road game. The point total is the lowest of the four games, and even still the under looks appealing. Pick: San Diego -9.5, Under 45

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